The Mexican Congress is close to passing a range of new taxes aimed at making up the country's budget shortfall. The new plan would raise taxes on everything from junk food and soda to the income of the country's top wage earners. Many industries have put up a fight against the new taxes, and foreign owned factories along the U.S. border have led the charge.
NPR's business news starts with a record immigration fine.
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MONTAGNE: Infosys, the Indian high-tech outsourcing company, will be paying around $35 million in a visa fraud case. Federal prosecutors say the company knowingly brought temporary Indian workers to the U.S. on visitor visas - visiting for business - in order to avoid the cost of the actual work visas they should have used.
News out of the Middle East this morning suggests at least a little progress in relations between Israelis and Palestinians. Expectations are low for peace talks, which the two sides reluctantly agreed to at the prodding Secretary of State John Kerry. Yet the two sides are taking what are called confidence-building steps, such as today's release of Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails.
NPR's Jerusalem bureau chief Emily Harris is covering the story. She's on the line. Hi, Emily.
It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.
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And I'm Renee Montagne.
A family from a village in Pakistan traveled all the way to Capitol Hill this week to tell lawmakers the story of how they lost their grandmother in a deadly attack. She was killed by a U.S. drone strike one year ago. Speaking through an interpreter, her grandchildren's testimony, along with that of her son, marked the first time civilians victimized by drone strikes appeared at a congressional briefing.
Afghan National Army Commandos attend their graduation ceremony in Kabul in July. Foreign combat troops are set to leave Afghanistan by the end of 2014 after handing over all security responsibilities to Afghan forces.
As he prepared to deploy earlier this year, Lt. Gen. Mark Milley, the No. 2 commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, found that people seemed to have forgotten about Afghanistan.
"The opinion that he gathered was nobody was interested anymore," explains Col. Chris Garver, a spokesman for ISAF Joint Command in Kabul. "[Gen. Milley] came over here with the goal to say, 'Well, let's try and get people interested; let's try to explain to people where we are.' "
And, with that, this past summer ISAF launched a new offensive in the war to inform.
Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 12:45 pm
Asian and Middle Eastern cuisines have incorporated sesame seeds into both savory and sweet preparations for centuries. Yet for many Americans, sesame seeds seem to have little more use than as something to be sprinkled atop a roll or a loaf of bread.
Four French hostages captured in Niger three years ago by members of an al-Qaida affiliate have been released.
France's President Francois Hollande says the men, seized in a raid on a uranium mining operation on Sept. 16, 2010, near Arlit in northern Niger, will be returning home soon.
The four men are identified as Thierry Dol, Daniel Larribe, Pierre Legrand and Marc Feret. A source close to Hollande was quoted by AFP as saying: "We can't say that they're in great health but their health is fine."
The hostages are thought to have been held in neighboring Mali.
Parents arrive to pick up their children from a school in Montgomery, Ala. After a tough immigration law was enacted in 2011, Hispanic students began to disappear from classrooms in the state's public schools.
Originally published on Tue October 29, 2013 6:33 pm
Opponents of Alabama's strict immigration law are declaring victory Tuesday, as the state agreed not to pursue key provisions of a measure critics had called an endorsement of racial profiling. Earlier this year, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear the state's appeal of a federal court's ruling that gutted the law.
Michael Bloomberg's time as New York City mayor may be coming to an end, but there's no evidence he's ready to leave the political arena.
Less than two months after playing a starring role in two recall elections in Colorado, Bloomberg has again turned his eye to that state and contributed $1 million to the campaign backing a ballot measure that would increase income taxes to provide funds for a new public school financing system.
For $300, a share from <a href="http://cherylwixsonskitchen.com/csa/">Cheryl Wixon's Kitchen</a> will get you 54 jars of pasta and pizza sauces, cranberry ketchups and fruit jams and butters delivered between November and April.
Credit Courtesy of Andrea Hand
"Processing 17,000 pounds of local tomatoes and another 20,000 pounds of apples and cranberries is back-breaking work. I am only doing it because no one else is," says Cheryl Wixon.
Originally published on Fri November 1, 2013 10:03 am
Community supported agriculture shares are moving out of the crisper and into the pantry.
That's the hope, anyway, of a growing number of farmers and small processors who are marketing local goods under the CSA model.
In traditional a CSA, a farmer sells shares of their fruit and vegetable crop ahead of the growing season to generate cash flow for the year. The farmer then provides boxes of seasonal produce on a regular basis to shareholders during the harvest.
When the head of the agency responsible for the troubled Healthcare.gov went before Congress for the first time since its foibles became apparent Oct. 1, she probably didn't expect that many questions would be on something else altogether.
The Adoption Network Law Center is based in California, but when someone in Illinois searches "adoption" on the Web, up it pops, right near the top.
"They're very specific in directing their advertising and marketing to people in Illinois," says Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, even though they're not licensed in the state. Illinois prohibits for-profit adoption agencies.
One of the participants of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic torch relay runs near the Christ the Savior Cathedral in Moscow, on Oct. 8. Controversies surrounding costs, security and gay rights swirl around the games, to be held in the Russian Black Sea resort city.
Credit Kirill Kudryavtsev / AFP/Getty Images
The main Olympic stadium, under construction at the Olympic Park in Adler, outside Sochi, in August.
Credit Mikhail Mordasov / AFP/Getty Images
Activists protest an event ahead of the handover ceremony of the Olympic flame, in Athens, Greece, on Oct. 5.
Drug money has fueled insurgencies all over the world, from Afghanistan to Central and South America. And now, the war in Syria may be seeing the beginning of a similar trade. This time, it's not opium or cocaine, it's Captagon, a powerful amphetamine and highly sought after street drug in countries like Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. In just one month, Lebanese authorities seized more than $200 million worth of Captagon. Other raids have yielded more than six million loose pills at a time.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
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And I'm Robert Siegel.
After weeks of uncertainty, the World Health Organization today confirmed that polio has reemerged in Syria for the first time in 14 years. Earlier this month, health officials reported that 22 children in eastern Syria were paralyzed by what appeared to be polio. And now the WHO says, so far, 10 of the cases have tested positive for polio.
A year ago, a British Cabinet minister was forced to step down after being publicly excoriated. His crime? He allegedly berated two police officers while wheeling his bicycle away from the prime minister's residence.
Though, Vicki Barker reports, that doubts are now being cast on the officers' version of the story.