National/International

Jobs Growth Slows Dramatically In May

Jun 3, 2016

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit NPR.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit NPR.

Texas lawmakers have asked state health officials to come up with “a clear and concise plan” for dealing with a possible Zika outbreak.

But experts warn there are some underlying health care access issues in Texas that could make dealing with Zika difficult. Ashley Lopez from Here & Now contributor KUT in Austin reports.

Reporter

Wall Street fell today upon news of the smallest monthly addition of jobs in almost six years.

The U.S. added just 38,000 jobs in May, a shockingly low number to some economists that stirred fears of an economic slowdown, and could influence monetary policy at the Federal Reserve.

Marilyn Geewax, NPR senior business editor, joins Here & Now’s Robin Young for a closer look at the lackluster jobs numbers and what they mean for the U.S. economy.

Guest

It’s been a year since Gloucester, Massachusetts Police Chief Leonard Campanello announced that his officers would help people get into addiction treatment, rather than arrest them.

More than 400 people have gone to the police station for help, more than 100 police departments around the country have started similar programs and Campanello was recognized at the White House.

Deborah Becker from Here & Now contributor WBUR has this look back at the first year of the so-called “Angel program.”

Summer TV is back, and the big networks, cable networks and streaming services have lots of fresh fare. There’s a new show from the creators of “The Walking Dead.” Simon Cowell returns to “America’s Got Talent.”

Here & Now‘s Meghna Chakrabarti speaks with NPR TV Critic Eric Deggans.

Guest

Composer and author Paul Bowles first went to Morocco in 1931. He fell in love with the country, returning often and eventually moving to Tangier, where he lived from 1947 until his death in 1999. Among the things Bowles valued most about Morocco was its varieties of music.

NPR's Robert Siegel speaks to a group of 65-year-old voters as part of a radio series where he explores the generational differences between how 25, 45 and 65-year-olds think about politics. He finds that this group of 65-year-olds were born into a structured world, which, for many, resembled The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet. But later, their outlook was rocked by a series of assassinations of political figures, anti-war and civil rights protests. Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit NPR.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit NPR.

Few Guantanamo Bay prisoners are better known than Mohamedou Ould Slahi. That's because Slahi hand-wrote a 466-page memoir in 2005 about his prison ordeal which finally got published last year, albeit with sections blacked out by government censors.

Guantanamo Diary is a detailed account of the treatment Slahi received under his American captors, including, he says, extensive torture.

This is a big weekend for Alexi Pappas. Tracktown — the feature film she co-wrote, co-directed and stars in — is premiering at the Los Angeles Film Festival. The film follows a young runner named Plumb Marigold as she chases her dream of qualifying for the Olympics.

Pappas tells NPR's Ari Shapiro that there have been some problems ahead of the premiere. "I may have actually slept through the opening night red carpet," she says.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit NPR.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit NPR.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit NPR.

A group of scientists say they want work toward being able to create a synthetic version of the entire human genetic code in the laboratory.

Their hope is that a complete set of synthetic human DNA, known as a genome, could someday lead to important medical breakthroughs.

Federal regulators have dramatically increased the number of vehicles to be recalled because of defective air bags made by Takata Corp. An additional 35 to 40 million air bag inflators will need to be replaced, according to regulators. The vehicles will be recalled in five stages between now and December 2019. Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit NPR.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit NPR.

NPR's Robert Siegel speaks to a group of 25-year-old voters as part of a radio series exploring the generational differences between how 25, 45 and 65-year-olds think about politics. Having stood witness to the Bill Clinton-Monica Lewinsky scandal, the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, two wars, and an economic crash from a very young age, this group of 25-year-olds has seen a country going through hard times for most of their lives. Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit NPR.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit NPR.

Does the size of space — those zillions of stars and zillions of miles of nothing between them — freak you out?

Well, if it does, guess what?

You're not alone.

I give a lot of public talks about the universe. Really. It's in my job description:

  • Astronomer. Check.
  • Study stuff in space. Check.
  • Give talks about universe. Check.

And every time I give a public astronomy presentation, whether it's about black holes or the Big Bang or the Hubble Space Telescope, someone always raises the same issue.

A coalition of Asian American groups filed a federal complaint asking for an investigation into Yale, Brown and Dartmouth for alleged racially discriminatory practices in college admissions processes.

For more on the story visit WGBH's On Campus blog Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit NPR.

NPR's Robert Siegel speaks to a group of 45-year-old voters who experienced a swell of patriotism and American exceptionalism in their youth. But patriotic fervor dwindled, as scandals and the emergence of 24/7 news coverage changed the game of politics. Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit NPR.

What made Mozart great? Or Bobby Fischer? Or Serena Williams?

The answer sits somewhere on the scales of human achievement. On one side: natural talent. On the other: hard work. Many would argue that success hangs in some delicate balance between them. But not Anders Ericsson.

Tom Licence has a Ph.D., and he's a garbage man.

When you think of archaeology, you might think of Roman ruins, ancient Egypt or Indiana Jones. But Licence works in the field of "garbology." While some may dig deep down to get to the good stuff — ancient tombs, residences, bones — Licence looks at the top layers, which, where he lives in England, are filled with Victorian-era garbage.

The presidential candidates have their plans to deal with energy issues, but none of them are asking Americans to use less.

Maybe that’s because they remember what happened to President Jimmy Carter when he called for conservation during the energy crisis in the 1970s.

Here & Now‘s Robin Young speaks with Meg Jacobs of Princeton University about her new book on the energy crisis and how history may be shaping presidential candidates’ respective approaches to energy concerns.

For the first time in a decade, the U.S. death rate is up across the entire population. Researchers at the National Center for Health Statistics say the increase was driven in part by more people dying from drug overdoses.

One Seattle woman could have been among that statistic. She was homeless and addicted to heroin. Today, she’s no longer using, but helps those who are. From Here & Now contributor KUOW in Seattle, Ruby de Luna reports.

Concussions have become part of the daily news. But how much have these brain injuries become part of daily life?

To find out, we asked people across the country about concussions in the latest NPR-Truven Health Analytics Health Poll.

The poll, conducted during the first half of March, found that nearly a quarter of people — 23 percent of those surveyed — said they had suffered a concussion at some point in their lives. Among those who said they'd had a concussion, more than three-quarters had sought medical treatment.

Will this summer be hotter than average?

How much rain can we expect?

A key step to answering questions about the weather is to consult the historic record. But what if there were no record? That's the predicament that Rwanda faces. The civil war and genocide that devastated that country in 1994 also destroyed Rwanda's system for tracking weather. The result was that for a roughly 15-year stretch, Rwanda has almost no record of what its weather was like.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit NPR.

Bumblebees' Little Hairs Can Sense Flowers' Electric Fields

May 31, 2016

Flowers generate weak electric fields, and a new study shows that bumblebees can actually sense those electric fields using the tiny hairs on their fuzzy little bodies.

"The bumblebees can feel that hair bend and use that feeling to tell the difference between flowers," says Gregory Sutton, a Royal Society University Research Fellow at the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom.

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