The New Jersey governor now in the middle of a political scandal over George Washington bridge lane closures has a reputation for hardball politics.
He’s stripped a former governor of his police escort, he’s pulled funding for a political scientist who declined to endorse Republican redistricting plans, and his office has pressured prosecutors who were investigating a Republican sheriff and fundraiser.
The Obama administration has designated five regions around the country as “promise zones” — areas where the administration will focus on closing the gap between rich and poor by creating jobs and strengthening existing poverty-cutting programs.
This comes 50 years after President Lyndon Johnson declared an “unconditional war on poverty.”
Derek Thompson, business editor for The Atlantic, joins Here & Now’s Robin Young to explain how “promise zones” work.
Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 6:26 pm
Amiri Baraka, the writer who was born LeRoi Jones, has died at age 79. Baraka's career spanned art and activism: He was an influential poet and an award-winning playwright who didn't shy away from social criticism and politics.
"Baraka had long struggled with diabetes, but it was not immediately clear what the cause of death was," reports the New Jersey Star-Ledger. The author and activist was a native of Newark.
Georgia is fighting the health care law at every political turn.
Gov. Nathan Deal, a Republican, chose not to expand Medicaid, despite the increased federal funding made possible by the Affordable Care Act. And Ralph Hudgens, the state's insurance commissioner, publicly vowed to obstruct the law.
But that doesn't mean that Georgia isn't seeing some financial benefits from the law.
Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 4:19 pm
What New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said Thursday may have mattered less than how long he took to say it.
With his presidential ambitions and, potentially, his governorship put at risk by a scandal over lane closures on the George Washington Bridge, the Republican Christie fielded dozens of questions from reporters during a midday news conference that lasted nearly two hours.
Originally published on Mon January 13, 2014 9:06 am
Maybe your bucket list includes taking a hot air balloon ride. Sounds lovely. But before floating aloft, please note that coming back to Earth can hurt.
Almost half of the 169 hot air balloon crashes reported from 2000 to 2011 in the U.S. involved tourist flights, and 83 percent of the 78 tourist crashes caused at least one serious or fatal injury, a study finds. Five people died.
Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 5:04 pm
We've been following the coronal mass ejection that headed toward Earth after an intense solar flare was emitted from the sun earlier this week. And now NASA tells us that such events can be heard, in a sense, by tuning in to CRaTER Radio, a "sonification" project that uses data from NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter to generate musical sounds and stream them on the Internet.
NSA's John Inglis compares what Edward Snowden did to arson
The National Security Agency "would welcome" the creation of a public advocate's position at the court that oversees its electronic surveillance programs, said its outgoing deputy director.
John C. "Chris" Inglis, who retires Friday after more than seven years as the NSA's No. 2, told Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep that "I would only put the caveat on there that it needs to be operationally efficient."
In journalism, a stringer is a freelance reporter or photographer who gets paid on the basis of each story or picture sold. So, much of the time there's no regular salary, no living allowance, and often, no travel subsidy. It's a tough way to make a living; especially since the competition in a major market like New York or London is prohibitively fierce. The trick for a young journalist is to find a location rich in material but light on the competitive side; the more poverty-stricken, dirty, corrupt and dangerous, the better.
We get a lot of mail at NPR Music, and amid a deluxe version of the Ashley Monroe record in which "deluxe" means "packed in a 10-pound wooden crate" is a slew of smart questions about how music fits into our lives — and, this week, how and whether to enjoy music by folks whose real-life actions offend us.
As a child in Bogotá, Edmar Castañeda and his sister took folk dance classes. Their mother made sure of that. Castañeda liked the dancing, but he really liked the live harp accompaniment. In Spanish, the harp is called the llanero. It's Colombian, not a classical harp.
A Washington, D.C., indie-rock band that formed in 1993, The Dismemberment Plan released four widely beloved albums before going quiet for more than a decade — save for a brief reunion to perform a small handful of sold-out benefit concerts in 2007.
Midway upon the journey of our life I found myself within a forest dark, For the straightforward pathway had been lost.
Allowing for translation, those are the immortal opening lines of Dante's Divine Comedy. Here, some seven centuries later, are some of Lynn Darling's opening lines from her new memoir, Out of the Woods: "The summer my only child left home for college, I moved from an apartment in New York City, to live alone in a small house at the end of a dirt road in the woods of central Vermont."
Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 2:37 pm
Thanks to epic problems with HealthCare.gov's rollout, the federal government's out-of-date technology processes have received more attention than most of us could have expected. The main doorway for millions of Americans to get health insurance was unusable for two months, but that screw-up is just one in a long line of government IT failures.
Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 1:34 pm
We've survived the stretch between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day, when rich, sweet treats come at us non-stop. Now is the season of reform, when gym memberships, cleanse books and weight-loss plans sell like gangbusters.
Deadlines to apply for colleges are coming up - and some experts say a lot of qualified minority students won't be applying to the top schools. Host Michel Martin speaks with Donald Fraser, Jr., of CollegeSnapps, Inc. and Caroline Hoxby, an economist at Stanford University about why some students of color aren't trying to get into prestigious schools.