NPR News & Stories Via WUNC

The oil giant BP opened a gas station in the outskirts of Mexico City in March.

On the surface it doesn’t sound like much. But it also happens to be the first global retail brand to operate a fueling station in Mexico since the country began loosening restrictive energy policies that date back to the 1930s.

Here & Now‘s Peter O’Dowd takes a closer look at where the new station fits in the Mexican government’s efforts to open the country’s energy market.

Sarmad Gilani was working at Google’s offices in San Francisco one morning when he received a message that two cops were waiting for him in Google’s lobby.

The 31-year-old software engineer at Google figured the officers just wanted to talk about an unpaid parking ticket. But Gilani also wondered if the officers had a more complicated motive.

“Just in case they throw me in Guantanamo, please bail me out,” he told a co-worker.

Updated at 4:12 p.m. ET

The Trump administration Wednesday put forth a proposal that it labeled a "massive" tax overhaul, which would give big tax cuts to individuals and corporations and reduce the number of tax brackets and deductions.

Tiny, 3-D clusters of human brain cells grown in a petri dish are providing hints about the origins of disorders like autism and epilepsy.

An experiment using these cell clusters — which are only about the size of the head of a pin — found that a genetic mutation associated with both autism and epilepsy kept developing cells from migrating normally from one cluster of brain cells to another, researchers report in the journal Nature.

About 1 million Americans live in Mexico, and many of them do so illegally. But it’s much easier to navigate life in Mexico as an immigrant without proper documents than it is in the United States.

Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson explores this with two people who have firsthand experience with the differences.

Editor’s Note: Here & Now agreed not to use our guests’ last names for this conversation.

Interview Highlights

On Eddie’s immigration story and the limitations of his status

Reporters and on-air personalities are among the roughly 100 ESPN employees who are expected to lose their jobs this week, in a cost-cutting move at the network that has lost millions of subscribers in recent years.

The annual TED conference is known for featuring impressive speakers. Attendees at this year's event in Vancouver have seen Serena Williams and Jorge Ramos, futurists and artificial intelligence experts, health activists and the ACLU's executive director.

But on Tuesday evening, one unannounced speaker took the audience by surprise: Pope Francis.

The pope was on a big screen rather than onstage, and his address had been recorded and edited earlier in April, but still: even for non-Catholics, the bishop of Rome has a certain gravitas.

Under pressure from worker advocates and growing consumer awareness, Tyson Foods on Wednesday promised better conditions for employees at its meat-processing plants.

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Courtesy of the Bailey family

A controversial child trafficking trial starts this Thursday for a 64-year-old American woman who throughout the late 1990s and early 2000s placed hundreds of Guatemalan children with American families. If convicted, she could face more than a decade in prison.

Copyright 2017 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Copyright 2017 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Twenty-five years ago this week, four Los Angeles policemen — three of them white — were acquitted of the savage beating of Rodney King, an African-American man. Caught on camera by a bystander, graphic video of the attack was broadcast into homes across the nation and worldwide.

Fury over the acquittal — stoked by years of racial and economic inequality in the city — spilled over into the streets, resulting in five days of rioting in Los Angeles. It ignited a national conversation about racial and economic disparity and police use of force that continues today.

Mexico has long argued that U.S. labeling rules for dolphin-safe tuna unfairly restrict its access to the U.S. market. And in a decision Tuesday, the World Trade Organization agreed, saying Mexico may seek $163 million annually from the U.S. in retaliatory measures.

The controversial labeling rules, aimed at protecting dolphins from getting ensnared in fishing nets and killed, date back to 1990.

Researchers in Southern California say they've uncovered evidence that humans lived there 130,000 years ago.

If it's true, it would be the oldest sign of humans in the Americas ever — predating the best evidence up to now by about 115,000 years. And the claim has scientists wondering whether to believe it.

A U.S. missile defense system that's now being installed in South Korea will be operational "in the coming days," says Adm. Harry Harris, commander of the U.S. Pacific Command.

It’s looking unlikely that Congress will take up immigration reform this fall.

But the push is still on to put deportations and immigrant detention centers under the microscope. And some of those leading this effort are immigrants themselves — who’ve spent time in detention centers — and are organizing to support those still inside.

Luis Nolasco was nine when his parents brought him to California from Mexico.

Back then, his family’s “undocumented” status meant little to him, but that changed his senior year of high school.

For more than four decades, Jonathan Demme threaded a diverse path through the film industry — beginning as a publicist, filming everything from documentaries to comedic sendups, and finally earning the status of Oscar-winning elder statesman. He was 73.

The director died Wednesday in Manhattan from complications of esophageal cancer. His publicist, 42 West, confirmed Demme's death to NPR.

Demme made films such as The Silence of the Lambs and Stop Making Sense that have helped define their respective genres.

ESPN announced a long-awaited round of layoffs today. About 100 staff members are expected to be let go, including on-air reporters and commentators. The cuts are a clear sign of the new economic reality facing live sports broadcasting.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

You'll need a few viewings to make any sense out of the new Father John Misty video for "Total Entertainment Forever." The song is, at least in part, an indictment against popular culture, the blind adoration of pop stars and the rampant obsession with virtual reality.

The 'nerd prom' had critics long before Trump

Apr 26, 2017
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Adrienne Hill and Sean McHenry

What happens when reporters and Washington elites call a truce? They hold the White House Correspondents' dinner, also known as the nerd prom. Back when the dinner started in 1921, about 50 people showed up. Now the guest list numbers in the thousands, and the festivities include a red carpet, and a slew of pre-parties and after-parties, and brunches. What once happened in a single night now unfolds over a week, but the guest of honor won't be attending this year. Instead, President Trump will be holding a rally in Pennsylvania, although he's not the only person criticizing the dinner.

Fact-checking Trump’s latest tweet on the economy

Apr 26, 2017

Key to President Trump’s tax plans announced today is accelerated economic growth. That’s probably one reason the president took to Twitter this morning to complain about modest growth in 2016. He said trade deficits were to blame. "Trade deficits hurt the economy very badly" he wrote. But economists say that’s not really right.

 Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

What the "Spinal Tap" lawsuit means for Hollywood

Apr 26, 2017
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Adrienne Hill and Maria Hollenhorst

"This is Spinal Tap," the mockumentary about a fictional heavy-metal band, paved the way for a genre of docu-style films and TV shows, like "Best in Show," "The Office" and "Modern Family." But much like the fictional band’s failed entrance to onto a Cleveland Stage, when "This is Spinal Tap" was released in 1984, its box office take was a letdown. But in the years since it opened, it’s become a classic.

Why Net Neutrality Rules are in danger

Apr 26, 2017
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Adrienne Hill and Molly Wood

While a lot of attention today was on tax reform, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai was making news of his own. Pai outlined today what might be next for net neutrality, including a possible roll back of Obama-era regulations on internet service providers. Pai also said high-speed internet service shouldn't be treated like a public utility.

Host Adriene Hill spoke with Marketplace’s senior tech correspondent Molly Wood to get some context on the latest news for net neutrality. Below is an edited transcript of their conversation.

Majority of Americans feel 'forgotten' by government

Apr 26, 2017
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Annie Baxter

Do you think the government in Washington generally represents your interests, or has the government forgotten about “people like you?” That was the new question we asked in our latest Marketplace-Edison Research Poll. 

Despite greater confidence about their economic futures, a whopping three-quarters of our respondents feel overlooked by Washington. 

“We're the forgotten Americans. We're swept under the rug,” said Glen Perkins, 60, an African-American truck driver in La Vergne, Tennessee, who participated in our poll.

Trump tax plan is heavy on cuts but light on details

Apr 26, 2017
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Marielle Segarra

The White House unveiled a one-page outline of President Trump’s long-touted tax plan today. The proposal is short on details, but among other things, it calls for a reduction in the corporate tax rate, from 35 percent to 15 percent. It also cuts down the number of income tax brackets to three and gets rid of the estate tax.

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