Parallels
11:58 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

Can This Dominican Factory Pay Good Wages And Make A Profit?

Aracelis Upia Montero works at the Alta Gracia garment factory in the Dominican Republic. She says she was desperately poor before she began working at the factory, which pays much higher than usual wages. "I'm now eligible for loans and credits from the bank because I earn a good salary," she says.
Jackie Northam NPR

Originally published on Mon June 24, 2013 7:37 am

Aracelis Upia Montero bounds through the front door of her wood and cinderblock house, calling out for her children. The bubbly 41-year-old Montero — whom everyone calls Kuki — proudly shows guests around her cramped single-story home in Villa Altagracia in the Dominican Republic.

Montero points out her new living room furniture. In the past couple years, she has added two bedrooms and now has indoor plumbing. She has also built a little apartment at the end of her dirt driveway that she rents out.

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All Tech Considered
11:57 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

In More Cities, A Camera On Every Corner, Park And Sidewalk

Micaela Torres and 2-year-old Jakai Johnson swing underneath a surveillance camera at Miwok Park in Elk Grove, Calif. The city's police department collects more than 100 video feeds from across the city.
Steve Henn NPR

Originally published on Thu June 20, 2013 4:07 am

This report is part of the series NPR Cities: Urban Life In The 21st Century.

Surveillance cameras, and the sophisticated software packages that go with them, have become big business. Many small- and medium-sized cities across American are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on cameras and software to watch their residents.

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The Salt
11:56 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

Gourmands Through The Ages: 'A History Of Food In 100 Recipes'

Detail from a painting found on the walls of a 4,000-year-old tomb in Luxor, Egypt, that depicts bread making.
Werner Forman Archive

Originally published on Thu June 20, 2013 7:58 am

Think our current culture has become food-obsessed? Take a look at this wall painting from ancient Egypt.

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NPR Story
7:18 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

'Sopranos' Actor James Gandolfini Dies At Age 51

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

The actor James Gandolfini has died. He played dozens of parts over decades of his career. But there is one role that he'll be remembered for, a troubled mobster with an anxiety problem: Tony Soprano.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "THE SOPRANOS")

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Government & Politics
6:00 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

Brown, California Mayors Talk Water, High-Speed Rail and More

Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido (left), Los Angeles Mayor-elect Eric Garcetti, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee and Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson talk with reporters after meeting with Gov. Jerry Brown at the Capitol Wednesday.
Credit Bob Moffitt / Capital Public Radio

The mayors of California’s largest cities met with Governor Jerry Brown today at the state Capitol.  They talked about a host of issues including prison realignment, high speed rail and the governor’s proposed Delta water project.

Los Angeles Mayor-elect Eric Garcetti says more pension reform is needed, even after last year’s legislation.

“If we do not address this problem and look at this with seriousness –and I think this group of mayors wants to help the Governor and the state legislature continue to do that, we will see deficits balloon in coming years,” says Garcetti.

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Government & Politics
5:22 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

Fresno City Manager Mark Scott To Leave Job For Burbank

Credit City of Fresno

Fresno City Manager Mark Scott announced today he is leaving his job to take a similar position in the city of Burbank. Mayor Ashley Swearengin will promote current assistant city manager Bruce Rudd to replace him. The move is effective July 19th.

Scott spent the last three years on the job in Fresno, dealing with a number of issues ranging from budget deficits and hits to the city’s credit rating, to controversy over animal control and development lawsuits between the city and the counties Madera and Fresno. 

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The Two-Way
5:12 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

James Gandolfini Dies; 'Sopranos' Actor Was 51

Actor James Gandolfini has died while on a trip to Italy. He's seen here with Sopranos co-stars Edie Falco, left, and Lorraine Bracco.
Paul Hawthorne Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 7:07 pm

Actor James Gandolfini, 51, has died, HBO and other sources confirm. The former star of the HBO series The Sopranos was reportedly on holiday in Italy when he died. The cause of death is not yet known with certainty, but HBO says the actor may have suffered a heart attack. Other reports have indicated Gandolfini had a stroke.

Update at 8:15 p.m. ET: Confirmation From HBO:

Initial reports of Gandolfini's death were confirmed to NPR by HBO, which has released a statement:

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Government & Politics
5:03 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

California Elected Officials To Get Pay Raise

Credit Valley Public Radio

The salaries of California's state lawmakers and constitutional officers weren’t exempt from years of state budget cuts. But some of those cuts were restored today  when a state commission voted to give lawmakers a pay raise. Katie Orr reports from Sacramento.

It may be a happier holiday season for state elected officials. The California Citizens Compensation Committee has approved a five percent raise, which will take effect in December.

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The Two-Way
3:30 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

Microsoft Responds To Fan Outcry, Changes Xbox One Policies

Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 4:16 pm

Fans spoke, and apparently Microsoft listened.

In a reversal of the company's previous position, Microsoft announced Wednesday that its forthcoming Xbox One gaming console would no longer require a regular Internet connection and would not restrict used or shared games.

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It's All Politics
3:15 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

Capitol Hill's Partisan And Racial Divide Cast In Bronze

Vice President Biden joined congressional leaders at the Capitol Hill dedication ceremony for a statue of abolitionist Frederick Douglass.
Carolyn Kaster AP

A 7-foot-tall statue of famed, lion-maned abolitionist Frederick Douglass that was dedicated Wednesday on Capitol Hill is perhaps best understood as a bronze symbol of the partisan divide in Washington and of racial politics.

The ex-slave, who later became a friend of President Abraham Lincoln, was a federal official and an important journalist of his day. It took years for a statue of him to land a spot because it became a proxy in the fight over voting rights and statehood for Washington, D.C.

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