Sam Sanders

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

In a unanimous decision, the National Labor Relations Board has rejected Northwestern University football players' petition to form a union by declining to assert jurisdiction in the case.

The decision effectively overturns a 2014 ruling by an NLRB regional director that found the athletes meet the broad definitions of employees under federal law and thereby could form what would have been the nation's first student-athlete union.

Jimmy Carter revealed Wednesday that he has cancer. Carter, 90 released a short statement with the news:

"Recent liver surgery revealed that I have cancer that now is in other parts of my body. I will be rearranging my schedule as necessary so I can undergo treatment by physicians at Emory Healthcare. A more complete public statement will be made when facts are known, possibly next week."

Set your alarm clocks. The Perseid meteor shower, the annual celestial lightshow that Space.com com calls the most widely observed and dependable meteor display of the year, will peak tonight and early tomorrow morning.

The list of celebrities-turned-politicians grows longer.

Former child actor Melissa Gilbert is running as a Democrat in Michigan's 8th congressional district against first-term Republican Mike Bishop.

The district covers Lansing and some northern Detroit suburbs, and it's a competitive one. President Obama won it in 2008, but Republican Mitt Romney carried it in 2012.

On Monday, Google CEO Larry Page announced the formation of a new parent company for Google called Alphabet. Page describes Alphabet as a collection of companies including Google, Life Sciences (which focuses on medicine and health issues), and Calico (a company that claims to tackle aging), among others.

Last Tuesday, Netflix announced it would begin offering employees who are new parents unlimited paid leave for a year, allowing them to take off as much time as they want during the first 12 months after a child's birth or adoption.

The news drew praise from people who said it would be good for working parents, and would help America catch up to most other developed nations, where paid time off for a new child is mandatory.

Several activists groups celebrated the release of Mazen Darwish, a Syrian journalist and human rights activist, from prison on Monday. In a statement, the Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression, which Darwish helped found, said, "After an arbitrary arrest that lasted three years, five months, and 23 days, Mazen Darwish has been released from prison today."

The AP reports Darwish was imprisoned for his reporting on President Bashar Assad's crackdown on protesters during the early days of an uprising against the presidency, which later became a full-blown civil war.

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RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NFL Hall of Famer and sports announcer Frank Gifford died yesterday in Connecticut at the age of 84. NPR's Sam Sanders has this remembrance.

SAM SANDERS, BYLINE: A lot of you listening may know of Frank Gifford for things like this.

Netflix maintains a network of DVD distribution centers across the country. Workers there typically report for their shifts at 2:00 a.m. and according to job postings, the work in these centers can be physically demanding and repetitive. It involves lifting, sorting and inspecting thousands of DVDs for damage.

These employees are offered vastly different benefits than are their white-collar colleagues.

Updated at 8:45 p.m.

Jonathan Pollard, who has served almost 30 years in prison after being convicted of espionage, will be granted parole on Nov. 21, according to his attorneys.

The former civilian Navy analyst was arrested in 1985 and charged with passing classified information to Israel. He pleaded guilty and received a life sentence.

"But under laws in place at the time, that meant he could get parole after 30 years," NPR's Carrie Johnson says. "Now, that term is nearly up — and the Justice Department did not stand in the way of his release."

It's official. The 2024 Olympic Games will not take place in Boston.

The Associated Press reports that the U.S. Olympic Committee "severed ties" with Boston on Monday. In a statement, Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh said, "I strongly believe that bringing the Olympic Games back to the United States would be good for our country and would have brought long-term benefits to Boston." He continued, "However, no benefit is so great that it is worth handing over the financial future of our City and our citizens were rightly hesitant to be supportive as a result."

A wave of wage increases in cities across the country, as well as at several major businesses, continued on Wednesday.

President Obama made his seventh appearance on Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Jon Stewart Tuesday night. It was a meeting of two men nearing the end of big chapters in their lives: Obama is in the final 18 months of his second term, and host Jon Stewart will leave The Daily Show next month.

Just after hosting Cuba's foreign minister at the State Department, Secretary of State John Kerry sat down with NPR Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep to discuss the restoration of diplomatic relations with that country, as well as the status of a nuclear deal with Iran.

Kerry defended the Obama administration's stance on both countries, and said if diplomatic relations with Cuba or a nuclear deal with Iran were scuttled — either by a future president or Congress — it would hurt the U.S.

Carnival Corp. says it has received permission from the U.S.

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Updated at 7:45 p.m. ET

Investigators continue their examination of a fire at the Glover Grove Baptist Church of Warrenville, S.C.

Fires damaged Glover Grove and some other black churches in the days following nine shooting deaths at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, raising concerns that the incidents were hate-inspired arsons.

Now, in the case of Glover Grove, the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division has released the following statement, saying it still doesn't know how the blaze started.

PBS has released details about an internal investigation that found that actor Ben Affleck exerted improper influence by requesting that the show Finding Your Roots hide details of a slave-owning ancestor in his family tree.

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RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The U.S. Open kicked off today, at the Chambers Bay Golf Course in University Place, Washington. One aspect of this year's tournament is standing out already: the grass. It is quite brown in some places, an aesthetic that is almost totally in opposition to say, the lush, verdant greens of the Augusta National Golf Club, where The Masters takes place.

In a decision that could have major implications for the entire sharing economy, the California Labor Commission has ruled that a San Francisco Uber driver is a company employee, not a contractor. In that decision, the commission awarded Uber driver Barbara Ann Berwick $4,152.20 in employee expenses, including mileage reimbursements, toll charges and interest.

The ruling was made public when Uber filed an appeal Tuesday in a state court in San Francisco.

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AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Kirk Kerkorian changed the way Vegas did business. The founder of MGM Resorts International died yesterday at his home in California. NPR's Sam Sanders reports.

Kirk Kerkorian, child of Armenian immigrants, casino magnate, World War II pilot and grade-school dropout, died Monday night in Los Angeles. He was 98.

The Los Angeles Times reports Kerkorian died at his home in Beverly Hills, Calif.

Kerkorian, who founded MGM Resorts International and built the largest hotel in the world three different times, was known for making the Las Vegas Strip a destination not just for adults, but entire families.

Vincent Musetto, a longtime editor at the New York Post, has died at the age of 74. The Post reports Musetto died Tuesday in hospice care at Calvary Hospital in the Bronx, after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer three weeks ago. His daughter Carly VanTassell told the paper, "He wasn't in any pain. ... He passed peacefully in his sleep."

Two prisoners who escaped from the Clinton Correctional Facility in northern New York last weekend are still on the loose. North Country Public Radio reports that at least 300 tips have come in so far, but authorities still have no idea where Richard Matt, 48, and David Sweat, 34, two convicted murderers, actually are.

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