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Politics
3:02 am
Wed February 19, 2014

AFL-CIO's Trumka: Keep VW Union Vote In Perspective

American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations President Richard Trumka addresses members during the quadrennial AFL-CIO convention at Los Angeles Convention Center in Sept. 2013.
Nick Ut AP

Originally published on Wed February 19, 2014 11:10 am

When workers at a Volkswagen factory in Chattanooga narrowly rejected the United Auto Workers in a recent vote on whether to unionize, it was a stinging setback for a labor movement looking for a big organizing victory in a Southern state.

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Latin America
2:58 am
Wed February 19, 2014

Trade Issues Expected To Dominate Obama's Trip To Mexico

Originally published on Wed February 19, 2014 5:37 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

On a Wednesday it's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

And I'm Renee Montagne. President Obama arrives in Mexico today to meet with Mexico's president and Canada's prime minister. It's been dubbed the meeting of the Three Amigos. The one day summit of North America's leaders will focus on trade and commerce, but also on the agenda: security, energy, border issues and immigration. NPR's Carrie Kahn is in Toluca near Mexico City, where the summit begins later today. Good morning.

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Latin America
2:58 am
Wed February 19, 2014

In Venezuela, Anti-Government Demonstrations Build

Originally published on Wed February 19, 2014 11:04 am

Tens of thousands of Venezuelans marched in Caracas after the arrest of an opposition leader. The protests come a year into the tenure of President Nicolas Maduro, who has overseen a sagging economy.

Europe
2:58 am
Wed February 19, 2014

Dozens Dead In Ukraine Anti-Government Protests

Originally published on Wed February 19, 2014 5:37 am

As Ukrainian riot police tried to clear thousands of demonstrators camped out behind barricades on the capital's Independence Square, protesters responded with rocks and Molotov cocktails. It was the deadliest day since pro-Western demonstrators took to the streets last fall to protest the pro-Russian president's decision not to sign a trade deal with the European Union.For more, Renee Montagne talks to the BBC' David Stern.

Sports
2:58 am
Wed February 19, 2014

Sochi's Humidity Keeps Olympic Ice Makers Working Overtime

An ice master checks the temperature of the ice rink at the Adler Arena Skating Center, site of the speedskating events at the Sochi Games.
Patrick Semansky AP

Originally published on Wed February 19, 2014 8:25 am

In Sochi, balmy weather has bedeviled some snowboarders and skiers. The snow is sometimes, well, slush. But inside the Winter Olympics' arenas, the ice is universally praised, though it's taking some work to keep things cool.

It's not the heat, it's the humidity that's leading ice makers to work overtime at the games.

That's paid off, because athletes in Sochi have been gushing about the ice.

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Race
2:58 am
Wed February 19, 2014

Another Murder Case In Florida Sparks National Outrage

Bobby Worthy, President of The Justice League, leads a chant outside of the Duval County Courthouse during the trial of Michael Dunn in Jacksonville, Fla., on Saturday.
Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed February 19, 2014 6:50 pm

  • The Messy Backdrop of the Michael Dunn Murder Trial

The Michael Dunn case is of a type that we see with harrowing regularity. An unarmed black man is shot and killed by a police officer or a white person. The shooter says he felt threatened.

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Race
2:58 am
Wed February 19, 2014

Ole Miss Civil Rights Statue Vandalized

Originally published on Wed February 19, 2014 5:37 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The FBI is now part of the investigation at the University of Mississippi where someone draped a Confederate-style old Georgia flag and tied a noose around the statue of James Meredith. That statue commemorates the enrollment of the first black student at Ole Miss in 1962, which led to riots. Sandra Knispel, of Mississippi Public Broadcasting, reports.

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Shots - Health News
1:45 am
Wed February 19, 2014

As Health Crisis Looms, Cameroon Cracks Down On Illegal Clinics

Sylvestre Mebam (right) runs an unauthorized health clinic in Cameroon's largest city of Douala. He and his assistant treat about 10 to 15 people each day.
Andres Caballero NPR

Originally published on Thu February 20, 2014 7:03 am

When Kwagne Elian came down with a high fever, the young woman in Cameroon did what many of us would do in the United States: She went to a private health clinic in her neighborhood.

But unlike the clinic at the local CVS here in the U.S., the one Elian goes to is illegal. And it's the target of a crackdown by the government.

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Around the Nation
1:44 am
Wed February 19, 2014

LA Mayor: 'The Basics Have Been Neglected For Too Long'

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti may have only been in office eight months, but he's got big plans.
David McNew Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 19, 2014 5:37 am

Los Angeles may be known for its celebrities, glitz and glam, but the city's mayor, Eric Garcetti, is focused on something decidedly less flashy: infrastructure.

Take the city's airport LAX, for example. You'd be forgiven for mistaking its terminals for a cramped bus station. And stepping out onto the curb can feel like an assault on the senses, with the horns, aggressive shuttle drivers and travelers jostling for taxis.

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The Salt
1:44 am
Wed February 19, 2014

Is Tyson Foods' Chicken Empire A 'Meat Racket'?

Chickens gather around a feeder in a Tyson Foods poultry house in Washington County, Ark.
April L. Brown AP

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 12:38 pm

Christopher Leonard's new exposé on the chicken industry, The Meat Racket, doesn't devote much ink to the physical object on our plate, the chicken meat itself.

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Shots - Health News
1:41 am
Wed February 19, 2014

Elusive Goal: A Transparent Price List For Health Care

Some states are trying to make health care prices available to the public by collecting receipts from those who pay the bills: Medicare, Medicaid and private insurers. Some states' efforts to make these prices available are in jeopardy.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed February 19, 2014 5:37 am

Coffee is important to many of us, but let's say your coffee maker breaks. Finding a new one is as easy as typing "shop coffee maker" into your browser. Voila — you've got models, prices and customer reviews at your fingertips.

But say you need something less fun than a coffee maker — like a colonoscopy. Shopping for one of those is a lot harder. Actual prices for the procedure are almost impossible to find, and Bob Kershner says there's huge variation in cost from one clinic to the next.

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The Edge
6:59 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

Does The U.S. Lead The Winter Olympics — Or Does Germany?

As of late Tuesday, with the final stretch of the Sochi Winter Games ahead, Germany had collected more gold medals than any other nation. Here, German gold medalists Severin Freund, Andreas Wellinger, Andreas Wank and Marinus Kraus celebrate their win in Team Ski Jumping.
Paul Gilham Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 19, 2014 7:03 am

The countries that send large contingents to the Olympics love to watch the "medal count" tally. But as of late Tuesday at the Sochi Winter Games, the countries with the most medals didn't have the most gold medals. That's why by some counts, Germany and Norway were leading the way, while the Netherlands, U.S. and Russia all trailed.

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The Two-Way
5:39 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

Justice Dept. Asks For Help Finding Prisoners Who Deserve Clemency

The second-in-command at the Justice Department met Tuesday with defense lawyers and interest groups to identify the cases of worthy prisoners who could qualify for clemency.

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The Two-Way
4:42 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

CBO: Minimum Wage Hike Could Boost Paychecks – And Cut Jobs

Darlene Handy of Baltimore holds up a banner at a rally supporting a pay measure in Maryland. More than 20 states have raised minimum pay rates above the federal level.
Jose Luis Magana AP

Whatever you already believed about raising the federal minimum wage, you now have more ammo for your argument, thanks to a report released Tuesday by the Congressional Budget Office, titled "The Effects of a Minimum-Wage Increase on Employment and Family Income."

Yes, you're right: Raising the wage in steps to $10.10 an hour by 2016 would push employers to cut jobs — about 500,000 of them, says the CBO, the nonpartisan research arm of Congress.

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Law
4:42 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

Missouri Execution Stalled Over Lethal Drugs In Short Supply

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 5:58 pm

A few years ago, Missouri, like other states, was having trouble finding lethal execution drugs. Europe was balking, and U.S. drug manufacturers didn't want a part of it.

So Missouri turned to a place called a compounding pharmacy to make up the needed drugs based on the ingredients. Missouri officials sent an employee to a place called The Apothecary Shoppe in Oklahoma, with thousands of dollars in cash.

Last week, George Lombardi, director of Missouri's Department of Corrections, explained to lawmakers why his employees had to go to such lengths.

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It's All Politics
4:04 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

Democrats Seek Cure For GOP Obamacare Attacks

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., at the House Democrats' recent retreat where much of the discussion was about countering the GOP's messaging against the Affordable Care Act.
BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI AFP/Getty Images

House Democrats know they can run but can't hide from Republican attacks on the Affordable Care Act.

So they've decided on a four-pronged counter message as they try to withstand the GOP pummeling.

  • Embrace the parts of the law that are broadly popular like the ban on insurance companies excluding people for pre-existing conditions.
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The Salt
4:03 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

Justice Scalia And Jon Stewart Concur Chicago Pizza Isn't Pizza

Comedy Central's Jon Stewart has called Chicago-style pizza "tomato soup in a bread bowl."
iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 4:14 pm

Justice Antonin Scalia and Jon Stewart, host of The Daily Show With Jon Stewart on Comedy Central, are, gasp, in agreement!

Both have rendered scorching opinions on a major national controversy — pizza. Specifically, Chicago-style, deep-dish pizza.

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Technology
3:17 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

In The Dark About Picking A Light Bulb? This FAQ Can Help

(From left) Incandescent, CFL and LED light bulbs. Many people are finding that choosing the right light bulb has a steep learning curve.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed May 7, 2014 7:23 pm

Buying a light bulb used to be a no-brainer. Now it's a brain teaser; the transition to more energy-efficient lighting means choosing from a dazzling array of products.

We've long identified bulbs by their wattage, but that is actually a measure of electricity, not the brightness of a bulb. The amount of light a bulb generates is measured in lumens.

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Music News
3:14 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

Music Education For Creativity, Not A Tool For Test Scores

Advocates are pushing for the virtues of music education that can't be measured numerically.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 5:58 pm

In a mobile classroom — basically a trailer outfitted with a desk and some chairs — music teacher Chris Miller works with a group of active kindergartners dressed in green and khaki school uniforms. He teaches them the basics: musical concepts, artists and styles of music.

"Everybody repeat after me," he says. "Wade in the water." Kids sing back, "Wade in the water."

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The Edge
2:53 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

U.S. Olympic Committee Plans To Examine Speedskating's Woes

U.S. skater Jessica Smith, in black, is among the Americans who have been kept off the podium in Sochi despite strong performances leading up to the Winter Games. Smith's private coach is Jae Su Chun, who is under a two-year suspension from the International Skating Union.
Damien Meyer AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 19, 2014 7:41 am

For American speedskaters, this Winter Olympics has been defined by controversy over racing suits and disappointment over a lack of podium finishes. Now comes word that the U.S. Olympic Committee will "leave no stone unturned" in looking at how the high hopes of US Speedskating collapsed in Sochi.

The news of a possible inquiry into what went wrong in the 2014 Games led Edward Williams, an attorney who represents speedskaters who have filed complaints with the USOC against US Speedskating, to vent his frustration.

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Shots - Health News
2:39 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

Babies Who Eat Too Well May Be On The Path To Obesity

It's great that he's going for the last piece of pasta. Or is it?
iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 4:48 pm

Parents love it when their babies are good eaters, whether it's polishing off a bottle or happily grabbing bits of pasta. But researchers think babies who chow down with gusto might be setting themselves up for obesity later on.

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It's All Politics
2:17 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

House Candidates Outpace Senate Contenders In Money Haul

Demonstrators gather outside the Supreme Court in Washington in October 2013, as the court heard arguments on campaign finance.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 3:48 pm

With 435 seats up for grabs every two years, House candidates typically raise more money overall than those running for the Senate, where only about one-third of the chamber's 100 seats are contested every two years.

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The Salt
2:12 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

Order Up! Food Businesses Find An Appetite For Bitcoin

Bitcoin isn't just for shady business — it can also buy you some delicious goodness. The Old Fitzroy pub in Sydney is one of many food and drink businesses beginning to accept bitcoins as a valid method of payment.
Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 21, 2014 4:22 pm

Hungry for a Philly cheesesteak or a hot Reuben sandwich? That'll be about 0.001 bitcoin, please.

From restaurants to breweries, to even your local farmers market and lemonade stand, the popular cryptocurrency has inched its way into the food industry, as more vendors consider it a valid form of payment.

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Movie Interviews
2:03 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

Hard To Watch '12 Years A Slave'? Try Editing It

Lupita Nyong'o and Chiwetel Ejiofor in the Oscar-nominated 12 Years a Slave. Director Steve McQueen and film editor Joe Walker took a restrained, formal approach to portraying the "casual nightmare" of American slavery.
Francois Duhamel Fox Searchlight Pictures

Originally published on Tue February 25, 2014 3:38 pm

A lot of people believe 12 Years A Slave is the best film yet made about slavery in the United States. That doesn't make it easy to watch.

It also wasn't easy to edit.

"Editing is like a massive, 5,000-piece jigsaw puzzle," says director Steve McQueen. He's just arrived from Europe and is relaxing in a suite in a swanky West Hollywood hotel with the film's editor, Joe Walker.

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Law
2:03 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

Once Neglected, Secretaries Of State Step Into The Spotlight

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 5:58 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Control of Congress won't be the only big question in this fall's elections. A quieter but critical battle is being waged over state-level races for secretary of state. In most states, that's the official in charge of running elections. Elections have become a political lightning rod. Many conservatives rail against voter fraud and lax rules, liberals say that's voter suppression. And now, as NPR's Peter Overby reports, superPACs want to nationalize the fight over secretary of state.

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Economy
2:03 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

CBO Predicts Job Losses From Minimum Wage Hike

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 5:58 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

A new report out this afternoon poured some gasoline on the already raging debate over whether to raise the minimum wage. The report from the Congressional Budget Office says boosting the federal minimum to $10.10 an hour, as President Obama has proposed, would lift 900,000 people out of poverty. But it would also cost about half-a-million jobs.

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Business
2:03 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

Dealt A Recent Defeat, Union Organizers Plot A Future In The South

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 5:58 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

The United Auto Workers Union suffered a major defeat when a drive to represent workers at a Volkswagen plant in Tennessee failed last week. Right now, leaders of the AFL-CIO are holding their winter meetings in Houston and that VW vote is a major topic.

NPR national political correspondent Don Gonyea has more.

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The Edge
2:03 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

Canadian Athletes Pumped To Show The Fitter Side Of Curling

Canada's E.J. Harnden delivers the rock during a curling training session in Sochi. "We like to think of ourselves as athletes now and not just curlers," he says.
Wong Maye-E AP

Originally published on Wed February 19, 2014 2:28 pm

When Jimmy Fallon's version of The Tonight Show premiered Monday night on NBC, guest Will Smith joked about the Olympics:

"I think I could win a gold medal in the thing with the broom — curling!"

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Law
2:03 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

Florida's 'Santa Claus' Of Speeding Tickets Gets Clipped

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 5:58 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

Motorists in north Florida know the town of Hampton as a speed trap, or at least the two-block stretch of Highway 301 that passes through Hampton. And now, state lawmakers are planning to get rid of it - not the stretch of highway, they plan to get rid of the town. To explain this, reporter Aaron Deslatte joins us from Orlando. He's the capital bureau chief for the Orlando Sentinel. Welcome to the program.

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Europe
2:03 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

German Chancellor Proposes A Europe-Only Network

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 5:58 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

When German Chancellor Angela Merkel meets with French President Francois Hollande tomorrow, here's one thing that will be on the table: a Europe-only communications network.

CHANCELLOR ANGELA MERKEL: (Foreign language spoken)

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