Asia
5:08 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

Move Over James Bond, China Has An Unlikely Box Office Champ

The surprise hit Lost in Thailand, a road comedy that cost less than $5 million to make, has become China's highest-grossing domestic film.
Enlight Pictures

Originally published on Fri February 8, 2013 9:32 am

Movies are big business in China, and 2012 was another record year: Theaters raked in about $2.7 billion, pushing China past Japan to become the world's second-largest market.

Those blistering sales were expected; China's ultimate box-office champ, however, was not.

Hollywood blockbusters usually do well in China. And last year, competition was stiff, including a new installment of Tom Cruise's Mission: Impossible franchise, as well as Skyfall, the latest James Bond flick.

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Art & Design
5:08 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

New York's Grimy Garment District Hatches Designers' Dreams

From West 24th to West 42nd Street, New York's Seventh Avenue is also known as "Fashion Avenue." It's home to major designers as well as those who are just starting out, like Ann Yee and Daniel Vosovic.
Michael Katzif for NPR

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 8:07 pm

Thursday marks the beginning of New York Fashion Week, where big-name designers like Michael Kors, Anna Sui and Vera Wang will debut their Fall 2013 collections. It's part of an industry that generates billions of dollars of revenue for New York City, employing hundreds of thousands of workers. But the real business of fashion happens several blocks south of the glamorous Lincoln Center runways, in New York's Garment District.

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SW Michigan
4:45 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

House speaker nixes abortion ultrasound bill in Michigan

Ultrasound exam in Ashland, OH (file photo)
Credit The Associated Press

State House speaker Jase Bolger says his chamber will not approve any bill that would require women seeking an abortion to get trans-vaginal ultrasounds. The Marshall Republican’s announcement this afternoon followed national media attention to a bill introduced by another lawmaker that would require the exams. Similar proposals in other states have been very controversial.

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It's All Politics
4:23 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

Rubio's Job: Play Second Fiddle To The President, And Don't Mess Up

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 5:28 pm

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Science
4:19 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

Fresh Clues In Dinosaur Whodunit Point To Asteroid

Scientists have confirmed that the impact of a giant asteroid and the mass extinction of the dinosaurs happened at the same time.
Courtesy of Don Dixon/cosmographica.com

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 7:53 pm

Some 66 million years ago, about 75 percent of species on Earth disappeared. It wasn't just dinosaurs but most large mammals, fish, birds and plankton. Scientists have known this for a long time just from looking at the fossil record. If you dig deep enough, you find lots of dinosaur bones. And then a few layers up, they're gone.

But scientists couldn't figure out exactly what had caused this phenomenon. Of course, there were lots of theories.

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Local Music
3:49 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

Andrew Koehler conducts The Planets

Credit Andrew Koehler

An interview with Andrew Koehler

The Kalamazoo Junior Symphony Orchestra will play The Planets when it takes the stage in Chenery Auditorium Sunday. 

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3:21 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

Snyder to increase budget for preschools

Lead in text: 
Governor Rick Snyder included more funding for state preschools in his budgetary plan today. According to Bridge Magazine, the governor suggested raising another 130 million dollars for preschool programs in the state, with a long term plan of spending about 240 million total by fiscal year 2015. Snyder said some of that money should go toward helping low-income families pay for preschool.
(Bridge illustration/A.J. Jones) By Derek Melot/Bridge Magazine Gov. Rick Snyder formally called for an additional $130 million for state preschool classes Thursday, a move long hinted at by administration officials - and long sought by advocates for early childhood education.
Asia
3:03 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

American Woman Gives Domestic Abuse A Face, And Voice, In China

Lee, the American wife of "Crazy English" founder Li Yang, leaves court after a session for her divorce trial in Beijing last March. Earlier this month, she was granted a divorce, as well as a restraining order against Li.
Alexander F. Yuan AP

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 8:30 pm

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.

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NPR Story
1:46 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

While Studying Ice, Scientists Discover Huge Penguin Colony

A few members of the newly discovered 9,000-strong emperor penguin colony on Antarctica's Princess Ragnhild Coast.
International Polar Foundation

Originally published on Fri February 8, 2013 8:55 pm

In 2009, a team of researchers from the British Antarctic Survey were studying satellite images of the Antarctic when they noticed something interesting: trails of penguin poop. That showed signs of a huge emperor penguin colony.

The existence of the colony was unconfirmed until a team of researchers from the International Polar Foundation visited in December 2012.

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1:23 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

Bipartisan support for fixing state roads

Lead in text: 
Former Congressman Mark Schauer of Battle Creek part of broad coalition seeking increased funding for roads.
  • Source: Bridgemi
  • | Via: The Center for Michigan
(Bridge illustration/A.J. Jones) By Amy Lane/Bridge Magazine contributor On Michigan's Right to Work law, labor activist Mark Schauer and business advocate Rich Studley could not have sought more different results. But when it comes to working on Michigan's crumbling roads - an issue that's arisen in Lansing nearly as frequently as winter potholes - the two have an identical goal.
NPR Story
1:22 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

With Pot Legalized, States Enter Uncharted Waters

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 3:14 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. When Colorado and Washington state voted to legalized recreational marijuana last November, they moved their states into uncharted waters. It's one thing to say possession of an ounce of pot is legal; it's another to set up a way to regulate this new business.

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NPR Story
1:22 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

A Preview Of Brennan's Confirmation Hearings

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 3:12 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

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.

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1:17 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

USDA report details losses in Michigan's fruit crop

Lead in text: 
Combination of early spring weather and summer drought created a very bad year for Michigan fruit growers.
  • Source: Mlive
  • | Via: Kalamazoo Gazette
BENTON HARBOR, MI -The United States Department of Agriculture's recently released report of Preliminary Fruit Production figures for 2012 confirms what we learned last summer, when there were not enough Michigan cherries for local festivals, or we blinked and the peaches were gone, or popular U-Pick apple orchards said: "Come back next year."
1:12 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

Snyder's budget proposal calls for increased investments in roads, education and public health

Lead in text: 
Snyder calls $50.9-billion spending plan "a responsible budget."
LANSING, MI -- Gov. Rick Snyder, saying Michigan is on the "comeback path," on Thursday introduced a budget proposal reflecting that belief by increasing investments in infrastructure, public health and education. Speaking before lawmakers and media this morning at the Boji Tower in downtown Lansing, Snyder outlined a $50.9 billion budget, which represents a five percent spending increase compared to the current fiscal year.
Economy
11:56 am
Thu February 7, 2013

Stocks Climbing But Is Your Bank Account?

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 3:28 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association has a new president. She is CNN producer Jen Christensen, and with so many LGBT issues in the news right now, we thought this would be a good time to speak with her about what that organization is all about. So that conversation is coming up in a few minutes.

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Music
11:56 am
Thu February 7, 2013

Mixing Blues and the Nakota Nation In Music

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 3:28 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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.

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Around the Nation
11:56 am
Thu February 7, 2013

Ending Saturday Delivery, End Of The Post Office?

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 3:28 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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.

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11:44 am
Thu February 7, 2013

Detroit becomes a focus of urban redevelopment

Lead in text: 
Redevelopment efforts in the Motor City still depend heavily on federal tax credits administered by the Department of the Interior.
Posted to MichiganNow.org on Wednesday, February 6, 2013 INTRO: Detroit could become a laboratory for urban revitalization in America. So said U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar on a recent visit from Washington. Michigan Now's Chris McCarus reports on why Salazar came and how Detroit teeters between revival and destruction.
Movie Interviews
11:04 am
Thu February 7, 2013

Bradley Cooper Finds 'Silver Linings' Everywhere

Bradley Cooper has been nominated for an Academy Award for his role in the film Silver Linings Playbook.
Jojo Whilden The Weinstein Company

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 1:14 pm

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]."

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Film
10:55 am
Thu February 7, 2013

Anna Karenina: 'Theatrical,' but in a different sort of way

James Sanford's review of 'Anna Karenina'

The Kalamazoo Film Society will screen the film Anna Karenina starring Keira Knightly and Jude Law this weekend at The Little Theater on WMU's campus.

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Michigan health care
8:40 am
Thu February 7, 2013

Gongwer Publisher on plan to expand Medicaid coverage

Credit Melissa Benmark / WKAR

Governor Snyder says he supports expanding Medicaid coverage to 470,000 Michigan residents. The first three years of that expansion will be funded by the federal government under the Affordable Care Act. 

Read more
7:49 am
Thu February 7, 2013

Snyder will seek higher tax on diesel

Lead in text: 
Snyder has made raising money to improve transportation a top priority for this year.
Lansing - Gov. Rick Snyder said Wednesday he supports making truck drivers and motorists with diesel engine vehicles pay the same fuel tax rate that's levied on unleaded gasoline. Snyder said he'll offer new details today about his plan to raise $1.2 billion in new fuel and vehicle taxes during his budget presentation to lawmakers.
Asia
7:30 am
Thu February 7, 2013

What Cellphone Brand Does North Korean Leader Use?

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 3:07 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning, I'm Steve Inskeep with a case of product placement. Corporations pay millions to have their products turn up in the hands of famous people but somehow, they were not thrilled when a photo showed a smartphone on a table next to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. This set off fevered speculation about which brand it was.

Asia
7:22 am
Thu February 7, 2013

Millions Of Chinese To Travel For Chinese New Year

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 3:07 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Good morning, I'm David Greene.

We've heard that necessity breeds invention. Well, so does discomfort. This weekend, 200 million Chinese are traveling home for the Chinese New Year. And for some this means entire days on standing room only trains.

One gadget being sold to travelers is a padded metal pole. It's to lean your head on so you don't fall over when you doze off. Or how about a luggage cart that doubles as a seat, with cup holders? Many people, though, are going old school with a simple upside down bucket.

6:22 am
Thu February 7, 2013

Men's basketball: Western Michigan 82 Kent State 76

Lead in text: 
The Broncos have won seven straight, and remain in sole possession of first place in the Mid-American Conference West Division.
  • Source: Mlive
  • | Via: Kalamazoo Gazette
KALAMAZOO, MI - The Western Michigan University men's basketball team has claimed victories all sorts of ways during its current winning streak. The Broncos found yet another way Wednesday night against visiting Kent State. They gutted one out and made big plays down the stretch in a high-scoring, foul-ridden affair, emerging with an 82-76 victory before 2,721 highly charged fans at University Arena.
NPR Story
6:00 am
Thu February 7, 2013

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 3:07 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And we have news of another fire sale. Our last word in business today is the buy of a lifetime.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

That's what some are calling the sale of a 20-acre estate outside Cedar Falls, Iowa, which sold for a winning bid of around $600,000. The precise amount was not disclosed. One expert says to build something like that estate today would cost $1.5 million.

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NPR Story
6:00 am
Thu February 7, 2013

Business News

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 3:07 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with Boeing's battery problem.

Boeing's new fleet of Dreamliner 787 aircraft is grounded. But there is one in the air right now. The FAA cleared the plane's flight this morning from Fort Worth, Texas to Seattle. Engineers at the Boeing factory there will study the plane's lithium ion batteries and look for ways to reduce fire risk. Regulators around the world grounded the Dreamliner last month after batteries overheated on two planes. Only crew are aboard the 787 currently on its way to Seattle.

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NPR Story
6:00 am
Thu February 7, 2013

African Peacekeepers Used To Battling Insurgents

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 3:07 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Let's get a glimpse of the troops now fighting Islamist insurgents in Somalia. Forces from multiple African nations have been battling a group called al-Shabaab for years. They're being closely watched now because the international community is considering how to intervene in future months and years against an insurgency in Mali. NPR's Gregory Warner is traveling with a force in Somalia. Gregory, welcome back to the program.

GREGORY WARNER, BYLINE: Thanks, Steve.

INSKEEP: So where are you, and what have you been doing?

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Europe
3:39 am
Thu February 7, 2013

Privatization Of Greek Assets Runs Behind Schedule

Employees of Hellenic Postbank protest during a strike against the bank's privatization in Athens, in December.
John Kolesidis Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 3:07 pm

In exchange for multibillion-euro bailouts, Greece was required to sell state-owned assets. But the sweeping privatization process is behind schedule. In addition, European governments are nervous that Chinese, Russian and Arab companies are lining up to take advantage of the Greek fire sale.

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Planet Money
3:34 am
Thu February 7, 2013

'Give Me The Money Or I'll Shoot The Trees'

Pay up, or the bird gets it. (A hoatzin perches on a branch in Yasuni National Park.)
Pablo Cozzaglio AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 3:07 pm

Ecuador's Yasuni National Park is one of the most diverse ecosystems on Earth. But there's a complication: The park sits on top of the equivalent of millions of barrels of oil.

This creates a dilemma.

Ecuador prides itself on being pro-environment. Its constitution gives nature special rights. But Ecuador is a relatively poor country that could desperately use the money from the oil.

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