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The Salt
1:48 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Your Love Of Quinoa Is Good News For Andean Farmers

Farmer Geronimo Blanco shows his quinoa plants in Patamanta, Bolivia, in February. A burgeoning global demand for quinoa has led to a threefold price increase since 2006.
Juan Karita AP

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 6:15 pm

Quinoa lovers have been put on a bit of a guilt trip with stories suggesting that the increased demand in the U.S. has put the superfood out of reach for those living closest to where it's grown.

How can poor Bolivians in La Paz afford to pay three times more for quinoa than they would pay for rice, critics have asked?

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NPR Story
1:40 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Can Oregon Pay College Tuition Forward?

The idea for "Pay It Forward" was born out of a seminar at Portland State University. (Wikimedia Commons)

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 5:05 pm

Today the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced that federal student loan debt now tops a trillion dollars.

Many people across the country are trying to figure out a solution to that problem. One proposal from Oregon has been attracting a lot of attention.

It’s called “Pay It Forward,” and it would allow students to learn now and pay later based on a percentage of their future income.

The idea grew out of a seminar class at Portland State University.

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NPR Story
1:35 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Uncertain Future For Fannie And Freddie

The Fannie Mae headquarters is seen in Washington, Monday, Aug. 8, 2011. (Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP)

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 5:05 pm

For the first time since the big housing crash five years ago, it appears that some lawmakers are getting serious about replacing the mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Fannie and Freddie back most of the mortgages in the country. Now, two prominent senators — one a Democrat and one a Republican — have a proposal to phase them out.

NPR’s Chris Arnold explains what this could mean for the future of the housing finance system.

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Shots - Health News
1:22 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Weight Loss Is Worth Gold In Dubai

Lose pounds and gain grams of gold in Dubai.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 10:43 am

If you want people to slim down, why not reward them with gold? That's the tack being taken in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Alarmed at ballooning waistlines in a region where fast food is common and comfortable outdoor exercise is not, the local government is offering to give citizens a gram of gold for each kilogram lost by Aug. 16, according to news reports.

That's about $41 for a little over two pounds of pudge, based on today's market rate.

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NPR Story
1:06 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Al-Qaida Branch Says No. 2 Leader Killed In Yemen

This January 2009 file photo from undated video posted on a militant-leaning website, and provided by the SITE Intelligence Group, shows Saeed al-Shihri, deputy leader of al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula. (SITE Intelligence Group via AP)

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 5:05 pm

The Yemen-based branch of al-Qaida says a U.S. drone strike has killed a former Guantanamo Bay prisoner who rose to become the group’s No. 2 figure.

The announcement, posted on militant websites, gives no date for the death of Saudi-born Saeed al-Shihri.

In January, Yemen’s official SABA news agency had reported that al-Shihri died of wounds from a drone strike three months earlier.

The monitoring group SITE said today that al-Shihri was eulogized in the video by a senior official in the terrorist group, known as Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula.

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NPR Story
12:55 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

What Are People Drinking Instead Of Coke?

A restored Coca-Cola mural in Georgia. (Brent Moore/Flickr)

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 5:05 pm

Coca-Cola reported disappointing second-quarter results, citing bad weather and weak global growth.

But the company has steadily lost consumers in the United States, as people become more wary of consuming sugary drinks.

So what are Americans drinking instead?

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NPR Story
12:50 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Busting The Quinoa Myth

Tri-color quinoa. (avlxyz/Flickr)

Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 2:54 pm

If you’re part of the health-conscious foodie crowd, there’s a good chance you eat quinoa.

Five years ago, a lot of people couldn’t pronounce it and had never heard of it. But a boom in the popularity of this so-called Andean “super-grain” is pushing demand sky-high.

As Americans eat more of it, there are suggestions that people who live closest to quinoa — the indigenous people of the Andes — are being deprived of the food because the price has gone so high.

But NPR food and health correspondent Allison Aubrey says the truth is complicated.

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The Two-Way
12:45 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Asiana Decides Not To Sue San Francisco TV Station

Passengers move away from the wreckage of Asiana Airlines Flight 214 after the plane's July 6 crash-landing in San Francisco. This photo was taken by a passenger.
Eugene Anthony Rah Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu July 25, 2013 12:34 pm

Asiana Airlines has decided not sue the Oakland television station that aired the bogus names of the flight crew piloting Flight 214, a Boeing 777 that crash-landed at San Francisco International Airport earlier this month.

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NPR Story
12:40 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Rep. John Lewis Pushes For Updated Voting Rights Act

Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., accompanied by fellow members of the Congressional Black Caucus express disappointment in the Supreme Court's decision on Shelby County v. Holder that invalidates Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act, Tuesday, June 25, 2013, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 5:05 pm

The Senate Judiciary Committee will hear testimony on Wednesday on the future of the Voting Rights Act. In June, the Supreme Court nullified a key provision of the act, ruling the law was outdated.

The decision ended the requirement for more than a dozen states to clear new election laws with the Department of Justice.

Now it’s up to Congress to update the formula used to determine which states need extra oversight, based on their history of past voting rights abuses.

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NPR Story
12:35 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

In China, Another Food Scandal Makes Headlines

BBC correspondent Celia Hatton holds up the results of a home food test, indicating that the milk is contaminated. (BBC video screenshot)

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 5:05 pm

In China, it seems to be “another week, another food scandal.” Chinese citizens are worn down with news of contaminated food — including toxic milk powder, poisonous rice and fake food.

Unscrupulous restaurants and food stalls have been caught selling everything from fake eggs made of gelatine, to the latest scandal — duck meat passed off as lamb.

So how are the citizens reacting? They’re coming up with their own solutions to deal with the crisis, as the BBC’s Celia Hatton reports from Beijing.

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Music
11:48 am
Wed July 17, 2013

Howard Students Go From 'The Sing-Off' To Success

The a cappella group Traces of Blue joins host Michel Martin for an in-studio performance.
Amy Ta NPR

Originally published on Fri July 19, 2013 6:33 pm

Traces of Blue isn't quite a household name just yet, but if you're familiar with NBC's The Sing-Off, you might remember them by their old name, Afro-Blue, the a cappella jazz group hailing from Howard University in Washington, D.C.

They recently took a break from working on their debut EP to stop by NPR's D.C. studios for a special performance.

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Beauty Shop
11:48 am
Wed July 17, 2013

How Did Zimmerman Trial Interviewees Come Across On TV?

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 1:55 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Later in the program, my regular "Can I Just Tell You?" essay, and a mid-week treat for you. The a capella singing group Traces of Blue will be here. That is coming up. But first, we take a visit to the "Beauty Shop." That's where our roundtable of women writers, journalists and commentators talk about what's in the news and what's on their minds.

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Politics
11:48 am
Wed July 17, 2013

The Politics Of Abortion Rights And Restrictions

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 1:55 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Can I Just Tell You?
11:48 am
Wed July 17, 2013

Is It Time To See Each Other's Tears?

Rachel Jeantel, the witness who was on the phone with Trayvon Martin just before he was killed, gives her testimony during George Zimmerman's trial in Sanford, Fla., last month.
Jacob Langston AP

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 4:18 pm

As I was heading home the other day, I was thinking about a situation I encountered a while ago when I landed back in the Washington, D.C., area after a trip.

I was hungry and saw that one of my favorite lunch spots had opened an outpost at the airport. So I ducked in there and was just about to order when I realized that a young woman standing next to me was having some sort of confrontation. It was loud, and getting louder.

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Shots - Health News
11:07 am
Wed July 17, 2013

A Warm Winter Helped Fuel West Nile Outbreak In Dallas

A sprayer truck blankets a neighborhood in North Dallas with insecticide to curb mosquitoes carrying West Nile virus in July 2012.
Tom Fox/Dallas Morning News Corbis

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 10:43 am

West Nile virus looked like it was waning as a health threat, with the number of cases dropping each year. Then last summer, it roared back.

The number of people infected with the mosquito-borne illness suddenly spiked in 2012. And Dallas was hit hardest of all.

People showed up in emergency rooms with encephalitis and paralysis, unable to breathe on their own.

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