Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 8:15 pm
Rowan Atkinson, the British comedian who's probably best known to Americans as Mr. Bean, is in the record books for something that's not all that funny.
According to reports from The Scotsman and other news outlets in the U.K., Atkinson's insurers paid 910,000 British pounds (about $1.4 million) to repair the McLaren F1 supercar that he wrecked in 2011. That's a U.K. record, newspapers say.
Lee, the American wife of "Crazy English" founder Li Yang, leaves court after a session for her divorce trial in Beijing last March. Earlier this month, she was granted a divorce, as well as a restraining order against Li.
Credit Alexander F. Yuan / AP
This was one of the photos American Kim Lee posted online after her Chinese husband, a famous English teacher, beat her. Her decision to go public marks a milestone in the fight against domestic abuse in China.
Credit Courtesy of Kim Lee
Li Yang teaches English to several thousand students attending a class at a stadium in Guangzhou, China, in 2004. His "Crazy English" technique — based on learning through shouting — draws huge crowds. In interviews, he has admitted physically attacking his wife.
The faces of American Kim Lee and her Chinese husband, Li Yang, both in their 40s, once graced the covers of books that sold in the millions. He was China's most famous English teacher, the "Crazy English" guru of China, who pioneered his own style of English teaching: pedagogy through shouted language, yelling to halls of thousands of students.
His methods were given official recognition after he was employed by the Beijing Olympic Organizing Committee to teach Olympic volunteers.
When San Francisco's Animal Care & Control put out the word last month that it needed more newspapers to line the cages for dogs that have to take care of business, the city's library system stepped up to help.
In 2009, a team of researchers from the British Antarctic Survey were studying satellite images of the Antarctic when they noticed something interesting: trails of penguin poop. That showed signs of a huge emperor penguin colony.
The existence of the colony was unconfirmed until a team of researchers from the International Polar Foundation visited in December 2012.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. This afternoon, the Senate Intelligence Committee takes up the nomination of John Brennan to be the next director of the CIA, a hearing that will feature a festival of euphemisms. One man's targeted killing is another man's assassination.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. When Colorado and Washington state voted to legalized recreational marijuana last November, they moved their states into uncharted waters. It's one thing to say possession of an ounce of pot is legal; it's another to set up a way to regulate this new business.
Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 8:16 pm
Less than a year after orchestrating a bounty program in Saint Louis, Gregg Williams will be back in the NFL next season. The Tennessee Titans have hired the former Saints defensive coordinator as a senior assistant coach.
Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 8:16 pm
Germany was the world's most future-oriented country in 2012, followed by Switzerland and Japan, according to the "Future Orientation Index." Researchers found that in Germany and 10 nations last year, more people used Google to search for "2013" than for "2011."
The 11 countries represent a gain over 2011, when only seven countries had as many searches for the upcoming year as for the prior one.
A photo illustration showing a Remington 20-gauge semi-automatic shotgun, a Colt AR-15 semi-automatic rifle, a Colt .45 semi-auto handgun, a Walther PK380 semi-auto handgun and various ammunition clips with a copy of the US Constitution on top of the American flag.
Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 12:54 pm
Lower-calorie foods are driving growth and profits for chain restaurants, according to fresh research, suggesting that people are making smarter choices when it comes to burgers and fries.
We're still ordering the burger and fries, mind you. But we're going for smaller portions and shunning sugary drinks. French fry sales dropped about 2 percent from 2006 to 2011, while sales of lower-calorie beverages rose 10 percent, the study found.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Yesterday we told you about how middle class paychecks are feeling the pinch right now for a number of reasons - healthcare co-pays and premiums, rising gas prices, among other reasons. Today we want to tell you who is doing well. And we'll tell you that conversation in just a few minutes.
Bradley Cooper, who is nominated for an Academy Award for his performance as the bipolar Pat Solitano in Silver Linings Playbook, tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross that he and director David O. Russell approached the role with the idea that Cooper would "play as real and authentic as [h]e could."
The role is informed by Russell's son, who has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Says Cooper: "I definitely felt that anchor for [Russell]."
After going through a huge growth spurt, money for global health has plateaued recently. The U.S. government remains the biggest donor, but private charities like the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have boosted donations.
Credit Courtesy of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation
Speaking at his fifth National Prayer Breakfast since taking office, President Obama said Thursday morning that the annual gatherings are always "wonderful." But he worries, Obama told the lawmakers and clergy gathered in Washington, D.C., that "as soon as we leave the prayer breakfast, everything we've been talking about the whole time at the prayer breakfast is forgotten ... on the same day as the prayer breakfast."
Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 5:03 pm
A former Los Angeles police officer is the focus of a "massive manhunt" under way in that city because he's a suspect in a double murder last weekend and the shooting of three police officers early Thursday.
Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 6:59 am
The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.
Anne of Green Gables, who is described in Lucy Maud Montgomery's best-selling books as red-headed, freckled and — at least when the Anne series begins — prepubescent, gets a horribly wrong makeover on the cover of this three-book set published in November.
Good morning, I'm Steve Inskeep with a case of product placement. Corporations pay millions to have their products turn up in the hands of famous people but somehow, they were not thrilled when a photo showed a smartphone on a table next to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. This set off fevered speculation about which brand it was.
The National Weather Service's latest forecast of the snow totals across New England. Most places can expect 18-24 inches of new snow. It will start falling Friday and the storm is expected to last through Saturday.
"A major winter storm is expected to impact the Northeast and New England Friday into Saturday. As much as one to two feet of snow is forecast from the New York City metro area to Maine, with localized heavier amounts possible. This, in addition to wind gusts as high as 60-75 mph will create significant impacts to transportation and power. Coastal flooding is also possible from Boston northward."
We've heard that necessity breeds invention. Well, so does discomfort. This weekend, 200 million Chinese are traveling home for the Chinese New Year. And for some this means entire days on standing room only trains.
One gadget being sold to travelers is a padded metal pole. It's to lean your head on so you don't fall over when you doze off. Or how about a luggage cart that doubles as a seat, with cup holders? Many people, though, are going old school with a simple upside down bucket.
Let's get a glimpse of the troops now fighting Islamist insurgents in Somalia. Forces from multiple African nations have been battling a group called al-Shabaab for years. They're being closely watched now because the international community is considering how to intervene in future months and years against an insurgency in Mali. NPR's Gregory Warner is traveling with a force in Somalia. Gregory, welcome back to the program.
GREGORY WARNER, BYLINE: Thanks, Steve.
INSKEEP: So where are you, and what have you been doing?
NPR's business news starts with Boeing's battery problem.
Boeing's new fleet of Dreamliner 787 aircraft is grounded. But there is one in the air right now. The FAA cleared the plane's flight this morning from Fort Worth, Texas to Seattle. Engineers at the Boeing factory there will study the plane's lithium ion batteries and look for ways to reduce fire risk. Regulators around the world grounded the Dreamliner last month after batteries overheated on two planes. Only crew are aboard the 787 currently on its way to Seattle.