Originally published on Fri October 28, 2011 2:36 pm
<p>Illinois farmers harvest corn crops near Monticello, Ill. An unseasonably hot summer likely damaged much of this year's corn crop, which means farmers may seek support through their crop insurance.</p>
Credit Seth Perlman / AP
Farming nowadays is risky business — it's not uncommon for a farmer to invest $500,000 in 1,000 acres of corn or soybeans, and run the risk of losing a chunk of their income to pests or fickle weather events like droughts and floods.
That's why farmers say crop insurance is "the most important safety net program" for them, says Joe Glauber, chief economist of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
<p>Prince Nayef bin Abdul Aziz al-Saud waving before delivering a speech at the Shura (consultative) Council in Riyadh in 2007.</p>
Credit Hassa Ammar / AFP/Getty Images
As expected, King Abdullah of Egypt has appointed his half-brother, 78-year-old Nayef bin Abdulaziz, crown prince. The news comes, after the heir to the throne, Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdel Aziz Al Saud died on Saturday.
There are some fresh insights from Australia that help explain why it's so difficult for dieters to keep off the weight they lose.
Willpower will only take you so far, in case you haven't run that experiment yourself. Turns out our bodies have a fuel gauge, not entirely unlike the gas gauge on our cars, that tell us when it's time to tank up on food.
What if you could time-travel back to Memphis' Sun Studios in the 1950s? Behind the console would be none other than producer Sam Phillips. You might hear such classic songs as "My Happiness," "Crazy Arms" or "Walk the Line," originally recorded at Sun Studio by Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis and Johnny Cash, respectively.
Adam Frank is an astrophysicist at the University of Rochester. He is a regular contributor to the NPR blog 13.7: Cosmos and Culture.
What is going to happen when our machines wake up? What will happen when all these computers that run our lives suddenly become intelligent and self-aware? It's a question that makes sense to ask today, as the world marks the recent passage of John McCarthy.
From cubicle farms to auto factories, accommodating larger and heavier employees has become a fact of life. One in three U.S. adults is obese, and researchers say the impact on business can be boiled down to a number: $1,000 to $6,000 in added cost per year for each obese employee, the figure rising along with a worker's body mass index.
<p>A teacher walks by during a parade in the northern Greek city of Thessaloniki on Thursday. Parades were held across Greece on Thursday to mark the 61st anniversary of the country's resistance to Axis forces, which dragged Greece into World War II. Some bystanders also seized the opportunity to shout anti-austerity slogans.</p>
World markets rallied Thursday after European leaders agreed on a plan to deal with the eurozone debt crisis. But in Greece, the most imperiled country, there was skepticism that the deal will do much to help the country out of recession.
In addition, many Greeks also fear that they are losing their sovereignty, and are uncomfortable about the role Germany will be playing in the country's financial future.
The Nuntius stock brokerage firm is, unlike similar offices in New York or London, deathly quiet. So many people have been laid off that the offices are nearly empty.
<p>To encourage healthy choices, Dow's corporate cafeteria features color-coded utensils. Healthy foods like broccoli, spinach and beets have green handles. Yellow handles mean caution, and red is for temptations like bacon bits and high-fat dressing.</p>
For the first time, 100 of America's biggest corporations are being rated on the transparency of their political activities.
On Friday, the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and the nonpartisan Center for Political Accountability will release an index that ranks the S&P 100 companies. The rankings come as politicians employ new loopholes — and the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision — to solicit secret, million-dollar contributions from corporate donors.
Originally published on Thu October 27, 2011 4:56 pm
A pro-gun group announced yesterday that it had obtained a permit to hold a protest at the Virginia Tech campus in Blacksburg, Virginia. The university was the site of one of the deadliest school shooting in U.S. history, where a gunman killed 32 students and faculty.
European leaders hammered out a deal early Thursday morning to pull Greece back from the edge of default and provide a bigger buffer of cash for other vulnerable EU countries. The details, though, remain to be worked out, and many experts question whether meltdowns will spread across the Eurozone.
The vaccine helps protect men against anal and throat cancers that can occur after sexual activity. It may also protect women, indirectly, by reducing transmission of HPV. Public health officials have been trying since 2006 to get parents to have their daughters vaccinated, but rates remain low.
NEAL CONAN, host: This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. It's open enrollment season for many health insurance plans, including Medicare, the federal health care program for Americans 65 and over. Some 48 million people are enrolled, and the window to change plans opened earlier than usual, this year, and closes earlier, too.
In cities from Atlanta to Oakland, residents and business owners have complained about clogged sidewalks, filthy parks and loud protests. Occupy Wall Street demonstrators continue to assert their right to gather, and have sparked demonstrations all over the world.
The health program, funded jointly by the feds and the states, was devised to cover the poor. But if a provision in last year's health law isn't changed that could be the case for people with pretty healthy incomes.
Originally published on Thu October 27, 2011 12:51 pm
<p>This NOAA GOES East satellite image shows Hurricane Rina over the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico. </p>
Credit AFP/Getty Images
Tourists and residents are fleeing Mexico's Yucatan peninsula ahead of Hurricane Rina, which is forecast to make landfall early Friday morning. The good news is that Rina has weakened and will continue to do so for the next two days. Right now, the Hurricane Center says Rina has maximum sustained winds of 70 mph.
<p>Supporters of the moderate Islamist party Ennahda celebrate Tuesday after the party received the most votes to form an assembly that will write a new constitution. Tunisia was the first Arab country to stage a revolution this year, and the first to hold elections. </p>
Credit Amine Landoulsi / AP
<p>A Yemeni woman in the capital Sana'a holds up a copy of the Quran while others raise their palms painted with the colors of the Yemeni (left), Libyan (center) and Syrian flags during a demonstration on Monday against President Ali Abdullah Saleh.</p>
Credit Marwan Naamani / AFP/Getty Images
The heady days of the Arab uprisings have seemingly passed, and now the countries that tossed out autocratic leaders, or are still trying to, face much more difficult tasks.
Tunisians held a successful election on Sunday, but now must form a government and write a constitution. Libyans have not only purged but killed former leader Moammar Gadhafi. Now, they face enormous difficulties in unifying the country in the wake of his regime's total destruction.
The title of Deer Tick's new album, Divine Providence, is a pun: The band hails from the capital of Rhode Island. But the other side of the pun is sarcastic. There's little on the album concerning divine providence or care. Nor is the band provident — frugal or prudent — about its talent and music. Group frontman John McCauley continues to sing as though the primary idea is to shred his vocal cords.
An alleged scandal involving doctors, a union president and hundreds of Long Island Rail Road workers led to the arrest of 10 people today on charges related to what officials say was a scam that paid an estimated $1 billion in disability benefits to people who didn't deserve them.
<p>"We are entering a golden age of journalism," says David Carr of <em>The New York Times</em>. "I look at my backpack ... and it contains more journalistic firepower than the entire newsroom that I walked into 30-40 years ago."</p>
Credit Mario Tama / Getty Images
<p>David Carr writes the <a href="http://topics.nytimes.com/topics/news/business/columns/media_equation/index.html">Media Equation column</a> for <em>The New York Times</em>. </p>
David Carr has a cold. On Sunday night, the media columnist for The New York Timestweeted to his more than 335,000 followers that he realized he probably had a variation of the common cold — because his drugstore was out of his favorite cold remedy.
MICHEL MARTIN, host: I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News.
A little later in the program, we'll speak with the founder of Outdoor Afro. That's a website dedicated to trying to persuade more people of color to add hiking and other outdoor adventures as vacation destinations.
But first we want to talk about that Occupy Wall Street movement that spread far beyond Wall Street to cities across the country. But as the movement has grown so have the tensions as protestors continue to occupy public spaces like parks.
The new documentary The Education of Dee Dee Ricks premieres on HBO Thursday. It charts the story of a self-admitted vain white businesswoman who questions her lavish life after being diagnosed with breast cancer. She realizes how lucky she is to be able to afford treatment. This galvanizes Ricks to advocate and raise money for poor, uninsured cancer patients — many who happen to be women of color. Michel Martin speaks with Dee Dee Ricks about her personal transformation and outreach.
A University of Wyoming survey finds that 78 percent of visitors to America's national parks and forests are white, compared to nine percent Hispanic and seven percent black. Rue Mapp is trying to change that. She speaks with Michel Martin about her website 'Outdoor Afro,' which aims to educate African-Americans about the importance of getting involved with the outdoors.