Sam Sanders

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

The Two-Way
2:35 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

Greenpeace Apologizes For Stunt At Peru's Sacred Nazca Lines

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

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

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:

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Business
3:54 am
Wed December 10, 2014

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

Originally published on Wed December 10, 2014 5:23 am

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

The Two-Way
4:43 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

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

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

Originally published on Mon December 8, 2014 6:16 pm

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.)

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The Two-Way
2:58 pm
Wed December 3, 2014

American Couple Detained In Qatar Allowed To Return Home

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

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

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.

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The Two-Way
11:53 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

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

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

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

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:

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The Two-Way
3:40 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

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

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

Originally published on Tue December 2, 2014 4:55 pm

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.

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Law
5:30 pm
Thu November 20, 2014

New Affirmative Action Cases Say Policies Hurt Asian-Americans

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

Originally published on Fri November 21, 2014 11:22 am

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.

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The Record
2:33 am
Wed November 5, 2014

Taylor Swift, Platinum Party Of One

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

Originally published on Wed November 5, 2014 4:53 pm

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.

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Sports
2:27 am
Mon November 3, 2014

Terminally Ill Player Scores First Basket Of NCAA Season

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

Originally published on Mon November 3, 2014 5:41 pm

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.

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History
3:39 am
Tue October 28, 2014

Officer Killed In Civil War To Receive Medal Of Honor

Originally published on Tue October 28, 2014 12:17 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.

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Business
4:55 pm
Sun September 28, 2014

Movie Theaters Hope To Add Another Dimension To Their Profits

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

Originally published on Tue October 14, 2014 1:10 pm

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.

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The Edge
5:29 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

In Sochi, An Olympic Artist Sees The 'Possible'

Artist Marc Ahr has been drawing at all the Olympic Games since 1992, but for him, Sochi is special.
Sam Sanders NPR

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 7:50 pm

The thing about Sochi and the surrounding area, and the sidewalks, and the roads, and the land around the train tracks, is the construction. It is everywhere — in places where some might see it and say, "Wait, it doesn't matter. This will not be on TV. No one important is staying here. Just let it go." Miles away from any venue or lodging or Olympic rings.

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The Salt
10:37 am
Sun January 26, 2014

New Law Puts Gloves On California Bartenders

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

Originally published on Sun January 26, 2014 12:01 pm

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!"

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Around the Nation
9:12 am
Sun January 5, 2014

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

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

Originally published on Sun January 5, 2014 10:13 am

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.

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Around the Nation
10:12 am
Sun December 29, 2013

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

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

Originally published on Mon December 30, 2013 6:53 am

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.

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NPR Story
6:23 am
Sat December 14, 2013

Hot Sauce Maker In A Jam

Originally published on Tue December 17, 2013 11:31 pm

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.

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Typhoon Haiyan Devastates The Philippines
4:29 pm
Sat November 16, 2013

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

Originally published on Sat December 7, 2013 11:31 am

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.

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Code Switch
3:51 pm
Mon November 11, 2013

In California, A High School That Cheers A-R-A-B-S

The Coachella Valley High School mascot gives the thumbs up at a 2010 football game. Image courtesy of MyDesert.com.
Jay Calderon Courtesy of The Desert Sun

Originally published on Mon November 11, 2013 4:52 pm

Last week, Coachella Valley High School came under fire for the name of its mascot — the Arab. The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee sent a letter to the school, complaining about the way the mascot depicts people of Arab descent. The complaint made the school national news.

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Around the Nation
4:49 pm
Sat November 2, 2013

Aftermath At The Airport: LAX Tries To Turn Back To Business

Nearly 1,000 scheduled flights and 100,000 passengers were affected at Los Angeles International Airport, where a gunman on Friday killed a TSA agent and wounded others. On Saturday afternoon, a major terminal in one of the nation's busiest airports finally reopened, FBI agents continued their investigation, and thousands of passengers tried to catch their flights.

All Tech Considered
2:02 am
Fri September 27, 2013

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

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

Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 9:53 am

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.

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Music News
4:45 am
Sat February 9, 2013

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

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

Originally published on Sat February 9, 2013 11:11 am

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."

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