The movie Beasts of the Southern Wild is a fairy tale of a film. It might not seem to have much in common with documentaries about evangelical Christians in Uganda or the billionaire Koch brothers. But these films were all funded by a not-for-profit group called Cinereach. It was started by a couple of film school graduates who are still in their 20s. And now, with Beasts, it has a nomination for Best Picture at this year's Oscars.
Increasingly, people are continuing to work past 65. Almost a third of Americans between the ages of 65 and 70 are working, and among those older than 75, about 7 percent are still on the job. In Working Late, a series for Morning Edition, NPR profiles older adults who are still in the workforce.
Sticking to a diet is a challenge for many people, but starting next year, Americans may have an even bigger, financial incentive to keep their weight in check. The new health care law includes a provision that would allow employers with more than 50 employees to require overweight workers who do not exercise to pay more to cover their insurance costs.
Some employers, inspired in part by the success of shows like The Biggest Loser, are already designing weight-loss programs that use money to succeed where willpower has failed.
In Pakistan, a controversial Muslim cleric has been shaking up the political scene.
Dr. Tahir-ul-Qadri returned to his home country late last year, after spending eight years in Canada. Since coming back, he has ignited a disgruntled electorate and has left many people wondering what exactly his plans are.
On a recent day, a lively drum band wandered among a crowd of about 15,000 Pakistanis gathered in the eastern city of Faisalabad for a rally organized by Qadri.
Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 12:44 pm
I'm not the first to develop recipes using Girl Scout cookies. About 20 years ago, I saw an article in a newspaper using Girl Scout cookies to make cakes. I made one of the recipes, and it came out almost as pretty as the paper's picture, and it tasted really good.
I was hooked. But before I could get started in the kitchen baking and cooking with Girl Scout cookies, I had a hurdle to get over. I had to decide whether I wanted to eat the cookies I ordered shortly after I received them — or delay gratification and experiment with them. It was a tough choice.
These have certainly been dispiriting times for those who admire athletes, who proclaim that sports build character. The horrendous shooting by Oscar Pistorius is of course, in a category mercifully unapproached since the O.J. Simpson case, but the Whole Earth Catalog of recent examples of athletic character-building is certainly noteworthy.
Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 5:24 pm
The movie Lincoln inspired a Mississippi citizen to push the state to correct a clerical error that kept the state from officially ratifying the 13th Amendment, which abolished slavery.
NPR's Debbie Elliott sent this report to our Newscast unit:
"In 1865, Mississippi was among the states that rejected the 13th amendment. But in 1995 lawmakers voted to change that. Problem was the state never sent official word to the U.S. archivist, so the ratification was never recorded.
Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 4:48 pm
Barely three years after the Supreme Court's landmark Citizens United ruling, which liberated corporations to spend freely in elections, the justices say they'll take up another campaign finance case — this time aiming at one of the limits on the "hard money" that goes directly to candidates and party committees.
The Chinese army is the source of a persistent and prolific cyber espionage unit, whose hackers have attacked dozens of U.S. corporations and government agencies. That's the conclusion of a lengthy report released today by the computer security firm Mandiant. Mandiant says the hacking campaign goes back at least to 2006 and it targeted industries strategic to China's growth, including IT, energy and aerospace.
This week on our program, we're going to hear from the directors of the five films nominated for Best Short Documentary at the Oscars, from life in the throes of breast cancer to life as a can collector on the streets of New York.
My co-host Audie Cornish begins with a conversation with the filmmaker of "Kings Point," a documentary about the not-so-golden times in a retirement community in Florida.
And now some news from the world of online education. So-called cyber schools appear to be falling short of their sales pitch. The largest are run by a for-profit company called K12, which has made a big business of virtual education. Now, poor standardized test scores have captured the attention of state lawmakers around the country. Blake Farmer of member station WPLN in Nashville has this story about K12's failing grades.
Colorado's Legislature is poised to pass sweeping gun reform. The House passed bills that limit high-capacity magazines and require background checks on private gun sales. The bills will now be debated in the Senate, which promises bills of its own. Colorado has experienced two of the worst mass shootings in the nation, the latest in July 2012.
This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.
We're learning more about the actions of Christopher Dorner, the former police officer turned fugitive in Southern California. Today, police in Los Angeles said they believe he stalked LAPD officers and their families before he began his alleged killing rampage. Authorities say Dorner killed himself last week during a violent standoff in the mountains east of L.A. NPR's Kirk Siegler has this update.
This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block. The Marine general poised to lead all NATO forces has decided to resign. General John Allen served 38 years in the military, including as the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan. But his long career will also be remembered for his peripheral role in a recent scandal. Here's NPR's Tom Bowman.
In the war in Afghanistan, civilian casualties have decreased for the first time in six years. That's according to a U.N. annual report released today. Still, as we hear from NPR's Sean Carberry in Kabul, that's about the extent of the good news in the report.
One of Britain's most celebrated authors has launched a withering attack on the Duchess of Cambridge, the pregnant wife of Prince William, branding her a "shop-window mannequin" with a plastic smile whose only role in life is to breed. Prime Minister David Cameron described award-winning writer Hilary Mantel as "misguided" after she likened the former Kate Middleton to a "machine made" doll, devoid of personality.
Lance Armstrong's ex-teammate testified Tuesday at the trial of a Spanish doctor accused of masterminding one of the world's largest doping rings. Tyler Hamilton, who was stripped of his 2004 Olympic gold for doping, says he was a client of Dr. Eufemiano Fuentes. He described secret meetings with the doctor at the side of a highway in Spain, and how he and the doctor used secret telephones to arrange blood transfusions. Hamilton told the court that one 2004 transfusion from Fuentes went bad, and turned his urine black.
This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.
Authorities in Belgium have an expensive mystery to solve. Last night, on the Brussels airport tarmac, masked gunmen attacked an armored vehicle as it was loading diamonds onto a plane. They made off with an estimated $50 million worth of uncut diamonds.
As we hear from NPR's Eleanor Beardsley, the attack was meticulously planned, leading some to believe the thieves had help from the inside.
You are listening to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News.
Next week, Secretary of State John Kerry sets off on his first official trip. He'll head to both Europe and the Middle East. He will not be visiting Russia but aides say he might meet his Russian counterparts somewhere on the trip.
They have a lot to talk about, from the crisis in Syria to a dispute over adoptions, as NPR's Michele Kelemen reports.
Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 4:02 pm
By now, it's widely accepted that indiscriminate spending cuts in defense and domestic programs due to start March 1 are likely to occur owing to the failure of President Obama and the Republican-led House to reach an agreement to avoid the budgetary cleaver.
So now, the contest boils down to each side scampering for the higher ground of moral indignation.
There's an underground bunker at a radio station in Charlotte, N.C., where time has stopped. Built decades ago to provide safety and vital communications in the event of a nuclear attack, it's now a perfectly preserved relic of Cold War fear that's gained new relevance.
The secret bunker is part of the office lore that old-timers at WBT Radio whisper to the newbies. That's how radio host Mike Collins learned of it back in the 1980s.
Developers in Pakistan will soon break ground on a new amusement park and outdoor activity center, a private, $30 million project billed as a state-of-the-art facility that will bring jobs to a hard-hit area.
But there's one issue that's raising some eyebrows: the site is in Abbottabad, not far from the place where Osama Bin Laden secretly lived until American forces killed him.
This does not trouble Sheikh Kaleemuddin, the project director, who is effusive about the picturesque spot where he plans to build.