President Clinton prepares to sign legislation overhauling America's welfare system at the White House Rose Garden on Aug. 22, 1996. Today, the ranks of the nation's poor have swelled to a record 46.2 million — nearly 1 in 6 Americans — as the prolonged pain of the recession leaves millions still struggling and out of work.
Welfare changes in the 1990s helped slash cash benefit rolls, yet the use of food stamps is soaring today. About 15 percent of Americans use food stamps. The program has become what some call the new welfare.
A big reason why is a deal struck between President Clinton and the Republican-controlled Congress in 1996. At that time, the number of Americans who received cash payments — what's often thought of as welfare — was at an all-time high.
She closed the book, placed it on the table and finally decided to walk through the door. That's the starting sentence for Round 8 of Three-Minute Fiction. That's our contest where we ask you to write an original short story that can be read in about three minutes. Our readers from across the country are combing through all of our 6,000 submissions this round. Let's hear a sample of their favorites so far.
On Friday, TV audiences got their first taste of the media frenzy that could come with a televised Trayvon Martin trial when a Florida judge granted bail to George Zimmerman. That decision, whether to televise or not, has yet to be made.
Writer John McWhorter thinks it would be a very good thing. And in the latest issue of The New Republic, he argues that it could become a bookend to another famous and racially charged trial: the O.J. Simpson case.
It's WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Guy Raz.
President Nicolas Sarkozy and socialist rival Francois Hollande were the top vote-getters in the first round of the French presidential election today. They'll head to a runoff on May 6. NPR's Eleanor Beardsley in Paris sent us this report.
The Palisades nuclear power plant in Michigan had five unplanned shutdowns last year. It's one of the area's biggest employers, and its safety record is one of the worst in the country. Now it's trying to prove to federal regulators that it can meet their standards.
On the shores of Lake Michigan, the Palisades Power Plant is tucked in between tall sand dunes in Covert Township, Mich., at the southern edge of Van Buren State Park.
Akash Kapur is the son of an Indian father and an American mother. In 2003, after working professionally in New York City for more than a decade, he decided to return to India. As he writes in his book, India Becoming: A Portrait of Life in Modern India, he arrived in a place he hardly recognized.
An increasing number of restaurants in the U.S. display signature dishes made with Kobe beef. From Kobe steak raviolis to Kobe beef burgers, you name it, Kobe beef seems to be popping up everywhere — except it's not Kobe beef.
Food writer Larry Olmsted of Forbes.com couldn't help but notice the trend and decided to bust everyone's bubble in a three-part expose of the so-called domestic Kobe beef industry.
On Sunday morning, Formula One racing cars are competing for first place in a controversial race in the Arab kingdom of Bahrain. Violent anti-government protests have continued in the run-up to the race. Host Rachel Martin talks with Nabeel Rajab, president of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "THE BALL GAME")
SISTER WYNONA CARR: (Singing) Life is a ball game, being played each day...
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "THE BALL GAME")
MARTIN: And if it's true that life's a ball game, NPR's Mike Pesca is WEEKEND EDITION's umpire, calling the pitches and the plays as he sees them. He joins us now to talk more about sports and life and - hey, Mike.
MIKE PESCA, BYLINE: Hey. How are you doing, Rachel?