Music Interviews
4:07 pm
Wed December 5, 2012

For One Day, NPR Gets A House Band: Los Straitjackets

Los Straitjackets' members rehearse in NPR's Studio 4A.
Christopher Parks NPR

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 6:00 pm

We call them "buttons" and "deadrolls" — and, less cryptically, "breaks" — but most NPR listeners know them as the interstitial music spots that pepper NPR's newsmagazines. They add shading, mood, energy and other nonverbal context to our stories.

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Middle East
3:59 pm
Wed December 5, 2012

Israel, Christians Negotiate The Price Of Holy Water

Patriarch Theophilos III, the Greek Orthodox patriarch of Jerusalem (center), splashes holy water toward worshippers after the washing of the feet ceremony in front of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem in 2009, during Easter celebrations. A crisis was narrowly averted recently when the church's $2.3 million water bill was waived.
Gali Tibbon AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri December 14, 2012 9:13 am

One of the holiest sites in Christendom has also been one of the most contested. The Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem lies on the site where Jesus Christ is said to have been crucified and buried.

Multiple Christian denominations share the church uneasily, and clerics sometimes come to blows over the most minor of disputes. The Roman Catholic, Greek Orthodox, Armenian Apostolic, Coptic Orthodox, Ethiopian Orthodox and the Syriac Orthodox all have a presence in the church.

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The Two-Way
3:31 pm
Wed December 5, 2012

As Two States Legalize Pot, Tommy Chong Isn't Nostalgic About The Old Days

Tommy Chong.
Jason Merritt Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 9:11 pm

  • From 'All Things Considered': Tommy Chong talks with Audie Cornish

With Washington state set to legalize possession of small amounts of marijuana just after midnight tonight, and Colorado set to decriminalize pot next month, All Things Considered today turned to "stoner" comic Tommy Chong to get his perspective.

Needless to say, the half Asian half of Cheech and Chong is very happy. He's planning to move to both states, Chong joked.

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The Two-Way
3:15 pm
Wed December 5, 2012

Egads! Aussie DJ Pretends To Be Queen, Gets Hospital To Talk About Kate

Hullo: The real Queen Elizabeth II, we swear, in 1961.
PA Photos /Landov

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 6:00 pm

Oh dear:

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Food
7:21 am
Wed December 5, 2012

British Burger Is Hot, Red Hot

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 9:09 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Around the Nation
7:14 am
Wed December 5, 2012

Famous Rudolph, Ohio, Postmark Will Shine On

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 9:09 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. The famous Rudolph, Ohio postmark shines on. After the staff of the village post office was cut to one, it wasn't so clear that the 80,000 Christmas parcels and cards that flow in would get the special Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer postmark. But the Toledo Blade reports nearly 75 volunteers have stepped up to keep the tradition going. Like Christmas elves, they're picking up shifts at the Rudolph post office and stamping away. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Joel Rose is a National Desk reporter based at NPR's New York Bureau.

Since joining NPR in 2011, Rose has covered the political, economic, and cultural life of the nation's biggest city. He's reported on the rise of the Occupy Wall Street movement, the fall of the compact disc, and the fast-changing fortunes of New York's elected officials. He's also contributed to NPR's coverage of the Trayvon Martin shooting in Florida, and the Jerry Sandusky child sex-abuse scandal in Pennsylvania.

When pressing news doesn't keep him busy, Rose likes to report on the collision of the Internet and the entertainment industries, and to profile obscure musicians who should be more famous.

NPR Story
4:48 am
Wed December 5, 2012

Senate Fails To Ratify U.N. Treaty On Disabilities

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 9:09 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And amid that budget debate, a wall of Republican opposition to a new United Nations treaty kept it from being ratified in the Senate. The treaty is aimed at promoting and protecting the rights of disabled people. And even though it was inspired by the Americans with Disabilities Act, Republicans argue that it would harm U.S. sovereignty and even interfere with home schooling. Here's NPR's David Welna.

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NPR Story
4:48 am
Wed December 5, 2012

Cooper Union Students Protest Threat To Free Tuition

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 9:09 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And a student occupation is entering its third day in New York City. It's happening at Cooper Union. The school of art, architecture and engineering is famous for not charging undergraduates tuition.

As NPR's Joel Rose reports, student protesters are unhappy about what they see as threats to that tradition.

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NPR Story
4:48 am
Wed December 5, 2012

Reality TV Moves In A Different Direction

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 2:54 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

From the story of a literary star to one of a reality TV star, Mike Rowe, host of the television show "Dirty Jobs," quietly announced last month that his show has been cancelled by the Discovery Channel. TV critic Eric Deggans says the trend in reality TV is moving away from the kind of programming Rowe brought to the screen.

ERIC DEGGANS, BYLINE: For eight seasons, Mike Rowe was the guy who dared poke things, go places and do jobs no typically blow-dried TV host would touch.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "DIRTY JOBS")

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The Salt
2:36 am
Wed December 5, 2012

Milk Producers Peer Over The Dairy Cliff

Dairy farmer Bob Andrews feeds heifers in the same barn his grandfather used. He says today "the harder you work, the further you get behind."
David Sommerstein NCPR

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 9:09 am

There's more than one cliff drawing controversy this month. The federal farm bill is one of many items caught in congressional gridlock. The bill resets U.S. agriculture policy every four years, and most farmers are still covered by crop insurance and other programs until next planting season. But there's one exception: dairy.

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It's All Politics
2:35 am
Wed December 5, 2012

Is A Recess Appointment Valid If The Senate Says It's Not Really Gone?

The Senate side of the U.S. Capitol.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 9:09 am

In a tug of war between President Obama and Congress, a federal appeals court panel in Washington, D.C., will hear arguments Wednesday on the legality of Obama's controversial recess appointments.

The White House says it was forced to install three new members of the National Labor Relations Board in January because of inaction by Senate Republicans. But those lawmakers argue the Senate wasn't really in a recess at the time.

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Education
2:35 am
Wed December 5, 2012

When The Art Of The Deal Includes Improv Training

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 9:09 am

Some top-tier business schools are offering more than just finance and marketing these days: Duke, UCLA, MIT and Stanford are all teaching improv. Professors say these techniques help students increase collaboration, creativity and risk taking.

In an improvisational leadership class at MIT's Sloan School of Management, instructor Daena Giardella coaches a scene where a hospital administrator is firing surgeons after a horribly botched operation.

Giardella, who does professional improv, boils it down to a rule known as "yes, and."

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Karen Grigsby Bates is the Los Angeles-based correspondent for NPR News. Bates contributed commentaries to All Things Considered for about 10 years before she joined NPR in 2002 as the first correspondent and alternate host for The Tavis Smiley Show. In addition to general reporting and substitute hosting, she increased the show's coverage of international issues and its cultural coverage, especially in the field of literature and the arts.

Books
2:21 am
Wed December 5, 2012

Susan Straight: One Home Town, Many Voices

Courtesy of McSweeney's

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 9:09 am

Think of all the great writers who have made their hometowns literary history — William Faulkner, Zora Neale Hurston, Thomas Wolfe, to name a few. Now, Susan Straight is getting the same praise for her portrayal of Riverside, Calif. It's a small town at the foot of the San Bernardino Mountains, an hour east of Los Angeles.

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Mark Memmott is one of the hosts of NPR's "The Two-Way" news blog.

"The Two-Way," which Memmott helped to launched when he came to NPR in 2009, focuses on breaking news, analysis, and the most compelling stories being reported by NPR News and other news media.

Before joining NPR, Memmott worked for nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor at USA Today. He focused on a range of coverage from politics, foreign affairs, economics, and the media. He's reported from places across the Unites States and the world, including half a dozen trips to Afghanistan in 2002-2003.

Sweetness And Light
10:03 pm
Tue December 4, 2012

Navel-Gazing: Why Golf Should Embrace Belly Putters

Carl Pettersson of Sweden putts for birdie on the eighth hole during the final round of the RBC Heritage at Harbour Town Golf Links on Hilton Head Island, S.C., in April. The long putter he uses is in danger of being banned.
Hunter Martin Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 2:20 pm

When did "issues" become such an all-purpose, often euphemistic word for anything disagreeable? We have issues now where we used to have problems, and concerns, and troubles, and hornet's nests. Like for example: The American and British big wheels who run golf have "issues" with putting.

Now understand, modern golfers have kryptonite drivers with club heads as large as prize pumpkins, and steroid balls that would not pass the drug test, even if the hapless International Cycling Union were doing the random sampling.

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The Two-Way
6:43 pm
Tue December 4, 2012

Crime On The Farm: Hay Thefts Soar As Drought Deepens

That's a valuable commodity: A hay bale at a farm in Eatonton, Ga., earlier this year.
Erik S. Lesser EPA /Landov

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 9:09 am

  • Sheriff Bobby Whittington talks with NPR's Renee Montagne

Your crime fodder ... sorry, make that blotter ... news of the day.

From St. Louis:

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Audie Cornish is host of All Things Considered, along with Robert Siegel and Melissa Block.

Previously, she served as host of Weekend Edition Sunday. Prior to moving into that host position in the fall of 2011, Cornish reported from Capitol Hill for NPR News, covering issues and power in both the House and Senate and specializing in financial industry policy. She was part of NPR's six-person reporting team during the 2008 presidential election, and had a featured role in coverage of the Democratic National Convention in Denver.

Politics
6:05 pm
Tue December 4, 2012

Social Security's COLA At Stake In 'Fiscal Cliff' Talks?

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 10:34 am

The Republican plan to avert the "fiscal cliff" that the White House rejected Monday includes at least one element that's likely to produce controversy: a proposal that would, among other things, affect the cost of living adjustment for Social Security.

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The Two-Way
5:32 pm
Tue December 4, 2012

The First Book Printed In British North America And A Church's Decision To Sell It

Jeff Makholm holds the Bay Psalm Book.
Monica Brady-Myerov WBUR

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 11:34 am

This past Sunday, the Old South Church in Boston made a decision that cuts to the heart of not only the congregation's history, but to the very beginning of this country's founding.

With an overwhelming 271 to 34 vote, the church decided to give its board the power to sell one copy of the Bay Psalm Book, the first book ever printed in British North America.

Only 11 of the original 1,600 copies of the book printed in Cambridge in 1640 remain. And of those, the church owns two.

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It's All Politics
5:20 pm
Tue December 4, 2012

For Tea Party Activists In Florida, The Health Care Battle Goes On

Originally published on Tue December 4, 2012 6:50 pm

President Obama's re-election sent a message to state capitals: The war over the president's health care overhaul is finished.

Even in Florida, where Republican leaders led the legal battle against Obamacare, there's recognition now that the state has to act fast to comply with the new law.

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Music Reviews
5:20 pm
Tue December 4, 2012

Two Malian Guitar Greats, Gone But Still Wailing

Malian guitarist Lobi Traore died in 2010, at just 49. His last album is called Bwati Kono.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue December 4, 2012 6:50 pm

Back in 1985, a young Malian named Zani Diabate became one of the first African musicians to release a successful album in Europe. He was soon crowded out by a flood of superstar African singers, but for anyone who experienced Diabate's rocking guitar tone and edgy African phrasing, the sound is unforgettable.

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Shots - Health News
5:20 pm
Tue December 4, 2012

The Perilous Politics Of The Health Insurance Tax Break

MIT health economist Jonathan Gruber, who explained the ins and outs of health overhaul in a comic book, says that excluding the value of health insurance from federal taxes is a terrible idea, at least from an economist's point of view.
Macmillan

Originally published on Tue December 4, 2012 6:50 pm

There's not much in health care that economists agree on. But one of the few things that bring them together is the idea that excluding the value of health insurance from federal taxes is nuts.

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Shots - Health News
4:17 pm
Tue December 4, 2012

Computerized Health Records Breed Digital Discontent For Some Doctors

Electronic medical records can have drawbacks, too.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue December 4, 2012 6:50 pm

Two years and $8.4 billion into the government's effort to get doctors to take their practices digital, some unintended consequences are starting to emerge.

One is a lot of unhappy doctors. In a big survey by Medscape, an online site for doctors, 38 percent of the doctors polled said they were unhappy with their electronic medical records system.

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Deceptive Cadence
4:02 pm
Tue December 4, 2012

Alisa Weilerstein Plays Elgar: Exploring Music With An Intense Past

Cellist Alisa Weilerstein
Jamie Jung Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 10:26 am

British composer Edward Elgar wrote his cello concerto in 1919 — soon after the end of World War I — and it's suffused with the dark weight of that war.

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Film
3:55 pm
Tue December 4, 2012

Hitchcock: Sometimes what happens behind the scenes is as entertaining as what's on the screen

The movie poster for 'Hitchcock'

James Sanford's review of "Hitchcock"

In a screen career that lasted 50 years, Janet Leigh appeared in everything from Jerry Lewis comedies and the screen version of Bye Bye Birdie to Orson Welles' Touch of Evil and John Frankenheimer's The Manchurian Candidate. But in the minds of millions of movie lovers, the versatile blonde star will forever be associated with the shower scene in Psycho.

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Theatre
3:41 pm
Tue December 4, 2012

Paw Paw Playhouse enlists more than 20 kids for "A Little Princess"

The Paw Paw Village Players will perform the musical A Little Princess starting Friday. The musical is based on the novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett about a girl named Sarah Crewe who is sent to a boarding school in London while her father is doing business in India. 

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1:08 pm
Tue December 4, 2012

House Committee approves bills to change recall elections

Lead in text: 
An official facing recall would have an opponent, instead of a simple up or down vote on removal from office.
LANSING, MI - If Republicans take up controversial "right-to-work" legislation in the lame-duck session, some could face Wisconsin-style recalls organized by labor unions. On Tuesday, a state House panel on Tuesday voted to change the way those lawmakers and other elected officials are recalled in Michigan.
12:54 pm
Tue December 4, 2012

Bronson Battle Creek CEO leaving for job in Detroit area

Lead in text: 
Denise Brooks-Williams became President of the former Battle Creek Health Care System in 2009. She retained that position when Bronson took over the hospital in 2011.
Denise Brooks-Williams is leaving her job as president and CEO of Bronson Battle Creek next year for a position at a Wyandotte hospital. Brooks-Williams has accepted the job of president and CEO of Henry Ford Wyandotte Hospital and will begin work there Feb. 4, according to today's news release from Henry Ford.

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