On a blisteringly hot summer afternoon, about 40 people gather at the Evangelico Cemetery in southwestern Albuquerque. Deacon Pablo Lefebre leads the service and begins with a prayer
"Because God has chosen to call our brothers and our sisters from this life to himself," he says, "we commit their bodies to the earth, its resting place. For we are dust, and to dust we shall return."
This isn't your average funeral. The light gray casket about to be lowered into the ground is filled with the cremated remains of 87 county residents.
The U.S. Postal Service lost some $16 billion last year and continues to bleed red ink. Congress has been unable to agree on a rescue plan.
The latest proposal would allow the post office to end Saturday delivery in a year and enable it to ship wine and beer.
The Postal Service's woes are familiar: People don't really send letters anymore, so first-class mail is down, and Congress makes the post office prepay future retiree benefits to the tune of $5.5 billion a year.
Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 5:20 pm
Calling a lawsuit's potential results "absurd" for cities around the United States, Major League Baseball asked a federal judge to dismiss a challenge to its antitrust exemption filed by San Jose, Calif. The city filed the suit to press its case for relocating the Oakland A's there.
NPR's Richard Gonzales filed this report for our Newscast unit:
Plant life on our planet soaks up a fair amount of the carbon dioxide that pours out of our tailpipes and smokestacks. Plants take it up during the summer and return some of it to the air in the winter. And a new study shows that those "breaths" have gotten deeper over the past 50 years.
This isn't just a curiosity. Plant life is helping to reduce the speed at which carbon dioxide is building up in our atmosphere. That's slowing the global warming, at least marginally, so scientists are eager to understand how this process works. The new study provides some clues.
More than six months have passed since Hillary Clinton stepped down from her position as Secretary of State. At the time she said she was eager for some down time — to rest and do the things she didn't normally have time for, like catch up on episodes of Love It or List It. But Amy Chozick of the The New York Times, who has been following Clinton's transition out of office, tells Melissa Block that there hasn't been much R & R in her agenda.
Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 5:56 pm
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Since Friday, CBS has been off the air for millions of Time Warner Cable customers. The two sides are fighting over how much Time Warner pays to carry CBS. Then a remarkable thing happened. Time Warner offered to unbundle the TV network, meaning only customers who want it would pay for it. That's close to blasphemy in the cable business and CBS quickly shot down the idea.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
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And I'm Melissa Block.
Today, mortgage giant Fannie Mae announced it made a $10 billion profit this past spring. That's a remarkable turnaround considering the government had to bail out Fannie Mae, along with Freddie Mac, when the housing bubble burst five years ago. It's certainly good news for taxpayers. It's also good news for homebuyers who count on the two companies to back most of the country's home loans.
To big changes now in the classroom. Most states have adopted new math and literacy guidelines for students from kindergarten through 12th grade. They're called the Common Core standards, and they rewrite the rules of what students should know grade by grade. When it comes to math, not only are the standards changing, some of the work kids will be doing and bringing home will actually look different.
Considered in pieces, The Machine Which Makes Everything Disappear is poignant and often hard to watch. Tinatin Gurchiani's documentary takes an episodic look at contemporary youth in her home country of Georgia, weaving together a series of vignettes featuring young people Gurchiani found by putting out a casting call for anyone ages 15-25 who thought their lives were suited for film.
Originally published on Fri August 9, 2013 10:25 am
Cinema routinely peddles images of beautiful people in romantic situations, not to mention gauzily idealized visions of passion and intimacy. So it's a little counterintuitive when filmmakers depict sex as perilous — even when that's exactly what they've signed up to do.
Until two years ago, Myanmar, also known as Burma, was ruled by the longest-running military dictatorship in the world. In 2010, the military began to loosen its grip on the country, increasing civil freedoms and offering some political and economic opportunity for citizens.
But some are wondering whether the country can truly transition to democracy if it fails to reconcile with its brutal past.
This month, NPR's Backseat Book Club goes snooping in Nikki Maxwell's "private and confidential" Dork Diaries. But the secret's already gotten out; the series launched four years ago, and there are already 12 million books in print in 34 different languages. The sixth in the series — Tales From a Not-So-Happy Heartbreaker — was just published in June.