Originally published on Wed September 12, 2012 5:27 pm
In 2011, the poverty rate in the United States remained steady and the number of uninsured Americans decreased, the Census Bureau said today. That means that more than 46 million Americans lived below the poverty line last year.
NPR's Pam Fessler filed this report for our Newscast unit:
The numbers for West Nile virus cases continue to rise, up 35 percent in the last week. But the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is confident the nation has turned the corner on its worst-ever epidemic of West Nile virus disease.
The U.S. poverty rate last year was unchanged from the year before, according to new figures Wednesday from the Census Bureau. But that still means almost 1 in 6 Americans was poor.
The new data show that 46.2 million people in the U.S. lived below the poverty line — about $23,000 for a family of four. The number of poor was almost exactly the same as it was the year before, but still historically high.
The eurozone crisis has weighed heavily on the global economy and it will remain a central foreign-policy challenge for President Obama or Mitt Romney, whichever man wins in November. The Obama administration has repeatedly urged eurozone countries to shift their focus from austerity to growth. This week, we're focusing on foreign policy issues facing the next administration.
And NPR's Sylvia Poggioli has this story on the eurozone.
At the center of the Chicago teachers' strike are Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the head of the teachers' union, Karen Lewis. To learn more about Lewis and the relationship between the teachers' union and the mayor's office, Audie Cornish talks to Joel Hood, education reporter at the Chicago Tribune.
Every election season Republicans and Democrats tried to rally their base and to go after undecided voters. They're increasingly using the Internet in Get Out The Vote efforts.
NPR correspondent Shankar Vedantam, who reports on social science research, joins me now to talk about how Facebook could become a potent weapon in going after the biggest untapped voting bloc in the nation. Shankar, welcome.
SHANKAR VEDANTAM, BYLINE: Hi, Melissa.
BLOCK: Who are these mystery voters, this untapped voting bloc that we mentioned?
A Syrian documentary film producer whose disappearance two weeks ago prompted concerns for his safety and a letter of support from the Toronto International Film Festival is now free, according to reports.
Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 12:47 pm
This summer in Maine, I ate more lobster than at any other time I've been there – twice in one day on a couple of occasions. We lobster lovers had the glut of soft-shells, which started in June as the lobsters began to shed earlier and faster than usual, to thank for the more affordable market price of around $4 or less a pound.
Originally published on Wed September 12, 2012 6:07 pm
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev says the three jailed members of the politically radical punk rock band Pussy Riot should have their sentences commuted to time served.
"In my view, a suspended sentence would be sufficient, taking into account the time they have already spent in custody," The Associated Press quoted Medvedev as saying during a televised meeting with members of his United Russia Party.
Originally published on Thu September 13, 2012 9:07 am
The order to tighten security at all U.S. diplomatic posts around the globe following attacks in the Middle East may be necessary, but it will come at a cost.
There has been an enormous increase in security precautions at American embassies and consulates over the past 30 years, and the bubble that many diplomats now operate under makes it more difficult for them to interact with people in other countries, limiting their ability to gather information and promote the American "brand."
Ambassador Chris Stevens and four other Americans died Tuesday after a mob attacked the U.S. embassy in Benghazi, Libya in protest of a film that mocks Islam. In Egypt, protesters stormed the U.S. embassy in Cairo. These attacks raise concerns about U.S. policy in the region.
Spanish-language network Univision announced Wednesday that, along with Facebook, it will host discussions with the presidential candidates next week, calling them "the first-ever events of their kind targeting Hispanic Americans."
The "Meet the Candidate" events — featuring Republican nominee Mitt Romney on Sept. 19 and President Obama on Sept. 20 — will be held at the University of Miami and will be broadcast on Univision and streamed online in English.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan at NPR West today. We'll bring you the latest on Libya and Egypt later this hour, after the death of the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans in an attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi and an attack on the U.S. embassy in Cairo, where a mob took down the American flag.
Originally published on Wed September 12, 2012 12:35 pm
As tensions mount between China and several neighboring countries over control in the Asia-Pacific region, U.S. Sen. James Webb talks with NPR's Neal Conan about the role the United States can and should play in the growing disputes in the South China Sea.
For 18 months, while undergoing treatment for esophageal cancer, Christopher Hitchens chronicled his year of "living dyingly" in a series of essays for Vanity Fair. Those essays, as well as never-before published notes from the end of his life, are compiled in the posthumous book Mortality.
The columnist, author and avowed atheist died Dec. 15. Carol Blue, Hitchens' wife of 20 years, shares memories of her husband and moments from their final days together in the book's afterword.
Every New York story ever written or filmed falls into one of two categories. The first — like Betty Smith's A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, or the musical On the Town — regards New York as the representativeAmerican city, a jam-packed distillation of the country's dreams and nightmares.The second group views New York as a foreign place — a city off the coast of the U.S. mainland that somehow drifted away from Paris or Mars. Think every Manhattan movie ever made by Woody Allen.
Author Michael Lewis made a radical request to the White House that he says he was almost certain would be denied: He wanted to write a piece about President Obama that would put the reader in the president's shoes.
To do this, the Vanity Fair contributing editor would need inside access. So what did he propose?
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. We've been talking a lot about the economy in the past couple of weeks. The issue was at the forefront of the two political conventions that just ended and put a further exclamation point on the debate over whether Barack Obama or Mitt Romney would be the best person to address the issue.
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, he is the biographer of Langston Hughes, W.E.B. Du Bois and Jackie Robinson, and now Arnold Rampersad is the winner of a prestigious lifetime achievement award for his body of work. We'll speak with this legendary writer in just a few minutes.
This year's presidential debates have no Latino moderators on the slate. So one network is taking matters into its own hands. Univision's Jorge Ramos is set to moderate discussions with each of the major party presidential candidates. He tells host Michel Martin it's time for the Commission on Presidential Debates to move into the 21st century.
Originally published on Wed September 12, 2012 6:02 pm
Most Americans knew nothing about Innocence of Muslims. That's the film that has set the Muslim world on fire, causing protests in Egypt and Libya that led to the death of the U.S. ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens.
Originally published on Wed September 12, 2012 11:46 am
Since cholesterol-fighter Lipitor went generic late last year, the price has plunged.
You can pick up atorvastatin, the generic version of Lipitor, starting at about 50 cents a pill, if you buy a month's supply at Costco. A year ago, the brand-name version went for $3.50 and up per dose. And the brand-name pills still cost around $4.28 at Costco.
Originally published on Wed September 12, 2012 12:59 pm
Chris Stevens, the U.S. ambassador killed in an attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, was a very special diplomat. He made a career of going to difficult places and insisting that he witness tumultuous events firsthand.