From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
The last year has been rough for the IRS. Here are some numbers that helped tell the story. Three high-profile resignations of IRS officials, six ongoing investigations into the agency, and 150,000 public comments on a proposed IRS rule. That's a record. And all this goes back to a particular section of the tax code.
Traditionally, pawn shops have been the last stop for people desperate for cash. But now there's a small but growing group of pawn shops for the wealthy.
Actor and model Regi Huc needed $75,000 in a hurry last year. He was making his first feature film, and needed to do re-shoots before the deadline to enter this year's film festivals.
On paper his finances look good. He owns some buildings in Philadelphia and has a stake in a family business, but he needed that money within a week. He didn't have the cash in his bank account. He didn't have time to apply for a loan.
Throughout the crisis in Ukraine, Russia's state-run news media have run intense coverage. They consistently portray the new government in Kiev as neo-Nazis who seized power in a violent coup, and the pro-Russian militants occupying government buildings in eastern Ukraine are shown as citizens set up and frightened by what they see as an illegitimate junta. NPR's Corey Flintoff is on the line with us now from Moscow. And Corey, first, just give us a picture here what the Russian people are hearing about the crisis in Ukraine.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish. In eastern Ukraine, people are bracing for possible war. The government gave a deadline of this morning for pro-Russian separatists to lay down their weapons. Instead, the demonstrators took over still more government buildings in eastern Ukrainian cities. Ukraine's president has promised to send in the army to retake this region near the Russian border.
NPR's Ari Shapiro reports from the city of Donetsk.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
A standoff between federal agents and a Nevada rancher is over for now. Over the weekend, the Bureau of Land Management released about 400 head of cattle it had rounded up, fearing a violent confrontation. Militia members, including many with guns, had rallied in support of the rancher, Cliven Bundy, and his family. NPR's Ted Robbins has the story.
The man suspected of killing three people at a Jewish community center and retirement home is a white supremacist formerly of the Ku Klux Klan. As Frank Morris of KCUR reports, 73-year-old Frazier Glen Cross once ran a paramilitary camp in North Carolina. Cross may have been planning the shooting for months.
Originally published on Tue April 15, 2014 6:06 am
Why is this Sandwich Monday different from all other Sandwich Mondays? In honor of Passover, I introduced my non-Jewish colleagues to the wonders of the Passover lunch.
It's not the Seder meal, but what I might have brought to school for lunch back in the 1970s, when the affluent Jews of suburban New Jersey ate tasteless food to remind themselves that thousands of years ago, they didn't have nice professional jobs like being a lawyer, or maybe a CPA. That's a steady living. I know David Birnbaum does nicely as an accountant; maybe you could look into that?
The Library, a new play at New York's Public Theater, tackles an uncomfortable contemporary topic head on: It looks at the aftermath of a school shooting and peers into the shattered lives of the survivors, and the stories they tell. The play is written by Scott Z. Burns and directed by Steven Soderbergh, who've collaborated on three films; most recently, the thriller, Side Effects.
Originally published on Tue April 15, 2014 10:07 am
Months after lifting a veil of secrecy from the National Security Agency's surveillance operations, The Washington Post and The Guardian won a Pulitzer Prize for public service Monday. The two papers broke the story in tandem, relying on NSA documents provided by Edward Snowden.
There are a lot of ways to adapt a film to a TV show, and it's not as common as it was for a while there. For a while, you had strange experiments like TV telling the story of Ferris Bueller, TV telling the story of Baby and Johnny from Dirty Dancing, and TV revisiting 9 to 5. Usually, it meant just moving the characters over to a series, having them played by new actors, and following new stories about them. (Melora Hardin as Baby Houseman!) Every now and then, it worked: you might have heard of M*A*S*H.
Originally published on Mon April 14, 2014 12:04 pm
There's a half-kilometer stretch of road in the Netherlands that looks a bit like something out of the movie Tron, thanks to new luminescent markings that glow green in the dark.
The photoluminescent paint, a sort of amped-up version of what is found on many wristwatches, charges up during daylight hours and then emits the green hue at night along the short test patch of N329 highway in Oss, according to Dutch companies Studio Roosegaarde and Heijmans, a road construction firm.
A telephone box near Britain's Government Communications Headquarters is now bracketed with a trio of snoops, after a mural was added to a nearby wall this weekend. The art is believed to be the work of Banksy, who often uses public spaces as his canvas.
The mural was painted around the telephone box to create the image of three trenchcoat-clad men wearing sunglasses, holding microphones and other surveillance gear. A dark streak of paint rises above them, linking their scene with a satellite dish that's anchored on the side of the house.
There are lots of theories about why food allergies, asthma, celiac disease and intestinal disorders like Crohn's disease have been on the rise. Dr. Martin Blaser speculates that it may be connected to the overuse of antibiotics, which has resulted in killing off strains of bacteria that typically live in the gut.
Blaser is an expert on the human microbiome, which is the collection of bacteria, viruses, fungi and other microbes that live in and on the body. In fact, up to 90 percent of all the cells in the human body aren't human at all — they're micro-organisms.
Federal rules ensure that none of the millions of people who signed up for Obamacare can be denied insurance — but there is no guarantee that all health services will be covered.
To help make sure a patient's claims aren't improperly denied, the Affordable Care Act creates national standards that allow everyone who is denied treatment to appeal that decision to the insurance company and, if necessary, to a third party reviewer.
Originally published on Mon April 14, 2014 11:33 am
The technology behind Japan's magnetically levitated train system, which whooshes passengers to their destinations at speeds topping 300 mph, could come to the U.S. without a traditional license fee, according to Japanese media outlets.
Japan is also willing to include billions in loans to help underwrite what would be a very expensive project, a government source tells The Japan Times.
Originally published on Mon April 14, 2014 11:49 am
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said Monday that it expects the federal deficit will be about $22 billion less this fiscal year than previously thought, and about $9 billion less than had been anticipated next year.
Researchers found that as men grow older — from, say, 50 on — they have fewer obstacles and annoyances to worry about in life and, furthermore, they are more equipped to deal with adversity. But around age 70, life — or at least the perception of happiness — begins to go downhill.
Originally published on Mon April 14, 2014 12:41 pm
At least 12 people are dead and more than 2,000 homes have been destroyed by a large fire that wreaked havoc over the weekend in Valparaiso, Chile. Some 10,000 people have been forced to evacuate parts of the port city.
Government spokesman Álvaro Elizalde says those figures are likely to go up as the fire continues to burn.
Originally published on Mon April 14, 2014 8:31 am
Singer José James has a new album coming out on June 10 and you can tell from this song, "EveryLittleThing," the new record, While You Were Sleeping, isan electrifying new sound. He made a similar shift in style on a record well loved here at NPR in 2013, No Beginning No End. That record saw James shift his jazzy voice toward hip-hop.