Facebook is redesigning its front page. The News Feed — which is what Facebook's roughly 1 billion users see when they log on to the site — will be rolling out a radical new look over the coming months.
The changes are meant to increase user engagement on the site, make it easier to navigate on mobile phones and provide even more highly targeted advertising.
It is International Women's Day. To mark that occasion, First Lady Michelle Obama joins of Secretary of State John Kerry to recognize women around the world who have shown exceptional courage, as they put it, in advancing women's rights. The nine honorees include the 23-year-old Indian woman whose brutal gang-rape last December inspired a movement to end violence against women in India.
A formerly lost archeological treasure has made its way to the United States for the first time. It comes from Iran and dates back to the days of the ancient Persian Empire. It's called the Cyrus Cylinder. It'll be on tour across the U.S., starting tomorrow, with the Smithsonian Museum here in Washington.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
The Cyrus Cylinder isn't too much too look at - made of clay and shaped kind of like a loaf of bread. What's special about it is that it's etched with writing from the time.
Thousands of Venezuelans have been filling the streets this week, listening to music and lining up to see the coffin of their leader, Hugo Chavez, who died on Tuesday. Leaders from around the world have also come to the capital city, Caracas, for a funeral which formally takes place today. And in keeping with his often larger-than-life persona, the Venezuelan government plans to embalm Chavez and keep his body on display under glass, in perpetuity. NPR's Juan Forero is in Caracas, following events there. Hi, Juan.
Parts of the northern Syrian province of Idlib are a U.N. World Heritage site, known for its ancient archaeological wonders. Walking along muddy, rocky ground covered in new grass and wild daffodils, we start to see remnants of Roman structures — the columns and doorways of dwellings, temples and churches that date back to the 1st century.
They're known as the Dead Cities, and they trace the transition from ancient pagan Rome to Christian Byzantium. Until recently, they were deserted, frozen in time.
And today's last word in business is this: Lego becomes Legd'oh!
The Wall Street Journal says the Danish company Lego is interested in licensing "The Simpsons." In the long-running cartoon series, a remarkably similar toy company called Blocko makes an appearance in a couple of episodes.
(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "THE SIMPSONS")
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
YEARDLEY SMITH: (as Lisa Simpson) I kind of want to create my own thing. Do you sell any just plain sets?
There's hardly an adult anywhere in the world who wouldn't recognize at least some of the music of Motown.
The R&B label changed the course of music in the United States and made household names of Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder and The Jackson 5. Now, the man who created Motown — Berry Gordy — is headed to Broadway to tell his version of how it all began.
The mourning over the death of Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez took a Lenin-eque turn today: Acting President Nicolas Maduro announced that his remains will be on permanent display at the Museum of the Revolution, "close to the presidential palace where Chavez ruled for 14 years," the AP reports.
Caught between the gritty political realities of needing cash and being linked to a political leader who has repeatedly denounced money's influence in Washington while raising record sums, former campaign aides to President Obama appeared to side with the money.
That had opened officials now heading Organizing for Action — which was formed from the Obama for America campaign committee to promote the president's second-term agenda — to charges of hypocrisy.
You'd think that in telling a story whose novelty is in its veracity, retaining some semblance of that truth might be important. But wrestling history into narrative has its challenges, and things can get hazy when it comes to the facts in a historical drama. So it seems like the next logical step in telling a story with a relationship to truth might be that if you're going to fudge things, at least make it entertaining. Please, pull an Argo.
In Venezuela, thousands of mourners are paying their last respects to their larger-than-life leader, Hugo Chavez. The man who ruled Venezuela for 14 years died Tuesday, and his body is now lying in state in Caracas, the capital, as presidents and dignitaries fly in for the funeral Friday.
The opening shot of Cristian Mungiu's Beyond the Hills may look somewhat familiar. As in the Romanian writer-director's previous film, 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days, a young woman strides purposefully while a handheld camera follows mere inches behind. She's on a mission to help a close friend, her resolve demonstrated by the way she marches against two lines of travelers who've just disembarked from a train.
Arnel Pineda's journey from obscurity to international fame as the new frontman for the rock band Journey is the narrative thread that drives <em>Don't Stop Believin': Everyman's Journey.</em>
Credit Cinedigm Entertainment Group
Journey takes a pragmatic-old-pros approach to integrating its new lead singer; though <em>Don't Stop Believin' </em>emphasizes Pineda's rags-to-riches story, it's clear from the film that the band's main goal is the continuity of its business and brand.
Some bands are born of passion and deep camaraderie, a collective desire to rebel against authority — or at least to look cool. Others are born because a major label threatens to drop them if they don't find a lead vocalist.
The U.N. Security Council agreed to tighten sanctions against North Korea on Thursday as punishment for its recent nuclear test. The Council's unanimous agreement came after three weeks of negotiation between the U.S. and China, which has opposed such measures in the past. North Korea was furious at the U.N. action, issuing a threat to attack the U.S. with nuclear weapons as the sanctions came up for a vote.
Syrian rebels celebrate in a street in the northeastern Syrian city of Raqqah after capturing the provincial capital on March 4. The government has responded with air strikes, creating a new wave of refugees.
A new flood of Syrian refugees is streaming into southern Turkey after the Syrian air force bombed the city of Raqqa, a provincial capital that the government lost control of earlier this week.
The Syrian rebels overran Raqqa, capturing several high-ranking prisoners, including the provincial governor. Many residents supported the rebels, but when the airstrikes began, they packed in a hurry and fled, believing it was safer to make a dash for the border than stay at home.
<em>The Newsroom, </em>starring Jeff Daniels, is one of the most popular American TV series in China. It's a favorite among a cadre of young, informal translators who see it as a way to challenge conventional Chinese thinking.
At least three translating groups in China focus on British drama <em>Downton Abbey</em>. For many young Chinese, it provides a window onto a foreign world of privilege and class dynamics.
Every week, thousands of young Chinese gather online to translate popular American movies and TV shows into Mandarin. Some do it for fun and to help people learn English, while others see it as a subtle way to introduce new ideas into Chinese society.
Among the more popular American TV shows on China's Internet these days is HBO's The Newsroom. One reason is an exchange between a college student and a news anchor played by Jeff Daniels. The young woman asks the aging newsman why the United States is the greatest country in the world.
Originally published on Fri March 15, 2013 4:54 pm
A swarm of locusts that has devastated crops in Egypt made its way into neighboring Israel this week. And with Passover just around the corner, many news outlets couldn't resist noting the shades of the biblical tale of Exodus, when the insects were one of 10 plagues that descended upon Pharaoh and his people.