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.
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.
Shell burned off gas from June through August at the Morse well pad in Bradford County, Pa., to prevent natural gas from leaking to the surface after one of its drilling sites intersected an abandoned gas well.
Credit Scott Detrow / StateImpact Pennsylvania
Laurie Barr points to an abandoned well located in the middle of a McKean County, Pa., stream.
In February 1932, the United States was in the midst of the Great Depression. Franklin Roosevelt was plotting a run for the White House. And in northeast Pennsylvania, the Morris Run Coal Co. had just finished drilling a 5,385-foot-deep gas well on a farm owned by Mr. W.J. Butters.
It's an old problem and an old code — "don't snitch." And it exists everywhere.
But in Chicago, where homicides and shootings are up significantly this year, that old code is leaving a rising number of violent crimes unsolved. Chicago Police Department statistics show arrests are being made in about 30 percent of shooting homicides, while close to 80 percent of nonfatal shootings are going unsolved.
When police can't find and arrest the perpetrators, they worry that the shooters will soon shoot again.
Originally published on Tue November 13, 2012 5:08 am
In the wake of last Tuesday's elections, a lively debate has erupted into the open over whether conservatives and the Republican Party were well-served by their favorite media outlets.
Former Gov. Mitt Romney was reported to have been so certain of a victory on Tuesday night that he cast aside tradition and did not draft a concession speech. But conservatives now say his misplaced confidence — and theirs — were bolstered by the predictions of many like-minded pundits, which were broadcast and posted online around the clock by sympathetic news outlets.
This Veterans Day marks the first issue launch of O-Dark-Thirty, a literature quarterly composed entirely of veterans' fiction and non-fiction. It's published by The Veterans Writing Project, a nonprofit based in Washington, D.C. Robert Siegel speaks with retired Army Lt. Col. Ron Capps, now an award-winning author and director of the project.
Many veterans aren't just looking for a job; they're looking for a career, a calling and, of course, financial stability. Those recently separated from the military have to confront what is still a fairly weak civilian job market.
Ferry service into Manhattan started Monday for the Rockaway section of Queens, one of the hardest-hit New York City neighborhoods after Superstorm Sandy. Many residents are still feeling cut off, struggling without power or adequate public transportation options. And now worries about mold are creeping in.
But the new ferries were a small consolation for the trickle of commuters who trudged onto Manhattan soil for the first time in two weeks. Some of them, like Sheila Curran, were grinning all the way down the plank.
The downfall of CIA Director David Petraeus appears to have grown out of jealousy. He had been having an affair with his biographer, Paula Broadwell, and she allegedly sent harassing emails to a woman in Florida she thought was too close to Petraeus. Now the discussion is turning to what people knew and when they knew it and why this explosive story came out just days after the election. Audie Cornish talks to Dina Temple-Raston.
Last week's elections were historic for many reasons. Among them, they brought a remarkable turnaround on the issue of gay marriage. In 2004, same-sex marriage bans made it onto general election ballots in 11 states and passed resoundingly in all of them. This cycle, however, voters in Maine, Maryland and Washington State approved gay marriage. And in Minnesota, they refused to amend their state constitution to define marriage as between a man and woman exclusively.
Many farmers want their farms to be located close to a city - especially organic farmers who'd like to sell their produce at big urban farmers markets. But the price of land within range of a big city is sky high and only getting higher.
Most small farmers buy their land, but some are now looking to lease in suburban or exurban areas. And to do that, they're using something straight out of Fiddler On The Roof: A matchmaker.
As part of Virginia's waiver to opt out of mandates set out in the No Child Left Behind law, the state has created a controversial new set of education goals that are higher for white and Asian kids than for blacks, Latinos and students with disabilities.
Virginia Democratic state Sen. Donald McEachin first read about the state's new performance goals for schoolchildren in a newspaper editorial.
In 1979, when Jim Stigler was still a graduate student at the University of Michigan, he went to Japan to research teaching methods and found himself sitting in the back row of a crowded fourth-grade math class.
Finding lasting employment and the peace of mind that goes with it has proved a challenge for many of the men and women who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan in recent years. It's one of the issues we've been covering in our series Home Front.
STAFF SERGEANT JASON COPP: My name is Staff Sergeant Jason Copp.
CORPORAL TERRY NARCIS: I am Corporal Terry Narcis(ph).
CAPTAIN MICHAEL CURRY: I am Captain Michael Curry.
PFC MCCITRICH: PFC McCitrich(ph).
STAFF SERGEANT JEFF BARLOW: Staff Sergeant Jeff Barlow.
Making a deal to avert the fiscal cliff is going to take more than mere consensus on spending and taxes. It'll take political skill on the part of the president; the ability to leverage the power of his office to find new strategies and pressure points to break the gridlock. In short, he'll need to do what appears to be impossible.
ROBERT CARO: Part of the nature of political genius is that you can come along and do something where no one else can do it.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin. A newly re-elected President Barack Obama won't officially begin his second term until he is sworn in again on January 20th. But some of the priorities of his next four years in office are already taking shape, and the challenges are becoming more apparent. NPR's national political correspondent Mara Liasson joins us now to talk more about all this. Hey, Mara.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin.
Here's a term you're going to get really tired of in the next several weeks - if you haven't already: The fiscal cliff. It's a combination of automatic spending cuts and tax increases set to hit at the start of the year. That is, if Congress and the president fail to find a way to avoid it.
NPR's Tamara Keith has this primer.
TAMARA KEITH, BYLINE: Both House Speaker John Boehner and the president made it clear, they don't want to go off the cliff.
Veterans from around the country have deployed to the Northeast to help after Superstorm Sandy. Jeff Blaney (left) of San Francisco was in the Army and Jamie Havig was a Navy medic attached to the Marines in Iraq.
Among the thousands of volunteers helping the victims of Superstorm Sandy in New York and New Jersey are hundreds of military veterans who have turned out to help.
For this group, work like this seems to address a real need for a sense of mission. Former troops who have been cleaning up and rebuilding say that volunteering helps them as much as it supports the local residents.
In front of Sami McFarlanes' house off Rockaway Beach Boulevard in Queens, N.Y., a group of Afghanistan and Iraq veterans take chainsaws to a huge spruce tree hung up on wires.
Democratic Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin's sexual orientation was never really a factor in her victorious campaign against Republican former Gov. Tommy Thompson. Advocates for gay rights see that as a watershed moment for the movement.
Baldwin won a seat many thought she couldn't, defeating one of the state's most successful politicians in the process. The celebration Tuesday night in Madison was euphoric.
The enthusiastic crowd was never louder than when Baldwin acknowledged making history.
The resignation of CIA Director David Petraeus, the retired four-star general who stepped down late Friday citing an extramarital affair, brings to an end one of the most storied careers in modern U.S. military history.
Petraeus left the Army in August 2011 after nearly four decades in uniform. Before his retirement ceremony had even begun, he walked up on the empty stage, went over to the podium and tapped on the microphone. The general was doing his own mic check.