The United States puts more people behind bars than any other country, five times as many per capita compared with Britain or Spain.
It wasn't always like this. Half a century ago, relatively few people were locked up, and those inmates generally served short sentences. But 40 years ago, New York passed strict sentencing guidelines known as the "Rockefeller drug laws" — after their champion, Gov. Nelson Rockefeller — that put even low-level criminals behind bars for decades.
Three years after the devastating Port-au-Prince earthquake, one of the largest international relief projects in Haiti isn't anywhere near where the quake hit. It's an industrial park on the north coast halfway between Cap-Haitien and the border with the Dominican Republic.
Aid agencies are pouring millions of dollars into the project to encourage people to move out of the overcrowded capital and create jobs. Critics, however, say the jobs don't pay enough to lift people out of poverty.
It appears the American Airlines and US Airways are going to merge. There are multiple reports that late today the boards of the two companies approved the merger, which will create the country's largest carrier. The deal, if it survives regulators' antitrust review, will allow American to emerge from bankruptcy.
NPR's Wade Goodwyn joins us from Dallas with more on the merger. And Wade, what will the airline be called and what else can you tell us about the makeup of the newly merged company?
Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 4:20 pm
A blue-ribbon panel is urging stronger regulation of pharmaceuticals around the world to combat the growing problem of fake and poor-quality medicines.
The quality problems and fake medicines have affected Americans. Fungal contamination of steroids made by a Massachusetts pharmacy, which sickened more than 700 people and killed 46, is one recent example. Other U.S. patients have received fake cancer drugs and medicines obtained over the Internet with little or no active ingredients.
Hollywood's biggest night is in just a few weeks. People tend to focus on the glitz, the glamour and — of course — the gowns. But we thought we'd take a moment to focus on the gags.
Or rather what goes into writing both the jokes that fall flat and the jokes that soar. For a bit of Oscars Writing 101, NPR's All Things Considered turned to Dave Boone, who has written for the Academy Awards eight times.
Originally published on Wed February 13, 2013 1:08 pm
It might not be surprising that a recent poll revealed that George Clooney was the winner in a U.K. poll asking people who would make the best Valentine's Day date.
But things take a turn when you learn that the organization asking the question was Madame Tussauds. Yep — the "choose your dream date" question came straight from the wax museum people. The winner was George Clooney, so they stuck him out in the street, sitting on a sofa, so people could snuggle up to him.
Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 12:43 pm
Love NPR? Love someone who loves NPR? Share that feeling in the language of public radio with one of our new NPR Valentine cards. From syncing lips at the Tiny Desk to a Science Friday kind of chemistry, here are six designs that will appeal to your public radio sweetheart.
We've been able to record sound for over 125 years, but many of the recordings that have been made in that time are in terrible shape. Many more, even recordings made in the past 10 years, are in danger because rapid technological changes have rendered their software obsolete. So Wednesday, the Library of Congress unveiled a plan to help preserve this country's audio archives.
When there's a big snowstorm or a plane has mechanical problems, airports often turn into uncomfortable holding pens, with people scrunched in chairs, lying on floors, filling up restaurants and otherwise trying to find something to do.
That's actually good news for one company. Minute Suites is building tiny airport retreats across the country. The suites are already operating in Atlanta and Philadelphia. Next up are Dallas-Fort Worth and Chicago's O'Hare International Airport.