When writer Tracy Chevalier looks at paintings, she imagines the stories behind them: How did the painter meet his model? What would explain that look in her eye? She shares the story of Vermeer's most famous painting that inspired her best-selling novel "Girl With a Pearl Earring."
Originally published on Fri September 20, 2013 8:24 am
"Joy Covey, who helped take Amazon.com Inc. public as the Internet retailer's chief financial officer, died Wednesday when her bicycle collided with a van on a downhill stretch of road in San Mateo County," the Los Angeles Times writes.
Originally published on Fri September 20, 2013 10:10 am
I won't lie to you. I love anthropomorphizing dogs. Maybe it's because I like dogs more than people, but need to believe they're somewhat human in order to sustain the kind of long conversations about life and music I have with my own yellow lab, Cornflake (not her real name), without feeling insane.
All of which is to say that when I saw this new video for the song "Boomerang" by Los Angeles singer Lucy Schwartz, I immediately fell in love.
The radically different Formula One racers James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth, left) and Niki Lauda (Daniel Bruhl) are at the center of Ron Howard's <em>Rush</em>, a biographical drama that's as strong on character as on cars.
Credit Jaap Buitendijk / Universal Pictures
Hunt's penchant for dangerous driving, as well as his playboy tendencies, fueled his rivalry with Lauda.
Originally published on Fri September 20, 2013 7:52 am
You might think that if the driving scenes in your auto-racing movie are the least interesting thing about it, that's a problem. But it's far from a sign of engine trouble for Rush, a swift-moving, character-rich biopic whose kinetic Grand Prix sequences are constantly being overshadowed by genuinely riveting scenes of ... people talking.
But then in a film written by Peter Morgan — of The Queen and Frost/Nixon -- maybe it's no wonder that questions like why they drive, why they want to win and who they want to beat take center stage.
This week's show finds me, Stephen, Trey and Glen together again in the studio, but due to a scheduling tweak, finds us in Historic Studio 45 instead of Historic Studio 44, so we hope you can all still follow the conversation.
Originally published on Fri September 20, 2013 9:06 am
Jessye Norman's commanding soprano voice makes her the quintessential operatic diva for many listeners. But she frequently draws inspirations from jazz: She ranks singers like Billie Holiday, Mabel Mercer and Sarah Vaughan high on her list of influences.
Good morning, I'm Renee Montagne with an update on a joking judge. Vince Sicari presided as a part-time judge in South Hackensack, until his moonlighting as standup comic and TV actor took center stage. Because some of his characters were racist and homophobic, the state ethics committee ruled that he had to choose between laughs and the law.
He appealed but yesterday, New Jersey's Supreme Court also said: Choose. And Sicari resigned from the bench.
It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
Good morning, I'm Steve Inskeep with news analysis by Vladimir Putin. Russia's president supports removing Syria's chemical weapons but denies Syria used them. And now, he's defending Silvio Berlusconi. The former Italian prime minister was convicted of paying for sex with a minor. And yesterday, Putin suggested Berlusconi was a victim of discrimination. He said Berlusconi was put on trial for living with women, and the prosecutors, quote, "wouldn't touch them if they were gay."
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
And I'm Steve Inskeep. Each recent mass shooting in this country has provoked an outpouring of sorrow - and cash: Sandy Hook Promise, the Aurora Victim Relief Fund, now the Navy Yard Relief Fund. What the shootings has not produced is a consensus about how to prevent future tragedies. Congress has been unable to pass gun safety laws for almost two decades.
The president of Sudan wants the U.S. to give him a visa so he can come to New York next week to attend the U.N. General Assembly. For most heads of state, no problem. But Omar al-Bashir faces arrest warrants from the International Criminal Court, accusing him of genocide and crimes against humanity in Sudan's Darfur region. So the question of whether to grant President Bashir a visa has put the U.S. in a diplomatic bind.
With us now is Colum Lynch. He covers the U.N. for The Washington Post and Foreign Policy.com. Good morning.
Hassan Rouhani ran on a promise of getting his country out from under the weight of sanctions, embargoes and other financial weapons from the West that have crippled that country's economy. Since taking office, he has been striking a more conciliatory note than his predecessor, especially toward the U.S. For more, Renee Montagne talks with Karim Sadjadpour of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
JPMorgan Chase will have to pay more than $900 million in fines for the way it handled the London Whale trading scandal. Last year, the company revealed that its traders in London had lost $6 billion, and then concealed the losses from executives.
While large fines aren't unusual, it is unusual that federal regulators forced the bank to admit to wrongdoing. But this is exactly what happened. NPR's Sonari Glinton has more.
Originally published on Fri September 20, 2013 4:47 am
Wells Fargo has told 1,800 employees their services will no longer be needed in the bank's mortgage unit. The bank already cut more than 2,000 jobs in that unit last month. Wells Fargo cites lower demand for refinancing because of higher mortgage rates.
German voters are expected to elect Chancellor Angela Merkel to a third term on Sunday. Now, if she wins, Merkel, who is a former physicist, will be on the path to becoming Europe's longest-serving female head of government. The prospect of another four years of Merkel unsettles many Europeans outside Germany. But she is respected at home. NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson sent us this profile from Berlin of the woman the German media call Mutti, or mommy of the nation.
Six months into his papacy, Pope Francis has stunned the Catholic world. In a long and blunt interview, the pope said that the Catholic Church should not be - as he put it - obsessed with abortion, contraception and gay marriage. The interview appeared yesterday in Jesuit journals across the world. NPR's Sylvia Poggioli joins us on the line from Rome. And Sylvia, do the pope's comments change church policies on issues of sexual morality?
A close view of the packaging of Grand Theft Auto V at the midnight opening at the HMV music store in London on Tuesday. It made history with a record $800 million in sales on its first day. This version continues to generate controversy over its glorification of violence, drugs and its demeaning portraits of women.
Grand Theft Auto made video game history this week: The latest version of the game had a record $800 million in sales on its first day. As with past versions, the game is generating controversy over its glorification of violence and drugs and its demeaning portrayal of women.
But around 15 percent of its fans are women, who find much to like about the game, even if they do have some ambivalence about it.
There's big money in fantasy sports. Last year, alone, people paid $1.7 billion to play in fantasy leagues. With all that money sloshing around, a fantasy economy has sprung up, giving rise to real businesses. Here are four of them.
The Insurance Company
Henry Olszewski founded Fantasy Sports Insurance in 2008 — the year the financial system nearly collapsed. And, more importantly, the year New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady suffered a serious hit to the knee.
The Republican-controlled House is set to vote Friday on a stopgap spending bill to keep the government open for business through the middle of December. And the White House has already said if it makes it to the president's desk, he'll veto it. That's because the bill also would defund the Affordable Care Act.
When Dan Miller was growing up, his family lived about a mile away from Wisconsin Rapids, Wisc. He had eight siblings and the family was poor. His father, Robert, supported them by working at Consolidated Papers Inc.
Want to visit Paris and Venice in the same afternoon?
You can, if you're in China.
Chinese developers have for years built residential communities that mimic famous European cities and towns. They are the subject of a new book, Original Copies: Architectural Mimicry in Contemporary China.