After Terrorist Attack Kills 148, Reactions from Nairobi

CHARLOTTE: Gunmen from Al-Shabab, an Al-Qaida affiliate based in Somalia, killed 148 people at a university in Kenya yesterday. That’s the group’s deadliest attack in the East African country.

ARIEL: I spoke with Murithi Mutiga, a freelance journalist for The New York Times who has been covering the attack’s aftermath. We talked over a shaky Skype connection, as he reported outside of a Nairobi hospital.

Read More

Car companies promote electric cars despite dreary year 2014

The International New York Auto Show starts today, at the Javits Convention Center.

One category trying to get attention is electric cars. Lots of new cars are being displayed there. Some companies have decided to show their latest environment-friendly cars, even though electric cars’ sales in the US are not taking off.

Gregoire Molle reports.

Read More

HBO’s New Streaming Service Threatens Cable

The HBO TV series Game of Thrones will begin its fifth season next week. And this year, for the first time, viewers who don’t subscribe to the network will be able to watch it, and the network’s other series, online and on their mobile devices. Distributors worry that services like this will lead more people to cancel their cable subscriptions.

Read More

Iranian-American Novelist Porochista Khakpour Explains the Powerful Impact of Iran Deal Towards Progress

Iran and six partner nations reached a framework agreement on its nuclear program on Thursday. There was an upbeat mood surrounding the announcement, following eight days of intense debate Secretary of State John Kerry and his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif. Iranian-American novelist, Porochista Khakpour, talks about her initial reaction to the agreement and why this is such a momentous moment for both Iran and the United States.

Read More

Passover Inspires Fire Safety Precautions

Passover starts tonight. The week long Jewish holiday celebrates the story of Moses liberating Jewish slaves from Egypt and the receiving of the Torah. But Midwood, Brooklyn is still reeling after seven children from the Sassoon family were killed in a fire two weeks ago. The fire was caused by a malfunctioning hot plate left on overnight. Observant Jewish families don’t use electronics on the Sabbath, so hot plates and automatic light timers are essential. Anjuli Sastry reports that as the community prepares for Passover, there’s debate about how to put safety first in a way that doesn’t compromise religious practice.

Read More

McDonald’s, Minimum Wage and the March Jobs Report

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released the March jobs report this morning, revealing a slowdown in hiring much larger than anticipated. Only 126,000 jobs were added — about half of what economists were predicted. The good news is hourly earnings rose slightly, beating expectations. That indicates the labor market is tightening — to attract employees, businesses have to pay more. Today, Miriam Sitz started her morning at a restaurant in Harlem to see how jobs report numbers play out in real life. She went to McDonald’s on 125th and Broadway.

Read More

A Solitary Fight

On any given day, there are about 4,000 inmates in solitary confinement in New York State. And people can be kept there for years.
The United Nations says any time in solitary beyond 15 days is torture. And the Vera Institute — a justice policy nonprofit — says it’s just inhumane. The institute is launching a new initiative to reduce solitary confinement use in New York City.

Read More

Librarians are a Hard Find in City Schools

For years, schools in New York state have failed to offer students adequate library resources. In 2003, a court of appeals ruled that the state must meet certain requirements to ensure all children have the opportunity for a “sound, basic education.” That means students must have access to up-to-date school libraries, certified librarians, and media specialists. As Theresa Avila reports, New York City is still struggling to comply, but some progress is underway.

Read More