Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 1:17 pm
A second team of international inspectors is being deployed to Syria, where the process of destroying chemical weapons-producing facilities began Sunday. Syria faces a November deadline for demolishing its production equipment; the first weapons team arrived in the country on Oct. 1.
Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 11:41 am
On Saturday night I saw Gravity, the new semi-realistic space survival flick. I thought: an astrophysicist's view of this film would certainly be worth a 13.7 post. But I've left that thought behind for an email I had received the day before:
Good morning, fellow political junkies. It's Day 8 of the partial shutdown of the federal government. Among the only certainties: many federal workers are a day closer to missing a paycheck and the nation is a day closer to hitting the debt ceiling.
Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 8:53 am
When you operate within the pop world — that is, the world in which whatever you make becomes a cultural commodity (i.e. you record a song, it gets played on the radio and various hands exchange money) — you have to engage with the process of generating hype. It's a given, no matter how carefully made your work or how pure your intentions. Some people are in the thick of hype, but let's put thoughts of today's provocateurs aside for a moment. Instead, it's interesting to think about how artists who've had the machine spin around them a few times choose to play the game, or change it.
Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 10:50 am
Pearl Jam is set to release its 10th studio album, Lightning Bolt, on Oct. 15, making it the band's first record since 2009's Backspacer. The group members aren't doing much publicity for the album — but when they do, they make it count.
On Tuesday's edition of World Cafe, listeners can hear director and producer Judd Apatow (Anchorman, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Knocked Up) talk with the premier American rock band in a wide-ranging interview.
The prize was given "for the theoretical discovery of a mechanism that contributes to our understanding of the origin of mass of subatomic particles, and which recently was confirmed through the discovery of the predicted fundamental particle, by the ATLAS and CMS experiments at CERN's Large Hadron Collider."
Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 4:19 pm
"My heart is a fish, hiding in the water-grass."
Breq has found someone in the snow: a stranger to everyone on this planet, a thousand years old, a relic out of time — but despite all that, Breq remembers.
Breq used to be the ship that carried them both.
The assured, gripping and stylish Ancillary Justice is, in its broadest strokes, the tale of an empire, and in its smallest a character study, and part of debut novelist Anne Leckie's achievement is how she handles her protagonists in both of those contexts.
Britain's Peter Higgs and Belgium's Francois Englert won the prize for predicting the existence of the Higgs boson. That's the particle key to explaining why elementary matter has mass. The two will share the $1.25 million prize.
And now we have this note as we continue America's most comprehensive coverage of the government shutdown. We have this morning, a scientific clarification about lemmings. Last week, you may recall a Republican lawmaker called his colleagues lemmings. He meant his fellow Republicans were following Senator Ted Cruz on a disastrous mission that led to the government shutdown.
Lemmings supposedly follow each other over a cliff. But we have learned - NPR has learned - that lemming mass suicide is a myth.
A malaria vaccine studied in more than 15,000 African children has been found to reduce the number of cases of disease by 27 to 46 percent.
That's only modest efficacy compared to most accepted vaccines. But this would be the first anti-malarial immunization on the market, and its developers emphasize that it still prevents a lot of cases. Its main sponsor, GlaxoSmithKline, says it's good enough to justify seeking regulatory approval in 2014.
As the war in Afghanistan enters its 13th year, the political and security situation there remains precarious. But the country is hoping to reach a milestone next spring: the first democratic transfer of power in the country's history.
And there's no shortage of candidates vying to succeed President Hamid Karzai — who is barred from running for a third term.
Originally published on Mon October 7, 2013 8:17 pm
Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed a bill today that would have made California the first state in the country to allow non-citizens to serve on juries.
"Jury service, like voting, is quintessentially a prerogative and responsibility of citizenship," Brown wrote in a veto message. "This bill would permit lawful permanent residents who are not citizens to serve on a jury. I don't think that's right."
As the seventh day of the federal government shutdown wraps up, Congress and the White House appear no closer to reaching a budget agreement.
Without much action Monday, a slew of newly released polls filled the news vacuum. While they showed that both parties are taking a hit over the shutdown, it appears Republicans are bearing the brunt of the blame from the American public.
The federal government remains shut down over a budget stalemate, but California's Gov. Jerry Brown decided not to wait for Congress to make decisions on the Gordian knot that is U.S. immigration policy. On Saturday, Brown signed into law a group of bills related to immigration because, he said, enough time has passed.
"While Washington waffles on immigration, California's moving ahead," Brown stated. He added, with trademark bluntness, "I'm not waiting."
Originally published on Mon October 7, 2013 8:36 pm
Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy has been cleared in a scandal over the finances of his 2007 presidential campaign. The examining magistrates' decision to dismiss the case may clear the way for a return to politics for Sarkozy.
"I am delighted about this decision, which I expected," said Sarkozy's lawyer, Thierry Herzog, after the announcement, the AP reports. The news agency adds, "After leaving a private meeting on Monday at the main Paris mosque, Sarkozy nodded to cameras but did not speak to journalists."