NPR News

The 'nerd prom' had critics long before Trump

Apr 26, 2017
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Adrienne Hill and Sean McHenry

What happens when reporters and Washington elites call a truce? They hold the White House Correspondents' dinner, also known as the nerd prom. Back when the dinner started in 1921, about 50 people showed up. Now the guest list numbers in the thousands, and the festivities include a red carpet, and a slew of pre-parties and after-parties, and brunches. What once happened in a single night now unfolds over a week, but the guest of honor won't be attending this year. Instead, President Trump will be holding a rally in Pennsylvania, although he's not the only person criticizing the dinner.

Majority of Americans feel 'forgotten' by government

Apr 26, 2017
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Annie Baxter

Do you think the government in Washington generally represents your interests, or has the government forgotten about “people like you?” That was the new question we asked in our latest Marketplace-Edison Research Poll. 

Despite greater confidence about their economic futures, a whopping three-quarters of our respondents feel overlooked by Washington. 

“We're the forgotten Americans. We're swept under the rug,” said Glen Perkins, 60, an African-American truck driver in La Vergne, Tennessee, who participated in our poll.

Why Net Neutrality Rules are in danger

Apr 26, 2017
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Adrienne Hill and Molly Wood

While a lot of attention today was on tax reform, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai was making news of his own. Pai outlined today what might be next for net neutrality, including a possible roll back of Obama-era regulations on internet service providers. Pai also said high-speed internet service shouldn't be treated like a public utility.

Host Adriene Hill spoke with Marketplace’s senior tech correspondent Molly Wood to get some context on the latest news for net neutrality. Below is an edited transcript of their conversation.

If you can't beat the robots, buy 'em

Apr 26, 2017
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David Brancaccio

Five years ago, Marketplace explored how machines, robots and software algorithms were increasingly entering the workforce in our series "Robots Ate My Job." Now, we're looking at what humans can do about it with a new journey to find robot-proof jobs.

If all goes to plan, NASA's Cassini spacecraft will beam new images of Saturn and its rings to Earth early Thursday, sharing data collected Wednesday from its first dive through the gap between the planet and its striped belt of ice and rock particles.

Today's dive also marks the start of the final phase in the craft's 13-year visit to Saturn. Days ago, it used the gravity of Saturn's moon Titan to bend its path toward its eventual destruction on the planet.

Sevdaliza's debut album feels like a lifetime examined — and past lives exhumed.

Chinese officials smashed a bottle of Champagne on the bow of their second aircraft carrier Wednesday, launching what the Defense Ministry calls the country's first "homemade" carrier — which took less than four years to build.

The as-yet-unnamed carrier joins the Liaoning, a repurposed 1980s-era Soviet ship that was bought from Ukraine and launched in 2012. Together, the Chinese ships represent a new dimension in the increasingly crowded waters in and around Asia, where claims and counter-claims have been made on islands and shipping routes.

Could we power our economy with old buildings?

Apr 26, 2017

If we focused on preserving old buildings instead of building new ones, could we make our economy bigger and stronger? Stephanie Meeks is the CEO of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, a nonprofit that protects historic sites in the United States. In this interview with Marketplace host Kai Ryssdal, Meeks talks about why our economy needs old buildings, what types of places we need to do a better job protecting and how they prioritize what gets saved and what doesn't. 

04/26/2017: Trump and the one-page tax plan

Apr 26, 2017
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Marielle Segarra

The White House unveiled a one-page set of bullet points today, outlining President Trump's long-touted tax plan. We'll run through those points while looking at what could actually happen once lawmakers start actually fleshing things out. Then FCC Chairman Ajit Pai made a big announcement of his own on net neutrality. Molly Wood is here to make us smart. Plus: more from our Marketplace-Edison Research Poll and the controversy around the White House Correspondents' dinner.

Appliance manufacturers and home builders are in Washington, D.C., today to celebrate a popular energy efficiency program, even as it's slated for elimination in President Trump's proposed budget.

You probably know the program's little blue label with the star — the Environmental Protection Agency says 90 percent of U.S. households do.

The festivities at this month's third annual Qingyuan marathon, in southern China's Guangdong province, begin at 7 a.m.

On one side of the starting line, there's a traditional Chinese music troupe in robes and long, flowing beards; on the other, there's a stage full of dancing girls wearing skimpy marathon attire, gyrating their hips in unison to a rap song.

Stuck in the middle are more than 23,000 runners, itching to start. The music stops, a gun is fired, and for the next half-hour, runners jostle with one another to cross the starting line

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04/26/2017: High gains for the markets and businesses

Apr 26, 2017

This morning, we'll discuss the positive numbers coming from businesses and the markets —the Nasdaq closed above 6,000 for the first time while company earnings reports have been decent across the board. Afterwards, we'll look at the potential effects of Trump's proposed corporate tax rate cut on government revenue, and then examine the disparities in per-child spend at schools in different states. 

In the cool mountains of the Upper Yangtze region, Chinese villagers clamber up dogwood and maple trees to gather what Dr. Oz has called a "miracle anti-aging pill." The small, red schisandra berry has a peculiar taste — five tastes, in fact, because it's considered to be at once sweet, sour, salty, bitter and pungent.

Different states spend vastly different amounts on their children, according to a new study out this week. The Urban Institute, a think tank in Washington, looked at spending on public schools, health, and social services and found that the national average is just shy of $8,000 per kid. Some states spend a lot more per pupil than others. The disparities raise questions of fairness and the impact of funding.  

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Updated 9:45 a.m. ET

The White House is banging the drums that President Trump is doing something big again ahead of his 100th day in office — unveiling a tax "plan."

"This is going to be the biggest tax cut and the largest tax reform in the history of our country," Trump's Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said at a panel Wednesday morning.

Cream cheese has a history wrapped in tin foil

Apr 26, 2017
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Jana Kasperkevic

This is just one of the stories from our "I've Always Wondered" series, where we tackle all of your questions about the world of business, no matter how big or small. Ever wondered if recycling is worth it? Or how store brands stack up against name brands?

Researchers in Germany have found that getting drunk is associated with abnormal heart rhythms.

Their study was conducted in a place teeming with potential research subjects.

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

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And I'm Steve Inskeep with some of the top stories of this day. David, let's talk taxes.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

OK, if you insist - it's what I want to talk about every time I wake up in the morning.

Just six years after Portugal's 2011 financial bailout sparked protests and sent the country's young people abroad in search of work, the country is experiencing an economic revival.

Mario Mouraz was one of those who left Portugal looking for work. Now, after three years abroad, he's back, selling his own software to Lisbon hotels in the middle of a tourist boom.

Baby humpback whales seem to whisper to their mothers, according to scientists who have captured the infant whales' quiet grunts and squeaks.

The recordings, described in the journal Functional Ecology, are the first ever made with devices attached directly to the calves.

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Nobody's Seen The Loch Ness Monster Lately

Apr 26, 2017

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Copyright 2017 WSHU Public Radio Group. To see more, visit WSHU Public Radio Group.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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

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

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Ohio Gov. John Kasich says the discourse that came out during the 2016 presidential campaign was beyond what he could have imagined, and he still doesn't understand how politicians got away with it.

He was shocked by "the kind of rhetoric and the negativity and the put-downs and the kind of acid that was being spilled out there in the public dialogue," Kasich tells NPR's David Greene. "In my job, you make one of those statements and you're dead, you know? But it seemed like none of this ever mattered. And I just couldn't believe that people could survive it."

President Trump's campaign rallies were defined by three slogans, three syllables each, which the candidate led the crowd in chanting: "Build the wall," condemning illegal immigration; "Lock her up," attacking Democratic rival Hillary Clinton; and "Drain the swamp," all about cleaning up Washington.

In the summer of 1945, John F. Kennedy traveled across Europe working as a journalist. He kept a diary during those months on the road, which reveals a future president trying to make sense of a rapidly changing postwar world.

The leather-bound diary will be put up for auction Wednesday, after sitting quietly for nearly six decades in the hands of a former campaign worker. Bidding is expected to top $200,000.

Why presidents rarely tackle tax reform

Apr 26, 2017

President Trump is set to unveil a tax reform agenda today. One of the centerpieces is expected to be his campaign promise to cut the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 15 percent.  But tax cuts and tax reform are two different things. The last real crack the U.S. took at tax reform was back in 1986, more than three decades ago. Why is tax reform so hard that most administrations simply skip it? 

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

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