The contrast couldn't be clearer. On Tuesday night, crowds gathered to watch election returns. The candidates and their nervous supporters had no way to know who'd win. In Beijing, as the Communist Party Congress gathered, the government cleared Tiananmen Square to create an eerie scene one observer described as post-apocalyptic. China's new leaders are being chosen in secret and few have any idea how they proposed to direct policy.
Chinese Communist Party leaders attend the opening session of the 18th Communist Party Congress at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, on Thursday. The meeting marks the beginning of a once-in-a-decade transfer of power.
Credit Goh Chai Hin / AFP/Getty Images
During his speech Thursday, Chinese President Hu Jintao, who is also the top party official, warned delegates that corruption could be "fatal" to the party and even cause "the fall of the state."
Two days after the U.S. election, another major political development is unfolding on the other side of the world. China began its once-in-a-decade transition of power on Thursday with the opening of its 18th Communist Party Congress.
With its lack of personalities or political platforms, it is almost diametrically opposed to the hurly-burly of U.S. elections. In Beijing, the message was about fighting corruption and keeping the Communist Party in power.
Originally published on Thu November 8, 2012 4:43 pm
Florida is again having problems determining the winner of its presidential vote. But its difficulties are entirely different from the ones that kept the nation in suspense for more than a month back in 2000.
"It was just a convergence of things that were an embarrassment to Florida," says Susan MacManus, a political scientist at the University of South Florida in Tampa.
Jared Loughner, the 24-year-old who pleaded guilty to killing six people and wounding 13 others during a shooting spree at a congressional meet-and-greet in Tucson, Ariz., will spend the rest of his life in prison.
Loughner was sentenced today as a U.S. District Court in Tucson, Ariz.
Before the judge handed down his punishment, victims and their families addressed Loughner and the court.
Hundreds of thousands of service members are transitioning from bases to college campuses. As Americans get ready for Veterans Day, host Michel Martin discusses the challenges veterans face, and the programs that help them succeed. She talks with Meg Mitcham, a veteran and the head of veterans programs for the American Council on Education.
The election is over and the deadline for the so-called "fiscal cliff" is drawing closer. Host Michel Martin speaks with NPR Senior Business Editor Marilyn Geewax about how the two relate, and what it could mean for America's economic future.
Originally published on Sun November 11, 2012 7:50 pm
Fast-food giant McDonald's said today that revenue at its restaurants that have been open at least 13 months fell 1.8 percent in October — the first time it has suffered a month-to-month decline in that key indicator since April 2008, according to BloombergBusinessweek.
Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. Fans of William Shatner out there with a yen to write poetry, there's an app for you. The Shatoetry app allows users to compose poems from 400 words recorded by the former Star Trek captain in his signature staccato voice, like this example on YouTube.
WILLIAM SHATNER: She who lives with caffeine joyously fears not the dark.
MONTAGNE: Shatoetry on MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep, with congratulations to Lance Gilman. He's a newly elected member of the county commission in Storey County, Nevada. Mr. Gilman is a business owner, who won 62 percent of the vote. But as he takes office, Gilman is unlikely to be one of those people who disparages politics by, say, comparing it to a brothel, because Gilman runs a legal brothel, one of the most famous in the country: Nevada's Mustang Ranch. You're listening to MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
Still struggling to recover from Superstorm Sandy, parts of New Jersey, New York City and surrounding regions are today digging out from a Nor'easter that dropped several inches of snow (more in some places) and caused more power outages.
We're following the news about the impact of the latest storm.
Update at noon, ET. Getting The Power Back On In New Jersey:
Most of New York City's one million public school students went back to class on Monday, a week after Sandy hit. Still dozens of school buildings were flooded, damaged, without power so their students had to relocate. Beth Fertig of member station WNYC visited one of those schools in its new location on Staten Island.
BETH FERTIG, BYLINE: Intermediate School 2 is almost a mile away from the beach. But when the surge of water came during Hurricane Sandy, Principal Adrian Stallone(ph) says it flooded the basement.
Mike Reynolds authored California's three-strikes law after his daughter, Kimber, was killed in a 1992 purse snatching. On Tuesday, Californians approved a ballot initiative that weakens the law — a measure Reynolds opposed.
Several thousand prisoners in California may be eligible to apply for sentence reductions, after voters overwhelmingly approved a ballot initiative Tuesday that alters the state's controversial three-strikes law.
But voters also rejected a proposition that would abolish the death penalty in the state. Proposition 34 would have replaced capital punishment with life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.
Opposition groups working to bring down the regime in Syria are meeting in Doha, Qatar in a furious bid to reorganize and reinvigorate themselves. The aim is to form a legitimate government in exile that would be recognized by the international community. This new effort to bring together the Syrian opposition is strongly backed by the U.S. NPR's Kelly McEvers is in Doha and joins us to talk about it.
And let's start by you telling us exactly who is there.
When Stephen Wheeler realized he had an aching, swollen finger, he called his primary care doctor, who works for MedStar Health. The doctor referred him to PromptCare, an urgent care clinic in a strip mall in the Baltimore suburbs.
Wheeler says he probably would have ended up waiting a long time if he'd gone to the doctor. And even longer at the emergency room.
A growing number of U.S. consumers are finding much to enjoy in this fruity alcoholic beverage, driving an increase in cider sales. The Vermont Hard Cider Company now produces 70,000 cases of Woodchuck Hard Cider each week.
A couple hundred years ago. hard apple cider used to be the drink of choice for thirsty Americans. It was easy to make and easy to find. But as people moved into cities, and beer became more popular, cider fell out of fashion.
Now it's come roaring back. U.S. hard cider sales are up 65 percent over last year, and just about all the big beer companies sell it, as well as many artisan brewers. Finding cider at your local bar is often no longer a problem.
Although voting problems in Tuesday's election were fewer than some people had expected, there were extremely long lines at many polling sites; so many that President Obama noted them in his victory speech.
"I want to thank every American who participated in this election, whether you voted for the very first time, or waited in line for a very long time," he said, adding, "by the way we have to fix that."
With the election over, attention in Washington has turned to the nation's debt and deficit challenges — most immediately the looming fiscal cliff. That's the $600 billion worth of expiring tax breaks and automatic spending cuts set to start taking effect Jan. 1.
The president and Congress agreed to those automatic measures to force themselves to find a more palatable compromise to rein in deficits. On Wednesday, there was an attempt to jump-start that process.
The same brain system that controls our muscles also helps us remember music, scientists say.
When we listen to a new musical phrase, it is the brain's motor system — not areas involved in hearing — that helps us remember what we've heard, researchers reported at the Society for Neuroscience meeting in New Orleans last month.