The Continental Carbon plant sits on the southern outskirts of Ponca City, Okla. Residents blamed the plant, which produces a black dust known as carbon black, for polluting their city.
Credit David Gilkey / NPR
A biker rides through downtown Ponca City, Okla. After 726 complaints and close to $20 million in settled lawsuits against Continental Carbon, there are very few reports of black dust tainting the town.
Credit David Gilkey / NPR
Karen Howe's driveway is all that remains of her former home. Continental Carbon bought her home and many others, and tore them down after a settlement was reached.
Credit David Gilkey / NPR
Karen Howe lived in a neighborhood next to Continental Carbon, where she says her daughter couldn't play outside because the carbon black aggravated her allergies.
Credit David Gilkey / NPR
Jesse Beck, the environmental manager for the Ponca tribe, helped with the tribe's lawsuit against Continental Carbon.
Credit David Gilkey / NPR
Dan Jones, a Ponca tribal official, went with the union to Taiwan during their fight against Continental Carbon over the pollution that was covering their town.
Karen Howe couldn't believe her luck. As a single mom working a minimum-wage job and living with two kids in a crowded one-bedroom apartment in Ponca City, Okla., she was desperate for a three-bedroom house and a lawn.
Howe, a member of the Ponca tribe, was offered tribal housing in a small, tree-lined subdivision of 11 homes on the southern, rural edge of the city.
A few years ago, in Wake County, N.C., Kevin Hill wanted to get involved in his community, so he ran for his local school board.
The campaign team consisting of Hill and his wife, with the help of some friends, raised about $6,000; he won the seat in the 2007 election. He's hoping to retain that seat in a runoff election Tuesday, but this time his campaign is a little bigger.
"[It went] from me and my wife to about 300 people," Hill says. "It's been mind-boggling to me that, for a school board race that is nonpartisan, the amounts of money that has been raised."
Three-Minute Fiction is All Things Considered's creative writing contest where our listeners submit an original short story that can be read in about three minutes — 600 words — or less. After weeks of reading a couple thousand submissions, a judge picks a winning story. Over the last two years, contestants have submitted about 29,000 stories, and only six have won.
It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Laura Sullivan.
It's Election Day in Nicaragua where President Daniel Ortega is running for an unprecedented third term. The country's constitution sets a two-term limit, but the Supreme Court declared that unconstitutional. The longtime Sandinistan leader has been leading in the polls. NPR's Jason Beaubien reports from Managua.
Nicaragua isn't the only country in Central America holding elections today. In Guatemala, people are also headed to the polls to choose a new president. And in both countries, the elections are fraught with history.
Back in the 1980s, Guatemala and Nicaragua were facing civil war and revolution. Twenty-five years later, both countries are still embattled but with different issues.
Occupy Wall Street is in its second month of protest, and the frustration with financial big wigs continues to grow. Tomorrow's protesters will track 11 miles from Upper Manhattan to Lower Manhattan, ending in Zuccotti Park, the place where it all started seven weeks ago. They're calling the walk End to End for 99%.
These events are becoming a familiar sight to bankers looking down from their high-rise windows onto the tent city below. But what's Wall Street really thinking about the so-called 99 percent just outside their offices?
The 2011 Latin Grammy Awards will take place this Thursday in Las Vegas. For those unfamiliar with the categories and nominees, Betto Arcos of KPFK's Global Village returns to weekends on All Things Considered to play songs from a few of his favorite nominated performers. Included are a samba artist best known for his film role as a singing sailor, the reigning king of flamenco, one of Mexico's biggest bands and an L.A. ensemble that channels the various sounds of its city.
When Jerusalem fell in 70 AD, hundreds of Jews journeyed through the desert and settled in the haven of Masada. In what is now southern Israel, Masada was an old fortress of King Herod's that sits atop an enormous rock plateau surrounded by steep cliffs.
"When I was there, I felt so moved and so connected," author Alice Hoffman tells Laura Sullivan, guest host of weekends on All Things Considered.
Hoffman was so struck by the beauty of Masada's rocky terrain, she says, that she chose to make it the backdrop in her new novel, The Dovekeepers.
The lawyer for one of the women who have received settlements after filing sexual harassment complaints against GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain released a public statement. It rebuts Cain's statements that the claim was baseless. Robert Siegel talks to NPR's Tamara Keith for more.
Seventy-five years ago this month, Henry Luce, who had launched Time magazine in the 1920s, created his third great magazine: Life. Over the coming years it would come to be known as the weekly with the most and the best photographs. It would show Americans what war and peace looked like. There were photographs in Life of the Spanish Civil War and of V-J Day in Times Square that are rare cases for which the term "iconic" truly makes sense. And there were dozens of others, too.
If The Art Museum were a real museum and not just a book, there would hardly be need for another. At 18 pounds and 922 pages, the expansive book is organized into thematic "galleries," and within those "rooms" dedicated to solo artists, like Picasso.
The Art Museum's "Plan Your Visit" page acts as a table of contents showing the reader different galleries to peruse, like ancient Rome, pre-Columbian Americas and art since the mid-20th century.
Credit Courtesy Phaidon
Amanda Renshaw is the editorial board director for Phaidon Press and The Art Museum.
Publisher Phaidon's latest art endeavor, The Art Museum, presents the collection of an imaginary museum with the greatest works from art collections around the globe. That museum would have to be imaginary — the book itself weighs in at 18 pounds, measures 16 1/2 by 12 5/8 inches and runs nearly 1,000 pages.
The Art Museum is divided into 25 galleries, as opposed to chapters, and each gallery is divided into several rooms, which all told include reproductions of more than 2,700 works.
The Obama administration's flagging efforts to revive Arab-Israeli peace talks took another turn in the wrong direction this week. The Palestinians overcame U.S. opposition and won diplomatic recognition by UNESCO, becoming a new member state of the U.N.'s cultural and scientific agency. They've vowed to keep seeking such recognition elsewhere in the U.N system. Israel responded by speeding up settlement construction. U.S. officials say those moves are pushing the parties further away from a peace process, but both sides seem determined to move in opposition directions, leaving the U.S.
People protesting the agenda of the world leaders meeting at the G-20 summit in the south of France are being kept well away from the event. So Thursday, several hundred of them staged a peaceful demonstration in a super wealthy suburb near Monte Carlo. Amid the fabulous villas of the super wealthy, the protesters asked why the Greek people have to suffer an austerity program — while the rich benefit from tax havens like Monaco.
The Greek government is teetering on the brink of collapse Thursday, following the decision of Prime Minister George Papandreou to call off a referendum on the Europe bailout package for his country. The finance minister and other party colleagues have turned against Papandreou, amid talk of a national coalition government to prepare for new elections. Guy Raz talks to Joanna Kakissis, who has the latest from Athens.
Robert Siegel speaks to Mark Mazower, a professor of history at Columbia University and an expert on contemporary Greece, about the tensions between democracy and the need for decisive action in dealing with the euro crisis. Mazower says that the speed of financial markets, and the slowness of the democratic process, has increased this tension during the crisis.
Twentieth-century Russian music is often thought of as dark and brooding, a reflection of life under the thumb of a brutal state. When it was funny, it usually had a kind of gallows humor.
Yet many of the same composers whose concert works often reflected a dark reality also wrote cartoon music for kids. Thursday night, the Brooklyn Philharmonic is playing some of these cartoon scores in Brighton Beach — the heart of the Russian-American community in New York City. For some of its creators, cartoon music offered a certain kind of escape.
Punk rock bands like Blink-182 and Rancid are no strangers to obscenity — it's an integral part of their anti-establishment vernacular. But as the figureheads of raucous teenage rebellion age, they've had to encounter a different kind of "F-word"-- fatherhood. A new documentary film explores this paradox, as serious punk-rock performers make the transition from rebels to responsible family men.
When Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou decided to put the eurozone debt deal to a referendum, he stunned the continent. Why he did it is still unknown. To try and gain some insight into the prime minister's motives, Guy Raz talks with Nick Malkoutzis, deputy editor of Greek daily Kathimerini.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
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The British consider St. Paul's Cathedral a national treasure. The marriage of Charles and Diana took place there, as did Churchill's funeral. These days, though, the London landmark is also the backdrop for another kind of drama- a protest camp modeled on the Occupy Wall Street movement.
NPR's Philip Reeves says it's causing upheaval in the heart of British society.
The Marines of Darkhorse Battalion suffered a high rate of casualties during their seven-month deployment to southern Afghanistan. Their mission was to go after the Taliban in a place called Sangin — a crossroads of insurgency and drug trafficking. At the time, officials in the military and all the way up to the secretary of defense asked why the Darkhorse Battalion was taking so many casualties. NPR Pentagon correspondent Tom Bowman is reporting all week on the battalion.
Across the country on Tuesday, federal judges began reviewing the prison sentences of thousands of men and women jailed on crack cocaine charges. Many inmates could be released or see their sentences sharply reduced.
Congress voted last year to ease federal sentencing guidelines for crack cocaine. But a decision this summer to revisit old drug cases has sparked new controversy.
Originally published on Tue November 1, 2011 5:40 pm
GUY RAZ, HOST:
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Guy Raz.
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And I'm Robert Siegel.
The Eurozone has been thrown into chaos once again. European leaders thought they had finally unified behind a plan to deal with their debt crisis. But then late yesterday, Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou called for a national referendum on the agreement. In a moment, we'll hear how other European leaders are reacting.
Guy Raz speaks with Leslie Bruce, senior writer the Hollywood Reporter, about the money behind reality star Kim Kardashian's wedding to basketball player Kris Humphries. The reportedly multimillion dollar wedding actually earned the Kardashian family money through various deals with entertainment television and magazines. But Kardashian filed for divorce Monday after 72 days of marriage.