National & World News from NPR

Pages

Arts & Life
12:30 pm
Thu November 15, 2012

Kushner's 'Lincoln' Is Strange, But Also Savvy

Tony Kushner based his screenplay for Lincoln in part on Doris Kearns Goodwin's biography of the president, Team of Rivals — but he read many other histories and biographies, in addition to Lincoln's own writings.
DreamWorks/Twentieth Century Fox

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 11:41 am

Tony Kushner spent years writing the screenplay for Steven Spielberg's film Lincoln, but that wasn't the only heavy lifting he had to do. It also took some effort to overcome Daniel Day-Lewis' reluctance to play the title role.

"I wanted to write to him and say, 'Daniel, apart from the fact that you're like one of the greatest actors ever, look in the mirror. God is trying to tell you something — you look like Abraham Lincoln!" Kushner tells Fresh Air's Dave Davies.

Read more
Arts & Life
12:18 pm
Thu November 15, 2012

In Rural China, New Leaders Aren't Familiar Faces

Wang Heying, 64, supports the new Communist leaders, even if she can barely name them. She says government policies have led street lamps, bigger houses and a TV in every home.
Frank Langfitt NPR

Originally published on Fri November 16, 2012 10:55 am

An elderly couple is winnowing rice in the front yard of their home in the tiny village of Dongjianggai, about 200 miles northwest of Shanghai. They've just watched China's incoming leaders — including Xi Jinping, the new general secretary of the Communist Party — appear for the first time on national TV.

"We don't know them," the husband, Wu Beiling, says. "Xi Jinping was just unveiled. I'm not very familiar with the rest of the members."

Read more
Arts & Life
11:42 am
Thu November 15, 2012

A Military Boot Camp For Your Money

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Switching gears now, we've all heard about how veterans leave the military with lifelong lessons about discipline, camaraderie and staying cool under fire, but our next guest says his military service also helped him with his finances.

Steve Repak is a veteran who is now a certified financial planner. He says he's applied what he learned in the Army to apply discipline to his finances. He's written a book to share what he learned. It's called "Dollars and Uncommon Sense: Basic Training for Your Money," and he's with us now.

Read more
Politics & Government
11:38 am
Thu November 15, 2012

Did The President Set The Right Tone?

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. In a few minutes, we will speak with the winner of the prestigious National Book Award for Nonfiction, author Katherine Boo. She was honored for her book about the people in a neighborhood in Mumbai, and she'll tell us more about it in a few minutes.

Read more
Arts & Life
11:26 am
Thu November 15, 2012

Israel, Hamas Battle Becomes A Twitter War

Palestinians try to extinguish fire following an Israeli air strike on Wednesday in Gaza City.
Mohammed Abed AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun November 18, 2012 8:22 am

In their long conflict, the Israelis and the Palestinians often fight just as fiercely on the propaganda front as they do on the battlefield. Social media is taking the clash to new heights with both sides taking the unprecedented steps of announcing military operations in almost real time.

Read more
Arts & Life
11:08 am
Thu November 15, 2012

BP's $4 Billion Criminal Penalty: Who Gets The Money?

July 2010: Two pelicans sit on booms protecting Queen Bess Island, La., from oil that spilled after the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded in April.
Chris Graythen Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 15, 2012 1:37 pm

(We updated this post with more details at 2:25 p.m. ET. Scroll down to see them.)

Now that BP has pleaded guilty and agreed to pay $4 billion in criminal penalties for misconducted related to the 2010 Gulf Oil spill, there's a logical question:

Where does the money go?

Read more
Business & Education
11:08 am
Thu November 15, 2012

Postal Service Reports Record $15.9 Billion Loss

An employee loads flat trays onto a truck at the U.S. Postal Service processing and distribution center in Merrifield, Va.
Andrew Harrier Bloomberg via Getty Images

The United States Postal Service reported a record $15.9 billion loss in fiscal year 2012. That compares to a $5.1 billion loss last fiscal year.

Bloomberg reports that the postal service is forecast to run out of cash by Oct. 15, 2013 when it is scheduled to make a workers compensation payment to the Labor Department. The Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe painted a grim picture when he announced the loss.

Read more
Arts & Life
10:53 am
Thu November 15, 2012

Twitter Chat: States Face Deadline On Health Insurance Exchanges

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie listens to a question in Trenton, N.J., Tuesday. He has refused to tip his hand on whether New Jersey will set up a federally mandated health insurance exchange or let the federal government handle the chores.
Mel Evans AP

Originally published on Thu November 15, 2012 7:24 pm

Update 8:20 p.m: Late Thursday, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius extended the deadline until Dec. 14 for states to decide whether to run an exchange on their own.


Come Friday, states will have to decide whether they will run their own insurance exchanges under President Obama's sweeping health law.

These exchanges will be where people and small businesses go to shop for insurance.

Read more
Arts & Life
10:45 am
Thu November 15, 2012

New Syrian Opposition Group Gets Thumbs-Up From Facebook Users

Moaz al-Khatib, a Muslim cleric, is the leader of the newly formed opposition group, the Syrian National Coalition. The opposition is working to build support inside Syria through Facebook and other social media.
Karim Jaafar AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 15, 2012 12:02 pm

Facebook is the bulletin board for the Syrian revolt.

When a newly formed opposition group, the Syrian National Coalition, got some 18,000 "likes" within 48 hours, it was a sign that support is building for a group formed Sunday after a week of negotiations in Doha, Qatar.

Read more
It's All Politics
9:52 am
Thu November 15, 2012

Meet The New GOP, Same As The Old GOP?

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus rides the Mitt Romney campaign bus days before the presidential election. Despite Romney's loss and other GOP failures, Priebus, who helped the party raise huge sums of money in 2012, may seek a second term.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 15, 2012 3:16 pm

There has been no dearth of post-election Republican self-flagellation.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, on the eve of heading out to a meeting of Republican governors in Las Vegas, warned the GOP to "stop being the stupid party." At the gathering Wednesday night, he leveled more harsh criticism at party presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

Read more
Arts & Life
9:43 am
Thu November 15, 2012

A Peek Inside Rappers' Brains Shows Roots Of Improvisation

Some rappers have an impressive ability to make up lyrics on the fly, in a style known as freestyle rap.

These performers have a lot in common with jazz musicians, it turns out.

Scientists have found artists in both genres are using their brains in similar ways when they improvise.

Read more
Arts & Life
9:41 am
Thu November 15, 2012

Update: United Airlines Says It's Back In Operation

United Airlines jets in San Francisco earlier this year.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 15, 2012 10:08 am

Update at 11:05 a.m. ET: "Our system is up. We're resuming operations for affected flights," United Airlines says. There's no word yet on how long it will take to get everyone where they need to go.

Our original post:

If you're headed to the airport and planning to fly on United today, be aware:

Read more
The Two-Way
8:58 am
Thu November 15, 2012

What Are They Smoking In Seattle? Check Out Police Dept.'s Guide To Pot Use

A young cannabis plant at grows at The Joint Cooperative in Seattle, Washington Jan. 27.
Cliff DesPeaux Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri November 16, 2012 11:11 am

We love when police departments put some personality and pizzazz into their public statements.

So the Seattle Police Department's blog post headlined "Marijwhatnow? A Guide to Legal Marijuana Use In Seattle," definitely got our attention.

Read more
The Two-Way
7:56 am
Thu November 15, 2012

Superstorm Sandy Sends Jobless Claims Up Sharply

The line was long last week at a job fair in Chicago.
Scott Olson Getty Images

There were 439,000 first-time claims for unemployment insurance last week, up by 78,000 from the week before, the Employment and Training Administration says. Behind the big increase: Superstorm Sandy, which threw some people in the Mid-Atlantic onto the unemployment rolls and shut down state unemployment offices the week before — meaning that some claims were postponed into last week.

Read more
The Two-Way
7:20 am
Thu November 15, 2012

BP Pleads Guilty, Will Pay $4 Billion In Criminal Penalties For Gulf Oil Spill

The Deepwater Horizon oil rig burned on April 21, 2010.
U.S. Coast Guard Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 15, 2012 5:32 pm

Update at 11:30 a.m. ET: Oil giant BP has agreed to plead guilty to criminal misconduct related to the 2010 Gulf Oil spill and will pay a record $4 billion in criminal penalties, the company just confirmed. And it will pay $525 million in civil penalties in a resolution with the Securities and Exchanges Commission. BP will make the payments over six years.

Read more

Pages