Actress Ziyi Zhang is probably best known for her roles in the Oscar-winning films Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Memoirs of a Geisha. Now she co-stars in a new film, The Grandmaster, where she plays a fierce martial artist who stops at nothing to protect her family's legacy. But she says she can "do better than just kicking ass." She can seriously act, too.
And now we continue our summer songs series. We've been talking to Gwen Thompkins - the host of Music Inside Out on WWNO in New Orleans - about current artists who reinterpret old classics. This week she tells us about musician Alex McMurray. He takes us on a little bit of time travel back to the heyday of the rock band Led Zeppelin. Welcome back, Gwen.
GWEN THOMPKINS, BYLINE: Thank you so much, Celeste. It's great to be back.
HEADLEE: So this song is an American version of a tune by a British band.
We turn now to another film, also about fighting, but this time, in and out of the ring. A new documentary celebrates one of the most recognizable athletes of all time, three-time heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali. He was as known for his gift of gab, as for his gift of jab.
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This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Celeste Headlee, Michel Martin is away. Coming up, we talk with actor Ziyi Zhang about her latest film "The Grandmaster," and women in kung fu. That's in a moment. But we start our program today in Florida. At least 20 children who were on the radar of child protective services have died there since April, that's according to an investigation by the Miami Herald. And the question of course is, why and how do we stop more deaths from occurring?
It might have seemed unthinkable just a few weeks ago, but today in Egypt, former President Hosni Mubarak was released from prison. Mubarak ruled the country as a police state for almost 30 years, but had been behind bars since the 2011 popular uprising centered in Tahrir Square, Cairo. He's still not a free man, though. Judges have ordered him kept under house arrest.
Iowa City librarian Jason Paulios reviews recently donated CDs. Paulios says donations of old music give the library greater freedom to purchase new stuff, as well as license digital versions directly from smaller artists.
Iowa City librarian Jason Paulios pulls out his smartphone, enters his library-card number and begins downloading an album by local metal band Blizzard at Sea.
"So it's extracting now," he says, eyes on the screen. "It's at about 90 percent."
The download takes about five minutes to complete. Paulios says it's a great way to check out local music: You could be waiting for a concert to start, download an album by the band you're about to see and then listen to it on the way home.
<strong>Prehistoric Deer Stew?</strong> A fragment of pottery found in Neustadt, Germany, is coated in the microscopic remains of crushed mustard seeds and roasted fish and ruminant meat, possibly deer. This shard dates back to about 5,900 years ago.
It takes a bit longer than a full minute before Berkeley, California-based artist Dan Casey's song "Empty City" builds to its gorgeous swirl of vocal harmonies, drum machines and hook-laden guitar riffs, but the sonic pay off is worth every second. At the heart of the song lies a unique mix of bright guitar lines intertwining with up-tempo electronic production that illustrates Casey's mastery at layering the sounds from his head.
Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 11:22 am
A German tourist in Hawaii who was attacked by a shark last week has died of her injuries, according to hospital officials in Maui. Jana Lutteropp, 20, lost her arm in the attack during a snorkeling trip last Wednesday. She is the first person to die from a shark attack in Hawaii in more than nine years.
After Lutteropp was attacked less than 100 yards from the coast at Palauea Beach, she was helped by Rick Moore, a California high school teacher who plunged into the surf to swim her back to shore.
Robin Thicke exudes a kind of oily charm that is, with the right material, by no means off-putting. A prime example is the single "Blurred Lines," which gives you the complete Robin Thicke Experience. The song is a come-on, because basically all Thicke does in his music is try to put the make on women. What prevents him from being too creepy is that he's also genial, even gentlemanly and debonair, when the object of his lust shoots him down.
Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 11:04 am
Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has been released from the prison where he's been held while awaiting a retrial on charges related to the killing of protesters in 2011. The protesters lost their lives during the demonstrations that led to the topping of Mubarak's three-decade-old regime.
Earlier this week, a court ruled that after being held for two years while on trial and during his appeals, Mubarak could no longer be kept in prison. He's also facing corruption charges.
Books in the detainees library at the U.S. Naval Base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, are seen in this Aug. 8, 2013, photo. A prisoner at the facility handed over a copy of <em>Fifty Shades of Grey</em> to his lawyer.
Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 1:50 pm
Update at 3:40 p.m. ET. 'Tentative Agreement':
The law firm that has helped San Diego Mayor Bob Filner navigate the accusations of sexual harassment, says he and representatives of the city have "reached a tentative agreement," but declined to elaborate:
Novels are low-tech objects. They can't be plugged in, they've got no buttons or knobs, and they don't make your eyes pop out of your head as you watch creatures or asteroids zigzag across a screen. Usually, novels have no visual aids at all. So if you want to know what Anna Karenina looks like, well, you just have to read the book.
From the NPR Newscast: The BBC's Nick Bryant reports
Claims by the opposition in Syria that President Bashar Assad's forces used chemical weapons during an attack Wednesday near Damascus — killing scores of people, they say — are being followed Thursday by word that:
Good morning. I'm David Greene. If you board a plane excited about a trip but dreading the possibility of a baby crying loudly for the whole flight, this news is for you. The budget arm of Singapore Airlines - called Scoot - is now offering a $14 upgrade to sit in a child-free zone, no one under 12 allowed.
In downtown Madrid, music floats through the air, amateur musicians playing for money. Sadly, many are not that good, but the city is on the case. To shield residents from mediocre musicianship, it's created an Acoustic Protection Zone. Buskers who wish to perform will be talent-tested. A panel will issue permits to those who have what it takes. The rest will be booted off the stage or, in this case, the sidewalk.
It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
In New York, the city council is poised to vote today on some of the toughest police oversight laws in decades. The vote comes just weeks after a judge ruled that the NYPD violated the civil rights of minorities with its practice of stopping mostly young men of color on the streets.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg is appealing the judge's ruling and refusing to back down on a policing program he has championed. NPR's Joel Rose reports.
And today's last word in business is: Dress like Diller.
In Beverly Hills, Phyllis Diller's estate will be auctioned off next month.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
On stage, the late comedienne dressed like a disheveled, chain-smoking housewife with freakish hair - and now some lucky bidders can too. The sale will include many of her trademark props: blond fright wigs, feather boas, ankle boots and cigarette holders.
Bank of America won't say exactly how many drive-through lanes are closing. A spokeswoman did say the decision is not a cost-cutting move but a response to the way people are banking. At branches where drive-through lanes are closing, the bank says ATMs will be available.
Some Bank of America branches with drive-through tellers from Georgia to Texas have already closed the lanes, according to spokeswoman Tara Burke.
She wouldn't divulge exactly how many are closing. She did say the decision is not a cost-cutting move but a response to the way people are banking.
About 13 million customers bank by mobile phone and 29 million participate in online services. Among them is 19-year-old Brittney Sprague who says, "Not too many folks will really miss the drive-through teller because everybody uses apps. It's all about the new technology."
We'll begin NPR's business news with fallout from the Fed.
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GREENE: Stock markets across Asia fell and India's currency continued its plunge after minutes from the July meeting of the Federal Reserve were released yesterday. The records from that meeting showed that officials were comfortable with scaling back its huge bond-buying program as the economy grows stronger.
And we turn now to Charles Duelfer, a long-time U.N. weapons inspector. He was the author of the 2004 Duelfer Report, which confirmed that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq when the U.S. invaded. Good morning.
CHARLES DUELFER: Good morning, Renee.
MONTAGNE: Now, looking here at Syria and based on your extensive experience as a weapons inspector, do the scenes that we're seeing in these opposition videos, look to you consistent with what you would expect to see in a chemical attack?
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
And I'm David Greene. And now to some horrific scenes in Syria.
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UNIDENTIFIED MAN: (Speaking in foreign language)
GREENE: This is the sound from one of the many videos uploaded onto the Internet yesterday showing Syrian civilians, including children, convulsing and gasping for breath in an area outside of Damascus that's a rebel stronghold.