National Partners

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

Probing Humanity’s Endless ‘Why?’

Aug 12, 2017

Panting, Perspiration, And Puddles

Aug 12, 2017

How The Moon Lost Its Magnetism

Aug 12, 2017

The usually congested streets of Nairobi were silent this morning as Kenyans quietly cast their vote for their next president. Many had left the nation’s capital ahead of Tuesday’s vote, heading up-country in hopes of avoiding the kind of violence that has engulfed their country in past elections.

But all remained peaceful as the majority of polling stations closed Tuesday evening, some voters still waiting patiently under night skies to see their tickets successfully placed inside a ballot box.

Violent demonstrations erupted across Nairobi Wednesday afternoon, just one day after Kenyans elected their next president. 

Wednesday’s protests were fueled by ethnic and political divisions between longstanding rivals President Uhuru Kenyatta and opposition party candidate Raila Odinga. 

Elections officials have yet to announce an official winner of the contentious race — a delay that has added to suspicions of voting rigging and instigated protests around the East African nation. Unofficial results, however, point to a decisive victory for Kenyatta.

At 14, she tested positive for HIV — now she calls herself an HIVictor

Aug 11, 2017
Miora Rajaonary

It’s a clear winter morning in Pretoria.

On a suburban lawn, under the shade of a tree, a group of young actors is rehearsing for an upcoming production of the play, "My Children! My Africa!" 

Sadie Brown, 22, plays the character of Isabella. Brown is a young actress, but she’s spent a lifetime performing. She started when she was a teenager. She was at a school event, and health workers were doing free HIV testing. Brown thought it would be fun.

"So, I went in there, and I had an HIV test, and ... " she trails off.

Helping the blind 'see' the solar eclipse

Aug 11, 2017
Carolyn Beeler/PRI

It sounds like the beginning of a riddle. How can someone who’s blind “see” the upcoming eclipse on Aug. 21?

It’s a question solar astrophysicist Henry “Trae” Winter started thinking about several months ago after a blind colleague asked him to describe what an eclipse was like.

“I was caught completely flat-footed,” Winter said. “I had no idea how to communicate what goes on during an eclipse to someone who has never seen before in their entire life.”

South African artist Lady Skollie explains why she paints burning vaginas

Aug 11, 2017
Jasmine Garsd/PRI

Laura Windvogel unlocks the heavy outer door to her studio on a quiet Sunday morning. She climbs the warehouse stairs. And she unlocks the next lock to another metal door. And through that door, she turns the key on yet another lock to get into her work space.

It’s a reminder that this is Johannesburg. And security is everything — especially for women.

Jasmine Garsd/PRI

Ziyanda Kamte says she knew her husband was cheating on her.

And she knew a lot about the HIV epidemic — her aunt died of AIDS-related tuberculosis. So, when her husband demanded sex, Kamte demanded that he use condoms.

“There were times when he would beat me up just for asking for a condom,” explains Kamte. “Because I said no. I refused. I was trying to protect myself. But he didn’t see it that way.”

Here’s the question that’s stumping health workers and activists: If more than 7 million HIV infections nationwide won’t convince a man to wear a condom, what will?  

Travel the world on an ice cream tour in Los Angeles

Aug 11, 2017

Among life's pressing questions, which ice cream to have poses an eternal conundrum. There's coffee, obviously, and chocolate, but what about raspberry, pistachio, rum raisin and mint chocolate chip? Toppings are a further challenge — sprinkles, whipped cream, hot fudge, the proverbial cherry on top?

So it's a relief to learn that Filipinos have an answer: halo-halo.

Back-to-school supplies are a little more expensive — and complicated

Aug 11, 2017

You’re not imagining it — you are paying more for back-to-school supplies than last year.

Parents on average will spend about $500 per child this year, according to a yearly survey by Deloitte. That's up from $488 last year. This year's back-to-school shopping season is expected to pull in $27 billion in sales, the survey said.

John Hockenberry gives us his takeaway

Aug 11, 2017
The Takeaway 

So, what do you say about nearly 10 years of your life measured out in radio programs?

For me, it's that long, though not for most of you, because this show was birthed in the shadows of a long-forgotten mission to become a public radio alternative in morning drive time. That goal, which was written into grant proposals and pitches, launched The Takeaway. Then two of the biggest stories of the century — the election of Barack Obama and the financial debacle that almost took down the global economy — lifted us steadily as a place where people could hear ideas mixed with the news.

Mark Dixon/Flickr 

Residents who live in and around Clairton, Penn., about 15 miles south of Pittsburgh, have filed a class-action suit against US Steel, claiming air pollution from the company’s Clairton Coke Works has lowered local property values.

Online audio platform SoundCloud, a favorite of indie musicians, has been struggling to stay afloat financially. Last month, it laid off 40 percent of its staff, and the company has been urgently seeking a reported $170 million cash injection to keep going. Today it got that emergency investment approved by shareholders. As part of that deal, the CEO of video streaming service Vimeo will now lead SoundCloud. So it lives to see another day. But why is it that a company with more than 175 million monthly users can’t make money?

We want your eclipse plans, stories and photos

Aug 11, 2017

Jason Rekulak from Philadelphia is camping with his family at a goat farm in McMinnville, Oregon.

He realized last minute that an already-planned family vacation to the West Coast would bring him within a few hours of the eclipse’s path of totality and rushed to book a place to stay.

"I thought we were going to be staying at a Holiday Inn and probably watching from a parking lot,” Rekulak said. “But instead, we're going to be on a 500-acre goat farm.”

Shouldn't the person telling you what to do with your retirement accounts be legally required to act in your best interest? Sounds simple enough, but regulation to that affect has long been resisted by the financial industry. The Obama administration pushed for the so-called Fiduciary Duty Rule, but this week the Labor Department sought to delay implementation of the rule by 18 months. As it turns out, this rule might actually help brokers instead of hurting them.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

Nela Richardson of Redfin and Sheelah Kolhatkar of The New Yorker join us to discuss the week's business and economics news. We’ll get into inflation at the consumer level and how Trump's threats of nuclear war aren't having much effect on Wall Street. Plus, with Trump singling out Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, we look at what’s next for the president’s agenda. 

With a new class of freshmen heading off to college over the next few weeks, parents, friends and relatives are scrambling to get their students situated and send them off with a memorable gift. Marketplace Weekend spoke to Emma McAnaw, market writer on BuzzFeed's shopping team, about her picks for goodbye gifts for college students. 

A post shared by Top Ramen (@originaltopramen) on Feb 18, 2017 at 1:03pm PST

Dealing with identity theft can cost you — but should it?

Aug 11, 2017

We often talk about cyber security as a way to prevent other people from accessing your personal information, but what can you do if the worst actually happens? That's what David Lazarus had to find out after someone used his social security number. Lazarus, who writes the Consumer Confidential column for the LA Times (and is a guest host at Marketplace), first reported on Derrick Davis, the man who took his identity, back in 2007.

Lunch shaming is on its way out of schools

Aug 11, 2017

Have you heard of lunch shaming? Even experienced it, perhaps?

It's what happens when a kid can't pay for their school lunch, and the lunch service staff, or other students or teachers, make them feel bad about it. There have reportedly been instances where a student was obliged to help clean up the lunchroom to pay off their debt, or when a school stamped "I need lunch money" on a child's arm. Sometimes, it's just embarrassing for a student to have to go get the "courtesy meal" at the salad bar instead of the hot lunch offered to all the other students.

President Trump has made it clear that he wants to put America first. Globalization and free trade, he suggests, have gone too far. Trump’s threat to slap tariffs on cheap Chinese steel is a prime example. In July, Trump told reporters he might impose both tariffs and quotas to protect the American steel industry.

Teachers spend hundreds of dollars on back to school supplies

Aug 11, 2017

Parents aren't the only ones who spend big getting ready for the school year. Teachers, it turns out, fork over about $500 of their own money each year for school supplies, according to a survey by Scholastic.

Study: Fines for illegal pollution plummet under Trump

Aug 11, 2017

WASHINGTON (AP) —Fines for illegal pollution have plummeted under President Donald Trump, according to analysis by an environmental advocacy group.

The Environmental Integrity Project looked at that civil penalties paid by polluters during the first six months under Trump. The group published an analysis Thursday that found penalties were less than half their levels under each of the past three presidents.

The show this week is education themed, and we're looking at stories from all over the country. We consider a landmark case weighing the right to literacy and its value, tax breaks for school supplies, the cost of college and the best gifts to give a new freshman. Parents, students and teachers all share their views in this episode about the value of education in the U.S.

More of your bitcoin questions, answered

Aug 11, 2017

We only had so much time on Make Me Smart this week to answer your questions about bitcoin. Molly can talk cryptocurrencies forever, and there was a lot more to say! So here's everything (else) you've wanted to know about bitcoin, but were too afraid to ask.

Who created bitcoin?

08/11/2017: "The McDonaldization of culture"

Aug 11, 2017

President Donald Trump said his administration is preparing to declare the epidemic of opioid abuse a national emergency. On today's show, we'll look at how resources might be distributed toward combating the issue. Afterwards, we'll look at fears in Britain over a free trade agreement between the U.S. and the U.K. Some say the influx of American food products will lead to lower food standards in the country.