Local food movement searches for better system Signs of a growing local food movement are everywhere. You can see them, at Saturday farmers markets and on restaurant menus. Local apples are now served at school cafeterias. There are community gardens in city neighborhoods and small towns.4:45 p.m.
Flex spending accounts less flexible under new health law The accounts allow workers to put aside pretax earnings specifically for out-of-pocket heath care expenses, but the federal health care reform law is cutting back on what those accounts will cover and how much workers can put into them.5:24 p.m.
National Public Radio Stories
U.S. To Unveil Transition Plan For Afghanistan
Richard Holbrooke, the special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, told a small press briefing in Islamabad on Monday that a phased, four-year plan to wind down U.S. and NATO fighting in Afghanistan by 2014 will be presented at a NATO summit in Lisbon, Portugal, this weekend. The size of the drawdown expected to begin in July will depend on conditions, but Holbrooke said Afghanistan will "be able to stand up, but it will not stand alone."
Will Afghan Forces Be Prepared By 2014?
The American strategy to hand over responsibility for security to Afghan forces by 2014 depends on one key unknown: whether Afghan military and police forces will be up to the job by then. Host Robert Siegel talks to NPR Pentagon correspondent Tom Bowman, who is in Afghanistan and has the latest on the quality of Afghan troops, as well as recent disagreements between Afghanistan's president and the top American military commander.
Israel Weighs U.S.-Backed Settlement Freeze
The Israeli Cabinet is considering a U.S. offer of incentives aimed at reviving Mideast peace talks. The Obama administration has offered military hardware and political backing in exchange for a new 90-day moratorium on Israeli settlement building in the West Bank. There has been no formal Palestinian reaction to the plan as yet. Analysts say the major question will be what happens at the end of the 90-day period. The U.S. has told Israel it will not push for another extension beyond that date.
Ex-Trooper Pleads Guilty In Civil Rights-Era Slaying
In Alabama, a white former state trooper pleaded guilty Monday in a 1965 shooting death of a black man at a civil rights protest. The plea, to a lesser charge of manslaughter, came on the first day of jury selection in the trial of James Fowler. He admitted to shooting and killing Jimmie Lee Jackson. That death set off a wave of protests and led to passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.
Facebook Takes On E-Mail, Messaging
Facebook unveiled a new messaging platform on Monday that takes aim at one of the Internet's first applications -- e-mail. It integrates instant messaging and texting, too, into one communications platform. It will roll out over the next several months.
Debating The Next Phase Of The Web
Host Robert Siegel speaks to Tim O'Reilly, the founder and CEO of O'Reilly Media, about the annual Web conference he organizes and moderates called the Web 2.0 Summit, being held this week. O'Reilly says that the Internet economy is undergoing the biggest shift since the dot-com bust, and companies are vying for different "points of control." He's invited heads of tech companies like Facebook, Google and Yahoo, and Internet insurgents and "alpha nerds" to talk about the next phase of the Web.
The Housing Dilemma: It's Holding Workers Back
The inability to sell, rent or refinance a home could become one of the biggest obstacles to matching talent with the right job. Experts say more people could face the dilemma of choosing between a job and a house -- especially if the job market improves faster than the housing market.
The Bush Tax Cuts And What They Mean For You
As Congress gets set to debate extending the Bush-era tax cuts, host Melisa Block speaks to Clint Stretch, managing principal of tax policy at Deloitte Tax in Washington, D.C., about what those tax cuts mean for people at various income levels. Stretch says if the tax cuts were to expire for a four-person family with a median adjusted gross income -- that's about $70,000 a year -- they would pay about $2,600 more in taxes a year. But that income group is very likely to see the tax cuts continued. The debate is really about whether upper-income earners continue to receive the benefit of those cuts from the Bush years. If the cuts are allowed to expire for a family that makes about $325,000 worth of adjusted gross income, under President Obama's plan, that family would pay about $5,400 more in income tax a year.
House Ethics Panel Begins Rangel Hearing
The House ethics trial of New York Rep. Charles Rangel got under way on Monday, but without Rangel himself. The veteran Harlem Democrat walked out of the hearing after the panel denied his request to delay proceedings until he can get a lawyer.