NPR News

Few of us would want the love letters we wrote to our sweethearts at age 21 released to the public. But when you've been president everything in the past is ripe for perusal by historians, researchers and journalists.

And so it is with the love letters of former President Barack Obama — excerpts of which have been released by Emory University's Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives and Rare Book Library, where the letters a young Obama wrote to then-girlfriend Alexandra McNear are now part of the collection.

A federal appeals court has temporarily blocked a judge's ruling that would have allowed a detained teenager who is in the U.S. illegally to have an abortion, in the latest twist in a legal battle between the ACLU and the Trump administration.

Another Republican congressman heads for the exits

Oct 19, 2017

U.S. Rep. Pat Tiberi announced today that he's leaving Congress in January — midway through his term. The Ohio Republican is a senior member of the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee. That makes him part of what's known as the governing wing of the Republican party — the folks with influence who can get things done. So what will that mean for tax reform?

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

It's been a rough couple of weeks for two of the country's biggest conglomerates. Proctor & Gamble and General Electric have been fending off shareholder unrest over their lackluster stock performance. For GE, that drama has extended to the boardroom. Tomorrow, GE will give its first quarterly results since new CEO John Flannery took over.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

It's not your ordinary sports doping scandal: Some dogs who mushed this year's Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race have tested positive for the opioid pain reliever tramadol, the event's governing board said Wednesday.

(Markets Edition) In the third quarter, investors pulled $36 billion out of mutual and exchange-traded funds in the U.S. Diane Swonk, from DS Economics, stopped by to chat with us about the decrease in the number of Americans who own stocks, and the rising trend of people who are borrowing against their own 401(k)s. Afterwards, we'll discuss companies that the stock market loves despite their unimpressive or completely non-existent profits, like Uber and Netflix.

Updated October 20

Construction crews are erecting eight looming prototypes of President Trump's border wall in a remote section of the San Diego borderlands. Four are solid concrete; four are made of steel and concrete; one is topped with spikes. They all approach 30 feet in height. Customs and Border Protection is paying $20 million to six construction companies from Mississippi, Maryland, Alabama, Texas and Arizona. Crews in white hardhats operating cranes and forklifts are expected to complete the models by the end of the month.

Federal prosecutors in Brazil are charging former Brazilian Olympic Committee President Carlos Nuzman with helping to run a criminal organization and other crimes, in a scheme that paid for the votes that brought the Olympics to Rio de Janeiro last summer. The evidence includes undeclared assets in the form of 16 gold bars.

Nuzman was arrested on Oct. 5, prompting him to resign as president of Brazil's national Olympic committee. Prosecutors announced charges against him that range from corruption and money laundering to evading foreign currency laws.

The state of Vermont has one year to prepare for something it has never had: a Target store. After years of pleading from some residents and anti-big-box sentiment from others, the retail giant says it will finally open a store in South Burlington in 2018.

The news prompted a "Breaking News" banner on the local paper's website. As they're saying over at Vermont Public Radio: "This is not a drill."

In response, Adam Maxwell wrote on the VPR Facebook page: "Welcome to 1995, Vermont!"

In his new novel Origin, Dan Brown (most famous for The Da Vinci Code), describes his protagonist Robert Langdon's approach to the conundrum of students' devotion to personal tech devices in the classroom.

Langdon is, Brown writes, "one of several Harvard professors who now used portable cell-jamming technology to render their lecture halls 'dead zones' and keep students off their devices during class."

It might not appear like an obvious hotbed of contemporary music, but amid the rolling cornfields of western Michigan, at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Bill Ryan has been masterfully cultivating the GVSU New Music Ensemble. And with RETURN, the group's fourth album, Ryan is reaping what he has sewn since founding the ensemble in 2006: All 15 works were composed by his former students. (Full disclosure: Some 35 years ago, I was a young literature student at GVSU.)

President Trump pledged sweeping political and economic changes during the campaign. We have no idea if Trump can deliver on those promises, but we can explore what it’s going to take for him to try. It’s all in our series The Big Promise.

One of President Donald Trump’s big promises while he was campaigning was that he was going to bring manufacturing jobs back to this economy. More recently, he said the Republican tax overhaul plan will “lead to the rebirth of American industry.”

It's a bright fall morning in Santa Cruz County, Calif., and the tennis area at Brommer Street Park is overrun with dozens of people. But they aren't here for tennis. Instead, cadences of pick-pock sounds fill the air as doubles players — many in their 50s and older — whack yellow Wiffle-like balls back and forth on eight minicourts.

This recreational craze, which has an estimated 2.8 million players nationally, has a quirky name: pickleball.

Analysts predict double-digit growth for PayPal

Oct 19, 2017

PayPal reports its quarterly earnings today. Analysts expect double-digit revenue growth. Last quarter, revenues at the payment processor were more than $3 billion, with 6.5 million new customer accounts. In tech company years, PayPal is kind of old — it’s been around since the late '90s and pioneered peer-to-peer payments online. But the company keeps managing to stay relevant.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

A new Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development report said that as younger generations are getting older, their experience of aging is dramatically different to those who came before. One big difference — growing inequality between the affluent and less well off.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

Augustin Mawangu Mingiedi, leader of the Congolese group Konono No. 1, died on Monday, Oct. 16 after a months-long illness related to complications from diabetes, a representative for the band confirmed. He was 56 years old.

In the late 1960s, the families of American aviators who had been shot down during the Vietnam War became alarmed at reports that U.S. prisoners of war were being mistreated. The way those families reacted changed the way Americans think about missing troops and the government's responsibility for them.

The POW/MIA movement isn't the cultural and political force that it once was, but it's still hard to ignore. The black and white POW/MIA flag with its slogan, "You are not forgotten," is seemingly everywhere.

The UK's cheese industry is wary of Brexit

Oct 19, 2017

Of all the dire warnings of what might befall Britain after leaving the European Union, this is one of the oddest — a cheese crisis. The country spends more than $3.5 billion a year on this coagulated comestible and now faces rising prices and even shortages, thanks to last year’s Brexit referendum, which approved Britain leaving the European Union.

Dominic Coyte knows this to his cost. Coyte runs the Borough Cheese Co. in London, which imports and retails a range of French and other continental European cheeses. He describes Brexit as “a disaster.”

Copyright 2017 KOSU. To see more, visit KOSU.

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

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

(U.S. Edition) U.S. authorities are reportedly looking at connections some U.S. individuals may have to South Africa's Gupta family, which is currently embroiled in a series of scandals. We'll look at the family's background and their political influence. Afterwards, we'll discuss a new report that says the aging experience will be different for younger generations. One of these changes: growing inequality. Afterwards, we'll look back at a major event in our financial history, which happened 30 years ago today. On Black Monday, the stock market experienced the largest single-day ever. 

The bare, plaster walls of Yu Zu'en's new government-issued apartment are adorned with three decorations: an old photo from his years as a soldier, a shelf for his harmonica, and a poster featuring the busts of every Chinese Communist Party secretary since Chairman Mao. He points to the newest one and smiles.

"I wouldn't be here without Xi Jinping," he says. "Under his wise leadership, we're now taken care of. Before, we barely survived. Our village was up in the mountains. Corn didn't grow well, no roads. Then the leaders mobilized us and the entire village moved here."

The best film scores walk a delicate line: They help propel the story, guide an audience's emotions and are also often a distinct character, with a role and voice as important as any actor's — but they also have to do all that without getting in the way, or drawing too much attention.

(Global Edition) From the BBC World Service ... China's economic growth data came in better than expected today, just as the ruling Communist Party's once-every-five-years conference gets underway. But can the numbers be trusted? Afterwards — it's the 30th anniversary of Black Monday, the single-biggest daily decline in U.S. stock markets. The panic then rippled across the world, leading to double digit declines in places from Australia to Spain to Hong Kong. With global markets hitting fresh highs, have we learned any lessons from the intervening three decades?

Amazon has inked deals with several of the nation’s largest apartment building owners to install Amazon locker systems at residential properties, where packages can be delivered and stored for pickup.

Those contracts could give Amazon a more convenient way to deliver packages to customers in more than 850,000 apartment units across the U.S., the Wall Street Journal reports

Thirty years ago this week, the Dow Jones suffered its biggest one day percentage loss ever — almost 23 percent of its value in just six and a half hours.

On Black Monday, Kenneth Polcari, now a managing director at O’Neil Securities, was a rookie trader on the New York Stock Exchange. The market “just went down, and down. It just never came up for air,” said Polcari, “Johnson & Johnson lost nearly 50 percent of its value in six and half hours.”

Your pension fund could be invested in tech

Oct 19, 2017

The economics of the tech industry is a chain with a bunch of confusing links. Startups get their money from venture capital firms, and we've talked about how that works and why it heavily influences who becomes key players in tech and what products end up in your hands. But how do venture capital firms get their money? Limited partners, or private corporations; state, county and city entities; and universities. Now, continue to follow me down the chain.

10/19/2017: How venture capital gets its funding

Oct 19, 2017

The tech industry’s economy hinges on venture capital. But what does venture capital’s economy hinge on? Private corporations, city entities and universities. These groups, called limited partners, fund firms with endowment money and pension funds, or part of your paycheck. On this episode of Marketplace Tech, we look into the world of limited partners.

Pages