It's that time of year again — the time when the sports world starts to zone in on basketball's March Madness, hockey's playoff push, baseball's spring training ... and monster trucks. That's right, it's prime time for four-wheeled contraptions that specialize in crushing each other.
While it may be hard to get past the deafening radio ads, a funny thing can happen on the way to a Monster Jam show. It turns out that young fans' giddiness over the awesome destruction they're about to witness can be pretty contagious.
Priorities USA Action, a superPAC backing President Obama, has unveiled a new ad running in Michigan in advance of that state's GOP primary next week. It takes former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney to task for opposing the auto industry bailout.
Not all that long ago, many Americans thought of Chinese food as fried rice, chow mein and orange chicken. And one reliable place to find it was at the mall, at places like Panda Express.
But food court mainstay Panda Express is now in the midst of a major transformation. That means moving from mall basements to stand-alone restaurants and keeping pace with an increasingly sophisticated American palate.
Wednesday marks the traditional Tibetan New Year, but many Tibetans won't be celebrating. They'll be mourning the almost two-dozen people who set themselves on fire in the past year as a protest against Chinese rule. Eyewitnesses say the town of Aba, site of many of the self-immolations, resembles a Chinese military camp, with soldiers and riot police every few feet. NPR's Louisa Lim traveled elsewhere on the Tibetan plateau to cover the story and sent this dispatch.
Originally published on Wed February 22, 2012 5:55 pm
A team of United Nations nuclear experts has returned from Iran empty-handed. In a statement today, the International Atomic Energy Agency said that Iran refused the team access to a military site at Parchin.
President Obama spoke Wednesday at the formal groundbreaking for the Smithsonian's newest museum, the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. The museum, Obama said, has been "a long time coming" and will serve "not just as a record of tragedy, but as a celebration of life."
If you happen to notice sometime later this year that you're suddenly paying a lot more for orange juice, you can blame America's food safety authorities. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, after several weeks of deliberation, has blocked imports of frozen, concentrated orange juice from Brazil, probably for the next 18 months or so, even though the agency says the juice is perfectly safe.
Originally published on Fri February 24, 2012 12:37 pm
A group affiliated with the Occupy Wall Street movement is planning a national conference in Philadelphia this summer. According to the group, which is dubbed "The 99% Declaration," an online election will decide on the 876 delegates — a man and woman from each Congressional district — who will gather in Philadelphia on July 4th.
Of course, the date and place is a nod to the delegates who met in Philadelphia in 1776 to declare independence from the British monarchy, who the founding fathers said had failed to address the grievances of Americans.
All throughout the school's 110-year history, the Manassas High School football team in Memphis, Tenn., was known as a losing team. In 2009, volunteer coach Bill Courtney led the struggling Manassas Tigers to the playoffs.
Filmmakers Dan Lindsay and T.J. Martin chronicle the challenges of the team — on and off the field — in the documentary Undefeated.
Lindsay and Martin talk with NPR's Neal Conan about the film, nominated for an Academy Award in the documentary feature category.
Originally published on Wed February 22, 2012 4:44 pm
What is America's policy when it comes to dictators? Well, it depends.
The U.S. has adopted different approaches toward different dictators and authoritarian regimes in recent years. In some cases — notably Iraq and Afghanistan — the U.S. military invaded to change the leaders of those countries.
But American presidents have also hosted friendly visits with leaders from undemocratic countries with questionable human rights records.
Originally published on Wed February 22, 2012 1:59 pm
NEAL CONAN, HOST:
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. After all the votes are counted, Romney still wins in Maine. Super-donors dominate the superPACs, and new frontrunner Rick Santorum struggles to stay on-message. It's Wednesday and time for a...
RICK SANTORUM: Phony ideal...
CONAN: Edition of the Political Junkie.
PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN: There you go again.
VICE PRESIDENT WALTER MONDALE: When I hear your new ideas, I'm reminded of that ad: Where's the beef?
Forgive us if we hold a special place for the reporters who go into harm's way to tell the stories of civilians and soldiers caught in the horrors of combat. All of them are grown-ups and know the risks. The loss of their lives is no more or less tragic than the death of a doctor or a teacher or a grocer, but we would never learn what happened to those others if the reporters didn't take the cameras and notebooks and risk their lives to tell us the story.
Wikipedia is the go-to source for succinct information on almost every topic imaginable. It strives to reflect neutral truths that can be verified by reliable sources. The site, known as "The Free Encyclopedia" is written and edited by volunteers.
If you haven't noticed, gardens are popping up in some unconventional places – from prison yards to retirement and veteran homes to programs for troubled youth.
Most are handy sources of fresh and local food, but increasingly they're also an extension of therapy for people with mental health issues, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD; depression; and anxiety.
There's a great moment in Tom Stoppard's play Jumpers when a husband tries to convince his wife that an election has been democratic. "I had a vote," he tells her, to which she replies, "It's not the voting that's democracy; it's the counting."
We were exhausted after a long hot day of reporting. Tripoli had just fallen and it was almost sunset. We pulled up to the house of Muatassim Gadhafi, one of Moammar Gadhafi's most feared and loathed sons.
We have an update now on a story NPR's been investigating for almost two years. This morning, federal prosecutors filed criminal charges in a 2010 coal mine explosion in West Virginia. Twenty-nine mine workers died in the blast at the Upper Big Branch mine. The charges reach into the management ranks of Massey Energy, the company that operated the mine. NPR's Howard Berkes joins us now for details.