NPR News & Stories From WUNC

Regulatory “Ping-Pong” no game for businesses

Dec 15, 2017

The Federal Communications Commission voted yesterday to get rid of Obama-era net neutrality rules that were just over two years old. It was a similar story over at the National Labor Relations Board, where some Obama-era rules that unions liked, and companies didn't, have gone away. Politics aside, this kind of big switch, when a new administration comes in and changes the composition of the commissioners at regulatory agencies, results in substantial regulatory uncertainty for big chunks of the American economy.

MC Afrikan Boy's 'Wot It Do?' is a call to action

Dec 15, 2017
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Derrick Kakembo 

MC Afrikan Boy, Olushola Ajose, returns with his latest track, "Wot it Do?" It’s a danceable, club-ready track that aims to bring people to the dance floor.

The Southeast London Afrogrime musician bursts with energy, pairing neatly woven references to childhood nursery rhymes with a range of influences within grime, early afrobeat and Nigerian juju.

Under my bed, I have a box stuffed with high school memories, including a bright orange binder, labeled “Warning, this is not school-related."

Inside, there are pages and pages of deeply meaningful conversations I had on AOL Instant Messenger, full of gossip, flirting and those tortured goodbyes. Like this one: 

Sweetnsour435 — that was me. 

Are These Condom Ads Too Sexy For TV?

Dec 15, 2017

Congress faces a deluge in fixing flood insurance

Dec 15, 2017

Last year, when Hurricane Matthew was spinning havoc in the Atlantic, Virginia Wasserberg’s house was spared gale-force winds, but the hurricane brought storm surge into her home.

“The entire first floor of the home suffered about 18 inches of flood water,” said Wasserberg, who lives in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Much of the loss had sentimental value. “Some items that were irreplaceable — things that were given to us from family members that had passed away,” she said. “You’re not going to recover those items again.”

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Managing mental health in the midst of disaster

Dec 15, 2017

After a disaster, a major network of disaster counselors and mental health professional spring into action. Their task? Aid people with the sometimes long and invisible recovery that takes place following a traumatic event.

It could be after a natural disaster, like a hurricane or wildfire. Or a tragedy, like a mass shooting or crime. Either way, there's an important personal recovery that needs to take place — and people whose job it is to help.

Elizabeth Jameson sure hopes so.

“I'm a quadriplegic which means I can't use anything to navigate a wheelchair by myself,” said Jameson, who learned she had multiple sclerosis in her mid-30s. “I don't have the use of hand or arms, so I can't use a joystick to do anything with my power wheelchair.”

As companies from Uber to Ford to Tesla scramble to perfect self-driving car technology, others hope companies also set their sights elsewhere, on using that technology to create self-driving wheelchairs.

Updated at 6:25 p.m. ET

Congressional Republicans released a final draft of their tax bill Friday. With newfound support from two wavering senators, lawmakers appear to be on track to pass the measure and deliver it to President Trump for his signature by Christmas.

Votes in the House and Senate are expected next week.

What does it cost to replace large parts of a barren ice planet with a big ol’ gun? It’s actually a lot less than you’d think.

It was just before three o’clock on the afternoon of Oct. 16 when Malta’s most famous, outspoken blogger got into her car for what was to be the last time.

Minutes later, a bomb planted under the driver’s seat flung the vehicle into a field beside the road. Daphne Caruana Galizia, who’d relentlessly attacked corruption in the tiny island nation, was dead.

What's next for Brexit?

Dec 15, 2017

British Prime Minister Theresa May must be feeling more than a little punch drunk over Brexit — Britain's exit from the European Union. A week ago, she was hailed a heroine in Parliament for pulling off the first stage of the exit negotiations. Then, only days later, she suffered a humiliating parliamentary defeat when a number of pro-EU supporters voted against her during the passage of an important bill. The next day in Brussels, she was applauded by other EU leaders, some of whom earlier in the week had been bitterly criticizing her. So what is going on with Brexit?

On December 1, we ran a story about "the best and worst charity of ads of 2017."

12/15/2017: Forget brunch, plan a dinner party

Dec 15, 2017

(Markets Edition) Republicans are still trying to hammer out the details of their tax overhaul, with some concerned about the expiration date for individual tax cuts and who will stay in the top tax bracket. Christopher Low, chief economist at FTN Financial, joined us to talk about how markets are feeling about it. According to them, this tax plan still seems to be on the path for passage, despite reservations from leaders in Congress.

When Hurricane Irma hit a string of islands in the Caribbean in September, a young broadcaster remained on the air in Anguilla. Three months later, she says the British territory has come a long way, but the recovery effort continues.

Here & Now‘s Robin Young reconnects with Nisha Dupuis (@DupuisNisha), a 19-year-old journalist and student in Anguilla.

Military Takes On Driverless Vehicles

Dec 15, 2017

Autonomous vehicles have caught the attention of companies like Tesla, Uber and Google. Now, add the U.S. military to that list.

Kevin Lavery of WKAR in East Lansing, Michigan, reports.

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Courtesy of Orquesta El Macabeo

Months after Puerto Rico was hit by back-to-back hurricanes, the island’s artistic community faces considerable challenges in its path toward recovery. Hurricane María — the second and more devastating storm — dealt a crippling blow to an already weakened power grid, resulting in a protracted blackout.

When Aaron Anaya arrived in Puerto Rico in November to help restore the San Juan electric grid, he realized he’d have to start with the maps. Anaya, an electrical engineer with Con Edison in New York, spends most of his 16-hour days translating work requests from Puerto Rico’s power authority, PREPA, into assignments for crews from New York. But PREPA's maps didn’t have the detail the workers needed.

“You have to be able to relate what’s on the map with what’s in the field, and it’s very different,” Anaya said. “It looks nothing like flat little lines. Things are everywhere.”

Updated at 4:50 p.m. ET

The day after the suicide of Kentucky state Rep. Dan Johnson, his widow announced that she plans to run for his seat.

"Dan is gone but the story of his life is far from over," Rebecca Johnson said in a statement Thursday to multiple news outlets. "These high-tech lynchings based on lies and half-truths can't be allowed to win the day. I've been fighting behind my husband for 30 years and his fight will go on."

As technology changes, so do our daily lives — whether it's the places we go on the internet, how we pay for goods or how we get from point A to point B. On this week's show we dive into the future of the internet now that the Federal Communications Commission has rolled back net neutrality, take a look at mental health following disaster and touch on the opioid epidemic. Then, the five questions you always wondered, but were too nervous to ask, about bitcoin. Also, could driverless technology transform how we think about wheelchairs?

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December means lovely celebrations with your family — and also, sometimes, at work. When you factor in gift-giving and holiday parties, you start to realize that there's whole universe of etiquette this time of year.

Thankfully, our regular guest Alison Green, who writes the blog "Ask a Manager," is here to help guide us through any holiday faux pas. Marketplace host Lizzie O'Leary went to Green for some holiday-related work advice. The following is an edited transcript of their conversation.  

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