There are a number of dramatic economic stories in the news today. In Greece, banks and markets are closed, as the country edges towards a default and or exit from the eurozone.
Meanwhile, Puerto Rico’s governor now says that the commonwealth cannot pay its $72 billion in debts. And in China, stocks have tumbled into a bear market, despite a move by the central bank there to cut interest rates to a record low.
President Obama won a series of huge victories in the Supreme Court last week, including health care and same sex marriage. And officials in South Carolina called for the removal of the Confederate flag from the state capitol grounds after nine African Americans were gunned down in a Charleston church. Here & Now’s Robin Young asks historian Julian Zelizer to put the week into historical context.
Our electricity system is changing rapidly around us. New sources of renewable power are meeting technologies that can crunch unprecedented amounts of data. It’s all leading to a major shakeup for how utilities do business. Dan Boyce from Here & Now’s contributor Inside Energy takes us to Fort Collins, Colorado, for a peek into our utility’s possible future.
South Carolina state Senator Paul Thurmond, son of segregationist presidential candidate U.S. Senator Strom Thurmond, has joined fellow Republicans in calling for the Confederate flag to be removed from a public monument across the street from the South Carolina State House, following last week’s deadly shooting at a historically black church in Charleston.
Lawmakers are expected to debate the flag’s removal as soon as next week. Sen. Thurmond speaks with Here & Now’s Robin Young.
The rapid rise in technology and machines has some experts predicting that workers could become obsolete. As Derek Thompson writes in a cover article for The Atlantic, futurists have often looked at this in a positive way — with people having more free time for leisure.
But there are of course questions of what it would mean economically, and also culturally. Thompson writes that it would bring about a great social and cultural transformation.
In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court has upheld the use of a controversial execution drug.
The case was brought by a group of Oklahoma inmates who argued that a drug used by the state constituted cruel and unusual punishment because it did not guarantee that prisoners would be unconscious when additional drugs were administered to stop their hearts.
The drug was used in three botched executions last year that appeared to leave prisoners in excruciating pain. The court ruled that the Oklahoma prisoners did not prove that a better drug was available.
In Greece, a breakdown in negotiations between the Greek government and its creditors has put Greece on the verge of default and an exit from the eurozone.
Greek banks were closed after a flood of fear-driven withdrawals, and they won’t open until next week. Greek citizens are being asked to decide the fate of the country in a referendum Friday on the economic terms that creditors are asking for in exchange for fresh aid.
Last week might have felt like a grand finale, with decisions on same-sex marriage and the Affordable Care Act, but this morning the Supreme Court announced three more decisions, relating to capital punishment, power plant emissions and congressional redistricting. NPR’s Ron Elving joins Here & Now’s Robin Young to discuss what what they all mean.
Your first impulse on hearing "Fight Song," the latest single from Minneapolis trio Bad Bad Hats, might be to lean in. Lead singer Kerry Alexander's bright, lively lines swim over catchy acoustic guitar and velvety keyboard. Impeccable production by Brett Bullion (Bon Iver, Poliça) is programmed to fire all neural pathways associated with carefree indie rock fun. But beware: These lyrics will bite.
The Supreme court has ruled against an Obama administration effort to limit toxic mercury emissions from power plants, saying the costs of compliance should be taken into account at the very earliest stages of the regulatory process.
The right to marry in any state won't be the only gain for gay couples from last week's Supreme Court ruling. The decision will likely boost health insurance among gay couples as same-sex spouses get access to employer plans.
The logic is simple. Fewer than half of employers that offer health benefits make the insurance available to same-sex partners who aren't married. Virtually all of them offer coverage to spouses.
U.S. states' efforts to counter extreme gerrymandering won a victory Monday, as the Supreme Court ruled in favor of a bipartisan Arizona panel that draws the state's districts. The court's vote was 5-4; Chief Justice John Roberts dissented, as did Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito.
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg wrote the opinion for the majority, in which her citations included James Madison writing in The Federalist Papers.