I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. We're talking about the effects of those across the board budget cuts caused by the sequester. We've been particularly interested in education, and today we're going to hear about the effect on Head Start. That's a program that helps low income kids get ready for school. That conversation is later in the program.
The topics discussed during a five-hour question-and-answer session Saturday included: Berkshire Hathaway's increased size and who will take over as CEO when Buffett, 82, steps down. While admitting the company's expansion has changed things, Buffet demurred when it came to succession specifics.
The economic crisis in 2008 led to a massive overhaul of financial regulations. Journalist Robert Kaiser was given behind-the-scenes access to congressional reaction to the crisis. He saw that even with the threat of another Great Depression, Capitol Hill remained mired in dysfunction. NPR's Linda Wertheimer talks to Kaiser about his book, Act of Congress: How America's Essential Institution Works, And How It Doesn't.
The world's largest tunnel boring machine in a few months will begin digging a new double-decker highway tunnel under downtown Seattle. If all goes according to plan, Bertha will start digging this summer. It'll emerge again late next year on the other side of downtown, not far from the Space Needle.
David Greene talks to eBay CEO John Donahoe about the political battle over online sales tax. On Monday, the Senate is expected to vote on a bill that would end the free ride that consumers have enjoyed when shopping online. The Marketplace Fairness Act would require online retailers to collect sales tax from customers, and pay them to states where customers live — just like brick and mortar stores.
The economy may be on the rebound, but many cultural institutions are still struggling to regain their financial footing. That's especially true for one of the country's most recognized museums — the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago. Known internationally for its research as well as its exhibits, the Field Museum must pay off millions in bond debt — and toe an ethical line as it does.
The Port of Baltimore recently completed a major expansion, which included building a 50-foot berth and dredging the channel. It's in anticipation of increased traffic following the completion of a project to widen the Panama Canal.
Credit Patrick Semansky / AP
A crane removes a container from a ship at the Port of Baltimore's Seagirt Marine Terminal on March 1.
This type of bulletproof whiteboard, produced by the Maryland company Hardwire, has been purchased by a Minnesota school district.
Credit Courtesy of Hardwire
Cold Spring, Minn., Police Chief Phil Jones (left) and Rocori School District Superintendent Scott Staska hold bulletproof whiteboards in April while announcing the school system's $25,000 investment in the shields.
A recent news item out of Minnesota caught our eye: "Bulletproof Whiteboards Unveiled at Rocori Schools."
Bulletproof what? Where?
That would be whiteboards, at the small central Minnesota Rocori School District, which will spend upward of $25,000 for the protective devices produced by a company better known for its military armor products.
Expanding trade abroad is a high priority for President Obama. This week, he nominated a trusted adviser named Michael Froman to become the next U.S. trade representative. Froman is currently deputy national security adviser for international economic affairs. NPR's Wendy Kaufman reports on the challenges he would face as trade representative.
The nation's unemployment rate hit a four-year low of 7.5 percent and the job market improved last month. Friday's news helped push the Dow Jones industrial average above 15,000 for the first time.
Was that a rational response?
Although the jobs report for April was positive, what triggered the market reaction was the fact that it was better than expected. Instead of 145,000 jobs created, as most economists predicted, the Labor Department says there were 165,000 new jobs.
The latest employment figures are out and they show gains in hiring. The Wall Street Journal's Sudeep Reddy joins host Michel Martin to talk about the report, and the millions of working Americans who still fall below the poverty line.
When it comes to bourbon, Tom Lix doesn't believe in age discrimination. Most bourbons might age in the barrel for eight to 12 years or more, but Lix figures his are ready to drink in less than a week.
Lix makes Cleveland Whiskey, a new brand of bourbon that exemplifies two major trends in American whiskey-making today: the desire to speed up the process and the effort to establish a local identity.
The Walt Disney Co.'s decision to end its apparel production in Bangladesh after more than 500 people died in the collapse of a garment factory complex has sparked fears of a mass exodus of Western retailers.
The Labor Department's monthly employment report is issued Friday morning. Economists are predicting that more than 100,000 jobs were added last month, but not enough to change the jobless rate of 7.6 percent.
This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene. President Obama says it is time to focus on the strong economic relationship between the United States and Mexico and not get bogged down on more contentious issues like cooperation on the war on the drugs.
Obama made his comments yesterday as he began a two-day visit to Mexico. He flies on to Costa Rica later today. NPR's Carrie Kahn reports.
Mutual funds, which have topped $13 trillion, are the way many Americans interact with the financial markets. You may have come across mutual funds when you set up an individual retirement account or a company-sponsored retirement account like a 401(k).
A "basket" of stocks, bonds or both, mutual funds are seen as safer to own than individual stocks. Having many in one basket spreads the risk, especially over time. But high fees, lack of diversification, or a focus on short-term gains can put your nest egg at risk.
Earlier this year, the percentage of Americans who are working or looking for work fell to its lowest level since 1979.
The figure (wonks call it labor force participation rate) rose for decades, as more women entered the workforce. It started falling over a decade ago. And the decline is now being driven by a bunch of different factors — some of which are scary and recessiony, and some of which are not.
The collapse of the garment factory in Bangladesh is seen as a gross violation of safety and workers rights. There are international organizations which try to guide and encourage companies and governments towards better codes of conduct, but the groups have no legal recourse.
A woman holds a .22-caliber Crickett youth rifle at a Gander Mountain store in Flint Township, Mich. This type of gun, which is marketed to children and comes in a variety of colors, was involved in the shooting death of a 2-year-old girl in Kentucky.
Credit FPG / Getty Images
A man and a boy out hunting with shotguns, circa 1955.
Credit U.S. Department of Homeland Security / Reuters/Landov
Employers using the E-Verify program are required to post an E-Verify Participation Poster, shown here in a handout photo. A Senate bill would make participation in the system, used to check employees' immigration status, mandatory for all employers.
Some employers around the nation have been using E-Verify to check the immigration status of employees for years. Operated by the Department of Homeland Security, the online system is designed to make it harder to hire unauthorized workers — and harder for those workers to find jobs.
While participation in the program has been voluntary since 1996, the immigration bill now in the Senate would make E-Verify mandatory.
For years, many marine biologists have argued that the floating, open-ocean net pens that produce billions of pounds of salmon per year also generate pollution, disease and parasites.
In some places in western Canada, the open-ocean salmon farming industry has been blamed for the collapse of wild salmon populations in the early 2000s — though other research has challenged that claim.