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Music Interviews
3:10 pm
Wed December 5, 2012

For One Day, NPR Gets A House Band: Los Straitjackets

Los Straitjackets' members rehearse in NPR's Studio 4A.
Christopher Parks NPR

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 5:00 pm

We call them "buttons" and "deadrolls" — and, less cryptically, "breaks" — but most NPR listeners know them as the interstitial music spots that pepper NPR's newsmagazines. They add shading, mood, energy and other nonverbal context to our stories.

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Middle East
2:59 pm
Wed December 5, 2012

Israel, Christians Negotiate The Price Of Holy Water

Patriarch Theophilos III, the Greek Orthodox patriarch of Jerusalem (center), splashes holy water toward worshippers after the washing of the feet ceremony in front of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem in 2009, during Easter celebrations. A crisis was narrowly averted recently when the church's $2.3 million water bill was waived.
Gali Tibbon AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri December 14, 2012 8:13 am

One of the holiest sites in Christendom has also been one of the most contested. The Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem lies on the site where Jesus Christ is said to have been crucified and buried.

Multiple Christian denominations share the church uneasily, and clerics sometimes come to blows over the most minor of disputes. The Roman Catholic, Greek Orthodox, Armenian Apostolic, Coptic Orthodox, Ethiopian Orthodox and the Syriac Orthodox all have a presence in the church.

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Movies
2:44 pm
Wed December 5, 2012

Revisiting, Reappraising Cimino's 'Heaven's Gate'

Jeff Bridges as John L. Bridges, Isabelle Huppert as Ella Watson and Kris Kristofferson as James Averill in the 1980 Western Heaven's Gate, a director's cut of which was released in November.
Criterion Collection

Originally published on Fri December 7, 2012 8:38 am

The director Francois Truffaut once remarked that it takes as much time and energy to make a bad movie as to make a good one. He was right, but I would add one thing: It takes extraordinary effort to make a truly memorable flop.

The best example is Heaven's Gate, the hugely expensive 1980 movie by Michael Cimino that is the most famous cinematic disaster of my lifetime. It's part of that film's legend that it not only took down a studio, United Artists, but was the nail in the coffin of Hollywood's auteur filmmaking of the 1970s.

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The Two-Way
2:31 pm
Wed December 5, 2012

As Two States Legalize Pot, Tommy Chong Isn't Nostalgic About The Old Days

Tommy Chong.
Jason Merritt Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 8:11 pm

  • From 'All Things Considered': Tommy Chong talks with Audie Cornish

With Washington state set to legalize possession of small amounts of marijuana just after midnight tonight, and Colorado set to decriminalize pot next month, All Things Considered today turned to "stoner" comic Tommy Chong to get his perspective.

Needless to say, the half Asian half of Cheech and Chong is very happy. He's planning to move to both states, Chong joked.

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The Two-Way
2:05 pm
Wed December 5, 2012

Activists Tell Damascus Residents To Prepare For The 'Zero Hour'

A Syrian soldier aims his rifle during clashes with rebel forces in the Damascus suburb of Daraya on Sunday. The recent fighting around Damascus has raised fears of a looming battle for control of the capital.
HOPD AP/SANA

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 2:14 pm

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The Two-Way
1:30 pm
Wed December 5, 2012

Socialism, Capitalism: Merriam-Webster's Odd-Couple Words Of The Year

A demonstrator carries a sign calling people to "resist" President Barack Obama perceived socialist policies during a march of supporters of the conservative Tea Party movement in Washington.
Nicholas Kamm AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 8:12 pm

The dictionary Merriam-Webster has declared an incongruous pair their words of the year: Socialism and capitalism.

"There's no surprise there that politics was in people's minds," the dictionary's Editor-at-large Peter Sokolowski told CBS News when making the announcement.

Sokolowski said that the dictionary, which bases its decision on what people are looking up in their online edition, chose two words for the first time because they trended together.

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Shots - Health News
12:41 pm
Wed December 5, 2012

Turning Vaccine Refusals Into A Teachable Moment

Kimberly Magdeleno, 4, braces herself for a whooping cough booster shot at a health clinic in Tacoma, Wash., in May.
Ted S. Warren AP

Originally published on Thu December 6, 2012 4:01 pm

More and more parents who object to vaccination aren't getting their children immunized, leading to outbreaks of measles, whooping cough and other diseases.

Some states have responded by making it much harder for parents to get exemptions from required vaccinations based on their personal beliefs.

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The Two-Way
12:41 pm
Wed December 5, 2012

VIDEO: No Stupid Pet Trick; In New Zealand, Some Dogs Learn To Drive

Porter, a 10-month-old Beardie Cross, behind the wheel.
Facebook.com/Drivingdogs

We have to admit we were skeptical.

And we wouldn't want to look over in traffic and see Fido cruising by.

But the stories from New Zealand about how the SPCA there is teaching three dogs to drive (sort-of) have some must-see video. Check out what Monty, Ginny and Porter are learning to do. They've learned to respond to some verbal commands that allow them to move a Mini Countryman around a bit.

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The Two-Way
11:22 am
Wed December 5, 2012

Legendary Jazz Musician Dave Brubeck Dies

Dave Brubeck performs along with his Dave Brubeck Quartet in November 2005.
Timm Schamberger AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 6, 2012 10:36 am

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The Two-Way
11:10 am
Wed December 5, 2012

VIDEO: Missouri Bridge Blows Up Real Good (On Purpose)

Boom! The westbound side of Missouri's Blanchette Bridge went down Tuesday.
Missouri Department of Transportation

We're little kids when it comes to watching things blow up.

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History
11:04 am
Wed December 5, 2012

Buying Freedom Through Dressmaking

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 11:30 am

The new movie 'Lincoln' explores the last months of Abraham Lincoln's life and sheds light on prominent figures of the time. One lesser-known person is former slave Elizabeth Keckley. She became a close confidante to Mary Todd Lincoln. Host Michel Martin speaks with professor Clarence Lusane about Keckley's contributions to American history.

Education
11:04 am
Wed December 5, 2012

Grading Kids On Race

Some public schools across the U.S. are setting different standards for students based on their race. The goal is to cut the achievement gap in half. Host Michel Martin speaks with Emily Richmond, of the Education Writers Association, about criticisms to this approach.

Economy
11:04 am
Wed December 5, 2012

How Helpful Is Extending Unemployment Benefits?

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 11:30 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, for years now we've been talking about ways to close the achievement gap. Now some states are asking to set standards based on race. You can imagine why this is controversial. So we'll try to learn more about this in just a few minutes.

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The Two-Way
10:11 am
Wed December 5, 2012

China's Communists Declare War ... On Boring Meetings

Must ... stay .... awake: A Chinese paramilitary police officer yawns and his colleagues fall asleep while then-President Hu Jintao delivers a speech at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, Dec. 18, 2008.
Andy Wong AP

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 8:14 pm

Suffer from insomnia? The droning rhythm of a Chinese Communist official reading a work report out loud will likely do the trick.

It certainly does for many party members: Just 10 minutes into any party meeting, look down the serried ranks of the attendees, and you'll spot the dozers and snoozers, napping away, heads lolling lazily toward their neighbors.

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The Two-Way
10:09 am
Wed December 5, 2012

Citigroup Cutting 11,000 Jobs, Taking $1.1 Billion In Charges

Chris Hondros Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 1:48 pm

Saying it needs to "further reduce expenses and improve efficiency across the company," Citigroup announced today that it is eliminating about 11,000 jobs — 4 percent of its global workforce.

The banking giant also said it is expects to take "pre-tax charges of approximately $1 billion in the fourth quarter of 2012 and approximately $100 million of related charges in the first half of 2013."

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