Nation/World

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In 1950, Isaac Asimov revolutionized how we think about robotics with his short story collection I, Robot. The world has changed a lot since then, a fact Curtis White points out — and points out, and points out — in his book We, Robots. Subtitled Staying Human in the Age of Big Data, White's book is something of a sequel to his last one, 2013's The Science Delusion, in which he stirred up controversy by using both philosophy and satire to help puncture what he sees as today's overreliance on rigid, systematic thinking and social organization.

Does It Pay To Pay Teachers $100,000?

Nov 19, 2015

We're brought up to believe our teachers are modern-day saints.

Just look at how we portray them in the movies and on TV. From Dead Poets Society's iconic Mr. Keating to resourceful LouAnne Johnson in Dangerous Minds, we reinforce time and again that teaching is a noble calling.

These teachers are heroes, we're told. It's hard to imagine them even thinking about money.

The debate over how to combat the self-declared Islamic State is increasing in the wake of the Paris attacks. There are calls for more airstrikes or putting troops on the ground in Syria. But the U.S. military says it launched an attack this week that hit the Islamic State right where it hurt.

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Julija Svetlova had already made reservations at two Paris restaurants, booked hotels and paid for the two-hour Eurostar train from her home city of London last week when she turned on the television.

"I was about to pack my luggage on Friday, and then I just sat down and started to see all the stuff happening in Paris," she says.

Svetlova and her boyfriend stayed up until 3 a.m. watching the news. Brokenhearted, they canceled their plans.

More than 560,000 people lived on the streets or in homeless shelters in the U.S. earlier this year. That number marks a 2 percent drop from the year before, according to new figures released Thursday by the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Still, some question how accurately those numbers depict the problem. There are many ways one can count who is and isn't homeless.

With President Obama's executive actions to shield up to five million immigrants from deportation now stalled in the courts, the conventional wisdom is that his proposal is a loser for the administration and the Democrats. Twenty-six states filed suit to stop him and it's safe to say an energized Republican base hasn't been enthusiastic about the president's idea.

It was a glitzy night of bow ties and bon mots in New York City. But the real attractions at the 66th annual National Book Awards were the winners themselves: Adam Johnson, in fiction; Ta-Nehisi Coates, in nonfiction; Robin Coste Lewis, in poetry; and Neal Shusterman, in young people's literature.

The U.S., Japan and other major economies have agreed to restrict public financing for coal-burning power plants built in other countries.

The agreement limits — but doesn't entirely eliminate — export financing for coal plants. (Export financing includes a variety of loans and programs to help companies doing business abroad.)

And it comes at a symbolically important moment: Major climate change talks are scheduled to begin in Paris at the end of the month, and the pact signals at least some international commitment to reducing carbon emissions.

Women around the world have narrowed the gender gap on key measures of political engagement, health, economics and education, but progress remains slow, according to a report from the World Economic Forum.

Although women are entering the workforce in large numbers, they continue to face wage inequality, and now earn what men made in 2006, said the forum's "Global Gender Gap Report 2015."

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., may not be running for president in 2016, but she was campaigning hard Wednesday to be an agenda-setting power broker.

At 9:30 a.m., she joined the left-leaning Economic Policy Institute to release the Women's Economic Agenda, a list of 12 proposals aimed at closing the gender wage gap. It covers issues such as raising the minimum wage, providing paid family leave and increasing access to child care.

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First there was "Chicago Fire," then "Chicago P.D." Last night came "Chicago Med." Chicago is taking over your TV.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

The number of international students studying at U.S. colleges and universities jumped last year — in a big way. It's up 10 percent, to roughly 975,000, according to a new report by the Institute of International Education and backed by the State Department.

In 2014-15, China was still the largest source of students with 31 percent of the total. India was in second place with nearly 14 percent. And Indian students were a big reason for the overall jump.

Every month on All Things Considered, Christian McBride sits down with host Audie Cornish to discuss, dissect and deconstruct just about everything in jazz.

At least once a week, federal defender Deirdre von Dornum travels across Brooklyn to meet with her incarcerated clients. The round trip takes three hours, on a good day.

First von Dornum rides the subway. Then she walks half a mile to the Metropolitan Detention Center, a pair of nondescript high-rise buildings on the Brooklyn waterfront. At this point, she still has to wait — sometimes for hours — for guards to bring her client down from his cell.

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With the news that one of the Paris attackers may have entered Europe posing as a refugee from Syria, more than half of American governors are now objecting to Syrian refugees being resettled in their states. On Tuesday, White House officials hosted a call with 34 governors to better explain current security screening measures. And this week, some members of Congress have called on the Obama administration to stop or at least pause the resettlement program until refugees can be properly vetted.

Note: This post was updated on February 5. As more information comes to light about Zika virus, there will be further updates.

When the French nuclear aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle reaches its position near Syria's coast, it will find what until recently might have seemed an unlikely ally: a Russian guided missile cruiser. A U.S. official says Russia is newly receptive to cooperation in Syria.

The Middle East is bursting at the seams from the Syrian refugee crisis. When I was in Lebanon's Beqaa Valley a few months ago, tension was mounting between the locals and the tens of thousands of Syrian refugees who've flooded into the area. Officials in one town were threatening to evict hundreds of Syrians living in a squalid camp in a muddy lot. Schools have been overwhelmed by Syrian students.

At least three people have been killed after a storm struck Washington state and the rest of the Pacific Northwest on Tuesday.

Heavy rain and high winds, some of which reportedly reached 100 miles per hour, ravaged the region.

John Grant On World Cafe

Nov 18, 2015

Michigan-born singer-songwriter John Grant has dealt with his share of hardship, including a rough upbringing and family life, a struggle to come to terms with his own sexuality, alcoholism and HIV. But in spite of all that, he's blossomed with three critically praised solo albums and found stability and happiness in Iceland, where he now lives.

The Islamic State's claim of responsibility for a trio of major attacks, including the assault on Paris, has led to a rapid reassessment of the extremist group and its aspirations.

Until a couple of weeks ago, ISIS appeared focused on building its self-declared caliphate, or Islamic empire, in its core areas of Syria and Iraq. But it now says it was behind attacks in France, Egypt and Lebanon that killed nearly 400 people in a two-week span.

Basic questions — like the group's goals or whether it's getting stronger or weaker — are being examined anew.

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