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It's All Politics
3:18 am
Tue April 30, 2013

ATF Allies Say Agency Handicapped By Lack Of Director

ATF agents search last week for evidence at the site of the fire and explosion in West, Texas.
Tom Reel/The San Antonio Express-News AP

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 3:27 pm

It's one of the smallest law enforcement agencies in the federal government, but the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has sure had a busy couple of weeks.

Dozens of its agents raced to Boston, where they analyzed bombs left near the finish line of the marathon. Others went south to Texas, where a fertilizer plant exploded under mysterious circumstances. Members of the ATF's national response team are still on the scene in tiny West, Texas, sifting through rubble at the blast site, near a crater that's 93 feet wide.

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Shots - Health News
3:09 am
Tue April 30, 2013

Why Calif. Doesn't Want Smokers To Pay More For Health Insurance

Californian State Assemblyman Richard Pan (center) is the author of legislation that would bar higher prices for health insurance sold to smokers.
Rich Pedroncelli AP

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 3:27 pm

Smoking has its risks, but in California higher prices for health insurance probably won't be among them.

The federal health law allows states to charge smokers up to 50 percent more for a health plan, but a bill moving forward in the California Legislature would prevent that from happening.

The Affordable Care Act is supposed to remove discrimination in the pricing of health insurance for things like gender and medical condition. Critics say a tobacco surcharge creates a new category of discrimination against smokers.

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Books
3:08 am
Tue April 30, 2013

Vibrant 'Club' Links Two Countries In Award-Winning Book

Author Benjamin Alire Saenz writes about life on the U.S.-Mexico border. Here he holds his latest book, Everything Begins and Ends at the Kentucky Club, in front of "$26," a painting by Francisco Delgado (the presidents in the painting appear on American bills worth a collective $26).
Mark Lambie Courtesy El Paso Times

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 1:17 pm

On a Saturday night, the bridge that links downtown El Paso, Texas, to Ciudad Juarez in Mexico is hauntingly still. Once, this was a border crossing flush with life; now, after years of brutal drug violence, it's like a graveyard. It's certainly not the border that American author Benjamin Alire Saenz recalls from his high school days.

"We'd all pile in a couple of cars. There'd be like 10 of us and we'd come over to Juarez," Saenz remembers. "We'd go to all these places like The Cave, the Club Hawaii ... the Kentucky Club ... and we would just have a good time and laugh."

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All Tech Considered
3:07 am
Tue April 30, 2013

When It Comes To Productivity, Technology Can Hurt And Help

With instant messages buzzing, emails pinging and texts ringing, how can employers increase productivity in the workplace? Software companies are tackling the problem, tracking employees' computer time to find ways to improve their efficiency.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 3:27 pm

Even when people think they're buckling down, studies show the average office worker wastes over a third of the day. There's Facebook, of course, and the email from a friend with a YouTube link. After all that, is it time to go get coffee?

Worker pay is the most expensive line item in the budget for most businesses, which means billions of dollars are going to waste.

But here's the silver lining: It turns out lack of productivity presents a big business opportunity.

Joe Hruska is pretty blunt about how much work anyone does in a typical day.

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Europe
7:03 am
Mon April 29, 2013

Baby Captures Spanish Villagers' Attention

Originally published on Mon April 29, 2013 8:00 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. There's a baby boom in Los Giles, Spain, consisting of one. Baby Inara arrived three weeks ago, the first child to be born there in 45 years. At last count, the village had about 60 residents, all aging. But the first-time parents of Inara had moved back to the village to raise their child near grandparents. Now thinkspain.com reports nearly everyone in town has held her. So it really does take a village. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Around the Nation
6:53 am
Mon April 29, 2013

Pitino Keeps Promise, Gets Tattoo

Originally published on Mon April 29, 2013 8:00 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning, I'm Steve Inskeep.

Once Louisville won the NCAA men's basketball title, there was only one thing for Rick Pitino to do. He promised his players that if they won, he'd get a tattoo. We do not know if Pitino had second thoughts in the final seconds of the win over Michigan, but now the coach has done it. A Louisville spokesman tweeted a photo of the 60-year-old coach's back. It is now marked with the team record, 35-and-five, along with a blood-red letter L.

Latin America
4:56 am
Mon April 29, 2013

U.S.-Mexico Alliance Against Dug Cartels In Jeopardy

Originally published on Mon April 29, 2013 8:00 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. Mexico is considering changes to its collaboration with the United States in the war on drugs. That was the news at the top of the story in the Washington Post. But for many of us, some information further down in the article was more revealing because the article detailed just how deep and broad the U.S.-Mexico collaboration is.

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Around the Nation
4:34 am
Mon April 29, 2013

States Question What To Do With Surging Tax Revenue

Originally published on Mon April 29, 2013 1:07 pm

Across the country, state budgets are back in the black after years of belt-tightening and spending cuts. From California to Florida, in nearly every state, the economic recovery has produced a surge in tax revenue.

For governors and state legislators, that's produced a new question: how to spend the money.

The past three years have not been easy ones for elected officials. Nearly every state requires them to produce a balanced budget. And with declining revenue from sales, property and income taxes, that has meant big spending cuts.

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Business
4:34 am
Mon April 29, 2013

Business News

Originally published on Mon April 29, 2013 8:00 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with massive layoffs in Greece.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

INSKEEP: Greek lawmakers approved emergency plans to cut 15,000 government jobs by the end of next year. They have to do that in order to receive more European Union bailout funds.

The Greek parliament approved a measure in a vote on Sunday. Their new law will overturn what had been a constitutional guarantee for public sector workers to have a permanent position for life.

Business
4:34 am
Mon April 29, 2013

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Mon April 29, 2013 8:00 am

Attorneys, visitors, employees and inmates have been reviewing jails on the website Yelp. They offer opinions on everything from cleanliness to guard uniforms to abuse and corruption.

All Tech Considered
3:29 am
Mon April 29, 2013

After Sandy, Questions Linger Over Cellphone Reliability

Residents of the East Village in New York City look for cellphone reception Nov. 1 after Hurricane Sandy wiped out power and some cell towers.
Timothy A. Clary AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 29, 2013 1:07 pm

Roughly one in four cellphone towers in the path of Hurricane Sandy went out of service. It was a frustrating and potentially dangerous experience for customers without a landline to fall back on. Now, local officials and communications experts are pushing providers to improve their performance during natural disasters.

Lori McCaskill lives in Brooklyn, and when Sandy hit last October, her Verizon cell service went out. She couldn't work. She couldn't check in with family and friends. Her sister was due to have a baby any day.

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Author Interviews
3:28 am
Mon April 29, 2013

A Grieving Brother Finds Solace In His Sister's 'Small Town'

Brother and sister Rod Dreher and Ruthie Leming grew up in a small town in rural Louisiana. Dreher left the tightknit community to pursue a journalism career but returned home after Leming died of lung cancer in 2010.
Courtesy Rod Dreher

Originally published on Mon April 29, 2013 12:21 pm

When he was a teenager, journalist Rod Dreher couldn't wait to escape Louisiana. Now he has found his way home again in grief — after his sister's death from lung cancer. It was "in light" of that tragedy, Dreher says, that he discovered the value of community. It's the subject of his new book, The Little Way of Ruthie Leming: A Southern Girl, a Small Town, and the Secret of a Good Life.

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Shots - Health News
3:26 am
Mon April 29, 2013

How To Turn Down The Heat On Fiery Family Arguments

Parents can minimize the negative impact of their arguments on their children using a few simple techniques to calm down.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 10:54 am

All parents are bound to disagree, argue or even raise their voices with each other.

But psychologists say parents can minimize the negative impact of their arguments on their children. It's just a matter of using a few simple techniques to turn down the heat and repair the damage after it's over.

Psychologist Suzanne Phillips at Long Island University says one of the most important things for parents to remember when they're on the verge of a big argument is not to involve the child.

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Economy
6:59 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

U.S. Economic Growth Regained Speed In First Quarter

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Accelerating economic growth is at the top of NPR's business news.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

INSKEEP: U.S. economic growth regained speed in the first quarter of this year, although not as much as economists had hoped. The Gross Domestic Product grew at an annual rate of 2.5 percent. Consumer spending is up and home construction rose, but government spending fell and tax increases, as well as federal budget cuts, are expected to slow economic growth later in the year. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Asia
10:06 am
Fri April 26, 2013

Bangladeshi Rescuers Continue Search Through Building Rubble

Originally published on Fri April 26, 2013 6:59 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne. A frantic search for survivors continues near Dhaka, Bangladesh, where an eight-story building collapsed two days ago. The building mostly housed garment factories that make low-cost clothing for Western customers.

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