As Democrats belatedly line up behind marriage equality and Republicans see it as a losing cause for them, all that's left is what the Supreme Court decides. And as Mayor Bloomberg unleashes a $12 million campaign to sway senators on guns, public opinion polls show the issue has less urgency than it had right after Sandy Hook. Plus: South Dakota's Tim Johnson retires and Ashley Judd won't run in Kentucky.
Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. The Belgian post office released chocolate-flavored stamps just in time for Easter. The glue in the stamps is infused with cacao oil. A celebratory touch that makes sense, given Belgium is famous for its chocolate. One stamp collector sniffed the chocolate flavor was disappointing, but come on, wouldn't anything taste better than regular stamps? We on this morning show are now hoping for Belgian waffle-flavored envelopes. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
March Madness is a fixture in the United States and now on one radio host's upper arm. Florida DJ Big Mama wanted the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles to win so badly, he promised on air to get a tattoo if they beat Georgetown. Big Mama is a man of his word. He posted photos of his Eagles tattoo online.
I'll tell you what: If Florida Gulf Coast wins again tonight, I'll sing their fight song on air Monday. Steve Inskeep will be back - maybe a duet?
How often does the family car really kill one of its regular passengers? It's a recurring trope in literary fiction — the parent's moment of inattention that changes a household's fate forever — but in Elizabeth's Strout's novel The Burgess Boys, her follow-up to the Pulitzer Prize–winning Olive Kitteridge, that accident is flipped on its head. Here, it's the father who's been killed, at the hand of a child lured by the tempting gearshift, and the lives of the children that are changed forever.
Originally published on Fri March 29, 2013 6:54 am
Friday morning's cheat sheet about the NCAA's Division I men's basketball tournament (or March Madness, as it's better known):
-- Hoosiers Zoned Out: It's probably never right to say that a Syracuse win is a huge surprise, given the many years of success enjoyed by coach Jim Boeheim's Orange. But the 'Cuse are a No. 4 seed in the tournament's East region. So Thursday night's 61-50 win over No. 1 seed Indiana is worth noting.
The leaders of five giant economies gathered in South Africa this week for a summit. The group is known as the BRIC nations - that would be Brazil, Russia, India and China. Now South Africa is sometimes in the group, which puts the S in BRICS. The meeting and the grouping are largely an effort to counterbalance what many in the developing world see as the dominance of America and Europe in the global economy.
This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne.
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
And I'm David Greene. North Korea's apparently hot-headed young leader, Kim Jong Un, has put his rocket forces on standby to target nearby U.S. bases. That was his response this morning to a display of U.S. military power over the Korean Peninsula yesterday.
There were dozens of rallies across the nation yesterday, to support a cause that might be losing steam. It's the fight for new gun control laws. President Obama joined family members of recent gun victims at the White House to urge Congress to take action.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Right now, members of Congress are back home in their districts and many of them are holding events where they can hear from their constituents, so I want everybody who's listening to make yourself heard right now.
The social website Goodreads, where readers share reviews and book picks, got picked up yesterday by online retail giant Amazon. The price hasn't been disclosed. The co-founder of Goodreads says after the sale closes next quarter, the site will be integrated with Amazon's Kindle eReader. Goodreads has about 16 million members. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
And our last word in business today is a takedown of everyone's favorite giant radioactive reptile.
(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "GODZILLA")
MONTAGNE: That pop-culture monster, Godzilla, hatched nearly 60 years ago in a Japanese movie production studio.
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
He stomped through cities battling other giant creatures, from Mothra to King Kong. Well, now The Wall Street Journal reports that Godzilla has been vanquished. His box office attendance records, at least, has been beaten.
"Gimme The Loot" is a new independent film that's had a charmed life, including winning the Best Narrative prize at South by Southwest and an appearance at the Cannes Film Festival. Los Angeles Times and Morning Edition film critic Kenneth Turan says it's worth the fuss.
KENNETH TURAN, BYLINE: We meet Malcolm and Sofia as they're stealing spray paint from a hardware store.
Dawn Maestas runs a tattoo-removal business in Albuquerque, N.M., and her clients include women who want the names of abusive partners removed.
Some of them have been tattooed forcibly, like the 22-year-old client who visited StoryCorps with Maestas.
"I was with a guy for five years. He was much older. He was really abusive toward me. After a while when I tried to finally end it, he kidnapped me, held me hostage and tattooed his name all over my body against my will," says the woman, who did not want to be named.
A large new government study should reassure parents who are afraid that kids are getting autism because they receive too many vaccines too early in life.
The study, by researchers at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, found no connection between the number of vaccines a child received and his or her risk of autism spectrum disorder. It also found that even though kids are getting more vaccines these days, those vaccines contain many fewer of the substances that provoke an immune response.
On the second day since Cyprus reopened its banks, depositors continue to face restrictions on getting at their money. ATM withdrawals are limited to 300 euros a day, and there are limits on how much cash travelers can take abroad.
Halfway between the New Jersey Turnpike and the Atlantic City casinos is a little slice of France: Amalthea Cellars. There's an old farmhouse, and a field full of grapevines.
Lou Caracciolo, who founded Amalthea, is walking through the field. "Here's something I put in the ground in 1976," he says. "You have to have a feel for it, and after 30 years I have a pretty good feel for it."
Caracciolo calls himself a hopeless romantic. And, really, you have to be a romantic to try to make a $33 bottle of cabernet sauvignon blend in New Jersey.
If you haven't done your taxes yet, this ad from H&R Block might make you feel even more anxious.
"The Affordable Care Act means big changes this year when you file your taxes," says the young woman in the ad, with a smug smile. She then claims to have read "all 900 pages" of the law so she can offer you a "solution."
After 40 long days of Lenten abstention, Easter is a time for indulgence. And for those of us who don't observe Lent — well, who can resist all those chocolate bunnies? It's a time for sweets, with or without an excuse.
But if you're looking for Easter indulgences that are a little more refined than Peeps and jelly beans, take a cue from renowned chef Thomas Keller, whose Bouchon restaurants are as famous for their baked goods as they are for their bistro fare.
In the village of Corozal in Honduras, men ready boats for fishing excursions and boys play soccer on a beach lined with thatched huts.
On a sandy lot next to the town's main street, two teenage boys begin playing drums while women sing. For centuries, this has been the signature sound of celebration for the Garifuna, an Afro-Caribbean people on the Atlantic coast of Central America. Now this music has an additional purpose: to prevent HIV.
Of all the great filmmakers, Stanley Kubrick may be the one most associated with control — there's nary an inflection, gesture, camera movement or prop out of place in his movies, and significance invested in every detail.
Tales of his perfectionism have become the stuff of legend: projects developed over years or even decades, open-ended shoots where actors were bullied into 100 takes if necessary, special lenses crafted just to achieve a certain lighting effect in Barry Lyndon, obsessive micromanagement of every aspect of a production.
Amazon, the online retail behemoth that has made a much-publicized foray into publishing, has just bought Goodreads, the social book-recommendation site.
"Amazon and Goodreads share a passion for reinventing reading," Russ Grandinetti, Amazon vice president for Kindle Content, said in a statement on Thursday. "Goodreads has helped change how we discover and discuss books and, with Kindle, Amazon has helped expand reading around the world."
Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 11:18 am
One of the more interesting exchanges to emerge from the Supreme Court hearings on gay marriage this week, wasn't about the sexes, instead it was when Justice Sonia Sotomayor asked a question about polygamy.
Sotomayor asked Ted Olson, the lawyer asking the court to repeal California's ban on gay marriage, that if he was right and "marriage is a fundamental right" could any state restrictions ever exist. In other words, does declaring gay marriage a civil right, pave the way to legalization of, say, polygamy?