When Nikki Perez was in her 20s, she had a job as a lab tech at a hospital in Sacramento, Calif. She said everything was going well until one day, when something changed.
"I worked in a very sterile environment, and so part of the procedure was to wash your hands," she said. "I found myself washing my hands more and more, to the point where they were raw, and sometimes they would bleed."
Rusty George Creative laid off more than half of its 17-person staff when clients stopped buying their marketing services as the economy crashed. After a hard look at finances, the small firm is now ready to hire a new employee.
Credit Courtesy of Rusty George
Kitura and Rusty George say business has picked up enough that they're ready to grow their company again.
In this economy, the decision to add even one person to the payroll is a huge leap of faith for a small company. One marketing firm in Tacoma, Wash., has done the math — down to the additional cups of coffee they'd need to make for a new employee — and is ready to hire.
These two paintings were up for auction in Hong Kong in February. Art auctions produce eye-popping sales figures in China, though critics say there is a widespread problem with fakes.
Credit Louisa Lim / NPR
Paul Dong, of Forever Auctions, says potential sellers sometimes try to use the auction house as a conduit for passing or receiving bribes. He says Forever Auctions refuses to take part.
Credit / Courtesy of Wang Yanqing
Chinese artist Wang Yanqing says he was one of several art students who painted this model in a class in 1983. It appears that one of those paintings was falsely billed as being the work of a famous Chinese artist, and auctioned off for more than $11 million last year.
As the global economy teeters, one market is still reaching stratospheric highs: Chinese art.
A Hong Kong auction of fine Chinese paintings earlier this month raised $94.8 million, three times pre-sale estimates. In fact, China is now the world's biggest art market, according to the art information agency Artprice.
Yet all is not what it seems in the murky world of Chinese art auctions, including a painting that sold last year for more than $11 million, but appears not to be what was advertised.
(This report is part of the Morning Edition series "2 Languages, Many Voices: Latinos In The U.S.," looking at the ways Latinos are changing — and being changed — by the U.S.)
One place the Hispanic population is growing is in the overwhelmingly white state of Iowa. The latest census figures show the Hispanic population, while only 5 percent of the state, has almost doubled since 2000.
And one small town — West Liberty — is the first in Iowa to have a majority Hispanic population.
Originally published on Thu October 13, 2011 11:21 am
Over the past decade, the story of population growth in the United States was defined largely by the story of Latinos emerging as the nation's largest minority.
They surpassed African-Americans for that distinction, by accounting for 56 percent of America's growth from 2000 to 2010. They now number more than 50 million. Put another way, 1 in every 6 U.S. residents is Latino.
It's dawn and 40 degrees out. The air tastes of dust. Elias Neftali is behind the wheel of a truck, driving us through a long valley encircled by red-rock mountains. As a farmhand in the northwest desert of Namibia, Neftali used to shoot wild animals trying to eat his livestock.
Now he protects wild animals. And that can be scary.
"Oh my god, yep," he says. He tells me about a night he was sleeping in a bungalow out in the bush with some other wildlife guards.
We all know what happens when individuals stop paying their bills: angry letters, pestering phone calls and possibly getting property repossessed. In the end, there's you might declare bankruptcy and start again. That's how it works for a person up to his eyeballs in debt, but how does it work for an entire country?
Harvard economist Ken Rogoff says that it's not unusual for countries to go into default. In fact, he says it's happened hundreds of times.
Orlando "Zeus" Brown, an offensive lineman for the Cleveland Browns and the Baltimore Ravens, was found dead late last month in his Baltimore apartment. The cause: diabetic ketoacidosis, common among those with diabetes.
Brown was 6 feet 7 inches tall and 360 pounds when he played in the NFL. That may sound like a lot for a football player, but it's not uncommon among today's offensive and defensive lineman, who rarely weigh less than 300 pounds.
When a loved one dies and is cremated, family members face a tough decision on what do with the ashes. Some want the final resting place to be spectacular — spread in the Grand Canyon, launched into space, sprinkled in Times Square; others just keep Aunt Jane's remains in an urn at home.
"The ashes get put on the mantel, stay there for a couple of years, and then a couple of years later, they get put in the attic," says Thad Holmes. "A few years later, the house gets sold and, 'Oh gosh, we forgot the ashes!'"
Massive clashes that drew in Christians angry over a recent church attack, Muslims, and Egyptian security forces raged over a large section of downtown Cairo Sunday night, leaving at least 19 people dead and more than 150 injured, Health Ministry officials said. It was the worst violence since the 18-day uprising that ousted Hosni Mubarak in February.
From presidential palace to people's market — in Libya, Moammar Gadhafi's compound in the heart of Tripoli has been put to new use, as NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro explains in this Reporter's Notebook.
For most Libyans, Bab al-Azizia was the most foreboding address in the country. Moammar Gadhafi gave some of his most defiant speeches from the sprawling compound in Tripoli.
In 1977, the family of retired autoworker John Demjanjuk was astounded when he was accused of having been a guard known as "Ivan the Terrible" at a Nazi death camp in World War II. His case was considered the last of the Nazi war crimes trials, but this week, prosecutors in Germany said they were reopening hundreds of investigations. Host Audie Cornish talks with historian Deborah Lipstadt about how that might play out.
Syria on Friday issued a warning to other countries in the world not to recognize the newly-formed Syrian National Council. For the last seven months, protesters have been trying to force changes in the regime of President Bashar al-Assad. So far Assad has resisted change, often forcefully. NPR's Deborah Amos was given rare permission to visit the Syrian capital of Damascus this week, and updates host Audie Cornish on the state of the uprising.
Longtime Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis, whose maverick style had a huge impact on professional football, has died. The 82-year-old saw his team win three Super Bowls. His independent streak was both admired and excoriated, but stubbornness in his later years was blamed for the team's struggles. NPR's Allison Keyes has this remembrance.
AUDIE CORNISH, host: And now I'm joined by Mara Liasson, NPR's national political correspondent. Hi there, Mara.
MARA LIASSON: Hi, Audie.
CORNISH: So, as we just heard, a new controversy for Rick Perry this weekend, after evangelical leader Robert Jeffress, who's a Perry supporter, said that Mormonism is a cult. And he did this when he was speaking with reporters at the Values Voter Summit. First, let me just play a clip of that tape.
A former longtime employee of the National Archives pleaded guilty this week to stealing almost a thousand audio recordings belonging to the federal government. The stolen goods range from radio episodes of Dragnet and Gunsmoke to a 1937 recording of Babe Ruth hunting. Host Audie Cornish has the story.
Lately, for-profit colleges like DeVry, Kaplan and the University of Phoenix have been subject to scrutiny and new regulations for allegedly deceptive recruiting tactics and the high number of federal loan defaults among their students. Host Audie Cornish talks to Christopher Beha, who discreetly enrolled as a student at the University of Phoenix, and wrote about it in a piece in this month's issue of Harper's Magazine.
Roughly 80 people, most of them Spanish-speaking women and children, packed the media center of Tarrant Elementary School, just north of Birmingham, Ala., recently. Considering the number of kids in the room and spilling out into the hallways, there was surprisingly little noise.
It was a "Know Your Rights" meeting, meant to calm fears and familiarize families with their legal rights in light of Alabama's tough new immigration law.
Supreme Court Justices Stephen Breyer (left) and Antonin Scalia testify during a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday. The justices showed that while they are legal opposites, they are by no means opponents.
In a rare moment, two Supreme Court justices appeared before a Senate committee on Wednesday for a hearing about the role of judges under the U.S. Constitution. Among the topics of discussion was the granddaddy of all legal debates: how to interpret the Constitution.
Justice Antonin Scalia is a staunch conservative, what he calls an "originalist." He believes judges should determine the framers' original intent in the words of the constitution, and hew strictly to it.
We often speak about the immigration debate in terms of justice, rights and the protection of our borders, but there's a business story to be told as well. The question is: can the U.S. economy really function without undocumented workers?
It's day two of the Values Voters Summit in Washington, D.C. Weekends on All Things Considered guest host Robert Smith talks with NPR's Don Gonyea about the surprising results of a straw poll there today: Ron Paul won big, Herman Cain was a strong second, and Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry and Mitt Romney trailed badly.
Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis died today at age 82. Davis was a legend in the football world and was largely responsible for building the Raiders into a three-time Super Bowl champion. Weekends on All Things Considered guest host Robert Smith Robert Smith talks to sportswriter Peter Richmond, author of the book "Badasses: The Legend of Snake, Foo, Dr. Death, and John Madden's Oakland Raiders."
The world lost a titan of industry this week with the passing of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. Weekends on All Things Considered guest host Robert Smith speaks with James Fallows, national correspondent for The Atlantic, about the Jobs legacy and other stories from this past week.
Five presidential candidates appeared at the opening day of the Values Voter Summit in Washington, D.C., on Friday, but the speech getting the most attention was one by a pastor from Dallas who introduced Texas Gov. Rick Perry.
Every year in Washington, social conservatives from across the country gather for the summit, an event sponsored by the Family Research Council. In presidential years, the summit is a must-stop for GOP candidates.