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3:18 am
Tue December 3, 2013

A Supreme Court Fight For The Rights Of (Frequent) Fliers

Rabbi S. Binyomin Ginsberg sued Northwest Airlines for what he says was unfair termination from its frequent-flier program. His case goes goes before the Supreme Court on Tuesday.
Paul Sancya AP

Originally published on Tue December 3, 2013 6:02 pm

Do airline frequent fliers have any legal rights when they get into disputes over their club memberships?

That's the question before the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday, when the justices examine whether, and under what circumstances, frequent fliers can sue in these disputes.

Frequent-flier programs — famous for their free trips, upgrades and goodies — are also infamous for what some members view as arbitrary airline behavior.

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Around the Nation
3:17 am
Tue December 3, 2013

As Rent Soars, Longtime San Francisco Tenants Fight To Stay

Originally published on Tue December 3, 2013 6:02 pm

San Francisco has long been a desirable place to live — and that's even more true today as the city is basking in the glow of another tech boom. But the influx of new money and new residents is putting a strain on the city's housing market.

The city has the highest median rent in the nation, and evictions of longtime residents are skyrocketing.

Ground zero for San Francisco's eviction crisis is the Inner Mission District. Until recently, this edgy neighborhood was home to a mix of working-class Latinos, artists and activists.

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Science
7:38 pm
Mon December 2, 2013

Slashing Fossil Fuel Consumption Comes With A Price

Wind turbines twirl above farmland on the outskirts of Madison, Wis. Not all locals are pleased.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Tue December 3, 2013 8:56 am

Governments around the world have agreed to limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit). That would require an 80 percent reduction in energy sources like coal, oil and natural gas, which emit carbon dioxide into the air.

Nations are far from that ambitious path. There are big political and economic challenges. But technologists do see a way — at least for the United States — to achieve that goal.

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Shots - Health News
6:55 pm
Mon December 2, 2013

As Polio Spreads In Syria, Politics Thwarts Vaccination Efforts

Syrian boys line up to get the polio vaccine at a refugee camp in Sidon, Lebanon, on Nov. 7. The Lebanese government plans to vaccinate all kids under age 5 for the virus, including Syrian refugees.
Mohammad Zaatari AP

Originally published on Thu December 5, 2013 9:31 am

The World Health Organization has declared a polio emergency in Syria.

After being free of the crippling disease for more than a decade, Syria recorded 10 confirmed cases of polio in October. Now the outbreak has grown to 17 confirmed cases, the WHO said last week. And the virus has spread to four cities, including a war-torn suburb near the capital of Damascus.

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This Is NPR
6:33 pm
Mon December 2, 2013

Bureau To Bureau: Who's Got NPR (T-Shirt) Style?

Evie Bross.
Anna Bross NPR

Originally published on Mon December 9, 2013 9:27 am

Here at NPR, like many work places, it's not uncommon for two or more staffers to show up at work inadvertently dressed alike. Men in polo shirts and khakis, women in sweater dresses, everyone in checked button-downs and jeans.

"Oh, didn't you get the memo?" they often joke for the rest of the day.

This happens so frequently at NPR West, that I've started to photographing all the accidental twins to show off look-alikes. (Just scroll through the @NPRWest Twitter feed for some examples.)

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The Two-Way
5:56 pm
Mon December 2, 2013

'TipsForJesus' Is Leaving Thousands Of Dollars For Servers

One of the two checks that "TipsForJesus" signed at a restaurant in South Bend, Ind., on Oct. 19. The anonymous givers added $5,000 to each of the bills.
@TipsForJesus

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 5:57 pm

"Crazy-generous" tips, as Gawker says, have been showing up on checks across the nation as some anonymous good Samaritans known only as "TipsForJesus" add hundreds or thousands of dollars to their restaurant and bar bills.

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It's All Politics
5:48 pm
Mon December 2, 2013

Court Upholds Public Broadcasting Political Ad Ban

This image, provided by the Obama For America campaign, shows a still frame made from a video ad entitled "Only Choice."
Uncredited AP

While lawyers dismantle many restrictions on political money, the rules affecting Morning Edition and Downton Abbey still stand tall. A federal court in San Francisco says public radio and TV stations cannot carry paid political ads.

The 8-3 decision Monday by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a ruling last April by a smaller panel of the court. NPR and PBS both joined the case as friends of the court.

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Around the Nation
5:39 pm
Mon December 2, 2013

Florida Tribe Re-Creates Daring Escape From The Trail Of Tears

Willie Johns holds a photo of Polly Parker, his great-grandmother.
Greg Allen NPR

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 7:12 pm

This week, a group of Seminole Indians in Florida is commemorating an important historical event — when a Seminole named Polly Parker organized and led an escape from federal troops more than 150 years ago.

It came at a time when Indians were being deported to the West in what became known as the Trail of Tears. Florida's Seminoles call themselves the "unconquered people" because, through three wars with federal troops, they resisted deportation to Indian Territory west of the Mississippi.

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All Tech Considered
5:36 pm
Mon December 2, 2013

Could A Tech Giant Build A Better Health Exchange? Maybe Not

Workers process applications for Oregon's health exchange program. The state paid tech giant Oracle to build its online exchange, but with the site still not functional, people shopping for insurance have been forced to apply on paper.
Don Ryan AP

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 8:48 pm

Oregon has spent more than $40 million to build its own online health care exchange. It gave that money to a Silicon Valley titan, Oracle, but the result has been a disaster of missed deadlines, a nonworking website and a state forced to process thousands of insurance applications on paper.

Some Oregon officials were sounding alarms about the tech company's work on the state's online health care exchange as early as last spring. Oracle was behind schedule and, worse, didn't seem able to offer an estimate of what it would take to get the state's online exchange up and running.

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World Cafe
5:09 pm
Mon December 2, 2013

World Cafe Next: Courtney Barnett

Courtney Barnett.
Lisa Sorgini Courtesy of the artist
  • Hear Two Songs By Courtney Barnett

This week's pick for World Cafe: Next is Melbourne, Australia's Courtney Barnett. The 25-year-old singer and guitarist has been self-releasing EPs since 2012; two of them were recently combined to form The Double EP: A Sea of Split Peas.

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The Two-Way
5:09 pm
Mon December 2, 2013

Embattled D.C. Mayor Will Seek Second Term

Washington Mayor Vincent Gray.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 6:33 pm

The mayor of Washington, D.C., whose tenure has been marked by a federal investigation into his 2010 campaign, will seek a second term.

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World Cafe
5:02 pm
Mon December 2, 2013

Yusuf Islam On World Cafe

Yusuf Islam.
Aminah Islam Courtesy of the artist

This segment, from Jan. 5, 2007, is part of our Vintage Cafe series, in which we revisit some of our best studio performances.

Yusuf Islam, formerly known as Cat Stevens, recently returned to the world of popular music with An Other Cup, his first secular studio album in 28 years. The disc contains old songs that were never recorded, songs he wrote in the last couple of years, and songs that he came up with on the spot, once he reached the studio.

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Business
4:58 pm
Mon December 2, 2013

Sluggish Start To Holiday Sales May Mean More Price Cuts

Shoppers crowd a Macy's store in New York on Thursday. Many retailers stayed open on Thanksgiving Day this year, a new holiday tradition that analysts say is here to stay.
John Minchillo AP

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 5:53 pm

Despite retailers offering Thanksgiving hours and more online sales, Americans still nervous about the economy spent less this long weekend than they did last year, according to preliminary estimates.

But analysts say retailers will be working harder to boost sales in coming weeks by offering even deeper discounts.

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Shots - Health News
4:55 pm
Mon December 2, 2013

Obama Launches HIV Cure Initiative, Ups Pledge For Global Health

President Obama walks into an auditorium in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building Monday for a speech about World AIDS Day.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 5:45 pm

Commemorating the 25th World AIDS Day a day late, President Obama announced an initiative Monday to find a cure for HIV infections that would be funded by $100 million shifted from existing spending.

"The United States should be at the forefront of new discoveries into how to put people into long-term remission without requiring lifelong therapies — or better yet, eliminate it completely," Obama said at a meeting in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building next to the White House.

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Parallels
4:54 pm
Mon December 2, 2013

E-Readers Mark A New Chapter In The Developing World

A student at Ntimigom School in Kilgoris, Kenya, uses his e-reader.
Jon McCormack

Originally published on Thu December 12, 2013 4:58 pm

A former Amazon executive who helped Jeff Bezos turn shopping into a digital experience has set out to end illiteracy. David Risher is now the head of Worldreader, a nonprofit organization that brings e-books to kids in developing countries through Kindles and cellphones.

Risher was traveling around the world with his family when he got the idea for Worldreader. They were doing volunteer work at an orphanage in Ecuador when he saw a building with a big padlock on the door. He asked a woman who worked there what was inside, and she said, "It's the library."

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Politics
4:54 pm
Mon December 2, 2013

Unemployment Benefit Program Set To Expire At Year's End

Job seekers attend a March health care job fair in New York.
Mark Lennihan AP

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 7:12 pm

More than 1 million people will see their extended unemployment benefits immediately cut off at the end of the month if Congress doesn't act.

An emergency federal benefit program was put in place during the recession to help those who are unemployed longer than six months. That allowed them to get as much as a year and a half of help while they searched for work, even after state benefits ran out.

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NPR Story
4:54 pm
Mon December 2, 2013

Investigation Of New York Train Derailment Continues

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 7:12 pm

Transportation officials are investigating what caused a Metro-North Railroad passenger train to derail along the Hudson River in New York on Sunday morning. The crash left four dead and injured dozens more.

NPR Story
4:54 pm
Mon December 2, 2013

ACLU Sues, Claiming Catholic Hospitals Put Women At Risk

Archbishop Joseph William Tobin of Indianapolis prays at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' annual fall meeting in Baltimore on Nov. 12.
Patrick Semansky AP

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 7:50 pm

The American Civil Liberties Union has decided to go directly to the source of its unhappiness with the way women are treated in Catholic hospitals. It's suing the nation's Catholic bishops.

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NPR Story
4:54 pm
Mon December 2, 2013

Ukranians Face Choice Between EU And Russia

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 7:12 pm

Thousands of Ukrainian protesters blockaded government buildings in Kiev Monday seeking to oust President Viktor Yanukovich. Demonstrations over the weekend drew as many as 350,000 people in the largest rally since the Orange Revolution. The protests came after Yanukovich decided to abandon a trade deal with the European Union and instead seek closer ties with Russia. Robert Siegel talks to Steven Pifer, former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, about the political landscape in the country and its relationship with Moscow.

Mountain Stage
4:45 pm
Mon December 2, 2013

Brett Dennen On Mountain Stage

Brett Dennen performs live on Mountain Stage.
Brian Blauser Mountain Stage

Originally published on Wed July 2, 2014 9:29 am

Brett Dennen appears on this episode of Mountain Stage, recorded live at the Cultural Center Theater in Charleston, W.V. Capable of cranking out big, beautiful pop songs complete with splashy keyboards, catchy hooks and danceable beats, Dennen can strip the same songs down to just his voice and a guitar with equally captivating results.

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