Latin America
5:59 pm
Thu January 31, 2013

The Mexico-Canada Guest Worker Program: A Model For The U.S.?

Armando Tenorio at his home in Mexico last December. Tenorio spends most of the year working on a blueberry farm in Canada, on a temporary work permit, to support his family in Mexico.
Dominic Bracco II The Washington Post/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 1, 2013 1:29 pm

In the U.S., farmers and farm workers alike say the current system to import temporary workers, especially in agriculture, is slow and fraught with abuses.

But the shape of a new guest-worker program is still being hashed out. Some say the U.S. should import temporary workers the same way Canada does. For nearly four decades, the governments of Canada and Mexico have cooperated to fill agriculture jobs that Canadian citizens won't do, and that Mexicans are clamoring to get.

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Fine Art
5:48 pm
Thu January 31, 2013

Artist Willie Cole experiments with shoes, steam irons

This work is part of Willie Cole's 'Virgin' series.
Credit www.williecole.com

At the age of 58, Willie Cole may be best known for using household items and found objects in his art. His large wall sculpture, called With a Heart of Gold is part of the exhibition now on display at the Richmond Center for Visual Arts on Western Michigan University's campus.

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Latin America
5:31 pm
Thu January 31, 2013

As U.S. Consumes Less Cocaine, Brazil Uses More

Brazilian federal police patrol the Mamore River, which separates Brazil from Bolivia. The river is used by traffickers to ferry cocaine from Bolivia into Brazil, where cocaine consumption is rising rapidly.
Juan Forero Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 31, 2013 7:55 pm

As cocaine consumption falls in the United States, South American drug traffickers have begun to pioneer a new soft target for their product: big and increasingly affluent Brazil.

And the source of the cocaine is increasingly Bolivia, a landlocked country that shares a 2,100-mile border with Brazil.

As Brazilian police officers and border agents can attest, the drug often finds its way to Brazil by crossing the Mamore River, which separates the state of Rondonia from Bolivia in the heart of South America.

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Art & Design
5:14 pm
Thu January 31, 2013

Graffiti Gnomes Allowed To Roam On Oakland Utility Poles

An anonymous artist started placing the hand-painted gnomes on the bases of utility poles all over Oakland.
Courtesy of the photographer

Originally published on Thu January 31, 2013 7:55 pm

Over the past year, small gnomes started springing up all around Oakland, Calif. The elfin creatures are hand-painted on wooden boards; each is about 6 inches tall, with red hat, brown boots and white beard. They're bits of urban folk art from an anonymous painter who surreptitiously screws them onto the base of utility poles.

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Around the Nation
5:05 pm
Thu January 31, 2013

South L.A. Teens Doubt New Laws Will Change Gun Culture

Handguns collected in South-Central Los Angeles as part of a Gun for Gift Card exchange in 2009. One teenager here says getting a gun on the streets is just "one phone call away."
Mark Ralston AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 1, 2013 1:04 pm

On 53rd Street and Vermont Avenue in South Los Angeles, violent members of at least six gangs run the streets. A landmark church is boarded up and tagged. There are liquor stores and abandoned lots. On Tuesday night, there was a drive-by shooting two blocks away, and folks are expecting retaliation. This is an area where murders, robberies and rapes are common — and so are guns.

"There's too many guns out there," says Randolph Wright, 18. "I can tell you right now, every hood has an AK[-47]. Regardless of whatever other gun they got, they have an AK."

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Tanya Ballard Brown is a Southern girl, an editor for NPR.org and a wild dreamer who laughs loudly and often.

Music Interviews
4:36 pm
Thu January 31, 2013

Ron Sexsmith: At Midlife, A Songwriter Ponders Mortality

Ron Sexsmith's new album, Forever Endeavour, comes out Feb. 5.
Michael D'Amico Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu January 31, 2013 7:55 pm

Somehow, Canadian singer-songwriter Ron Sexsmith makes a case of the deep blues sound sweet. The new album Forever Endeavour is his 13th, and the songs show him, at midlife, reflecting a lot on the passage of time.

"I think there's always something comforting about sad songs," Sexsmith says. "It's a shared thing that everyone can relate to."

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The Two-Way
4:21 pm
Thu January 31, 2013

Dear Lawyers: Order In The &*%# Court!

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 1:33 pm

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You Must Read This
3:45 pm
Thu January 31, 2013

War Writ Small: Of Pushcarts And Peashooters

Originally published on Thu January 31, 2013 7:55 pm

Adam Mansbach is the author of the forthcoming novel Rage is Back.

Stealing my 9-year-old nephew's copy of The Pushcart War by Jean Merrill was the best thing I did last summer. I was his age the first time I read it, and twice his age the last time I went back to it. I'm twice that old again now, but as soon as I dove into this intimate, majestic tale of war writ small — of a battle between the pushcart peddlers and the truckers of New York City — I realized how timeless, and how deeply a part of me, the story was.

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Fine Art
3:21 pm
Thu January 31, 2013

Diversity Art Contest paints a picture of world peace

Brandi Smith describes her favorite bird out of the many depicted in her drawings.
Rebecca Thiele, WMUK

The contest only has one rule: you have to tell the judges how your art shows diversity. In Kellogg Community College student Brandi Smith’s drawing, bird-like people sit gracefully on clouds.

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NPR Story
1:55 pm
Thu January 31, 2013

What 'The New York Times' Hack Tells Us About China

Originally published on Thu January 31, 2013 2:27 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

According to The New York Times' own investigation, Chinese hackers have been attacking the newspapers' computer system for the last four months. Infiltration happened as The Times broke a story on the vast wealth accumulated by the family of the Chinese prime minister. Officials warned The Times the story would have consequences. But hacking is not anything new in China, and they're definitely not the only country doing it today. We'll look at what China's after, who they're targeting, how they do it and why.

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NPR Story
1:55 pm
Thu January 31, 2013

'Distant Witness': Social Media's 'Journalism Revolution'

A shop in Tahrir Square is spray-painted with the word "twitter" after the government shut off Internet access in February 2011 in Cairo, Egypt.
Peter Macdiarmid Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 4, 2013 2:22 pm

When protests in Tunisia inspired a wave of revolutions known as the Arab Spring, Andy Carvin tracked the events in real time from thousands of miles away in Washington, D.C.

From the tear gas in Egypt's Tahrir Square, to the liberation of Libya, Carvin, NPR's senior strategist, used social media to gather and report the news.

In his book Distant Witness: Social Media, the Arab Spring and a Journalism Revolution, Carvin explains how he cultivated social media sources into a new form of journalism where civilians on the ground controlled the news.

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NPR Story
1:55 pm
Thu January 31, 2013

After Benghazi Attack, Improving American Security Abroad

Originally published on Thu January 31, 2013 2:35 pm

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) told Fox News that Secretary of State Hilary Clinton "got away with murder" for her handling of the attacks on the U.S. consulate in Libya. Ambassador Thomas Pickering, who led the independent investigation into the attacks, talks about the future of diplomatic security.

WMUK News
1:02 pm
Thu January 31, 2013

Michigan "Right to Work" law faces lawsuit

Anti-right to work protestors face State Police in Lansing in December (file photo)
Credit The Associated Press

Opponents of Michigan’s new “Right to Work” law have asked a judge in Lansing to throw it out. The Michigan chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union filed the motion in Ingham County Circuit Court Thursday. It amends a lawsuit filed early last month when Republican legislative leaders closed the Capitol Building to the public during protests against the law. This week, Governor Rick Snyder asked the Michigan Supreme Court to rule on whether or not the “Right to Work” statute is constitutional.

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SW Michigan
12:57 pm
Thu January 31, 2013

Blue Cross reform on again in Lansing

Credit WMUK

State lawmakers are trying again to reform Michigan’s largest health insurer. The Gongwer News Service reports that the Senate unanimously approved a reform plan for Blue Cross Blue Shield today. It would turn it into a non-profit mutual company.

Debate in the House is not expected to go as smoothly.

Governor Snyder vetoed a similar reform plan last month. It included restrictions on abortion that are not part of the new Senate bill.

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NPR Story
11:56 am
Thu January 31, 2013

Violence In The Windy City

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

We turn now to an all-too-familiar story of violence here in the U.S. In Chicago, 15-year-old honor student Hadiya Pendleton was shot and killed on Tuesday. She was the 42nd person killed in Chicago since the beginning of the year. Last year, there were more than 500 killings. And a number of these murders, particularly of young people, brought the city to tears, but Pendleton's death has brought national attention because she recently performed with her high school drill team at the president's inauguration in Washington, D.C.

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NPR Story
11:56 am
Thu January 31, 2013

Gabourey Sidibe, From 'Precious' To 'AfroPop'

Originally published on Thu January 31, 2013 12:04 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Later in the program, we will pay tribute to the late Leroy "Sugarfoot" Bonner. The leader of the funk band, The Ohio Players, died earlier this week at the age of 69 and we will tell you more about him in a few minutes.

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NPR Story
11:56 am
Thu January 31, 2013

Is Egypt Better Or Worse Off Now?

It's been two years since Hosni Mubarak was ousted as Egypt's President. Today, there's new leadership, but the country is still in turmoil. And some Egyptians wonder if things are changing for the best. Host Michel Martin speaks with NPR Cairo Bureau Chief, Leila Fadel, to learn more about the new Egypt.

Local Music
11:52 am
Thu January 31, 2013

WMU Orchestra prepares essential Russian repertoire

Western Michigan University Symphony Orchestra
Credit WMU

Interview with Lori Sims and Bruce Uchimura

Pianist Lori Sims is the soloist in Rachmaninoff’s formidable Piano Concerto No. 3, with Bruce Uchimura conducting the Western Michigan University Symphony Orchestra this Sunday in Chenery Auditorium.

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Music Reviews
11:10 am
Thu January 31, 2013

A 'Special Edition' Box Set Of Jack DeJohnette And Band

Jack DeJohnette.
Chris Griffith Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu January 31, 2013 1:13 pm

On a new box set collecting the first four albums of Jack DeJohnette and his band Special Edition, two discs are gems and the other two have their moments. DeJohnette's quartet-slash-quintet was fronted by smoking saxophonists on the way up, set loose on catchy riffs and melodies. The springy rhythm section could tweak the tempos like no one this side of '60s goddess Laura Nyro.

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Television
10:56 am
Thu January 31, 2013

Spacey And Fincher Make A 'House Of Cards'

Kevin Spacey is the star and a producer of the new Netflix series House of Cards, on which David Fincher is a co-producer.
Melinda Sue Gordon Netflix

Originally published on Thu January 31, 2013 12:18 pm

Ten months on the road playing Richard III in theaters around the world is a good way to prep for playing a ruthlessly ambitious politician and Washington insider — according to Kevin Spacey, at least.

Just before he took the role of Francis "Frank" Underwood, the fictional majority whip of the House of Representatives who hatches a plan to take down the president in the new Netflix original series House of Cards, Spacey spent nearly a year playing Shakespeare's murderously ambitious king.

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10:54 am
Thu January 31, 2013

Survey finds Holland residents feel secure, but concerned about gang activity

Lead in text: 
Two surveys find Holland residents satisfied with city services.
Holland residents are concerned about the rise in property crimes and gang activity in the city, according to two surveys, though most feel somewhat or very safe in their neighborhoods.
9:50 am
Thu January 31, 2013

MI groups say Obama immigration plan "inadequate"

Lead in text: 
The Detroit-based group By Any Means Necessary says a bipartisan plan endorsed by the President and by several senators doesn't go far enough.
DETROIT, MI - A group of local immigrants' rights activists plan to push for more far-reaching immigration reforms, calling the plan President Barack Obama unveiled this week inadequate. "We demand no second-class treatment for anyone who lives, works and goes to school here," said Monica Smith, an immigration attorney and organizer for liberal Detroit activist group By Any Means Necessary.
Europe
7:49 am
Thu January 31, 2013

German Company's Giant Cookie Goes Missing

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. When the huge golden cookie that stood for 100 years outside the headquarters of a big German cookie maker went missing, the company put up a reward. Then the kidnapper sent a ransom note. I have the biscuit, it said with text cut from magazines. It demanded the company donate cookies to children in a local hospital, and the reward to an animal shelter. Signed: Cookie Monster. Cute. But so far the bakery has not bitten. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Around the Nation
7:41 am
Thu January 31, 2013

Super Bowl Attracts Battle Of Craft Breweries

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep.

Sunday's Super Bowl - a contest between the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers - is also a battle of craft breweries. Maryland's Flying Dog Brewery made a bet with Anchor Brewing of San Francisco. The loser must pour the winner's beer in its taproom for a week. And the loser's brewery tour guides will have to wear the winner's Super Bowl championship gear. Could be tough, but if they need a beer after all that, they're all set.

Child Poverty
7:39 am
Thu January 31, 2013

Kids Count report shows child well being slips

Foreclosed house - file photo
Credit AP photo

The latest report on child well-being in Michigan finds more children living in poverty. The Kids Count report released Wednesday finds child poverty went up 28% in Michigan from 2005 to 2011. 

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6:41 am
Thu January 31, 2013

Benton Harbor's New Emergency Manager says he will bring different approach

Lead in text: 
Tony Saunders II says his first goal is to return the city to local control.
BENTON HARBOR - Benton Harbor's new emergency financial manager, Tony Saunders II, who officially begins work in the city Friday, said he has goals for the city but wants to hear from residents before he forms the specifics of a plan.
6:37 am
Thu January 31, 2013

Kids Count report shows child well being slips

Lead in text: 
Report measures child well-being through areas such as poverty, health and neglect
Ottawa County is No. 1 in the state for child well-being. That's the good news. The bad news is the state isn't faring too well in that area and has, in fact, been declining in many categories of child well-being. The latest Michigan Kids Count study was released today and shows eight of 15 child well-being indicators worsening.
Politics
6:33 am
Thu January 31, 2013

Gun Hearing Airs Issues, Disagreements On Solutions

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

This is the time when we begin to find if the emotional power of the Newtown school shooting will translate into political change. People affected by mass shootings are now talking with state and federal lawmakers.

Susan Aaron's daughter escaped the shooting in Newtown after seeing her teacher and friends killed.

(SOUNDBITE OF SPEECH)

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Business
6:29 am
Thu January 31, 2013

Business News

Originally published on Thu January 31, 2013 7:08 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with advertisers liking Facebook.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MONTAGNE: Facebook says its mobile advertising business nearly doubled from the third to fourth quarter of 2012. As a whole, the company's ad business grew at its fastest rate since it went public last May.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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