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PRI: Latest Stories

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Updated 2018-08-16 21:22
Economists warn Trump's policies will start a 1930s-era trade war
President Donald Trump is driving the global conversation on trade toward protectionism: the imposition of tariffs on imported goods. That may seem like a good idea on the surface, but most economists beg to differ. They point out that protectionism turned the economic chaos of the 1930s into a disaster.
For poor and minority children, excessive air pollution creates a toxic learning environment
Air pollution near schools can affect children’s health, intelligence and behavior. A study published in Environmental Research finds more pollution in areas where poor and minority kids live and go to school.
Progressives in Congress side with Trump on trade
NAFTA has governed the rules of trade between the US, Mexico and Canada since 1994. Today, many progressives who dislike NAFTA say President Trump is giving them the best chance in a generation to rewrite the rules of trade.
Cartoonist Ramón Esono Ebalé finally released from jail in Equatorial Guinea
Charges against Ramón Esono Ebalé were dropped on February 27th. It wasn't until March 8th that he was released from the infamous Black Beach prison in Equatorial Guinea.
There is one place where Serbs and Albanians coexist in Kosovo — in the country's version of Costco
Ten years after Kosovo declared its independence from Serbia, Serbs and Albanians in Kosovo remain deeply divided — even over food.
50 years on, India is celebrating the Beatles' infamous trip to the country
When the Beatles embarked on their famous discovery of India to study transcendental meditation, the Indian government was far more wary.
The Plastic Banks works to turn plastic trash into cash and other necessities for the world's poor
The Plastic Bank turns plastic waste collected by poor people into currency they can use to buy goods and services.
The ozone hole over the Antarctic is beginning to fill up. Here's the bad news.
In spite of recovery in the Antarctic, the forecast for the ozone is not as rosy near the equator and in the middle latitudes.
A new book advises parents about how to cope with a world awash in toxic chemicals
Rates of childhood asthma, learning problems and cancer have been on the rise for decades, and toxic chemicals appear to be major culprits. In the US, most chemicals are never tested for safety before they're brought to market. There are some steps parents and others can take to protect children and other loved ones.
Egyptian singer faces the prospect of prison over a joke about the Nile
An Egyptian court has sentenced one of its country's top singers to six months in prison for a comment she made about the Nile River. Pop singer Sherine made a crack about getting ill from drinking from the river when she was asked by a fan to sing, "Have You Ever Drunk From the Nile."
This Italian city has long welcomed immigrants. Now that commitment is being tested.
One woman in Schio, Italy works to maintain the town's acceptance of foreigners.
As Trump ends Obama-era protections for Salvadorans, a family in Minnesota has few good options to stay together
Since 2014, some Central American youth were given temporary permission to join their parents in the US. The government acknowledged the danger they were in. But now, the Trump administration has canceled the programs that brought them. Meet one family, who waited 15 years to reunite, but whose time is almost up.
What turns some law-abiding Canadians into smugglers? The high price of imported cheese.
Canada has tariffs and quotas on imported cheese, which results in higher prices and limited availability. So some Canadians resort to cheese smuggling.
Europe's cold blast, Arctic's heat wave are 'two sides of the same coin'
While it's been unusually cold and snowy in much of Europe, the Arctic has been seeing record warm temperatures and a huge loss of ice. Here's how the two are linked, and what they might have to do with climate change.
A family of lawyers fought to clear their name. Now their story is in an Oscar-nominated documentary.
A small, family-owned bank in New York City's Chinatown faced nearly 200 counts of mortgage fraud — the only company ever criminally charged in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis. “Abacus: Small Enough to Jail” chronicles the legal battle fought by the Sung sisters.
Experts say 'extinction is around the corner' for Atlantic right whales
There have been a record 18 deaths and zero births of the species over the past year.
Why a recent Supreme Court decision on bonds is a ‘red flag’ for immigrants in detention
A battle is on over the constitutionality of indefinite immigrant detention.
Doug Jones is a sexy beast
How Doug Jones turned a fish monster into a romantic lead.
And the award for Best Political Moment goes to ...
The messy art of political speechifying at the Oscars.
The Best Pictures aren’t good movies
Why are Oscar contenders so mediocre?
With smuggling costs skyrocketing, parents balance risk and debt for their children's future
The cost of smuggling has gone up in the last year — sharply. But, for the safety of their children, parents get references, take out loans and make the best smuggling decision they can.
Why the US military is building a drone base in Niger
The $110 million drone base is slated to open later this year. Residents of the city of Algadez have a lot of conspiracy theories about exactly why US troops are nearby.
The visual effects pioneer responsible for the original 'Star Wars' thinks movies today may rely too much on effects
Jonathan Erland and the visual effects crew that worked on the original "Star Wars" had to build everything from scratch. And afterward, they threw a lot of it in a dumpster, including the models for the original Death Star.
Why the Oscars should have an award for Best Acting Ensemble
Audiences often go to movies to see a great actor give a great performance. But often a film gets its life and energy from a stellar company of actors working together as an ensemble.
Opposing sides in Syria's punishing civil war ask whether they can ever forgive
Nour lives in Eastern Ghouta, a rebel stronghold. Naamat is in government-controlled Damascus. They both wonder if they can forgive an enemy who took the lives of friends and family.
The story behind the skull found in a London pub
Three years ago, historian Kim Wagner was given a skull that had been found in a pub in London. It allegedly belonged to an Indian rebel who’d been executed by the British during the great uprising of 1857.
At 106, champion cyclist Robert Marchand refuses to stop pedaling
In France, most people retire at around 62 years old. But it wasn’t until he turned 100 that Robert Marchand set his first world record in competitive cycling.
Putin's Cold War mentality explains a lot
Has the White House been meddling in Moscow? Here's a view from on the ground in Russia.
Meet the man who volunteered for Obama, worked for Bernie and is now consulting Putin's opponent
Vitali Shkliarov was mesmerized by Barack Obama's Berlin speech in 2008, though he didn't speak English at the time. Shkliarov went on to work for Obama and then Bernie Sanders. Now he's an adviser in the Russian elections.
Fed up with high rates, a Colorado city considers ditching its utility and relying on the sun
Residents in Pueblo, Colorado are engaged in a fight with their utility company, tired of paying among the highest electricity rates in the state. The city is looking into becoming its own utility — one powered by 100 percent renewable energy — a noble goal to lower rates and combat climate change.
Solar energy gets an endurance boost from salt
Solar energy is a renewable resource, but the sun doesn’t always shine. Using molten salt to capture and store heat captured from the sun promises to save solar energy for use well into the night.
Cities may need to act on climate change or see their bond ratings drop
The credit rating agency Moody’s Investor Services has issued a company memo that outlines its plans to quantify the increasing risks posed by climate change.
More states join the fight to reduce global warming
The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, known as RGGI, may be growing. New Jersey’s new Democratic Governor has vowed to bring his state back into the compact and Virginia is the first coal-producing state to take steps to join.
How foreign correspondents in the US cover mass shootings for their overseas audiences
The mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida, is still grabbing headlines more than a week after the tragedy, and many of those headlines are overseas. We spoke with two foreign correspondents based in the US about what it's like to cover mass shootings and gun rights for audiences overseas.
A Ugandan in Canada learns to skate
When Ugandan rapper Keko moved to Canada, she became a hockey fan. But she was less excited about learning how to skate.
Venezuela hopes new cryptocurrency is a 'silver bullet' for economic woes
President Nicolás Maduro hopes it will help fix the country’s dire financial situation by sidestepping US sanctions and providing an alternative to cash, which is nearly worthless in Venezuela due to the soaring inflation rate.
Mexico's women's team is making world rugby history
The sport’s growth in Mexico corresponds with a broader push to develop the game internationally and expand its popularity beyond traditional strongholds like England and former British colonies.
Bering Sea loses half its sea ice over two weeks
Temperatures in Alaska on Tuesday were as high as 45 degrees above average.
Unaccompanied minors in Paris face X-ray tests and other Kafkaesque hurdles to proving their age
When teenage migrants reach France and apply for asylum as unaccompanied minors, they often find that proving they're under 18 is yet another challenge on their journey. Some end up living on the streets while trying to confirm their age.
Subsistence hunters adapt to a warming Alaska with new tools
Alaska is warming up roughly twice as fast as the rest of the US and that means big new challenges for Native communities that rely on hunting for survival. Hunters are trying to adapt by changing both how and what they hunt.
Will automated convenience stores put South Koreans out of work?
South Korea has one of the world’s highest human-to-convenience-store ratios, but increasingly, those stores are operating without staff, instead relying on machines to allow customers to purchase goods.
How the Vietnam War's Napalm Girl found hope after tragedy
For many years, Kim Phuc was known as the Napalm Girl. She was in an iconic photograph that pictured her running naked down a road, screaming after a napalm attack on her village. That photo won a Pulitzer Prize and changed the way the world looked at the Vietnam War. For many years, Kim was angry and in pain. But, she found a way to forgive and find peace.
'America's pastor' Billy Graham leaves global legacy
The Rev. Billy Graham was known as "America's pastor." But his legacy as a Christian leader is very global.
Whatever became of National Brotherhood Week?
In the mid-20th century, National Brotherhood Week was a huge public relations campaign in the US aimed at promoting tolerance and brotherhood as American virtues. Most people don't remember it anymore.
How Koreans put the 'K' in K-pop
A deep dive into the 'K' in K-pop and traditional Korean music.
American coach of Afghan women's soccer team has one goal: Hope
The team practices all over Asia and the Middle East. "Our goal is to find safe places outside of Afghanistan," she says, "so everyone who comes to camp can feel safe and can train and feel good about the environment, and focus on football."
In autocratic China, leakers beware
"China's ultimate goal is to use democracy to undermine democracy," says one expert on Chinese dissent.
Where does language come from?
Humans are the only creatures on Earth that can choke on their own food. Yes, that’s right. Why would humans have evolved such potentially fatal architecture? Some experts say the reason is speech. This week on the podcast, we explore several theories about where language comes from.
Russian bots seize on Parkland shooting to amplify messages
These days, the online debates about gun control come with a steroid boost from Twitter bots seeking to divide Americans even further. Host Marco Werman speaks with Erin Griffith, a senior writer at Wired, who wrote about the surge in bot traffic.
Wrong beach? Two British towns may not actually be where Caesar landed in 55 B.C.
New research suggests Caesar's forces may have landed further north — and locals don't want to believe it.