NPR News & Stories From WUNC

Hundreds of troops have arrived to assist Border Patrol agents.  But National Guard operations are not yet fully underway.

(Markets Edition) The International Monetary Fund — which gets called to the rescue when economies melt down — meets in Washington. We'll talk to Diane Swonk, chief economist at the firm Grant Thornton, about one especially big worry that's looming: world debt. And the leader of that happens to be the U.S. Afterwards, we'll look at why rivals Amazon and Best Buy are partnering to sell televisions, and then we'll explore how a rise in trawlers off the coast of Senegal is causing local fishermen to lose their livelihoods.

Updated at 10:05 p.m. ET

Alabama has executed 83-year-old serial bomber Walter Leroy Moody by lethal injection.

Moody is the oldest inmate executed in the U.S. since the Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1976, according to the Death Penalty Information Center.

It's getting easier to find top-notch, handcrafted whiskey, bourbon, vodka, and other spirits made in the U.S. With more than 1,500 craft distillers across the country, the American spirits movement is on the rise, and in Vermont, the industry is booming.

Over the past 15 years, the number of licensed distilleries in the Green Mountain State has increased nearly tenfold: from just three to more than 24, according to Vermont's Distilled Spirits Council.

Incomplete questionnaires for the 2020 census, including those that leave the controversial citizenship question unanswered, will still be included in the upcoming U.S. headcount, the Census Bureau's top official confirmed Wednesday to lawmakers.

Updated at 5:40 p.m. ET

The felony invasion-of-privacy case against Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens can continue, Circuit Judge Rex Burlison ruled in St. Louis on Thursday. Many of Greitens' fellow Republicans have urged him to resign; he has refused.

Burlison announced he would not dismiss the case in response to a motion from Greitens' defense team, reports St. Louis Public Radio's Jason Rosenbaum.

Room 615 in Vladivostok's Hotel Gavan is a cramped, two-room "business suite" with green wallpaper and carpeting. Yet when former North Korean leader Kim Jong Il traveled to Russia's Pacific coast in 2002, the modest digs served as his presidential suite.

Amazon and Best Buy are partnering to sell televisions. As part of the deal, Best Buy will sell Amazon smart TVs in their stores and on Amazon as a third-party merchant. What’s bringing two apparent rivals together to sell expensive gadgets to consumers?

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

With the weekly jobless claims out Thursday, we look at whether the tight labor market is creating opportunities for younger workers. Are employers more willing to look at — and train — younger workers? And are young workers prepared for the jobs that are available?

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

Trumping Hate

Apr 19, 2018

Has President Donald Trump inspired the people committing hate crimes and other hate threats across the country? There’s been a lot of conversation about how Trump has inspired -- or at least capitalized on -- a new wave of hate in America. Little of that conversation has been based in provable facts. But Reveal’s Will Carless noticed a pattern while mining Documenting Hate, a collaboration led by ProPublica to collate hate incident data from across the country: People were using Trump’s name to taunt people of color, women, Muslims, immigrants and LGBT people.

Book creates buzz about native bees of North America

Apr 19, 2018

When it comes to bees, honeybees get all the attention. But as a new book will tell you, honeybees are just one fraction of the many types of bees buzzing outside the collective consciousness of most Americans.

(U.S. Edition) Central bankers and finance ministers from around the world are in Washington this week for the International Monetary Fund and World Bank's annual spring meeting. We'll look at some of the major concerns likely to be addressed, which include government debt.

The beach in Dakar, Senegal is empty except for a group of singing fishermen, pushing their colorful wooden boat back to shore. The windy weather has kept many on land today – including Mamadou Mbaye, head of Senegal’s fishermen union. He says the sea is depleted of fish because of foreign trawlers, and fishermen often work three straight months in order to make just under $20 a day – half of which goes to expenses like gasoline. And here’s no guarantee they’ll catch something. The fish, he adds, started to go away about ten years ago.

The joint alert from the FBI and Department of Homeland Security last month warning that Russia was hacking into critical U.S. energy infrastructure may have shaken some Americans. But it came as no surprise to the country's largest grid operator, PJM Interconnection.

Democratic Sen. Ben Cardin On Pompeo

Apr 19, 2018

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CIA Director Mike Pompeo is not confirmed as secretary of state but is doing some diplomacy. President Trump spoke yesterday of Pompeo's previously secret mission to clear the way for a summit with North Korea's leader.

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(Global Edition) From the BBC World Service … New leadership in Zimbabwe hasn’t brought a new economic reality. This week, thousands of nurses went on strike and they’re threatening legal action if they aren’t reinstated. Then, a changing of the guard in Cuba and the first time in decades a Castro won’t be at the nation’s helm. But what does it mean for the country’s citizens and economic well-being? 

Many Americans rely on a cable provider to connect them to broadband internet, and streaming and other tech trends are changing the way we watch television. Marketplace Tech host Molly Wood spoke with Amanda Lotz about her new book, "We Now Disrupt This Broadcast," on the role of cable and the internet in transforming the way we are entertained.    

 

Why cutting the cord isn't so easy in the U.S.

Apr 19, 2018

TV is changing all around us. Just last week, ESPN, a pillar of cable subscription bundles, launched its own streaming service, ESPN Plus. It’s just part of how streaming and other tech trends are changing the way we watch television. Old-fashioned cable subscriptions meanwhile seem like something out of "Land of the Lost." Given all that, it’s easy to forget that just a few years ago, the big disruptor in the TV industry was cable.

Political brawls over voting laws have consumed states across the country for the past decade. But below the surface, a movement to automatically register eligible voters to vote is rapidly gaining traction. By next year, more than a quarter of all Americans will live in states where they no longer have to fill out registration forms in order to cast a ballot.

The Federal Aviation Administration has ordered inspections of fan blades on some jet engines of the same type as the one that blew apart on a Southwest Airlines flight, causing the death of a passenger and injuring seven others.

Meanwhile, Philadelphia's medical examiner says Jennifer Riordan, who died on the Dallas-bound Boeing 737 flight, was killed by blunt trauma to her head, neck and torso when she was partially blown out a cabin window shattered by engine debris. Federal inspectors say Riordan, 43, was wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident.

This week, Russian officials began implementing a planned ban on the popular messaging platform Telegram after the company refused to hand over access to its users’ encrypted messages. But it appears the implementation of the ban is not going as smoothly as Russian authorities had hoped.

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Olivia Pope is about to handle her final crisis. She's the fictional political fixer at ABC drama "Scandal," which airs its final episode tonight. Here's NPR TV critic Eric Deggans.

Avoid Traffic Fines By Confessing Online

Apr 19, 2018

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When Lane Murdock, a high school sophomore, heard that 17 high school students and educators had been killed in a shooting in Parkland, Fla., she says she felt numb.

To her, and so many others, mass shootings can feel all too common in the U.S.

"In the time I've been in high school we've had the Pulse, Las Vegas and now, [the Parkland] shooting," Murdock says.

Most people are familiar with some form of triage: When you go to an emergency room, you first sit down with a triage nurse who records your symptoms, takes your vital signs and assesses the urgency of your medical need.

As of Thursday, that's happening over the phone for 911 callers in Washington, D.C., where triage nurses now sit alongside 911 dispatchers to help field calls.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., does not support a measure that would make it harder for President Trump to fire special counsel Robert Mueller, but that isn't stopping some Republicans from forcing the debate.

North Carolina Republican Thom Tillis said Wednesday that he will continue working on a bill to allow Mueller access to speedy judicial review if Trump tries to force him out of his job leading the Justice Department investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election — with or without McConnell's support.

First Listen: Liz Brasher, 'Outcast'

Apr 19, 2018

Getting to know a new artist's music can feel like falling in love. One's senses are awakened, and every nuance is noted and internalized. When it comes to Liz Brasher, this is especially true, as each layer brings forth new things to ponder. There is, first, the remarkable instrument of her voice, which can deliver a power-pop howl as easily as it croons a stormy country ballad. Then the guitar captures you, at once crunchy and percussive.

Former Playboy model Karen McDougal, who claims to have had a 10-month affair with President Trump that ended in 2007, has settled a lawsuit with the owner of the National Enquirer that kept her from publicly discussing the relationship.

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