Originally published on Fri March 23, 2012 5:44 pm
Pressure had been building on President Obama for days to say something about the killing of Trayvon Martin, the Florida teenager shot to death by a neighborhood watch volunteer, and on Friday the president finally did.
And almost as soon as he did, some people suspected him of a cynical election-year attempt to appeal to black voters, judging by the reaction by some on social media and conservative sites. Martin was African American, his killer of mixed white and Hispanic parentage.
Paul Clement is, quite simply, a walking superlative. A wunderkind who at age 34 became deputy solicitor general and then was promoted to the top spot, solicitor general of the United States, becoming the youngest person to hold that post in more than a century. Now 45, he has argued an astonishing 57 cases before the Supreme Court, more than any other lawyer since 2000. And next week, he will lead the challenge to the Obama health care overhaul, in the Supreme Court.
People across the country have had something to say about the death of Trayvon Martin, but the man at the center of the case — George Zimmerman — remains silent.
The neighborhood watch volunteer told police he was acting in self-defense when he shot Trayvon last month. Zimmerman has yet to be charged with a crime — or to speak publicly about what happened, leaving others to speak for him.
There's been a lot of scrutiny of the call Zimmerman made to 911 moments before his collision with Trayvon. But that was hardly Zimmerman's first call to the police in Sanford, Fla.
If you know the actress and comedian Niecy Nash, you're probably either excited about her new reality show, Leave It To Niecy, or you're cringing just thinking about it. Nash does not do things halfway. Her new show starts Sunday, and it's intended to be something like a real-life Modern Family.
Originally published on Fri March 23, 2012 10:48 pm
Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales has been officially been charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder for the March 11 killings of unarmed men, women and children in Southern Afghanistan, The Associated Press just reported from Kabul.
It adds that "premeditated murder is a capital offense and if convicted, Bales could be sentenced to death."
These days, hotels aren't just looking to hire bellhops, concierges and housekeepers. What the industry really needs are digital bloodhounds: people who understand how to use new technologies to track — and attract — potential guests.
One of those newfangled workers is Greg Bodenlos. At 24, he's just a couple of years out of Cornell University's School of Hotel Administration. His official title is digital marketing strategist at The Mark Hotel, a luxury hotel in New York City.
Originally published on Fri March 23, 2012 2:50 pm
The scene in Mali's capital, Bamako, shows what used to be a familiar sight: an African capital in chaos, with drunken soldiers firing into the air and looting government buildings in the wake of a coup.
Military coups were dishearteningly common for people in Africa and Latin America during the 1960s and '70s, as governments fell to opportunistic military men.
But that trend had been slowing in the past two decades, as more and more governments began to hold regular elections.
A new romantic comedy opens in theaters this week, and it stars a scientist as the likeable, and only slightly nerdy, main character. The film's writer and director, former scientist Valerie Weiss discusses Losing Control, and why she made the shift from lab bench to big screen.
As part of an NIH-funded project, Bradley Smith, associate dean for creative work, research and graduate education at the University of Michigan, posted a collection of optical images and MRI scans of human embryos to the web. Intended for a clinical audience, Smith talks about the unexpected response he got from the public.
At age 11, actor Alan Alda asked his teacher what a flame was. He received a confusing answer: "oxidation." In the spirit of better communicating science, he's created the "Flame Challenge," a contest in which scientists do their best to define a flame. Eleven-year-olds from around the world will judge the entries.
Though the Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf entered the market to fanfare, the battery-powered cars haven't been selling as quickly as hybrid models such as the Toyota Prius. Industry experts discuss electric car technology, from batteries to charging stations, and what it might take to encourage drivers to make the shift.
The complexity, scale and sliding timetable for implementation of the federal health overhaul make it tough to figure out exactly what's happened so far. To help you sort through some key provisions, here's a scorecard.
In effort to add pressure on Syrian President Bashar Assad, the European Union has announced new sanctions on a dozen Syrians, including Assad's wife, his mother, sister and sister-in-law.
"I cannot say to you in strong enough terms how much we are concerned about what's going on in Syria," said Catherine Ashton, the EU's foreign policy chief, according to CNN. "I'm really worried about the escalating spiral of violence there.
The White House has made its choice for who should lead the World Bank. Jim Yong Kim is currently the president of Dartmouth University. He's a physician and a global health expert and something of a surprise to people who've been watching this process.
Here is President Obama at the White House this morning.
Next week, the Supreme Court will hear challenges to the health care law. Continuing Tell Me More's preview of the case, host Michel Martin sits down with Neal Katyal. He is former Acting Solicitor General and defended the Affordable Care Act in lower courts.
Mitt Romney has an impressive victory in Illinois, gets Jeb Bush's backing, revives the inevitability argument and then gets bogged down in an Etch A Sketch distraction. Plus: Illinois primary results, and Barbara Mikulski breaks a record. NPR's Ken Rudin and Ron Elving have this week's political roundup.
Nicholas Stoller made his directorial debut with the raunchy 2008 comedy Forgetting Sarah Marshall, which starred Jason Segel as a guy who had to reassess his life after his girlfriend of five years dumped him.
Segel famously dropped his towel in the opening scenes of the film, which led The New York Times to call him "a young actor with nothing to hide."
Yes, it was worth the wait. Absolutely. Mad Men returns Sunday with a two-hour season premiere — and by the time it's over, if you react the way I did, you'll be satisfied and even comforted to have spent two wonderful hours with the folks at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce.