For 50 years, the taco has been a staple of American life. It's in school lunches and Michelin-star restaurants. It even helped launch the food truck craze. So how did the taco come to loom so large in American bellies?
Originally published on Mon April 23, 2012 5:39 pm
ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
And I'm Melissa Block.
President Obama toured the U.S. Holocaust Museum in Washington today joined by Holocaust survivor, author and Nobel Laureate, Elie Wiesel. Mr. Obama said the U.S. must never again allow such atrocities to take place.
As NPR's Don Gonyea reports, the president also announced new tools to punish countries that use technology to track and target their citizens.
The historic wave of migration from Mexico to the United States, which over four decades brought 12 million immigrants to the country, has come to a standstill. That's what a new Pew Hispanic Center study released today found.
Here's one thing Mitt Romney and Marco Rubio did not address at that meeting today. It's an idea Rubio has floated recently: an alternative to the DREAM Act. That's the measure backed by the White House which would create a path to citizenship for young people brought to the country illegally so long as they go to college or serve in the military. The bill never made it out of Congress. NPR's Tamara Keith explains Rubio's version.
Originally published on Fri April 27, 2012 7:48 am
Journalists make for a pretty tough crowd.
But Dr. Otis Brawley, chief medical officer for the American Cancer Society, fired up hundreds of them at the annual meeting of Association of Health Care Journalists over the weekend with a no-holds-barred critique of the U.S. health system.
Originally published on Tue April 24, 2012 5:23 am
There were lots of comments on this blog regarding my recent stories about making salads safer. Many of those comments argued that the solution is to grow your own. Or at least buy from local farmers.
Which raises an interesting question: Are salad greens from your local farmer's market actually safer than packaged lettuce from thousands of miles away? And should the same safety rules apply to both?
Three years ago, just moments before sledgehammers ripped through an abandoned home in Chicago, the head of a demolition crew decided to save the contents of an old steamer trunk stored in the attic.
"They were about to demolish it because they couldn't get it down the stairs," says Rufus McDonald, who gathered what was inside the steamer trunk — documents and old books — and took them to a rare-book dealer in Chicago.
"He said, 'Do you know who this is?' I said, 'Nah, who is it?' He said, 'It's Richard Theodore Greener," McDonald recalls. "I said, 'Who is he?' "
Facebook didn't necessarily make Tanja Hollander lonely, per se, but it did make her curious. It was a little over two years ago when she looked at that number representing "friends," 626 in her case, and started to analyze it.
Originally published on Mon April 23, 2012 1:39 pm
Six men wearing bright orange prison jumpsuits appeared in a D.C. courtroom today, seeking to overturn their decades-old convictions in a brutal murder by arguing the Justice Department failed to turn over critical evidence that could have helped them assert their innocence.
Originally published on Mon April 23, 2012 2:37 pm
The trustees in charge of nation's Social Security program said a sagging economy has hit the program hard. The program's trust fund, which goes mostly to retirees, said the trustees, will run dry by 2033.
The AP reports "Medicare's finances have stabilized but the program's hospital insurance fund is still projected to run out of money in 2024."
The AP analyzed government data and came up with this stunning figure: "Half of young college graduates [are] either jobless or underemployed in positions that don't fully use their skills and knowledge."
The whole story is worth a read, so we encourage you to click over, but here is the meat of the AP's analysis:
President Obama announced a set of new sanctions that target "Syria and Iran and the 'digital guns for hire' who help them oppress their people with surveillance software and monitoring technology," the AFP reports.
The president made the announcement during a visit to the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington. His visit was the first as president.
The forces on the unmanned hypersonic glider tested last summer by the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) were so great that large parts of its skin peeled off causing its emergency system to plunge it into the ocean.
As we reported last August, the Falcon HTV-2 "was shot up on a rocket and right at the edge of space, it separated and glided through the atmosphere at 13,000 mph."
If you're into images of Earth taken from space, NASA has a new video for you. Called Walking on Air, it "features a series of time lapse sequences photographed by the Expedition 30 crew aboard the International Space Station" and is set to the song Walking in the Air by Howard Blake.
Activist Van Jones served as special adviser to President Obama on green jobs. He resigned in 2009 after media reports questioned his beliefs about the 9/11 attacks. Now, Jones is back with a new book, Rebuild the Dream, outlining his vision for the progressive movement. He speaks with host Michel Martin.
Originally published on Mon April 23, 2012 9:00 am
While the headlines proclaim that thanks to a new draft agreement the U.S. will continue to defend Afghanistan for a decade after the planned 2014 withdrawal of foreign combat forces from that country, the stories themselves make clear that many of the key details remain to be worked out:
Originally published on Mon April 23, 2012 9:17 am
A British winemaker has finally been given official approval to release a limited-edition wine made in collaboration with Malbec grape growers in Argentina, on one condition: It can't sell the wine, or label it a Malbec. Actually, it can't even call it wine at all.
The Chapel Down winery's only option for getting rid of its wine is to give it away as a sample, calling it a "fruit-derived alcoholic beverage from produce sourced outside the EU."
Originally published on Mon April 23, 2012 7:46 am
Within the next few days, several more Secret Service agents will lose their jobs because of their roles in the so-called summit scandal during which they allegedly cavorted with prostitutes in Colombia earlier this month, the chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security said this morning.
"Far-right National Front candidate Marine Le Pen" now has a chance to swing the French presidential election, as France 24 reports, after pulling in 18 percent of the ballots in the first round of voting Sunday.
Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. A precious piece of his childhood is going back to a teenager in Japan. Misaki Murakami and his family lost everything in last year's tsunami. But waves carried his soccer ball, covered in notes from third grade friends, to a beach in Alaska. David Baxter found it there and his Japanese wife translated the writing, including the teenager's name. It will be the first bit of North American tsunami debris officially returned to Japan. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
Just after midnight earlier today, George Zimmerman — the man at the center of a killing that has become a national story because of its racial overtones — was released from the Sanford, Fla., jail where he was being held while awaiting trial.
As a part of Earth Day celebrations, performance artist Alison Knowles took salad making to the extreme in New York City. Knowles chopped romaine lettuce, carrots and cucumbers to the beat of live music. She then tossed the avalanche of salad off a balcony into a giant tarp, where the salad was served up to audience members.
Later this week, we get some key data to help judge the state of the nation's housing market. There are some early signs of recovery, but home prices are still falling in many areas, as NPR's Chris Arnold reports.
CHRIS ARNOLD, BYLINE: Tomorrow, we'll get the latest word on home prices from what's called the S&P Case-Shiller index. That keeps showing price declines in many areas. Though those price drops have been leveling off, so things definitely aren't as bad as they were.