Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 8:52 pm
It has been a prolific year for our guests today, the punk band Parquet Courts. They have released two albums this year: Sunbathing Animal under their own name and Content Nausea as Parkay Quarts. We will talk with two founders of the band, Andrew Savage and Austin Brown, and hear performances from the stage of World Cafe Live. We also find out that the new songs are inspired by influences as diverse as Russian history and Louisiana prison songs.
Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 8:14 am
It took a few hours for some Cubans to realize the magnitude of President Obama's announcement on Wednesday about changes in the relationship between the U.S. and Cuba, according to Cuban blogger Yoani Sánchez.
Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 9:01 pm
My favorite movie of 2014 is three hours long, and it's about Turkish people who live in caves. Winter Sleep is all talk and vistas of steppes so beautiful and so desolate, they'll make you weep. Don't go away: Like all of Nuri Bilge Ceylan's work, the film, which won the Palme d'Or at Cannes this year, is about life itself, in general but with thrilling particularity. You want to know why we can't get along, don't you?
Sophie Fillières' uneven relationship drama If You Don't, I Will opens with a scene of biting dialogue between Pierre (Mathieu Almaric) and Pomme (Emmanuelle Devos), whose marriage is seemingly on its last legs.
Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 7:54 am
The White House today said it "wouldn't rule out a visit from President Raul Castro" to Washington, a day after President Obama announced the U.S. and Cuba would begin talks to normalize relations and open embassies following more than five decades of hostility.
Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 7:28 pm
Latin American governments have long viewed Cuba as the region's David facing off against the Goliath of the United States. So from Mexico to Argentina, leaders are endorsing Wednesday's announcement that the two nations intend to normalize relations.
But this could prove awkward for Venezuela, which has been Cuba's closest ally and a fierce critic of Washington.
In public, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro is praising the rapprochement between the U.S. and Cuba.
ThePinkprint is just a record, as far as hip-hop is concerned. Nothing more, nothing less. But for Nicki Minaj, it's a career-defining moment. Even after she weathered a storm of rap critic scolds unhappy with her for completely crossing over the line she once straddled so well, the dance-pop successes of her last album, Roman Reloaded, overshadowed her artistic credibility. How would she bounce back? As Nicki well knows, hip-hop will only take it so far.
Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 7:32 pm
1. Obama, Raul Castro Announce Normalization Of Relations
President Obama said Wednesday the U.S. and Cuba will normalize relations, which have been strained since being severed in 1961. He spoke to Cuban President Raul Castro on Tuesday to finalize details of the announcement.
After nine years, Stephen Colbert is retiring the character he created for The Colbert Report, the conservative, self-important blowhard who opines about the news and the media. The final episode airs Thursday. Colbert will take over as host for The Late Show, replacing the retiring David Letterman.
In his annual press conference, which ran four hours, Russian President Vladimir Putin promised to ease the country’s economic woes by diversifying its heavy reliance on oil and gas. He also said he’s confident the plummeting ruble will recover.
President Obama’s decision to change U.S. policy on Cuba comes after a half century of icy relations. The announcement came as a surprise to many, including Julia Sweig, director for Latin American studies at the Council on Foreign Relations.
Sweig joined Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson to discuss the history of the struggle between the two nations and outline what the opening of diplomatic relations and easing of restrictions will mean both for Cuba and the United States.
Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 3:26 pm
Some researchers who study the virus that causes Middle East respiratory syndrome got an early Christmas present: permission to resume experiments that the federal government abruptly halted in October.
Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 2:55 pm
Cuban cigars are wrapped in mystique. Soon travelers will be able to bring back $100 worth of the famed cigars. Here are some facts you should know.
1. Cuban cigars are expensive, even in Cuba.
As NPR's Tom Gjelten tweeted, the new permission to bring back $100 worth of tobacco (or alcohol) allows you at the most four good cigars. Tom says he hasn't been back to Cuba for six years, but the last time he was there, a single Cohiba or Uppman "set you back at least $25."
Originally published on Sat December 20, 2014 11:52 am
High school students discovered this week whether they’ve been accepted to their choice college under early decision. For students who were deferred, guidance counselor Lisa Micele says that doesn’t mean they won’t get in to their top school in the spring.
Micele is the director of college counseling at the University of Illinois Laboratory High School in Urbana, Illinois. She spoke with Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson and shared some tips about navigating the college application process.