Ukraine was known as the breadbasket of the Soviet Union for its fertile fields of wheat. Now it's just a basket case. The outgoing finance minister said the country needed $35 billion to stave off bankruptcy over the next couple years.
Some analysts say that figure may be on the high side. Still, such admissions usually send potential donors dashing for the exits. Yet one thing Ukraine has in abundance these days, in addition to political turmoil, is a long line of financial suitors.
This is FRESH AIR. We're going to remember Justin Kaplan, the Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer who also edited the 16th edition of "Bartlett's Familiar Quotations," published in 1992 and the 17th edition, published in 2002. Justin Kaplan died Sunday at the age 88. His first book, a 1966 biography of Mark Twain, won a National Book Award, as well as a Pulitzer Prize. He also wrote biographies of Walt Whitman and Lincoln Steffens.
If you've heard about autonomous vehicles — cars that drive themselves — you probably associate them with Google, which is working onfully autonomous vehicles that will drive us to and fro while we're safely texting on our Android phones.
After a five-decade career in broadcasting, Carl Kasell announced his retirement on Tuesday.
Carl will record his final broadcast for Wait Wait ... Don't Tell Me! this spring. He will, however, remain "scorekeeper emeritus" for the show. Before becoming the official scorekeeper for the NPR news quiz show in 1998, Carl anchored the newscast for Morning Edition.
Here's something of another victory for new media over old media.
The New York Times on Tuesday corrected a 161-year-old report about the enslavement of Solomon Northup, after a Twitter user pointed out that the story had twice misspelled Northup's name — including in the headline.
Robert Ashley, a restlessly innovative American composer, died at his home in New York March 3 from complications of cirrhosis of the liver. NPR confirmed the composer's death through his wife and manager Mimi Johnson. Ashley was 83.
Last week, comedian, actor and activist Seth Rogen testified before Congress about the importance of research on Alzheimer's disease, highlighting the emotional and financial burden the disease places on families — like his own — whose loved ones are affected.
Insurance coverage for maternity care is required in most individual and small group plans under the federal health law, extending such coverage to plans where it used to be rare. But for women who prefer services provided by midwives and birthing centers, there are no coverage guarantees, despite the law's provisions that prohibit insurers from discriminating against licensed medical providers.
Originally published on Tue March 4, 2014 10:38 am
Russia's explanation for its military response to the crisis in Ukraine doesn't match real events, President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry said Tuesday. Speaking at news conferences held within moments of each other on different continents, they urged Russia to de-escalate the situation.
After unveiling his 2015 budget blueprint in Washington, D.C., the president was asked about Russian President Vladimir Putin's approach to the situation in Ukraine.
Originally published on Tue March 4, 2014 10:53 am
As expected, President Obama on Tuesday unveiled a $3.9 trillion budget plan for fiscal 2015 that his number crunchers say would produce a $564 billion deficit.
The gap between spending and revenue, while large, would be down from more than $744 billion this fiscal year and a record $1.4 trillion in 2009 — a fiscal year that began when President George W. Bush was still in office. Since then, deficits during the Obama years have topped $1 trillion three times.
Finally, today is Mardi Gras, the last day of celebration before the solemn season of Lent, which starts tomorrow in the Western or Catholic calendar. Of course, we must speak of food because the day brings parties and treats of all kinds, especially in New Orleans where they do it up big. And when you think about Mardi Gras treats, I bet you think of beignets - those addicting little puffs of fried dough finished in powdered sugar.