National News

Report Blames Pilot In Deadly Balloon Crash, But Also Points Finger At FAA

NPR News - 5 hours 30 min ago

Investigators found the pilot was impaired by medical conditions and drugs including Valium, oxycodone and Benadryl. The FAA doesn't require medical certification for commercial balloon operators.

(Image credit: Aaron M. Sprecher/AFP/Getty Images)

Efforts To Rewrite NAFTA Not Going Well; Next Round of Talks Delayed

NPR News - 5 hours 47 min ago

For months, the United States, Canada and Mexico have been trying to rewrite terms of the North American Free Trade Agreement. But White House demands have led to frustrations that may threaten NAFTA.

(Image credit: Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP)

MLB Rallies To Help Boy Whose Baseball Collection Was Destroyed By Fire

NPR News - 6 hours 4 min ago

As thousands of Californians take stock of the damage caused by wildfires, one 9-year-old boy's story has at least half of the teams in Major League Baseball chipping in.

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Senators Reach Deal To Stabilize ACA Insurance Markets For 2 Years

NPR News - 6 hours 12 min ago

The bipartisan agreement could help stabilize insurance premiums next year so that younger, healthier people will buy policies. President Trump has embraced it, but other GOP leaders have not.

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'Now That She Has Been Killed, Who Will Ensure That Justice Will Prevail?'

NPR News - 6 hours 16 min ago

The killing of Maltese reporter Daphne Caruana Galizia has drawn international condemnations and difficult questions, including this one from a local paper. "My mother was assassinated," her son said.

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China wants nothing to do with America's trash

America is known for it's large trade deficit with China. But the United States does have a surplus of one particularly smelly export — trash. Erica Phillips of the Wall Street Journal wrote about this unusual trading relationship in her piece "Oh, Scrap: China, the Biggest Buyer of America’s Trash, Wants No More." Erica talked with Marketplace host Kai Ryssdal about China's changing attitude towards American scrap.   Kai Ryssdal: We should say here, just to remind everybody, we are the biggest waste producer in the world.  Erica Phillips: Correct. Ryssdal: OK. Where does it all go? Phillips: Well, myriad places, but the story I wrote about dealt with our recycling, which, you know, curbside stuff gets collected every week ideally by a municipal program of some sort. A large portion of that gets actually packed down into bales and shipped on container ships to Asia, where it gets turned into consumer goods that come back here to the U.S. So kind of a circular economy happening. Ryssdal: And the story is now that China, which has been the recipient of so much of our recyclable scrap over the past number of years, has said in essence, "We don't really want it anymore." Phillips: That's right. This is a huge wrench in the whole system. So plastic, paper, goes over to China gets made into cardboard and toys and things like that. But China, it just so happens, is becoming a much more prosperous economy, and they've got a lot of stuff of their own — packaging that comes with things that their own residents are buying and consuming. They've decided, "Actually, you know what, world? No more scrap coming our way. No more paper or plastic. We're done." Ryssdal: So what are we going to do with it all? I mean, you set a scene down at the Port of Long Beach, where it's just piling up there. Phillips: Yeah, actually in the L.A., Long Beach area, I've talked to folks who are having to rent out a whole 60,000-square foot warehouse just to stick their bales of cardboard and plastic for the time being until they figure out customers maybe in other countries, or potentially the U.S. industry for using scrap material to make into new goods, starts building up things back up again. related Carting New Yorkers' trash to landfills is expensive. One solution: Make less of it. Why Pittsburgh is buying $1,200 garbage cans Ryssdal: Yeah. There is also a global trade deficit story actually in this, in that you say in this piece, container ships that come over here from China full of toys and computers and whatever it is, they would otherwise go back empty were it not for this scrap we've been sending. So, there is a little bit of, it's very circular.  Phillips: Yeah, every month about — and I track this — the L.A. and Long Beach ports bring in about 750,000 20-foot-equivalent containers filled with, well filled with stuff, and on the back route, going back to Asia where it's all primarily coming from, a lot of times there's just not anything to really put in there because we're consuming it all or sending back the containers to basically get refilled with the next round of stuff. But without that destination on the back haul, that all kind of breaks down. Ryssdal: The amount of time that the folks down at the port of Long Beach and Los Angeles can let that stuff pile up in their warehouses is finite, right? When are they going to run into serious trouble and need to do something with it? Phillips: There is quite a bit of space here in the good old United States. Stuff is piling up, but they're finding another place for it. At least this one company I spoke to that's getting the 60,000 square-foot warehouse, he doesn't anticipate that he's going to need it for longer than six months. He's getting a short-term lease, so ideally, they're going to find other customers, they're going to figure out where that stuff's going to go. Ryssdal: The other fix to this, obviously, is that we just waste and discard less stuff. Phillips: We waste and discard less stuff, or we put stuff on the curbside, the recyclers pick it up and it ends up in a landfill. If this 60,000-square-foot warehouse, for example, fills up and it ends up not having anywhere to go, it's probably going to go to landfill. 

George Saunders Wins Man Booker Prize For 'Lincoln In The Bardo'

NPR News - 6 hours 25 min ago

It's the second year in a row that an American writer has taken home the prestigious literary award.

(Image credit: Chris J. Ratcliffe/AFP/Getty Images)

'Trump's Claim Is Wrong': Comments On Presidents' Calls To Military Families Rebutted

NPR News - 6 hours 29 min ago

Defending his lack of response to the deaths of U.S. soldiers in Niger, Trump claimed "a lot of" past presidents did not call families after a death. He raised the example of his chief of staff's son.

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The Court Challenge Begins: Is Trump Taking Unconstitutional Emoluments?

NPR News - 6 hours 42 min ago

On Wednesday, a federal judge will hear arguments in a case that asks: Is President Trump taking the kind of benefits banned by the Constitution? Step 1 is deciding whether plaintiffs have standing.

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Russian Cyber Trolls Watched 'House Of Cards' To Understand U.S. Politics

NPR News - 6 hours 43 min ago

NPR's Mary Louise Kelly speaks with Yahoo News chief investigative correspondent Michael Isikoff about how Russian trolls were ordered to watch Neflix's House of Cards show to understand Americans and U.S. politics.

NFL Players And Owners Have Not Resolved Controversy Over Anthem Protests

NPR News - 6 hours 43 min ago

NFL owners and players did not resolve the controversy over anthem protests at an owners meeting in New York on Tuesday, but emerged largely positive about the session and pledged to meet again.

After Taking On Big Tobacco 20 Years Ago, Former Mississippi AG Is Trying Again With Opioids

NPR News - 6 hours 43 min ago

When Mike Moore was Mississippi's attorney general, he spearheaded the 50-state lawsuit against Big Tobacco. Now, he's trying to do the same thing against opioid manufacturers and distributors.

Trump Defends False Claim That His Predecessors Didn't Call Families Of Fallen Soldiers

NPR News - 6 hours 43 min ago

When President Trump claimed that past presidents did not call family members of fallen U.S. service members, it caused a backlash. On Tuesday he addressed the issue again, defending his false claim.

Liberation Of Raqqa Will Be A Powerful Blow To ISIS

NPR News - 6 hours 44 min ago

NPR's Mary Louise Kelly speaks with reporter Joby Warrick of The Washington Post and author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning book "Black Flags: The Rise Of ISIS" about the status of ISIS after the loss of their de facto capitol, Raqqa.

Former Green Beret And Pro Football Player Talks About 'Take A Knee' Protests

NPR News - 6 hours 44 min ago

Nate Boyer is a former Green Beret who played football briefly with the Seattle Seahawks. Last year, when he first saw former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick sit during the National Anthem, he got mad. Then, he wrote Kaepernick a letter, saying he wished Kaepernick would stand up, but that he was willing hear him out about why he was sitting down.

Dow Jones Industrial Average Briefly Climbs Over 23,000 Points

NPR News - 6 hours 44 min ago

Stock prices have continued to rise to record levels. On Tuesday, the Dow Jones industrial average was sent above the 23,000 milestone, but it didn't last long.

Trump Still Hasn't Fulfilled Promise To Declare Opioid Epidemic As A National Emergency

NPR News - 6 hours 44 min ago

President Trump's nominee to head the Drug Enforcement Administration pulled out amid controversy. This leaves Trump without a permanent heads at Department of Health and Human Services and the DEA. All the while, his promised declaration of a national emergency on opioids has yet to materialize.

What To Expect As China's Ruling Communist Party Prepares For 19th National Congress

NPR News - 6 hours 44 min ago

China's ruling Communist Party's 19th national congress will likely decide the country's leadership lineup for the next five to 10 years. While leaders will go all out to present a facade of orderly transition and party unity, analysts believe that the facade conceals some brutal political power struggles, due in part to a lack of clear rules in China about how power is transferred.

Federal Judge In Hawaii Blocks Trump's Third Attempt At Travel Ban

NPR News - 8 hours 20 min ago

President Trump's third executive order restricting travel from some countries to the U.S. was to go into effect on Wednesday. Like two previous efforts, it was swiftly challenged in several courts.

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37: Is it time to take capitalism into the shop for a look under the hood?

Tim O'Reilly, founder and CEO of O'Reilly Media, says financial markets are almost like rogue artificial intelligence, but it doesn't have to be that way. Then: FCC Chairman Ajit Pai finally says no, you actually can't take away a broadcast license (Mr. President). Finally, "The Lego Ninjago Movie" producer Daniel Lin answers our Make Me Smart question.