The U.S. Supreme Court could deliver a new ruling as early as next week that could undo existing limits on regulating political money. But on the other hand, a coalition of liberal groups has started pushing for the public finance of elections. They essentially want to give money to candidates so they don't have to chase big donors. And the current fight is going on in New York's state capitol, Albany. NPR's Peter Overby reports.
Army Capt. Drew Pham, 26, returned from a tour in Afghanistan in October 2011. Since Drew's been back, it's been hard for him to make sense of what he saw there and adjust to his life at home. It's been difficult for his wife, Molly Pearl, to respond to some of the things he would tell her, too.
Pham called once to tell her he had shot a man. He says she didn't know what to say, so she replied, "Well, we'll deal with it when you get home."
Now to the misfortunes of another U.S. transportation giant. Late on Friday, General Motors recalled more than 800,000 cars because of faulty ignition switches. Now, that's in addition to more than a million and a half cars that the company recalled last month. Those faulty ignition switches have led to a dozen deaths as well as multiple investigations into why it took General Motors as long as a decade to tell the public about safety problems.
How long do good friends keep growing up with each other? Leland, or Lee, is a rock star. He tours the world but keeps coming back, if not back home, to the place where he grew up - Little Wing, Wisconsin, a fictitious Midwestern town that feels as real as Eau Claire, which is where the author, Nickolas Butler grew up. His new novel, "Shotgun Lovesongs" interlaces the stories of friends who keep coming back to each other and try to get hold of where they are in the world.
Originally published on Mon March 31, 2014 4:18 pm
Nick Lantz speaks from the failed and fallen heart of middle-class Americans, the everyday folks whose lives and bank accounts were gutted when the housing bubble burst. What does that heartbreak look like? Deeper and uglier than plunging stock market charts and foreclosure signs, and more personal. Welcome to an America in which ambition is turned upside down, where someone is likely to say, when asked what he's doing for work these days, "you know those cracks people fall through?/ We're the crack regulators, we keep/ those cracks up to code."
Barbara Taylor Bradford is one of the best-selling authors in the world — and, proudly, a working stiff. She's written 29 novels, beginning with A Woman of Substance in 1979, which became one of the best-selling novels of all time. Her books have been published in more than 90 countries and 40 languages.
Her latest is Cavendon Hall, which takes its title from the great old Edwardian home shared by two families: the aristocratic Inghams and the Swanns, who've served the Inghams since time immemorial.
Inside the kitchen of the Arizona Diamondbacks, chef Michael Snoke has created a monster: 18 inches of meat that's skewered, wrapped in cornbread, stuffed with bacon and infused with cheddar cheese and jalapeños.
All that rests on a bed of fries. And for $25, it's all yours.
"I have created the D-Bat," he says.
The Diamondback's executive chef has wanted to get in on the culinary competition that's sprung up between Major League Baseball teams.
Originally published on Mon March 31, 2014 10:14 am
An Oregon woman was looking at her Halloween decoration last year when she found a letter written by an inmate from one of China's re-education-through-labor camps. The letter spoke of brutal forced labor in the camp.
On some French trains, the conductor's whistle signals more than just a departure. For commuters traveling on an express train from Reims to Paris — a 90-mile, 45-minute ride — it means the beginning of English class.
"Before the course, we were sleeping in the train in the morning," says passenger-student Gilles Hallais. "So I prefer practicing English."
Hallais, 44, is a journalist at French public radio. He says while he doesn't need English for his work, he does need it for his life. "I think it could be a handicap if I don't speak fluent English."
On today's show: Three short stories from Planet Money. We follow the money into the depths of the Internet, look at how women and men negotiate their salaries, and parse the debate over the minimum wage.
For parents dreading the prospect of their kids spending summer locked in air-conditioned basements with nothing but the glow of computer, TV, and tablet screens to keep them company, the opening scenes of Hide Your Smiling Faces will surely inspire wistful sighs.
Now on to our final game, Lightning Fill In The Blank. Each of our players will have 60 seconds in which to answer as many fill in the blank questions as he or she can. Each correct answer is worth two points. Carl, can you give us the scores?
CARL KASELL: We have a tie for first place. Roy Blount, Jr. and Tom Bodett each has three points. Kyrie O'Connor has two.
PESCA: Kyrie, so you're in third place. You're going to go first. The clock will start when I begin your question. Are you ready?