Aracelis Upia Montero works at the Alta Gracia garment factory in the Dominican Republic. She says she was desperately poor before she began working at the factory, which pays much higher than usual wages. "I'm now eligible for loans and credits from the bank because I earn a good salary," she says.
Credit Jackie Northam / NPR
Workers at Alta Gracia garment factory make around $500 a month, far above the industry average, though the company has yet to break even since it opened three years ago. Its apparel is sold at hundreds of college bookstores in the U.S.
Credit Jackie Northam / NPR
Maritza Vargas heads the factory's union. "There is a quote that reads, 'From nice dreams, you wake early,' " she says. "But we don't think like that at Alta Gracia."
Aracelis Upia Montero bounds through the front door of her wood and cinderblock house, calling out for her children. The bubbly 41-year-old Montero — whom everyone calls Kuki — proudly shows guests around her cramped single-story home in Villa Altagracia in the Dominican Republic.
Montero points out her new living room furniture. In the past couple years, she has added two bedrooms and now has indoor plumbing. She has also built a little apartment at the end of her dirt driveway that she rents out.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (foreground) speaks after a meeting with President Obama at the White House on Feb. 25. With him (from left): National Governors Association Vice Chairwoman Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin, and Delaware Gov. Jack Markell.
Republican Gov. Rick Scott, who is already executing prisoners faster than any Florida governor in modern times, signed a bill Monday designed to speed up the death penalty process.
Six weeks ago, Democratic Gov. Martin O'Malley moved in the opposite direction: He signed a bill abolishing the death penalty, making Maryland the sixth state to end capital punishment in as many years.
In a reversal of the company's previous position, Microsoft announced Wednesday that its forthcoming Xbox One gaming console would no longer require a regular Internet connection and would not restrict used or shared games.
Two men in upstate New York have been arrested for planning to build a "radiation particle weapon" that could be mounted on a vehicle and used to target people, according to a report by the Albany Times-Union Wednesday. The men allegedly planned to sell the device to either the Ku Klux Klan or Jewish groups.
The world's wealthiest nations are promising to fight what they call the scourge of tax evasion. This week's meeting of the Group of Eight industrialized countries concluded with a pledge to end the use of tax shelters by multinational corporations.
But there are still big questions about how they will make a dent in the problem.
In the aftermath of the global recession, countries all over the world have struggled with budget shortfalls. More and more of them have come to blame part of their revenue problems on one culprit — tax avoidance.
You're listening to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News.
Russia, China and Uzbekistan are among the countries that the U.S. says are not doing enough to combat modern-day slavery. That was one of the many findings in the State Department's annual human trafficking report released this afternoon.
NPR's Michele Kelemen tells us more.
MICHELE KELEMEN, BYLINE: Luis CdeBaca runs the State Department's Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel. In front of Berlin's Brandenburg Gate today, President Obama stood, as he said, along the fault line where a city was divided. In a speech on the former path of the Berlin Wall, Mr. Obama said that while the barbed wire and checkpoints are gone from the city, the struggle for freedom and prosperity continues in many other parts of the world.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
In Egypt, tourism is a vital source of foreign currency. And Luxor, home to the Valley of the Kings, is vital to attracting tourists. Well, now, Egypt's minister of tourism has resigned, protesting President Mohammed Morsi's appointee to the post of provincial governor of Luxor. The new governor's party is allied to the Gamaa al-Islamiya, an extreme Islamist group that used to engage in armed insurgency and that is synonymous with the 1997 massacre of tourists in Luxor.
And not far from Luxor, on the coast of the Red Sea, is another place with great potential to attract tourists. It's called Marsa Alam. It has miles and miles of beautiful coastline, barrier coral reefs and diving spots. The town started to boom after its airport opened in 2001, but now it's an array of half-finished buildings and unfulfilled promises.
As we hear from NPR's Leila Fadel, Marsa Alam is a microcosm of the neglect that has occurred across much of Egypt since the uprising more than two years ago.
A 7-foot-tall statue of famed, lion-maned abolitionist Frederick Douglass that was dedicated Wednesday on Capitol Hill is perhaps best understood as a bronze symbol of the partisan divide in Washington and of racial politics.
The ex-slave, who later became a friend of President Abraham Lincoln, was a federal official and an important journalist of his day. It took years for a statue of him to land a spot because it became a proxy in the fight over voting rights and statehood for Washington, D.C.
Originally published on Thu June 20, 2013 10:35 am
In this edition of the new go-to guide for NPR Podcasts, we're on a mission to help you learn something. Well, not just something, but everythingby listening to the appropriately titled podcast, How To Do Everything*, hosted by Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!
Edward Snowden, the man commonly called "the NSA leaker" for his role in publishing documents that exposed a secret U.S. surveillance program, would reportedly not receive special treatment from the United Nations if he applies for asylum. The AP says Snowden is in "informal talks" with Iceland about applying for asylum there.
Anna Rodriguez tends the grave of her son, Nick. She learned shortly after Nick's death that, because his death was a suicide, his name would not be included on a local memorial to fallen soldiers. She has since found a memorial garden in York, Pa., that will add Nick's name to its memorial wall this summer.
Credit Courtesy of Anna Rodriguez
Lance Cpl. Nicholas Rodriguez joined the Marines at the age of 21. He "wanted to go and help the world in some way," says his stepfather, Michael Geiger.
Last year, more U.S. service members took their own lives than died in combat. And despite the drawdown of troops from Afghanistan, the pullout in Iraq, and hundreds of new programs designed to help troubled servicemen and women, the number of suicides continues to rise.