It's one of the most familiar stories in fantasy: someone from our world stumbles on a gateway to a world entirely other — usually magical, sometimes dangerous, and always ripe for a great adventure. But despite the iconic image of a paradise just beyond the doorway, the portal fantasy is often, at heart, a cynical work. After all, some of folkore's most notable archetypes were supernatural threats who crossed from their world to ours to beleaguer us.
Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. In Mozart's opera "The Magic Flute," Tamino and Pamina can't get married unless brave Tamino passes three tests or trials. At a performance on Lake Constance in Austria this week, the trials by silence and fire were no sweat but water turned out to be a bit trickier. As a gondola carrying three characters approached the floating stage it capsized, tossing the three into the lake's shallow waters. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
Republicans and Democrats agree. Strategists who worked on opposing campaigns are urging the Twitterverse to just say yes to the candidacy of the progressive rock band, Yes. Plus, a Facebook page, a website, a documentary, all to get the Rock 'n' roll Hall of Fame to say yes to Yes. Is our national polarization at an end? Or perhaps "The Gates of Delirium" have opened.
It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
The federal government runs out of money on Oct. 1, unless spending authority is granted to agencies for the new fiscal year. If Congress can't pass its spending bills by then, most of the government will shut down.
It's no empty threat. Many who watch the budget process closely think there's a very good chance that's exactly what's going to happen.
President Obama, like his predecessors George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, has chafed at the conventions of communicating through the mainstream media. So while he uses print and broadcast every day, he and staff have sought out a host of non-traditional media means for reaching new audiences in new ways.
It was five years ago that the U.S. was chastising Russia over its invasion of the former Soviet Republic of Georgia. Russian tanks had moved across the border after Georgian forces tried to re-take a separatist region, a region which Russia backed. There is still tensions between the countries, but last year Georgian voters elected a new prime minister who pledged to improve ties with Moscow.
Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 5:41 am
The U.S. has canceled plans for an Obama-Putin summit because Russia granted temporary asylum to NSA leaker Edward Snowden. But Secretary of State John Kerry and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel will go ahead with plans to meet their counterparts in Washington.
Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 5:06 am
The rail company involved in the explosion that killed 47 people in a small Quebec town last month has filed for bankruptcy. The bankruptcy is a direct result of the explosion, in which a run-away train carrying oil derailed and blew up not far from the Maine-Quebec border.
Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 6:43 am
In Missouri, several communities have been ravaged by flooding. Among the hardest hit has been Waynesville. The town of about 5,000 people has been hit by rain storms — including some 7 inches on Tuesday, and another 6 inches Wednesday. Nearby rivers and creeks have overflowed.
Sioux Falls, S.D., gains thousands of new residents each year. Leaders point to business opportunities, diversity and quality of life as reasons for its growth. This kind of boom comes with conflict, and Sioux Falls faces challenges to continuing development.
Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 6:38 am
The cruise ship made famous by the TV show The Love Boat will end up in a scrap heap on the Turkish coast. A ship recycling company in Turkey bought the cruise liner for a little more than $3 million and will strip it for its parts and metal.
Earnings season is wrapping up in the car world. And the small American company Tesla is doing better than expected. When the high-end electric automaker released its earnings this week, it handily beat Wall Street expectations. Tesla's stock is up about 300 percent this year.
As NPR's Sonari Glinton reports, the question is, whether the company has enough power to sustain it for the long term.
Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 6:09 am
JPMorgan Chase revealed on Wednesday that it's facing criminal and civil investigations by the Justice Department. The bank says the investigations focus on sales of subprime mortgage securities in the years preceding the financial crisis.
Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 4:53 am
The 2010 bestseller The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks highlighted ethical controversies surrounding scientists' use of HeLa cells. The cells are descended from a tumor taken without consent from Henrietta Lacks, a poor black woman who died in 1951. Ethical concerns resurfaced with the publication of the HeLa cell's genome. The National Institutes of Health has now issued guidelines. For an explanation, Linda Wertheimer talks to NIH director Francis Collins.
Victor Reyes has been photographing tourists atop Tijuana's "zonkeys" since he was 12, and says at one time he could earn $150 a day. Now, he's lucky to earn $15, he says. Here, Reyes poses with his donkey, Ruben.
Credit Guillermo Arias / AP
A donkey gets black zebra stripes painted on his ears in a downtown alley in Tijuana, Mexico, in 2008.
Credit Courtesy Roberto Lango
When tourists got upset that white donkeys didn't show up in photographs, it occurred to someone to paint stripes on the animals with women's hair dye. That's how Tijuana's "zonkeys" were born.
A screenshot from the FreedomWorks website, which is urging citizens opposed to the Affordable Care Act to opt out of the law's requirement to have insurance. It asks Americans to symbolically "burn your Obamacare card." In reality, no such card will exist.
Credit Mladen Antonov / AFP/Getty Images
Two girls pose for a picture with a cardboard cut-out of President Obama in a tent defending "Obamacare" in Charlotte, N.C., on Sept. 3, 2012.