Robert Siegel speaks with local political leader Patricia Bynes of Ferguson, Mo., about the clashes between residents and police taking place there since the weekend. Unrest erupted after an unarmed black teenager was shot and killed by police recently in the St. Louis suburb.
The community of Ferguson, Mo., remains on edge after a police shooting left an unarmed black teenager dead over the weekend. Clashes have erupted between protesters and police, and an officer was involved in another shooting overnight.
After a long period of supporting Islamist militants like the Islamic State, Turkish towns along the Syrian border are now cracking down. Souad Mekhennet co-wrote a story in The Washington Post about the formerly friendly attitude and its reversal. She speaks with Robert Siegel.
The era of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki appears to be coming to an end after eight turbulent years. Haider al-Abadi, the man set to replace him, is not a previously well-known figure. NPR's Alice Fordham has interviewed him, and she tells Melissa Block more about him.
The International Mathematical Union has announced the four winners of its prestigious Fields Medal. The group includes Maryam Mirzakhani, the first woman to win the prize in its long history.
The Ebola outbreak has taken a particularly high toll on health workers, with more than 100 cases of health workers infected with the disease. West Africans are now requesting access to experimental drugs that have been used on Western health workers.
You might have heard a lot recently about non-Asian people donning makeup or clothing to appear Asian. But why is it that we're seeing so much of this phenomenon, widely referred to as "yellowface"?
The man running third in the race to be Brazil's next president has died in a plane crash. Eduardo Campos' small plane crashed in bad weather south of Sao Paulo as it was preparing to land.
Paid paternity leave is a luxury in the U.S. Just 10 to 15 percent of employers offer it, even though an increasing number of fathers want, and expect, time off with a new child.
Flood warnings are still in effect for other parts of New England after an early-morning downpour jeopardized commuters in New York. One town has been hit with more than a foot of rain.
Even though they are bad for state budgets and aren't necessarily good bargains, Americans love sales-tax holidays. Retailers like them too, because the tax holidays motivate consumers.
“It can be a pretty significant increase in traffic in the store and sales,” says Jim Sluzewski, a spokesman for Macy’s.
So why are tax holidays so popular?
“There’s absolutely a psychological impact here that is bigger than the money,” says Craig Shearman, spokesman for the National Retail Federation.
He says consumers generally hold out for sales offering at least 25 percent off.
“If retailers were to offer 5 or 10 percent off, consumers would laugh at them,” says Shearman. “But when shoppers can save that same 5 or 10 percent by virtue of not paying tax, it goes way beyond the amount of money involved.”
While consumers save money at the cash register, it’s really the states that pay.
“The first time I heard about a state tax holiday, I laughed until I cried,” says Verenda Smith, deputy director at the Federation for Tax Administrators, an association of state tax agencies.
There are 27 tax holidays this year.
“They’re expensive. They tend to distort the economy a little bit. But people love ‘em,” says Smith.
If tax holidays disappeared, would retailers lose much business?
Joy Hyrons, who handles accounting for Miller’s School Supplies in central Florida, says not necessarily.
“Well, to be honest with you, it probably wouldn’t make a whole lot of difference because the people have to purchase these items anyway,” says Hyrons.
A geographical analysis of comments to the Federal Communications Commission shows wide disparities on the issue of an open Internet.