NPR News

The economic impact of a major new museum

Sep 23, 2016
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Nancy Marshall-Genzer

The National Museum of African American History and Culture is a somber and celebratory look at the history of African-Americans in this country.  

It’s expected to draw huge crowds. And they’ll be bringing their wallets.

There’s a pretty straightforward way to analyze a museum’s economic impact. Analysts check out what people spend getting to the museum and how much money they drop there.

Back in the 1980s, Davao City was a largely lawless city on the largely lawless island of Mindanao, known to the wider world mostly for its Muslim and communist insurgencies.

Hip-hop artist Amisho Baraka, who performs as Sho Baraka, is one African-American man who feels left out by both major political parties — and he says this will affect his vote come November.

American lives have been getting steadily longer, and since the 1960s that trend has been driven mostly by a remarkable reduction in heart disease. But those improvements have slowed dramatically. Scientists are now wondering whether we're approaching the end of the trend of longer, healthier lives.

That's because the steady decline in heart disease is fading.

Almost two decades ago, Dr. Lars Aanning sat on the witness stand in a medical malpractice trial and faced a dilemma.

The South Dakota surgeon had been called to vouch for the expertise of one of his partners whose patient had suffered a stroke and permanent disability after an operation. The problem was that Aanning had, in his own mind, questioned his colleague's skill. His partner's patients had suffered injuries related to his procedures. But Aanning understood why his partner's attorney had called him as a witness: Doctors don't squeal on doctors.

Keeping The Dead In Their Place

Sep 23, 2016

Runaway coffins. It's an issue floating to the surface with increasing frequency in Louisiana. It happened again last month when two feet of rain fell in less than 72 hours in some parts of the state. Towns were flooded — as were their cemeteries.

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Lane Wallace

Hillary Clinton’s campaign is out with a proposal to raise the estate tax for the largest estates. She’d already suggested an expansion of the tax; new details appeared on her website Thursday proposing to up the top rate to 65 percent.

Manufacturing lags overall economy

Sep 23, 2016
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Mitchell Hartman

Manufacturing has been a lagging economic sector in the past year. 

The biggest problem for the sector right now, said economist Steve Murphy at Capital Economics, is the strong U.S. dollar. It makes U.S. exports more expensive for overseas companies and consumers, and puts competing suppliers from countries with weaker currencies at an advantage.

Murphy said the strong dollar began taking a toll on U.S. manufacturers in early 2016. And even automobile production can’t be counted on to spark a rebound in manufacturing, he said. 

How a gas shortage got worse with panic buying

Sep 23, 2016
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Emily Siner

If you drove past a gas station in Nashville last weekend, you might have seen bags over the pumps or else a really long line of cars. Not even minor celebrities were spared.

At an Exxon station on Monday — which had gas and no lines — Tennessee Titans punter Brett Kern was finally filling up. His car was almost on empty.

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Ueslei Marcelino/Reuters

For more than 50 years, Cuba was an enemy of the United States. But not every American has seen Cuba as a threat.  

“You know, I tell folks all the time, I wake up every morning worried about something, but being invaded by Cuba is not one of them,” says Larry Wooten, president of the North Carolina Farm Bureau.

Israelis are closely following the US election, but in newspapers read by ultra-Orthodox Jews, there are no photos of Hillary Clinton — and some editors say that won't change, even if she becomes president.

Beni Rabinovich, a staff writer at the Yated Neeman newspaper, says publishing pictures of Clinton just isn’t done at his daily.

“If we write about Clinton and Trump, it’s much easier to run a picture of Trump,” Rabinovich says.

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Courtesy Project Runway

Fashion designer Roberi Parra is familiar with widespread shortages of food, supplies, and medicine. But as a contestant on this season's "Project Runway," he's a world away from his hometown of Caracas, Venezuela. 

The show's first episode featured a surprise challenge: The hosts of the series welcome the designers at a launch party. The designers are then a bit startled to learn that the decor for the party will also serve as materials for their looks.

The Amazon series Transparent is about a transgender woman named Maura who for decades was known to her kids as Mort, or Dad. Actor Jeffrey Tambor plays Maura and has just won a second Emmy for his performance. "When those roles come along, you don't run away," he tells NPR's Kelly McEvers. "It's a perfect role, you know? I thought I was gonna do Lear, but I'm gonna do Maura."

The shooting of Keith Lamont Scott, a 43-year-old African-American man, by Charlotte, N.C., police is under investigation and the circumstances are very much in dispute, but when you listen to protesters, you hear that their frustration isn't about just this one case.

Yahoo has revealed that it suffered a massive cyber breach in late 2014, which the company believes resulted in theft of information about the accounts of at least 500 million users.

The Internet responded in stride — as it has to all recent Yahoo-related news — with the regular tide of jokes about Yahoo's dinosaur status.

It's almost a year to the day since world leaders committed to meeting 17 "Sustainable Development Goals" by 2030, from wiping out extreme poverty to fighting disease and inequality.

Perhaps they should have added an 18th goal — compiling all the data needed to achieve the other goals.

This data gap has been the talk among advocates for the poor this week as the U.N. General Assembly's current session got underway. It was at last year's General Assembly that the 17 goals were set.

In 1970, archaeologists excavating the site of an ancient synagogue in Israel dug up a cylindrical lump of charcoal that looked like the remains of a scroll.

The animal-skin document was badly burned and battered. It was so delicate, just touching its surface sent pieces flaking off. To attempt to read it by unwrapping the layers would be to destroy the artifact forever. For curious scholars hoping to know what was written inside, the so-called En-Gedi scroll was a hopeless enigma.

Until now.

For all the international furor over genetically modified food, or GMOs, the biotech industry has really only managed to put a few foreign genes into food crops.

The first of these genes — actually, a small family of similar genes — came from a kind of bacteria called Bacillus thuringiensis, or Bt. Those genes make plants poisonous to certain insect pests.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Syrian President Bashar Assad blamed the U.S. for the collapse of a fragile cease-fire earlier this week and denied carrying out well-documented human rights abuses, such as besieging civilians or using chemical weapons against them.

Betty Shelby, the Tulsa Police Department officer who shot and killed Terence Crutcher, is being charged with first-degree manslaughter in the case, Tulsa County District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler says.

Kunzweiler announced the charge Thursday afternoon, six days after Crutcher died in a controversial encounter that was captured on video by a police helicopter camera and dashboard cameras.

Chinese officials are under fire after a local government tried to repair a section of the Great Wall by apparently just paving it over. Now, a centuries-old stretch of the wall looks more like a gray sidewalk than a global treasure.

"The five-mile stretch of wall in northeast Liaoning province is known as a particularly scenic part of the 'wild wall,' " NPR's Anthony Kuhn reports from Beijing. "Its towers and parapets are partially crumbled by seven centuries of wind and rain."

Take a look at this video:

If a word is spelled correctly, the pigeon has been taught to peck at the word. If it's spelled incorrectly, the pigeon is supposed to peck at the star. When it gets it right, the machine hands it some food.

A group of researchers from New Zealand were able to train four pigeons to consistently — with 70 percent accuracy — recognize dozens of words. The smartest pigeon learned about 60 words that it could distinguish from about 1,000 nonwords.

There’s just over a week left in Major League Baseball’s regular season. But only one team — the Chicago Cubs — has clinched a playoff berth.

That means the race for the postseason, both division winners and wild card hopefuls, is reaching a crescendo.

Here & Now‘s Meghna Chakrabarti speaks with Here & Now sports analyst Mike Pesca about how the end of the season is shaping up.

As presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump get ready for their first debate Monday night, Here & Now looks at some of the highlights in the history of presidential debates.

The first Clinton-Trump debate falls on the anniversary of the first-ever televised presidential debate, between Republican Richard Nixon and Democrat John F. Kennedy, on Sept. 26, 1960.

Providing details on a large hacking case, Yahoo says it believes "information associated with at least 500 million user accounts was stolen." The company says its investigation suggests the stolen data doesn't include payment and bank account information, which it says are stored in a different system.

Yahoo suspects that a "state-sponsored actor" performed the hack, stealing users' account information from the company network late in 2014.

Many of the signs say "Black lives matter," some read "No justice, no peace." And some have a simple directive:

"Release the tapes."

As demonstrators in Charlotte, N.C., take to the streets to protest the fatal police shooting of Keith Lamont Scott, one of their demands is for law enforcement to show the public video footage of the encounter that led to Scott's death.

Ruling on a lawsuit filed by a state's Democratic attorney general against its Republican governor, the Kentucky Supreme Court says Gov. Matt Bevin doesn't have the authority to unilaterally slice money out of a state university's budget.

From member station WUKY in Lexington:

North Korea has 28 websites

Sep 22, 2016
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Kai Ryssdal

We've been talking today about the big Yahoo hack affecting a half-billion users.

A hack like this would never happen in North Korea — besides the whole "totalitarian state" thing, we learned this week that the country effectively has 28 websites. For perspective, there are 140 million .com and .net sites.

Until Sept. 19, if diners had wanted to see Yelp reviews for Elizabeth, N.J., restaurant First American Fried Chicken, they would have found just two of them, praising the food, wide selection and late hours. Now, the majority of reviews give the restaurant one star, refer to the owners as "terrorists," talk about "72 virgin bucket specials" and mention — repeatedly — that their chicken is "the bomb."

Charlotte's economy is strong but inequality remains

Sep 22, 2016
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Marketplace

Charlotte, N.C. is recovering from a second night of protests over the police shooting of 43-year-old Keith Scott, an African-American man  on Tuesday. Tear gas was used, businesses were damaged and Governor Pat McCrory has issued a state of emergency.

During Wednesday night’s protests, Aria Tuscan Grill evacuated all 40 of its guests.

“Because our ventilation started pumping the tear gas into the restaurant,” said Andrew Shook,  the restaurant's assistant general manager.

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