The conflict that the world is witnessing in the streets of Kiev has deep roots and potentially very wide repercussions. Ukraine is a country of 45 million people and at issue these days is how it aligns itself and how it defines its future. Columbia University Professor Stephen Sestanovich is a former U.S. ambassador at large to the former Soviet Union. Welcome to the program once again.
Now, a roundup of some of the big stories out of Winter Olympics in Sochi today. A Norwegian athlete became the most decorated Winter Olympian of all time. And there was a bruising loss for host country Russia. Its men's hockey team lost to Finland and is out of the Olympic tournament. Russian fans like Alexander Ustinov(ph) were devastated.
ALEXANDER USTINOV: You know, it's so bad because we lose. We lose. I can't believe it. It's so bad.
The U.S. has added another gold medal to its Olympic tally. As NPR's Tamara Keith reports, this latest win comes courtesy of Ted Ligety and with it, he has cemented his place as one of the great giant slalom skiers.
Now, health and electrical lighting. Last month, Mariana Figueiro showed me something she has developed to help seniors avoid falls in the night. Figueiro researches health applications at the Lighting Research Center at Rennselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York. Her project is a nightlight. But it's not just a single bulb. It's a string of yellow lights that border the darkened entrance to, say, a bathroom.
It's a doorway and around the frame of the doorway are the yellow LEDs?
Back in 2011, Mohamed Abdi Farah, who goes by the stage name Mo, seemed to be Norway's next rising pop star. Success on his country's version of The X Factor led to a record deal and the release of several singles, all before his 18th birthday. But then, Mo found himself in the middle of a national nightmare: a mass shooting on the Norwegian island of Utøya.
Britain's Claire Hamilton delivers the rock while her teammate Anna Sloan prepares to sweep during the women's curling semifinal game against Canada during the Sochi Winter Olympics on Wednesday. Canada won 6-4.
If the sport of curling feels like too much of a blur, we have a refresher in GIF form that can help.
Originally published on Thu February 20, 2014 11:58 am
"I'm worth 83.7 million dollars and bored out of my mind."
"My friend who is a banker just told me he's working on Dropbox's IPO...oooh."
"The drug use in Silicon Valley is outrageous. So are the inflated egos. It's like LA for smart, ugly people."
Declarations like these — some plaintive, some fueled by professional frustration and some just plain gossipy — tumble forth anonymously on the new app Secret, and because many of them seem to be coming from within the booming tech industry, the app has built early buzz.
With just 11 days before the end of 2013, The New York Times posted a dialect quiz on its website that drew in millions of readers, making it the site’s most popular page for the year. The quiz is designed to pinpoint the quiz-taker’s exact region, based on the words he or she uses.
The graphics intern who created the mapping algorithm, Josh Katz, was hired for a full-time position and Bert Vaux, the linguist who created the data for the test, began to see an uptick in the activity on his website.
The artist known as Yuna joins Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson to talk about her U.S. tour, her new album “Nocturnal” and how her belief in Islam factors into her music and what she wears when she performs.
The London electronic/funk/dance collective Jungle has popped up many times in our Metropolis mixes over the past six months. The group, led by the vaguely anonymous duo J and T, is releasing its debut album later this year, and is primed to catch on in America during stops in New York City and SXSW next month.
Metropolis host Jason Bentley premiered the record's first single, "Busy Earnin'," on KCRW in Santa Monica, Calif., on Wednesday morning. If you weren't listening, we've got you covered — you can stream the radio edit right here.
The world's largest oyster is nearly 14 inches long and resides in Denmark, according to the folks at Guinness World Records. And it's still alive and growing, according to Christine Ditlefsen, the biologist at the Wadden Sea Centre whose world record was recently certified.
The oyster was found in October in Wadden Sea National Park, a shallow area off of the North Sea on Denmark's southwestern coast. Its size and shape could be said to resemble a huge plaintain. But when they found it, the Wadden staff compared the oyster to a large and sturdy shoe.
Originally published on Sat February 22, 2014 4:08 pm
This post has been updated to reflect Friday's agreement reached between the government and the opposition.
Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and leaders of the anti-government opposition reached an agreement on a deal to hold new elections, form a unity government and restore a constitution drafted in 2004. The deal could lead to an end to the violence that has killed more than 70 people since it erupted earlier this week.
Originally published on Wed February 19, 2014 2:10 pm
In a video released Wednesday, imprisoned protest leader Leopoldo Lopez urges his supporters in Venezuela to continue pressing for the resignation of President Nicolas Maduro, Reuters reports from Caracas.
Originally published on Wed February 19, 2014 3:09 pm
The Soviet Union collapsed more than 20 years ago, yet genuine democracy is still a stranger in most of the 15 former republics. Ukraine, where at least 25 people were killed on Tuesday, is just the latest bloody example.
From President Vladimir Putin's hard-line rule in Russia to the 20-year reign of Alexander Lukashenko in Belarus to the assorted strongmen of Central Asia, many post-Soviet rulers consistently display a fondness for the old days, when opposition was something to be squashed, not tolerated.
Paul Van Haver — the son of a Belgian mother and a Rwandan father — was raised by his mother in a French-speaking suburb of Brussels. He rarely saw his father, and he struggled academically. When his mother insisted he take up an instrument, he chose the drums.
Tom Steyer, a billionaire retired hedge-fund investor, is aiming to spend $100 million to make climate change a priority issue in this year's midterm elections.
As the New York Times reported Tuesday, the Democrat is working to raise $50 million from donors to add to $50 million of his own money to bankroll his San Francisco-based political organization, NextGen Climate Action.
Originally published on Wed February 19, 2014 4:21 pm
I have a new streaming music service in my life. Let's call him Beatsy. It's an open relationship — I'm still accessing other music streams, and Beatsy's positively promiscuous, winning the hearts of the music press and thousands of trial subscribers. But I don't mind. When I'm with Beatsy I feel special. Yes, he is a computer program — the world knows him as Beats Music, just one of many services that make it possible for me to listen to music stored in its cloud library via my phone or computer.