Netflix is hoping that a deal it has struck with Comcast will mollify some of its unhappy customers. The company announced yesterday that it will pay to connect Comcast's broadband network more directly. That means Netflix customers should get faster, smoother access to programs like "House of Cards." The deal could serve as a model to help the company resolve disputes with other big Internet service providers.
The United States, hoping to avert economic chaos in Ukraine, is prepared to send financial support to supplement aid from the International Monetary Fund, the White House said on Monday.
"The United States, working with partners around the world, stands ready to provide support for Ukraine as it takes the reforms it needs to, to get back to economic stability," White House spokesman Jay Carney told a news briefing.
Drug cartel leader Joaquin Guzman, known as "El Chapo," was formally charged on Monday with violating drug trafficking laws in Mexico. While officials celebrate his capture, many in his home state of Sinaloa — who viewed the kingpin as a helper of the poor and a keeper of the peace — are not as pleased.
And to hear how the Russians view events in Ukraine, we turn now to Andranik Migranyan. He's a political scientist and director of the Institute for Democracy and Cooperation. That's a Russian-funded think tank in New York with close ties to Russia's leadership. Welcome to the program once again, Mr. Migranyan.
ANDRANIK MIGRANYAN: Yeah, thank you for having me.
SIEGEL: And first, who in Russian eyes is considered legitimate to lead Ukraine at this point?
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel. Last week, Viktor Yanukovych was Ukraine's head of state. Today, he's a wanted fugitive. The acting interior minister issued a warrant for his arrest on charges of mass murder. Yanukovych's main backer, meanwhile, is stepping up its criticism of the upheaval that has swept through Ukraine.
It wasn't so long ago that for someone to video your image and record your voice required a crew; a cameraman, a sound man, and maybe someone else who set up the lights. They probably worked for a television station and the likelihood of such a crew filming you was limited by the sheer expense of doing it.
Today, a child with a Smartphone, and maybe a mono-pod, can do what that crew did. And with streaming video and a Facebook page or a Twitter account, that kid can also do a lot of what the television station did.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
And we begin this hour with Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel's plan to cut the military. At the Pentagon today, he called for a smaller Army and Marine Corps. He also suggested grounding a vintage Cold War plane and asked troops to pay more for health care and other benefits. Hagel said his budget plan offers a new post-war vision for the Pentagon. But as NPR's Tom Bowman reports, it's a vision that veterans groups and many in Congress don't share.
For baby boomers, divorce has almost become, like marriage, another rite of passage. The post-World War II generation is setting new records for divorce: Americans over 50 are twice as likely to get divorced as people of that age were 20 years ago.
But just because it's more common, doesn't mean it's not still painful.
CNN has announced that it's canceling "Piers Morgan Live." The primetime show has suffered from weak ratings and controversy. Piers Morgan is British and a former tabloid editor and reality show judge. He was named three years ago to replace Larry King as CNN's most prominent interviewer. NPR's media correspondent David Folkenflik joins us from our New York bureau to sort through this. And first, David, why ultimately did Morgan fail? How would you characterize his approach?
Last night, the NBA's Jason Collins became the first openly gay man to play in any of this country's four major professional sports. Collins signed a 10-day contract with the Brooklyn Nets yesterday. And a few hours later, he made his debut as a backup center in a game against the Los Angeles Lakers.
NPR's Nate Rott was at the game in L.A. and he has this report.
With digital cameras and camera phones everywhere, there are few moments we don't document. But some designers still think we're missing the opportunity to capture some important, simple moments. The solution: the Narrative Clip, a wearable camera that automatically and silently snaps an image every 30 seconds.
When it comes to political discourse, Twitter chatter splits along liberal and conservative lines that rarely cross, according to a new report.
The Pew Research Center and the Social Media Research Foundation together used software to map and analyze words, hashtags and urls that define Twitter conversation. The results show that when the nature of a conversation on Twitter is political, two distinct and polarized groups tend to form.
Pope Francis on Monday announced a sweeping overhaul – the first in 25 years — of the Vatican's bureaucracy, creating a new economic secretariat,
NPR's Sylvia Poggioli reported on the story for our Newscast unit:
"The department will have broad powers to oversee all the Vatican's economic and administrative affairs. It will be headed by Australian Cardinal George Pell, archbishop of Sydney. Pell will report to a new 15-member economy council made up of eight cardinals from various parts of the world and seven lay experts.
Originally published on Tue February 25, 2014 3:44 pm
Runners trying to reach home plate — and the catchers who often try to block them — will have to follow new rules that are meant to cut the risk of injuries from collisions, after Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association agreed on changing the rules Monday.
The change would take effect in the upcoming 2014 season. In announcing the new rule today, MLB called it "experimental." Here's the summary it provided:
Ugandan President Yoweri Musaveni signed a controversial bill Monday that makes gay sex punishable by terms of up to life in prison, and accused Western groups of "coming into our schools and recruiting young children into homosexuality and lesbianism."
NPR's Gregory Warner reported on the story for our Newscast unit. Here's what he said:
Originally published on Tue February 25, 2014 5:46 am
Eighty percent of college students say they drink, despite laws making it illegal for anyone under 21 to drink alcohol. Critics of that drinking age say that lowering it would reduce binge drinking and alcohol-related deaths.
But that might be wishful thinking, a study says. Researchers from Boston University reviewed scientific literature published since 2006 and concluded keeping the legal drinking age at 21 reduces rates of drunk driving and crashes, and reduces rates of underage drinking.
Investigative reporter Julia Angwin was curious what Google knew about her, so she asked the company for her search data. "It turns out I had been doing about 26,000 Google searches a month ... and I was amazed at how revealing they were," she tells Fresh Air's Dave Davies.
The members of Vertical Scratchers don't have to pretend: They are free spirits, making music that is at once tightly composed, whimsical and anarchic.
The vocals on a Vertical Scratchers song tend to be high-pitched and yearning. John Schmersal creates harmonies from his vocal tracks that have a keening romanticism. His guitar lines are a series of slashed chords — vertical scratching, and thus the band's name. At the same time, there's a compressed intensity to the tunes, which uncoil with a snap, again and again.
Actor and playwright Kwame Kwei-Armah was born in Britain to immigrant parents from Grenada. His dad worked as a factory worker and his mother worked three jobs to send him to private school in the hope he would become a lawyer. "She wanted me to contribute to the upliftment of my community," he tells NPR's Michel Martin.
In 2003, he became the first black Briton to stage a play in London's prestigious West End theater district with his award-winning piece "Elmina's Kitchen." The play tackled gun crime, displacement and racism in East London.
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. The Winter Olympics games closed yesterday with a spectacular display of fireworks, dance and music, including a thousand children singing the Russian national anthem.
Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 12:22 pm
NPR Books and Code Switch are winding down Black History Month in style: We've asked three of our favorite comic artists to illustrate something — a person, a poem, a play, a book, a song — that inspires them. Afua Richardson is an award-winning illustrator who's worked for Image, Marvel and DC Comics. She's chosen Langston Hughes' great poem "The Negro Speaks of Rivers." And you can see Richardson's video, created from these panels, here.
Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 1:37 pm
The leader of an influential Justice Department office that offers legal advice on surveillance, drones and other issues at the center of security and executive power quietly left government before Christmas.