Author and politician Chrystia Freeland says economic inequality is growing by leaps and bounds. She charts the rise of today's billionaire plutocrats and wonders what the concentration of wealth means for the rest of us.
When many aid workers hear about a problem, they get to work. But Ernesto Sirolli says that's naive and counterproductive. He argues that the first step is to listen to the people you're trying to help and tap into their entrepreneurial spirit.
This week, forced to make do without a vacationing Glen Weldon, we happily called upon our pal and periodic PCHH contributor Chris Klimek. We also happily called upon the reckless and ruthless display of emotion for a show about crying. You'll hear some of the songs, movie scenes, and more songs (seriously, it's pretty song-heavy) that get us every time, and perhaps you'll cry a little bit, too.
Originally published on Fri October 18, 2013 9:46 am
Now that the government has reopened, attention turns to the next phase of the spending fight, a battle that is far from over.
The bill that President Obama signed early Thursday provides only a temporary respite to the partisan tussles that have perennially plagued the budget process. The government stays open through Jan. 15 and the federal borrowing authority is safe until Feb. 7. After that, all bets are off.
The former treasurer of Spain's ruling party said in court Friday that he delivered 7,500 euros in cash to the party's secretary-general, the latest fallout in a political slush fund scandal that has embroiled the Popular Party.
"I delivered the envelope" to Maria Dolores de Cospedal, Luis Barcenas said via videoconference at his trial.
Originally published on Fri October 18, 2013 12:01 pm
Saudi Arabia says it will turn down a two-year seat on the United Nation's Security Council in protest over "double standards" in resolving international conflicts.
"Saudi Arabia ... is refraining from taking membership of the U.N. Security Council until it has reformed so it can effectively and practically perform its duties and discharge its responsibilities in maintaining international security and peace," said a Foreign Ministry statement issued on state media.
Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. Even after sending home nearly all its staff during the shutdown, the Chicago office of the Environmental Protection Agency managed to detect a potentially toxic substance. A 16-year-old can of Campbell's soup was discovered in a refrigerator there. Apparently no one ever got to the back of the fridge until furloughed staff had to take home all their snacks.
A welcome back email included a reminder to keep the fridges clean. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
The government shutdown is over and that means the National Zoo's panda cam is back. After 16 days, it's a reminder they grow up so fast. When we last saw the zoo's panda cub, she was pink and mostly hairless, weighing just three pounds. So when the feed flickered to life yesterday, panda fans were delighted to see the cub has sprouted fur and grown to five pounds. She's also opened her eyes and ears. Maybe Congress should take a cue.
This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
And I'm David Greene. Good morning. Today marks the second day of relative normalcy following 16 days of government shutdown and the prospect of a U.S. default on its debts. A pivotal player in this drama was House Speaker John Boehner. He was portrayed alternately as a victim of Tea Party hardliners, as a figurehead haplessly stumbling through this crisis, or as a clever leader who had the ending figured out all along.
JEFF BRADY, BYLINE: I'm Jeff Brady, and in downtown Philadelphia at Independence National Historical Park, tourists are lining up outside the Liberty Bell again.
CHARLES CUMMINGS: My name's Charles Cummings. This is my wife, Marilyn. We're from Little Rock, Arkansas.
BRADY: Seeing the building where the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were debated and signed has Cummings thinking: What if today's politicians were around when the country was being formed?
TED ROBBINS, BYLINE: I'm Ted Robbins, in Tucson, with a reminder this was a partial government shutdown. I'm at sector headquarters for the Border Patrol. Today - and for the last two weeks, pretty much - cars and SUVs with agents have been going in and out of the parking lot here. So have buses carrying people apprehended in the desert, along with people who are being deported back to Mexico.
JUANITA MOLINA: Border Patrol as a policing force, here in southern Arizona, is a constant.
Two industries on opposite sides of the Atlantic this week were rocked by the same piece of news: Angela Ahrendts, the American who revived the fortunes of British fashion label Burberry - famous for its tartan rainwear - was hired away by Apple. Or, as one British paper put it: from Mackintoshes to Macs.
AOL, an online company many had given up for dead, is making a comeback. It recently acquired Adap.TV, a company that automates the purchase of video ads. And in September, it topped Google in one category: it had the most video ads watched, with 3.7 billion views.
In Nigeria an Islamist insurgency has claimed thousands of lives, most of them civilians. The Nigerian president imposed a security crackdown last spring in a bid to end the uprising. Now Amnesty International is out with a report warning that more than 950 people have died in military detention in Nigeria in just the first half of this year. And the attacks continue. NPR's West Africa correspondent, Ofeibea Quist-Arcton, reports from, Lagos.
Everybody calls Treasury bills T-bills, and they work like this: The government promises to pay holders of T-bills a specific amount on a specific day in the near future. For the T-bill I bought, the government promised to pay $1,000 on Oct. 31.
I bought the T-bill on Tuesday, before Congress had made the debt-ceiling deal, so it was unclear whether I would get paid back on time.
In recent weeks, economists have been worrying about the negative impact of the now-ended government shutdown and potential debt crisis.
But away from Capitol Hill, the economy has been getting a big boost: Gasoline prices have been declining, week after week. In some parts of the country, a gallon of unleaded regular gasoline is now down to less than $3 a gallon — a price most Americans haven't seen in three years.
And any time the pump price starts dropping, consumer spirits start rising.
Starr Cookman and Kylee Moreland Fenton have been inseparable since childhood. They live on the same street. Kylee, a nurse, was present for the delivery of Starr's son, Rowan. And when Rowan came home from the hospital breathing rapidly and spitting up his food, both friends were alarmed — even when the pediatrician said he was doing fine.
Just in time for Halloween comes a new movie version of Stephen King's horror novel Carrie. While the teenaged Carrie White is clearly at the center of the story, I think her mother is the more fascinating character.
Carrie — about a shy misfit whose coming of age collides with her mother's fearful religious fundamentalism and her schoolmates' pack-animal cruelty, with combustible results — scared the bejesus out of me when I was a teenager. Carrie turned out to be dangerous, sure. But it was her mother, Margaret White, who made my heart stop.
In flood-ravaged Colorado, much of the recovery has focused on rebuilding roads and bridges to mountain towns cut off by last month's floods. But take a drive east to the state's rolling plains, and a whole new set of staggering problems unfolds in farm country.
Living In Limbo
A woman named Claudia, who doesn't want to use her last name because of her immigration status, is sitting on a couch in the lobby of a shabby hotel in Greeley, about an hour's drive northeast of Denver.
In his new novel, Sycamore Row, John Grisham returns to a character close to his heart: Jake Brigance. Grisham introduced Jake to readers in his first novel, A Time to Kill — an adaptation of which is opening soon on Broadway.
Grisham insists that he didn't plan for his first new Jake Brigance book to come out at the same time as the play. "You know it makes us look real smart," he says. "There is no way, if we had planned, that it would ever happen. It is completely coincidental."