Shonda Rhimes says the Washington she's created for the political drama Scandal is a dark, amoral one — and "a little Shakespearean," in the way it's a place where big themes play out among powerful people who aren't afraid to make bold moves.
"In the world of the show, [our] America sees Washington as this fairy-tale-beautiful place, and everybody who works there is really helping keep that illusion alive," the series creator tells Morning Edition's Renee Montagne.
The new health care law will provide around $1 trillion in subsidies to low- and middle-income Americans over the next decade to help them pay for health insurance.
Johanna Humbert of Galien, Mich., was pleasantly surprised to discover that she qualifies for an insurance subsidy, since her current plan is being canceled. Humbert makes about $30,000 a year, so she'll get a subsidy of about $300 a month. The new plan is similar to her current one, but it will cost $250 — about half of what she pays now.
But where will the money come from to pay for subsidies like these?
This story is part of a project on commuting in America.
Cities across the country are investing in old-fashioned streetcars to solve what's known as the "last mile" problem. The hope is that trolleys will make it easier for people to get to their final destination.
Atlanta is one of the latest, laying steel rails for a 2.6 mile line. The tracks will run downtown from Peachtree Street to the Martin Luther King Jr. historic district on the east side of the city. Some see this as a big step forward.
Election Day has come and gone, but your vote can still make a difference. That is in choosing a name for a new giant panda cub. The National Zoo here in Washington has put forth five possible names for the female cub born this summer. You can vote on the Smithsonian National Zoo's website.
And we want to make sure you have everything you need to make an informed decision, so we've called up our Beijing correspondent Anthony Kuhn for some help understanding the choices. Anthony, ni hao.
Virginia Tea Party Republican Ken Cuccinelli lost a closer-than-expected contest for governor Tuesday to Democrat Terry McAuliffe, a weak but well-financed and well-connected candidate.
By Wednesday morning, the political world was busy debating the meaning of the outcome in Virginia, where exit polls showed that voters expressed increasing antipathy to the Tea Party, and that it was women — particularly unmarried women — who propelled McAuliffe over the finish line.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is celebrating an impressive reelection victory but he also suffered a defeat. Voters handily approved a measure to raise the state's minimum wage. That's a measure Christie had opposed.
As NPR's Jim Zarroli reports, New Jersey is the fifth state this year to raise the minimum wage.
This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block in Washington, D.C.
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And I'm Audie Cornish in California this week.
Political junkies are poring over the results of yesterday's governors' races in New Jersey and Virginia. But they may also want to take a look further south at a special congressional primary in Alabama. There, a moderate Republican candidate beat out his Tea Party-supported rival.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
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And I'm Melissa Block.
The peace talks between Palestinian and Israeli officials appear to have hit their roughest patch since the process restarted last summer. Secretary of State John Kerry spent today in Jerusalem and Bethlehem.
As NPR's Emily Harris reports, Kerry met with leaders from both sides in an attempt to keep the talks on track.
Rarely does canceling a conference cause so much anger, but the nixing of a major soccer convention in Brazil has the government and organizers pointing fingers at one another. Known as Soccerex, the conference was intended to bring clubs, sponsors and business leaders together before next year's World Cup in Rio de Janeiro.
NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro reports the cancellation has pushed them farther apart.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Welcome, 2014 to the country Brazil.
Western states have led the way in the legalization of marijuana, first with medical marijuana, and then with the legalization of recreational pot in Colorado and Washington last November.
It's been quite an adjustment for the police. Washington State Patrol is adapting to the new reality in a variety of ways, from untraining dogs that sniff out pot, to figuring out how to police high drivers.
There's a nationwide search underway to find former students who don't know they've already done all or most of the work needed to earn a credential that might help them land a better-paying job.
In Michigan, several hundred community college dropouts were recently surprised to learn they had enough credits to qualify for an associate degree. There are also ex-students who apparently didn't know they're just a few credits shy of a two-year degree.
The subject of affordability in American cities came up in a referendum yesterday in San Francisco. Voters rejected measures that would have given a green light to a major luxury condo development. The city is enjoying a construction boom. And some San Franciscans saw this vote as a fight over the kind of city they want.
The U.S. Supreme Court delved into a subject Wednesday that has bedeviled it for decades: how to reconcile a tradition of public prayers with the Constitution's ban on establishment of religion. At issue were almost exclusively Christian prayers that took place at town board meetings in Greece, N.Y.
Now, a crime story from California's Central Valley, well north of us here in Culver City. If Hollywood were to make a screen version it would be called "The Nut Job." Last week, more than 140,000 pounds of walnuts went missing overnight. That's three big trailer loads of hulled and dried walnuts. Joining us from the news room of the Oakdale Leader is reporter Rich Paloma. Rich, thank you for taking the time out to talk with us.
Originally published on Wed November 6, 2013 3:27 pm
This case is proving a tough nut to crack: Thieves have been making off with shipments of walnuts and almonds in California's Central Valley. The latest heist is valued at $400,000.
Rich Paloma, a reporter with The Oakdale Leader, tells NPR's All Things Considered that in the most recent nut job — he's counted six thefts of walnuts and almond shipments in recent months — the thieves cut through a fence.
If you love jazz and pop from the 1920s and '30s, you might already love the HBO series Boardwalk Empire, set in Atlantic City during Prohibition. The music played throughout the show is performed by Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks, and a second album of music from the series was recently released.
Originally published on Fri November 8, 2013 9:37 am
Last week, Aaron Kleidon went for a walk in the Illinois woods and returned with a bag of lotus seeds. The seeds were bound not for his dinner plate, but for his pint glass.
In a few months, Kleidon will have lotus-flavored beer at the small brewpub Scratch Brewing Company, which he owns with two friends in Ava, Ill. The microbrewery specializes in beers with seeds, leaves, roots, fruits and fungi foraged from a nearby wooded property. The brewers have even made a saison from chanterelle mushrooms.
Originally published on Wed November 6, 2013 1:27 pm
Here's possible solace for parents who are up at night with a baby who gets sick all the time: There appears to be a good reason why infant immune systems don't fight off germs.
A newborn's immune system is deliberately not doing battle with every germ that comes along so that "good" microbes have a chance to settle in, researchers say. That explanation is at odds with the widely held belief that those new immune systems are just too weak to do the job.