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Fixing infrastructure: short-term pain, long-term gain

9 hours ago

More than 150,000 drivers per day use the heavily traveled Route 495 viaduct to connect from major New Jersey highways to the Lincoln Tunnel and Manhattan. A $90 million project to repair and rebuild the 80-year-old road that kicked into full gear in mid-August is expected to last until 2021. Transportation planners expect long-term lane closures on the 3.5-mile stretch of Route 495 to cause major traffic delays, especially at rush hour, when the highway is already packed. The project is partially funded by money raised by an increase in New Jersey's gasoline tax.

Tariffs on trial

9 hours ago

This morning, the U.S. Trade Representative opened six — yup, six — days of public hearings into President Donald Trump's proposed tariffs on Chinese imports. The hearings are to let companies and trade groups affected by those tariffs weigh in, and we talk to two experts who are testifying. Today in Elon Musk news: JPMorgan Chase lowered the target price on Tesla’s stock. But what exactly is a target price, and what happens when analysts change them? We have answers. Also on the show, we talk to actress and director Regina King about her career in Hollywood. (08/20/18)

When it comes to cancer survival, the United States is sharply divided by race. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the cancer death rate for African-Americans is 25 percent higher than whites, and Hispanics and Latinos are more likely to be diagnosed with cancer at a late, and more dangerous, stage of the disease.

Environmental activists are using a new strategy to block construction of oil and gas pipelines. It already has worked in New York where construction on the Constitution Pipeline has stalled. Now activists are trying the strategy in Oregon.

The proposed Jordan Cove project includes a pipeline that would transport natural gas across the Cascades mountain range to the Oregon coast. There it would be turned into liquefied natural gas (LNG) for export.

In Venezuela, where the annual inflation rate topped 60,000 percent this weekend, the currency has lost so much value that it takes stacks of bills just to buy a roll of toilet paper. The average consumer might as well bring a wheelbarrow to the market — not to transport groceries but to cart all the cash needed to buy them.

Rebuilding a neighborhood, one house at a time

10 hours ago

In the Slavic Village neighborhood of Cleveland, Ohio, you can still see the scars of the foreclosure crisis — vacant houses with sagging porches and broken windows, empty lots where houses once stood and a still-thriving demolition business tearing down abandoned homes.

For the third time in recent days, a prominent group of former national security officials has signed a letter criticizing President Trump's decision to revoke the security clearance of former CIA Director John Brennan.

In a related development, Trump said in a tweet Monday that he wasn't concerned about Brennan's remarks over the weekend that he might take legal action in response to the president's move.

Copyright 2018 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Copyright 2018 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Around the time Kevin Kwan published his 2013 satirical novel Crazy Rich Asians, a producer reached out with an offer: "I will option this movie if you are willing to change Rachel to a white girl ..." Kwan recalls the producer saying.

Kwan didn't even bother to respond.

The film adaptation of Kwan's book is now out. All of the characters are Asian and Asian-American, and all of the actors are of Asian descent.

Updated at 6:21 p.m. ET

As her husband lashed out at his political opponents online, calling them names like "thug" and "hack," Melania Trump was calling for more civility and kindness online Monday morning.

The first lady addressed an annual cyberbullying prevention summit hosted by the federal Health Resources and Services Administration in Rockville, Md.

Cascades of tears. Lingering hugs. Family photos. And questions that have burned unanswered for decades.

For the first time in three years, North and South Korea are holding family reunions, allowing a small number of South Koreans to travel across the fortified border to the North to reunite with loved ones they haven't seen since the 1950s.

Such reunions have been held intermittently since the '80s and have resumed as relations between the North and South are thawing.

Updated at 1:11 p.m. ET

It's early evening at a Berlin bar where the hip, young, startup crowd sips artisanal gin cocktails. Miriam Davoudvandi is among them and feels right at home — until the bar tender asks her where she's really from.

Davoudvandi, 26, was born in Bucharest, to an Iranian father and Romanian mother, but she's been living in Germany since she was 6. 

She says that she's felt degraded for her diverse background since elementary school.

U.S. lagging behind in race for tech supremacy

12 hours ago

There's a worldwide race for tech dominance, a race that ranges from nanotechnology to quantum computing. China has an explicit policy to be the world's leader in artificial intelligence, while Israel spends more of its GDP on research and development than any other country. Where does the United States fit into all this? According to Robert Manning, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council who has been following this race, the U.S. has a lot of catching up to do. 

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