NPR News

A scientist who finds pharmaceutical promise in the venom of cone snails

4 hours ago

Nestled inside its bright, patterned shell, the cone snail cuts a familiar figure in tropical waters — you may have even collected its shell on a walk along the beach. But watch your touch — every species of cone snail is venomous, and some, like Conus geographus, can even kill humans.

Melting polar ice poses a serious global risk

4 hours ago

The title of a new book says it all — "A Farewell to Ice: A Report from the Arctic."

The book, by Peter Wadhams, head of the Polar Ocean Physics Group at the University of Cambridge, is the result of nearly a half-century of personal ice research, mostly in the Arctic. 

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

Who Killed The Passenger Pigeon?

6 hours ago

Crows, A Bird That’s Not Bird-Brained

6 hours ago

11/17/2017: Taxes, trade deficits and peanut butter

20 hours ago

On today's Weekly Wrap, we're consumed by tax reform and discuss voodoo economics, which is a euphemism for trickle-down economics coined by a Republican. Then it's on to President Trump's goal to reduce the U.S. trade deficit and whether or not the tax plan could further that. And in Zimbabwe, negotiations continue for a political settlement after Tuesday's intervention by the country's military. Finally, we play a clip from this season of The Uncertain Hour about how one ordinary citizen helped change the peanut butter industry.

Catherine Rampell of The Washington Post and Linette Lopez of Business Insider join us to discuss this week’s business and economic news. We discuss the viability of trickle-down economics, the concept the new GOP tax bill is built upon, and it’s rocky history in the public eye. We also talk about the differing versions of the tax bill going through both the Senate and the House. Plus, how will this tax bill truly affect both smaller and larger businesses? 

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And now a goodbye to the Warped Tour.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "THE ROCK SHOW")

BLINK-182: (Singing) I couldn't wait for the summer and the Warped Tour. I remember it's the first time that I saw her there.

One of America's most coveted dining experiences is a 40-seat restaurant in a converted grist-mill in the rural village of Freedom, Maine.

Chef Erin French, who is self-taught, opened the Lost Kitchen in her hometown of Freedom without much of a plan. She loved the space, and at first thought she would make English muffins and offer brunch, not convinced that the village of just over 700 people could become a dinner destination.

As the 60-day mark since Hurricane Maria destroyed infrastructure and buildings in Puerto Rico approaches, there's a mix of hope and dread about economic recovery for businesses on the island. Business owners have to cope with the loss of revenue, employees, customers and power.

The story of recovery after Hurricane Maria is mixed. While the local government touted that power output had reached 50 percent of capacity, distribution is another story.

Save the world by scaling down your Thanksgiving turkey

Nov 17, 2017

It's the weekend before Thanksgiving, and odds are, you already have a menu in mind, whether it is family traditions, potluck plans or maybe even some new recipes. Mark Bittman, author of "How To Cook Everything" and, most recently, the new edition of "How to Cook Everything Vegetarian," hopes it won't be meat. 

Her workplace was not a safe place, and despite being a teenager, Katalina knew this for certain. It didn’t feel OK that her bosses touched her, said sexual things and propositioned her constantly. But she saw it happen to other women, too. Even changing jobs didn’t help. New bosses in new work sites did the same awful things, she said.

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Copyright 2017 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

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NFL owners may be headed for a showdown

Nov 17, 2017

This has not been the greatest of seasons for the NFL.

There's been the political turmoil over players taking a knee during the national anthem, the declining television audiences, and there's now some boardroom drama in a $14 billion-a-year enterprise. Jerry Jones, the owner of the Dallas Cowboys, is in a back and forth with his fellow owners over whether to renew Commissioner Roger Goodell's contract.

So far, Jones has tried to slow or halt the negotiations. And his interference is threatening to become a PR problem for the NFL. 

What’s peanut butter?

That’s the question the Food and Drug Administration was trying to answer in 1959. You’d think it’d be an easy one. They did too.

Federal regulators first set the definition of peanut butter at 95 percent peanuts, five percent sweeteners, oils, and other stuff. Because that’s what peanut butter is, the FDA reasoned. It’s peanuts.

What they didn’t know is that first, short memo would set off a long, complicated legal battle that would change the way we think about food in this country.

This week we're taking a new look at some favorite stories we've covered this year — and what's happened since. We're taking a look at whether states are constitutionally obligated to teach kids how to read, the consequences of ID theft, and how digital apps like Instagram are changing the physical world. Plus, veggie delights for Thanksgiving and the growth of vegan food chains. 

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<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/voteprime/6453261303">Adam Gerard</a>/<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/voteprime/6453261303">CC BY NC-SA 2.0</a>

CAPTCHAs — think those little forms with jumbles of letters and numbers — have long been the Web’s gatekeepers between humans and robots. Short for “Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart,” the tests are meant to be too complex for computers to solve.

(Markets Edition) With Republicans racing to approve legislation that would overhaul America's tax system, we'll hear from Diane Swonk — CEO of DS Economics — about the math behind the plan. These tax cuts could end up adding to the deficit, which Swonk says will create "liabilities" for future generations.

Tesla unveils an electric truck, but will it catch on?

Nov 17, 2017

CEO Elon Musk said the new electric Tesla trucks will have a range of about 300 miles. But truckers may not want to pay for the cleaner ride.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

Holiday travel up with consumer confidence

Nov 17, 2017

A resurgence is stocks, healthier home values and a low unemployment rate is boosting consumer optimism, which in turn means even more people are expected to travel this Thanksgiving holiday.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

How gun laws let domestic violence offenders slip through the cracks

Nov 17, 2017
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<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/mujitra/">MIKI Yosihito</a>/<a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/">CC BY&nbsp;2.0</a> (cropped)

Many mass shooters share a disturbing commonality: domestic abuse.

It can be seen in the case of Kevin Jansen Neal, who went on a shooting rampage in California this week. He killed four people and injured several more before he was fatally shot by police. Authorities later found the body of a fifth victim, his wife, at the couple’s home.

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