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PRI: Latest Stories

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Updated 2018-12-18 14:22
Songtennial: Alan Jay Lerner at 100
What do the musicals “My Fair Lady,” “Gigi” and “Camelot” have in common? They were all written by the talented, complicated Alan Jay Lerner.
The global tear gas business is booming. It's complicated.
Use of tear gas has steadily risen around the world. But odds are, a lot of those silver canisters come from a factory in Jamestown, Pennsylvania, home to just over 600 people, and the uptick in sales has helped the community.
Free after five decades on death row, a Japanese man may be forced to return
Iwao Hakamada, 82, spent nearly five decades on death row — thought to be the world record — for a quadruple murder that evidence suggests he did not commit. A prosecutor appealed the ruling that freed him in 2014 and Hakamada could return to death row if he loses his appeal before the Japanese Supreme Court.
Former FARC fighters turn a camp into a tourist attraction
Fighters get $200 a month as a stipend as they reintegrate into Colombian society but those payments won't last forever, so some are turning to tourism and creating FARC museums to earn a living.
Proposed ‘public charge’ rule change stirs confusion over green card eligibility
Immigrant parents are pulling their children from health and nutrition programs because they're afraid that participating in them could prevent them from getting their green cards.
Megafires are becoming increasingly common in California and climate change is a leading factor
California’s 2018 wildfire season is one of the most destructive on record. More than 7,500 fires burned nearly 2 million acres of land so far this year — the most land burned in a single year since records have been kept.
Senate could vote to pull US out of the Yemen war
Senators are poised to vote on a resolution that would cause President Donald Trump to seek Congressional approval before continuing US involvement in the Yemen civil war.
The first genome edited babies are here. What happens next?
Commentary: The world’s first genome edited babies were inevitable and even predictable, despite an apparent disregard for all global scientific and ethical norms.
First DACA student pushed the boundaries of the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship
In an increasingly uncertain time for DACA recipients, Jin Kyu Park hopes his scholarship win shows other undocumented students that change is possible.
GM to slash jobs and production in North America, drawing criticism from Trump and unions
General Motors said on Monday it will cut production of slow-selling models and slash its North American workforce.
Syrian activist Raed Fares wanted 'a free Syria for all Syrians.' It may have cost him his life.
Raed Fares, a Syrian activist and journalist, was killed along with a colleague late last week. Fares was the founder of Radio Fresh, a news source for Syrians as well as a critic of the Assad government, as well as of the militants in the opposition. Friends and colleagues fear that that is what led to his shooting.
An environmental newspaper fights for press freedom in the Russian Arctic
The Barents Observer keeps a close watch on the Russian Arctic because it’s part of the neighborhood, and because there’s a lot at stake there, for Russians and the rest of us.
Zinke announces new leases for offshore wind power on both US coasts
Department of the Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has focused primarily on supporting oil, gas and mining interests — his announcement of new offshore wind projects came as a bit of a shock.
American Icons: Harley-Davidson
How “Harley-Davidson” became synonymous with “motorcycle.”
American Icons: Georgia O’Keeffe’s skull paintings
How Georgia O’Keeffe found her inspiration in the deserts of New Mexico.
American Icons: Jimi Hendrix’s ‘Star-Spangled Banner’
How Jimi Hendrix summed up the Vietnam War in a single guitar solo.
Trump maintains business as usual with Saudis
President Donald Trump claims that Saudi Arabia's business with the US produces hundreds of thousands of jobs. But that's not really the case.
Indigenous chef Sean Sherman wants you to know the truth behind Thanksgiving
Chef Sean Sherman, CEO and founder of the Sioux Chef, wants people to know the true history about the Thanksgiving holiday — and give you a better way to celebrate it. That means learning about the land we live on, the original people who still live on this land and the food we have in common.
LGBTQ migrants find safety in numbers on trek to US border
Many of the LGBTQ migrants making their way to the US fled violence and harassment at home. They found each other during this journey and have stayed together in a tight-knit group.
As the Arctic warms up, a 'new ocean' is bringing new commerce to the top of the world
As the Arctic warms, it’s opening up a whole new economic frontier, with big opportunities for tourism, shipping and resource development, including oil and gas. But that also brings a whole new array of risks for the region and the world.
Trump’s tariffs are causing major anxiety for the American boating industry
President Donald Trump's tariffs are impacting small businesses across the US, including those who make boating products. The industry worries the tariffs could cost sales. And jobs.
US judge blocks Trump asylum restrictions
US District Judge Jon Tigar in San Francisco issued a temporary restraining order against the asylum rules. Tigar's order takes effect immediately, applies nationwide, and lasts until at least Dec. 19.
After his life's work burned, audio recordist links California fires to the 'extinction of whole habitats'
Bernie Krause lost his home and original recordings in a California wildfire last year. His home is once again shrouded in smoke from the nearby Camp Fire.
The US midterms 'blue wave' has mixed results for the environment
The 2018 US midterm elections ushered in a Democratic majority in the House of Representatives — along with new Democratic governors — who pledge to act on climate change. It also ushered out some climate-denying Republicans. Yet overall, the elections had mixed results for the environment.
Waiting for asylum, migrants in limbo grow desperate
A group of about 3,000 migrants has travelled for more than a month to reach the US. Now, they’re just a half-hour walk away. But getting in seems more distant than ever.
Bayer faces billion-dollar losses related to legal claims of deadly Roundup herbicide
Monsanto, makers of the widely used herbicide Roundup, faces claims of consumer deception, costing its new parent company, Bayer, more than $20 billion in lost market value.
The Iran nuclear deal created an opening for American businesses. Then Trump walked away.
For the past three decades, trade between Iran and the US has been very limited. The 2015 nuclear deal created a rare opening, a chance for American companies to enter the Iranian market. That didn't last long since President Donald Trump walked away from the deal.
Venezuela's new 'fatherland' ID card, created with China's ZTE, helps create social control
Venezuela is rolling out a new, smart-card ID known as the 'carnet de la patria,' or 'fatherland card.' The ID transmits data about cardholders to computer servers. The card is increasingly linked by the government to subsidized food, health and other social programs most Venezuelans rely on to survive.
A new study strongly suggests eating a diet of organic foods can lower cancer rates
Breast cancer rates were 35 percent less in older women and lymphomas were 70 percent less among high consumers of organic food, a major study has found.
Rep. McGovern on Yemen: 'I don't believe the Saudis have any intention of stopping this war'
As a deadline for peace talks ticks down, US Congressman Jim McGovern and Yemeni activist Hisham Al-Omeisy say peace will take more than a pause by the Saudis.
'We Buy White Albums'
Fifty years ago, the Beatles sent millions of blank canvases out into the world.
The great Gardner caper
Reporter Kelly Horan on the unsolved mystery of the Isabella Gardner Museum heist.
Making a life — and living — after Buffalo Tom’s heyday
How does a ‘90s rocker make a decade of recording and touring look presentable on a resume?
The American dream becomes the American nightmare
Composer Missy Mazzoli and author Karen Russell on the ghostly new opera “Proving Up.”
Can quotas solve gender inequality in government?
Some countries have instituted quotas to ensure some semblance of gender parity in government. But do quotas really work?
After Maria, Puerto Rican women farmers work together to build resilience
Hurricane Maria decimated many of Puerto Rico's small farms. But soon afterward, a group of mostly women farmers came together to start helping each other learn how to farm more sustainably.
Greece hopes Brexit will stir a renewed debate over Parthenon Marbles
More than 200 years ago, the British ambassador to the Ottoman Empire took a large part of the decorative marble sculptures and architecture off the outside of the Parthenon and brought them to London, where they now sit in the British Museum. For nearly 200 years, Greece has been asking for them back, to no avail.
A small company in New Hampshire exports their handcrafted bagpipes worldwide
Gibson Bagpipes in Nashua, New Hampshire, makes handcrafted bagpipes out of African blackwood. Two years ago, an international consortium that monitors endangered fauna and flora placed African blackwood on a “high risk” list. In order to continue to export their pipes, the company had to apply for a special permit.
How a forest became Germany’s poster child for a coal exit
For decades, RWE has been slowly razing the forest and surrounding towns to expand its adjacent coal mine, among Europe’s largest producers of lignite coal and greatest sources of carbon dioxide pollution. And earlier this fall, the company moved to start cutting a new section that protesters have been occupying.
Bataclan survivor’s graphic memoir tells the story of his recovery
In "La Morsure," or “The Bite,” Dewilde leans on the idea that the attack on the 2015 Bataclan in Paris was like a snake bite, “to poison me in my mind and in my heart in my body."
Gaza's water crisis is 'a ticking time bomb'
Humanitarian organizations fear the water crisis in Gaza is so acute, it may become uninhabitable by the year 2020.
Ice is us: Alaska Natives face the demise of the Arctic ice pack
Sea ice grows in the winter, when the Arctic is very cold and dark, and then dies back every summer, when the region gets pounded by nonstop sunlight. For all of human history, there's always been some Arctic sea ice that doesn’t melt in the summer. But there's much less of it now.
Why one veteran sees his political activism as an extension of his service
Nate Terani has committed to raising awareness about Muslims in the military: “It’s fundamentally important that either Muslims or immigrants from any other group don't feel that they are alienated or isolated right now because of the rhetoric that is coming from certain politicians."
Testing who you are
There’s an assessment tool that promises to reveal more about your personality than you already know. Lots of us have used it. But is it accurate?
It may be getting harder for Puerto Rico’s national forest to recover from storms
Tropical forests like El Yunque have evolved to recover from hurricanes. But if those storms grow more intense or frequent, forests may be less able to bounce back. And that could hurt communities that depend on the forest for water.
The Dominican Republic took in Jewish refugees fleeing Hitler while 31 nations looked away
A New Hampshire man stumbled on an overlooked moment of history: The forgotten Evian conference where only one of 32 countries — the Dominican Republic — agreed to help settle German Jewish refugees. The doomed Evian Conference is viewed as a beginning act of the Holocaust.
US troops’ arrival prompts unease on both sides of the border in Arizona
The first wave of US troops arrived along the US-Mexico border recently, stringing razor wire atop existing border walls and fences. But people in Mexico and the US are worried about the message being sent.
Kenneth Lonergan doesn’t skip over life’s dramas
The Oscar-winning writer and director on the genius of Elaine May and finding inspiration from real life.
Talking Heads’ ‘Remain in Light’
How radio preachers and John Dean’s Watergate testimony found their way into a Talking Heads album.
Masterpiece market
The price we pay for the price we pay for art.