Railroads are increasingly becoming the preferred means of shipping the masses of oil being produced in North Dakota and surrounding states. The railroad industry is eager to fill in for the lack of pipeline capacity. But some say the train growth needs to slow down.
Actor Oscar Isaac disappears into the title role of the new Coen brothers film, Inside LlewynDavis, a black comedy about a '60s folk singer who just can't make it, no matter what he does. He speaks with NPR's Melissa Block about playing the less-than-likable character.
Every year, as a gift to the American people, the Norwegian Embassy decorates the Christmas tree at Washington, D.C.'s Union Station. This year's tree is decorated with 700 reflective ornaments featuring the man from the painting The Scream by Norwegian artist Edvard Munch. This month marks the 150th anniversary of Munch's birth.
In a new poll, parents complain that their children are not getting nearly enough time for a basic school ritual: eating lunch. And that's worrying parents and administrators, given that about one-third of American kids are overweight or obese.
Nigerian authorities have increased security patrols around the northeastern city of Maiduguri after Islamist militants attacked military bases there. The unrest comes after Nigerian troops reportedly had pushed the militants, Boko Haram, out of the the city. This comes as the U.S. undersecretary for Africa is in Nigeria to discuss security concerns, and Nigeria's president is attending a security conference in Europe.
Brown tree snakes are causing a problem in Guam. And now, efforts being used to reduce the brown tree snake population by using dead mice, a common pain killer and aerial drops. Robert Siegel speaks with Dan Vice, a wildlife biologist with the USDA, for more on this process.
Robert Siegel talks with Peter Wallsten of The Washington Post about the story of Alan Gross, a USAID contractor held in a Cuban prison for the last four years. Gross had been working on a covert project installing internet in a Jewish community in Cuba.
The labor advocacy organization Committee for Better Banks just released a report that looks at the low, low wages that bank tellers and customer service reps receive, and how that is costing the public money. For more on the report, Robert Siegel speaks with Brigid Flaherty, organizing director of the Alliance for a Greater New York, one of the coalition members of the committee.
Colorado ski resorts are ramping up efforts to draw skiers from emerging markets like China. About 12 percent of skier visits to the state's ski areas come from overseas. And, with China's growing middle class, Colorado resorts are looking to profit. At one resort, employees are decked in headsets, learning Mandarin Chinese in an effort to improve customer service.
After two months in a defensive crouch over the botched roll out of his signature health care law, President Obama turned to another topic Wednesday that has preoccupied his administration: the income gap. It has grown wider during Obama's tenure as the country has emerged from the Great Recession. Reversing that trend is a priority for Obama's final three years in office.