Richard Russo sits in his elderly mother's home, holding her hand. She's just been diagnosed with dementia, one more illness to add to the long list of ailments she's been battling for years. She wonders aloud whether she'll ever be able to read again, plainly scared at the prospect of a life without her favorite hobby. She takes a look around her small apartment, and tells her son that she hates it.
"I just wish you could be happy, Mom," he says, heartbroken. "I used to be," she responds. "I know you don't believe that, but I was."
Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. A coffee chain in Britain surveyed its customers and found 70 percent suffered coffee confusion. So the chain is now offering a new trial menu in plain English. A latte is now really, really milky coffee, a cappuccino - frothy coffee, and a mocha -chocolate flavored coffee. Not listed: a decaf soy triple tall latte, though some baristas might just call that - Why Bother. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.
Originally published on Thu November 1, 2012 4:43 am
Suspected smugglers wanted to take their SUV across the U.S.-Mexico border, so they built ramps that would take it over the Arizona border fence. But unlike the way it would've happened in old episodes of The Dukes of Hazzard, the Jeep got stuck on top of the fence.
Abigael Evans, 4, of Fort Collins, Colo., started crying on the way to the grocery store as she and her mother listened to NPR in the car. NPR editors issued an immediate apology online, and later in the afternoon, Abbie cheered up when she got an NPR Politics pin from member station KUNC.
On Wednesday, President Obama toured some of the hardest-hit parts of New Jersey, along with Republican Gov. Chris Christie. The two have become a political odd couple since the storm — each offering praise for the other's leadership.
Sandy is likely to go down as one of the costliest storms in U.S. history. The initial estimates of the losses are anywhere from $20 billion to $50 billion. But as NPR's Jim Zarroli reports, the impact on the economy is more complicated than it may appear. Some companies will even make money.
JIM ZARROLI, BYLINE: Economist Greg Daco has been tallying the potential costs of Hurricane Sandy and he says there's no question it's going to hurt the economy more than it will help it.
The Greek government faces widespread condemnation for prosecuting Kostas Vaxevanis, a 46-year-old investigative journalist who recently published the names of Greeks who may have sent billions to Swiss bank accounts.
Vaxevanis, one of Greece's best-known reporters, is in court in Athens on Thursday to face charges that he violated data protection laws by publishing the list of names in Hot Doc, the biweekly magazine he edits. If convicted, he faces up to five years in prison.
Switzerland, which is almost synonymous with secretive banking, is looking for more staff to handle a flood of new requests from other countries that are looking for tax cheats. Last year the number of inquiries from overseas tax authorities almost doubled, to more than 700.
On the first of November, it's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.
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Portions of the New York subway system are up and running again after being shut down for three days after Superstorm Sandy. There is, of course, a giant hole in the middle of the system. The lines stop short of Lower Manhattan, where many tunnels and stations flooded.
Think of the smallest kitchen you can imagine, and then take away a few square feet. That's Deb Perelman's New York kitchen. It's so small that the blogger, and now author, literally has to wedge herself between the stove and the refrigerator to cook.
Japanese TV maker Sharp on Thursday doubled its expected net loss for the year to more than $5 billion. The company also raised concerns about its ability to survive on its own. The news comes a day after another Japanese tech giant, Panasonic, forecast a nearly $10 billion loss for the year.
Note: This story was originally published on Oct. 30. It was updated on Nov. 1 to include a radio version of the story.
The stock market, according to a popular narrative, is now just computers making superfast trades with other computers. Those pictures of traders getting emotional on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange are an anachronism. The real action flashes through fiber-optic cables headed for servers in places like Kansas City. It's algorithms all the way down.
Originally published on Thu November 1, 2012 3:59 am
Federal regulators have announced the results of a September inspection blitz targeting 13 coal mines in seven states "previously cited for violations regarding respirable dust sampling ... inadequate dust control ... and hazard complaints" involving excessive coal dust.
Public health officials are warning that people in areas devastated by Superstorm Sandy face many risks in the aftermath and are urging people to protect themselves from health threats in the water, air and even their refrigerators.
As millions of people try to put their lives back together, the most obvious threat is the floodwaters themselves. In many places, the water could be a toxic stew.
Though Superstorm Sandy destroyed much in its path, it did apparently build at least one bridge, that of bipartisanship between President Obama and New Jersey's Republican Gov. Chris Christie.
Christie, a strong ally of Mitt Romney, the GOP presidential nominee, and a key critic of the president before the storm, has had little but praise for Obama for the assistance provided to New Jersey leading into the epic storm, which hit this week.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
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The most populous city in the country is drying out, and beginning a long and complicated recovery. One positive sign: Tomorrow, some New York City subway routes are scheduled to reopen. But today, gridlock ruled as people took to their cars. And that means it's carpool time.
Originally published on Wed October 31, 2012 5:29 pm
ABC News and the New York Daily News are reporting that cells, tissues, mice and rats used for medical research may have been lost as New York University Hospital approaches its third day without power. The losses could set researchers back years.
Hurricane Sandy only sideswiped Haiti during its early days. But reports so far suggest that even this indirect hit led to nearly as many deaths there as in the U.S. after the storm made landfall on the Mid-Atlantic coast.
As of Wednesday, Haiti had documented 54 deaths caused by Sandy — most in the nation's southern peninsula, which points toward Jamaica. Another 21 Haitians were still counted as missing, and many fear the death toll will rise as officials reach affected areas isolated by impassable roads and ruined bridges.
If you're using social media to follow the presidential campaign or even if you're related to someone else who's doing that, there's a good chance your cellphone got spammed Tuesday night with an anti-Obama text message.
The messages went out between 7:30 and 10 p.m. They were anonymous but quickly traced to a Republican consulting firm in Northern Virginia.
The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in two cases Wednesday testing what, if any, limits there are to the police using drug-sniffing dogs. By the close of two hours of argument, it looked very much as though the court would rule against the use of drug-sniffing dogs without a warrant in one case, but not the other.
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Among the hundreds of races underway for seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, one of the most expensive and nastiest is in a district on Florida's Atlantic Coast. Although he's just a freshman, Republican Allen West is known nationally for his Tea Party conservatism, his frequent appearances on Fox News and his provocative statements. He once called House Democrats members of the communist party.
It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.
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And in the presidential race this week, the focus in the pivotal state of Ohio has been on the federal bailout of General Motors and Chrysler. President Obama backed it. Mitt Romney opposed it, and the Romney campaign is running some controversial ads on the subject in Ohio.
As the presidential campaign has unfolded, the candidates have traded polemics about wealth, class warfare, taxes, dependency and the role of government.
While it may be uncomfortable to admit, some Americans are simply more financially successful than others. But why do some achieve wealth, while others struggle? Why does one woman make it to the executive suite, while another man drives a taxi? And what do we think explains our prosperity — or lack thereof?
Originally published on Wed October 31, 2012 4:22 pm
Halloween might be the best day of the year for kids who love candy and grown-ups who love to be scared, but it is also the last day of work for thousands of ghouls and clowns.
Every year, people from all walks of life — firefighters, students, preschool teachers — adopt the rather unconventional part-time job of scaring at haunted attractions. They spend a month caking their faces with makeup, dipping their bodies in jelly-like substances that resemble blood and practicing chilling screams and creepy laughs until they're pitch perfect.
Better satellites, smarter computer models and faster computers helped government forecasters correctly predict the devastation from Hurricane Sandy, scientists say.
It's unlikely the forecast would have been nearly as accurate just a couple of decades ago, they say.
"The National Hurricane Center did a fantastic job, particularly with the track forecast and the intensity forecast as it was moving toward the Northeast," says Sharan Majumdar, an associate professor of meteorology and physical oceanography at the University of Miami.