Sam Sanders

Sam has worked at Vermont Public Radio since October 1978 in various capacities â

Wednesday marks the fifth anniversary of USAID subcontractor Alan Gross' detention in Cuba. Gross had been working on a covert program to improve Internet access for Jewish Cubans, giving out laptops and mobile phones while traveling in the country on a tourist visa. Gross was arrested on Dec. 3, 2009. A Cuban court found him guilty of crimes against the Cuban state in 2011, and sentenced him to 15 years in prison.

Nick Miroff previously reported on this story for NPR:

Since Tim Cook has been CEO of Apple, the company's market capitalization (or the value of its outstanding shares) has increased by more than $300 billion. On Nov. 26, it reached its highest level yet, almost $698 billion.

Numerically, this is a feat. Quartz says, "In nominal terms no company has ever been as big as Apple." Of course, Quartz goes on to say that, adjusted for inflation, Microsoft was bigger at its 1990s peak.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ERIC WESTERVELT, HOST:

If you go to HarvardNotFair.org, you'll find yourself on a page that says this: Were You Denied Admission to Harvard? It may be because you're the wrong race.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Nineteen-year-old college freshman Lauren Hill played her first game Sunday night, for a tiny, Division III college in Cincinnati.

That's not usually big news. But Hill has a rare form of brain cancer, and her first collegiate game might also be her last — which brought an unusual degree of attention to the court at Mount Saint Joseph University.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And now this - President Obama will award a long delayed Medal of Honor to a soldier next month. He'll honor Army First Lt. Alonzo H. Cushing, who fought in the Civil War. NPR's Sam Sanders reports.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Now to California where a new law will ban single-use, plastic bags at grocery and convenience stores. It's the first state to do it, and plastic bag manufacturers are not happy. NPR's Sam Sanders reports.

Some experimental features have been popping up in movie theaters lately. One of them is a so-called 4-D experience. It's hard to describe in words exactly what a 4-D movie experience feels like, but here's one attempt: it is intense.

During a recent screening of Guardians of the Galaxy in 4-D at the Regal Cinemas LA Live theater, the seat moved up and down and side to side, like a simulator ride. There were strobe lights; fog seemed to come out of the walls and little jets of water sprayed over the seats.

New Law Puts Gloves On California Bartenders

Jan 26, 2014

Bartender Cameron Hall hadn't heard of a new California law that bans culinary workers from touching uncooked food with their bare hands.

The rule applies to bartenders, who are now supposed to wear gloves to put limes in the mojitos and cherries in the Manhattans — even to scoop ice into a glass.

But when a reporter fills him in, Hall stops serving drinks at Rocco's Tavern, a little spot in downtown Culver City, just long enough to rant.

"It'd just be a pain," he says. "It'd be a nuisance. I'm gonna start making my customers wear gloves, in opposition!"

It's a near-perfect morning on Venice Beach in Southern California, temperatures in the 60s, with a breeze. You can hear the waves of the Pacific crash against the sand. Only a layer of clouds mars the scene.

Scott and Sue Nolan, visiting from Houston, play kickball in the sand with their son. They are grateful to be in this mild, if not perfectly sunny weather, but Sue Nolan has noticed something's not right.

"One of the thoughts, when we were driving through town was, how are they sustaining all this with what you see so dry everywhere?" she says.

The giant retailer Target continues to feel the fallout from a massive security breach at its stores. The latest revelation: Hackers who stole credit and debit card numbers this holiday season also collected encrypted personal identification numbers.

But Brigitte Clark had no worries as she left a Target in Los Angeles on Saturday morning, her cart full of groceries.

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

The factory that makes and bottles Sriracha sauce is in trouble - for the second time this year. First, one of the company's Southern California plants faced a shutdown after neighbors complained about the pungent odor there, and now a California Department of Public Health has placed a 30-day hold on all new bottles of Sriracha, citing health concerns. NPR's Sam Sanders reports.

Since Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines last week, the largest Filipino community in America has come together to grieve and to help.

Friday night, about 25 miles south of Los Angeles, members of Long Beach's Filipino community gathered at Grace United Methodist Church to hold a vigil for typhoon victims. One by one, attendees came to the microphone and named people who died or remain lost in the storm.

Last week, Coachella Valley High School came under fire for the name of its mascot — the Arab. The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee sent a letter to the school, complaining about the way the mascot depicts people of Arab descent. The complaint made the school national news.

Nearly 1,000 scheduled flights and 100,000 passengers were affected at Los Angeles International Airport, where a gunman on Friday killed a TSA agent and wounded others. On Saturday afternoon, a major terminal in one of the nation's busiest airports finally reopened, FBI agents continued their investigation, and thousands of passengers tried to catch their flights.

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

If you've ever been to Los Angeles, no doubt you've sent a selfie with a Hollywood sign in the background. If that is you, you're not alone. The iconic sign is one of the city's biggest tourist attractions. Over the last few years, social media and GPS have only multiplied the number of visitors. Now, homeowners in the area say that's wreaking havoc in their neighborhood. NPR's Sam Sanders reports.

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

The shutdown is affecting communities all over the country. We're going now to San Diego. There is a big U.S. Navy presence in town and San Diego is home to the Miramar Air Show. But that show has been cancelled this weekend due to the partial government shutdown. In past years, the event has drawn over half a million people, earned millions of dollars for programs that help military families. NPR's Sam Sanders reports from San Diego.

Los Angeles Unified School District started issuing iPads to its students this school year, as part of a $30 million deal with Apple. The rollout is in the first of three phases, and ultimately, the goal is to distribute more than 600,000 devices.

But less than a week after getting their iPads, almost 200 of the districts' high school students found a way to bypass software blocks on the devices that limit what websites the students can use.

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

Our first show from NPR West in Southern California coincides with another grand occasion, the reopening of the iconic Chinese Theater on Hollywood Boulevard. It's been refurbished and reconfigured. And as NPR's Sam Sanders reports, it has a new name too.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell...

SAM SANDERS, BYLINE: Since 1927, stars have been parading down the red carpet and making their marks here.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

Rain and flooding continue in Colorado today. Thousands of people have been evacuated and rescue crews are making their way to those stranded in buildings behind impassable roads.

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Oh this is terrible, the soap opera "One Life to Live" may have run out of lives. The company that took the show online recently announced that it is suspending production.

NPR's Sam Sanders tells us why.

SAM SANDERS, BYLINE: This is not the first time "One Life to Live" has been on life support. In 2011, ABC cancelled the show, because of low ratings. But, earlier this year, new episodes of "One Life to Live" came to the Internet - on Hulu - with a snappy new theme song featuring Snoop Dogg.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG)

Apple-1 Computer Fetches $671,000 At Auction

May 26, 2013

Electrical engineer Fred Hatfield bought an Apple-1 computer in 1976, one of Apple's first computers. At an auction in Germany this weekend, it sold for $671,400.

Hatfield's relationship with that computer was an interesting one, and involves one bold interaction with Steve Jobs himself.

Hatfield, now in his 80s and living in New Orleans, says he was always into technology. "I've always been interested in digital machinery. As a kid I used to go to different junk stores and so on, to buy a pinball machine, to rewire it and make it do things like tic-tac-toe."

Love in the age of social media is a many-splendored thing. It's moved past the traditional first date, past the boring dinner and a movie, and whooshed right on by your run-of-the-mill dating website hookup. Modern dating is now a group sport.

And, according to Michael Waxman, you probably shouldn't even call them "dates" anymore.

"We just call them groupers," he says. "And in fact, we have a policy of not using the d-word internally or externally."

Frank Ocean is set to take a victory lap at this year's Grammys. He's up for six awards for his album Channel Orange, including best new artist, and he'll be performing as well. But just a few months ago, Frank Ocean's music wasn't the story — his sexuality was.

To review: After a listening party for Channel Orange last July, a BBC journalist pointed out that a few of the love songs referenced a "him" where you might have expected to hear "her."

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

OK, we're getting into late January. Time to check in on your New Years' resolutions. Resolutions, what resolutions?

(LAUGHTER)

INSKEEP: You forget them by now. But if your resolution was fitness or weight loss related, then today we're offering a little motivation, an encore presentation of a visit we made last summer to Richard Simmons' aerobics studio in Beverly Hills.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

After the Newtown shootings, some suggested that schools look to local volunteers to beef up security. One national organization has been doing that for years. It's called Watch D.O.G.S., and it organizes fathers to volunteer in their children's schools. After Sandy Hook, the group's strategy didn't changed. Some Watchdogs say they've just become even more vigilant. NPR's Sam Sanders has this report.

SAM SANDERS, BYLINE: Like school principals all over the country, Michelle Wise sprung into action after Sandy Hook.

Pages