Twenty-year-old Taneka Armstrong wants to land a high-tech job, but her day starts at Taco Bell.
Armstrong stands behind a steel counter, making Burrito Supremes and ringing up customers. She counts pennies and quarters. She also gets orders from her bosses, who she says can be pretty condescending.
"They're just like, 'Oh, did you know that already?' Or, 'Can you do this?' " she says. "Yes, I've been doing it, for almost a year now."
With the midterm election a little more than three months away, a legal battle in Florida has cast uncertainty over the state's upcoming congressional races.
A state judge ruled this month that maps for two of Florida's 27 congressional districts violated the state constitution. He ordered the Legislature to redraw the maps.
The question now is when.
Like most states, Florida redrew the maps for its congressional districts after the 2010 census. Some states appoint special commissions to do the job, but in Florida, redistricting is done by the state Legislature.
Young people are being chased out of the labor market. Though the national unemployment rate has fallen steadily in recent months, youth unemployment remains stubbornly high, and the jobless rate is even higher among young minorities. For young people between the ages of 16 and 24, unemployment is more than twice the national rate, at 14.2 percent. For African-Americans, that rate jumps to 21.4 percent.
No one likes it when a new drug in people's medicine cabinets turns out to have problems â€” just remember the Vioxx debacle a decade ago, when the painkiller was removed from the market over concerns that it increased the risk of heart attack and stroke.
To do a better job of spotting unforeseen risks and side effects, the Food and Drug Administration is trying something new â€” and there's a decent chance that it involves your medical records.
Secretary of State John Kerry spent a lot of time on TV yesterday, laying out what he says is extraordinary circumstantial evidence that rebels in Eastern Ukraine shot down the Malaysia Airlines jetliner. Kerry said on NBC's "Meet The Press" they did it with Russian help.
(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "MEET THE PRESS")
SECRETARY OF STATE JOHN KERRY: It is clear that Russia supports the separatists, supplies the separatists, encourages the separatists, trains the separatists and Russia needs to step up and make a difference here.
Sen. Marco Rubio, a potential 2016 GOP presidential contender, is concerned about issues of access to affordable education, availability of job training and prospects for economic mobility. While shunning the "income inequality" language of the left, he insists that those problems need to be viewed through the lens of limited government.
Mississippi's past looms large in Greg Iles' best-selling thrillers. His latest book, Natchez Burning, is the first in a trilogy thattakes readers back 50 years to chilling civil rights-era murders and conspiracies all set in Iles' hometown â€” the antebellum river city of Natchez, Miss.
Iles' hero, Penn Cage, is a former prosecutor and widowed single father who has returned to his childhood home. Once there, he finds himself confronting killers, corruption and dark secrets.
This January, after the driest calendar year in California history, Gov. Jerry Brown declared a drought emergency. He called on residents to reduce their water intake by 20 percent.
But downtown Los Angeles doesn't looklike a city devastated by the state's worst drought in decades. The city is green with landscaping, and fountains are running. People still water their lawns, wash their cars and fill their pools.
Kansas is now in a budget shortfall after a wave of dramatic tax cuts championed by Republican Gov. Sam Brownback. In response, more than 100 former GOP office holders in the state have endorsed Paul Davis, Brownback's opponent in the gubernatorial race this fall. NPR's Kelly McEvers talks with Steve Kraske of KCUR and the Kansas City Star.
When 12-year-old Lauren Arrington heard about her sixth-grade science project, she knew she wanted to study lionfish. Growing up in Jupiter, Fla., she saw them in the ocean while snorkeling and fishing with her dad.
Her project showed that the lionfish can survive in nearly fresh water. The results blew away professional ecologists. The invasive species has no predators on the Florida coast, so if they were to migrate upstream in rivers, they could pose a threat to the ecosystem.
Now to the situation in Ukraine. Secretary of State John Kerry says evidence is mounting that Russian backed separatists are to blame for downing a Malaysia Airlines plane over Eastern Ukraine. Here's Kerry talking on CNN about the weapon system that the U.S. believes brought down that plane.
In the western Mexican state of Michoacan, civilian militias have challenged a powerful drug cartel known as the Knights Templar. The vigilante uprising, which spurred the Mexican government to send soldiers and police to help counter the cartel, was fueled by migrants who returned to Mexico after years living north of the border.
Reny Pineda, who was raised in Los Angeles, is one of those migrants. When he returned to his homeland in Mexico, he found a new life fighting drug lords.
As part of a series called "My Big Break," All Things Considered is collecting stories of triumph, big and small. These are the moments when everything seems to click, and people leap forward into their careers.
In the past year, my first in a prestigious Ph.D. program in creative writing and literature, I have often felt conspicuous as a writer of color. I have felt a responsibility to speak up when race is discussed, but I have also resented this responsibility. Lately, I have found myself burying my head. It bothers me to no end that the pressure is beating me, and yet it is.
Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 12:53 pm
With the sun lingering on the horizon and the Capitol in the distance, runner after runner completed a 3-mile loop around the National Mall and was met with cheers and high-fives. Standing in two parallel lines with hands outstretched, the crowd of mostly 20-somethings formed a celebratory human bridge for their fellow runners to pass under as they crossed the finish line.
Forty-five years ago today, in arguably the greatest technological feat of the 20th Century, two Americans stepped off the ladder of their small landing craft and walked on the surface of the moon.
The first of them, Neil Armstrong, 38, of Wapakoneta, Ohio, pronounced his accomplishment "one small step for [a] man; one giant leap for mankind." The second, 39-year-old New Jersey native Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin, Jr., described what he saw as "magnificent desolation."
A federal grand jury indicted FedEx last week on charges the company knowingly shipped drugs from illegal online pharmacies. NPR's Yuki Noguchi reports the disputes over shippers' responsibilities in the illegal drug trade go back many years.
Demonstrators across the nation are staging hundreds of protests against illegal immigration this weekend. They reflect a backlash against government resources going to the more than 50,000 unaccompanied minors who have crossed the southern U.S. border in recent months. This week, Los Angeles mayor, Eric Garcetti, announced he'll house some of those miners in L.A. as they await court hearings with funding from the federal government. City resources will not be used. I asked Mayor Garcetti why his city should take this on.