Presidential hopefuls and voters alike sometimes get upset about so-called gotcha questions from reporters that seem designed to embarrass contenders. But Wednesday night's Republican debate outside Detroit demonstrated how some candidates have done a perfectly good job of "getting" themselves.
The debate had some dramatic moments — including one excruciating moment that Texas Gov. Rick Perry would probably like to forget. The comments focused on the economy and jobs, but there were also questions about the sexual harassment allegations against front-runner Herman Cain.
American astronomer Edwin Hubble looks through the eyepiece of the 100-inch telescope at the Mount Wilson Observatory in Los Angeles, 1937. In 1929, Hubble proposed that the more distant a galaxy is, the faster it appears to be receding from us, a concept that has become known as Hubble's law.
Credit Margaret Bourke-White / Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images
President Obama prepares to board Air Force One before departing Andrews Air Force Base for Philadelphia on Tuesday. He heads to Hawaii this week, where the U.S. is hosting the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum.
President Obama flies to Honolulu on Friday to begin the third Asia trip of his presidency. He'll visit Hawaii, Australia and Indonesia in a nine-day trip that's meant to reaffirm a fundamental shift in America's foreign policy.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has described this reorientation as "America's Pacific Century."
Credit The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life
It took a little while for Leo Stein to warm up to Henri Matisse's wildly colored 1905 painting <em>Woman with a Hat.</em> But he kept going back to see it at the Grand Palais, and finally bought it for 500 francs.<em></em>
Credit Ben Blackwell / SFMOMA
<p>Henri Matisse works on a portrait of Michael Stein in 1916.</p>
Credit Estate of Daniel M. Stein
This 1878 Cezanne portrait was the first in Gertrude and Leo Stein's collection. Cezanne has painted his wife's right eye completely black.
Credit J.P. Kuhn / ISEA Zurich
At the Steins' apartment, Picasso saw the portrait in which Cezanne had painted his wife's eye black. Picasso tried the technique for himself in this 1906 self-portrait.
A reunion of art is taking place in Paris right now. Works that haven't been there together in almost a century are reunited once again. The art was collected by writer Gertrude Stein and her brothers starting in the early 1900s. The Steins bought paintings right out of the studios of young avant-garde artists — Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse and others who would become masters as the 20th century progressed.
A new SipSmart kiosk awaits customers at Caputi's, a sports bar in suburban Buffalo, N.Y. Customers swipe a credit card and then blow into a plastic mouthpiece attached to the side of the machine. Seconds later, their blood-alcohol level flashes on the screen.
Imagine driving without a speedometer and still trying to go the speed limit. Chris Montag, chief operating officer of Ladybug Teknologies, says that's analogous to going out drinking without a Breathalyzer.
"It's something we've done for hundreds of years, and nobody's ever had a tool and we guess ... that we're OK," Montag says. "But, really, how do you know when you've never been able to measure it?"
Lawmakers in Jefferson County, Ala., voted Wednesday to file for bankruptcy. It will be the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history. For more, Guy Raz talks with Tanya Ott of member station WBHM in Birmingham.
Penn State football coach Joe Paterno announced Wednesday he would resign at season's end. The coach is seen here during the 2002 season, several months after a graduate assistant informed him of seeing alleged sexual abuse in a locker room shower.
For nearly half a century, Penn State football has been the model for how to run a successful — and clean — college sports program. And coach Joe Paterno has been its leader, revered in all quarters not only for winning games but for his virtuous, fatherly leadership.
That all changed this week, with the arrest of former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky on 40 criminal counts related to the alleged sexual abuse of minors. In addition, two top university officials have been charged with perjury and failing to report allegations to police.
Ohio voters on Tuesday resoundingly repealed a controversial law that would have severely limited collective bargaining for public employees, a law Republican Gov. John Kasich made the centerpiece of his legislative agenda this spring.
Voters not only disliked Kasich's law — 61 percent voted to repeal it, 39 percent supported keeping it — they also have grown to dislike Kasich. The governor's approval rating was at 36 percent in an October Quinnipiac poll.
Those were finger nails working their way across a chalkboard. Some of you might have felt a shiver. It's one of those sounds that provokes a physical reaction. Scientists have looked into the why foryears and this week, scientists presented another theory at the Acoustical Society of America meeting.
When the Republican presidential candidates meet Wednesday evening in Michigan for their ninth debate (it feels like there've been many more than that) the main topic up for discussion is supposed to be the economy.
But is there anyone who expects that the travails of Herman Cain won't be a subtopic?
The former Godfather Pizza CEO's flat-tax plan encountered severe turbulence at the last debate and it is likely to experience more during the encounter at Oakland University outside Detroit.
Wife Deborah Bryant waits as Mississippi Governor-elect Phil Bryant thanks a supporter Tuesday at a victory party. Bryant supported a controversial amendment to the state's constitution on "personhood."
Voters in Mississippi were expected to make it the first state to confer protected legal status to fertilized human eggs Tuesday. Instead, they made it the second state to reject a so-called personhood amendment to its constitution.
One possible reason is that the effort divides even those who consider themselves against abortion.
Libya may be months from a new government, but the still-infrequent international flights to Tripoli are packed with businesspeople looking to land contracts with this oil-rich North African state. The Turks and Europeans appear to be moving quickly, while the Americans seem to be several steps behind.
On one recent afternoon, the plush Rixos hotel in Tripoli hosted hastily organized meetings between Libyans and a swarm of Turks representing 150 different companies.
Russia and the former Soviet Union haven't had much luck when it comes to missions to the red planet. On Tuesday, it launched a probe destined for Mars. It was supposed to land on Phobos, one of the planet's moons, scoop up some rocks and return home with its specimens.
Instead, the Phobos-Grunt spacecraft launched successfully into orbit, but then its boosters failed to ignite, so for now, it's stuck orbiting our planet.
These photos, which came to us via email from the World Wildlife Fund, show an amazing scene: Nineteen sedated black rhinoceroses were airlifted out of an area in South Africa, and spent about 10 minutes upside down in the air en route to a new home.
Outspoken Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei (shown inside his compound on the outskirts of Beijing) was detained by the government for nearly three months. Now, the government says he owes $2.4 million in taxes and fines. Supporters are sending him money, raising nearly $1 million so far.
Credit Frank Langfitt / NPR
Last week, supporters delivered donations over the wall of Ai's compound in Beijing — 100 yuan notes folded into paper airplanes.
Credit Frank Langfitt / NPR
A man admires <em>Forever Bicycles</em>, a work by Ai Weiwei, at the Taipei Fine Art Museum last month.
The Chinese government slapped artist Ai Weiwei — one of China's most famous dissidents — with a $2.4 million tax bill last week. The move was widely seen as punishment for Ai's relentless criticism of the Communist Party.
Since then, in an outpouring of support rarely seen for a government critic, thousands of people have loaned Ai nearly $1 million to help pay the fine.
When talking to people who have given to a candidate's campaign, you'd expect to find true believers.
"I liked what I heard, and he seemed to be the kind of person that I would like to see be president of the United States," says Carl Ploeger, who has donated twice to embattled GOP hopeful Herman Cain.
Lots of kids have tried lentils. But what about Ethiopian-style lentils, accompanied by injera bread, couscous and cucumber salad?
Fourth graders in Santa Fe, N.M. prepared this lunch feast themselves as part of a nutrition education program called Cooking with Kids. And nutrition experts say programs like this one are not just about expanding timid kids' palates.
A section of the fusion machine being tested at General Fusion's facility outside of Vancouver, British Columbia. General Fusion is hoping to implement a long-shot strategy that could produce fusion energy in the next few years.
Credit Brett Beadle for NPR
Michel Laberge, president and chief technology officer of General Fusion, says the fusion machine he is developing "is an insanely ambitious project."
Credit Brett Beadle for NPR
Banks of capacitors are a key part of General Fusion's machine. The capacitors, which charge up and release bursts of electricity, will be used to heat gases to 1 million degrees Celsius in preparation for a fusion reaction.
Credit Brett Beadle for NPR
General Fusion is relying heavily on funding from venture capital firms, which are generally accustomed to quick turnarounds. This project is pioneering the idea that such firms can have the patience to invest in longer-term projects.
The world would be a very different place if we could bottle up a bit of the sun here on Earth and tap that abundant and clean energy supply. Governments have spent many billions of dollars to develop that energy source, fusion energy, but it's still a distant dream. Now a few upstart companies are trying to do it on the cheap. And the ideas are credible enough to attract serious private investment.
<p><strong>Ken Parks, head of Spotify's New York office:</strong> "With a streaming service like Spotify that gives you access to everything in the world instantaneously, those distinctions between ownership and access tend to disappear."</p>
If you've ever tried listening to music on a web site, you've probably had the experience of waiting ... and waiting ... for a song to start. The cloud music service Spotify thinks it's found a way around to get music to your computer faster; employing some of the same technology the music industry has been fighting against for years.
One of the first things you notice about Spotify is how quickly it starts playing the song you want to hear — even if it's not already stored on your computer. There's no wait for buffering or downloading. Spotify feels, in a word, instant.
Time now for your comments, which include a spirited defense of the national pastime. And first, this correction.
GUY RAZ, HOST:
Yesterday, during an interview about a streetlight removal program in Rockford, Illinois, I accidentally said that Daylight Saving Time was now upon us and I was wrong. As John Tellek(ph) of Oakland, California, points out, he writes: We have just switched from Daylight Saving Time back to Standard Time. Tellek softens the blow, he adds: Kudos, though, for correctly leaving the S off the word saving.
While DVD sales plummet in the U.S. and book publishers fear for their futures, pre-orders for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 totaled some nine million copies. Jamin Warrren of Kill Screen Magazine talks about how Modern Warfare 3 is extending an invitation to non-gamers to belly up to the console.
Originally published on Wed November 9, 2011 3:04 pm
Speaking as world markets began to react to the gloomy prospects of the Italian economy, the head of the International Monetary Fund added a little more darkness to the picture. Radio Free Europe reports on comments Christine Lagarde made at the International Finance Forum in Beijing:
A group of illegal immigrants from Central America deported from the United States eat at a shelter near the Mexico-U.S. border, in Nogales, Sonora, Mexico, July 28, 2010. Last year, the U.S. deported a record number of immigrants — and the Mexican border towns where they are being released face serious problems coping with the influx.
Credit Alfredo Estrella / AFP/Getty Images
U.S. Border Patrol agents patrol along the border fence between Arizona and Mexico, July 28, 2010.
Last month, Tyra Banks and the national Get Schooled Foundation visited 400 students in the Bronx in New York City. Banks is one of several celebrities who record messages encouraging kids to go to school. And Seattle is one of the latest cities to try it out — Mayor Mike McGinn's office is spending nearly $50,000 to coordinate and implement the effort.
Kids aren't usually eager to wake up and get to school in the morning. They might be, though, if their favorite musician or professional athlete called to coax them out of bed — or if a shiny new bike were on the line.
At least, that's what adults in Seattle think. So the city has a new plan to improve school attendance.
Isaac Bennett, 16, lives a few houses down from his high school in north Seattle. Yet the junior didn't make it there very often last year.
"I had like 167 absences for sophomore year, which wasn't good," he says with a laugh.
Originally published on Wed November 9, 2011 3:42 pm
Following the exit of producer Brett Ratner from the upcoming Oscars telecast yesterday, Eddie Murphy — whose new film Tower Heist is also Ratner's latest directorial effort — has stepped aside as host of the 2012 show, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced today.
The fact that former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky's 2001 biography was called Touched: The Jerry Sandusky Story, is generating some pretty pointed commentary on Amazon.com this week.
In Ohio, voters overturned a controversial bill limiting union rights. With one race still too close to call in Virginia, Republicans in that state can still seize the senate. Mississippians elected a new governor and voted down an amendment on "personhood."