Latest News from NPR

Sound Opinions: Musical Costumes

Oct 26, 2017



The fun of Halloween is getting to be somebody else for the night. This week, Jim and Greg share their favorite examples of musical costumes, where an artist takes on a fake name to play in a different style. Plus, tributes to New Orleans piano legend Fats Domino and Tragically Hip frontman Gord Downie.



Credit agencies Moody’s and Standard & Poor's recently put out reports laying out this scenario: federal disaster spending drying up while damages from increasing disasters continue to rise. If cities, counties or states are left more on their own to fund rebuilding after natural disasters like hurricanes, they could have a lot of trouble managing their finances. That risk needs to be calculated into municipal bond ratings, the agencies say, to better reflect the risks that disaster-prone areas face, whether it’s superstorms, floods, wildfires or drought.

President Donald Trump has long promised to declare the opioid crisis in America a national emergency, freeing up more federal resources to fight the epidemic. Today turned out to the be the day. At the White House this afternoon, the president directed acting Health Secretary Eric Hargan to declare a public health emergency under the Public Health Services Act. The declaration comes with no new money. It does cut some red tape to help more people get treatment and frees up other sources of funding. 

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

China sets course for a "moderately prosperous" economy

Oct 26, 2017

Chinese President Xi Jinping was installed for another entirely expected five-year term by the Communist Party Congress this week. And in the course of a three-plus hour speech to open the Congress, Xi said something that hasn't gotten much notice here, but is all over the Chinese press: He wants to build a moderately prosperous society. Bearing in mind that China's now the second-biggest economy in the world, and, as such, its fortunes are our fortunes, the idea of a "moderately" prosperous society doesn't really sound like something to aspire to.

Children in Juchitán sing the national anthem and onlookers cry before bulldozers rake at what was once the largest school in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec in Oaxaca, Mexico's narrowest point. 

The area suffered the brunt of the damage from the 8.2 magnitude earthquake on Sept.7, the most powerful seismic event registered in Mexico in a century. A powerful 6.1 magnitude aftershock that hit the same region weeks later dealt a death blow to other buildings that had remained standing.

Playing every role in "Hamilton"

Oct 26, 2017

If you are running a business, this is a good problem to have: Your product is crazy popular, enough that word of mouth is basically the only advertising you need. People are willing to pay top dollar, and demand is through the roof, even two years after it launched. Of course, with such success comes a desire to scale to maximize your reach, which presents its own challenges.

The NAACP is advising African-American travelers to watch out for American Airlines.

The civil rights organization has compiled accounts of "disturbing incidents," including a case involving two traveling companions who showed up with first-class tickets. The white passenger was allowed in first, while the black passenger got bumped down to coach.

(Markets Edition) Amazon will soon provide a delivery service where employees will unlock your door and drop off packages when you aren't home. And this isn't a pilot project: it'll roll out in 37 cities next month. We'll look at how this whole thing will work and how much it'll cost you. Afterwards, we'll chat with Diane Swonk from DS Economics about what we can expect from tomorrow's third-quarter GDP report, and then  discuss news that the FCC might make it easier for media companies to own more news outlets in the same local market.


Now Amazon wants to leave a package inside your house

Oct 26, 2017

You’ve maybe noticed more packages piling up at people’s doorsteps as we buy more stuff from companies like Amazon. Now comes Amazon Key, a service that allows delivery people to open your front door and drop that package inside while you’re gone. Sounds sketchy, but it’s starting in 37 cities next month. 

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

Restrictions on electronic devices carried by travelers coming from some countries have been rolled back. But now U.S. officials are requiring any person traveling to the country be subject to new, tighter screenings. 

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.