National Partners

Stories from our program partners, including NPR, APM, and PRI.

The spring home-buying season could use more homes

Mar 20, 2017

The spring home-buying season is officially upon us, and it has the makings of a good one. Housing starts were way up in February, and consumers and homebuilders are feeling more confident about the economy than they have in years. People are in buying mood. There's just one thing missing — homes for sale. 

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03/20/2017: NAFTA, explained

Mar 20, 2017
Kai Ryssdal, Daisy Palacios and Bridget Bodnar

We're kicking off a new series today, explaining the North American Free Trade Agreement and what could happen if President Donald Trump renegotiates it. To start off, we have to talk about your pants. Where they were made and what you paid for them are essential to understanding how NAFTA works. Then, we'll talk with Jaime Serra, one of the agreement's architects in Mexico. Plus, the latest on Brexit negotiations and Uber's scandal-filled year. 

03/20/17: Nevada's focus on solar

Mar 20, 2017

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection is now accepting proposals from contractors who want to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. We'll take a look at the criteria the federal government are asking for. Next, we'll talk about Nevada's push for solar energy over coal and fossil fuel, and then look at one grassroots group's efforts to help provide homeless women with feminine hygiene products. 

Mexico's NAFTA economist on why he doesn't take Trump's critiques personally

Mar 20, 2017
Kai Ryssdal and Bridget Bodnar

This story is the first in a series that explores NAFTA’s role in our economy from the perspective of workers, business owners and trade negotiators. What exactly is NAFTA? And what happens if it changes?  Join us to discuss how one of the most hotly contested issues in our society shapes the way we live.

Despite the Trump administration’s push for coal and other fossil energy, Nevada just went dramatically in the other way. On the day after it pulled the plug on a coal-fired power plant, it cut the ribbon on a new solar energy farm.

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Chuck Collins

While people regularly give old clothes and outgrown shoes to those in need, homeless shelters and the women who live there often need essentials like bras and feminine hygiene products.

One grassroots group is trying to change that.

Forget coat drives — the Center of Hope shelter in Dallas is getting a pickup truck full of tampons, sanitary napkins and bras.

It was 30 years ago this week that the Food and Drug Administration approved the first  treatment for HIV/AIDS, the drug AZT. At a time when the number of AIDS-related deaths was skyrocketing, AZT was rushed into the approval process. But some of the early advocates of the drug's fast-tracking ended up lamenting that process.

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Goldman Sachs offers new online lending platform

Mar 20, 2017
Mark Garrison

As one of the world’s most elite banks, Goldman Sachs is known for serving billionaire clients, giant companies hungry for deals and hot startups eager to go public. It is not the type of place folks think of when they need a little money to spruce up their kitchen or take care of unexpected medical bills. Yet that is exactly what the bank is doing with its new offering called Marcus, an online platform that makes small loans.

What it means to be a diplomat in a digital age

Mar 20, 2017
Stephanie Hughes and Bruce Johnson

When we think of diplomacy, we may think of talking — people in a room, face to face.

But that world of diplomacy is changing and the connected world is playing a much greater role, according to Anne-Marie Slaughter, who worked for the State Department during the Obama administration.

03/20/17: How to cut a deal

Mar 20, 2017

All iPhone users will soon be able to access Amazon's voice assistant software through the main iPhone app. We'll look at how the tool functions and the strategy behind Amazon's decision to enable this feature. Afterwards, we'll chat with Annie-Marie Slaughter about the changing nature of diplomacy in the digital age.


03/20/17: A move away from globalization

Mar 20, 2017

The world's top finance leaders met in Germany this weekend for the latest G20 summit, with signs indicating that the U.S. is backing away from globalization. Stephan Richter, editor in chief of the Globalist, joins us to discuss what went down at the meeting. Next, we'll talk about why early advocates of AZT, the first treatment for HIV/AIDs, began lamenting its rapid approval. And finally, we'll look at Goldman Sachs' new online platform, Marcus, for providing small loans.

Andalusia Knoll Soloff

This week, Austin hosted its annual South by Southwest conference — a gathering of film, music and media festivals that takes over the city. In between the hundreds of panels and concerts and screenings, attendees network and connect. And this year, that connection extended between two groups of kids hundreds of miles apart.

Several Austin elementary schoolers strain against a thick black rope. They pull with everything they have.

“I got this!” one of them shouts. “Pull!” cries another.

New report gives cautious support for embryonic gene editing in humans

Mar 19, 2017
<a href="">lunar caustic</a>/<a href="">CC BY 2.0</a>&nbsp;(image cropped)

Last month, the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Medicine released a report about the use of gene editing techniques like CRISPR on human embryos. The new report, coming from two globally respected scientific organizations, suggests the technique could be warranted in certain cases — not just in the laboratory, but in real life.

Courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech

NASA was big on the internet in late February, when it announced that scientists had discovered seven Earth-sized exoplanets orbiting an ultra-cool dwarf star, 40 light-years away.

The planets are closer to their cool star than Mercury is to the sun, and scientists think they could all be temperate enough to hold liquid water — a key ingredient for life. Not surprisingly, the scientific community is abuzz about what the planets hold, water and otherwise.

Eric Gaillard/Reuters

As news erupted about a shooting at the Alexis de Tocqueville High School in Grasse on Thursday, there was an expectation among much of the French public that the attacker had an ideological motive. This had to be an act of terror, right?

A reporter at the scene early on asked students whether the gunman had shouted anything before firing his weapons, injuring several people. A claim of allegiance, perhaps. Witnesses said they hadn’t heard anything. 

Pete Pekins

The mild winter weather in New England is bad news for the region's moose.

In northern New England, moose number about 70,000, but changing weather seems to be throwing the balance of nature off-kilter, giving an edge to one of the animal's most dangerous enemies — bloodsucking ticks.

Lance Cpl. Alexander Quiles/US&nbsp;Marine Corps

The US military sees climate change as a national security threat. So, it’s finding ways to adapt to global warming, to make the armed forces stronger and more flexible. 

For starters, green technologies such as solar "blankets" and hybrid vehicles have improved operations within the Marine Corps and the Navy, according to Capt. Jim Goudreau, who served as a deputy assistant secretary of the Navy. He spent over two decades in the supply corps and is now the head of climate at Novartis.

Visualizing the Beauty of Vibrato

Mar 18, 2017

Why Are We Here? Physics Has Answers.

Mar 18, 2017
Jasmine Garsd/PRI

When she was 10, Safia Mahjebin started skipping school. She used to ride the New York City subways, aimlessly. "I just love riding the train," she says. "You ride from one end to the other, and then you go back. And then you get out at a few stops and just explore ... some stations are really beautiful.”

Feed homebound seniors, or build a wall?

Mar 17, 2017
Courtesy of KCS

About 2.4 million homebound seniors in the US get food delivered to their doors by the Meals on Wheels program. But President Donald Trump has proposed slashing federal funds for the program, as part of his new budget plan, released this week.

The president's plan includes increases for the departments of defense, veterans affairs, and homeland security — which would also cover the cost of his proposed wall on the US border with Mexico.

Aaron P. Bernstein/Reuters

Imagine you're the parent of a small child, living in a home where explosions have shattered the windows. 

Then imagine that you have to leave that child each day, because you're one of the few physicians left at your hospital and countless patients rely on you during a military siege. 

That was the dilemma facing two Syrian doctors last year, as they struggled to parent their 8-year-old daughter while also pulling late-night shifts in the overwhelmed operating rooms of eastern Aleppo.

Trump’s plan for the EPA is death by ‘a thousand cuts’

Mar 17, 2017
<a href="">Mike</a>/<a href="">CC BY-ND 2.0</a>&nbsp;(image cropped)

If President Donald Trump has his way, the Environmental Protection Agency will be downsized quite a bit: 31 percent, with more than 50 programs eliminated, as laid out in his budget proposal released on Thursday. But penny-pinching isn’t the only tool his administration and Republican lawmakers have at their disposal, to undermine the agency.  

As two environmental law experts explain, different congressional actions and executive orders can also be used to chip away at the EPA. Some already have.   

The risky business of building Trump’s wall

Mar 17, 2017
Jana Kasperkevic

It’s been almost two months since President Donald Trump took office as the 45th President of the United States and so far, no construction has begun on the border wall that was at the core of Trump’s campaign. Yet local governments are already taking steps to sever their connection to companies that might end up working on the wall that Trump says will protect the border between the U.S. and Mexico.

New York's taxi economy implodes

Mar 17, 2017
Marielle Segarra

As ride-sharing apps like Uber and Lyft have become more popular, ridership in New York City's yellow taxis has dropped by nearly 30 percent in the past three years. And that means financial hardship for the people who own taxi medallions — the metal plaques that permit someone to drive a cab — along with huge losses for the financial institutions that fund them. 

On 8th Avenue in Manhattan, Qudratullah Saberry is sitting in the driver's seat of his cab across the street from a hotel.