You should consider yourself lucky if you've ever had a truly great boss. You know, the guy who inspires you to be your best, a motivator, a leader, a friend. Thom's boss was all those things and a killer karaoke star, too...until tragedy struck.
Originally published on Fri November 29, 2013 9:59 am
Pakistani officials said Friday that a suspected U.S. drone strike in the country's tribal belt has killed at least two people and injured several others. The incident comes amid growing controversy in Pakistan over American drone attacks.
NPR's Philip Reeves filed this report for our Newscast unit:
Originally published on Fri November 29, 2013 9:05 am
Protesters in Thailand stormed the grounds of the army headquarters Friday, seeking the military's help in toppling the prime minister, but in an interview with the BBC, Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra ruled out early elections to mollify the demonstrators.
We're gonna take a look now at the changing dynamics in the Syrian civil war. It's been going on for two and a half years now. Well over 100,000 people have died. In that time, Islamist extremists have emerged as the best armed and financed opposition to the regime of Bashar al Assad, eclipsing the opposition groups favored by the West.
There was an arrest of a high-profile Egyptian activist last night, a well-known blogger. This arrest was part of what has apparently been an expansion in the crackdown by Egypt's military-led regime. Egypt recently issued a new law that broadens the state's powers to stop protests, including by force. We're joined by NPR's Leila Fadel in Cairo. Leila, good morning.
LEILA FADEL, BYLINE: Good morning.
GREENE: So tell us about this blogger who was arrested.
Movies and books have long been used to advocate for causes, such as climate change or breast cancer. As video games become more mainstream, advocates are beginning to see how this art form can be a new way to reach out and get people engaged in a cause.
Originally published on Thu December 5, 2013 11:36 am
Thanksgiving — like the universe — is expanding.
Traditionally a time for Americans to pause and give thanks to a Supreme Being — for health or harvest or happenstance, Thanksgiving is evolving before our very eyes into a holiday where we give thanks to each other as well.
Just this week we received Thanksgiving-themed thank-you notes from a doctor's office, a lawyers' association, a New Jersey congressman and others. Can Thanksgiving-themed gift cards be far behind?
It's not a bad idea. Saying thank you to more people.
Originally published on Fri November 29, 2013 7:10 pm
Some movies try to underscore their authenticity by flashing dates, names and locations on the screen. Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom offers some dates and locations, but not much in the way of names. The result is a history of national transformation in which only two people really seem to matter.
Originally published on Thu November 28, 2013 6:29 pm
To many baffled outsiders over 40, Bikini Kill frontwoman Kathleen Hanna was a weirdo riot grrrl bopping up and down onstage in her bra and panties, bellowing atonal revenge lyrics at anyone who'd keep her and her fellow women down.
To her ardent young following of 1990s Third Wave feminists, though, Hanna was an alt Messiah, hacking out a space for women in the punk-rock mosh pit and sounding an enraged alarm on behalf of victims of sexual assault.
Jacob Latimore (from left), Angela Bassett, Jennifer Hudson and Forest Whitaker power through the season in Kasi Lemmons' Black Nativity, a Christmas movie musical based on Langston Hughes' gospel oratorio.
Credit Phil Bray / Fox Searchlight Pictures
The movie adds a framing device to Hughes' story --one in which Naima (Hudson) sends her son (Latimore) to live with his grandparents after she falls on hard times.
Originally published on Fri November 29, 2013 8:55 pm
Like Eve's Bayou, her best-known movie, Kasi Lemmons' Black Nativity presents a child's view of a troubled family. The latter film is sweeter and slenderer, but that's only to be expected: Black Nativity is a musical, after all, as well as a credible attempt at an African-American holiday perennial.
The original Black Nativity is a gospel-music oratorio, conceived by poet Langston Hughes and first performed in 1961. It pairs the Christian Nativity story with traditional spirituals and African drumming.
Thursday's holiday has Sarah Josepha Hale to thank for helping it get national recognition.
Thanksgiving before 1863 was something of a moveable feast, with states honoring the holiday at various times or not at all. But as the Civil War dragged on, Abraham Lincoln needed a way to unite the country. And Hale, a prominent magazine editor, persuaded him to declare a national holiday.
Hale, who was from New Hampshire, was a prolific writer of biographies, cookbooks, novels, editorials and volumes of poetry, including the children's rhyme "Mary Had a Little Lamb."
China is flexing its muscles these days. Over the weekend, it declared a sprawling air defense identification zone that covers disputed islands controlled by Japan. And it has sent its lone aircraft carrier for first-time trials in the South China Sea, where Beijing has territorial feuds with other neighbors, including Vietnam, Brunei and the Philippines.
None of this was making China any friends in Manila, where the Chinese government is particularly unpopular these days.
Originally published on Thu November 28, 2013 4:35 pm
Should the Afghan government sign a security agreement, the U.S. plans to keep between 6,000 and 9,000 American troops in Afghanistan even after the U.S. and NATO's combat mission officially ends late in 2014.
Beginning in 2015, the remaining troops would train Afghan soldiers and mount operations against any remnants of al-Qaida.
But they wouldn't be the only ones who stay behind: U.S. troops would almost certainly be outnumbered by civilian contractors.