National

The Salt
3:43 pm
Mon August 19, 2013

Incredibly Shrinking Avocados: Why This Year's Fruit Are So Tiny

We found lots of avocados being sold six or 10 to a $1 bag in the San Francisco area. Some weighed less than 3 ounces.
Alastair Bland for NPR

Originally published on Wed August 21, 2013 12:40 pm

What's thick-skinned and leathery, about the size of an egg, essential for guacamole and sold eight for a dollar?

No, not limes. Hass avocados. This year, anyway. These pear-sized fruits usually weigh half a pound or more. In the summer of 2013, though, hundreds of thousands of trees in Southern California are sagging with the tiniest Hass avocados in local memory — some just the size of a golf ball.

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Media
12:31 pm
Mon August 19, 2013

First Look At New Al-Jazeera America Network

Originally published on Tue August 20, 2013 10:14 am

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Celeste Headlee, Michel Martin is away. Coming up, the images of the Civil Rights Movement have been captured in photographs, and in a moment - minutes, we'll hear from artist Faith Ringgold about telling that history through paintings. But first, we turn to a new phase in broadcast television. The cable TV channel Al Jazeera America launches tomorrow.

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Health
12:31 pm
Mon August 19, 2013

Obamacare Raises Concerns About Doctor Deficit

Originally published on Mon August 19, 2013 3:24 pm

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Celeste Headlee. Michel Martin is away. Coming up, sticklers might complain that social media is actually ruining the English language, but we'll talk to a professor who says just the opposite. He says platforms like Twitter can be used to increase literacy - more in a moment.

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Education
11:58 am
Mon August 19, 2013

California Upends School Funding To Give Poor Kids A Boost

Second-grade teacher Vickie Boudouris goes over a worksheet in an English-learner summer school class at the Cordova Villa Elementary School in June, in Rancho Cordova, Calif. Under Gov. Jerry Brown's proposed budget, California schools will receive an additional $3.6 billion this year, with much of it targeted to the neediest students.
Rich Pedroncelli AP

As the school year begins, districts in cities such as Oakland, Fresno and Los Angeles have not gone on a hiring spree.

But they might soon.

California has revamped its school funding formula in ways that will send billions more dollars to districts that educate large numbers of children who are poor, disabled in some way or still learning to speak English.

It's an approach that numerous other states, from New York to Hawaii, have looked into lately. But none has matched the scale of the change now underway in the nation's largest state.

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Parallels
11:34 am
Mon August 19, 2013

The U.S. Defense Contractors That Benefit From Aid To Egypt

An Egyptian Apache helicopter flies over a crowd of pro-military demonstrators at Tahrir Square in Cairo on July 26. U.S. firms supply military hardware to the military, including the Apache helicopters.
Ed Giles Getty Images

Originally published on Mon August 19, 2013 4:48 pm

For decades, Egypt has been one of the largest recipients of U.S. foreign military aid, receiving everything from F-16s to tear gas grenades.

So who are the companies reaping the benefits?

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The Two-Way
9:35 am
Mon August 19, 2013

University Pages: LinkedIn Launches New College Profiles

The new University Pages on LinkedIn show which businesses employ a college's graduates, and the sectors of the economy in which they work.
LinkedIn

Originally published on Mon August 19, 2013 9:58 am

The professional connections site LinkedIn is launching a new section of its social network Monday: University Pages targets younger users who want to connect with colleges. More than 200 schools now have profile pages, according to LinkedIn. As part of the new effort, the company also dropped its minimum age to 14 in the U.S.

The new college profiles allow prospective students to see how many of a school's graduates are on LinkedIn, as well as a breakdown of the main fields in which they work. The pages also list the top employers of alumni.

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Middle East
5:13 am
Mon August 19, 2013

Members Of Congress Urged To Cut Aid To Egypt

Originally published on Mon August 19, 2013 6:52 am

The U.S. has been unable to do much to reduce the violence in Egypt. President Obama canceled upcoming joint military exercises, and says the administration is looking at other options, perhaps affecting the $1.5 billion in military aid the U.S. provides Egypt each year. For more insight, Renee Montagne talks to Nathan Brown, a scholar of Middle East politics with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and George Washington University.

The Two-Way
2:25 am
Mon August 19, 2013

Has Voyager 1 Left The Solar System?

This artist rendering provided by NASA shows Voyager 1 at the edge of the solar system.
AP

Originally published on Mon August 19, 2013 2:52 pm

The Voyager 1 spacecraft launched in 1977 on a mission to Jupiter and Saturn. It kept on going. Today it's billions of miles from Earth, and scientists have been predicting it will soon leave the solar system.

NPR has been on Voyager watch since at least 2003, when longtime science correspondent Richard Harris provided this warning of Voyager's impending departure.

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Around the Nation
5:23 pm
Sun August 18, 2013

Cars In America: Is The Love Story Over?

Classic cars of all makes and models drive the 16-mile stretch along Woodward Avenue during the annual Dream Cruise in 2009 in Ferndale, Mich. During the annual event, the glory days of car culture return, if only for a day.
Jerry S. Mendoza AP

Originally published on Mon August 19, 2013 5:29 pm

Almost as soon as they started rolling off the assembly lines, automobiles became synonymous with freedom. And in the post-World War II boom our relationship with cars intensified.

It was about horsepower, status, being American, and for young people: rebellion. For generations cars inspired countless songs, books and movies. But now there are signs that our car culture is losing some of its shine.

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The Two-Way
4:49 pm
Sun August 18, 2013

U.S. Investigators Launch Probe Of JPMorgan Chase In China

The office of the locally incorporated JPMorgan Chase Bank in Beijing.
AFP/Getty Images

The Securities and Exchange Commission has launched an investigation of JPMorgan Chase's operations in China, reportedly looking into whether the investment bank hired the children of high-ranking Chinese government officials in an effort to secure business.

The Wall Street Journal quotes from an SEC filing that says U.S. regulators are investigating "business relationships with certain clients."

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