Eurovision attracts more viewers than the Super Bowl. And yet, a lot of Americans have scarcely heard of it. Probably more people know that BJ Leiderman does our theme music. Winners of this pan-European song contest generally become one-hit wonders, if even that, and even more rarely do they make a name for themselves over here. But Sidsel Overgaard reports there have been a few exceptions. The most notable, the band that won 40 years ago this weekend.
SIDSEL OVERGAARD, BYLINE: First it helps to understand what came before ABBA.
Willie Perdomo's third collection of poems is sonically charged: he celebrates his Puerto Rican heritage and the music that came out of the Puerto Rican community in New York by narrating the imagined life of Shorty Bon Bon, the percussionist of a descarga (jamming) salsa band in the 1960s and '70s. The character is partly inspired by Perdomo's real-life uncle, who played percussion on two of Charlie Palmieri's '70s recordings.
Iran's reported decision to name Hamid Aboutalebi as its ambassador to the United Nations has ignited anger in the U.S. That's because the diplomat was part of the student group that held Americans hostage in 1979. Now, dozens of lawmakers are urging the Obama administration to deny him a visa.
It's the latest sign of just how difficult it will be for Washington and Tehran to overcome decades of mistrust.
Writing a biography of John Updike is a tricky thing: The acclaimed American writer of elegant essays and elegiac novels and short stories may have been a genius, but he was also disconcertingly normal. He liked to drink, but wasn't a drunk; he had two marriages, but wasn't a womanizer; he could be wistful, but rarely depressed. He was a straight, white, Christian man who liked golf.
This week, the federal government announced a record-breaking $5 billion settlement in a remarkable environmental case. The toxic legacy of the company involved, Kerr-McGee, stretches back 85 years and includes scores of sites across the country.
Kerr-McGee ran uranium mines in the Navajo Nation, wood-treating businesses across the Midwest and East Coast, and a perchlorate plant on a tributary of Lake Mead, the nation's largest reservoir — and it was messy.
Originally published on Mon April 7, 2014 11:46 am
This, I would think, should be self-evident: Generally speaking, big creatures eat smaller creatures that, in turn, eat even smaller creatures, like this ...
And just as obviously, one would expect the food chain to be pyramid-shaped: a few big creatures at the top eating more middle-sized creatures in the middle, that eat many, many, many little creatures at the bottom, like so:
Kurt Cobain died 20 years ago today. It's hardly news. You've probably already seen plenty of tributes to his career and what might have been, along with, perhaps, a criticism of the impulse to memorialize his death simply because it's been a round number of years since the event.
Afghan Election: NPR's Sean Carberry Reports From Kabul
Millions of Afghans lined up to vote for a new president Saturday, despite warnings of violence from the Taliban.
Saturday's historic vote begins what would be the first democratic transfer of power for Afghanistan; President Hamid Karzai has served for two terms and is not allowed to run for a third under the country's constitution.
The Taliban launched a number of attacks that killed dozens in the weeks before the election, but no major violence was reported after polls opened Saturday.
We've invited comedian Amy Schumer to play a game called "Play ball!" It's the first week of baseball season, so we'll ask three questions about the House of David baseball team — one of the weirdest and most religious teams in the history of the game.
Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
Now on to our final game - Lightning fill in the blank. Each of our players will have 60 seconds in which to answer as many fill in the blank questions as he or she can. Each correct answer now worth two points. Carl can you give us the scores?
CARL KASELL, BYLINE: Roxanne Roberts has the lead, Peter, she has four points. Paula Poundstone has three, P.J. O'Rourke has two.
Coming up, its Lightning Fill in the Blank. But first, it's the game where you have to listen for the rhyme. If you'd like to play on-air, call or leave a message at one 1-888-WAIT-WAIT. That is 1-888-924-8924 or click the Contact Us link on our website, WaitWait.NPR.org. You can find out there about attending our weekly live shows right here at the Chase Bank Auditorium in Chicago.
A federal judge dismissed (pdf) a case that challenged the Obama administration's targeted killing of three Americans in Yemen.
Nasser Al-Awlaki sued administration officials personally for the killing of his son and al-Qaida cleric Anwar Al-Awlaki, his grandson and another American. His lawyers argued the administration violated the targets' constitutional right to due process and protection from unlawful search and seizures.
Mike Neal gets annoyed when he talks about politicians in his state. Just three years ago, when the Common Core State Standards for education were implemented, no one had a problem with them, says Neal, president of the Tulsa, Okla., Regional Chamber of Commerce.
"It's been a really frustrating situation to the business community in Oklahoma in that we've all been on the same page, from the governor, the House, the Senate, school board members," Neal says. "They've all been behind this."
McDonald's, citing the "evolving situation" in Crimea, said Friday it was closing its three restaurants on the Black Sea peninsula, but the move has prompted one prominent Moscow politician to call for the fast-food giant to be booted from all of Russia.
"Due to operational reasons beyond our control, McDonald's has taken the decision to temporarily close our three restaurants in Simferopol, Sevastopol and Yalta," a spokeswoman said.
The mental health of the alleged Fort Hood shooter was "not the direct precipitating factor," Lt. Gen. Mark Milley said during a televised press conference on Friday.
An "escalating argument in his unit" may have led Spc. Iván López, who was being treated for depression and evaluated for post-traumatic stress disorder, to allegedly open fire, killing three soldiers and injuring more than a dozen.
Former President George W. Bush worked with many world leaders while in office. Now, he's unveiling 24 portraits he painted of some of them. As Lauren Silverman of KERA reports, the exhibit will be at his new presidential library.
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As winter loosens its grip, employers are taking on more help.
Hotels, bars and restaurants added 33,000 workers, while retailers tacked on 21,000 jobs in March, the Labor Department said Friday. Economists say those increases suggest employers are growing more confident that Americans will be spending more this year.