Originally published on Mon October 22, 2012 7:31 am
Last week, Joel Rose wrote about the compact disc on its 30th anniversary, but it could have been an obituary. In the last decade, CD sales in the United States have dropped by more than two thirds, fulfilling a cycle that dates back to wax cylinders and 78 rpm discs: the 20 to 30 year lifespan of a format, followed by the rise of a new technology. So we decided to look at the format that usurped the CD's place in music listener's ears and hard drives, if not always hearts.
Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 7:53 am
Mo Yan, the Chinese author, was awarded the Nobel Prize in literature this morning.
Mo Yan, the Nobel committee wrote, uses his "hallucinatory realism" to merge "folk tales, history and the contemporary."
"Through a mixture of fantasy and reality, historical and social perspectives, Mo Yan has created a world reminiscent in its complexity of those in the writings of William Faulkner and Gabriel García Márquez, at the same time finding a departure point in old Chinese literature and in oral tradition," the committee explained in its citation.
Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. Starting a pirate radio station and declaring your own nation, it's the sort of thing people did in the '60s. In 1967, Roy Bates made himself prince of Sealand, an old British fort on a platform off the coast of England. Never mind it was the size of a McMansion. Prince Roy ruled Sealand for four decades. In that time he fought off others who claimed it, even confronting the Royal Navy. Roy Bates died this week at 91, not from boredom. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 4:20 pm
During a college visit to Colorado in September, Ruth Bader Ginsburg told students that she expects to rule this coming term on the Defense of Marriage Act. The 1996 law is already on its deathbed — since last year, the Justice Department has refused to argue in court for its constitutionality — but it remains on the books. That means the 130,000 or so married gay couples in America receive none of the federal benefits that straight married couples do.
Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 7:22 am
Mo Yan was one of three writers favored to win. He is perhaps best known in the West as the author of Red Sorghum, which was made into a film. He is only the second Chinese writer to win the Nobel — the other is poet Gao Xingjian, who won in 2000.
There are business effects to some of the more than 170 statewide ballot measures to be decided in next month's elections. In California, voters will determine if labels should be required on genetically-modified food. People in Arkansas will vote whether to increase taxes for highways and bridges. And one measure in Michigan is capturing attention - whether the state constitution should be amended to change how utilities get their electricity.
Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 5:17 am
Presidential polls are starting to shift to show the race between President Obama and GOP rival Mitt Romney tightening even further, and in some cases, Romney is ahead for the first time. Steve Inskeep talks to David Axelrod, Obama's senior campaign adviser, about the shifts in the race, and the president's strategy with less than a month to go before the election.
This week in Iowa, the Des Moines Register asked Mitt Romney about abortion. Romney replied: There's no legislation with regards to abortion that I'm familiar with that would become part of my agenda.
Democrats immediately noted that during the Republican primary campaign Romney actually wrote an article headlined, "My Pro-Life Pledge" that promised specific legislation. Much of his political base is pro-life and his campaign quickly clarified that Romney remains proudly pro-life and would support pro-life legislation.
STEVE INSKEEPI, HOST: It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep. Good morning.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
And I'm Renee Montagne.
Tonight, it is the vice presidential candidates who face the audience for their first and only debate. Joe Biden will be under pressure to shift the momentum back to the Democratic ticket. Republican challenger, Paul Ryan, will be trying to keep that momentum going in Mitt Romney's direction. ABC's Martha Raddatz will be moderating the debate, which will be held in Danville, Kentucky.
Former cycling champion Lance Armstrong conquered mountains to win the Tour de France seven times. Now, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency has revealed a mountain of evidence against him. The agency known as USADA documents a sophisticated doping scheme and puts Armstrong and his U.S. Postal Service teammates at the center of it, laying out the reason why Armstrong was banned for life from the sport and stripped of his Tour de France titles.
Wal-Mart is thriving despite the shaky economy, protests from union supporters and allegations of bribery at its Mexican unit. The company's stock price hit an all-time high Wednesday, and holiday layaway sales are off to a sizzling start. It's also introducing a low-cost, pre-paid debit card.
Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 6:59 am
Lenovo shipped 13.8 million units in the third quarter, according to the research firm Gartner. That robs a struggling Hewlett-Packard from a title they'd long enjoyed: the world's No. 1 PC vendor. The firm's data also suggests a worldwide dip in PC sales of about 8 percent over the past year.
Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 6:54 am
In a Census Bureau report released Wednesday, it tallied up the median earnings for different bachelor degree holders. Engineers make an average of $92,000 a year. Some other majors at the low-end of the list: education, fine and visual arts and communications. Those all earn an average of $50,000 to $60,000.
We've been watching a deadly medical scandal unfold over the past week. A steroid commonly injected into people's spines to relieve back pain was apparently contaminated by an ordinary fungus.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
As a result so far, 137 people in 10 states have contracted a rare brain infection of fungal meningitis. Twelve people have died. The tainted drug apparently came from a pharmacy in Massachusetts that shipped nearly 18,000 doses to 23 states.
When you hear the term "film premiere," you are likely to think of Hollywood or New York — not Kabul. But just last week, an award-winning short film was screened in the Afghan capital, and for a good reason: The movie was shot entirely in Kabul and tells the story of two Afghan boys dreaming about their future.
One way to measure greenhouse gases is simply to capture them at the source: You put an instrument on a smokestack, for example. Cities, however, are full of cars, buses, factories and homes that all use fuel or electricity. No one really knows how much carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas, comes from each.
PBS' Jim Lehrer came in for widespread criticism last week for failing to control the first presidential debate. Now, moderator Martha Raddatz is confronting partisan criticism in the lead-up to Thursday night's vice presidential debate, the first and only direct confrontation between Republican Paul Ryan and Democrat Joe Biden.
At Rome's Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls, 50 years ago this week, the newly elected pontiff stunned the world by calling the first Catholic Church Council in nearly a century — the Second Vatican Council, or what's known as Vatican II.
Pope John XXIII called for the institution's renewal and more interaction with the modern world.
As a result of Vatican II, the Catholic Church opened its windows onto the modern world, updated the liturgy, gave a larger role to laypeople, introduced the concept of religious freedom and started a dialogue with other religions.