Nature photographer David Slater went to Indonesia. While he was there, he got some stunning photos of monkeys.
Host Alex Blumberg talks about New York City’s long-standing ban on ferrets. And how, after years of forbidding them, the city is now poised to lift the ban.
Producer Brian Reed recounts one of the more riveting arguments he's ever heard about whether marijuana is dangerous or relatively benign. It takes place in Congress.
Reporter Nancy Updike talks to a group of New York City residents about their frustrating attempts to rent an apartment. With hidden microphones, we hear landlords and supers tell the apartment hunters that there's nothing available.
Once the Fair Housing Act became law in 1968, there was some question about how to implement it and enforce it. George Romney, the former Republican Governor of Michigan and newly-appointed Secretary of HUD, was a true believer in the need to make the Fair Housing Law a powerful one — a robust attempt to change the course of the nation's racial segregation.
Ira speaks with Sharon Snyder. Until recently, Sharon was a clerk for circuit court judge in Missouri.
Under California law, it's legal to grow marijuana for medicinal purposes if you have a doctor's recommendation. A few years ago, Mendocino County Sheriff Tom Allman was trying to find a way to deal with the proliferation of marijuana in his county.
Reporter Michael May tells the story of activists from the National Immigrant Youth Alliance who intentionally got arrested for being undocumented. They believed if they could get inside the Broward Transitional Center in Florida, they could prevent lots of the immigrants there from being deported.
News kept coming all week about the National Security Agency collecting data on the phone numbers we dial. Government officials are saying there’s nothing to be alarmed about.
At Guantanamo Bay, hearings resumed for Abd al Rahim al Nashiri, who is accused of organizing the attack on the USS Cole, in 2000. This week was the first time reporters had been back to Guantanamo since President Obama gave a speech in which he said he’d renew efforts to close the prison.
On Wednesday, Florida executed a death row inmate named William Van Poyck. His execution came the same week that Florida’s governor signed a new law designed to speed up executions in the state. Emily Bazelon, legal affairs editor at Slate, explains that of all the states in the country, Florida is probably the last one where you’d want executions to move faster.
An estate attorney in Rhode Island discovers the investor's Holy Grail: a financial scheme that guarantees only reward and no risk. All upside with no downside.
At a Muslim community center in New York, two lawyers teach a workshop on how to react when an FBI agent shows up at the door asking questions. The workshop is a project of CLEAR — Creating Law Enforcement Accountability and Responsibility — at the City University of New York School of Law.
TAL producer Sarah Koenig tells the story of a woman who sued the casino where she lost her inheritance, saying that it was to blame, not her. The story was inspired by a chapter in The Power of Habit, by Charles Duhigg.
Two Responses to "When Patents Attack!"
There's a derogatory term in Silicon Valley for companies that amass huge troves of patents and make money by threatening lawsuits: "patent trolls." When Jeff Kelling's Internet company Fototime was sued - along with more than 130 other companies - for violating someone's patent, he wondered if it was a troll (which the company denies), and then settled out of court.
NPR reporter Laura Sydell and This American Life producer/Planet Money co-host Alex Blumberg tell the story of Intellectual Ventures, which is accused of being the largest of the patent trolls. The investigation takes them to a small town in Texas, where they find a hallway full of empty companies with no employees.
Laura and Alex continue their story about Intellectual Ventures and the practice of patent trolling. They learn why the buying and selling of patents is likely to continue being a huge, controversial business that affects the entire tech industry.
In this act: judge wannabes working with the old boys network.
In a small west Texas town called Kermit, two nurses were accused of harassment after they complained to the medical board that a doctor was putting patients in danger. The nurses were fired and then arrested, facing ten years in prison.
Susan Burton rereads her parents' divorce papers—the fine print that changed her life forever.
Ira reports from Glynn County Georgia on Superior Court Judge AmandaWilliams and how she runs the drug courts in Glynn, Camden and Waynecounties. We hear the story of Lindsey Dills, who forges two checks on herparents' checking account when she's 17, one for $40 and one for $60, andends up in drug court for five and a half years, including 14 months behindbars, and then she serves another five years after that—six months of itin Arrendale State Prison, the other four and a half on probation.
We hear about how Brandi Byrd and many other offenders end up in Judge Williams' drug court. One reason drug courts were created was to save money by incarcerating fewer people.
Ira Glass speaks with JoAnn Chiakulas, the only Juror on the trial of former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich who believed he was innocent of trying to sell Barack Obama's senate seat.