NPR News

Pages

Technology
2:04 am
Fri March 8, 2013

News Corp. Education Tablet: For The Love Of Learning?

Joel Klein, former New York City schools chief, left to run News Corp.'s education division. On Thursday, Amplify announced a specially designed education tablet.
Richard Drew AP

Originally published on Mon March 18, 2013 1:32 pm

The educational division of the media conglomerate News Corp., called Amplify, unveiled a new digital tablet this week at the SXSW tech conference in Austin, Texas, intended to serve millions of schoolchildren and their teachers across the country.

Amplify promises the tablet will simplify administrative chores for teachers, enable shy children to participate more readily in discussions, and allow students to complete coursework at their own pace while drawing upon carefully selected online research resources.

Read more
Theater
12:01 am
Fri March 8, 2013

For Berry Gordy, Broadway Is Memory Lane

Valisia LeKae, Sydney Morton and Ariana Debose play the Supremes in the show.
Andrew Eccles

Originally published on Fri March 8, 2013 11:50 am

There's hardly an adult anywhere in the world who wouldn't recognize at least some of the music of Motown.

The R&B label changed the course of music in the United States and made household names of Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder and The Jackson 5. Now, the man who created Motown — Berry Gordy — is headed to Broadway to tell his version of how it all began.

Read more
The Two-Way
6:45 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

County Will Pay $15.5 Million To Man Who Spent 22 Months In Solitary Confinement

When he was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol and other charges in 2005, Stephen Slevin had no way of knowing that an opinion about his mental state would put him on a path to spend more than 22 months of solitary confinement in a New Mexico county jail, despite never having his day in court. This week, he reached a $15.5 million settlement with Dona Ana County.

Read more
The Two-Way
6:19 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

Venezuela's Acting President Says Chávez's Body Will Be Permanently Displayed

Supporters line up to pay their last respects to late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, outside the Military Academy in Caracas on Thursday.
Ronaldo Schemidt AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 6:57 pm

The mourning over the death of Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez took a Lenin-eque turn today: Acting President Nicolas Maduro announced that his remains will be on permanent display at the Museum of the Revolution, "close to the presidential palace where Chavez ruled for 14 years," the AP reports.

The AP adds:

Read more
The Record
6:18 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

Stompin' Tom Connors, Canadian Folk Hero, Has Died

Stompin' Tom Connors performs at the 2008 NHL Awards at Elgin Theatre in Toronto, Canada.
Bruce Bennett Getty Images

Stompin' Tom Connors was a Canadian folk legend. He was 77 when he died Wednesday at his home in Ontario. To those of us stateside, his most well-known tune is "The Hockey Song," played at hockey games everywhere. But to Canadians, Stompin' Tom Connors was an inspiration because of his naked nationalist pride.

Read more
It's All Politics
6:14 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

Watchdogs Not Celebrating Obama Group's Switch On Big Donors

Jim Messina (left), the head of Organizing for Action and a former top Obama campaign and White House aide, watches President Obama make a statement in the White House Cabinet Room in 2010.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 6:49 pm

Caught between the gritty political realities of needing cash and being linked to a political leader who has repeatedly denounced money's influence in Washington while raising record sums, former campaign aides to President Obama appeared to side with the money.

That had opened officials now heading Organizing for Action — which was formed from the Obama for America campaign committee to promote the president's second-term agenda — to charges of hypocrisy.

Read more
Theater
6:13 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

August Wilson's Words Get New Life In Monologue Contest

Branndin Laramore (from left), Brian Weddington, Lia Miller and Ernesto Moreta pose after a recent rehearsal for the Chicago finals of the August Wilson Monologue Competition.
Cheryl Corley NPR

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 7:40 pm

When the stage lights go up at Chicago's Goodman Theatre on Monday evening, more than 20 high school students will each have a moment to step into the spotlight and perform a monologue from one of the plays written by the late August Wilson. Chicago's contest is one of several regional finals that strives to introduce students to the Pulitzer Prize winner's work. It's also a lead-up to the national August Wilson Monologue Competition that will be held on Broadway later this spring.

Read more
This Is NPR
6:12 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

NPR Generation Listen: Join The Tribe

Betsy Martin NPR

Were you a backseat baby? Were you strapped into your car seat and forced to listen to NPR in the 80's and 90's? If so, high fives to your smart parents.

If you weren't force-fed, how did you discover us? We want to know. It's high time we got to know you in an intentional and meaningful way.

Join us on a new on-ramp to NPR that is quietly gaining speed: Generation Listen.

Read more
Movie Reviews
5:54 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

Was Japan's Hirohito Guilty? 'Emperor' Has No Clue

Gen. Bonner Fellers (Matthew Fox) is the cheerless, angsty romantic lead in a historical drama that could have leaned more toward accuracy in its depiction of post-war Japan.
Kirsty Griffin Roadside Attractions

You'd think that in telling a story whose novelty is in its veracity, retaining some semblance of that truth might be important. But wrestling history into narrative has its challenges, and things can get hazy when it comes to the facts in a historical drama. So it seems like the next logical step in telling a story with a relationship to truth might be that if you're going to fudge things, at least make it entertaining. Please, pull an Argo.

Read more
The Two-Way
5:48 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

Michigan Sen. Carl Levin Announces He Will Not Seek Re-Election

Senate Armed Services Chairman Carl Levin (D-MI), looks at his papers while talking about U.S. companies recieving large tax breaks, during a news conference on Capitol Hill.

Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 7:03 pm

Michigan Sen. Carl Levin announced today that he would not seek reelection in 2014. Levin chairs the Armed Services Committee.

In a statement, he called the decision "extremely difficult."

Read more
The Salt
5:20 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

If Caffeine Can Boost The Memory Of Bees, Can It Help Us, Too?

Adam Cole/NPR iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 6:13 pm

Who knew that the flower nectar of citrus plants — including some varieties of grapefruit, lemon and oranges — contains caffeine? As does the nectar of coffee plant flowers.

And when honeybees feed on caffeine-containing nectar, it turns out, the caffeine buzz seems to improve their memories — or their motivations for going back for more.

"It is surprising," says Geraldine Wright at Newcastle University in the the U.K., the lead researcher of a new honeybee study published in the journal Science.

Read more
Around the Nation
5:20 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

VA Offers Free Gun Locks To Help Prevent Vet Suicides

The Department of Veterans Affairs began giving out gun locks in 2008, modeling a national gun safety program called Project ChildSafe
Sue Ogrocki AP

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 6:13 pm

Every day an estimated 22 veterans kill themselves in the U.S. and most of them use a gun to do so, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs. This trend mirrors the general population where more people kill themselves with guns than by all other methods combined.

The VA is trying to help with a program that offers gun locks to veterans for free. The thinking is that if they lock their guns up they might not reach for them in the spur of the moment.

Read more
Politics
5:12 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

Departing Obama Speechwriter: 'I Leave This Job Actually More Hopeful'

Jon Favreau, President Obama's former chief speechwriter, is pictured on the South Lawn of the White House in 2010.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 7:09 pm

Behind most politicians is a speechwriter, typing rapidly somewhere in a small office and trying to channel the boss's voice.

The man who has held perhaps the most prominent speechwriting job of the new millennium is Jon Favreau, a 31-year-old from Massachusetts who was President Obama's chief speechwriter until this month. He started writing for Obama when the president was just a senator in 2005.

He tells Audie Cornish, host of All Things Considered, that writing for the president means walking a line between two worlds.

Read more
Latin America
5:11 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

Venezuelans Mourn A Fiery Leader They Had Deep Connections To

Supporters of late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez wait in line to see his body lying in state Thursday outside the Military Academy in Caracas, Venezuela. The state funeral will be held Friday.
Mauricio Duenas Castaneda EPA /Landov

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 6:13 pm

In Venezuela, thousands of mourners are paying their last respects to their larger-than-life leader, Hugo Chavez. The man who ruled Venezuela for 14 years died Tuesday, and his body is now lying in state in Caracas, the capital, as presidents and dignitaries fly in for the funeral Friday.

Read more
Education
5:07 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

Federal Probe Targets Uneven Discipline At Seattle Schools

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 6:13 pm

The Education Department has launched an investigation into discipline rates in Seattle public schools.

Students of color have long been punished in far higher numbers than white students in Seattle, but now the department's Office for Civil Rights is looking at whether black students are disciplined more frequently and more harshly than white students for the same behavior.

Read more
Politics
5:01 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

Rand Paul Wouldn't Crack Top 5 In Filibuster Talking Hall Of Fame

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 6:13 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Senator Rand Paul did get a lot of attention for his nearly 13-hour filibuster, but the Kentucky Republican wouldn't even crack the top five for the longest talking filibusters. The top spot goes to South Carolina Senator Strom Thurmond back in 1957. He held the floor for over 24 hours. For more on that and other notable filibusters, we talked to Senate historian Donald Ritchie. He says back in 1957, Senator Thurmond came to the Senate floor ready.

Read more
Politics
5:00 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

Obama Reaches Out To Republicans With Dinner Invitations

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 6:13 pm

President Obama continued his outreach to congressional Republicans on Thursday with a lunch with Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, chairman of the Budget Committee and author of a plan to balance the budget in a decade.

Movie Reviews
5:00 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

Friendship Fades To Bleak 'Beyond The Hills'

As Voichita (Cosmina Stratan) settles into life as a Romanian Orthodox nun, her childhood friend Alina (Cristina Flutur) returns to try to draw her out of a life of deep religious piety.
Sundance Selects

The opening shot of Cristian Mungiu's Beyond the Hills may look somewhat familiar. As in the Romanian writer-director's previous film, 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days, a young woman strides purposefully while a handheld camera follows mere inches behind. She's on a mission to help a close friend, her resolve demonstrated by the way she marches against two lines of travelers who've just disembarked from a train.

Read more
Movie Reviews
5:00 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

'Everyman's Journey': Don't Believe Everything You Hear

Arnel Pineda's journey from obscurity to international fame as the new frontman for the rock band Journey is the narrative thread that drives Don't Stop Believin': Everyman's Journey.
Cinedigm Entertainment Group

Some bands are born of passion and deep camaraderie, a collective desire to rebel against authority — or at least to look cool. Others are born because a major label threatens to drop them if they don't find a lead vocalist.

Read more
Movie Reviews
5:00 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

From 'Oz,' A Less Than Magical Prequel

Theodora (Mila Kunis) is the first person the young conjuror Oscar (James Franco) meets when he lands in the mystical, magical Land of Oz.
Walt Disney Pictures

Originally published on Fri March 8, 2013 6:03 pm

Oz the Great and Powerful tells the story of how the Wizard came to Oz, answering a question I suspect no one was asking, but with considerable digital wizardry.

Read more

Pages