NPR News

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

Let's bring in our Friday commentators to talk about this health care bill and the rest of the week in politics. We've got E.J. Dionne of The Washington Post and the Brookings Institution. Hi there.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Andy Slavitt understands the inner workings of the U.S. health care system better than most. From 2015 to 2017, he ran the Affordable Care Act, sometimes called Obamacare, as head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Since leaving that post in January, he's been an outspoken critic of the Republican proposals to dismantle it.

Yesterday, shortly after the release of the Senate bill, he tweeted, "It's the ugly step-sibling of the House bill." And this morning his message was, "We must start over. It's too important."

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

The killing of a Virginia teen over the weekend is drawing a new focus on road rage.

Fairfax County police say Nabra Hassanen, 17, was killed early Sunday by an angry motorist after an encounter with a group of Muslim teenagers walking along a road on their way back to a mosque.

Oh sure, you could argue there are other, more important things happening in the world. And frankly, you'd be right. (For those things, by the way — which some people, in somber tones, might call newsplease see here.)

But sometimes, you just need to watch a big gorilla dance in a small pool.

While college campuses struggle with consent, and when and how "no means no," a nearly 40-year-old court case in North Carolina says a person can't be charged with rape if their partner revokes consent during sex.

Planet Earth is a vast place, with humans scattered all over it.

A judge has declared a mistrial in the murder and manslaughter case against former University of Cincinnati police officer Ray Tensing over his fatal shooting of black motorist Sam DuBose.

This is the second time the case has ended in a mistrial — the jury was deadlocked in the first trial, which ended last November.

A live Asian carp — an invasive fish so threatening to local U.S. ecosystems that officials have struggled to keep it out of the Great Lakes — has been caught 9 miles from Lake Michigan, beyond a system of underwater electric barriers.

A former coal miner's take on the declining industry

Jun 23, 2017
coal_4.jpg
Lizzie O'Leary and Paulina Velasco

It's been hard to escape the narrative of the coal miner over the last year. President Trump talks a lot about putting coal miners back to work, and he's rolled back Obama-era regulations aimed at doing just that.

But setting narratives aside, the numbers show coal is declining. Natural gas is cheaper to use to make electricity. And many of the people who have done this work don't see much of a future for themselves in coal.

The family of legendary reggae artist Peter Tosh is filing a civil rights lawsuit and seeking a U.S. Department of Justice investigation after Tosh's son, 37-year-old Jawara McIntosh — himself a musician and marijuana legalization activist — was left in a coma after being beaten while in the custody of the Bergen County Jail in New Jersey four months ago.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm David Bianculli, in for Terry Gross.

(SOUNDBITE OF NELS CLINE SONG, "GLAD TO BE UNHAPPY")

South Korean President Moon Jae-in watched his military test-fire a ballistic missile on Friday, after a string of North Korean missile tests were blamed for raising tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

The military said the missile, a Hyunmoo-2 with a range of up to 800 kilometers (nearly 500 miles), hit its target accurately.

GettyImages-698679650_0.jpg
Kai Ryssdal

Rachel Abrams from The New York Times and Sheelah Kolhatkar from The New Yorker join us to discuss the week's business and economic news. Now that Senate Republicans have unveiled their health care plan, a bill drafted in secret, we look at the potential impact it will have on low-income earners and how it could redistribute wealth to the rich.

Less than a week after a judge declared a mistrial in the sexual assault case against Bill Cosby, the comedian's representatives say he intends to host a series of town halls about sexual assault and the legal system.

Cosby spokesman Andrew Wyatt told the TV show Good Day Alabama that the town halls could start as soon as next month and noted that the issues were particularly important for young athletes.

Could The Best Memory System Be One That Forgets?

Jun 23, 2017

Intuitively, we tend to think of forgetting as failure, as something gone wrong in our ability to remember.

Now, Canadian neuroscientists with the University of Toronto are challenging that notion. In a paper published Wednesday in the journal Neuron, they review the current research into the neurobiology of forgetting and hypothesize that our brains purposefully work to forget information in order to help us live our lives.

The list of perks Dan Teran's company offers sounds pretty dreamy.

Anyone working 120 hours a month gets employer-sponsored medical, dental and vision insurance. His company, Managed by Q, also offers a matching 401(k) retirement program, paid time off, a stock option program for all employees, and 12 weeks of paid parental leave.

Those are highly unusual perks, considering most are part-time workers who work only when they're available. Also, Teran's company does janitorial, building maintenance and temporary secretarial work, where such benefits are almost unheard of.

The Wall Street Journal made a phone for just 70 bucks

Jun 23, 2017
GettyImages-466477804.jpg
Kai Ryssdal and Maria Hollenhorst

The $600 to $800 price tag on the latest Apple or Samsung smartphone could create some serious sticker shock, especially compared to the much cheaper models from Chinese competitors. Chinese smartphone brands from the Pearl River Delta region and the city of Shenzhen are gaining market share fast. They can contract with manufacturers in Shenzhen who are already tapped into the region's vast smartphone supply chain and pump out low-cost phones under their own brands, no designing or engineering necessary.

President Trump's practice of calling out major U.S. corporations to publicly pressure them to keep jobs in the U.S. has been well publicized since the 2016 election campaign. Trump has in the past, for example, criticized the air conditioning company Carrier for plans to move jobs to Mexico. He then took credit when the company agreed to a plan enhanced by state tax breaks to keep a thousand jobs in Indiana. He's also put pressure on Ford, GM and Toyota over U.S. jobs.

Two industry groups that represent cattle ranchers have filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Agriculture. They want the USDA to reinstate country-of-origin labeling for beef, because they say consumers want to purchase meat from animals born, raised and slaughtered in the U.S. For example, pieces of beef from Canada can come across the border to a U.S. processing plant, get ground into hamburger, and that hamburger then sold without any indication of its origin.

It was a busy day on Wall Street today, and there was good reason for that. It was the annual reshuffling of the popular trading benchmarks known as the FTSE Russell Indexes. Those indexes track the largest U.S. companies in the U.S. stock market, and they determine what’s in a bunch of securities mutual funds. 

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

If Qatar wants to end a recent diplomatic standoff, all it needs to do is comply with 13 demands. That, at least, is according to the four Arab neighbors — Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates — that drew up the list and sent it via Kuwaiti mediators on Friday.

Crowdfunding for your life

Jun 23, 2017
GettyImages-464071578.jpg
Lizzie O'Leary and Paulina Velasco

On February 24, 2017, Molly Young got some devastating news. She had breast cancer, at age 29.

"When I took that phone call, and I learned that this was just going to completely uproot my whole life, I'd say I spent maybe 10 seconds or so only freaking out about myself and whether or not I would die. And then immediately thought, 'Oh my gosh, what happens if my health insurance goes away?'" Young said.

When you're a group that's performed together for more than seven decades, it might be a daunting task to keep crafting music that feels fresh. No doubt that hill is even harder to climb when you're working within a tradition like gospel, with its well-loved, and well-worn, harmonic and lyrical conventions. Yet the singers who make up Blind Boys of Alabama have always risen to the challenge with utter grace — and the group's forthcoming album, Almost Home, places a capstone on that history.

GettyImages-633307390.jpg
Sam Beard

Britain’s Brexit negotiations with the European Union have begun. The formal talks over the terms of the United Kingdom’s exit from the EU and the future shape of its trade relationship with the bloc are expected to last at least 15 months and could go on for much longer.

Police have charged Darren Osborne with terrorism-related murder and attempted murder over an attack in which investigators say Osborne drove a van into a crowd of people leaving a mosque in north London early Monday.

Part 3 of the TED Radio Hour episode Truth And Lies.

About Laura Galante's TED Talk

What makes us susceptible to fake news? Laura Galante says its our ability to choose what information to believe - something foreign governments can use for their own benefit.

About Laura Galante

Pages