Sam Sanders

Sam has worked at Vermont Public Radio since October 1978 in various capacities â

3:35pm

Thu December 11, 2014
The Two-Way

Greenpeace Apologizes For Stunt At Peru's Sacred Nazca Lines

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 1:12 pm

Greenpeace activists stand next to massive cloth letters next to the hummingbird geoglyph at Peru's sacred Nazca lines. The Peruvian government is pursuing criminal charges against the activists.
Rodrigo Abd AP

Greenpeace has apologized to the people of Peru after activists entered a highly restricted area to leave a message on ancient, sacred desert land.

Activists placed giant, yellow letters spelling out, "Time for change! The future is renewable. Greenpeace," near markings in the earth known as the Nazca lines.

Reuters reports that:

Read more

4:54am

Wed December 10, 2014
Business

Justices: If You Aren't Working, No Pay, Even If You Can't Leave

Originally published on Wed December 10, 2014 6:23 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

5:43pm

Mon December 8, 2014
The Two-Way

America's Highest-Paid Private-University President Made $7.1 Million In 2012

Originally published on Mon December 8, 2014 7:16 pm

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute President Shirley Ann Jackson holds 2005 commencement exercises in Troy, N.Y. Jackson is one of three dozen presidents of private colleges and universities who made more than $1 million in 2012.
Tim Roske AP

It's a pretty good time to be president of a private college, at least financially. The Chronicle of Higher Education just released its annual roundup of executive compensation for private college presidents, and it reports that Shirley Ann Jackson of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute earned $7.1 million in 2012 alone. (2012 is the latest year federal tax documents with this information are currently available.)

Read more

3:58pm

Wed December 3, 2014
The Two-Way

American Couple Detained In Qatar Allowed To Return Home

Originally published on Wed December 3, 2014 4:54 pm

Shortly before they left Qatar on Wednesday, Grace and Matthew Huang spoke with Dana Shell Smith, the U.S. ambassador to Qatar, at the Hamad International Airport in Doha.
Osama Faisal AP

Matthew and Grace Huang, an American couple who had been forced to remain in Qatar over the death of their adopted 8-year old daughter in 2013, have left the country en route to the United States.

On Sunday, an appeals court cleared the Huangs of all charges in their daughter's death, but as they arrived at the Hamad International Airport in Doha later that day to fly home to California, the couple were detained again. Qatari authorities said another appeal had been filed in their case and that they could not travel.

That travel ban was lifted Wednesday.

Read more

12:53am

Wed December 3, 2014
The Two-Way

U.S. Government Contractor Marks Five Years In Cuban Detention

Originally published on Wed December 3, 2014 4:01 am

Alan Gross is an American who has spent more than four years imprisoned in Cuba. His wife says he told her he can't take life in prison much longer.
James L. Berenthal AP

Wednesday marks the fifth anniversary of USAID subcontractor Alan Gross' detention in Cuba. Gross had been working on a covert program to improve Internet access for Jewish Cubans, giving out laptops and mobile phones while traveling in the country on a tourist visa. Gross was arrested on Dec. 3, 2009. A Cuban court found him guilty of crimes against the Cuban state in 2011, and sentenced him to 15 years in prison.

Nick Miroff previously reported on this story for NPR:

Read more

4:14pm

Tue December 2, 2014
The Two-Way

Apple's Success Continues Under Tim Cook, But Steve Jobs Still Looms Large

Originally published on Tue December 2, 2014 5:55 pm

Apple CEO Tim Cook discusses the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Apple's market capitalization neared $700 billion late last month.
Marcio Jose Sanchez AP

Since Tim Cook has been CEO of Apple, the company's market capitalization (or the value of its outstanding shares) has increased by more than $300 billion. On Nov. 26, it reached its highest level yet, almost $698 billion.

Numerically, this is a feat. Quartz says, "In nominal terms no company has ever been as big as Apple." Of course, Quartz goes on to say that, adjusted for inflation, Microsoft was bigger at its 1990s peak.

Read more

6:30pm

Thu November 20, 2014
Law

New Affirmative Action Cases Say Policies Hurt Asian-Americans

Originally published on Fri November 21, 2014 12:22 pm

Edward Blum announces the filing of two lawsuits on Monday, challenging the alleged racial preference admissions policies of Harvard and the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.
Manuel Balce Ceneta AP

If you go to HarvardNotFair.org, you'll find yourself on a page that says this: Were You Denied Admission to Harvard? It may be because you're the wrong race.

Read more

3:33am

Wed November 5, 2014
The Record

Taylor Swift, Platinum Party Of One

Originally published on Wed November 5, 2014 5:53 pm

Some things actually are surprising: Taylor Swift, performing on ABC's Good Morning America in New York City on Oct. 30, sold over a million copies of her new album, 1989, in its first week.
Jamie McCarthy Getty Images

Tuesday night, Nielsen SoundScan announced that Taylor Swift sold 1.287 million copies of her new album, 1989 in its first week of release. This would be impressive in any year, but in a year like this, you could call it a miracle. So far in 2014, only one album has sold more than a million copies: the soundtrack to the movie Frozen, which actually came out in 2013. No other album released in 2014 has sold one million copies, all year long. So it's not just that Taylor Swift is doing big numbers. She's doing big numbers at a time when no one else is doing big numbers.

Read more

3:27am

Mon November 3, 2014
Sports

Terminally Ill Player Scores First Basket Of NCAA Season

Originally published on Mon November 3, 2014 6:41 pm

After Hill's first basket, the sold-out crowd at Cintas Center in Cincinnati went wild.
Andy Lyons Getty Images

Nineteen-year-old college freshman Lauren Hill played her first game Sunday night, for a tiny, Division III college in Cincinnati.

That's not usually big news. But Hill has a rare form of brain cancer, and her first collegiate game might also be her last — which brought an unusual degree of attention to the court at Mount Saint Joseph University.

Read more

4:39am

Tue October 28, 2014
History

Officer Killed In Civil War To Receive Medal Of Honor

Originally published on Tue October 28, 2014 1:17 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And now this - President Obama will award a long delayed Medal of Honor to a soldier next month. He'll honor Army First Lt. Alonzo H. Cushing, who fought in the Civil War. NPR's Sam Sanders reports.

Read more

5:46pm

Sun September 28, 2014
Business

Movie Theaters Hope To Add Another Dimension To Their Profits

Originally published on Tue October 14, 2014 2:10 pm

Theaters that call themselves 4-D use lights, moving seats, fog and even sprays of water and air to give moviegoers a unique experience — one they hope audiences will consider worthy of higher ticket prices.
Ernesto López Ruiz Courtesy of CJ E&M America

Some experimental features have been popping up in movie theaters lately. One of them is a so-called 4-D experience. It's hard to describe in words exactly what a 4-D movie experience feels like, but here's one attempt: it is intense.

During a recent screening of Guardians of the Galaxy in 4-D at the Regal Cinemas LA Live theater, the seat moved up and down and side to side, like a simulator ride. There were strobe lights; fog seemed to come out of the walls and little jets of water sprayed over the seats.

Read more

11:18am

Sun January 26, 2014
The Salt

New Law Puts Gloves On California Bartenders

Originally published on Sun January 26, 2014 1:01 pm

Under California's new food safety law, bartenders can't do this without gloves.
iStockphoto.com

Bartender Cameron Hall hadn't heard of a new California law that bans culinary workers from touching uncooked food with their bare hands.

The rule applies to bartenders, who are now supposed to wear gloves to put limes in the mojitos and cherries in the Manhattans — even to scoop ice into a glass.

But when a reporter fills him in, Hall stops serving drinks at Rocco's Tavern, a little spot in downtown Culver City, just long enough to rant.

"It'd just be a pain," he says. "It'd be a nuisance. I'm gonna start making my customers wear gloves, in opposition!"

Read more

10:12am

Sun January 5, 2014
Around the Nation

No Relief Forecast After One Of California's Driest Years Ever

Originally published on Sun January 5, 2014 11:13 am

Downtown Los Angeles peeps through the distance and dry brush. Many cities in California closed out 2013 as the driest year since record-keeping began more than a century ago.
Nick Ut AP

It's a near-perfect morning on Venice Beach in Southern California, temperatures in the 60s, with a breeze. You can hear the waves of the Pacific crash against the sand. Only a layer of clouds mars the scene.

Scott and Sue Nolan, visiting from Houston, play kickball in the sand with their son. They are grateful to be in this mild, if not perfectly sunny weather, but Sue Nolan has noticed something's not right.

"One of the thoughts, when we were driving through town was, how are they sustaining all this with what you see so dry everywhere?" she says.

Read more

11:12am

Sun December 29, 2013
Around the Nation

Target's Word May Not Be Enough To Keep Your Stolen PIN Safe

Originally published on Mon December 30, 2013 7:53 am

Customers say they will still use their cards at Target, despite the security breach. The company's stock has been down since the news of the hacking.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

The giant retailer Target continues to feel the fallout from a massive security breach at its stores. The latest revelation: Hackers who stole credit and debit card numbers this holiday season also collected encrypted personal identification numbers.

But Brigitte Clark had no worries as she left a Target in Los Angeles on Saturday morning, her cart full of groceries.

Read more

7:23am

Sat December 14, 2013
NPR Story

Hot Sauce Maker In A Jam

Originally published on Wed December 18, 2013 12:31 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

The factory that makes and bottles Sriracha sauce is in trouble - for the second time this year. First, one of the company's Southern California plants faced a shutdown after neighbors complained about the pungent odor there, and now a California Department of Public Health has placed a 30-day hold on all new bottles of Sriracha, citing health concerns. NPR's Sam Sanders reports.

Read more

5:29pm

Sat November 16, 2013
Typhoon Haiyan Devastates The Philippines

LA's Filipinos Grieve For Loved Ones Abroad By Taking Action

Originally published on Sat December 7, 2013 12:31 pm

Since Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines last week, the largest Filipino community in America has come together to grieve and to help.

Friday night, about 25 miles south of Los Angeles, members of Long Beach's Filipino community gathered at Grace United Methodist Church to hold a vigil for typhoon victims. One by one, attendees came to the microphone and named people who died or remain lost in the storm.

Read more

5:19pm

Sun October 13, 2013
Around the Nation

Not In My Backyard: Hollywood Sign's Neighbors Fed Up With Tourists

Originally published on Sun October 13, 2013 6:12 pm

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

If you've ever been to Los Angeles, no doubt you've sent a selfie with a Hollywood sign in the background. If that is you, you're not alone. The iconic sign is one of the city's biggest tourist attractions. Over the last few years, social media and GPS have only multiplied the number of visitors. Now, homeowners in the area say that's wreaking havoc in their neighborhood. NPR's Sam Sanders reports.

Read more

3:02am

Fri September 27, 2013
All Tech Considered

Students Find Ways To Hack School-Issued iPads Within A Week

Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 10:53 am

Customers test out iPad minis on display in Los Angeles. Students who received free iPads from the Los Angeles Unified School District in a deal with Apple are finding ways to use them for more than just classwork.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Los Angeles Unified School District started issuing iPads to its students this school year, as part of a $30 million deal with Apple. The rollout is in the first of three phases, and ultimately, the goal is to distribute more than 600,000 devices.

But less than a week after getting their iPads, almost 200 of the districts' high school students found a way to bypass software blocks on the devices that limit what websites the students can use.

Read more

5:45am

Sat February 9, 2013
Music News

Frank Ocean's Big Year, And What Hasn't Changed In Hip-Hop

Originally published on Sat February 9, 2013 12:11 pm

Frank Ocean performs at the MTV Video Music Awards in September 2012.
Kevin Mazur WireImage

Frank Ocean is set to take a victory lap at this year's Grammys. He's up for six awards for his album Channel Orange, including best new artist, and he'll be performing as well. But just a few months ago, Frank Ocean's music wasn't the story — his sexuality was.

To review: After a listening party for Channel Orange last July, a BBC journalist pointed out that a few of the love songs referenced a "him" where you might have expected to hear "her."

Read more