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Global elites turn a blind eye to Chinese dissent

Jan 29, 2015
Petar Kujundzic/Reuters

The Chinese government deserves credit of a kind. It may be running an authoritarian one-party state that limits basic freedoms for its people, but Beijing has made some progress since China's new leadership assumed power in March 2013.

U.S. adults see various science-related topics much differently than do America's top scientists, with the two groups expressing widely divergent views on the safety of genetically modified foods, climate change, human evolution, the use of animals in research and vaccines, according to a new report published by Pew Research Center.

What if you could drink the elixir of life — sip from a magical spring that would make you live forever? Would you do it? That's the question at the heart of Natalie Babbitt's Tuck Everlasting, a celebrated book for young readers that's marking its 40th anniversary this year.

In the book, 10-year-old Winnie Foster stumbles upon a secret spring and the family the spring has given eternal life to. The father, Angus Tuck, takes Winnie out in a rowboat to explain how unnatural it is to live forever; how the great wheel of life has to turn:

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Questions of gender identity are nothing new. Way before Transparent and Chaz Bono and countless other popular culture stepping stones to where we are now regarding gender identity, there were accounts of "female husbands."

It happens at least once every episode: A scene in Parenthood carefully crafted to make you cry.

Like the moment when devoted parents Adam and Kristina Braverman try to console their son Max — who has Asperger's syndrome — after a school camping trip goes bad.

"Why do all the other kids hate me?" Max Braverman asks, voice wavering, just before telling his disbelieving parents a classmate relieved himself in his canteen during the trip. "Asperger's is supposed to make me smart. But if I'm smart then why ... why don't I get why they're laughing at me?"

The newest inductees into the Pro Football Hall of Fame will be picked on Saturday. This happens as the Hall itself is planning a radical change over the next four years — transforming from a museum into a complex of hotels, conference centers and corporate training facilities — what backers envision as the Disney of Pro Football.

But, perhaps the most unusual part of that project is an assisted living center for aging Hall of Fame football players.

At Fieldale Farms in Gainesville, Ga., workers cut up chicken breasts and feed the parts into machines. The pieces are then marinated, breaded and eventually sold to restaurants.

The work here can be physically demanding. Not a lot of people want to do it — even though the average wage here is $16 per hour plus benefits.

Tom Hensley, the company president, says Fieldale Farms hires just about anyone who can pass a drug test.

"We hire 100 people a week. Because we have 100 people who quit every week, out of 5,000 employees," he says. "We're constantly short."

A new report on the growth of court fines and fees that are charged to often-impoverished offenders is focusing on another group that pays: their families.

Dartmouth College is banning hard liquor on campus and will introduce a mandatory four-year sexual violence prevention and education program for students. The steps are part of Dartmouth President Philip Hanlon's plans to reform social life at the Ivy League college.

Right now, there's a giant, helium-filled balloon soaring high over the Pacific Ocean.

Troy Bradley of Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Leonid Tiukhtyaev, from Moscow, are at the helm. The international duo, known as the Two Eagles Balloon Team, launched from Saga, Japan, on January 24. They've been riding the wind ever since.

"Right now, they're at 25,000 feet," reports Steven Shope, the director at Two Eagles mission control in Albuquerque. "A couple of days ago they were upwards of 75 miles an hour."

When it comes to the news — what its contents are and how it is delivered — who knows best? This conversation has been taking place as newsrooms go digital and social. This week the messaging app Snapchat weighed in, launching a new feature called Discover.

Guantanamo Bay is home to the United States' oldest overseas base. And since it was established in 1903, the base has been a bone of contention in U.S. and Cuban relations. Melissa Block talks to Vanderbilt History professor Paul Kramer.

Dinner is served in the West Philadelphia neighborhood of Mantua.

"You look like you're ready to have a great Dornsife neighborhood partnership meal! Am I right about it?" Rose Samuel-Evans asks the crowd at a free community dinner of chicken marsala and stuffed flounder hosted by Drexel University.

Samuel-Evans works in this two-story, orange-brick schoolhouse; it's one of three refurbished buildings that opened last summer north of campus as part of Drexel's Dornsife Center for Neighborhood Partnerships.

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