NPR News & Stories Via WUNC

Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

As the election between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump nears, the prospects have never been greater that the United States could join the 50 other democracies that have been led by a woman.

So it’s timely to ask: What might this mean for American gender equality and foreign policy?

A lot.

Pope Francis met with the president of Venezuela on Monday for a private conversation about that country's acute political and economic crisis, as the Vatican announced it would be mediating a meeting between Venezuela's government and the opposition.

A statement from the Holy See, as translated by Catholic News Agency, said the pope encouraged President Nicolas Maduro "to undertake with courage the path of sincere and constructive dialogue" and "to alleviate the suffering of the people — first of all, those who are poor."

In a working-class city in southeast Michigan there's a barbershop where kids get a $2 discount for reading a book aloud to their barber.

The best and worst countries to be a girl

Oct 25, 2016
Muhammad Hamed/Reuters

The international children's rights organization Save the Children recently released their "Girls' Opportunity Index," which rates the countries of the world where it is best and worst to be a girl.

The index, part of a broader report, makes its assessments using five common indicators: child marriage, teen pregnancy, maternal deaths, women's representation in parliament and girls' graduation rates in school.

Telecom giant AT&T has reached an $85.4 billion deal to buy media titan Time Warner. The news of this transformational merger has shaken up both industries, raising eyebrows on Wall Street and drawing criticism from lawmakers and even the presidential campaigns.

It's a familiar scene for sleep-deprived parents everywhere: They put down the baby in the bassinet to sleep, and those tiny eyes flutter shut. Then they flutter back open and the crying starts. The only thing perhaps more harrowing than those long wakeful nights of a baby's first year is the fear that one day the child won't wake up.

President Obama's days in office are dwindling, and it's clear he intends to have as much fun as he can on the way out. Last night during a West Coast fundraising trip, he stopped by ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live.

Obama took part in a recurring bit called "Mean Tweets," which consists of reading aloud some of the, you guessed it, mean tweets about him of late.

Such as:

@nathan: "Barack Obama is the Nickelback of presidents."

@woodstockdave: "Obama couldn't negotiate getting a Whopper without pickles."

Omar Sobhani/Reuters

Since 2001, the US has spent an estimated $1.5 billion on improving women's lives in Afghanistan.

What has it been like to be on the receiving end of this attention? More Afghan women are in school and employed in jobs. Maternal mortality has decreased. Yet others say the funds were wasteful and mismanaged, and a patriarchal culture remains. More needs to change.

Marketplace for Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Oct 25, 2016

Two things that are about to get more expensive: World Series tickets and Obamacare premiums, but there's a little more to it than that. Plus: another installment of our election series "How the Deck is Stacked," looking at the immigrants employed by agriculture and tech in Washington state.

Video game actors are on strike

Oct 25, 2016
Tony Wagner

More than 350 actors picketed Electronic Arts' offices in Playa Vista, Calif. yesterday, striking for higher pay and better working conditions for video game work.

Four people have died at an amusement park in Australia after an accident on a water ride on Tuesday.

The victims were all adults — two men and two women — Stuart Cohen reports for NPR from Sydney. The accident occurred at Dreamworld amusement park, a popular destination on Queensland state's Gold Coast.

An attack on a police academy in Quetta, Pakistan, has left more than 60 people dead and more than 100 others injured, NPR's Philip Reeves reports.

Most of the dead were young police cadets, he says.

"The cadets were asleep when the assault began. One survivor says three or four gunmen barged into their dormitory and started firing," Philip reports. "Some cadets escaped by jumping off the roof. Officials say all the attackers are now dead, and that two detonated suicide vests."

Lipton tea can be found in almost any grocery store, and the brand is just about synonymous with industrial Big Tea. So tea enthusiasts who sniff at the familiar square bags might be surprised that once upon a time, Lipton was known as the "farm to table" of the tea world. In fact, it was sold with the catchy slogan "direct from tea garden to tea pot."

So how did Thomas Lipton build this tea empire?

The Amorphophallus titanum is a striking plant even before you get close enough to smell it. Its scientific name means giant, misshapen phallus and it is not hard to see why. A giant column called a spadix rises 7 feet into the air from the center of a pleated funnel.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit


Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit


Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit


Good morning. I'm David S. Greene. Perhaps you saw that "Saturday Night Live" skit with Tom Hanks in a crazy pumpkin suit. He was David S. Pumpkins, the not-so-scary but frequent feature of a haunted house.


The world has reached a milestone on renewable energy

Oct 25, 2016

On today's show, we'll talk about news that renewable energy has surpassed coal as the largest source of power capacity; efforts from private companies and local governments to improve infrastructure; and a startup that plans to produce bike locks that will make thieves vomit if they try to steal your vehicle. 

William Bowen, a scholar and former president of Princeton University, died last week. He is associated with one of the key explanations for just why a college degree keeps getting more and more and more expensive.

Bowen, who was President of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and before that, led Princeton from 1972 to 1988, died Oct. 20 at the age of 83.

Nearly half of all American adults have been entered into law enforcement facial recognition databases, according to a recent report from Georgetown University's law school. But there are many problems with the accuracy of the technology that could have an impact on a lot of innocent people.

University of Cincinnati police officer Ray Tensing's body camera was on when he pulled over Sam DuBose last year for a missing front license plate. From the footage, it is clear that Tensing is asking DuBose for his driver's license, and DuBose says he doesn't have it.

David Brancaccio

A super PAC with an allegiance to Donald Trump has been courting Pennsylvania's Amish community.

The Amish, who embrace simple living and reject modern conveniences, have historically been supportive of Republicans. But Trump isn't a conventional Republican nominee, said the Economist Magazine's Rosemarie Ward

Ward was recently in Amish Country near Lancaster, Pennsylvania. She joined us to talk about the group's political leanings and how they might perceive Trump. 

Kim Adams

The National Basketball Association will, this season, become the first professional sports league to offer a regular schedule of live games delivered in virtual reality. At least one NBA League Pass game per week will be live-streamed in virtual reality. The move could be a big deal for the NBA and other sports. What is the technology involved?

Private companies pay to improve border crossings

Oct 25, 2016
Monica Ortiz Uribe

At the border crossing in Santa Teresa, New Mexico, nearly 200 trucks a day move thousands of Dell computers assembled at a factory in Mexico into the United States. The company also moves materials south needed to assemble its computers.

"For some time Dell has been anxious… to increase the volume going south bound to its manufacturing facility in Mexico," said Karl Laskas, who heads up global trade for Dell.

The one thing holding the company back? Limited hours at the port of entry.