It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR West. I'm Arun Rath.
There is an oil rush in North Dakota right now. That state is pumping out 10 times the crude oil it did just 10 years ago. Fortunes are being made and once-sleepy towns are now bursting at the seams. This week, NPR is exploring how this oil-drilling boom is changing North Dakota.
NPR's Jeff Brady is one of the reporters working on the series, and he joins me. Jeff, why is this rush for oil happening in North Dakota?
From the NFL's ban on head-to-head hits, the change in the playoff structure and predictions for the Super Bowl, A. Martinez from member station KPCC joins NPR's Arun Rath to discuss the latest in sports news.
This past week, the U.S. Air Force announced that a cheating scandal among nuclear launch officers had grown. Now, the military says, more than 90 missile launch officers have been involved with cheating on monthly proficiency exams. NPR's Arun Rath speaks with former Air Force officer Brian Weeden, who thinks the missileer culture needs to change.
Cities across the country have been returning to the classic streetcar. Some think it's a great way to move people cheaply. This spring, though, they'll be back in Washington, D.C., bringing with them the promise of new jobs. Hundreds of people in D.C. queued up for a chance at any one of those jobs this past week. But as NPR's Leah Binkovitz reports, with only 34 jobs available, many will be disappointed.
Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 12:32 pm
A few years ago, a woman named Elaine Dove tried an experiment on Craigslist. She created three ads, each with a different treatment of her racial and cultural background:
"The first described me accurately: gothic, Asian-American, alternative, artistic, inquisitive, intelligent, adventurous. The second made no mention of my race at all. The third stated that I was 'non-white and non-Christian.' "
Originally published on Sun February 2, 2014 5:03 am
The New Zealand-bred, England-based author Adam Christopher has a thing for America. He's built a name for himself over the past couple years spinning fanciful yarns full of superheroes, shifts in time, and a refined pulp pop, starting with his New York City-set debut Empire State. His fourth and latest novel, the standalone urban fantasy Hang Wire, fiddles with that formula a bit without omitting a single element. If anything, Christopher amps up the mash-up on Hang Wire, combining everything from ancient deities to arcade carnies to serial killers.
Originally published on Sun February 2, 2014 8:16 am
Punxsutawney Phil, the weather forecasting groundhog, will be rudely rustled from his winter slumber Sunday morning to answer the question of the day: shadow or no shadow? Six more weeks of winter or an early spring?
Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors, and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:
"Rule Britannia." But did you hear, did you hear? There's a football game tomorrow. Time for sports.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
SIMON: For the first time since the Bronze Age, or at least since 1995, two teams from the West are in the Super Bowl. Between beer and Cialis ads, football's best offense, Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos, goes up against football's best defense, Richard Sherman and the Seattle Seahawks. NPR's Tom Goldman joins us. Tom, thanks so much for being with us.
For eight days, the Syrian regime and an opposition delegation sat face-to-face, but were not on speaking terms in Room 16 of the Palais des Nations in the sprawling complex of United Nations headquarters in Geneva.
Round one demonstrated the bitter divide with no breakthrough on the core issues of a political transition or access to humanitarian aid.
Who knows who'll win the Super Bowl tomorrow, but history will be made before the coin toss.
Renee Fleming will sing the national anthem at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey. She is the first opera star to be asked, and it seems so utterly fitting, both for the first Super Bowl to be played within view of the towers of New York, and in the 200th anniversary year of the national anthem.
When the Oscar nominees for best song were announced earlier this month, there were, of course, several well-known titles, including Karen O's "The Moon Song," from the movie "Her"; and Pharrell Williams' "Happy," from "Despicable Me 2." Then there was this...
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "ALONE...YET NOT ALONE")
JONI EARECKSON TADA: (Singing) I will not be bent in fear. He's the refuge I know is near...
This Super Bowl weekend millions of slices of pizza will be consumed and 51 million cases of beer. But there are a lot of beverages to wash down a slice. Katie Parla is a journalist and food historian. She's from New Jersey, where the game will be played, but she lives in Italy now and has written about beverages that go with pizza for Saveur magazine. She joins us on the line from Rome. Thanks very much for being with us.
We generally think of hell as hot, but with the polar vortex sweeping through the country, many Americans may feel that hell is these bleak, cold days of mid-winter. Sally Franson is a write who's felt besieged in her apartment in Minneapolis. She says, "Dante's hell and winters are the same thing." And that's a direct quote from a blog post that she wrote this week. Sally Franson joins us now from Minneapolis. Thanks very much for being with us.
The Keystone XL oil pipeline may be closer to being built. The U.S. State Department's released an environmental impact statement that says the project would not make climate change any worse, and it's now up to President Obama to decide the fate of the pipeline. NPR's Jeff Brady reports that environmental groups and many Democrats want the president to reject the review's findings.
This is WEEKEND EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's denied new allegations that he knew about the lane closures on the George Washington Bridge as they were going on. Now, charges made in a letter released yesterday from the lawyer of David Wildstein, a former ally of the governor's. He oversaw the closures as an official of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
Leaving Washington, D.C. for the frozen banks of the Chesapeake Bay might not be everybody's idea of a great late January getaway, but that's where House Republicans packed off for a three-day retreat this week. They gathered at a resort in Cambridge, Maryland, to try to reach agreement on a few big issues, among them immigration and the need once again to raise the debt ceiling.
A lot of reporters who cover Congress went along too, including NPR's congressional correspondent David Welna. David, thanks very much for being with us.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. The U.S. Labor Department says there are nearly four million people in America who've been unemployed for six months or more. That number has remained stubbornly high, even as the overall unemployment rate has fallen. Yesterday, President Obama met with U.S. business leaders and urged them not to overlook qualified job applicants just because they've been out of work for a while.
A college education is famously expensive. But what about the tests just to apply? Benjamin Tonelli wrote an opinion piece for the Wall Street Journal this week; and he questioned the costs of the SAT and AP tests that students have to take just to be considered for admittance to college, and asked if this doesn't discriminate against poorer families especially. Mr. Tonelli is a senior at Garfield High School in Seattle, and he joins us. Thanks very much for being with us.
You know, being the Queen of England, it's not all about cute Corgis, glamorous balls and lacy hats. Even the royal family has financial troubles. This week a report by members of the British parliament found that the royal coffers are down to their lowest level ever. Just about a million pounds are left in the fund. That is slightly less than $2 million. NPR's Ari Shapiro joins us from London. Ari, thanks so much for being with us.