The widening gap between the rich and poor in the U.S. has become a central touch point for economists, pundits and politicians across the U.S. New York City's newly sworn-in mayor, Bill deBlasio, was elected after campaigning against a city divided between the haves and have-nots. President Obama has called tackling inequality the defining challenge of our time, saying that growing inequality and a lack of upward mobility jeopardizes the American dream. But what, exactly, is income inequality?
Originally published on Thu January 2, 2014 9:29 pm
Updated 11:30 p.m. ET
The Associated Press reports: "The National Weather Service said 21 inches of snow had fallen in Boxford, just north of Boston, by Thursday night, while other parts of the state had 17 or 18 inches. It said parts of upstate New York had 18 inches."
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.
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And I'm David Greene. Good morning. President Obama says he will soon propose changes at the National Security Agency. Former contractor Edward Snowden's disclosure of NSA surveillance programs widespread criticism and prompted a review of the agency's operations by Congress, the courts, and the White House. NPR's Tom Gjelten looks at whether the country is now at a turning point, ready to rethink the security policies in place since 9/11.
Behaving well in elementary school could reduce smoking in later life. At least, that's what Trillium Community Health Plan hopes, and it's putting money behind the idea.
Danebo Elementary in Eugene, Ore., is one of 50 schools receiving money to teach classes while integrating something called the "Good Behavior Game." Teacher Cami Railey sits at a small table, surrounded by four kids. She's about to teach them the "s" sound and the "a" sound. But first, as she does every day, she goes over the rules.
In many prisons and jails across the U.S., punishment can come in the form of a bland, brownish lump. Known as nutraloaf, or simply "the loaf," it's fed day after day to inmates who throw food or, in some cases, get violent. Even though it meets nutritional guidelines, civil rights activists urge against the use of the brick-shaped meal.
Tasteless food as punishment is nothing new: Back in the 19th century, prisoners were given bread and water until they'd earned with good behavior the right to eat meat and cheese.
Wednesday marks the first day of legal recreational marijuana sales in Colorado. Audie Cornish talks with Ryan Cook, general manager of the The Clinic Medical Marijuana Center. The company has three growing facilities and six stores, one of which now offers recreational pot sales to those over the age of 21.
The Barclays Center in Brooklyn is home to the Brooklyn Nets. It's also home to some of the most advanced technology ever to come to a stadium or arena. Many older sports venues have struggled to keep pace with the latest developments in digital devices and social media. But that's hardly the case at Barclays. The venue even has its own app.
And in this new year, Colorado is turning over a new leaf. State license retailers spent their New Year's Eve putting plant buds on shelves, stuffing baggies and rolling joints in preparation for what's being called Green Wednesday. Colorado is the first in the nation to regulate and control a recreational marijuana industry.
Originally published on Wed January 1, 2014 7:29 am
As the new year begins, most economists' annual forecasts are brimming with good cheer.
"The economic news remains broadly encouraging," the Goldman Sachs forecasters write in their 2014 outlook.
And the brighter prospects are not limited to this country. "The global economy is likely to emerge in 2014 with modest growth of 3.3 percent compared with 2.5 percent this year," according to Nariman Behravesh, chief economist at the forecasting firm IHS Global Insight.
Originally published on Wed January 1, 2014 8:47 am
Former defense lawyer Lynne Stewart, 74, who's suffering from breast cancer, has been released from a Texas prison.
In 2005, Stewart was convicted of helping blind Egyptian cleric Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman communicate with followers while he was serving a life sentence for plotting to blow up landmarks in New York City.
Government attorneys requested the early release for Stewart because the cancer has metastasized to her lungs and bones.
Millions of American property owners get flood insurance from the federal government, and a lot of them get a hefty discount. But over the past decade, the government has paid out huge amounts of money after floods, and the flood insurance program is deeply in the red.
Congress tried to fix that in 2012 by passing a law to raise insurance premiums. Now that move has created such uproar among property owners that Congress is trying to make the law it passed disappear.
Alzheimer's is a disease without a cure, and the available treatments only slow its progression for a bit. Now there's evidence vitamin E may help hold it at bay, at least for people in the early stages of the disease.
Originally published on Tue December 31, 2013 6:07 pm
Utah's attorney general has filed a request with the U.S. Supreme Court for a stay that would allow the state to enforce its limit of marriage to a union between a man and a woman.
Similar requests have already been rejected by district and circuit courts. Earlier this month, a federal district court invalidated Utah's ban on gay marriage that was endorsed by voters in 2004, saying it is not constitutional.
One year ago, many were pointing to the growth of massive open online courses, or MOOCs, as the most important trend in higher education. Many saw the rapid expansion of MOOCs as a higher education revolution that would help address two long-vexing problems: access for underserved students and cost.
In theory, students saddled by rising debt and unable to tap into the best schools would be able to take free classes from rock star professors at elite schools via Udacity, edX, Coursera and other MOOC platforms.
The Detroit Red Wings are kind of playing a home game on New Year's Day — even if it'll be played about 40 miles west of their home ice in downtown Detroit.
Mike Babcock, the Red Wings head coach, told the NHL Network that might not be such a good thing, because home teams haven't fared so well in prior Winter Classics.
"The reason the home team doesn't have much success is there's probably a New Year's Eve party going on in everybody's house," he said. "So you gotta decide whether that's more important, or the game's more important."
A federal judge has largely upheld New York's tough gun control law passed in the weeks after the Sandy Hook school shooting.
Judge William Skretny in Buffalo rejected arguments from opponents that its ban on large-capacity magazines and the sale of semi-automatic rifles infringed on Second Amendment rights.
He ruled that the provisions were constitutional because the state has an "important governmental interest" in public safety in a suit brought by the New York affiliate of the National Rifle Association.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
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And I'm Audie Cornish.
Residents of Casselton, North Dakota are starting to return to their homes. That's after yesterday's fiery crash of two freight trains, one carrying crude oil. From Fargo, Prairie Public's Todd McDonald reports.
Originally published on Tue December 31, 2013 2:44 pm
Melissa Harris-Perry, host of an MSNBC weekend show, apologized on Tuesday for comments she and her panelists recently made. On Sunday, Harris-Perry had her guests — a group of comedians — caption a photo of Mitt Romney's family, which included Romney's adopted grandchild.
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. They say it takes a village to raise a child, but maybe you just need a few moms and dads in your corner. Every week, we check in with a diverse group of parents for their common sense and savvy advice. Today, for our last parenting roundtable of the year, we decided to look back at 2013 in parenting, and we ask some of our regular contributors and you to share some of your best and worst parenting moments of the year.
Originally published on Tue December 31, 2013 10:30 am
As 2013 winds down, so does @Todayin1963, Code Switch's historical Twitter account. Since June, I've been "live-tweeting" moments from 50 years ago as if they were happening today, picking slices of that year that might have made their ways into people's Twitter timelines had tweeting been a thing back then.
In 2013, Chicago newspapers and television stations kept a daily deadly count, listing those slain each day, most by gun violence. One of the most noted occurred early in the year when Hadiya Pendleton, 15, was shot and killed about a week after performing at inauguration events in Washington, D.C., with her high school band.
A judge has extended life support for a 13-year-old girl who was declared brain dead after complications from a tonsillectomy operation earlier this month.
The order, issued by Alameda County Superior Court Judge Evelio Grillo, grants the family's eleventh-hour appeal to keep Jahi McMath on a ventilator at least until Jan. 7. Another judge had ruled that Children's Hospital of Oakland, where McMath has been a patient since the Dec. 9 surgery, could shut off the breathing machine after 5 p.m. ET on Monday.