If you're just joining us, it's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR West. I'm Arun Rath.
It's happening again. Yet another massive winter storm is covering much of the central U.S. with freezing rain and snow. Thousands of flights have already been cancelled across the country. Well, this would not be the case if you lived in any Nordic country. Nordic countries face brutal snow every year and their winter lasts five months. But their airports almost never close.
Now to Venezuela where violent clashes continue between antigovernment protesters and national guard security forces who are using water cannons and tear gas to break up demonstrations. On Friday, dozens of people, including journalists, were arrested. And on Saturday, more protests erupted around the city. So far, 18 people have died.
Joining us now in Caracas is reporter Girish Gupta who has been covering the unrest. Girish, tell us what things are like there today.
We've all seen them: the public service announcements about sex trafficking in America. They're plastered on buses and billboards; images of young women exploited for their bodies, with hotlines to call for help.
The numbers are staggering. The Justice Department estimates that each year at least 200,000 children are trafficked for sex in the U.S., and it is said to generate upward of $32 billion a year.
In fact, most of those 15 or so states that use the Heat and Eat loophole have Democratic governors. Along with New York and Connecticut are the likes of California, Massachusetts and Oregon. More than 20 percent of Oregonians are on food stamps. That's one of the highest rates in the country. These new cuts would affect over 140,000 people there. On average, they'd lose about $58 a month.
It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR West. I'm Arun Rath.
Last month, President Obama made a special trip to Michigan to sign the farm bill, finally passed after two years of disagreement in Congress. One important clause said to take effect this month is a major cut to food stamps. The Congressional Budget Office has estimated the cuts would affect about 850,000 households, saving about $8.5 billion over the next 10 years. That cut was achieved by closing what some see as a loophole regarding who qualifies for the program.
The standoff in Crimea is increasing in intensity and has become a focal point of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. Host Arun Rath talks to NPR's Michele Kelemen about the diplomatic efforts to resolve the standoff in the region.
Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors, and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:
Hundreds of visual-effects artists are planning to picket the Academy Awards on Sunday for the second year in a row. They're hoping to bring attention to what's been happening in their industry.
The field is losing jobs and relocating to countries with bigger subsidies for employers. It's the result of a technical revolution that's changed the profession since it kicked off in the 70s with Star Wars creator George Lucas' visual-effects company, Industrial Light and Magic.
This week, one-fifth of the biggest boy band in the world made up one-eleventh of an English professional soccer team. In a charity game, the One Direction singer Louis Tomlinson turned out to play for his hometown club, the reserve team of Doncaster Rovers.