Tension has been high in the Maldives after Mohamed Nasheed resigned as president earlier this month. He later claimed that he was the victim of a coup, but his successor denies this. Nasheed talks to Renee Montagne about his situation, and what it means for the Indian Ocean islands.
Originally published on Tue February 21, 2012 5:29 am
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
Here in Washington, a new branch of the Smithsonian will highlight the African-American experience. It will be called the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Tomorrow, President Obama speaks at the groundbreaking on the National Mall - that great stretch of open space that is lined with museums for much of its length.
This newest museum is scheduled to open in 2015, and NPR's Allison Keyes has a preview.
Some new research throws into question things we say all the time about the Internet. The research focuses on Twitter, the service that lets many millions of people send short messages to each other from computers or cell phones. It's commonly said that social networking like this is revolutionary, that it's created new communities, even that it's obliterated geography. You can connect with people who share common interests, not just people who happen to live nearby. NPR's Shankar Vedantam is here to explode all that. Hi, Shankar.
And today's last word in business follows up on the business of Jeremy Lin, the Chinese-American sensation for the New York Knicks. You know, if you had a dollar for every news story that has used puns on his name, like linsanity, you would be lincrediably wealthy, but we would never lindulge in such things. So let's go straight to the way people are making money.
Europe is still a continent that looks over its shoulder at a long and sometimes dark past. That extends even to the protracted Greek bailout negotiations, where Germany's dominant role has scratched at some historical wounds.
Germany occupied Greece during World War II, committing atrocities that some older Greeks can't forget. This history defines the pretty village of Distomo in central Greece, where Nazi soldiers killed 218 men, women and children in June 1944.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is facing his most important challenge yet — winning Georgia on Super Tuesday. Georgia is considered Gingrich's home because he represented parts of the state in Congress for 20 years, but he hasn't lived there for more than a decade.
Over the weekend, Gingrich held several rallies, including one in Peachtree City, south of Atlanta, where he stressed that this area has long supported him.
"It is great to be home," Gingrich told the crowd. "I believe that I carried Fayette County in every single election, including the two that I lost."
The financial battle for the Republican nomination is tightening. Candidates spent a lot of cash in January — what with contests in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Florida. Also spending a lot of money, as it turns out, were the richly financed superPACS that support the candidates.
Reports filed at the Federal Election Commission on Monday night show just how important a superPAC can be.
In a monastery on the Tibetan plateau, monks swathed in crimson robes chant under silk hangings, in a murky hall heavy with the smell of yak butter. Photos of the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama — seen by China as a splittist — are openly displayed, as if in defiance. But Chinese security forces have tightened their grasp on this region, and monasteries appear to be emptying out, gripped by an atmosphere of fear and loss.
Patrick deWitt is the author of The Sisters Brothers.
"Doesn't the act of noticing matter as much as what's noticed?" So asks the narrator of Harry Mathews' masterpiece of minutia, The Journalist.
On the mend from a nervous breakdown (though it's mentioned only in passing — "the steering wheel came off in my hands," he says), he's been encouraged by his doctor to keep a journal. A seemingly benign idea, and he throws himself into the task with gusto — far too much gusto, it turns out, as the journal soon eclipses his entire life.
Modern computer games and their fast-paced graphics require an incredible amount of computing horsepower. So much, in fact, that the kinds of chips commonly used for gaming are now being built into some of the world's fastest supercomputers.
If you're a serious gamer, if realistic, detailed graphics get your pulse racing, you should write Jen-Hsun Huang a thank-you note.
When Hollywood imagines the future, from Logan's Run to Avatar, it tends to picture living spaces as sterile and characterless, without any cultural clues to the person who lives there. No record library, no DVDs, no Hemingway on bookshelves ... often no bookshelves.
A big reason for the slow recovery has been that the nation's battered banks haven't been able or willing to lend. There are signs that's changing and that bank lending is helping to support stronger growth.
Paul Kasriel, chief economist at Northern Trust, a Chicago-based bank, say his reading of Federal Reserve data has convinced him that banks have finally taken the baton from the Fed and are now making credit more available.
"We've seen a sharp increase in business loans on the books of banks," he says.
In Florida, members of Congress and the state legislature are scrambling to decide what districts they'll run for in this year's election. The legislature recently released maps that redraw the districts. It's a once-in-a-decade process every state goes through to reflect population changes since the last census. Because of its growth, Florida is gaining two seats, but there is bipartisan unhappiness with the maps. And NPR's Greg Allen reports that the battle over how they were drawn may ultimately be decided by the courts.
The eurozone crisis has focused attention on debt-burdened Greece spiraling into decline. Meanwhile, Portugal is seen as the international creditors' poster-child for obediently slashing spending and welfare benefits.
Nevertheless, the Portuguese national debt continues to grow, and the country is mired in recession and soaring unemployment.
The Portuguese national character has long been identified with Fado music. Raquel Freire, an activist with the local Occupy movement, says the melancholy style helps explain decades of resignation.
The Two-Way is formally off-duty for the Presidents' Day holiday. But not only does the news not take a holiday — often, holidays are the news. Here's a quick roundup of some of today's important and most-discussed stories:
Syria is reinforcing its military in what seems to be a bid to control Homs. (AP)
Through his many New Yorker covers, Barry Blitt has become one of the pre-eminent satirical cartoonists of America's recent presidents. He is probably best known for his controversial 2008 cover of Michelle and Barack Obama, dressed as a Muslim and a militant with an AK-47, fist-bumping in the Oval Office.
Major League Baseball's spring training has begun, as catchers and pitchers have made their way to Florida and Arizona to prepare for the 2012 season. Games in the Grapefruit League and Cactus League won't begin until early March, when all players will report to camp.
Originally published on Mon February 20, 2012 9:17 am
The Colbert Report is set to resume production Monday, after a hiatus last week brought on by concerns over the health of Stephen Colbert's mother, according to reports. Lorna Colbert, 91, lives in Charleston, S.C., where the Comedy Central star grew up.
This year would not be a good year for ice cream. In fact, there would be none at all if we relied on the technique George Washington used at Mount Vernon, his Virginia estate that's perched on the banks of the Potomac River.
His source of ice was the frozen river. Given the warm winter we've had here in D.C. , there's no chance. Seems the weather is nothing like it was on Jan. 26, 1786, when Washington wrote in his journal:
"Renewed my Ice operation to day, employing as many hands as I conveniently could in getting it from the Maryland shore, carting and pounding it."
South Korea conducted live-fire military drills near its disputed sea boundary with North Korea Monday, despite Pyongyang's threat to respond with a "merciless" attack.
North Korea did not carry out the threat as it focuses on internal stability two months after the death of longtime leader Kim Jong Il and prepares for nuclear disarmament talks with the United States later this week. But with American forces scheduled to conduct additional military exercises with ally South Korea over the next few months, tensions are expected to remain high in the region.
J.D. Salinger famously refused to sell the film rights to The Catcher in the Rye, saying it was "unactable." It's true the subtleties of such great novels can get lost in translation. But I thought I'd take a look at three of my favorite novels that have never made it to the multiplex in wide release. Each of these will transport you to another time and another place.
Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. The people of the Champlain Islands in Vermont are aflutter over a big bird on the loose. A 150-pound emu escaped from his pen five weeks ago. Last week, it was spotted outside an elementary school. A maintenance worker tried to lasso the elusive emu with an extension cord, but the big, flightless bird got free. The owner placed an ad in a local paper that says: Free emu if you can capture it. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum has been the hot story in the GOP presidential contest this month. Over the weekend, Santorum raised eyebrows with comments on public education, prenatal testing and what he called President Obama's "phony theology." Santorum was making waves just days ahead of the next Republican debate on Wednesday, and the next primaries in Michigan and Arizona six days later.
Let's talk more about where Rick Santorum stands and about his rivals, with NPR's national political correspondent Mara Liasson. Good morning.
MARA LIASSON, BYLINE: Good morning, Renee.
MONTAGNE: Now, we just heard from Sonari that Rick Santorum has surged in Michigan, and that would be, of course, Mitt Romney's native state. And that is one that Romney really cannot afford to lose. So what is he doing to stop Santorum, as of today, and what's it looking like?