The U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments Tuesday in an Illinois case that could drive a stake through the heart of public employee unions.
At issue are two questions: whether states may recognize a union to represent health care workers who care for disabled adults in their homes instead of in state institutions; and whether non-union members must pay for negotiating a contract they benefit from.
To understand why a growing number of states actually want to recognize unions to represent home health care workers, listen to Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan:
New commercial devices, using technology borrowed from the field of neuroscience, are making it possible to control objects with brain power alone. The idea is to help train users to become more focused â and relaxed.
EEG headsets, which detect electrical activity in the brain, were once found only in research labs. Today, the technology has become cheaper and easier to use. That's made it possible to connect EEG headsets to other consumer devices.
Originally published on Mon January 20, 2014 8:49 pm
Update at 9:02 p.m. EST. All Workers Account For:
In a press conference Monday evening Omaha Police Lt. Darci Tierney said all of the 38 workers in the building have been accounted for. Officials say two died, 10 were hospitalized and seven others were hurt but refused treatment. The remaining 19 workers escaped.
Interim Fire Chief Bernard Kanger said that one body had been recovered but did not identify the person because the family has yet to be notified.
Cook County, Ill., Sheriff Tom Dart walks the halls of his jail every day. With 10,000 inmates, this place is a small city â except a third of the people here are mentally ill.
Dart has created some of the most innovative programs in the country to handle mentally ill inmates, hiring doctors and psychologists, and training staff. But if you ask anyone here, even this jail is barely managing.
"I can't conceive of anything more ridiculously stupid by government than to do what we're doing right now," Dart says.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is facing new allegations, this time coming from the mayor of Hoboken, Dawn Zimmer. Mayor Zimmer says Christie's lieutenant governor threatened to withhold Hoboken's federal recovery money after Superstorm Sandy unless she backed a redevelopment project that Governor Christie supported. Matt Katz of member station WNYC reports.
And it's been a big year for T-Mobile. The telecom company finally landed the iPhone. It started trading as a public company and has kicked off a price war with its competitors. In the process, it's become the fastest-growing mobile phone company in the country, recruiting 4.4 million new customers. But as NPR's Steve Henn reports, T-Mobile's combative and profane CEO, John Legere, is grabbing all the headlines.
This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.
We begin this hour with our weekly look at technology, All Tech Considered. And we'll start with how President Obama's speech on Friday about NSA surveillance is playing in Silicon Valley. Among other things, the president called for new limits on the program under which the NSA sweeps up stored Internet communications.
And now to Ukraine where the crisis is intensifying. Today, there were more clashes between protesters and police in the capital city, Kiev. This after a massive protest turned violent yesterday, when more than 100,000 people turned out to denounce a new law that limits public protests. The protests have shaken Ukraine for two months, as the opposition claims President Viktor Yanukovych is turning increasingly autocratic and aligning his country with Russia.
Originally published on Mon January 20, 2014 4:44 pm
The long-anticipated Syrian peace conference is again in turmoil. The U.N. secretary-general's surprise decision to invite Iran to attend the conference prompted a boycott threat from Syria's exiled opposition. At issue is the fact that Iran has not publicly committed to the framework for the conference or pledged to withdraw its troops and allied militias from Syria. Under pressure from the opposition groups and the U.S., the U.N. has since withdrawn its invitation to Iran.
In Kabul, car theft isn't a big problem, but it is a big concern. Security officials fear that militants could use stolen vehicles as car bombs. So the police have turned to a rather controversial tactic to deter thieves.
On a recent evening, a guest left our office only to discover two of his car tires had been punctured. Moments later, my producer discovered two of his tires had been punctured. Both cars were parked on the side of the street in front of our office.
Originally published on Mon January 20, 2014 1:49 pm
Travelers at Wellington Airport in New Zealand may have felt a bit like Bilbo Baggins on a quest through Middle Earth when a giant eagle descended from the ceiling during a strong 6.3-magnitude quake that shook North Island on Monday.
The eagle â a sculpture, actually â was one of two giant birds used to promote The Hobbit films, which were shot in New Zealand. The bird was shaken off its perch in the terminal and crashed to the floor.
No one was seriously hurt at the airport or anywhere else on the island, where damage from the earthquake was reportedly minimal.
Peter Wallison, a conservative voice in the world of fiscal policy, sees signs of another housing bubble. He points to the growing gap between owning versus renting, and to a return to no-money-down mortgages.
He recently wrote a much-commented-upon opinion piece in the New York Times entitled âThe Bubble is Back.âÂ But unlike his most of colleagues on the 2011 Fiscal Crisis Inquiry Commission, Wallison blames government housing policy for the last bubble.