On this edition of All Songs Considered we've got a bunch of new-year premieres for you, including a special collaboration between Tom Waits and Keith Richards. The two veteran musicians recorded a song together for a new compilation album called Son Of Rogue's Gallery, and we guarantee it's not at all what you'd expect. Do the word's "sea chantey" mean anything to you?
Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 7:22 am
Ali Harzi, the only person who had been known to be in custody in connection with last September's attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, has been released by authorities in his native Tunisia, the suspect's lawyer tell The Associated Press.
Since the publication of George Saunders' 1996 debut story collection, Civilwarland in Bad Decline, journalists and scholars have been trying to figure out how to describe his writing. Nobody has come very close. The short story writer and novelist has been repeatedly called "original," which is true as far as it goes — but it doesn't go nearly far enough. Saunders blends elements of science fiction, horror and humor writing into his trademark brand of literary fiction.
The wolf is called OR7 because he was the seventh gray wolf in Oregon outfitted with a GPS tracking collar. Unlike most gray wolves, he strayed far from home, to California, where he's roamed thousands of miles.
The fiscal cliff drama? Over. The Redskins' season? Kaput.
There's only one thing left. ScuttleButton.
ScuttleButton, of course, is that once-a-week waste of time exercise in which each Monday or Tuesday I put up a vertical display of buttons on this site. Your job is to simply take one word (or concept) per button, add 'em up, and, hopefully, you will arrive at a famous name or a familiar expression. (And seriously, by familiar, I mean it's something that more than one person on Earth would recognize.)
Let's hear now two critical views of the foreign policy and national security team that President Obama is assembling for his second term. Yesterday, the president nominated his longtime aide John Brennan as director of the CIA. He named Chuck Hagel, a former Republican senator, as secretary of Defense.
Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 5:25 am
Chuck Hagel would be the first Defense secretary to have worn the uniform of an enlisted man, and also the first to have fought in Vietnam. Hagel won two purple hearts, and still carries some of the scars and shrapnel from that war. Obama says that makes him the kind of Pentagon leader that U.S. troops deserve.
Some of the biggest banks in the country have agreed to pay more than $18 billion to settle allegations of wrongdoing in their mortgage lending. And in a separate settlement, 10 banks agreed to pay more than $8 billion to settle claims they made errors in foreclosing on people's homes.
Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 4:51 am
Federal officials along with investigators from Boeing are trying to determine what caused a fire to break out on a new 787 jet parked at the Boston airport Monday. The fire, in an auxiliary power unit, is just the latest in a string of electrical systems problems on Boeing's flagship airplane.
Samsung Electronics announced profits of more than $8 billion for the final quarter of 2012. Samsung's Japanese competitor Sony unveiled a water resistant smartphone at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
In Australia, McDonald's is nicknamed Macca. Executives of the burger chain are allowing some McDonald's restaurants there to change their signs to read "Macca's." But the change is only temporary, in honor of Australia Day later this month.
Kodak cameras and related products will be back in the marketplace this year, but they won't be made my Kodak. The photo pioneer stopped making digital cameras about a year ago. Now it is licensing its name to another camera maker.
This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
And I'm Steve Inskeep. The good news for Notre Dame fans is that they should be well rested this morning. They had no reason to stay up late last night. Alabama took the fight out of the Irish, 42-14, defeating the previously undefeated team and winning the BCS championship. NPR's Tom Goldman was at the game in Miami.
Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 5:28 am
On Monday, Morning Edition explored crime rates in Chicago and how the murder rate went up in 2012. That was against national trends and even against Chicago's long-range decline in crime. We discussed police focus on "hot spots," and the dissolution of gangs. But listeners asked: What about gun bans?
President Obama and Afghan President Hamid Karzai greet each other during a May 20 meeting at the NATO Summit in Chicago. Karzai is in Washington, D.C., this week to meet Obama and other senior U.S. officials.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai is in Washington this week for meetings with President Obama and other senior administration officials. The talks are expected to help set the framework for U.S. involvement in Afghanistan after the bulk of American and NATO forces leave at the end of 2014. One of the key issues to be discussed is the number of American troops to remain in Afghanistan after that date.
Liza Colon-Zayas plays a troubled character named Odessa Ortiz, who finds her better self online. She's pictured above with Bill Heck, as Fountainhead.
Credit Richard Termine /
Quiara Alegria Hudes' Pulitzer Prize-winning drama, Water by the Spoonful, opens off-Broadway on Tuesday. Above, Bill Heck as Fountainhead and Frankie R. Faison as Chutes & Ladders in the play, directed by Davis McCallum.
Credit Richard Termine /
Armando Riesco's character Elliot was inspired by Hudes' cousin, also named Elliot. Riesco has played Elliot throughout the trilogy. He's pictured above in Water by the Spoonful with Zabryna Guevara, who plays Yazmin Ortiz.
The cliche about writers is they should write what they know, and that old saw has certainly worked for Quiara Alegria Hudes. The 35-year-old playwright has mined her Puerto Rican family's stories into a series of plays, a musical and even a children's book. Now, her Pulitzer Prize-winning drama, Water by the Spoonful, is being brought to life in the first New York production of the play, opening off-Broadway on Tuesday evening.
A supporter of Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez holds a heart-shaped sign that reads in Spanish "I vote for Chavez!" and a picture of Chavez outside the National Assembly in Caracas over the weekend. On Thursday, Chavez is scheduled to be sworn in for a fourth term. Government officials are suggesting the ceremony could be delayed as the president recovers from cancer surgery in Cuba.
In the Bolivar Plaza of downtown Caracas, supporters of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez arrive carrying photographs of their leader and singing songs urging him on. Music blares from loudspeakers, repeating over and over, "Chavez, my commander, is here to stay."
Chavez, however, is most definitely not here, and increasingly many Venezuelans wonder if he'll ever be back. He flew to Cuba, Venezuela's closest ally, for an operation that took place on Dec. 11. Before leaving for his fourth cancer surgery, Chavez named a successor.
A Shell Oil drilling rig has been pulled of the rocks, where it washed up a week ago during a storm. It has been towed to a bay where divers will inspect it for damage. The incident raises questions about the oil company's controversial plans to continue exploring for oil in the Arctic Ocean this summer.
Originally published on Mon January 7, 2013 4:57 pm
For the third straight year, spending on health care in 2011 grew at a historically slow rate, government researchers report.
According to a study published in the January issue of the policy journal Health Affairs, U.S. health spending rose 3.9 percent in 2011. That's statistically almost identical to the rate of increase in each of the two previous years.
This month marks the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the famed and widely cited case that legalized abortion. Yet across the country, states are continuing to approve restrictions.
With little fanfare, Virginia and Michigan Republican governors recently signed new abortion bills into law. Virginia's Bob McDonnell, in particular, quietly approved clinic regulations adopted by the state's Board of Health three months ago that hold abortion clinics to the same building standards as hospitals.
What's the coolest new gadget at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week? It's too soon to tell. But I have an early favorite for the title of oddest new gadget: the HAPIfork and HAPIspoon. They may sound like characters from a nursery rhyme, but this fork and spoon connect to the Internet and can monitor and record how you eat.
The HAPI utensils measure how long your meals last, how long you pause between each bite and how many mouthfuls of food you consume.