I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, a couple of days until Thanksgiving means just a short wait for pie. But instead of slicing it up this year, have you thought about putting it on a stick? Let us be the first to introduce you to pie pops. That's later. But first, you may get your fill of more than just dessert this holiday season. You might also be treated to a heaping helping of family news.
During a visit to a store last holiday season, Jewish father Neal Hoffman felt bad telling his son Jake that he couldn't have an Elf on the Shelf. The widely popular Christmas toy is intended to watch children's behavior for Santa. Hoffman kept thinking, maybe there could be something similar, but rooted in Jewish tradition.
Hoffman, a former Hasbro employee, decided Mensch on a Bench was the answer. "A mensch means a really good person. It's a person that you strive to be," he says.
U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez has only been in office for a few months, but he's already making waves. He's pushing for a higher minimum wage and immigration reform. Perez speaks with host Michel Martin about his goals for the U.S. labor force.
A new report from the Pew Research Center's Religion & Public Life Project shows that Americans' attitudes about medical care at the end of life are changing. And there's still widespread resistance to talking about the issue. Host Michel Martin learns more about the study's findings and how to have these conversations.
Around the world today, the powerful "feed upon the powerless" and too many people are treated as "consumer goods to be used and then discarded," Pope Francis writes in his first major paper since becoming leader of the Roman Catholic church last May.
An extended ovation greeted conductor James Levine last May when he returned to performing after a two-year absence. In 2011, he resigned as music director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and cancelled his performances at the Metropolitan Opera. He'd been plagued by health problems, injuries and operations, and it was painful for him to move. Many of his admirers, even he himself, feared he might never conduct again.
The recent revelations about National Security Agency surveillance programs have renewed the debate over the balance between national security and civil liberties.
Some argue that mass electronic surveillance is vital to the fight against terrorism, even if it makes some people uneasy. But others say spying on vast numbers of innocent people is a violation of privacy, as well as a waste of security resources.
Originally published on Tue November 26, 2013 8:07 am
While home prices rose in major cities across the nation during the third quarter, data suggest that the housing market is beginning to shift to a slower rate of growth, according to the economists who put together the latest S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices report.
Their statistics show prices rose 3.2 percent in the quarter and were up 11.2 percent from a year earlier.
Originally published on Tue November 26, 2013 6:52 am
Saying he is "alive for a reason and I will work for change," Virginia state Sen. Creigh Deeds has told a Virginia news outlet that his life's work now "is to make sure other families don't have to go through what we are living."
A woman in Minneapolis turns 43 years old on Thursday. Dr. Happy Thanksgiving Reynolds says she was born to hippie parents, who hadn't picked out a name ahead of time. When their daughter arrived on Thanksgiving Day, they took it as a sign. Far from being embarrassed about her name, Dr. Reynolds embraces it. She says it even helped her get job interviews. Adding, quote, "I'm someone you are not going to forget based on the name." Surely, indeed.
NPR's business news begins with a new chief at Wal-Mart.
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GREENE: Doug McMillon of Jonesboro, Arkansas, started at Wal-Mart in 1984. It was a summer job, he was unpacking trucks. Yesterday, he was named as the retail giant's new CEO. Not only is the 47-year-old McMillon an insider who rose through the ranks, he's one of the few executives who actually worked under founder Sam Walton.
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
And I'm David Greene. Good morning. Violence and chaos are gripping the Central African Republic. Some are even warning of genocide there. The violence traces back to a coup led by a Muslim group, the Seleca rebels. Many of them have since gone rouge, targeting Christians who are now forming their own militias.
When Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif confirmed the landmark nuclear deal over the weekend, his announcement not made at a podium or declared in front of television cameras. It was done on Twitter, and that's ironic because the government blocks many Iranians from using sites like Twitter and Facebook. Now, many people in Iran find their way around the restrictions and are able to get on social media.