And a strike by workers in Milwaukee is pitting a group of Mexican immigrants against their employer: a family-owned business that itself was founded by immigrants. As WBEZ's Niala Boodhoo reports, the dispute - involving workers and their legal status - reflects struggles of other immigrants in the workplace.
NIALA BOODHOO, BYLINE: You could call Palermo's Pizza the quintessential American success story. The company was started by Italian immigrant Gaspare Fallucca from a small bakery and restaurant on Milwaukee's East Side.
This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.
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House Speaker John Boehner says he's ready to work with President Obama on a looming fiscal problem. Republicans kept control of the House on Tuesday, though they also lost seats. Now they have weeks to negotiate over the scheduled higher tax rates and spending cuts known as the fiscal cliff.
Mike Reynolds authored California's three-strikes law after his daughter, Kimber, was killed in a 1992 purse snatching. On Tuesday, Californians approved a ballot initiative that weakens the law — a measure Reynolds opposed.
Several thousand prisoners in California may be eligible to apply for sentence reductions, after voters overwhelmingly approved a ballot initiative Tuesday that alters the state's controversial three-strikes law.
But voters also rejected a proposition that would abolish the death penalty in the state. Proposition 34 would have replaced capital punishment with life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.
On Oct. 24, women backing President Obama protest outside a convention center in Reno, Nev., where Republican Mitt Romney was giving a campaign speech. Exit polls show significant support from women was a key factor in Obama's victory over Romney in Nevada.
In an election that highlighted the political divide over abortion, female voters turned out to be a key to victory for President Obama.
Public outcry over Republican Todd Akin's comments on "legitimate rape" ultimately gave Democrat Claire McCaskill a U.S. Senate victory in Missouri. And in Indiana, Republican Senate hopeful Richard Mourdock lost his race at least in part because of his comments about pregnancy resulting from rape.
The Republicans' comments pushed the abortion issue to the forefront — and also united and motivated abortion rights activists.
Unions poured millions of dollars into ballot campaigns to guarantee collective bargaining rights in the Michigan Constitution and allow state-paid home care assistants to organize into a union. Both were resoundingly defeated.
NPR's business news starts with a whole bunch of insurance plans.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
INSKEEP: Maybe also some auto industry stimulus here. As many as a quarter million cars and trucks damaged when Sandy stormed up the East Coast will have to be scrapped. That's according to the National Automobile Dealers Association. The estimate is less than the 325,000 cars ruined by Hurricane Katrina, but it's still an awful lot of cars.
Nelson Mandela, the anti-apartheid leader and first Black President of South Africa, is also the first Black person to grace South Africa's currency. The country's first Mandela bills were put into circulation Wednesday.
Opposition groups working to bring down the regime in Syria are meeting in Doha, Qatar in a furious bid to reorganize and reinvigorate themselves. The aim is to form a legitimate government in exile that would be recognized by the international community. This new effort to bring together the Syrian opposition is strongly backed by the U.S. NPR's Kelly McEvers is in Doha and joins us to talk about it.
And let's start by you telling us exactly who is there.
From the opening chugging guitar sound, this song could only be The Rolling Stones. For the first time in seven years, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts and Ronnie Wood got together to record two new songs, and you can hear "One More Shot," which was recorded in Paris with Don Was producing, right here.
When Stephen Wheeler realized he had an aching, swollen finger, he called his primary care doctor, who works for MedStar Health. The doctor referred him to PromptCare, an urgent care clinic in a strip mall in the Baltimore suburbs.
Wheeler says he probably would have ended up waiting a long time if he'd gone to the doctor. And even longer at the emergency room.
A growing number of U.S. consumers are finding much to enjoy in this fruity alcoholic beverage, driving an increase in cider sales. The Vermont Hard Cider Company now produces 70,000 cases of Woodchuck Hard Cider each week.
A couple hundred years ago. hard apple cider used to be the drink of choice for thirsty Americans. It was easy to make and easy to find. But as people moved into cities, and beer became more popular, cider fell out of fashion.
Now it's come roaring back. U.S. hard cider sales are up 65 percent over last year, and just about all the big beer companies sell it, as well as many artisan brewers. Finding cider at your local bar is often no longer a problem.
Although voting problems in Tuesday's election were fewer than some people had expected, there were extremely long lines at many polling sites; so many that President Obama noted them in his victory speech.
"I want to thank every American who participated in this election, whether you voted for the very first time, or waited in line for a very long time," he said, adding, "by the way we have to fix that."
With the election over, attention in Washington has turned to the nation's debt and deficit challenges — most immediately the looming fiscal cliff. That's the $600 billion worth of expiring tax breaks and automatic spending cuts set to start taking effect Jan. 1.
The president and Congress agreed to those automatic measures to force themselves to find a more palatable compromise to rein in deficits. On Wednesday, there was an attempt to jump-start that process.
The same brain system that controls our muscles also helps us remember music, scientists say.
When we listen to a new musical phrase, it is the brain's motor system — not areas involved in hearing — that helps us remember what we've heard, researchers reported at the Society for Neuroscience meeting in New Orleans last month.
As we near the end of another year, the music industry has a few reasons to be optimistic. Digital music sales are expected to reach record highs this year, and legal streaming services continue to gain in popularity. But unauthorized music file sharing is still going strong.
"U.S. District Court Judge Christina Snyder immediately sentenced Mark Basseley Youssef after he admitted to four of the eight alleged violations, including obtaining a fraudulent California driver's license.
Casino magnate Sheldon Adelson at the presidential debate between Mitt Romney and President Obama, in Denver on Oct. 3. Adelson invested millions in an effort to help elect Romney — but only after bankrolling a superPAC for former House Speaker Newt Gingrich in his anti-Romney Republican primary battle.
Originally published on Wed November 7, 2012 3:46 pm
Republican strategist Karl Rove's on-air refusal to accept his own network's election night call putting Ohio in President Obama's win column dominated the blogosphere Wednesday.
And, why not? Rove's Crossroads political money empire had showered Republican candidates with close to $300 million this election cycle, a funding gusher courtesy of the 2010 Supreme Court's Citizens United decision and other recent court decisions.
Patty Manfredonia, president of a volunteer ambulance company in Sayville, N.Y., has been collecting blankets for Long Island residents without power. A new storm Wednesday is already causing new outages.
Credit LIPA screen grab
Long Island Power Authority's outage map, as of 4 p.m. EST Wednesday. Blue indicates restored customers (in previous versions, blue represented areas without power).
Credit Bruce Bennett / Getty Images
Crews work to restore power in Bethpage, N.Y., on Saturday. As of Wednesday, more than 200,000 Long Island residents were still without power, as a nor'easter made new outages likely.
Normally, the nor'easter bearing down on the Northeast on Wednesday wouldn't be a tremendous cause for concern. But the storm, delivering snow, sleet and wind gusts of up to 60 miles per hour, is expected to hit parts of Long Island and New Jersey still reeling from Hurricane Sandy.
You swore your allegiance. You voted. Perhaps you even volunteered your time. But your candidate just lost. What do you do now?
Some psychologists say you can look to the coping tactics of die-hard sports fans, who generally have to deal with defeat more than once every four years.
Play the blame game: You can blame the defeat on someone or something other than your candidate, says Tufts University associate professor of psychology Sam Sommers. In sports, you can blame factors like weather, an injury, or — most often — the referees.
Originally published on Tue December 18, 2012 12:11 pm
I saw forty shows during the CMJ Music Marathon this year, and the one by the Brooklyn-based band People Get Ready was by far the most creative. Part of what I love about the band is the way its members think outside the box ... way outside the box. For brevity, I'll describe People Get Ready, led by guitarist, dancer and choreographer Steven Reker, as an indie-rock-performing-art-dance troupe. This is magical musical theater.
Karl Rove, former adviser to President George W. Bush, speaks last year in Corpus Christi, Texas. Rove is the chief fundraiser for the biggest outside spender this election season: the twin groups American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS.
Even during the heat of the campaign, a bipartisan group of eight senators was meeting to try to hash out a framework for deficit reduction to steer clear of that fiscal cliff. The so-called Gang of Eight - four Democrats and four Republicans - includes Senator Mark Warner, Democrat of Virginia, who joins me now. Welcome to the program.
SENATOR MARK WARNER: Thanks for having me, Melissa.