We'd probably like to think that clean, safe food goes hand in hand with pristine nature, with lots of wildlife and clean water. But in the part of California that grows a lot of the country's lettuce and spinach, these two goals have come into conflict.
Environmental advocates say a single-minded focus on food safety has forced growers of salad greens to strip vegetation from around their fields, harming wildlife and polluting streams and rivers.
With a helicopter buzzing overhead, the videotape of Rodney King's encounter with police is so famous, you could say he was beaten into American history: The image of him writhing in pain as several Los Angeles police officers repeatedly beat, kicked and tasered him is, by now, world-famous — and synonymous with abuse of power.
Children's books seem simple, but good ones are deceptively complicated to write and illustrate.
"Traditionally illustrated books are books where the text makes sense on its own. It doesn't necessarily need words," writer Martin Salisbury tells NPR's Renee Montagne, whereas with picture books, neither the text nor the images stand separately — they need each other.
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.
Staying in the middle of the country, you might have heard that America's farmers are getting older. Something else you probably know: women tend to outlive men. So do the math and what do you get? More women in charge of land and some who aren't really sure how to take care of it. So as Iowa Public Radio's Sarah McCammon reports, female conservationists are reaching out to this growing group.
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.
Originally published on Sun April 22, 2012 9:43 am
RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:
Today marks the 32nd annual London Marathon. Summer Olympic hopeful, Wilson Kipsang, won the men's race, while fellow Kenyan Mary Keitany won the women's for a second consecutive year. Others, well, Vicki Barker met the event's most seasoned veterans: the so-called Ever-Presents, who've run in all 31 previous marathons. Time is reducing their numbers, she says - but not their enthusiasm.
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?
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.
Mitt Romney, the presumptive candidate for the Republican nomination, is hiring hundreds of new staffers over the next few months. The former Massachusetts governor is still surrounded by a trusted core of senior advisers, however, and they aren't going anywhere. Host Rachel Martin talks with NPR's Ari Shapiro about the inner circle.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin.
Utah Senator Orrin Hatch survived his state's Republican nominating convention yesterday, but barely failed to get enough votes to avoid a June primary. It'll be the six-term senator's first primary in 36 years. Still, he's not complaining because convention delegates didn't toss him from the race and ultimately from the Senate. That's what they did two years ago with three-term incumbent Bob Bennett.
Have we seen the end of the Tea Party movement? New York Times reporter Kate Zernike is the author of Boiling Mad: Inside Tea Party America. Host Rachel Martin talks with Zernike about the Tea Party's current relevance and influence in the political process.
Charles "Chuck" Colson, a key figure in the Richard Nixon White House, died Saturday. Colson was the president's special counsel and went to prison for his role in the Watergate scandal. While behind bars, he embraced Christianity. As NPR's Joel Rose reports, he went on to become a central evangelical leader after his release.
The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments next week on the most divisive immigration law in recent memory. Arizona's Legislature passed SB 1070 two years ago, but much of it has been put on hold pending the court's decision.
Still, supporters say the law has achieved one of its stated goals: Thousands of illegal immigrants have self-deported, leaving the state on their own. The real reason — and consequence — of such a demographic shift may be more complex, however.
Just the arrival of Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner prompted supporters in her Peronist movement to break into chants last Monday. The event, choreographed to feel momentous, was at the presidential palace. Fernandez de Kirchner announced plans to expropriate assets of the Spanish oil firm Repsol in Argentina.
Through a window, television viewers could see a huge image of Evita Peron, the famous 1950s-era populist whose presence is deeply felt in today's government.
In his State of the Union address two years ago, President Obama argued there were a few things the U.S. needed to do in order to recover from the economic recession. One of them was to export more of our goods around the world.
"The more products we make and sell to other countries, the more jobs we support right here in America," Obama said.
That night, the president unveiled a new goal: to double U.S. exports over the next five years. It would be an increase that the president said would "support two million jobs in America."
In 2009, prosecutors in Detroit discovered more than 11,000 boxes of potential evidence in rape cases left completely unprocessed. Row upon row of what are called "rape kits" remained untouched on shelves in a police evidence room for years. No DNA evidence was extracted; no DNA evidence was used to catch or prosecute the assailants.
Since then, Wayne County prosecutor Kym Worthy has lead the effort to sort through those 11,000 rape kits and to find the funding to get them processed.
And if you're just joining us, this is WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Guy Raz. And we're going to talk about music, movies and culture now, and in particular, about something known as the 40-year rule. Adam Gopnik is with us now from New York. He's written about it for the latest issue of The New Yorker. Hello, Adam.
ADAM GOPNIK: Hey, Guy. How are you?
RAZ: I'm good. Let's explain this with a pop quiz, Adam. You know the answers. so don't give it away because this is for the listeners.
Yesterday, three members of the Secret Service resigned, bringing to six the number of agents who have lost their jobs as a result of the prostitution scandal that rattled the agency last week. Weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz speaks with news analyst James Fallows of The Atlantic about that story and others.
Originally published on Sat April 21, 2012 3:00 pm
Two years ago, Robert Bennett, a Republican senator from Utah, was voted out of office at the state's Republican convention. Bennett's friend, Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch, has worked hard over the past year to avoid the same fate at today's state convention. Weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz talks with NPR's Howard Berkes about the results of today's convention vote.
Charles Colson, who served time in prison for his role in the Watergate scandal and later became an influential evangelical Christian, has died. Colson went from being one of the nation's most despised men to a hero of conservative Christians.
Originally published on Mon April 23, 2012 4:09 am
The UK gave some support to the emerging market nations' quest for a greater role today at the IMF during the spring meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund in Washington, D.C.
Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne said the UK's $15-billion contribution to the IMF's enhanced crisis fund could not be accessed until further progress is made on giving the emerging market a greater voice in how the is Fund is run.