The U.S. Supreme Court, which has been somewhat hostile to unions in recent years, on Wednesday examined a key union organizing tool. At issue: neutrality agreements, under which employers pledge to remain neutral during union organizing campaigns, and in exchange, the union promises not to picket, boycott or strike.
It's easy, when writing about network TV, to be cynical.
For example, when I heard the Fox network had been holding annual conferences on diversity, telling top show producers their casts and crew had to feature more people of color, I remained skeptical. What's the catch, I wondered?
We're wearing gold to celebrate NPR Headquarters earning an official LEED Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.
NPR is proud to join the more than 900 other LEED certified buildings in Washington, D.C. LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is a world-wide certification program for buildings and communities seeking to be environmentally friendly. Our building was planned, constructed and currently operates in ways designed to lessen its impact on the environment.
Originally published on Wed November 13, 2013 6:47 pm
More than 106,000 Americans selected health plans in the first reporting period of open enrollment for the new health insurance marketplace, according to data released Wednesday by the Department of Health and Human Services.
That number is only "about 20 percent of the government's October target," as NPR's Scott Horsley reports for our Newscast unit.
Less than 27,000 people used the federal HealthCare.gov site to select a plan. The overall number includes enrollments made via federal and state marketplaces from Oct. 1 to Nov. 2, the agency says.
Originally published on Thu November 14, 2013 10:07 pm
A while back (a long while back), Bob Boilen and I were sitting around the office, chatting like we do about music and life, and got to wondering: Is it possible to come up with a top ten list of albums that everyone can agree on?
Scotland Yard says it believes a British spy whose naked, decomposing body was found padlocked inside a gym bag in a bathtub three years ago, probably died accidentally.
Gareth Williams, 31, was working for Britain's MI6 spy agency when his body was found at his home in August 2010.
Last May, a coroner concluded that Williams was probably murdered, but on Wednesday London Police Deputy Assistant Commissioner Martin Hewitt told reporters that the death was "most probably ... an accident."
Pity the poor essay collection. Unlike its close, more creative neighbor — the short story collection — or its snooty relation, The Novel, the humble essay collection is the wallflower of the literary world. And, when an essay collection is composed — as Ann Patchett's new volume partly is — of pieces previously printed in fashion and pet lovers' magazines, it really might seem like a grab bag of minor material — as, admittedly, a few of the pieces here are.
12 Years a Slave is the most compelling film about music to be released this year, maybe this century. It's so many other things, too, as others have noted: a corrective to the weird cocktail of piety and cartoonishness that Hollywood usually supplies when depicting slavery; a gorgeous art film and an actor's hellish paradise; a cultural highlight of the Obama administration.
Originally published on Wed November 13, 2013 7:48 pm
Like many states, Missouri is struggling to obtain the drugs it normally uses to carry out the death penalty.
Last month, Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon stayed an execution under pressure from the medical community and the European Union, which threatened to hold up supplies of propofol, the anesthetic the state intended to use.
Originally published on Wed November 13, 2013 3:34 pm
A team appointed by President Obama to review U.S. spying policies in the wake of the Edward Snowden revelations about National Security Agency programs has delivered an interim report to the White House.
National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said in an email to news organizations that the review group "has orally provided their interim report to the White House, with their final report due by Dec. 15." She said the results would be made public "in some way" once the finished review is submitted.
When you think of recycling, you probably think of cans, plastic bottles and newspapers. Well, think a little bigger.
There are businesses devoted to recycling metal, paper, plastic, oil, textiles, cell phones, computers, motors, batteries, Christmas lights, cars and more. The hidden world of globalized recycling and reclamation, and its impact on the environment and the global economy, is the subject of the new book Junkyard Planet by journalist Adam Minter.
Originally published on Wed November 13, 2013 6:06 pm
Typhoon Haiyan made landfall in the Philippines on Friday, packing winds of close to 200 mph. Haiyan, known as Yolanda in the Philippines, devastated the city of Tacloban and the surrounding areas. At the time of impact, it was being called the "strongest tropical cyclone on record."
Originally published on Wed November 13, 2013 4:50 pm
Pedro Quezada, winner of a $338 million Powerball lottery prize in March 2013, is being sued by his ex-girlfriend for a greater share of the winnings. In the course of the legal proceedings, Quezada's lawyer made public an interesting tidbit: Quezada has sent a whopping $57 million to the Dominican Republic. It's a high-profile and big-ticket example of an everyday phenomenon where immigrants to the U.S. send a total of billions and billions of dollars back to their country of origin.