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StoryCorps
12:13 am
Wed October 23, 2013

A Father, A Daughter And Lessons Learned

Wil Smith with his daughter, Olivia, today.
StoryCorps

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 3:47 am

When we met Wil Smith last year, we learned that he and his daughter, Olivia, had been unlikely college roommates at Maine's Bowdoin College in the late '90s. At 27, not only was he older than the other students, but he was also a single dad raising an infant.

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Shots - Health News
12:12 am
Wed October 23, 2013

Haitian Cholera Strain Spreads To Mexico

A nurse treats a cholera patient at the Juan Pablo Pina Hospital in San Cristobal, Dominican Republic, in August. Health officials say that the strain of cholera circulating in the country— the same one that first appeared in Haiti three years ago — has also caused outbreaks in Cuba and now Mexico.
Erika Santelices AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 10:21 am

A South Asian strain of cholera that was introduced into Haiti three years ago this month has now spread to this continent's mainland.

Mexico is the fourth Western Hemisphere country to experience the cholera outbreak. It's a disease that's very hard to stamp out once it gets into an area with poor water and sanitation.

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Around the Nation
12:12 am
Wed October 23, 2013

It's City Vs. Creditors In Detroit Bankruptcy Trial

Detroit officially makes its case for bankruptcy before a federal judge on Wednesday. The city is currently saddled with $18 billion in long-term debt, and officials see bankruptcy as their only choice.
Paul Sancya AP

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 9:46 am

In Detroit on Wednesday, a federal trial begins that will determine whether that city is eligible for the nation's largest-ever municipal bankruptcy.

Hundreds of the city's creditors are lining up to oppose the bankruptcy, arguing that Detroit is violating Michigan's Constitution and that if officials tried harder they could find enough savings to pay the city's bills.

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Parallels
12:12 am
Wed October 23, 2013

Desperate Chinese Villagers Turn To Self-Immolation

Relatives of He Mengqing walk in front of his house, which the local government has slated for demolition. The rice farmer from Chenzhou in China's Hunan province rejected a government offer of compensation for his land; he set himself on fire when officials came for him.
Frank Langfitt NPR

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 8:07 am

In order to turn China into an urban nation, local governments have demolished tens of millions of homes over the past decade. Homeowners have often fought back, blocking heavy machinery and battling officials.

In recent years, resistance has taken a disturbing turn: Since 2009, at least 53 people across China have lit themselves on fire to protest the destruction of their homes, according to human rights and news reports.

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The Two-Way
3:54 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

Pew: Most Latinos Can't Name 'Most Important Hispanic Leader'

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor was named by 5 percent of respondents as "the most important Hispanic leader in the country today."
Win McNamee AFP/Getty Images

While most Latinos believe it's important for their community to have a national leader, most of them can't pinpoint whom they think that leader is.

That's the new finding from a survey released today by the Pew Research Hispanic Trends Project. Survey participants were asked an open-ended question to name the person they think is "the most important Hispanic leader in the country today."

Sixty-two percent responded they didn't know and 9 percent said no one.

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The Two-Way
3:21 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

The Sounds Of New York City, Circa 1920

Times Square near 42nd Street in New York City, in the 1920s.
AP

Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 4:59 pm

We can hear the music of the Roaring '20s anytime we want. But what if you could hear the day-to-day sounds of what it was like to live at that vibrant time?

That's the basis of Emily Thompson's project "The Roaring Twenties." She's a history professor at Princeton University who's been mapping the sounds of New York City in the late 1920s and early '30s.

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Around the Nation
3:21 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

Funeral Contest Rewards Those Who Think Outside The Pine Box

Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 4:13 pm

Melissa Block talks with Christine Pepper, CEO of the National Funeral Directors Association and judge for the Design for Death contest, about the competition and the winning entries.

The Two-Way
3:05 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

Sony Explains Why Its PlayStation 4 Costs $1,845 In Brazil

Sony announced U.S. and European prices for its new PlayStation 4 at a news conference this summer. The game system will cost some $1,845 in Brazil, angering fans.
Eric Thayer Getty Images

Sony's new PlayStation 4 won't be on store shelves until next month, but the gaming console has already raised eyebrows in Brazil, after reports that it would cost 3,999 Brazilian real — or about $1,845 at today's exchange rate.

The company says the steep cost isn't a case of price gouging, but instead a sign of Brazil's heavy taxes and fees on imported electronics.

The game system will be released in the United States on Nov. 15 and in countries including Brazil later that month. Large retailers in the U.S. will offer the PS4 at a base price of around $400.

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Law
2:15 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

How A County Clerk Ignited The Gay Marriage Debate In N.M.

Dona Ana County Clerk Lynn Ellins talks with Thom Hinks and Richard Sunman (far right) after they obtained a marriage license at the Dona Ana County Clerk's Office in Las Cruces, N.M. In August, Ellins' office began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
Juan Carlos Llorca AP

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 9:51 am

New Mexico law doesn't explicitly ban or approve same-sex marriage. There were a spate of lawsuits seeking to clarify the issue, but they were tied up in the courts. Then in August, the clerk of Dona Ana County, Lynn Ellins, a long-time supporter of same-sex marriage, consulted his staff.

"And we all agreed that it was about time to bring this thing to a head, and if we did nothing, the cases would languish in the district court if we did not move to issue these licenses and try and put the ball in play," Ellins says.

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The Two-Way
2:11 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

IRS Delays Start Of Tax Season Because Of Shutdown

Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 2:59 pm

If you were one of those Americans who just can't wait to file your taxes because you're owed a handsome refund, the Internal Revenue Service has news for you: You're going to have to wait.

The IRS said today that the 16-day federal shutdown means it will delay the start of the 2014 filing season by one to two weeks. The shutdown delayed the updating and testing of some of the IRS' systems.

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Music Interviews
1:54 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

Lucy Wainwright Roche: In The Family Business

Lucy Wainwright Roche.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 4:13 pm

Songs by Lucy Wainwright Roche seems to be told with a shrug, a note of apology, or modesty. And, yet, her father is the witty and acerbic singer-songwriter Loudon Wainwright III. Her mother is Suzzy Roche — one third of the harmonious Roche sisters.

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Gallup Poll
1:53 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

Public Support For Marijuana Legalization Hits Record High

An ATM sits next to a rack of marijuana clone plants that are used to grow medical marijuana on Wednesday at The Joint, a medical marijuana cooperative in Seattle. Last week Washington became the second U.S. state to adopt rules for the recreational sale of marijuana.
Ted S. Warren AP

Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 5:50 pm

A record number of Americans are in favor of legalizing marijuana, according to a new Gallup poll released Tuesday.

The poll, which was conducted Oct. 3-6, reports that 58 percent of the public supports the legalization of marijuana, while 39 percent opposes it.

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The Two-Way
1:44 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

Poll: Support For Legalizing Pot Surges During Past Year

A person identifying himself as Jermagisty Tha King of Denver lights up a 28 ounce blunt on April 20, 2012 in Denver, Colo.
Marc Piscotty Getty Images

Over the past year, Americans' support for legalizing pot has surged 10 percentage points.

That's according to Gallup, which has been asking the question since 1969. That means that 58 percent of Americans — a clear majority for the first time in more than 40 years — support legalizing marijuana and just 39 percent say the opposite.

To see the dramatic shift in public opinion, just look at this historical graph from Gallup:

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The Salt
1:31 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

Coffee Coming Up, Nice And Hot ... And Prepared By A Robot

Briggo's Coffee Haus takes up about 50 square feet of space, has a nice exterior wood design, and accepts orders either on-site or via a website.
Courtesy Briggo

Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 2:19 pm

A new trend is brewing in the coffee world: coffee prepared by a robot, able to be preordered via cellphone and picked up at an unmanned kiosk, perfectly adjusted to your taste and ready to go.

To some, this might seem lamentable: the beginning of the end of coffee shops as we know them. No more huddling around warm cups of coffee with friends or sipping a refreshing iced latte while reading.

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Shots - Health News
1:28 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

Online Insurance Brokers Stymied Selling Obamacare Policies

Independent online insurance brokers, like eHealth, haven't yet been able to sell subsidized health insurance policies.
eHealthInsurance.com

Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 4:18 pm

Consumers aren't the only ones frustrated by problems with the online health insurance exchanges being run by the feds.

Private companies that sell health insurance on the Internet are also in a bind. Websites like eHealthInsurance.com that were planning to start selling new, subsidized health care policies on Oct. 1 still can't offer them to customers.

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