The Justice Department's subpoena of Associated Press phone records as part of an investigation into what Attorney General Eric Holder has called "a very grave leak" to the news agency has set off a political firestorm on Capitol Hill, but there's a lot to the AP story published a year ago that started it all.
We continue the hour of games handpicked by host Ophira Eisenberg with a tribute to a Billy Joel classic. In "We Didn't Start The Fire," house musician Jonathan Coulton rewrites some couplets of this oft-attempted, oft-maligned karaoke hit to quiz contestants about a few of its historical references. Jonathan also plays a cover of Billy Joel's "Pressure." Plus, Ophira chats with author Chuck Klosterman about his personal quirks, music, and pop culture.
In the final set of host Ophira Eisenberg's favorite games, we try to identify literary classics and bestsellers based on their actual Amazon one-star reviews in "Everyone's A Critic." House musician Jonathan Coulton attempts a round of "Radio Pictionary," asking contestants to identify corporate logos by a description of his drawings. Finally, with the help of recent VIP Michael Ian Black, host Ophira Eisenberg re-imagines famous advertising slogans as if they were delivered by Valley Girls, in "Just Do It?"
Host Ophira Eisenberg begins the hour by exploring the international gustatory delights of...McDonald's. You know that "two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun" is a Big Mac. But do you know what's in a McAloo Tikki Burger, or where you can buy one? If so, play along to "Where In The World Is Ronald McDonald?" Plus, we mind our manners in a game called "The Mad Men's Guide to Etiquette."
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
And I'm Melissa Block.
The President of the U.N. General Assembly said today that at least 80,000 people have been killed in Syria's two-year civil war, and that most of those casualties were civilians. The assembly also approved a resolution today calling for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step aside. But that vote was largely symbolic; the resolution is unenforceable.
A black dehorned rhinoceros is followed by a calf at the Bona Bona Game Reserve in 2012. South Africa has seen a devastating increase in poaching in recent years as black-market demand for rhino horn has grown.
When Duan Biggs was growing up in the Kruger National Park in South Africa, he used to watch elephants and rhinos walking past his bedroom window. He left home to pursue degrees in biology and economics, and when he returned in 2011 the park looked and sounded "like a pseudo war zone," he says.
"There'd be helicopters flying overhead all the time," he says. "I remember one afternoon coming back to my home from a game drive and the bush was crawling with people with assault rifles, from the army, from the police, and from National Parks. They were looking for poachers."
Hundreds of condolences are appearing online for Richard Swanson, the Seattle man whose plan to dribble a soccer ball all the way to Brazil to raise money for charity ended Tuesday after he was struck and killed by a pickup truck in Oregon. Many see his story as an inspiration, and say they'll continue his charity work.
"It is with a heavy heart to notify you that Richard Swanson passed on this morning," reads an update announcing Swanson's death on the Facebook page for his project, Breakaway Brazil, yesterday.
Solomon "Sully" Omar performs with the Afghan metal band District Unknown at the third annual Sound Central Festival in Kabul earlier this month.
Credit Courtesy of Ellie Kealey
The 23-year-old, Colorado-born Omar (shown here performing an acoustic set with a member of District Unknown) says he was pleasantly surprised by the vibrant music scene he found when he landed in Kabul last year.
When 23-year-old Solomon "Sully" Omar felt the music scene in his native Denver wasn't giving him what he was looking for, he made a radical move. He headed for Kabul, capital of the war-torn country his parents had fled decades ago.
"I came here to continue my education and at the same time see what's in the music scene here and bring some of the skills and abilities that I have to the music scene," says Omar.
Two weeks ago, we launched a Kickstarter campaign to make a t-shirt and tell the story of how it was made. As we wrote on our Kickstarter page:
We'll meet the people who grow the cotton, spin the yarn, and cut and sew the fabric. We'll ride on the cargo ships that bring our t-shirt from factories in Bangladesh and Colombia to ports in the US. And we'll examine the crazy tangle of international regulations which govern the t-shirt trade the whole way.
From the Northern Isles of Shetland and Orkney, to the Hebrides, the Isle of Man and Rathlin Island off the northern Irish coast, this week's diverse choice of music is insular only in the geographical sense.
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A Wal-Mart store in Paramount, Calif. The company announced it would conduct its own inspections at Bangladeshi factories that produce its goods rather than joining an agreement with other Western retailers.
Wal-Mart says it has drafted its own plan for improving safety at garment factories in Bangladesh rather than join other Western retailers in a legally binding agreement to pay for improved conditions for workers in the South Asian country.
Online activist Ali Abdulemam (right) is greeted in Manama, Bahrain, on Feb. 23, 2011, shortly after anti-government protests began. Wanted by the government, he went into hiding the following month. He escaped from Bahrain after two years underground and made his first public appearance Wednesday in Oslo, Norway.
The Arab world was aflame in March 2011. Longtime rulers in Tunisia and Egypt had been toppled. NATO was poised to attack Libyan government forces. The Syrian uprising was just beginning. And on the small island nation of Bahrain, the government was cracking down on pro-democracy protesters.
Across Bahrain, protest leaders were rounded up and some were quickly tried, convicted and sentenced to prison. The writing was on the wall for the leaders of the movement, including Ali Abdulemam.
Every 14 minutes, someone in this country commits suicide, and research on ways to reduce that grim statistic appears to be on a plateau. In other words, psychologists don't have much in the way of new ideas - at least, right now - except maybe for what's described as groundbreaking work on the notes that those who kill themselves sometimes leave behind. A team of researchers at the Cincinnati Children's Hospital use computers to break down the language in these messages of despair, in the hope that they can better identify those at risk.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan, in Washington. The IRS targets the Tea Party; the Justice Department picks on the press; but the president waves off Benghazi as a distraction. It's Wednesday and time for a...
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: A sideshow...
CONAN: ...edition of the Political Junkie.
(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDINGS)
PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN: There you go again.
VICE PRESIDENT WALTER MONDALE: When I hear your new ideas, I'm reminded of that ad: Where's the beef?