National News

Historian Says Don't 'Sanitize' How Our Government Created The Ghettos

NPR News - Thu, 2015-05-14 11:16

Historian Richard Rothstein studies residential segregation in America. His conclusion: "federal, state and local governments purposely created racial boundaries in these cities."

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Face-to-face transactions at the farmer's market

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2015-05-14 11:01

Transactions are getting quicker, easier, more digital, less personal. At convenience stores and even grocery stores you can check yourself out. In a growing number of stores, you can pay with your phone

Sometimes, simple transactions come at a cost.

But one marketplace remains mostly unchanged by technology and mostly un-marred by fees: the farmer's market. There, you can still find tables piled high with fresh fruits and veggies, see the same familiar faces selling flowers or handmade soaps, try hummus and dips made the day before, and interact with the farmers who grew your food. 

Even though an increasing number of market's accept food stamps, prices are higher than what you'd find at a typical grocery store. Still, there are deals to be had — sometimes if you're willing to haggle a little bit, other times if you're willing to buy in bulk. 

At the farmer's market in Los Angeles, we brought $20 and left with pounds of strawberries -- enough for two pies -- seven avocados, a half-dozen eggs, two nectarines and two donut peaches, the first stone fruit of the season. 

A few tips for how to make the most of your money at the farmer's market:

  • Buy in bulk: if you have a vendor you like, buy a few things from them, they're more likely to throw in something extra or knock a dollar off the price
  • Don't pick out your own fruit: ask the farmer what's ripe, and if they have time, have them pick out what you're looking for. You'll end up with the best tasting fruit, and if you ask for "$4 worth of ____" instead of picking it out yourself and having them weigh it later, you'll stay on budget. 
  • Buy in season. Produce is cheapest when it's in season, no matter where you're buying. 
  • Try things! Take advantage of free samples and deals on new products or seasonal specials. 

What NATO Diplomats Do On Their Downtime: Sing 'We Are The World'

NPR News - Thu, 2015-05-14 11:00

NATO foreign ministers in Antalya, Turkey, were persuaded at the end of their meeting this week to join in a rendition of the '80s-era pop anthem. At last check, they were all keeping their day jobs.

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Greece Says It Won't Take U.K. To Court For Return Of Elgin Marbles

NPR News - Thu, 2015-05-14 10:41

Athens says taking the matter to the International Criminal Court would take too long and the outcome would be uncertain. Instead he says Greece will use diplomatic channels for their return.

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Kay Cannon on writing the hit 'Pitch Perfect'

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2015-05-14 10:35

When "Pitch Perfect," the film about a female college a cappella group came out in 2012, it was considered a surprise hit at the box office. When its writer, Kay Cannon, heard that the studio wanted to do a sequel, she says she was not only terrified, but,  "I thought I was going to barf.”

Cannon has a background in improve. She performed at Second City in Chicago, and later in Las Vegas. She credits Tina Fey for launching her career as a writer.

“I started writing because I wasn’t getting things as an actor," she says. "I wasn’t like pretty enough to be the ingénue, I wasn’t 'character' enough to be the goofball sidekick, I’m kind of ethnically ambiguous.”

She says she decided, “I’ve got to literally write my own ticket.”

And that’s where Fey comes in. Fey read some of Cannon’s work and asked her to be a writer on "30 Rock." It came with a caveat though. Fey asked Cannon if they’d still be friends if Fey had to fire the unexperienced writer. Cannon replied, “I look forward to the day you fire me.”

Since then, Cannon’s added credits for "New Girl" and "Cristela" to her resume. "Pitch Perfect" was her first feature film.

“In a practical sense, it was absolutely easier to write the second one than the first one. On a personal level, I lost my father and had a baby,” Cannon says.

The first film took her four years to write but with the sequel, she was on deadline.

“I was just happy the first one got made," she says. "And then to see the reactions of everybody, it does feel like there’s an anticipation for this movie. It’s very exciting.”

Kay Cannon on writing the hit Pitch Perfect

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2015-05-14 10:35

When "Pitch Perfect," the film about a female college a cappella group came out in 2012, it was considered a surprise hit at the box office. When its writer, Kay Cannon, heard that the studio wanted to do a sequel, she says she was not only terrified, but,  "I thought I was going to barf.”

Cannon has a background in improve. She performed at Second City in Chicago, and later in Las Vegas. She credits Tina Fey for launching her career as a writer.

“I started writing because I wasn’t getting things as an actor," she says. "I wasn’t like pretty enough to be the ingénue, I wasn’t 'character' enough to be the goofball sidekick, I’m kind of ethnically ambiguous.”

She says she decided, “I’ve got to literally write my own ticket.”

And that’s where Fey comes in. Fey read some of Cannon’s work and asked her to be a writer on "30 Rock." It came with a caveat though. Fey asked Cannon if they’d still be friends if Fey had to fire the unexperienced writer. Cannon replied, “I look forward to the day you fire me.”

Since then, Cannon’s added credits for "New Girl" and "Cristela" to her resume. "Pitch Perfect" was her first feature film.

“In a practical sense, it was absolutely easier to write the second one than the first one. On a personal level, I lost my father and had a baby,” Cannon says.

The first film took her four years to write but with the sequel, she was on deadline.

“I was just happy the first one got made," she says. "And then to see the reactions of everybody, it does feel like there’s an anticipation for this movie. It’s very exciting.”

VIDEO: Migrants Adrift In Andaman Sea After Thailand Turns Them Away

NPR News - Thu, 2015-05-14 10:33

Malaysia and Indonesia have also turned away the Rohingya who have fled persecution in Myanmar. The migrants also include Bangladeshis who are escaping poverty in their country.

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Lawmakers Spar Over Whether Amtrak Funding Cut Matters

NPR News - Thu, 2015-05-14 10:27

"It's not about funding. The train was going twice the speed limit," said House Speaker John Boehner. Democrats advocated for an amendment that would fund advanced technology.

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Why A Philadelphia Grocery Chain Is Thriving In Food Deserts

NPR News - Thu, 2015-05-14 10:04

Brown's Super Stores operates seven profitable supermarkets in low-income neighborhoods in Philadelphia. The founder says it's because he figured out what communities needed in a neighborhood store.

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Jeb Bush Fully Walks Back On Iraq: 'I Would Not Have Gone Into Iraq'

NPR News - Thu, 2015-05-14 09:51

After days of shifting positions on whether he would have gone to war in Iraq, even knowing what we know now, Jeb Bush did an about-face, saying definitively that he would not have gone in.

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Tech IRL: Mobile transactions and Apple Pay

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2015-05-14 09:18

Weeks after the release of the Apple Watch and months after the introduction of the iPhone 6, 6 Plus and Apple Pay, more store and banks are signing on to offer mobile payments though Apple's service. 

Mastercard, Visa and American Express already support Apple Pay, and Discover will soon join the club. And the list of banks and retailers who accept Apple's mobile payments is growing: You can use Apple Pay at McDonald's or Whole Foods, in Coca-Cola vending machines and at the JetBlue terminal in New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles airports. 

Apple Pay has been touted as being more secure and more convenient than swiping a credit card, but has faced some questions about security when the onus is on banks to verify accounts. It's also had issues with acceptance in stores that are pushing their own mobile retail services, like CVS, Walmart, and until recently, Best Buy. 

As more U.S. businesses make the move toward mobile payments and Apple Pay, the service is looking for even more reach: integration into Las Vegas businesses and a move to China. 

To hear more about Apple Pay and where it's headed, tune in using the player above. 

The Curious World Of Baseball Re-Enactors

NPR News - Thu, 2015-05-14 09:03

When John Coray and other vintage "ballists" gather to compete using 19th century rules and trappings, the base ball diamond becomes a field of dreamers.

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A Fungus Causes More Unexpected Illnesses In Montana

NPR News - Thu, 2015-05-14 08:50

The infectious disease world is not short on surprises. Take the people in Montana and Idaho who looked like they had pneumonia. It turned out they had a fungal disease never before seen there.

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Nepal's Peaceful Revolution: Citizens Rise Up To Aid Mountain Villages

NPR News - Thu, 2015-05-14 08:43

Villages and towns in the Himalayan foothills are the hardest hit. This week's aftershock made it even more challenging to get aid to those in need. But ordinary folks are figuring out how to help.

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Death Toll In Amtrak Derailment Rises To 8, As Another Body Is Found

NPR News - Thu, 2015-05-14 08:23

Philadelphia Fire Commissioner Derrick J. V. Sawyer said another body had been found by crews on Thursday morning. All people believed aboard the train have now been accounted for.

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Why Do Most Galaxies Die? It's A Case Of Strangulation, Scientists Say

NPR News - Thu, 2015-05-14 08:23

A team in England looked at thousands of galaxies that had stopped forming stars and determined that the vast majority of them showed signs that their stellar fuel supply had been choked off.

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VIDEO: College Democrat Tells Gov. Jeb Bush, 'Your Brother Created ISIS'

NPR News - Thu, 2015-05-14 08:15

Ivy Ziedrich, 19, challenged the potential presidential candidate on his assertion that the Sunni extremist group was the result of the U.S. pulling out of Iraq.

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Are You Smarter Than A 15-Year-Old?

NPR News - Thu, 2015-05-14 08:04

The results are out: 15-year-olds who took a skills assessment test had a hard time with it, no matter where they live. See how you might fare with some sample questions.

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Taking Aim At Money In Politics, Feingold Announces Comeback Bid

NPR News - Thu, 2015-05-14 07:36

Former Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., announced Thursday he would seek a rematch with Republican Sen. Ron Johnson in one of the top-targeted races of 2016.

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