The great Nat King Cole had many firsts. He was the first African-American musician to have his own show — on network radio, then television. He was also one of the first, if not the first American artist to record an album in Spanish: Cole Español. It was a huge, rather unexpected hit in 1958, when Latin American music was still relatively unknown in the U.S. His success with Cole Español was so great, he recorded two more albums in Spanish.
Sofia Coppola is no stranger to filmic explorations of fame, privilege and self-loathing in the modern age. In her newest movie, The Bling Ring, she considers the case of a gang of well-off L.A. teenagers whose obsession with celebrity took them to some unexpected places — including the homes of Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan, where they stole millions of dollars' worth of jewelry and clothes and shoes.
Between his trip to Europe last week and his travels to Africa next week, President Obama is doing a lot of gift exchanges with foreign leaders.
In the past, he has gotten mixed reviews. Four years ago, he was panned for giving the queen of England an iPod. Other presents have gone over better. But the president does not personally select these gifts — a staffer does.
Revelations of widespread U.S. spying on foreign Internet communications put a damper on President Obama's first state visit to Berlin. The German chancellor and other officials there say they want to know more about what the National Security Agency is looking at.
Yet the backlash has been more muted than expected. One reason is that the German government is doing similar surveillance.
Medicaid and controversy seem inseparable in many states lately. For the most part, the wrangling is about a new wrinkle in Medicaid — the expansion of the health program for the poor and disabled under Obamacare.
Mississippi, though, is raising the stakes. Democrats and Republicans in the state are in a fight, and the outcome could threaten the very existence of the entire Medicaid program there.
There will be hits and misses at movie houses this summer, but it's a decent bet Despicable Me 2 will end up in the that-went-well column.
The star, a would-be world-dominating supervillain named Gru, is a hulking, blustering figure with an appetite for mayhem — and a surprising soft spot. He'll boast that he's about to pull off "the crime of the century," then sit down to read his little girls — he's recently, reluctantly, adopted three of them, and they're adorable — a bedtime story.
Booker T. Jones — leader of the soul band Booker T. & the M.G.'s — made it big in 1962 with the song "Green Onions." But since "Green Onions" sounds suspiciously natural for the United States, we've decided to quiz him on Funyuns instead: three questions about the crunchy, onion-flavored snack food.
Coming up it's Lightning Fill in the Blank, but first it's the game where you have to listen for the rhyme. If you'd like to play on air, call or leave a message at 1-888-Wait-Wait. That's 1-888-924-8924, or click the contact us link on our website waitwait.npr.org. There you can find out about attending our weekly live shows here at the Chase Bank Auditorium in Chicago and our show this August 29th at Tanglewood in the Music Shed in Massachusetts. Hi, you're on WAIT WAIT...DON'T TELL ME!
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 is now worth two points. Bill, can you give us the scores?
BILL KURTIS: Paula and Alonzo have two, that's a tie. Jessi has three.
And now the game where we ask someone who's done a lot of great things to do one very silly thing, that is play Not My Job.
Do you love music, I mean great American music by Otis Redding or Ray Charles or Willie Nelson or Bob Dylan or even the band Rancid? Well, if you do, you love Booker T. Jones. He played with all those musicians, as well as his own classic soul band, Booker T and the MGs. Fifty years after his first hit record, he's still playing. We're delighted to have him with us. Booker, welcome to WAIT WAIT...DON'T TELL ME!
NPR has learned that the U.S. Department of Justice has prepared the documents to formally charge Edward Snowden with espionage. Snowden is the former contractor who has publicized details of two U.S. surveillance programs through the British newspaper The Guardian. NPR's Carrie Johnson joins us now with the latest, and Carrie, everyone's been waiting for this shoe to drop. What do we know about the government's plans to proceed?
Sen. Marco Rubio has a problem. He has transformed from conservative hero to suspect in the eyes of many on the political right because he now supports "a path to citizenship" for people unlawfully in the U.S. after forcefully opposing it in 2010 when he was running for U.S. Senate.
From NPR News this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
And I'm Melissa Block. Seven months ago many voters waited in long lines to cast ballots in the presidential election. Well, today a presidential commission charged with fixing the problem was finally up and running. As NPR's Pam Fessler reports, the panel's looking for answers to questions that have challenged election officials for a long time.
Republicans and Democrats are looking at this year's race for governor in Virginia as a possible harbinger of the 2014 election. The contest pits Republican Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli against Democratic Party fundraiser Terry McAuliffe. Both candidates are strongly supported by their respective bases, but sport strong negatives among moderate voters. The outcome could come down to turnout.
Not even Superstorm Sandy could keep the mermaids from coming back to Brooklyn.
The Mermaid Parade is a nautically themed and occasionally naughty parade that draws close to a million people to Coney Island, in the New York City borough of Brooklyn, each June. Sandy nearly drowned the organization that hosts the parade, but supporters donated more than $100,000 to get the parade back on its fins this year.
This spring, readers of The Orange County Register in Southern California started seeing much more coverage of local universities. What they probably did not know is that the stories are paid for by the schools. Depending on whom you ask, it is either a smart way to bring in revenue, or a serious breach of journalism ethics.
Disgraced former Enron CEO Jeffrey Skilling — convicted of conspiracy, fraud and insider trading related to the 2001 collapse of the Houston-based energy company — has gotten a decade subtracted from his 24-year sentence.
Skilling, 59, has been in prison since he was convicted and sentenced in 2006. With the sentence reduction on Friday and time off for good behavior, he could go free in 2017.
Out in Alaska's Bering Sea, about 90 miles from Nome, sits a small, rocky island that used to be home to a couple of hundred Inupiat Eskimos. They lived in houses built on stilts, perched on rocky cliffs.
Then, about 50 years ago, the threat of rock slides, the spread of tuberculosis and the loss of men to World War II forced residents to relocate to the mainland. King Island has been a ghost island ever since.
Joshua Kyler Hoggan of Roy, Utah, probably wasn't thinking this far ahead when he conspired to blow up his high school last year.
Hoggan, now 18 and a student at Weber State University, has declared his candidacy for mayor of Roy, challenging two-term incumbent Joe Ritchie and City Council member Willard Cragun, according to the Ogden Standard-Examiner.
Roy is a suburban community about 30 miles north of Salt Lake City.
Award-winning vocalist Karen Oberlin is one of the premier interpreters of the Great American Songbook. She's also a theater veteran whose credits include the first stage production of Rent, as well as more than 100 Off Broadway performances of the hit show Our Sinatra. On this episode of Piano Jazz, Oberlin presents an intimate set of timeless music with host Jon Weber.
Trumpeter, pianist and composer Arturo Sandoval is one of Cuba's best-known musical exports. He's won multiple Grammys, including one for Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album in 2013, and his life inspired the film For Love or Country: The Arturo Sandoval Story, starring Andy García.
Anthony Marshall, the 89-year-old heir to the Brooke Astor fortune, is heading to prison in New York after exhausting appeals in his 2009 conviction for defrauding his famous mother.
A judge in Manhattan ordered Marshall to begin serving the one- to three-year prison term on charges that he exploited his philanthropist mother's ailing mental health to loot her millions. She died in 2007 at the age of 105.
President Obama has formally nominated James Comey, a registered Republican and former Justice Department official under President George W. Bush, to become the next FBI director. If he's confirmed by the Senate, Comey will replace outgoing director Robert Mueller, who has held the post since 2001.
Comey is best-known for his actions in 2004 when he rushed to the hospital bedside of Attorney General John Ashcroft to keep Bush aides from reauthorizing a warrantless-wiretapping program. Comey has described the incident as the most difficult night of his career.