The Chinese government slapped artist Ai Weiwei β one of China's most famous dissidents β 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.
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.
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 β 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:
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 β 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 β whose new film Tower Heist is also Ratner's latest directorial effort β 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."
Allegations of sexual abuse have shaken institutions from the Catholic Church to public schools to Penn State's football program. In many cases, victims and their families say they reported the abuse to the people in charge, and for any number of reasons, those people didn't do enough to stop it.
A new report by the International Atomic Energy Agency presents more evidence than ever before that many aspects of Iran's nuclear program are geared toward military purposes. Yet some analysts argue that overall, Iran represents less of a threat today than it did a year ago.
The IAEA report issued Tuesday largely focuses on historical matters, and some observers say Iran is still having a great deal of difficulty in many areas of weapons technology. And it's clear that Iran has experienced several other setbacks in recent months.
Originally published on Thu November 10, 2011 2:54 pm
Italy crossed into bailout territory today. The interest rate on the country's 10-year bonds, which has gone through the roof in the past few weeks, rose to over 7 percent.
We've seen this story play out before in other European countries.
A country is in debt trouble. Investors demand higher interest rates to lend money to that country. Paying those higher interest rates mean the country will fall even further into debt. So interest rates go up even more.
[The alleged mastermind of the October 2000 bombing of the USS Cole was seen today for the first time in nine years during an arraignment in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. It's the first test of the Obama administration's revamped rules for military commissions. NPR's Dina Temple-Raston was there.]
When Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri walked into the Guantanamo courtroom this morning, he was all swagger.
The first birth control clinic in the United States opened in 1916. It was operated by Margaret Sanger, who started the clinic after becoming outraged that she couldn't give her patients β poor women in the tenements on New York City's Lower East Side β information about contraceptive options.
"Sanger [went] to these squalid, crowded homes of these young women bearing many children who are begging her β while giving birth β for information about contraception," says historian Jill Lepore. "And it [was] illegal for her to give them any information."
Four the Record is a transitional collection for Miranda Lambert. Her preceding three albums played up the idea of Miranda as a good ol' gal with an explosive emotional streak. You saw it in titles like "Kerosene," "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend" and "Gunpowder and Lead." Four The Record is an album whose subtext is all about coming to terms with the expectations of her audience, and with her expectations for herself as a performer wanting to broaden her subject matter, to work in more varied styles.
Originally published on Wed November 9, 2011 6:19 pm
Saying "I wish I had done more" about accusations that one of his former assistants had been sexually abusing young boys for more than a decade, Penn State football coach Joe Paterno just confirmed that he will retire at the end of this season.
The 84-year-old Paterno, who holds the record for most wins by a Division I coach, released this statement moments ago:
"I am absolutely devastated by the developments in this case. I grieve for the children and their families, and I pray for their comfort and relief.
Originally published on Wed November 9, 2011 3:19 pm
Ah, to be a Harvard laboratory mouse. The pay stinks, but the food is delish! Researchers at the venerable school have been serving lab mice tiny organic burgers made with meat from Savenor's Market, where Julia Child bought her steaks.
"It came out looking like a beautiful little mini hamburger," says Rachel Carmody, a graduate student in evolutionary biology at Harvard who cooked up the mini-burgers in Petri dishes.
A few of the developments since our last post about the sexual harassment allegations against Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain β who calls them "false, anonymous, incorrect accusations":
Originally published on Wed November 9, 2011 8:27 am
Catching up on some of the latest developments in the scandal at Penn State University β where former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky has been charged with sexually abusing young boys, two university officials have been charged with lying to a grand jury and not alerting police, and there have been calls for legendary coach Joe Paterno to step down because of concern that he didn't do enough to alert authorities to what was allegedly happening: