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Barbecued pork or fried chicken served with a heaping side of mac and cheese or creamy potato salad, sweet tea and peach cobbler — these Southern classics, loaded with as much history as flavor, have become comfort foods for Americans from all over.

The housing crisis hits America’s heartland

Oct 2, 2018

When you think of high rents and overcrowding, you probably don’t think of farmland. However, according to a new report by the Urban Institute, rural communities are facing a lack of affordable housing, just like more densely populated urban areas. One hundred fifty-two rural counties throughout California, Texas and several southeastern states, among others, were classified as “most severe” — that’s approximately 8 million people in need of more affordable rentals.

Four men connected to a white supremacist group based in California have been arrested and charged with rioting at last year's Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Va.

Exemptions for steel tariffs are still in limbo

Oct 2, 2018

Remember those steel and aluminum tariffs that set off this whole trade war? The Department of Commerce is still sifting through companies' applications for exclusions from them. As of Oct. 1, 35,872 steel and 4,711 aluminum exclusion requests have been filed. Overall, 9,057 steel exclusion decisions have been posted (5,954 were approved), while 508 aluminum decisions have been posted (385 approved). The odds aren't great for an exclusion application to be processed, let alone accepted.

Updated on Wednesday at 4:15 p.m. ET

Wednesday afternoon, at exactly 2:18 p.m. ET, million of Americans received a text headlined "Presidential Alert" on their cellphones.

But it wasn't exactly from President Trump. Rather, it was a test of a new nationwide warning system that a president could use in case of an armed attack by another country, a cyberattack or a widespread natural disaster.

Amazon announced today that it's raising the minimum wage it pays U.S. employees to $15 an hour. The company said more than 250,000 Amazon employees and 100,000 seasonal employees will benefit from the wage hike. Amazon’s new, higher pay will take effect on Nov. 1. We called Abigail Wozniak, a professor of economics at the University of Notre Dame who works primarily in the field of labor economics, to talk us through the news.

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It's been more than two years since Prince died. Now, fans are getting their first album-length glimpse into his famed vault.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "PURPLE RAIN")

The State Department has reversed course on its visa requirements for same-sex partners of foreign diplomats and the staff of U.S.-based international organizations. On Monday, it implemented a policy denying visas to such partners if they're not legally married.

The bomb specialists suspected that an Oregon home was booby-trapped. As they entered the front door, they noticed what appeared to be a tripwire. Seconds later, a shot rang out, apparently from a booby-trapped wheelchair. And an FBI bomb special agent was hit in the leg.

The newly inked trade agreement between the U.S., Canada and Mexico resolves issues regarding pharmaceuticals and dairy — but that still the leaves the separate, unresolved feuds around steel and aluminum tariffs. How will the three countries use the NAFTA negotiations to influence how they figure out a metal tariff deal?

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

There’s a remarkable picture that’s been making the rounds on the web recently.

You may have seen the shot: it’s of a group of medical students and they’re all women.

One’s from Japan, one’s from India and the third from Syria. They’re all wearing traditional clothes from their home countries.

Nothing too remarkable in that, you might say. Until you see the date.

1885.

These women were students at the Women’s Medical College of Pennsylvania (WMCP).

The new NAFTA — or as it's officially known, the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement — is already raising some complaints from north of the border. Canadians are worried their drug prices will go up.

That's because one piece of the deal gives years of extended patent protection to high-end, expensive drugs known as biologics. That means the trade deal could delay the time it takes for cheaper generics to get to market.

Biologic drugs are complex medicines made in living cells. Examples of biologics include AbbVie's Humira and Johnson & Johnson's Remicade.

On this day, 70 years ago, Dec. 7, 1941, Japan bombed the Pearl Harbor Navy Base in Hawaii.

The surprise attack propelled the United States into World War II, fighting not only the Japanese but also the Germans and Italians, and led American leaders to implement one of the most sweeping suspensions of the U.S. Constitution. More than 100,000 Japanese Americans were forced into relocation camps away from coastal areas, fearing they would aid the Japanese in attacks on America.

It’s the final countdown until the Republican Party chooses its candidate for President of the United States and, even with a running mate named, it feels like a lot is still up in the air.

Sometime this month, the Supreme Court is expected to make a critical decision on the Obama administration’s pair of executive actions on immigration.

The Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) programs would give as many as 5.2 million people in the US — many of whom have been here for years — temporary relief from deportation.

The US did not always have restrictions on who and how many people could enter the country.

The Page Act of 1875 and the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, which excluded prostitutes and Chinese laborers, were the first federal laws that restricted particular immigrants. They paved the way for a wave of legislation at the turn of the 20th century that excluded a range of “undesirable” immigrants, including those “likely to become a public charge,” individuals suspected of “moral turpitude,” the sick and physically unfit and alleged political radicals.

Monopsony: When there's only one employer in town

Oct 2, 2018

Amazon is raising the minimum wage for all its U.S. workers to $15 per hour, a decision that follows backlash from labor rights groups over the company’s pay and working conditions.

Updated at 9:49 p.m. ET

President Trump continued his defense Tuesday of his Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh, mocking one of Kavanaugh's accusers at a Mississippi campaign rally.

The latest move by Trump came just hours after he had highlighted the possibility of false accusations against young men in the midst of a cultural moment brought on in the past year by the #MeToo movement.

Working on your own can have its rewards, such as being able to set your own hours. But being self-employed also brings with it the headache of handling taxes — something a traditional employer normally does.

"It's just excruciatingly difficult to manage our finances," says P. Kim Bui, who has been a freelance consultant off and on for two years.

In addition to the Web design and social media work she's hired to do, she must also manage all her own office functions, from accounting to payroll.

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Donna Strickland seemed genuinely surprised to learn that she was only the third woman to ever win the Nobel Prize in physics.

"Is that all, really?" a flummoxed Strickland asked during a press conference announcing the prize. "I thought there might have been more."

From a hill overlooking Canberra, Australia's landlocked capital, Clive Hamilton points to the National Carillon, a bell tower that happens to be striking noon, then to a massive glass and concrete monolith.

"That's where ASIO lives," he says, using the common shorthand for Australia's intelligence agency, the Australian Security Intelligence Organization.

He then points out Australia's federal police building and to a compound in the middle, where China built its embassy.

Updated at 6:49 p.m. ET

Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke took the stand Tuesday to give his teary — and sometimes defensive — testimony about the night he fatally shot 17-year-old Laquan McDonald in the middle of a busy street on Chicago's Southwest Side.

Van Dyke, 40, faces first-degree murder, aggravated battery and official misconduct charges in the Oct. 20, 2014, shooting death. McDonald's death gained national attention in November 2015 when a judge ordered the city to release a police dashcam video of the white officer shooting the black teen.

Updated at 2 p.m. ET Wednesday

A massive relief effort is underway in Indonesia, where more than a thousand people are dead and tens of thousands more are displaced on the island of Sulawesi, after an earthquake and tsunami destroyed houses and other buildings last week.

It has taken days for the scale of the devastation to emerge, because the twin disasters crippled communications and damaged roads and airports. Those problems are also complicating efforts to bring aid to the city of Palu and other affected areas.

Astronomers have found — way beyond the orbit of Pluto — an intriguing distant object orbiting the sun.

It's just a dwarf planet, about 200 miles across, but some researchers think finding it increases the likelihood that there is a heretofore undiscovered giant planet lurking in the outer reaches of our solar system. That would bring the number of true planets in our solar system back to nine, replacing Pluto which was demoted in 2006.

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Everything seemed okay when Elizabeth Coleman went to bed on Sunday, September 16. After evacuating three days prior to escape Hurricane Florence, her family of four and parents-in-law had just returned to their one-level, two-bedroom ranch home on Crusoe Island Road in Whiteville, N.C. It was, thankfully, undamaged.

The family had gone home after evacuating because they believed that the storm had passed and they had heard that the floodwater was receding. They thought it would be safe to return.

By 5 a.m., something was wrong.

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