This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.
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And I'm Melissa Block.
In Chicago today, teachers walked picket lines at more than 600 schools. It's the city's first teacher strike in 25 years. Over the weekend, negotiators failed to reach agreement on a contract. They're back at the bargaining table today in hopes of sending 350,000 students back to school before the public's patience wears thin.
From member station WBEZ in Chicago, Becky Vevea has the story.
Originally published on Tue September 11, 2012 7:06 am
The strike that shut schools in Chicago on Monday illustrates a larger, national trend: Teachers unions are having a harder time getting what they want.
For decades, teachers unions have been among the most powerful lobbying groups in nearly every state — and have been arguably even more powerful at the local level, where they've often been able to unseat school board members and even mayors who crossed them.
Dreamworks' animated movie Puss in Boots was a big deal. It won an Oscar, and its swashbuckling, sloe-eyed kitty was voiced by Antonio Banderas.
The meticulous computer-generated animation took four years and something like $130 million to make. But another cartoon, Puss In Boots: A Furry Tail, was hand-drawn in six months for less than $1 million. It went straight to DVD — one of the many low-budget productions riding the coattails of Hollywood blockbusters.
Each week, All Things Considered and Lenore Skenazy, author of the book and blog Free-Range Kids, bring you "Another Thing," an on-air puzzle to test your cleverness skills. We take a trend in the news and challenge you to help us satirize it with a song title, a movie name or something else wacky.
This week's challenge: A handful of private companies are taking reservations for space flights. That means that there may soon be a lot of tourists floating around — which, in turn, means a lot of mouths to feed.
Eight weeks before the presidential election, new laws passed by Republican legislatures that concern who can vote and when remain in the hands of federal and state judges.
Among the cases: The Pennsylvania Supreme Court this week will hear an appeal to overturn that state's new voter ID law. An appeal is expected in a case involving early voting in Ohio. And a federal court is still considering whether South Carolina can go ahead with its new voter ID law.
The Franciscan University of Steubenville in Ohio faces questions about its accreditation because of a course description that links homosexuality with crimes like murder, rape and robbery.
The university's social work program offers the course, called SWK 314 Deviant Behavior. The course description reads: "The behaviors that are primarily examined are murder, rape, robbery, prostitution, homosexuality, mental illness and drug use."
They may have shut down Stephen Strasburg, but they'll never shut down ScuttleButton.
ScuttleButton, of course, is that once-a-week waste of time exercise in which each Monday or Tuesday I put up a vertical display of buttons on this site. Your job is to simply take one word (or concept) per button, add 'em up, and, hopefully, you will arrive at a famous name or a familiar expression. (And seriously, by familiar, I mean it's something that more than one person on Earth would recognize.)
Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 2:09 pm
We've been giving a lot of virtual ink to the problem of food insecurity lately — the challenges people face when they frequently can't put enough food on the table. And sometimes it seems like an insurmountable problem.
Over the weekend, the United States Treasury said it has plans to sell $18 billion worth of American International Group stocks. During the financial crisis in 2008, the government pumped $182 billion into AIG stock to keep it from collapsing.
Reuters reports, this morning, that AIG shares fell 1.5 percent because of the news. Reuters adds:
"AIG itself will buy back $5 billion of its own shares in the upcoming stock sale, with the rest of the shares going to the broader public.
Originally published on Mon September 10, 2012 11:02 am
The FBI arrested the mayor of New Jersey's capital city today, accusing him of corruption related to a bribery scandal.
The FBI alleges Tony Mack, the mayor of Trenton, accepted thousands of dollars in exchange for influence over a parking garage project. Federal authorities also arrested Mack's brother and a supporter.
NPR's Carrie Johnson filed this report for our Newscast unit:
"Federal prosecutors accuse all three men of taking part in a conspiracy to obstruct justice.
Memphis has been a music town since anyone can remember, and it's had places to record that music since there have been records. Some of its studios — Sun, Stax and Hi — are well-known, but American Studios produced its share of hits, and yet it remains obscure. But that's all likely to change with Memphis Boys: The Story of American Studios, both a book and a CD out now.
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, we'll talk about how a master violin maker holds onto his art form in this struggling economy. Talk about that in just a few minutes.
Now it's time to open up the pages of the Washington Post magazine. That's something we do just about every week for interesting stories about the way we live now. And today a story about the business of music.
And now it's time for the occasional feature we call In Your Ear. That's where guests of the program tell us the songs they're listening to for a little inspiration. Today is a very special, probably stressful day for "MasterChef" contestant Christine Ha. Why?
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "MASTERCHEF")
GARY RHODES: The person joining Josh in the "MasterChef" finale, that person is Christine.
I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. Coming up: The designers are sending their creations down the runway at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York City. And just in case your invitations to some of those big-name shows got lost in the mail, we will bring the runway to you. We'll talk with a reporter who's in the mix to tell us what's hot and what's not. That's later in the program.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Now it's time to go behind closed doors. That's the part of the program where we talk about difficult issues that are often kept hidden.
And in this election season we've been hearing a lot about why candidates take on the issues they've chosen to address. Sometimes it's because an issue is popular, but sometimes it's just too important to ignore, and sometimes it's also personal.
Originally published on Mon September 10, 2012 7:59 am
Remember the dark days of 2008 when insurer American International Group Inc., better known as AIG, nearly collapsed under the weight of the mortgage crisis before Washington rode to the rescue to the tune of $182 billion?
Then there was the public outrage when AIG executives got millions in bonuses after receiving the largest of all of the Wall Street bailouts.
Since then, the New York-based insurance giant has been essentially a government-owned enterprise, with Uncle Sam holding a controlling share.
Originally published on Mon September 10, 2012 2:58 pm
Teachers in Chicago walked off the job Monday after contract negotiations fell through, leaving 400,000 students in the nation's third-largest district shut out of their classrooms.
Contract talks broke down late last night, and by Monday morning Chicago public school teachers, many wearing red T-shirts and carrying signs, were picketing around the city for the first time in a quarter-century.
The Democrats were no sooner out of Charlotte when the bad economic news came.
A more disappointing job report than had been forecast. Economic numbers weaker than expected. Just 96,000 jobs were created in August, far fewer than what economists were anticipating. And even a lower unemployment rate — down to 8.1 percent from 8.3 — was explained as that more people had simply stopped looking for work. The hope of four years ago is quickly becoming a fading memory, especially for those whose lives have not seen the change Barack Obama once promised.
Originally published on Mon September 10, 2012 6:46 am
T.C. Boyle's newest book is called San Miguel. It comes out this month.
When I was a teenager my reading was largely confined to liner notes (The Rolling Stones: England's Newest Hit Makers!), but at some point — later, rather than sooner — I stumbled across a book or two and got hooked. A whole panoply of things came rushing at me — Hemingway's stories, J.D. Salinger, Cannery Row,On the Road, Tolkien, Vonnegut — but it was Franz Kafka who really set my wheels spinning.
Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. Delmar is one of the most popular surfing spots here in southern California. And yesterday it went to the dogs with the Seventh Annual Dog Surfing competition. Hundreds of canines and their owners paddled out. And then the dogs rode the surfboards back to shore. The North County Times reports the event may have set a record with 14 dogs riding the same wave. And it may have, since there are no dog surfing records. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.