California begins a new plan to ration greenhouse gas emissions from large companies on Wednesday. Big companies must limit the greenhouse gases they emit and get permits for those emissions. Above, the Department of Water and Power San Fernando Valley Generating Station, in Sun Valley, Calif., in 2008.
Credit Christopher Joyce / NPR
New energy-efficient dormitories at the University of California, Davis.
Credit Christopher Joyce / NPR
Stuart Woolf, managing director of Los Gatos Tomato Products, says he has already taken many major steps to increase his company's efficiency and reduce its carbon footprint. But he says California's new climate law is introducing new uncertainty and costs into the business.
Although the story so far is of a personal failing, it's possible that the widening sex scandal surrounding retired Gen. David Petraeus will begin to affect the military's reputation as a whole.
"David Petraeus suddenly falling that far off that high a pedestal is feeding into the question: Have we been giving these guys too much of a pass?" says Barbara Bodine, who teaches public affairs at Princeton University.
We're heading toward that time of year when self-help industry publishers rub their hands together in anticipation. The holiday season and the inevitable New Year's resolutions that follow tend to turn our minds toward happiness — getting it, keeping it and maintaining it. But journalist Oliver Burkeman says whatever your plan, you are most likely doing it wrong.
When reporter Tony Dokoupil was a teenager, he found out that his father had sold marijuana, but he just thought his parents "were hippies." A few years ago, while working on a story about his father's drug dealer past, he discovered that actually, in the 1970s and '80s, his father, Anthony Dokoupil, had been a big-time marijuana smuggler.
"He was arrested in the early '90s on a job selling 17 tons of marijuana," Dokoupil tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross, "which was enough at the time to roll a joint for every college kid in the U.S."
Audie Cornish talks to Michael O'Hanlon, Senior Fellow and Director of Research in Foreign Policy at the Brookings Institution, to see if there are any policy implications behind the scandal involving CIA Director David Petraeus and now Gen. John Allen.
Since 2011, Nevada has been quietly implementing a state exchange. Although the state joined the lawsuit against the Affordable Care Act, its governor said Nevada made a decision to build the exchange on their own. Pauline Bartolone looks at how a Republican governor is implementing the federal health care law.
The scandal that forced CIA Director David Petraeus to resign last week just got more complicated. The Pentagon revealed on Tuesday that the U.S. commander in Afghanistan, Gen. John Allen, had email communications with a woman connected to the Petraeus case. The FBI referred the Allen emails to the Defense Department's Inspector General. Melissa Block talks to Tom Bowman.
Now to Mary Kay Henry, president of the Service Employees International Union, known as the SEIU. She was at the White House meeting today. Welcome to the program.
MARY KAY HENRY: Thanks, Audie. Glad to be here.
CORNISH: Now, we heard from the AFL-CIO chief Richard Trumka today. He said that the meeting was very, very positive, and it sounds like labor leaders and President Obama are essentially on the same page when it comes to extending the middle-class tax cuts.
After Superstorm Sandy, the Food Bank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties in Neptune, N.J., is filled with water bottles, canned food and other goods. But these supplies are going out almost as fast as they come in.
Credit Pam Fessler / NPR
Clothes, food, even the floors and wall boards at Project PAUL, in Keansburg, N.J., were destroyed when the storm flooded the town.
Food banks in New York and New Jersey were already hard-pressed to meet the demands of families struggling with a bad economy. Add to that a natural disaster and the upcoming holidays, and they're looking at a whole new set of challenges.
Preparation did help some organizations. Five days before Superstorm Sandy hit the Jersey Shore, the Food Bank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties got its new generator up and running. Thank goodness for that, says Executive Director Carlos Rodriguez.
Endless love is not always a good thing,, as some of pop's best kinda creepy songs attest. "You'll find some things you can't leave behind," roars Gary Nichols, leading the harmony rush in "I'll Be There," the aggressively haunting song from daring bluegrass outfit The SteelDrivers.
Many people keep cremated remains in an urn on the mantle or scatter their loved one's ashes over a sacred place.
Now, a company has pioneered a new twist: putting cremated remains into ammunition.
For $850, Holy Smoke will take cremated remains and put them into various types of shotgun shells and bullets for rifle and pistol shooters. The Stockton, Ala., company was started a year ago by two state game wardens.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Jacki Lyden in Washington; Neal Conan is away. It's been just more than two months since the U.S. consulate in Benghazi was attacked. Four Americans died there, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens. Congressional committee hearings resume today, on the handling of the attack.
Olga Veloso protests banking giant Bankia last month in Madrid. Veloso and her neighbors have twice blocked bailiffs from evicting her from her apartment after she lost her job and stopped paying the mortgage.
Originally published on Tue November 13, 2012 3:20 pm
For months, demonstrations have been popping up on otherwise quiet residential streets across Spain. The protesters form human chains, forcibly blocking bailiffs from evicting residents who've fallen behind on their mortgages. Sometimes the protests turn violent.
The demonstrations are another sign of just how pinched people are feeling as Spain's economic crisis continues to roil. With Spanish unemployment above 25 percent, hundreds of people have been losing their homes each day.
As I'm currently separated from most of my earthly possessions for the rest of this week, some of my cultural intake has been interrupted. (There's this great Hitchcock Blu-ray set I wanted to tell you about, and I will, but it has to come out of storage first.) Also, I don't know if you've noticed, but the news is really weird, and we're coming off a time where it's contentious over very serious things.
Originally published on Tue November 13, 2012 11:29 am
Anyone who follows the adventures of the alternative minimum tax has to be getting sick of the many sequels. Again and again, this unpopular income tax threatens to hit middle-class families with large and unexpected tax increases.
And each time the threat reappears, Congress applies a "patch" to fix the problem temporarily. That makes the threat an annual event — along with the associated congressional hand-wringing and taxpayer confusion.
The Washington Post just announced that executive editor Marcus Brauchli is leaving that position to "become vice president of The Washington Post Company with responsibility for evaluating new media opportunities."
His successor has already been hired: Martin Baron, editor of the Boston Globe, will move to the Post on Jan. 2.
Originally published on Wed November 14, 2012 7:38 am
Picture, if you can, a prehistoric Bobby Flay — an inventive 3 million-year-old version of the Food Network star chef. He's struggling to liven up yet another salad of herbs and twigs when inspiration strikes. "We've got grass here, and sedge," he says. "Grass and sedge, that's what this dish needs!"
His pals take a tentative taste of this nouvelle cuisine. Sedges usually aren't considered gourmet fare, after all, by these human ancestors. They're tough grasslike plants that grow in marshes. But wow! Not only is this a new taste sensation, it's found in many places.