National/International

Studs Terkel had a gift for connecting with people and collecting their stories.

Some of those oral histories of everyday workers talking about their jobs became a bestselling book published in 1974 called Working: People Talk About What They Do All Day And How They Feel About What They Do.

For those of us who grew up in Santa Fe, N.M., there are few figures that loom larger than Zozobra. I mean that literally, as much as figuratively: The 50-foot-tall marionette is as familiar as Santa Claus — only, instead of stealing away with cookies and milk, Zozobra ends its holiday each year by being ritualistically burned to death before a crowd of tens of thousands of screaming people.

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Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit NPR.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit NPR.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit NPR.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit NPR.

Legalizing Marijuana: It Changes Policing, But May Leave Racial Disparities

Sep 24, 2016

Lake Merritt in Oakland, Calif., is a mecca for joggers and families out with their strollers. Along with the smell of sweat and goose poop, weed is an equally present aroma.

Police seemingly take a "light up and let live" attitude here. But Nashanta Williams, who's out walking her dog, says it's not like this in other parts of the city.

"I have been pulled over and been told that my car smells like marijuana and put on the sidewalk and had my vehicle searched," Williams says. "And I felt like they were fishing."

When 15-year-old Billy Ellsworth stepped up to the microphone at a Food and Drug Administration public meeting in April, he had no way to know he was part of a historic shift in how the government considers the desires of patients and their advocates in evaluating new drugs.

Ellsworth has Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a muscle-wasting disease, that mainly affects boys. And he was taking an experimental drug that the FDA was trying to decide whether to approve.

When 15-year-old Billy Ellsworth stepped up to the microphone at a Food and Drug Administration public meeting in April, he had no way to know he was part of a historic shift in how the government considers the desires of patients and their advocates in evaluating new drugs.

Ellsworth has Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a muscle-wasting disease, that mainly affects boys. And he was taking an experimental drug that the FDA was trying to decide whether to approve.

This week, a new opera based on the popular but controversial Lars von Trier film, Breaking the Waves, opened in Philadelphia. With its potent combination of sex, religion and transgression, the subject matter seems ripe for operatic treatment.

Jillian Banks likes learning about how people work. The alt-pop singer-songwriter studied psychology in college because, she says, she's "interested in how relationships develop, how the brain develops, how people communicate." She describes her music, which she creates under the name BANKS, as "pretty graphic, especially at describing different dynamics and emotions."

Banks is so interested in people — and what they have to say to her — that she decided to tell her fans to call and text her.

When the Colombian government and Marxist rebels ink a final peace accord Monday to end a 52-year guerrilla war, an American envoy will be one of the special guests at the signing ceremony.

Last year, the Obama administration dispatched veteran U.S. diplomat Bernard Aronson to Havana, Cuba, the site of the Colombian peace talks. The negotiations had turned contentious and had dragged on for nearly three years. But Aronson was a reassuring presence and helped the two sides overcome numerous roadblocks as they moved toward a final accord.

Eimear McBride's new novel, The Lesser Bohemians, is an old story written in a new way: A May-December romance — or perhaps May-August — between 18-year-old Eily, an Irish drama student who comes to London in the 1990s, and a devilish rake of an older man, an actor, of course, named Stephen.

The novel is full of intricate, imaginative wordplay — and sex that can be similarly characterized — crafted by one of the most imaginative young talents in fiction.

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The trial in New Jersey’s “Bridgegate” scandal got underway this past week.

A federal court is considering conspiracy and fraud charges against two former associates of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. They’re accused of arranging lane closures that caused a huge traffic jam on the busy George Washington Bridge in 2013 as revenge against a mayor who didn’t endorse Christie’s re-election bid.

They pleaded not guilty, and Christie is not charged in the case, although federal prosecutors allege he knew what was going on.

Pictures of polar bears paddling long distances for food among thinning sea ice were some of the first galvanizing images of the environmental movement to do something about climate change.

But nearly every species on Earth is affected by global warming, from coyotes who find themselves in closer contact with humans due to a shifting habitat to migratory birds adjusting to unfamiliar ecosystems and weather patterns.

Two more police killings of African-American men and the terrorist bombings in New York reverberated on the campaign trail this week, with Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump criticizing each other’s responses.

Journalists Maria Elena Salinas and Greg Moore join Here & Now‘s Jeremy Hobson and Meghna Chakrabarti to discuss the latest from the campaign trail.

Guests

Some say a new housing crisis is developing. Rising prices mean home ownership is now nearly impossible for young families saddled with student debt.

It’s a problem in places like Seattle and Denver, where there are a lot of college graduates as well as the fastest growing home prices.

Ben Markus from Here & Now contributor Colorado Public Radio explains.

Tomorrow, two final works from composer James Horner will reach American ears: a concert piece being released on CD, and his score for the remake of the Western adventure The Magnificent Seven. The composer died a little more than a year ago in a plane crash, after creating more than 100 film scores over nearly 40 years.

When's the last time you ordered turtle when you went out to eat?

Most of us would probably turn it down in an instant if we saw it on a menu. But terrapin was a completely normal entree for diners at the finest restaurants of a century ago. America's changing tastes — and what they have to say about our culture — are explored in a new nonfiction book, Ten Restaurants That Changed America.

Many jazz pianists play tunes from the Great American Songbook, that beloved canon of standards from the early 20th century. But pianist Edward Simon has chosen to focus on another great collection of American standards for his newest album, Latin American Songbook.

Growing up in Venezuela, near the northern edge of South America, was an advantage for Simon. His early listening encompassed music from the north — Cuba and Puerto Rico — and also extended southward to the music of Chile, Brazil and Argentina.

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NPR's Kelly McEvers talks with actor Courtney B. Vance about his role as defense attorney Johnnie Cochran in the FX series, American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson. This story originally aired on Feb. 2, 2016, on All Things Considered. Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit NPR.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit NPR.

Predictions are for psychics — and in this very unpredictable political season they might do a better job than the pundits. But what about a computer? I set out to see how well it could predict which controversies around the candidates were likely to re-emerge over the course of a month. And two human pundits have agreed to compete against the machine.

Meet The Contestants

The Computer

Planet Money Explores The Value Of Crude Oil

Sep 19, 2016

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The Obama administration is trying to put the focus on refugees this week during the United Nations General Assembly. The efforts began with a senior official filming an interview with Grover from Sesame Street. Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit NPR.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit NPR.

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