Guillaume Rocheron, Bill Westenhofer, Erik-Jan De Boer and Donald R. Elliott at the 85th Annual Academy Awards in February. Rhythm & Hues Studios, the company that produced the effects for winning film Life of Pi, recently declared bankruptcy.
Credit Fox 2000 Pictures
Suraj Sharma as Pi in Ang Lee's Life of Pi. The film was widely praised for its stunning visual effects and realistic digital depictions of the animal characters that populate the film.
Hollywood studios are demanding more and more visual effects to make blockbuster films. But the artists who create this movie magic are protesting that they and their entire industry are in deep financial trouble. Even the most celebrated visual-effects companies face the risk of going under, and there are calls to revamp the way they do business.
An Iraqi policeman stands guard at a checkpoint decorated with plastic flowers in Baghdad in 2008.
Credit Hadi Mizban / AP
In this Wednesday, March 13, 2013 photo, traffic drives through Tahrir Square in central Baghdad, Iraq. Ten years after the start of the war, bullet holes still pockmark buildings, and towers wrecked by U.S. missiles and tank shells have not fully been rebuilt.
Syria's opposition coalition in exile has elected a prime minister who, until recently, hailed from Texas. The new leader is charged with putting together an interim government to oversee rebel-held areas of the country. After months of infighting, the coalition selected an information technology executive to do the job. NPR's Peter Kenyon has more from Istanbul on the challenges he'll face.
Pope Francis is formally inaugurated in a mass in St. Peter's Square Tuesday. Leaders from all over the world are attending. In less than a week, the pope has made himself known to the Catholic world and beyond for his direct and simple words and gestures.
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.
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President Obama lands in Israel tomorrow for his first visit to that key American ally as president. He'll also visit sites in the West Bank. The White House has tried to keep expectations low for this visit, but many Israelis are excited and have attached high hopes to Obama's trip.
NPR's Larry Abramson spoke with Israelis and Palestinians, and has this report.
Social worker Nuria Casulleres shows a portrait of Audrey Hepburn to elderly men during a memory activity at the Cuidem La Memoria elderly home in Barcelona, Spain, last August. The home specializes in Alzheimer's patients.
Alzheimer's disease doesn't just steal memories. It takes lives.
The disease is now the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S., and figures released Tuesday by the Alzheimer's Association show that deaths from the disease increased by 68 percent between 2000 and 2010.
The next time you're sipping on a glass of something boozy, consider the plants behind your beverage. Some of them might spring immediately to mind: grapes in your wineglass, rye in your whiskey bottle, juniper in your gin and tonic. But what about sorghum and coriander? Cinchona and bitter orange?
In their first meeting since Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio became Pope Francis, Argentina's President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner asked the pontiff to "mediate" in the dispute over the Falkland Islands.
"This is an important moment for us," Kirchner said, during a press conference following the lunch meeting. "I asked him for his mediation to try to find a dialogue on the question of the Falkland Islands."
The Morris Missionary Baptist Church is nestled down a red dirt road, in Morris, Ga., set among pine trees near the Alabama state line. Next to the small white church lies its most recent grave site: that of Charles Foster Jr.
While the mass killings in Newtown, Conn., and Aurora, Colo., garnered a frenzy of news coverage, statistically, they are not the norm. Each year, thousands of gun homicides in the U.S. — 11,000 in 2010 alone — attract little or no media attention.
Harry Patel, an employee of Blondie's Deli and Grocery, talks on the phone while waiting for customers in New York on Monday. A new anti-smoking proposal would make New York the first city in the nation to keep tobacco products out of sight in retail stores.
First supersized soda, now cigarettes: Under New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's new plan, retailers in the city would have to keep tobacco products out of sight. The goal, he says, is to curb the rate of youth smoking.
The measure would make New York the first city in the nation to keep tobacco products out of sight in stores.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt meets with the National Jewish Welfare Board — (left to right) Walter Rothschild, Chaplain Aryeh Lev, Barnett Brickner and Louis Kraft — at the White House on Nov. 8, 1943.
Credit Vanessa Robertson / Belknap Press
Richard Breitman (left) and Allan Lichtman are distinguished professors of history at American University in Washington, D.C.
The subject of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's relationship with the Jewish community is complicated, multidimensional and contentious. On the one hand, the former New York governor won Jewish votes by landslide margins and led the Allies to victory in World War II, defeating Nazi Germany. Some of his closest advisers and strongest supporters were Jews, including Felix Frankfurter, whom he named to the Supreme Court, speechwriter Samuel Rosenman and Treasury Secretary Henry Morgenthau.
After failing to take the presidency or U.S. Senate in 2012 and losing House seats, Republicans launched the "Growth and Opportunity Project" to understand what went wrong. Party Chairman Reince Priebus and others toured the country and released a report with recommendations on Monday.
In the east room of the White House today, union leaders sat side by side with civil rights luminaries as President Obama announced his choice for secretary of Labor. The nominee, Justice Department lawyer Thomas Perez, has a back-story the president finds irresistible.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Like so many Americans, Tom knows what it's like to climb the ladder of opportunity. He's the son of Dominican immigrants. He helped pay his way through college as a garbage collector and working at a warehouse.
Cyprus is facing a run on its banks after the government proposed taxing bank deposits. The government has put off a vote on the plan in a bid to calm things down. Banks are set to re-open on Thursday after a bank holiday was declared on Monday.
As Jim Zarroli mentioned, Russians are the main foreign depositors in Cyprus. They've used the island as an offshore haven, thanks to low taxes and lax regulations, same things that have lured some rich Americans to bank in, say, the Cayman Islands. Well, according to Moody's Investor Services, Russian banks and businesses have around $30 billion in Cypriot accounts and that's why today, Russian President Vladimir Putin lost no time in denouncing the tax on bank accounts as unfair, unprofessional and dangerous. Those were his words.
The winners of the inaugural Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering were announced Monday in London. Five Internet pioneers — Marc Andreessen, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, Vinton Cerf, Robert Kahn, and Louis Pouzin — will share the honor and the one million pound prize. The new U.K.-based award aims to be a "Nobel Prize" for engineering. Robert Siegel talks to Lord Browne of Madingley about the winners.
The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments Monday in a case that seeks to redefine a federal law aimed at streamlining the nation's voter registration process.
Congress enacted the law 20 years ago after it found that 40 percent of eligible voters were not registered to vote. Under the 1993 National Voter Registration Act, people can register by mail to vote in federal elections using a standard federal form. The form, among other things, asks prospective voters whether they are U.S. citizens and requires them to sign to the statement, under penalty of perjury.
These days, farmers markets are springing up all over the place, from small towns to big cities. Locally grown food is booming, as shoppers invest more time, money and thought into what they eat. But not all is well in the local food movement.
As St. Louis Public Radio's Adam Allington reports, many of the farmers who supply local markets are barely getting by.
ADAM ALLINGTON, BYLINE: It's a chilly March morning in Elsah, Illinois, near the banks of the Mississippi. But inside Amy Cloud's greenhouse it's toasty warm.
Rembrandt, A Lady and Gentleman in Black, 1633. Oil on canvas, 131.6 x 109 cm. Inscribed at the foot: Rembrandt.ft: 1633. This monumental work hung in a prominent spot in the Dutch Room, visible through its windows overlooking the court. Rembrandt completed this work in his second year in Amsterdam in 1632.
Wonder why you can't get a straight answer on how much a treatment or test will cost you? One big reason: State laws that allow hospitals and other providers of health care to keep costs hidden until they send you the bill.
A report card on price transparency released Monday gives 29 states an F and seven states a D for policies that keep patients and their families in the dark on prices. The failing grade went to those with practically no transparency requirements.