The Port of Los Angeles is the busiest port in North American, and it's where many merchant mariners bid for jobs. But a proposed change to the U.S. food aid program could mean shipping out less food to developing countries, and fewer jobs.
When it comes to shipping in the United States, there's a bit of a paradox. Even as U.S. exports have grown, the U.S. share of shipping has declined dramatically.
The traffic in and out of U.S. ports increases every year, but most of those ships fly foreign flags. In fact, the number of U.S. flagged ships is barely one quarter of what it was in the 1950s. That means fewer and fewer jobs for the men and women who work on those ships: the United States Merchant Marine.
Cynthia Rylant is a renowned author who has written for all age groups and been honored with both Caldecott and Newbery prizes for her work.
Her latest book, God Got a Dog, is a collection of poems that only took her one day to write.
"One poem ... just came out of the blue, and I sat down and I wrote it. And then after I finished writing it, I got an idea for another God poem, and so I wrote that one. And so it started in the morning and then by the end of the day, I was finished writing the book," she tells All Things Considered host Arun Rath.
Credit Joe Sacco / Courtesy of W. W. Norton & Company
Detail from Plate 11 of Joe Sacco's The Great War: July 1, 1916: The First Day of the Battle of the Somme. On July 1st, at precisely 7:30 a.m., the attack commences.
Credit Abigail Oldham / NPR
Joe Sacco's new book, The Great War, unfolds into a 24-foot-long panorama.
Credit Joe Sacco / W. W. Norton & Company
Detail from Plate 5 of Joe Sacco's The Great War: July 1, 1916: The First Day of the Battle of the Somme. The basilica of the town of Albert, visible in the top right, is an important staging point behind the front.
Credit Don Usner / Courtesy of W.W. Norton & Company
Joe Sacco practices journalism through the medium of comics, communicating his eyewitness reportage in pictures. He won the American Book Award in 1996 for Palestine.
Joe Sacco is a cartoonist, graphic novelist and journalist; he's best-known for his dispatches from today's regions of conflict, like the Middle East and Bosnia, in cartoon form. But for his latest book, The Great War, Sacco turns his eye on history. He's recreated of one of the worst battles of World War I, the first day of the Battle of the Somme, from its hopeful beginning to its brutal end.
A wheelchair is among debris from Superstorm Sandy in the Queens borough of New York on Nov. 13, 2012. A judge ruled Thursday that the city does not have adequate plans for evacuating people with disabilities.
A year after Superstorm Sandy stranded many New Yorkers without power for days, a federal judge has ruled that New York City's emergency plans violate the Americans with Disabilities Act. Those shortcomings, the judge found, leave almost 900,000 residents in danger, and many say the ruling could have implications for local governments across the country.
President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney left office on Jan. 20, 2009, ending a consequential — and controversial — administration. The Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the U.S. invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, and Hurricane Katrina were just some of the major events that challenged the administration.
Peter Baker, Chief White House Correspondent for The New York Times, covered those events in real time. But he's now taken a second look at the administration and the relationship at its heart.
The price of pecans is going up, up, up, which may mean that if you're planning a pecan pie for Thanksgiving, the time to buy them is now. The reasons behind that escalating price all come down to natural forces: supply and demand and weather.
This Blockbuster store in Mission, Texas, is franchised by Border Entertainment. The company has 26 stores across Texas and Alaska that will live on after the last 300 or so company-owned stores are closed by early January 2014.
Blockbuster was once the king of movie rental stores. At its peak, it had about 60,000 employees and more than 9,000 stores.
But after struggling for several years, the chain is breathing its last gasp. Dish Network, which bought Blockbuster in a 2011 bankruptcy auction, says it will close the remaining 300 or so company-owned stores by January.
On Twitter, it put out a call for "Blockbuster Memories."
Every week, a cluster of stories comes to define the landscape of news media. These can be stories of international scope or local intimacy, but for their own distinctive reasons, they all offer narratives defined almost in real time.
To get a better grasp on the hectic pace of current events, it's often vital to turn to another kind of narrative — our favorite kind: books. That's why each week we'll invite authors to suggest a book that somehow deepens, contextualizes or offers an entirely new angle on one of the week's major headlines.
In the movie Prisoners, now in theaters, a detective investigates the abduction of two young girls. Things get a little more complicated when the father of one of the girls takes matters into his own hands, kidnapping and torturing the man he thinks is responsible.
Health care insurance is designed to pay the bills but when we're faced with a life-threatening illness, what really sustains us? Writer Nancy Slonim Aronie was loathe to turn to religion, so she was surprised by what she found next door.
A woman walks amid both open and closed shops during a Sunday morning stroll at the Butte Montmartre in Paris, in July. Under France's Byzantine rules on Sunday trading, shops at the top of the hill are in a designated tourist area and so can open, but those at the bottom cannot.
Credit Bertrand Guay / AFP/Getty Images
Home improvement retail chain Bricorama is one of several stores that have opened their doors on Sundays in defiance of the legal ban.
Credit Fred Dufour / AFP/Getty Images
Dozens of trade union members and workers demonstrate in front of an open shopping mall in Paris last year. Labor groups are leading the push to keep the ban on Sunday work.
There's a fight going on for the soul of France. Since 1906, Sunday has been deemed a collective day of rest in the country, and French law only allows stores to open on Sundays under very specific conditions — for example, if they're in a high tourist area. Sunday work is also tightly controlled.
But some people are questioning the sense of such a tradition in a languishing economy and 24/7 world.
Nov. 22 will mark the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in Dallas, a moment that left an indelible mark on those who remember it.
It also permanently changed the agency charged with protecting the president — the U.S. Secret Service.
Looking back at the images of Kennedy, first lady Jackie Kennedy, Texas Gov. John Connally and his wife waving as they rode through the streets of Dallas in an open Lincoln, it all looks terribly innocent and naive.
Duval County Public Schools is considering a name change for Nathan Bedford Forrest High School in Jacksonville, Fla. The school is named for a Confederate hero who was the first grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan — and after five decades of debate, there appears to be momentum for change.
The Fisk Jubilee Singers are known worldwide for their flawless voices and stellar performances of Negro spirituals. They're from Fisk University in Nashville, Tenn., but they travel around the world to perform their music. Negro spirituals were originally sung by slaves and remain tightly linked to African-American culture. Paul Kwami, the choir's musical director, said singing these spirituals was a way for slaves to lament their servitude, along with the hope of being free one day.
For six decades, in her light-filled studio on top of New York's Carnegie Hall, portrait photographer Editta Sherman photographed celebrities from Leonard Bernstein to Yul Brynner to Joe DiMaggio. She was a legend — and she'd tell you that herself. Sherman died Friday at 101.
A note on her website reads: "Editta Sherman's vibrant sparkling life faded from this earth on November 1st, All Saints Day. She is at peace now and she is clothed in her ballerina dress with her diamond shoes dancing her way home to our hearts."
New public opinion polls show distaste for National Security Agency surveillance does not break cleanly across party lines. Despite the administration's attempts otherwise, one new study finds that the more people know about the NSA, the more they dislike it.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish, this week at NPR West in California.
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
And I'm Melissa Block in Washington, D.C.
(SOUNDBITE OF BELL RINGING)
BLOCK: Ringing the bell to open trading on the New York Stock Exchange today, @SirPatStew, @vivienneharr and @CherylFiandaca - all of them big users of Twitter - to mark the day the social networking site became a publicly traded company.
This colorfully illustrated French and Hebrew Passover Haggadah was published in Vienna in 1930. Caption on the image: "Eating Matzah." This restored document is part of an exhibit at the National Archives in Washington, D.C., that opens Nov. 8.
Credit National Archives
Documents from the Iraqi Jewish community dry outside the Mukhabarat, Saddam Hussein's intelligence headquarters, in Baghdad.
Credit Alex Brandon / AP
Patrick Brown, a conservation technician, works on Iraqi Jewish documents at the National Archives in College Park, Md., on Sept. 30.
Credit National Archives
This Rabbinic Bible from Venice in 1568 is the one of the earliest printed books discovered in this collection. Printed in late Renaissance-era Venice by Giovanni di Gara, the central biblical text is surrounded by rabbinic commentaries.
Militias from towns throughout the country's west parade through Tripoli, Libya, in 2012. Analysts say the country is awash with heavy weapons in the hands of militias divided by tribe, ideology and region. The central government has little power over the gunmen.
Zintan, a mountain town in northwestern Libya, is a place of gray and brown buildings, with little infrastructure, about 50,000 people and no central government control.
The Libyan government doesn't provide basic services, not even water. People use wells to provide for themselves. The local council runs all of Zintan's affairs out of a building in the center of town.
At the local militia base on the outskirts of town, we meet the keeper of Saif el-Islam Gadhafi, the son and one-time heir apparent of Moammar Gadhafi.
There's a nationwide search underway to find former students who don't know they've already done all or most of the work needed to earn a credential that might help them land a better-paying job.
In Michigan, several hundred community college dropouts were recently surprised to learn they had enough credits to qualify for an associate degree. There are also ex-students who apparently didn't know they're just a few credits shy of a two-year degree.
Western states have led the way in the legalization of marijuana, first with medical marijuana, and then with the legalization of recreational pot in Colorado and Washington last November.
It's been quite an adjustment for the police. Washington State Patrol is adapting to the new reality in a variety of ways, from untraining dogs that sniff out pot, to figuring out how to police high drivers.
Election Day has come and gone, but your vote can still make a difference. That is in choosing a name for a new giant panda cub. The National Zoo here in Washington has put forth five possible names for the female cub born this summer. You can vote on the Smithsonian National Zoo's website.
And we want to make sure you have everything you need to make an informed decision, so we've called up our Beijing correspondent Anthony Kuhn for some help understanding the choices. Anthony, ni hao.