Much of our coffee comes from places where the environment is endangered and workers earn very little — sometimes, just a few dollars for a whole day's work. Coffee farmers have helped cut down tropical forests, and most of them use pesticides.
The partisan rift over disclosing political donors has widened since last year's election. But now, along come Sens. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, and Ron Wyden, D-Ore., with a bill that would radically expand the disclosure of political money trails.
Their bill is aimed at outing the wealthy donors, corporations and unions that financed some $300 million in secretly funded campaign ads last year. Most of the anonymous money was raised and spent by 501(c)(4) social welfare organizations, including the conservative Crossroads GPS and the liberal Patriot Majority.
The number of people who died in a fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas, last week now stands at 15, officials said Tuesday. Some earlier reports had indicated that 14 people had lost their lives. At least 200 more were injured.
In Waco, TV station KXXV says that officials believe they have found all the victims, quoting Mayor Pro Tem Steve Vanek saying "No more victims. Everything is searched," in a news conference today.
Blame shifting was in high gear Tuesday on Capitol Hill and at the White House as the first air traffic delays tied to the furloughs of Federal Aviation Administration controllers began to get attention.
The Republicans' message: Delays at some airports this week — a result of automatic spending cuts known as the sequester that took effect in March, but whose resulting furloughs are just kicking in — was a "manufactured crisis," and that the administration wants voters angry enough to force Congress to give President Obama the higher taxes he seeks.
Former Democratic state Senator Lowell Barron of Fyffe has been indicted in Fort Payne. DeKalb County Sheriff Jimmy Harris says Barron surrendered Tuesday afternoon on a five-count indictment the state attorney general's office got a county grand jury to issue. The 70-year-old former senator was released on $10,000 dollar bond. Barron was one of Alabama's most powerful senators when Democrats controlled the Legislature. He was defeated in 2010.
It's easy to feel dispirited about climate change because the challenge of dealing with it seems so overwhelming. But Miguel Modestino is actually excited about the challenge. He's part of a large team hoping to make an artificial leaf — a device that would make motor fuel from sunlight and carbon dioxide rather than from fossil fuels.
Google executives Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen — coauthors of a new book, The New Digital Age — recently returned from a highly publicized trip to North Korea. In the second part of their conversation with NPR's Audie Cornish, they discuss the role of the Internet in more repressive countries.
The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that a longtime legal resident of the United States was improperly deported for possession of a small amount of marijuana. By a 7-2 vote, the justices said that it defies common sense to treat an offense like this as an "aggravated felony" justifying mandatory deportation.
One hundred years ago, European statesmen — emperors, prime ministers, diplomats, generals — were in the process of stumbling, or as Christopher Clark would say, "sleepwalking," into a gigantic war. The Sleepwalkers:How Europe Went to War in 1914 is Clark's history of Europe in the years leading up to World War I — a war that claimed 20 million lives, injured even more than that and destroyed three of the empires that fought it. Clark joins NPR's Robert Siegel to talk about the book.
Microsoft founder Bill Gates met with South Korean President Park Geun-hye Monday, part of a visit to build business ties and boost nuclear energy plans. But it was the handshake they shared that created the biggest stir in Korean society, after Gates greeted Park with a smile — and his left hand jammed into his pants pocket.