Two ports, the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, handle almost half of all of the consumer goods being shipped into the United States. Together, these two ports are also the single largest polluter in Southern California, a region famous for its smog.
NPR's Kirk Siegler reports on a new California law that will soon require some of the largest diesel-guzzling ships to kill their engines and plug in to shore power at the docks.
Alongside a freeway in Northern California is a billboard which reads: Pivot to Canada. The billboard is urging high-tech immigrants living in the U.S. to pay attention to Canada. Canada wants to attract highly-skilled, foreign-born tech workers who are fed up with the visa process that they must follow to remain in the U.S.
Poverty has grown everywhere in the U.S. in recent years, but mostly in the suburbs. During the 2000s, it grew twice as fast in suburban areas as in cities, with more than 16 million poor people now living in the nation's suburbs — more than in urban or rural areas.
Elizabeth Kneebone, a fellow with the Metropolitan Policy Program at the Brookings Institution, says this shift in poverty can be seen in Montgomery County, Md., right outside the nation's capital.
By all the laws of anything, Winston Chen should not have quit his well-paying, midcareer job at a software company at age 40. But one day he was watching a TED Talk, one of those popular online video presentations, delivered by a New York designer.
"He presented this absolutely irresistible idea," Chen says. "He said, 'Why don't we take five years out of retirement and spread them throughout your working life?' "
"The Yahoo board has approved a deal to pay $1.1 billion in cash for the blogging site Tumblr."
The Journal, the only outlet reporting the approval, is sourcing its story to "people familiar with the matter." Lauren Armstrong, a Yahoo spokeswoman, told us in an email that they "don't comment on rumors or speculation."
One hundred and forty years ago this month, a German immigrant named Levi Strauss patented the first pair of jeans ever made. During the California gold rush, Strauss traveled across the country to set up a West Coast branch of his family's dry goods business. That business changed forever when Strauss got a letter from a tailor named Jacob Davis.
For years, reports have suggested that Afghanistan is sitting on massive deposits of copper, gold, iron and rare earth minerals valued up to $3 trillion. This provides hope for a future economy that would not have to rely so heavily on foreign donations.
But with an uncertain political, regulatory and security environment, international investors are hesitant. And it could be many years before Afghanistan begins extracting its mineral wealth.
This is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. Michel Martin is away. I'm Celeste Headlee. Coming up, it's National Bike to Work Day, but many millennials prefer two wheels to four. Why more 20-somethings are driving less. That's just ahead.
From teens with drive, we turn now to young people who have no interest in driving. This is National Bike to Work Day, and a substantial number of millennials choose bikes or public transportation or their feet to get around instead of cars. That's according to the U.S. Public Interest Research Group, or PIRG, which concluded that the 20th century driving boom is over.
Paul Eisenstein has written about this trend. He's the editor of TheDetroitBureau.com, and he joins me now. Welcome.
Originally published on Mon December 16, 2013 3:23 pm
You can give away almost anything — your time, money, food, your ideas. In this hour, stories from TED speakers who are "giving it away" in new and surprising ways, and the things that happen in return.
Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
On Thursday, President Obama named Daniel Werfel, 42, acting IRS commissioner. The announcement comes a day after the resignation of Steven Miller, who got caught up in the controversy over the IRS targeting Tea Party groups.
It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep. This week in San Francisco, Google held its annual developers conference. The Internet search giant debuted updates for just about everything from Google+ to Maps, and gave talks on gadgets like Google Glass. And, as NPR's Steve Henn reports, Google laid out its vision for its future, as well as our future.
With supplies high and prices at historic lows, there's debate whether companies should be allowed to export the gas overseas for a higher price. Many energy companies have applied for government approval to ship liquefied natural gas worldwide. So far, only one company has gotten a license to do that in the past 30 years..
A 79 percent drop in earnings — That's what the computer maker reported to investors Thursday. The reason, analysts say, it's harder to sell PCs these days with the growing popularity of smartphones and tablets
Sales of guns and ammunition rose after President Obama took office in 2008, and they went through the roof starting late last year, when a school shooting led to a push for new gun control measures. That's led to a prolonged ammunition shortage, even with manufacturers running at full capacity.
Four years ago, 21 men with intellectual disabilities were emancipated from a bright blue, century-old schoolhouse in Atalissa, Iowa. They ranged in age from their 40s to their 60s, and for most of their adult lives they had worked for next to nothing and lived in dangerously unsanitary conditions.
Earlier this month, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission won a massive judgment against the turkey-processing company at which the men worked. The civil suit involved severe physical and emotional abuse of men with intellectual disabilities.
Hundreds of underground passageways wind like a maze beneath the Egypt-Gaza border, providing a way for Gazans to maneuver around the 2007 Israeli-led economic blockade that took effect after Hamas took control of the Gaza Strip.
And while subterranean tunnels may seem like something out of a thrilling spy movie, the reality and practicality of these channels is somehow not surprising.
This week, Google, already a leader in mapping, created more space between itself and its competitors by more deeply mining the data users provide the company when using its various services.
At the Google developers' conference in San Francisco on Wednesday, Daniel Graf, director of Google Maps, crowed about the company's mapping app for the iPhone — and couldn't quite stop himself from taking a dig at Apple.
"People called it sleek, simple, beautiful, and let's not forget, accurate," he said.
A couple generations ago, when older Americans retired they could rely on pension plans to support them. Then, in the late 1970s and early 1980s, many companies switched their retirement plans over to 401(k) accounts. The security of workers' retirement savings suddenly became subject to the vagaries of the stock market.