Originally published on Tue December 17, 2013 8:38 am
Poland and Lithuania say they are worried over Russian news reports that Moscow has placed nuclear-capable missiles in its Baltic territory of Kaliningrad, which lies between the two countries.
"Further militarization of this region, bordering the Baltic states and NATO, creates further anxiety, and we will be watching the situation there closely," Lithuania's Defense Minister Juozas Olekas said, describing the deployment as "alarming."
It is a bizarre nightly ritual that is deeply embedded in the British way of life.
You switch off the TV, lock up the house, slip into bed, turn on your radio, and begin to listen to a mantra, delivered by a soothing, soporific voice.
"Viking, North Utsire, South Utsire, Forties, Cromarty, Forth, Tyne, Dogger ...." says the voice.
You are aware — vaguely — that these delicious words are names, and that those names refer to big blocks of sea around your island nation, stretching all the way up to Iceland and down to North Africa.
From, NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
And I'm Melissa Block.
City College of San Francisco is one of the biggest community colleges in the country and it may be about to close. Its accreditation is in jeopardy. The problems aren't in the classroom, they're financial and administrative. And a lot of people in higher education are watching closely.
This week the Fed's influential Open Market Committee meets to discuss some unfinished business. With Chairman Ben Bernanke getting ready to turn things over to Janet Yellen, Fed policymakers must decide whether it's time to start winding down the "quantitative easing" program put in place years ago to protect the recovery.
Tiny plastic beads used in some cosmetics and toothpaste are making their way into the bellies of fish in the Great Lakes, and it's raising concern among environmentalists. Dr. Sherri Mason, a chemistry professor at the State University of New York at Fredonia, has been researching the issue, and she joins Audie Cornish to explain what this means for the Great Lakes ecosystem.
Now we're going to look ahead at emerging trends in the auto industry and what kinds of cars we'll be seeing in 2014. I'm joined by Dan Neil. He's automotive columnist for The Wall Street Journal. Dan, welcome back to the program.
DAN NEIL: Hi, Melissa.
BLOCK: And we just heard U.S. automakers have managed to turn it around. I'm curious to hear whether there's one new car coming out that you think really captures that turnaround.
Writer-director Spike Jonze's latest movie, called simply Her, is about a lonely man who falls in love ... with his operating system. The two lovers — Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix) and Samantha (voiced by Scarlett Johansson) — never meet face to face. In fact Samantha has no face, not even an avatar.
The Steep Canyon Rangers appear on Mountain Stage, recorded live at the Culture Center Theater in Charleston, W.V. One of the fastest-rising bands in bluegrass, the group earned both critical and popular praise for its work in support of comedian and banjo wizard Steve Martin. The Rangers-Martin collaboration Rare Bird Alert was nominated for a Grammy, and the group followed it with Nobody Knows You, which took home 2013's Grammy for Best Bluegrass Album.
Russia is reportedly on the cusp of agreeing to a major loan guarantee for economically troubled Ukraine in an effort to keep the former Soviet republic in its sphere of influence, even as anti-government protesters in Kiev push for closer ties with Europe.
Originally published on Tue December 17, 2013 10:40 am
Over the past 50 years, both the way the federal government spends money and what the government spends money on has changed a lot.
It used to be that most spending was what wonks call "discretionary spending." This is money that has to be approved every year by Congress.
Today, most government spending is what wonks call "mandatory spending." This is money that is spent according to formulas that exist in the law. To change mandatory spending, Congress has to change the law.
This week's pick for World Cafe: Next is Chicago guitarist Ryley Walker. The singer-songwriter recently released a psych-folk EP titled The West Wind, which features swirling guitars and jazzy excursions that are easy to get lost in.
Harvard-trained attorney John Cody, 67, went by the alias Bobby Thompson. He was convicted in November of 23 counts, including identity fraud and using a false name in a scam that spanned 40 states, Reuters says.
For decades, Jimmy Amadie played solely in his home, heard only by his students when he'd play for them during lessons. His performing career was derailed because of severe hand problems. But later in life, he achieved some fame for his albums — and for the story of what he'd had to overcome to make it possible for him to record. Amadie died of lung cancer on Dec. 10. He was 76.