Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 6:45 am
Canada's leaders have ended their country's longstanding resistance to asbestos being called a dangerous material under United Nations guidelines, a decision that reflects a shift in the leadership of Quebec province, home of Canada's asbestos industry.
Quebec's incoming premier, Pauline Marois, promised late in her campaign that she would shut down the region's asbestos mines for good. She says that she will use money that would have gone to restart the mines to diversify the local economy.
As Dan Karpenchuk reports for NPR's Newscast unit:
An apple a day might keep the doctor away, but what do you do when there are no apples? It's a question western Michigan's apple growers are dealing with this season after strange weather earlier in the year decimated the state's apple cultivation.
Michigan is the third-largest apple producer in the U.S. after New York and Washington, but the state's apples will soon be in short supply. Now in the middle of harvest season, growers are picking only 10 percent to 15 percent of their normal crop.
Originally published on Mon September 17, 2012 3:18 pm
There's nothing like a ready-made crowd to help a group get its message out. That's why a conservative political organization set up shop Sunday outside the St. Louis Rams-Washington Redskins NFL football game.
Why mix politics and football?
"People are here," explained Patrick Werner, Missouri state director for Americans for Prosperity.
Football fans are used to encountering promotional tents for sports-talk radio stations and brands of beer and mixed nuts on their way to the game. Not so many of them expect to discuss politics as part of the pregame festivities.
During his 2008 presidential campaign, Barack Obama ran on the platform of "change we can believe in" — but he has a different approach to the Supreme Court's interpretation of constitutional law.
"Obama is a great believer in stability — in the absence of change — when it comes to the work of the Supreme Court," Jeffrey Toobin, author and senior legal analyst for CNN, tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "He is the one trying to hold onto the older decisions, and [Chief Justice John] Roberts is the one who wants to move the court in a dramatically new direction."
Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 6:46 am
As Americans increasingly rely on cards, not cash, to pay for small items like coffee and snacks, it's not always easy to tip the baristas and counter folks who make those transactions run smoothly. A new device called the "Dip Jar" might fix that, by allowing customers to dip a card to give $1 to the staff.
That might come as welcome news to workers behind the counter, who've seen debit and credit cards take over from cash. As a result, there's less change from which to pull a tip for the traditional jar that's often seen on counters where coffee, beer, or sandwiches are sold.
For many people, the phrase "Scandinavian food" probably doesn't bring much to mind beyond the Ikea food court. For those who do have a connection with these Northern European countries, the mental image is probably smothered in gravy with a side of potatoes. But if you're coming to Copenhagen's noma restaurant expecting the same old meatballs and pickled fish, think again.
U.S. astronaut Sunita Williams is now in command of the International Space Station, after receiving control of the facility this weekend. Three departing astronauts whose capsule left the station early Monday landed safely three and a half hours later.
For NPR's Newscast, Peter van Dyk filed this report from Moscow:
Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 9:53 am
Here's an old, old, question, but this time with a surprise twist. The question is — and I bet you asked it when you were 8 years old and sitting on a beach: Which are there more of — grains of sand on the Earth or stars in the sky?
Obviously, grains and stars can't be counted, not literally. But you can guestimate.
Twenty years ago, writer George R.R. Martin left the television industry because TV executives kept telling him his ideas were too expensive to shoot. So he went home and wrote A Game of Thrones. It was the first novel in an epic fantasy series that's now sold millions of copies and has been made into a hit TV series by HBO ... where executives keep telling him his ideas are too expensive to shoot.
Originally published on Mon September 17, 2012 1:31 pm
Today's 150th anniversary of the Battle of Antietam got us thinking: What if Civil War photographer Alexander Gardner could revisit some of the original sites he photographed? If he used his equipment today, what would the images look like? That is: How have the landscapes changed — or stayed the same?
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, last year the Occupy Wall Street movement dominated headlines for weeks and added terms like the 99 percent to our political vocabularies. But a year after the protests started we wanted to know where the movement stands now. We're going to call writer and activist Debra Dickerson about this. She's at the heart of the anniversary protest. That's later in the program.
The Occupy Wall Street movement marks its first anniversary this week. Its supporters argue that it elevated the issue of economic inequality, but others say it made more noise than change. Host Michel Martin discusses the movement with author Debra Dickerson, who is still participating in protests and writes about them for Slate.com.
For generations women have been told, if you want a man, learn to cook. That's exactly why feminist writer Shayla Pierce stayed out of the kitchen. But now she finds herself with a boyfriend, learning to cook, and wondering if that makes her a sellout. She speaks with host Michel Martin about her article and her change of heart.
Believe it or not, there's a lot of food involved in wet-plate photography. Egg whites (albumen) are used to make the glass plates adhesive to the light-sensitive chemicals. And one way to keep the plates from drying out after processing is to coat them in honey. It's also physically demanding, so you get really hungry.
China's state-run media is warning that Japan could endure another "lost decade" of economic stagnation should Beijing resort to trade retaliation over Japan's purchase of disputed islands.
The warning comes amid a surge of anti-Japanese nationalism across China that sparked huge and sometimes violent protests over the weekend. As the economic cost of the protests begins to escalate, it's becoming clearer exactly who might be behind them.
Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 2:42 pm
Yes, we love salt. It makes everything taste better. But as a society, we're eating way too much of it. And, so are our children.
A new study from researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that children in the U.S. between the ages of 8 and 18 are eating, on average, 3,387 mg per day. That's about the same amount as adults. But it's a lot more than the 2,300 mg daily limit recommended by the federal dietary guidelines.