Originally published on Tue August 13, 2013 8:10 am
We've decided to take a weekly look at a word or phrase that's caught our attention, whether for its history, usage, etymology or just because it has an interesting story.
NOTE TO READERS: This is a post about one of the harshest racial slurs in American English. In the interest of forthrightness, we're going to use the slur throughout this essay. In other words, you'll see "nigger" used throughout the essay. We understand that the word is upsetting, so we wanted to offer people a chance to opt out now
Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. Our next millionaire is Kevin Lewis. That's what Kevin Lewis of Cincinnati, Ohio heard last Saturday night while visiting the Horseshoe Casino in Cleveland. He'd won a $1 million giveaway. He was shocked. He was thrilled.
And he was the wrong Kevin Lewis from Cincinnati, something casino officials only realized as he was accepting his prize. It was our blunder, they said, so both Kevin Lewises get to keep their $1 million prizes. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
The baseball helmet is meant to protect players. But it's increasingly becoming a problem for Atlanta Braves third baseman Chris Johnson. For the second time in two seasons, Johnson was ejected from a game after arguing with an umpire and throwing his helmet. Next game, Johnson hit the field with a new piece of equipment: duct tape over his mouth. The Braves need Johnson in the game. He's leading the league in batting and so the team hopes this new strategy sticks.
Originally published on Thu August 15, 2013 5:59 am
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
Hispanic American are an increasingly important consumer demographic to woo. That's according to a new study from the market research firm Nielsen. The report says that most of today's Latinas are the primary decision makers when it comes to household spending.
But marketing to them is a real challenge, as NPR's Shereen Marisol Meraji reports.
SHEREEN MARISOL MERAJI, BYLINE: Welcome to the home of the contemporary Latina consumer.
And our last word in business today is: Traffic Solution.
One way to beat bumper-to-bumper traffic is a vintage and very rare 1954 Aerocar, offered for sale by Courtesy Aircraft in Rockford, Illinois.
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
This vehicle apparently converts from car to airplane in about 10 minutes and tops out at 60 miles per hour on land, 110 in the sky. That's pretty fast. But with an asking price just shy of a million dollars.
NPR's business news starts with BlackBerry weighing its option.
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GREENE: The Canadian telecom firm announced yesterday that it maybe looking for new owners. BlackBerry was valued at more than $80 billion back in 2008. Then the iPhone and Android came along and stole its dominance of the smartphone market. Now BlackBerry is worth only about $5.4 billion and its market share is plummeting.
Certainly one big focus for John Kerry and the Obama administration is the conflict in Syria which continues to rage on. Diplomatic efforts to solve it remain at a stalemate. And as the fighting goes on, refugee camps have become difficult to manage. Getting aid into the country is an even bigger challenge.
NPR's Michele Kelemen contacted several aid groups to see how they're trying to reach millions of Syrians in need.
This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm David Greene.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
And I'm Renee Montagne. Good morning.
John Kerry is on his first trip to South America as secretary of State, arriving in Brazil this morning after a day in Colombia. Colombia is emerging from decades of war, fighting an insurgency as well as combating drug trafficking, all with the help of billions in aid from the U.S.
Brazil is the continent's economic power, and that's where NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro is based. Good morning.
And the Obama administration is trying to reduce prison time for some people convicted of less serious crimes. Attorney General Eric Holder outlined a new approach to criminal justice yesterday in a speech to the American Bar Association in San Francisco. He's targeting what he says is expensive and racially biased overcrowding in American prisons.
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ATTORNEY GENERAL ERIC HOLDER: Too many Americans go to too many prisons, for far too long, and for no truly good law enforcement reason.
You can thank brainy billionaire Elon Musk's Hyperloop proposal for bringing electro-magnetic-powered transportation and the linear induction motor back into the public consciousness.
The Hyperloop is a system for really-really rapid transit. If built, Musk claims it can carry people about 800 miles per hour, which could get you from Los Angeles to San Francisco in about 30 minutes.
Dave Dierig, research leader at the National Center for Genetic Resources Preservation, stands among the ceiling-high shelves that hold the 600,000 seed packets in this cold storage vault.
Credit Grace Hood / KUNC
The seed vault in Fort Collins, Colo., houses genetic material from across the globe.
Credit Grace Hood / KUNC
"You'll want your camera out for this," Dierig said as he lifted up the lid to a cryogenic freezer capsule. In the cryo chamber, the collection expands to include not just seeds, but animal embryos, semen and microbes.
When unapproved genetically modified wheat was found growing in Oregon earlier this year, it didn't take long for accusations to start flying. A flurry of initial finger-pointing cast potential blame on a federal seed vault in Fort Collins, Colo., which housed the same strain of wheat, developed by Monsanto Corp., for about seven years up until late 2011.
The Detroit River is the mile-wide boundary that separates the United States and Canada. And the city park on the Windsor, Ontario, side of the river offers a better view of the Detroit skyline than anywhere else.
In a quirk of geography, Detroit actually sits north of its Canadian neighbor. Natives like Stephen Santarossa, who's from Windsor, love this bit of trivia and relish the puzzled look on visitors' faces as they try to draw that mental map.
"Do you realize that you are now looking north?" he says.
Originally published on Tue August 13, 2013 12:59 pm
North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory signed into law Monday a controversial measure that overhauls the state's election laws. It requires government-issued photo IDs at the polls, reduces the early voting period by one week and ends same day registration.
A federal judge in Georgia threw out the discrimination claims against Paula Deen on Monday in a lawsuit that sparked widespread criticism, led sponsors to jump ship and the Food Network to drop her show.
Originally published on Thu November 14, 2013 5:38 pm
A 19-year Army veteran was given a summons and told to leave the oceanside boardwalk in North Wildwood, N.J., Thursday, after a police officer refused to accept the presence of the veteran's service dog. Jared Goering says it was the first vacation for him and his wife, Sally, in years.
My parents married young — both were still undergraduates — and so by the time my father started graduate school in mathematics, he and my mother were the harried parents of three small children. They wanted us to see America. And so my father chose the University of Arizona — about as far as you could go from our West Virginia home without falling off the country's opposite edge. On our way, we stopped in Tombstone.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
I'm Robert Siegel.
For many communities around the country, the yellow school bus is the quintessential sign that school is in session. Well, one school district is taking its buses off the roads. Citing the need to cut costs, district officials in Hoover, Alabama are canceling school bus service starting one year from now.
A Boston jury has found James "Whitey" Bulger guilty of 11 murders, racketeering, extortion and other mob-related crimes. Bulger, who was the subject of a worldwide manhunt for more than a decade before being captured in 2011, likely faces life in prison. Audie Cornish speaks with WBUR's David Boeri.
More than 100 years after the eradication of cholera in the island nation of Haiti, the disease has reemerged with a vengeance. A new study out of Yale University traces the outbreak back to an infected Nepalese disaster response team, dispatched by the UN in the aftermath of Haiti's massive 2010 earthquake. Robert Siegel speaks with the study supervisor, Muneer Ahmad.