It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep, with Renee Montagne. Good morning.
Let's try again, shall we, to explain what it means when we hear that the U.S. economy shrank in the fourth quarter of 2012. As we've discussed elsewhere in the program, the decline was slight - just one-tenth of a percentage point - but it is the first contraction of the economy since the Great Recession officially ended in 2009. NPR's Jim Zarroli is with us once again in New York. Jim, good morning.
Originally published on Wed January 30, 2013 11:16 am
Can Mark Sanford make a comeback? Right now, it appears quite possible.
The Republican ended his career as South Carolina's governor in disgrace after revealing in 2009 that he'd been surreptitiously spending time in Argentina visiting his mistress. But Sanford now hopes to return to his first job in politics, representing coastal South Carolina in the House.
"As soon as Sanford jumped in, he was the presumptive front-runner, simply because of his money and name recognition," says Scott Huffmon, a pollster based at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, S.C.
Australian singer-songwriter Paul Kelly makes his fifth appearance on Mountain Stage, recorded live in Charleston, W.V. Kelly has been recording for more than 25 years, earning awards back home for his film and TV compositions and a cult-like following in the U.S. and abroad. Though Rolling Stone has called him "Australia's rock icon," Kelly has diversified through the years, recording albums that borrow from country, rock, folk and bluegrass.
Originally published on Thu January 31, 2013 12:03 pm
There are three phrases that are almost always bad news for a piece of cultural writing.
1. "The masses."
2. "Middle America."
3. "The lowest common denominator."
All three are ways to separate the writer and her sensibility — which are presumed to be congruent with the reader and her sensibility — from invisible and undefined others, for whom bad cultural content is produced and by whom it is unquestioningly gobbled up.
Originally published on Fri February 1, 2013 11:16 am
Few pianists have been as influential to modern jazz practice as McCoy Tyner. His harmonic and rhythmic conceptions, notably displayed as a member of John Coltrane's "classic" quartet, are instantly recognizable. And at age 74, you can still hear his driving left hand and dense chordal suggestions in fine form.
Originally published on Wed January 30, 2013 6:42 pm
If you've earned a paycheck in recent years, you'll probably want want to know about this:
The Equifax credit reporting agency, NBC News reports, has collected 190 million employment and salary records on about one-third of U.S. adults and has sold some of the information "to debt collectors, financial service companies and other entities."
Originally published on Fri February 1, 2013 11:16 am
Once he had established himself as a world-class saxophonist, Joshua Redman moved back to the San Francisco Bay Area, where he grew up. Soon afterward, he co-founded the SFJAZZ Collective, an all-star resident ensemble and touring group, and served as its artistic director for several years. When he stepped down from his post, his replacement was another titan of the tenor sax: Joe Lovano.
Originally published on Wed January 30, 2013 8:36 am
With a wide array of instrumentation and lush melodies, the music of the L.A. band Lord Huron explores the beauty of the outdoors. Founder Ben Schneider captures a sense of place and translates it beautifully to live performances of songs from his band's full-length debut, Lonesome Dreams. Lord Huron has been a station favorite for some time now, and this performance is everything we hoped it would be.
Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne with gnomes in the news. This time, about 2,300 tiny paintings of gnomes have appeared on utility poles all over Oakland, California. Since the little guys showed up last year, full-sized residents got into the spirit - blogging and tweeting new sightings. Pacific Gas and Electric was going to evict the bearded figures, but when the anonymous artist appealed, PG&E backed off. Yesterday it declared the poles gnome-man's-land. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
The Caravan of Peace is an annual march at the Vatican. As Pope Benedict looked on, two doves, symbolizing peace, were released into St. Peter's Square. It was beautiful until a seagull assaulted one of the doves. Time magazine got one of the finest headlines ever seen outside The Onion: Pope's Dove of Peace Attacked by Seagull of Irony. But the symbolism grew deeper when the surprisingly tough Dove of Peace fought off the much larger seagull.
It used to be a truism among critics of British poetry that Keats and most of his fellow Romantic poets worked in the shadow of John Milton. I'm not making a perfect analogy when I suggest that most contemporary Japanese writers seem to be working under the shadow of Haruki Murakami, but I hope it highlights the spirit of the situation.
This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
And I'm Steve Inskeep.
Photographs out of Syria show a river in the city of Aleppo. The river flows through a concrete channel, rather like the Los Angeles River in California. And along those concrete banks in Aleppo, the photos show a long row of bodies.
NPR's Kelly McEvers is monitoring this story from Beirut. She's on the line. Kelly, what happened in Aleppo as best you can tell?
The Ford Motor Company also announced its earnings yesterday, saying it had a pre-tax profit of $8 billion for 2012. And that gives union employees a reason to celebrate. They will each get a profit sharing check of $8,300 - a record high amount.
There's also some good news coming for General Motors workers, as Michigan Radio's Tracy Samilton reports.
OK. In the next few days, cable companies announce how they did financially in 2012. Most industry watchers expect some negative trends to continue. More people are canceling their cable subscriptions. They are called cord cutters, because they are getting TV from the Internet and over the air, not their cable cords. But they're not the only problem the cable industry needs to worry about. NPR's Neda Ulaby reports.
It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
And I'm Renee Montagne.
It's that rare week in politics when Republicans and Democrats have been advocating roughly the same thing.
INSKEEP: Some - though by no means all - GOP leaders insist it's time to back changes in immigration laws. Republican Senator Jeff Flake argued on this program yesterday, for example, that reform was morally right and also politically necessary for his party.