Though he's directed only five feature films, Alexander Payne has built a reputation as one of Hollywood's most respected filmmakers. His movies find comedy in the crises of his flawed protagonists — among them Matthew Broderick as a high school teacher in Election, Jack Nicholson as a widower in About Schmidt and Paul Giamatti as a struggling author and wine snob in Sideways, for which Payne shared an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay.
I took a walk up and down the main arteries into Wall Street and things seem to be settling down. As the protesters dispersed this morning, they made the decision to leave large groups of people at different intersections in New York's Financial District.
What police have done to control the crowds is block access to certain blocks and they've also barricaded protesters in sidewalks. So what you have now is a fractured protest with, for example, 30 protesters at one intersection and 15 at another.
From 720,000 in the year 1980 to more than 1.9 million in 2010, the number of Americans who are 90 years of age or older has nearly tripled, the Census Bureau reports today in its first comprehensive look at the over-90 population.
And according to the Census Bureau, "over the next four decades, this population is projected to more than quadruple."
Most of the material from Live in Europe 1967 has surfaced before — the set is subtitled The Bootleg Series, Vol. 1 — but the Belgian concert that performance comes from makes its debut here. This Miles Davis quintet was consistently amazing, not least on its last big tour, when Davis' trumpet chops were in good shape.
As Eyder continues to file posts from the streets of lower Manhattan, where Occupy Wall Street protesters have been on the march today, here are some other views of what's happening there and other resources for monitoring what's happening:
There are jack o' lanterns, and then there is the pumpkin that comes in cans.
But farmer David Heisler says the world of pumpkins has much, much more to offer.
Heisler grows 38 varieties of pumpkins and winter squash on his farm in Comus, Md., about 50 miles north of Washington, D.C. His farm stand is a riot of pattern and color — red, orange, pink, white, green, yellow, even blue. Though pumpkins originated in the Americas, they're grown and prized around the world: "every continent except Antarctica," says Heisler.
"The final decisions on Solyndra were mine, and I made them with the best interest of the taxpayer in mind," Energy Secretary Steven Chu plans to tell Congress today, as a House committee digs into the controversial $528 million in federal loans made to the now-bankrupt solar energy company.
The agency also said that the "4-week moving average" of claims — a way of gauging the trend over a slightly longer period of time — was "396,750, a decrease of 4,000 from the previous week's revised average of 400,750."
As the congressional "supercommittee" runs out of time to reach a deficit-cutting deal, the word "sequestration" is being spoken more and more in Washington.
Depending upon the speaker's political views, the word can be spit out as a curse word, or intoned as a blessing. But love it or hate it, "sequestration" may turn out to be a word that dramatically changes the world's most powerful military, and reshapes domestic programs for public health, education, the environment and much more.
As the sun rose on Zuccotti Park, a crowd began to gather. Amid the falling leaves and the the occasional shouts for a "mic check," the park was flooded by TV camera lights and the constant hum of two helicopters flying high above the buildings.
It's a cold day in New York and the Occupy Wall Street movement is hoping for a strong showing to mark their second anniversary, but by 6:30 a.m., the crowd was thin, perhaps 100 people.
Robert Segal, 47, said he was not going to march today, but he was here to "support community building."
College graduates face one of the bleakest job markets on record. Reporter Sayre Quevedo of TurnstyleNews.com met an aspiring accountant who emailed resumes for six months and then tried on something more daring.
Sao Paulo, Brazil, is an economic engine in a booming country. It's also a huge mess, with traffic jams that go for miles, crumbling infrastructure and shoddy airports. Urban planners say it needs a major makeover, including razing the Minhocao, an elevated highway known as the "Big Worm."
Neide Batochio loves to sew on her old Singer, strategically placed at a desk in front of her window. She says that way she can see the Minhocao, which twists and turns feet from bedroom windows for 2.2 miles through the center of the city. She says the sound's not so bad.
Renee Montagne talks to Rwandan refugee Clemantine Wamariya about her recent appointment to the board of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. Wamariya survived the Rwandan genocide and is now a student at Yale.
Life as a kid on a farm can seem idyllic. The work, though, can be dangerous. Kids who do farm work are six times more likely to be killed than those doing other jobs.
The Department of Labor now wants new regulations that would bar children under the age of 16 from doing the most dangerous farm jobs. As Harvest Public Media's Peggy Lowe reports, that's angered many who depend on such labor, and see it as a right of passage.
Voters in the Congo head to the polls at the end of this month. The campaigning has been beset by violence which threatens to undermine an electoral process in a giant nation that's at the heart of Africa. NPR's Ofeibea Quist-Arcton reports.
OFEIBEA QUIST-ARCTON, BYLINE: Campaigning took a stormy turn when veteran Congolese opposition politician and presidential candidate Etienne Tshisekedi sent a bombshell. He proclaimed himself president and ordered his supporters to stage jailbreaks to free their detained colleagues.
The Environmental Protection Agency says the Asarco copper smelter in Hayden, Arizona, has been continuously emitting illegal amounts of lead, arsenic and eight other dangerous toxins, for the last six years. The agency's finding means Asarco could face millions of dollars in fines and could be forced to install expensive pollution controls. The EPA disclosed the action last week to NPR and the Center for Public Integrity, which were jointly investigating toxic air pollution in the town.
Late at night on Wednesday, protesters at Zuccotti Park in New York were outnumbered by police. But every now and then a new protester would come into the park and just stare at the space like they were looking at it for the first time.
Jo Robbin, 29, was one of them. One of the first things she did as soon as she made it past the security check point was pull up her sleeves to show the red markings the plastic ties had left her.
Scientists say they are beginning to understand why brain injuries are so common in very premature infants — and they are coming up with strategies to prevent or repair these injuries.
The advances could eventually help reduce the number of premature babies who develop cerebral palsy, epilepsy or behavioral disorders such as ADHD, researchers told the Society for Neuroscience meeting in Washington, D.C., this week.
Alice Eastman, a single mother living in Wheaton, Ill., is one of many Americans who, after losing her job, tried to make ends meet on unemployment while she hunted for a job in her field. Then after a long, fruitless search, she took a lower-paying job in retail.
Eastman had a pretty good job making $75,000 a year at the park district in the Chicago suburb of Bolingbrook, heading up its Department of Natural Resources.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich was once written off as a footnote in the 2012 Republican presidential primaries. But, for the moment, polls now show him among the leaders.
Gingrich may have found his voice, in part, by turning the tables on the political press. Republicans have been doing this for decades — quite explicitly at least since Richard Nixon and Spiro Agnew in 1968.
In Gingrich's case, it was a strategy masquerading as a tactic — one that he adopted over the summer at a time of desperation.