Behind all our material goods, from iPhones to sneakers, is a narrative of exploited Chinese workers with bleak lives. Reporter Leslie T. Chang says that's a disrespectful narrative. She sought out workers in a Chinese megacity and tells their stories.
The story of David and Goliath has transcended its biblical origins to become a common shorthand for unlikely victory. But, asks author Malcolm Gladwell, is that really what the David and Goliath story is about?
About two-thirds of the world's grasslands have turned into desert. Allan Savory has devoted his life to stopping it. He now believes that a surprising factor can protect grasslands and even reclaim degraded land that was once desert.
Originally published on Mon November 18, 2013 12:45 pm
If you go back to the 1970s, people with a serious coffee habit often had an accompanying habit: smoking.
And that's why early studies gave coffee a bad rap. Clearly, smoking was harmful. And it was hard for researchers to disentangle the two habits. "So it made coffee look bad in terms of health outcomes," Harvard researcher Meir Stampfer explained to me.
But fast-forward a quarter century, and the rap on coffee began to change.
Originally published on Fri November 15, 2013 9:32 am
We told you this morning about changes announced in China regarding the country's one-child policy, as well as an announcement that it was ending its system of labor camps. But those aren't the only policy shifts by the Communist Party.
China also said Friday that it would loosen restrictions on foreign investment in e-commerce and other businesses, and allow private competition in state-dominated sectors.
And today's last word in business is: missed opportunity.
The typhoon in the Philippines prompted the U.S. to send money, food and an aircraft carrier, all of which may deepen relations with that U.S. Ally. China has tense relation with the Philippines but did not try the same gambit.
A state-run news service says the government will make a big change to the policy designed to restrain population growth. That policy has also led to a relative shortfall of young people and especially of girls.
A member of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant urges Syrians in the city of Aleppo to fight against the Assad regime. This week, the militants apologized for beheading a commander from another anti-Assad group.
Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. The next time you dip into a bowl of clam chowder, consider this. You might be consuming a clam that has lived through a lot of history. We know this because a mollusk named Ming was 507 years old when it was dredged up in the ocean off Iceland a few years ago. When they first counted the rings on the shell of this common clam, scientists at Bangor University in Wales named it Ming in honor of the Chinese dynasty it was born into. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
This season's Super Bowl requires the same electricity flow as 12,000 homes. The utility for New Jersey, which is hosting the game, wants to keep that power flowing. The nightmare would be a repeat of last season's 34-minute blackout in New Orleans. So the company installed three power lines, any one of which could run the event. Hopefully that works since the last power failure was blamed on a broken device installed to prevent power failures.
Originally published on Fri November 15, 2013 12:21 pm
The American public is clearly ticked off. Between the government shutdown, the troubled rollout of the Affordable Care Act, and the pace of the economic recovery, poll after poll reports signs of deep frustration and unrest.
Anger toward politicians and government isn't exactly a new phenomenon. What is unusual, however, is the sheer number of polling records that have been set in recent weeks — both lows and highs.
Originally published on Fri November 15, 2013 9:02 pm
Aid is starting to get to some of the survivors of Typhoon Haiyan, but the sad news from the Philippines on Friday is that for many of the storm's victims things still aren't much better after a week without adequate food, water or shelter.
American involvement in the Philippines goes much farther back than that. To look more at U.S.-Phillipine relations we turn to Patricio Abinales who grew up in the Philippines and is now a professor at the University of Hawaii. He says his country's love-hate relationship with the U.S. began in 1898. The United States kicked out colonial Spain after the Spanish-American War, but to the dismay of many Filipinos, the U.S. did not grant the country its freedom - instead ruling the islands for decades after crushing an independence movement.
The American air craft carrier George Washington is now serving as a launching platform for typhoon aid in the Philippines. It's the latest chapter in relations between two countries that share a long and intimate history. The relationship includes many Filipinos who have moved to the United States, like novelist Gina Apostol.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
She grew up in Tacloban. We found her in Massachusetts where she's been tracking down her relatives in that devastated city.
President Obama has acknowledged the fumbled rollout of his signature health care law has hurt his credibility and that of fellow Democrats. He offered a minor change to the law in hopes of calming Democratic nerves, and beating back bigger changes proposed by House Republicans.
This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
And I'm Steve Inskeep. Two of President Obama's most important nominations of his second term made some progress this week. Federal Reserve chair nominee Janet Yellin went before a Senate panel yesterday, and Jeh Johnson, nominated to head the Department of Homeland Security, was vetted on Wednesday. Their confirmation is expected by the full Senate, but that could take time.
If a video game fan in your office calls in sick to work today, it may be because the new PlayStation 4 went on sale this morning. It is Sony's first new PlayStation home console in seven years. And next week, Microsoft follows it up with a new Xbox. Each of these devices has its own marketing strategy. PlayStation is promoting itself for games - as you might expect. Xbox wants you to think of the console as something much more.
The health care fix announced by President Obama on Thursday may be good news for some consumers, but it creates a big headache for insurance companies and regulators. An insurance industry trade group warns the last-minute change could destabilize the market and lead to higher premiums.
Google won a key victory in a nearly decade-long lawsuit over fair use of the collections of works at the New York Public Library, the Library of Congress and various other university libraries. A U.S. circuit court judge in Manhattan found Google's project to digitally copy millions of books for online searches does not violate copyright law.
NPR's Laura Sydell reports.
LAURA SYDELL, BYLINE: Google began scanning books back in 2004, many of the works were by living authors.
Our today's last word in business today goes to the people who got the last word on Twitter. JPMorgan tried a Twitter public relations stunt. It announced that the company's vice chairman, Jimmy Lee, would take over the company's Twitter account. In other words, he could field questions from the masses.
NPR's business news starts with layoffs at Lockheed Martin.
As the federal budget goes, so go defense contractors. Lockheed Martin says it's forced to reduce costs as federal defense spending declines. The nation's largest military contractor announced plans yesterday to eliminate 4,000 jobs over the next year and a half. Lockheed Martin also plans to close plants in several states, including California, Pennsylvania and Ohio.
One week after a typhoon crashed into the Philippines, hundreds of thousands of people remain homeless. NPR's Jason Beaubien reports from the city of Tacloban, where people are getting desperate for food and clean water.