Over the last decade, the U.S. government has spent billions beefing up surveillance, manpower and fencing along the border with Mexico. Fewer people are attempting to cross, but hundreds of migrants still die every year, and not a day goes by without a rescue by border patrol agents.
Officials and humanitarian groups are ramping up efforts to find illegal crossers before the worst happens, and they're hoping new deterrents convince people not to cross in the first place.
The Los Angeles Urban Rangers are an art collective set on teaching Angelenos how to view nature in their everyday surroundings. Guest host John Ydstie travels with the Rangers on their newest expedition: to explore the L.A. River, a neglected natural resource.
This weekend, the University of Alabama will award degrees to students who would have received them last spring had a devastating tornado not postponed graduation. During ceremonies, the school will honor the six students killed in the storm. NPR's Kathy Lohr reports.
The Navy SEAL community is mourning the loss of more than two dozen members. They were among 30 Americans killed Saturday when their helicopter came under fire during an operation in eastern Afghanistan. NPR Pentagon correspondent Tom Bowman reports.
The New Black Eagle Jazz Band is about as traditional as they come. The musicians have been playing together for 40 years. And they opened this year's Newport Jazz Festival with rousing, old-time New Orleans polyphony, a style that dates back to the teens and 1920s.
At the same moment, a mere 300 feet away on another stage at Fort Adams, is a band of twenty- and thirty-somethings on the opposite end of the musical spectrum. It's called Mostly Other People Do the Killing.
When Standard & Poor's downgraded the U.S. government's credit rating, the Treasury Department and White House responded swiftly with criticism. Guest host John Ydstie talks with NPR's National Political Correspondent Don Gonyea about that response.
Spot a manatee, the friendly, charming and prehistoric marine animal common in Florida's waters, and you're likely to think they're constantly besieged by sharks or other toothy killers. Many bear heavy scars and other marks of attack. But, as essayist Diane Roberts writes, manatees have no natural predators. What's attacking them? Boat propellers.
The opinions of the major ratings agencies like S&P carry a lot of weight in the financial markets. Their own reputations, however, were damaged during the financial crisis when they awarded AAA ratings to what turned out to be toxic, mortgage-backed securities. Guest host John Ydstie speaks with Nikola Swann, a credit analyst at Standard & Poor's, about some of the criticism the company's received in the wake of the decision to downgrade the U.S. credit rating.
This year marks the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the Civil War. It's of particular importance to the United Daughters of the Confederacy, an organization for female descendants of Confederate soldiers.
The group includes 23 elderly women who are the last living daughters of those who served. One of them is black.