NPR News

How the GOP tax plan could hurt charities

Oct 17, 2017

In its tax framework, the GOP leadership has promised to keep some of the most popular personal deductions, including the charitable deduction. But the value of that deduction could be limited by other changes to the tax code. 

To explain, let's start with a tradition that you, dear public radio supporter, are likely familiar with: the pledge drive. A few times a year, member stations around the country ask for donations, often touting their tax deductability. 

Senate budget battle likely as vote looms

Oct 17, 2017

The Senate is expected to take up a budget framework this week. If it passes, the GOP will be one step closer to the tax overhaul it so desperately wants. President Donald Trump promised yesterday in a Rose Garden press conference with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell that the tax plan is on track. But the outcome of the pending budget vote is far from predictable.

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Can Congress make consumer data safer?

Oct 17, 2017

The Senate Banking committee meets today for another hearing about the Equifax data breach. With the major credit reporting agencies woven deeply into the fabric of our financial system, what can Congress actually do here?

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Rep. Tom Marino, R-Pa., has withdrawn his name from consideration as America's drug czar, President Trump said Tuesday. Marino is stepping back days after reports that legislation he sponsored hindered the Drug Enforcement Administration in its fight against the U.S. opioid crisis.

Updated at 11:40 a.m. ET

The U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces are in the process of kicking ISIS out of Raqqa, the extremist group's self-declared capital where it has terrorized civilians and plotted attacks against targets linked to the U.S. and its allies. Now ISIS fighters are reportedly bottled up in a stadium complex in the Syrian city.

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Now, let's turn now to the NFL. At a lengthy press conference yesterday, President Trump went after players, again, who have decided to kneel during the national anthem.

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A move from natural gas to electricity for homes

Oct 17, 2017

Not long ago natural gas – the fuel that probably gave you your hot shower this morning – was being hailed as the clean “bridge” fuel, because it polluted less than other alternatives. For some purposes it still is, such as when it replaces diesel fuel in buses. But in our homes, some now believe natural gas should be phased out in favor of electric appliances, for climate reasons.

10/17/2017: The fight to become Amazon's next home

Oct 17, 2017

(U.S. Edition) Canadian jet manufacturer Bombardier has been in an ongoing trade fight with America's Boeing. Well, now Bombardier is selling the majority stake of its C-series plane to the French company Airbus. We'll report on why the Canadian company went through with the deal and how it may be able to sidestep a high U.S. tariff as a result. Afterwards, we'll discuss whether Congress can help make consumer data safer, and then  look at Seattle's bid to become home to Amazon's second headquarters. 

One-third of all the food produced each year for human consumption is never eaten. That adds up to about 1.3 billion tons of waste per year. That unappetizing fact is the inspiration for a new documentary, Wasted! The Story of Food Waste, which was released on Oct. 13 in theaters and on demand.

Two dozen people zigzag through Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood, footsteps crunching on pavement and gravel. A local blog called The Urbanist organized the tour about the history of this neighborhood — the location of Amazon’s first headquarters.

In a few years, the view around HQ1 has morphed from low-slung warehouses to tall, modern apartment buildings and cranes that poke out of construction sites around every bend.

“It looks like a millennial paradise,” said Seattle resident Anthony Bridgewater, who took the tour.

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Rob Vos has been tracking global hunger for years, and he says until recently the mood among his fellow hunger experts was almost giddy.

Since 1990 the world had made so much progress curbing hunger that in 2015, leaders met at the United Nations and vowed to eliminate hunger for good by 2030.

Sixteen years ago, a Seattle-based company said it planned to move its headquarters to the city that would make it the best deal.

The company was Boeing and it ultimately chose Chicago over finalists Dallas and Denver.

Now, another Seattle company, Amazon, wants to open a second headquarters elsewhere in North America. This time, Denver's leaders are determined to avoid a repeat of the experience with Boeing.

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There was a time when the National Rifle Association was known primarily for promoting gun safety and advocating for gun ownership for hunting and home protection.

But that seems a long time ago.

It still does those things, to be sure, but these days the NRA is far more recognizable as an uncompromising political force, aggressively defending its interpretation of the 2nd Amendment, while working to defeat any and all politicians it views as its enemy.

The Trump administration has made a number of changes to health policy in the past two weeks, raising questions about how consumers will be affected. Will the new rules for birth control coverage affect access to an intrauterine device? Might an association health plan help bring down costs for workers at small businesses? And if you're healthy, doesn't a short-term health plan that is cheaper than marketplace coverage make sense? Here are some answers to those questions.

In what appeared to be a thinly veiled reference to politics in the Age of Trump, Sen. John McCain on Monday warned Americans against "half-baked, spurious nationalism," calling the abandonment of U.S. global leadership "unpatriotic."

Speaking in Philadelphia, where he was being honored with the Liberty Medal by the National Constitution Center, McCain did not mention the president by name, but his words appeared to be aimed at Trump and his administration.

Authorities are increasingly optimistic that they have turned the tide in their week-long battle against the deadliest wildfires in California's history.

Lighter winds were helping firefighters both in the air and on the ground to contain the majority of the biggest fires, and rain forecast for later in the week would further boost their efforts, NPR's David Schaper reports from Santa Rosa.

The initial numbers were staggering — and they grew ever more devastating as rescue workers sifted through debris: More than 300 people dead. At least 300 people injured. A blast area the size of "two or three football fields," as one witness told The Guardian.

The news of Harvey Weinstein's expulsion from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences over the weekend is prompting victims to share their own experiences of sexual harassment and assault.

The academy ousted the powerful Hollywood producer over multiple abuse allegations, prompting social media users around the world to proclaim a simple idea: that sexual abuse is a common experience in women's lives.

In 1940, on the eve of the United States' entrance into World War II, then-President Franklin D. Roosevelt's Immigration and Naturalization Service wanted to promote tolerance toward immigrants.

At that time, radio was the most important medium in the U.S. More than 80 percent of American households had a radio, and people listened for three or four hours every day. So, to reach the American people, the agency made a radio show.

Belgian researchers have identified a vulnerability in the way most of us connect wirelessly to the internet. The weakness even has a name: Krack. If exploited (and luckily that has not yet happened, as far as anyone can tell), information like our credit cards, passwords, basically anything we type is at risk for being seen and stolen. For businesses trying to keep their data and yours safe, this opens up a whole new front in the cybersecurity war. 

My Economy: Anxious about medical bills down the road

Oct 16, 2017

My Economy tells the story of the new economic normal through the eyes of people trying to make it, because we know the only numbers that really matter are the ones in your economy.

Today’s installment is from Irwin Kwan, a user experience designer in Massachusetts.

It sounds like a joke, but, well — keep reading.

In December 2015, 64-year-old Daniel Rushing had just dropped off a friend at chemotherapy and was driving home an older woman from his church who worked at the 7-Eleven and would otherwise walk the 2 miles home.

The White House released a paper today laying out the argument that a corporate tax cut will give a $4,000 boost to the average household. The studies being used to back up its assertion come from reputable places like the Kansas City Fed and Harvard, although there are plenty of other studies that say otherwise. The merits of the corporate tax cut and who it benefits is setting up to be a battle of the academics over some complex models predicting how companies might behave.

Former Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein's ouster from the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences following numerous allegations of sexual misconduct have prompted others on social media to open up about workplace harassment complaints that have gone unheeded.

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