National Partners

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

Adam Allington

The CEOs of companies including, Apple, Google, Amazon and Microsoft are in Washington D.C. today for the second White House Technology Summit. It’s been six months since President Trump's last roundtable with Silicon Valley leaders.

Despite being largely against Trump’s positions at the time, there was at least a cautious sense they might be able to work together on issues such as cyber security and job creation.

It’s likely that the heat wave California, Arizona and Nevada has been experiencing is going to hit its peak this week. Temperatures could reach as high as 120 degrees in Phoenix. Across the region, the air conditioning will be roaring. But will the power grid be able to keep up? 

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

Larry Buhl

The California Legislature is considering a proposal to link the cost of a traffic ticket to a person’s ability to pay. Supporters say if it becomes law, it will keep minor traffic violations from pushing low-income California drivers deep into debt. And, it could help the state recoup tens of millions of dollars in delinquent fines that people just can’t afford to pay.

06/19/2017: The complications of Brexit

Jun 19, 2017

Negotiators are still trying to figure out just how the U.K. will exit the European Union. We'll talk about some of the key issues surrounding the end of their relationship, which includes questions about what to do with Europeans living in the U.K. and British people living in the EU. Afterwards, we'll discuss Oregon's decision to let residents list "X" for their gender on their driver's licenses or state IDs, and then look at a California proposal that would lower traffic fines for low-income drivers. 

Do open-space offices really make us more productive?

Jun 19, 2017
Adrienne Hill and Jana Kasperkevic

During lunch on a recent weekday, Carolina Donlan, who works at an outpatient clinic in New York, could be spotted outside enjoying the warm weather.

“In my perfect office, I can see outside,” she said when asked about her ideal workspace. “Have a big window. I can see the nature. I can make my own tea, I don’t have to get out. I can have a big beautiful leather couch where I can relax. I work in mental health. You have to do your own mental health.” 

06/19/2017: Planning a chance encounter

Jun 19, 2017

Perhaps you've seen pics of Apple's new campus in Cupertino. It's futuristic, elegant and reportedly costs about $5 billion. Lord Norman Foster, one of the lead architects on the project, shared with us how the design came to be and how architecture can be "a force for good." Afterwards, we'll look at the link between workplace design and productivity. Ben Waber, CEO of Humanyze, explains why so many companies rely on big, open workspaces, and what he thinks a next-generation tech office space should look like. 

Bobby Bascomb

The current drought devastating sub-Saharan Africa is not only increasing hunger and disease, it is also creating more opportunities for violence against women.

Across the continent, it is solely the responsibility of women to collect water and bring it home for drinking, cooking, and cleaning.

How to make bionic limbs feel more natural

Jun 18, 2017
Juan Carlos Ulate/Reuters

When you flex your bicep, your muscle sends information to your brain, allowing you to feel your muscle contract without even having to glance at it. But if you have a bionic limb, you don’t get that same sensory feedback.

“When I move my bionic ankles, I don’t feel the movement of the ankles, and when the torque increases on my bionic ankle joints, I don’t feel that torque,” says Hugh Herr, who co-directs the Center for Extreme Bionics at MIT, and whose legs are amputated below the knee.

Global Landscapes Forum/Flickr 

A new report from a group called the Energy Transitions Commission shows that countries could cut global carbon emissions in half by 2040 and stay well below the 2-degree warming mark agreed to at the Paris Climate Conference.

The Energy Transitions Commission includes the chairman of Shell Oil, former US Vice President Al Gore, British economist Nicholas Stern and former US senator, and UN Foundation chief, Tim Wirth. The new report is titled, "Better Energy, Greater Prosperity." 

Just how much science is in forensic science?

Jun 17, 2017
<a href="">West Midlands Police</a>/<a href="">CC BY-SA 2.0</a>

On TV crime shows, forensic science always just manages to pinpoint the criminal in the span of a televised hour — and with 100 percent accuracy. But in real life, forensic science doesn’t always work so smoothly.

The Mindset For A Milkshake

Jun 17, 2017

Can The Great Lakes Stay Great?

Jun 17, 2017
Courtesy of Michelle Gawronsky/Facebook&nbsp;

Christine met her husband when she was just 17. He became emotionally abusive early on, and it escalated when their first child was just 3 months old. She knew she needed to leave him, but as a stay-at-home parent, she felt trapped — not having an income of her own.

Later, Christine (not her real name), of Winnipeg, Manitoba, got a job. She'd been working for six months when her husband hit her for the second time. Now, she was worried about asking her boss for time off from work, to move herself and her two young children.

Trump's plan restricts travel and business with Cuba

Jun 16, 2017
Alexandre Meneghini/Reuters

President Donald Trump announced on Friday a clampdown on US business with Cuba and tighter rules on travel to the island, in a move to roll back his predecessor Barack Obama's historic outreach to Havana.

Trump headed early Friday to Miami's Little Havana, spiritual home of the Cuban-American exile community, to unveil the policy shift in an address at the Manuel Artime Theater — named after an anti-communist veteran of the ill-fated Bay of Pigs invasion.


Teju Cole's latest book "Blind Spot" is all about connections between people that might be be easily overlooked. 

Via text and short essays, the photographer, novelist and art historian takes the reader to 25 different countries, juxtaposing what he calls "different kinds of strangeness."  We sat down with him to discuss his newest book on exploring the unexpected and the ordinary. 

It was 2 in the morning, on Wednesday, April 19 when a small plane took off from Alexandria, Louisiana. On it, were eight Iraqis. Raied Jabou was one of them.

"I was shackled, I was handcuffed all the way until I landed in Baghdad," he says over a WhatsApp conversation from Iraq. "When the plane started landing, then they removed the shackles from my feet and handcuffs around my waist and from my hands."

Stefan Wermuth/Reuters

Protesters calling for action Friday over the fire at London's Grenfell Tower stormed Kensington and Chelsea town hall, the center of local government in the area. 

Demonstrators from the Grenfell Tower area had gathered to protest the council's failure to act on warnings over fire safety in the building. They also demanded more information over the full extent of the death toll, which has risen to at least 30.

Around a hundred people entered the town hall, and were held back by police and council officials.


Amid reports that President Trump is under investigation for obstruction of justice, we talk with a former White House insider about what happens to the business of government when the president faces legal action. Plus: Why street vendors, and not doctors, are the main source for medicine in Haiti. Then: How a trip to a theme park could be the best financial education your child will ever get. And staying with the kids: School's out!

Suzanne Plunkett/Reuters

Father’s Day is coming up this Sunday, and the men behind a new global campaign have a message for dads everywhere: Do more care work. It makes men happier.

Sounds like a message more commonly made by a women's organization. But the male feminists behind the new MENCAREcampaign are arguing that gender equality is better not just for women, but for men too.   

For many Haitians, street dispensaries are the only source of medicine

Jun 16, 2017

What's a street dispensary? It's "a sort of chemical Babel Tower," according to Arnaud Robert, who reported on these Haitian pharmacies for the June 2017 issue of National Geographic. But the street vendors are not pharmacists, and their wares are not regulated. This illegal, ubiquitous medical practice can have serious consequences for the health of many Haitians. But, Robert told us, Haitians have very few choices.

Eliza Mills

It's been a busy week when it comes to presidential lawsuits. The attorneys general of Maryland and Washington, D.C., are suing President Trump, alleging that his business interests leave him "deeply enmeshed" with foreign and domestic governments, violating the emolument clause in the Constitution.

Dan Kraker

Three decades ago, Duluth, Minnesota, was in the doldrums. A steel mill had just closed. Unemployment was more than 20 percent. Someone posted a billboard on the way out of town that read: "Last one out, turn out the lights."

"We were as Rust Belt as they come," recalled Andy Goldfine, who in 1984 rented an old three-story brick building, bought a bunch of used sewing machines and started a company called Aerostich. His vision was to make motorcycle gear for hard-core riders to wear over their work clothes.

Robert Garrova

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.

There are two forces pushing cars and fuel efficiency in opposition directions: the federal government and California. California for decades has had special permission to set environmental rules that are stricter than the federal rules. The Trump administration had suggested it might try to revoke the waiver that grants that permission. But in a bit of a surprise, EPA head Scott Pruitt now says the feds will leave the state alone, for now. And it’s not just California that is affected, as 12 states have signed on to the California standards, accounting for about 40 percent of the U.S.

How summer festivals boost town economies and foster community pride

Jun 16, 2017
Molly Wood and Maria Hollenhorst

Brought to You By” is our series about all the stuff that’s become part of the culture and of the economy. Where did they came from and who thought of them?