This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. This afternoon, the Senate Intelligence Committee takes up the nomination of John Brennan to be the next director of the CIA, a hearing that will feature a festival of euphemisms. One man's targeted killing is another man's assassination.
The faces of American Kim Lee and her Chinese husband, Li Yang, both in their 40s, once graced the covers of books that sold in the millions. He was China's most famous English teacher, the "Crazy English" guru of China, who pioneered his own style of English teaching: pedagogy through shouted language, yelling to halls of thousands of students.
His methods were given official recognition after he was employed by the Beijing Olympic Organizing Committee to teach Olympic volunteers.
Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 1:33 pm
The Philadelphia Museum of Art recently commissioned Jason Moran to write music in conjunction with its exhibition of quilts made by a remarkable group of African-American women in a small rural community on a bend in the Alabama River.
What is endless? The Universe (theoretically). Summer. Swimming pools. Shrimp. These are all well and good, but what of riffs? Is there is a band for which the riff cannot be confined to a single hook? A band for which three-minute songs are an insult to said riff? A band with riffs so repetitively, knuckle-draggingly dumb that it has to be some kind of genius? Yes, that band is Endless Boogie.
When San Francisco's Animal Care & Control put out the word last month that it needed more newspapers to line the cages for dogs that have to take care of business, the city's library system stepped up to help.
The new FX show The Americans follows the Jennings family — a typical American family in Ronald Reagan's America, who happen to be Soviet spies. With Elizabeth (Keri Russell) and Phillip Jennings (Matthew Rhys) at the center of the show, viewers will find themselves rooting for the couple that's secretly working for the KGB and against anyone who might blow their cover.
Washington Post TV critic Hank Stuever notes that this is just the latest in a slew of TV shows that focus on deeply flawed leads.
Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 8:16 pm
Less than a year after orchestrating a bounty program in Saint Louis, Gregg Williams will be back in the NFL next season. The Tennessee Titans have hired the former Saints defensive coordinator as a senior assistant coach.
Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 8:16 pm
Germany was the world's most future-oriented country in 2012, followed by Switzerland and Japan, according to the "Future Orientation Index." Researchers found that in Germany and 10 nations last year, more people used Google to search for "2013" than for "2011."
The 11 countries represent a gain over 2011, when only seven countries had as many searches for the upcoming year as for the prior one.
Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 12:54 pm
Lower-calorie foods are driving growth and profits for chain restaurants, according to fresh research, suggesting that people are making smarter choices when it comes to burgers and fries.
We're still ordering the burger and fries, mind you. But we're going for smaller portions and shunning sugary drinks. French fry sales dropped about 2 percent from 2006 to 2011, while sales of lower-calorie beverages rose 10 percent, the study found.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Yesterday we told you about how middle class paychecks are feeling the pinch right now for a number of reasons - healthcare co-pays and premiums, rising gas prices, among other reasons. Today we want to tell you who is doing well. And we'll tell you that conversation in just a few minutes.
Now, we want to turn to the challenge of bringing diversity to the newsroom. You've probably noticed that all kinds of issues and stories relating to sexual orientation have been in the news recently - from same-sex marriage to the Pentagon's plan to offer benefits to same-sex partners to the debate over what role gays can play in the Boy Scouts.
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. The blues have always been a way to get at some of life's tougher trials and Otis Taylor's music is no different. Taylor, who calls himself a trans-blues musician, has taken on big themes like murder, racism and poverty in previous albums, but his latest album - his 13th and he says his emotional - started with four little words.
Bradley Cooper, who is nominated for an Academy Award for his performance as the bipolar Pat Solitano in Silver Linings Playbook, tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross that he and director David O. Russell approached the role with the idea that Cooper would "play as real and authentic as [h]e could."
The role is informed by Russell's son, who has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Says Cooper: "I definitely felt that anchor for [Russell]."
Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has shut down any possibility of direct negotiation with the U.S. over its nuclear program. In comments on his Facebook page, Khamenei said his country wouldn't accept an offer under pressure.
"Having relationships and negotiating with countries who had no deceit against us is in our national interest....Given the history and current facts, our nation won't negotiate under pressure or (with) those threatening us."
Speaking at his fifth National Prayer Breakfast since taking office, President Obama said Thursday morning that the annual gatherings are always "wonderful." But he worries, Obama told the lawmakers and clergy gathered in Washington, D.C., that "as soon as we leave the prayer breakfast, everything we've been talking about the whole time at the prayer breakfast is forgotten ... on the same day as the prayer breakfast."
Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 8:08 am
That well-worn excuse — "The dog ate my homework" — lasts well into adulthood, according to a new survey by online job website, Careerbuilder.com. The survey asked hiring officials and workers why employees were tardy, and found a little more than 25% of workers are late to work at least once a month. Most explanations were straightforward, such as heavy traffic, inclement weather or problems with daycare.
Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 5:03 pm
A former Los Angeles police officer is the focus of a "massive manhunt" under way in that city because he's a suspect in a double murder last weekend and the shooting of three police officers early Thursday.