National News

Defiant Catalans Push Forward With Independence Vote

NPR News - Sun, 2014-11-09 03:45

Separatists in Catalonia are going ahead with an unofficial referendum on independence from Spain. They go to the polls today despite a high court order forbidding the vote.

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Richardson: Release Shows N. Korea Is Ready For Dialogue

NPR News - Sun, 2014-11-09 03:45

Two Americans jailed in North Korea have arrived home. NPR's Rachel Martin speaks with former U.S. Ambassador Bill Richardson, who has previously negotiated hostage releases with Pyongyang.

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Consultant On Homelessness: Cities Enable The Poor

NPR News - Sun, 2014-11-09 03:45

In many cities it is now illegal to feed the homeless. NPR's Rachel Martin talks to Robert Marbut, the man behind the push to make handing out food a crime, who favors getting people into programs.

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Hand-Pumped Anesthesia Could Help With Surgeries In The Dark

NPR News - Sun, 2014-11-09 03:45

Across Africa, hospitals are struggling to provide surgery. Doctors, nurses, and even basics like electricity are in short supply. Now Johns Hopkins Medical Center is testing a creative solution.

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The Case For U.S. Combat Troops In Iraq

NPR News - Sun, 2014-11-09 03:45

Airstrikes against ISIS have had some success. But James Jeffrey, Obama's former ambassador to Iraq, says Americans on the ground are necessary to win the war.

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In Brazil, Race Is A Matter Of Life And Violent Death

NPR News - Sun, 2014-11-09 03:45

In 2012, 56,337 people were murdered in Brazil. But that figure hides a color-coded truth: Homicide rates are actually way down — if you're white. If you're black? Murder rates are up 40 percent.

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Reggae Vibe, Ebola Message: African Superstars Try To Go Viral

NPR News - Sun, 2014-11-09 03:03

They're some of the most popular musicians in West Africa, joining voices to sing (mainly in French but also in some local languages) about defeating an "invisible enemy."

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New MLB Rule Cuts Home Plate Crashes, But Not Catcher Concussions

NPR News - Sun, 2014-11-09 01:38

Major League Baseball is reviewing its controversial Rule 7.13, which bans most home plate collisions. Catchers actually face a bigger head-injury risk that the rule can't prevent.

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The Cold War 'Mole' Who Smuggled 1,000 East Germans To The West

NPR News - Sun, 2014-11-09 01:32

Hasso Herschel fled East Germany in 1961 on a false passport. Over the next decade, he helped more than 1,000 East Germans flee by smuggling them through tunnels or by hiding them inside cars.

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'Chief Resilience Officers' Could Help Cities Cope With Calamity

NPR News - Fri, 2014-11-07 17:00

The Rockefeller Foundation will pay 100 cities to hire people who can help them prepare for future shocks and stresses.

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The cost of freezing your eggs

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-11-07 15:11

Apple and Facebook offered to pay, to different degrees, for employees to freeze their eggs. Citigroup says they too will provide coverage for egg freezing.

I thought, OK, I'll talk about it. Marketplace Weekend is about how the economy collides with real life. Here's how it collided with mine.

A few years back, I got sick. I have a condition called endometriosis, where uterine tissue grows in places it shouldn't. And it can make it hard to have kids. So, in between surgeries bookending a few years of my life, I froze my eggs.

It cost me $7,000, insurance covered the drugs, which were $1,800. The rest, I paid out of my own pocket. Storage runs about $300 a year.

It was scary. Painful. Expensive. And I still don't know if all that money and effort will ever be worth it, because the science is pretty new.

But, I do know that I bought myself maybe a little confidence to go forward in my career, and not worry late at night that I'm throwing away my chance to be a mother, because I love my job.

And if more companies are going to pay for women to have this expensive chance, what does that mean? Maybe greater freedom to work in your 20s and 30s?

And that brings us to this weekend's number: 4.4 percent. American women's earnings at work decrease 4 percent for every child they have, according to a study at the University of Massachusetts.

And yes, it controls for education, hours, and different types of jobs.

Weekly Wrap: Jobs report

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-11-07 14:45

Joining Kai to talk about the week's business and economic news is Nela Richardson from Redfin, and John Carney of the Wall Street Journal. The big topic this week: The unemployment report.

Click play on the audio player above to hear the whole discussion.

Loretta Lynch To Be Nominated As Next U.S. Attorney General

NPR News - Fri, 2014-11-07 14:27

A lead federal prosecutor in New York City, Lynch will be introduced by President Obama at the White House on Saturday. Her office has handled old-school Mafia busts, cutting edge cybercrime and more.

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Two Of Three States Reject Ballot Measures Restricting Abortion

NPR News - Fri, 2014-11-07 14:22

North Dakota and Colorado voters struck down the "personhood" measures, which would give legal rights to fetuses. But Tennessee's Amendment 1 passed with 53 percent of the vote.

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For Political Junkies, A (Literary) Post-Election Fix

NPR News - Fri, 2014-11-07 14:22

Post-elections, Molly Antopol and Jason Sheehan reflect on the results by turning to their favorite political books, Elect Mr. Robinson for a Better World and Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail.

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Dallas Ebola Monitoring Period Ends With An All-Clear

NPR News - Fri, 2014-11-07 14:13

In Texas, more than 100 people had been monitored for the 21-day period that marks Ebola's incubation period.

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As A New 'Doctor Who' Season Ends, Have Its Stories Matched The Hero?

NPR News - Fri, 2014-11-07 14:03

Britain's Doctor Who series finishes its first season with new hero Peter Capaldi on Saturday. TV critic Eric Deggans says Capaldi's portrayal of the Doctor is often better than the stories he's in.

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President, Lawmakers Signal Bipartisanship In Post-Election Meeting

NPR News - Fri, 2014-11-07 13:27

At a two-hour lunch meeting with leaders of both parties and both chambers, Obama said he would judge ideas not on whether they are from Democrats or Republicans but on whether they work.

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Ralph Peer: The man behind the modern music industry

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-11-07 12:40

The mythology of the early music industry in this country is filled with enterprising A&R men -- that stands for "artists & repertoire"-- men who scoped out new talent all over the country, sign contracts and make a little money. Some made piles of it. 

Ralph Peer, whose career started with wax recording cylinders and ended with vinyl LPs, was one of them. Peer was a major force behind popularizing what was then known as roots music: country, gospel, blues, and later, jazz. Those staples of American music weren't really a part of the popular music scene in the early 20th century. 

The literature on Peer is thin, though, according to Barry Mazor, limited mostly to brief mentions in the biographies of country greats he helped discover. When Peer's family approached Mazor, he got access for the first time to royalty statements, Peer's papers and letters. His ensuing book is Ralph Peer and the Making of Popular Roots Music. 

When he got into the music industry, the focus was on sheet music and songs fresh off Broadway. Genres like blues and gospel got little-to-no attention outside of churches and local dives. Then in 1920, Peer recorded Mamie Smith singing "Crazy Blues." 

 

"It was the first recording of blues sung by an African-American ever," Mazor said. "It hadn't been done."

And the record went on to sell 1 million copies. It bears repeating: this is 1920. 

"He saw something early on," Mazor said. "The reason he would bring Jimmie Rodgers or the Carter family... they were strong personalities with songs. The personality would sell the song, and then the song would sell again."

In other words, every new recording of the song, by new artists, benefitted everyone who worked on the originals. They made money off the royalties. Peer set the standard for that game. The blurbs for Mazor's book include everyone from Chuck D to Bob Dylan, Ry Cooder and Donovan. 

"Their business wouldn't be there if he hadn't been there first," Mazor said. 

How Africa's Oldest National Park Can Benefit Both Gorillas And Locals

NPR News - Fri, 2014-11-07 12:23

Virunga, a new documentary on the Congolese park, premieres Friday on Netflix. We spoke to the chief warden about endangered mountain gorillas, oil speculators and the power of tourism.

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