Washington is awash in rumors this week that the White House is planning major changes in the way the U.S. donates food to fight hunger in some of the world's poorest countries.
It has set off an emotional debate. Both sides say they are trying to save lives.
America's policies on food aid are singularly generous — and also unusually selfish. On the generous side, the U.S. spends roughly $1.5 billion every year to send food abroad, far more than any other country.
And today's last word in business is space memorabilia.
Heritage Auction house is selling items that have gone to the moon. Astronaut Buzz Aldrin's toothbrush could be yours with the right offer.
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
OK. The bidding for this toothbrush - I hope they disinfect it - it's a light blue, Lactona tooth tip brush. The bidding starting at $9,000. The auction house is actually hoping that buyers will offer more than that.
After buying the company last year, Google decided to stop printing Frommer's travel guides. The founder of the brand now says Google has agreed to sell the company back to him. Arthur Frommer says he will continue to print the travel guides — in addition to publishing them electronically.
Steve Inskeep talks to David Wessel, economics editor of The Wall Street Journal, for a preview of what Friday's jobs report is likely to say about the U.S. economy. The stock market is setting records and though profits are up, wages are stagnant.
We've all got those strange food items in the kitchen that either bewilder or bore us: A strange can of beans bought in a pre-storm panic. Something in another language, gifted as a souvenir. Bulk items purchased for an ambitious recipe, used exactly once.
And usually, those things just sit there ... forever. But what if you could ask a bunch of people, "Hey, what do I do with this?"
Relations between the United States and Russia are testier than they have been in years. The two nations are at odds over human rights, the civil war in Syria and even the adoption of Russian orphans by American families.
But former American diplomats say things aren't as bad as they may seem. They say the two countries should work together on economic and security issues.
Four former U.S. ambassadors to the Soviet Union and Russia were in Moscow this week for talks with their counterparts, former Russian ambassadors to the United States.
It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.
ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
And I'm Robert Siegel.
When political instability and friction in Egypt turn violent, the country makes news and commentators reflect on the hard chill that has come of the Arab Spring two years on. But an equally important, if not quite so dramatic, test for Egypt's leadership is taking place not on the streets but in negotiations with the International Monetary Fund.
Sen. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, considered among the most vulnerable of the Senate's red-state Democrats facing 2014 re-election, now has at least one potential Republican opponent, Rep. Bill Cassidy, whose congressional district includes Baton Rouge.
With one-quarter of adults over age 45 taking cholesterol-lowering statin drugs, it figures that more than a few people would have trouble sticking with the program.
More than a few, actually.
A big new study of statin use in the real world found that 17 percent of patients taking the pills reported side effects, including muscle pain, nausea, and problems with their liver or nervous system.
That's a lot higher than the 5 to 10 percent reported in the randomized controlled trials that provided evidence for regulatory approval of the medicines.
There's been a significant shift in international aid in recent years. Less money is coming from large donor nations and more is coming from private foundations, corporations, even countries that only a few years ago were recipients of aid themselves.
An international team of researchers announced in Switzerland on Wednesday that an experiment on the International Space Station may have seen hints of something called dark matter. The finding could be a milestone in the decades-long search for the universe's missing material.
Only a tiny sliver of stuff in the universe is visible to scientists; the rest is dark matter. Researchers don't know what it is, but they know it's there. Its gravity pulls on the things we can see.
Legal troubles keep mounting for hedge fund manager Steven Cohen and his firm SAC Capital. Today, an appeals court judge in New York reinstated a lawsuit filed by his ex-wife, accusing Cohen of fraud. Last week, one of his top lieutenants was charged with insider trading and he was the fifth person with the firm to face arrest.
Still, as NPR's Jim Zarroli reports, U.S. officials have so far failed to bring charges against Cohen himself.
Originally published on Wed April 3, 2013 11:14 pm
Manufacturing in the U.S. still uses the most energy. But its share has been decreasing. That's partly because we've moved from energy-intensive manufacturing to a more service-based economy. And also partly because of a slowing population growth and improving energy efficiency.
The United States said it was sending its Terminal High Altitude Area Defense System to Guam in the coming weeks.
The move to deploy the missile defense system comes in response to continued heated rhetoric from North Korea. The BBC reports:
"The Pentagon said in a statement the missile system would be moved to Guam as a 'precautionary move to strengthen our regional defence posture against the North Korean regional ballistic missile threat.'
At least 53 people were killed today in Afghanistan after "suicide bombers disguised as Afghan soldiers stormed a courthouse in Farah province in a failed bid to free more than a dozen Taliban," USA Today reports.
Originally published on Wed April 24, 2013 11:59 am
We got a lot of great suggestions when we asked readers to tell us their picks for the perfect pair of headphones last week. We also learned a lot. For example, you all know way more about this than I do.