One hopes, at an event of nebulous actual significance like the opening ceremonies of any Olympics, for a single moment that can tease out the specific weirdness of that event. You need something, some nut, some bit, that can demonstrate to people in a single flash what it was like for a bunch of people to pay attention to something even though arguably nothing happened.
Originally published on Fri February 7, 2014 6:31 pm
A federal jury has found Mayor Tony F. Mack of Trenton, N.J., guilty of six charges ranging from extortion and bribery to fraud. Mack's brother was also convicted of conspiracy and bribery charges in the case, which involved plans for a parking garage.
The Justice Department announced the jury's ruling Friday evening. In a news release about the verdict, U.S. Attorney Fishman said that Mack and his brother, Ralphiel, had schemed to use the influence of the mayor's office to extract money in exchange for easing development on city-owned land. Their trial lasted five weeks.
If you want to know what Elvis' fur lampshade looks like, you can go to Graceland, but if you want to know what Elvis was really like, you have to read Peter Guralnick's classic two-volume biography of the King.
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: Roxanne Roberts has the lead, Peter. She has four points. Tom Bodett and Paula Poundstone are tied for second. Each has two.
Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 7:42 am
Norovirus isn't just a problem for cruise ships.
The Mohonk Mountain House, a historic resort on the edge of Catskills in New York, closed Friday afternoon so that cleaning crews from a company that specializes in disaster responses can scour the place after an outbreak of intestinal illness. The cleanup is expected to take a week.
Hundreds of people, both guests and staff, were reportedly sickened in the last week or so.
For crews fighting wildfires, the ability to get accurate information quickly is crucial. A breakdown in communication was one factor in a fire that killed 19 firefighters in Arizona last year, and in the deaths of two Florida firefighters in Arizona in 2011.
Florida officials hope to address some of those communication problems with a new tracking system designed to keep tabs on crews in the field.
The death of the brilliant actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, killed by an apparent heroin overdose at the age of 46, is a frightening reminder of the torture that is addiction. After a bout with drugs when he was younger, Hoffman was clean for two decades. But he started taking prescription pain pills in 2012 and checked into a rehab program last year. On Sunday he was found dead in a Manhattan apartment, along with dozens of small envelopes of drugs.
President Obama's plan to bypass roadblocks in Congress and govern through executive order isn't going over well on Capitol Hill. Republican lawmakers are demanding to see the legal justification for some of the president's decisions on healthcare and the minimum wage. NPR's Carrie Johnson has that story.
Melissa Block speaks with our regular political commentators, E.J. Dionne of The Washington Post and Brookings Institution and David Brooks of The New York Times about the lackluster January jobs report, the debate surrounding a new report from Congressional Budget Office and the renewed debate over immigration policy.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.
AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:
And I'm Audie Cornish. And we'll begin the hour with the latest snapshot of the American economy. Once again, the news is mostly disappointing. Employers added a scant 113,000 jobs to payrolls last month. That's the second straight month where hiring fell far below expectations. On the other hand, the unemployment rate fell slightly and a good number of people who've been out of work for a long time found jobs.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
And I'm Melissa Block. The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court is beginning an investigation of possible war crimes in Central African Republican and we're going to check in now on the latest state of horrific sectarian violence in that country. Thousands of Muslims filled an enormous convoy of vehicles today fleeing the capital city of Bangui.
The 2014 Winter Games officially kick off today. And we're going to spend a few minutes to talk about the driving force behind them, Russian President Vladimir Putin. He's been in power since Russia began bidding for the games back in 2005, and he's made it a mission to bring them to Sochi. NPR's Corey Flintoff is on the line with us from Sochi to talk about why these games are so important to the man at the top. Hi there, Corey.
Ross William Ulbricht, the accused proprietor of a shadowy online marketplace that specialized in illegal transactions, has plead not guilty in a Manhattan court to drug trafficking, computer hacking, money laundering and running a continuing criminal conspiracy.
A trial for Ulbricht, who allegedly ran the now-defunct Silk Road, has been set for Nov. 3.
Originally published on Fri February 7, 2014 5:32 pm
Baseball super star Alex Rodriguez dropped a federal lawsuit against Major League Baseball and its players union that challenged a 162-game suspension.
The federal lawsuit was the Yankees third baseman's last chance at trying to overturn the unprecedented punishment handed down by the league over allegations that Rodriguez used performance-enhancing drugs and then tried to scuttle an investigation into his use of the drugs.
Originally published on Fri February 7, 2014 6:31 pm
In politics, it always comes down to timing. And right now, it appears the timing just isn't right for congressional Republicans to take up an immigration overhaul.
If you read between the lines, that's what Speaker John Boehner was saying when he talked earlier in the week about how "difficult" the immigration issue is. And it's what GOP Sen. Mitch McConnell was saying when he indicated earlier in the week that he didn't see immigration overhaul happening this year at all.
Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 9:22 am
It's been a big week for distressing and important news about women and stroke.
Thursday saw the first-ever guidelines for prevention of stroke in women. They pointed out that women are more likely than men to have strokes. Young women are vulnerable because of pregnancy and birth control pills.
And when women do have strokes, they fare less well than men โ even a year later, according to a study published Friday in the journal Neurology.
Pianist Cedar Walton rode high on the cresting wave of '60s hard bop. He performed with Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers and in Lee Morgan's band, and was house pianist at Prestige Records. Walton died in August 2013.
In this 1980 session, he performs his tune "N.P.S." and duets with host Marian McPartland in "Lover Man."
We get a lot of mail at NPR Music, and amid the Bachelor Bouquets we ordered ourselves in order to appear loved is a slew of smart questions about how music fits into our lives โ and, this week, thoughts on music to play at a dance for nervous, flirtatious teenagers.
Originally published on Fri February 7, 2014 1:57 pm
Stephen Kim, a former State Department contractor who leaked classified material to Fox News, has agreed to plead guilty to one count of unauthorized disclosure of secret government information, his lawyer told U.S. District judge on Friday.
NPR's Carrie Johnson reports:
"Under a deal with prosecutors Kim has agreed to serve 13 months in prison but the agreement must be approved by a judge. If the deal is approved the investigation will end - meaning no more charges against anyone else including Fox reporter James Rosen."
Originally published on Fri February 7, 2014 1:32 pm
George Clooney's TheMonuments Men tells the largely true story of a squad of art experts who, near the end of World War II, are assigned to protect the masterworks of European society from Nazi theft and Allied bombardment. You'll notice those are two separate goals.