While the Supreme Court this month took another step in freeing up big political donors, another set of federal restrictions on political money is celebrating its 20th anniversary. The so-called pay-to-play rules — enforced by the Securities and Exchange Commission — are a narrow but powerful way to control political cash.
Think "pay to play" and you might think of video games or high school sports. But in politics, "pay to play" refers to something totally different — a particular kind of political corruption.
Originally published on Fri April 25, 2014 5:51 pm
New York City is 20 times more likely to flood during a storm than it was in the mid-1800s, partly owing to sea-level rise linked to global climate change, according to a new study.
The maximum water height at New York Harbor during storms such as Hurricane Sandy has risen nearly 2.5 feet since 1844, says the study, which was published in a recent issue of Geophysical Research Letters.
There was a time when rum was considered rotgut. Blackbeard the pirate liked to mix his cane alcohol with gunpowder and light it — rum and croak.
Fast-forward a few centuries to rum respectability — specifically, to Rob Burr's patio deck in Coral Gables, in South Florida.
From the waterfall pond to the tiki bar, Burr's deck sets a mood not for swilling rum, but for tasting it. Not the way spring-breakers chug Captain Morgan, but the way cognac drinkers sip Napoleon: Not with Coke (or gunpowder) but neat, in a snifter.
It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.
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And I'm Audie Cornish. Verticals, context blogs, explainers, those are the buzzwords of the news business. From some of the nation's oldest papers to the newest digital news startups, there's a rush to create sites that emphasize context rather than good old-fashioned scoops. The focus now is to blend fresh writing, number crunching and striking graphics. NPR's David Folkenflik reports on this evolution.
Originally published on Mon April 28, 2014 10:30 am
Dan Wilson is originally from Minneapolis, where in the 1980s he formed the beloved band Trip Shakespeare with his brother Matt. That group evolved into Semisonic, which scored major hits in 1998 with "Closing Time" and "Secret Smile."
Whooping cough was once one of the leading killers of babies around the world. Now that it's largely controlled with a vaccine, scientists have had a chance to figure out how the disease came into being in the first place.
That story is told in a study published online this week in the journal mBio. And it turns out that whooping cough arose quite late in human history.
People are storing more and more stuff online: photos, music, personal documents — even books. The business of cloud storage is growing 30 percent a year, Forrester Research says. But if you're storing your digital belongings in the cloud, you should know you're giving up some rights.
A year ago, I talked to Kyle Goodwin about one of those scary computer moments — he was saving important videos from his business to an external hard drive.
"Right in the middle of a save, I knocked it off my coffee table and it hit the floor and it's destroyed," he said.
Soccer fans are counting down. Forty-seven days to go until the World Cup in Brazil. The country is in the news again but not for the reasons it might want. In one of the key host cities, Rio de Janeiro, riots broke out in a major tourist area earlier this week. Big questions over the readiness of stadiums and infrastructure also remain. NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro is our South America correspondent, and she's with us today in our D.C. studios. Lourdes, nice to have you here.
LOURDES GARCIA-NAVARRO, BYLINE: It's great to be here.
The short climbing season on Mount Everest ended suddenly and sadly. The avalanche that killed 16 guides last Friday has shaken the Sherpa community and many have left the mountain. As a result, most expedition companies have cancelled their climbs. NPR's Julie McCarthy has more from Kathmandu on the next chapter, who pays when the season is suspended?
This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.
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And I'm Audie Cornish. In South Korea today, President Obama consoled a nation in mourning over the victims of a ferry disaster. He also assured South Koreans that the U.S. is committed to support and defend the country in the face of North Korea's threats to test yet another nuclear device. NPR's Anthony Kuhn has been following the president in Seoul and joins us to talk about the trip.
Joining us now, political columnists David Brooks of the New York Times and E.J. Dionne of The Washington Post and the Brookings Institution. Hello to both of you.
DAVID BROOKS: Hello.
E.J. DIONNE: Good to be with you.
SIEGEL: And first, briefly since you both talked about Ukraine here just last Friday, does some kind of soft landing seem possible to you there and does President Obama's leadership strike you as effective in leading the Western response to Russia? David, you first.