From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:
And I'm Audie Cornish. President Obama heads to Capitol Hill tonight for his fifth official State of the Union address. After a challenging year, it's a chance for Obama to turn the page and lay out his priorities for 2014 ahead of this fall's midterm elections. We'll bring you full coverage of the speech later tonight. First, a preview of what the president is expected to say.
For years, industrial cities across the U.S. have watched factories pack up and leave, taking their operations to Mexico or China. But here's something relatively new: increasing numbers of Chinese companies are bringing manufacturing to the United States.
Just south of Dayton, Ohio, a Chinese auto-glass maker now plans to open up shop in what used to be a large General Motors truck plant.
The announcement is a big deal for this former factory town.
Two cantaloupe farmers who pleaded guilty to charges stemming from a 2011 outbreak of listeria that killed 33 people, were sentenced on Tuesday to five years probation and six months of home detention.
The AP reports:
"A federal magistrate also ordered brothers Eric and Ryan Jensen to each pay $150,000 in restitution and perform 100 hours of community service. Each read a statement in which they apologized but didn't show any emotion during the hearing.
After losing a lot of ground, stock prices were back up a bit today. Investor anxiety about the state of the world's currency markets seemed to ease. The current turmoil is reminiscent of the 1997 currency crisis in Asia, which hurt economies all over the world.
As NPR's Jim Zarroli reports, there are also some big differences.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
And I'm Robert Siegel.
French police raided the Paris offices and home of a controversial comedian today. The comedian is known by his stage name of Dieudonne, he's been accused of making anti-Semitic remarks during his performances, although he denies that. The French government has banned his current show, sparking a debate in France about the limits of free speech.
Former President Mohammed Morsi is just one of many Egyptians facing charges for opposing the country's military-led government. Another is former lawmaker and political scientist Amr Hamzawy. He's been charged with insulting the judiciary in a tweet that he sent back in June. In it, he criticized a ruling in which a judge convicted several dozen nonprofit workers for plotting to destabilize Egypt. And Amr Hamzawy joins us now from Cairo. Welcome to the program.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:
And I'm Audie Cornish.
In Cairo today, former President Mohammed Morsi appeared in court for the second time since he was ousted in a military coup last July. The Islamist leader wore a white prison uniform and stood in a glass-enclosed cage. As NPR's Leila Fadel reports, Morsi faces charges that could lead to the death penalty.
Now to a debate in Europe over something called poverty migration. Recently, some countries in the European Union lifted work restrictions on Romanians and Bulgarians. As a result, factions in Britain and Germany worry that poor and unskilled immigrants will flood in and collect welfare payments.
But Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson reports, this debate isn't being driven by new arrivals from Romania and Bulgaria. Instead, she says, it may involve prejudice against one particular group, the long-oppressed Roma.
It came as a surprise to many people when Vermont's governor recently devoted his entire 2014 State of the State address to what he called a "full-blown heroin crisis."
While it may not fit Vermont's bucolic image, the state's addiction problem has long been acknowledged. And as the state has expanded treatment, it's also been coming to grips with one of the most difficult and emotional aspects of the issue: addicted mothers.
The Deep South is in a deep freeze. Snow, sleet and freezing rain have gripped a region more accustomed to sun and surf. As a result, roads are a mess and from South Louisiana to the Carolina coast, classes are cancelled, airplanes are grounded, and businesses and government offices are closed.
NPR's Debbie Elliott reports.
(SOUNDBITE OF SIRENS)
DEBBIE ELLIOTT, BYLINE: In Birmingham, Alabama today, just getting around town is practically impossible.
It's single-digit cold as Brett West steps into the snow in his backyard in Ridgefield, Conn., and points to a wooden monstrosity. It stands 32 feet high and looks kind of like a wooden roller coaster.
"The whole thing's made of wood â€” two-by-fours, four-by-fours and 3-quarter-inch plywood, all pressure-treated lumber, with a lot of screws."
The homemade track was the first training ground for his son, Tucker, an 18-year-old who is the youngest member of the U.S. luge team in Sochi.
Ala'a Miqbel phoned his wife and his boss on the morning of Aug. 26 last year, just to say he was almost at the Erez crossing. That's the checkpoint between the Gaza Strip, where Miqbel lives, and Israel.
The U.S. Consulate had invited Miqbel to attend a conference in the West Bank. Although he'd been to Ramallah for work several years ago, Israeli security wanted to interview him before granting a travel permit this time.
Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 10:54 am
When you are out of work and looking for 27 weeks or longer, you become part of a group the Bureau of Labor Statistics calls long-term unemployed. The share of long-term unemployed workers hit its peak in May 2010, when 46 percent of the unemployed were long-term unemployed. It has hovered around 40 percent of the unemployed in the three years since.
Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 6:18 pm
In a railyard outside Chicago, the deep cold of winter can threaten a Midwest staple: beer. The large distribution hub regularly holds more than 1 million cases, according to Crain's Chicago Business. A Crain's reporter spent a night on the job with the man who must keep the beer safe.
In 2008, as scientists documented a record melt in the Arctic ice and Al Gore's film An Inconvenient Truth was in theaters, a half dozen major investment houses launched mutual funds designed to take advantage of financial opportunities offered by climate change.
Pete Seeger believed songs were a way of binding people to a cause. He popularized "This Land is Your Land" and "We Shall Overcome" and wrote "If I Had a Hammer." In 1940s, he co-founded The Weavers, who surprised everyone, including themselves, when they became the first group to bring folk music to the pop charts â€” until they were black listed. Seeger refused to answer questions about his politics when he appeared before House Un-American Activities committee in 1955.
In a move that's being seen as retaliation for negative stories about its leaders, China's government has told a New York Times reporter that he must leave the country when his visa expires Thursday. The government has not granted a request for a new visa that was made last summer.
The development comes despite objections from Vice President Joe Biden, who has urged senior officials in Beijing not to punish U.S. journalists with de facto expulsion.
From Beijing, NPR's Frank Langfitt reports for our Newscast unit:
Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 4:12 pm
On Sunday, we told you about bartenders who are up in arms about a new California law that makes it illegal for culinary workers to touch uncooked food with their bare hands. Turns out, sushi chefs are ticked off, too.
For sushi chefs, crafting sashimi or a great roll is a lot like creating art. It requires skill and feel. Bare hands are essential.
Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 3:47 pm
The annual State of the Union speech isn't just stagecraft: the message is mandated by the U.S. Constitution (trivia alert: Article II, Section 3). It's intended to give Congress a status update on the country and make recommendations where needed, but the tradition has evolved over time.
The history of the address is rich, even if the individual speeches sometimes seem fleeting and forgettable.
Who was the first person to deliver this presidential memo? (George Washington.)
Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 10:51 am
Police in the Philippines played "wheel of torture" to dole out punishments to criminal suspects during interrogations, according to country's own Commission on Human Rights.
"They do it for fun, it's like a game for entertainment," Loretta Ann Rosales, the chair of the Commission on Human Rights said. "We're trying to correct this mindset based on a human rights approach to policing, but obviously it may take a lot of time."
Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 12:20 pm
Drinking remains one of the biggest health risks for college students, with 80 percent of students drinking alcohol and more than one-third binge drinking.
This may seem like an inevitable part of student life. But there's actually a lot that schools can do to help students get their drinking under control if they're willing to offer more than generic online courses, a study finds.
Now it's time for our Money Coach conversation. You've heard by now about the problems at a number of retail stores like Target and Neiman Marcus, where hackers were able to access supposedly private information from the millions of customers who used credit and debit cards at the stores. But now there are people trying to take advantage of that chaos and scam you again. Here to tell us more is Sheryl Harris who writes for The Plain Dealer in Cleveland. Welcome back. Thanks so much for joining us.