The resignation of CIA Director David Petraeus, the retired four-star general who stepped down late Friday citing an extramarital affair, brings to an end one of the most storied careers in modern U.S. military history.
Petraeus left the Army in August 2011 after nearly four decades in uniform. Before his retirement ceremony had even begun, he walked up on the empty stage, went over to the podium and tapped on the microphone. The general was doing his own mic check.
Originally published on Sun November 11, 2012 9:16 am
Paging Jeb Bush.
Your party needs you.
In the aftermath of Tuesday's election losses, Republicans have been scrambling to formulate a fix for what went wrong.
A big part of that calculation involves repairing relations with Hispanics, the fast-growing electoral power base that rejected Republican Mitt Romney's "self deportation" immigration solution and voted for President Obama in numbers that exceeded 70 percent.
One hundred fifty years ago today, Giuseppe Verdi first mounted his opera La Forza del Destino ("The Force of Destiny") on a stage in St. Petersburg, Russia. Today, La Forza is considered one of Verdi's masterpieces, but it wasn't always that way. The story of Don Alvaro, whose love for the aristocratic Leonora incurs the wrath of her family, is violent and chaotic, and it flopped on its first run.
On Dec. 23, 1973, cars lined up in two directions at a gas station in New York City.
Credit Marty Lederhandler / AP
Cars line up in two directions at a gas station in New York City on Dec. 23, 1973.
Leon Mill spray paints a sign outside his Phillips 66 station in Perkasie, Pa., on June 1, 1973, to let his customers know he's out of gas. An oil crisis was the culprit, squeezing U.S. businesses and consumers who were forced to line up at gas stations for hours.
Drivers and a man pushing a lawnmower line up at gas station in San Jose, Calif., on March 15, 1974.
Motorists rush to fill their gas tanks in Martinez, Calif., on Sept. 21, 1973. Northern California service station operators threatened to shut down entirely to protest gas price restrictions.
Originally published on Sat November 10, 2012 3:52 pm
Gas lines in America may be rare, but they're not unprecedented.
The gas shortage in the Northeast, the result of Superstorm Sandy, is inflicting plenty of pain. But it's a localized phenomenon that's not expected to last for long.
During two separate oil crises in the 1970s, Americans from coast to coast faced persistent gas shortages as the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, or OPEC, flexed its muscles and disrupted oil supplies.
In 1973 and again in 1979, drivers frequently faced around-the-block lines when they tried to fill up.
Nickelback. The name itself is musical shorthand for everything music aficionados love to hate about modern rock.
But with more than 50 million record sales worldwide and a lead singer who earns $10 million a year, the band is laughing all the way to the bank — as reporter Ben Paynter describes in Bloomberg Businessweek Magazine.
When Katherine Marsh was a young girl, she was mesmerized by the dwarfs of Diego Velazquez's paintings. Years later, that obsession inspired Jepp, Who Defied the Stars, her latest novel for young adults.
Marsh joins NPR's Guy Raz to discuss her book, which is rooted in history, yet speckled with fantasy. It carries her readers to the Spanish Netherlands in the late 16th century to tell the coming-of-age story of Jepp of Astraveld.
In the new movie Lincoln, actor Daniel Day-Lewis is getting a lot of attention for his spot-on portrayal of the 16th president. But Ben Burtt, the sound designer, also deserves credit for the film's authenticity. You may not know his name, but you surely know his work.
Burtt is something of a legend in the movie sound world. He has won numerous Oscars, including for his work on Star Wars.
Burtt invented that iconic swoosh of the light saber, using the hum of an old projector and the buzz of a television set.
Originally published on Sat November 10, 2012 3:14 pm
A day after the story broke, the news remains stunning — CIA director and retired Gen. David Petraeus resigns in a lightning stroke, admitting he used extremely poor judgment by engaging in an extramarital affair.
It's shocking because Petraeus is considered an extremely able leader who's been judged by this single word, says NPR's Tom Bowman: Iraq.
Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors, and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:
Men look at mobile phones at the Adjame market in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. The market for mobile telephones in developing countries has grown quickly, and now Facebook and Google are trying to get users to use the Internet on their devices.
Originally published on Sat November 10, 2012 10:47 am
The chances are slim that a person living in poverty in a developing nation has access to the Internet on a computer. It's expensive and, in some places, there's a lack of infrastructure to support it.
The chances are better, though, that that person owns a cellphone. It's probably not an iPhone or an Android, and he or she probably hasn't purchased a data plan for it, but it has the ability to access the Internet.
Google believes that this category of cellphone user is the future of its expansion.
New Hampshire Gov.-elect Maggie Hassan and Gov. John Lynch visit with fourth-graders from Derry, N.H., at the Statehouse on Thursday in Concord. Come January, Hassan will govern a state where — for the first time — all U.S. senators and representatives also are women.
Credit Jessica Rinaldi / Reuters/Landov
Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., is joined by her children, Katherine and Jacob, in campaigning with Mitt Romney on July 4 in Wolfeboro, N.H.
I'd like to thank Carol Shea-Porter, Ann McLane Kuster, Jeanne Shaheen, Kelly Ayotte, Maggie Hassan and ... Jocelyn Chertoff.
On Tuesday, Democrats Shea-Porter and McLane Kuster won congressional seats from New Hampshire. They'll join Democratic Sen. Shaheen and Republican Sen. Ayotte in the nation's capital in January when the 113th Congress convenes — giving New Hampshire the first-in-the-nation all-female congressional delegation.
The Military Voices Initiative, a StoryCorps' project, collects stories from members of the U.S. armed forces, with a special focus on those who served in post-Sept. 11, 2001, conflicts. Every month, highlights from that initiative air on Weekend Edition Saturday.
Spc. Justin Cliburn, 30, was deployed to Iraq in 2005 with the Oklahoma Army National Guard. His job was to train the Iraqi police in Baghdad. During his time there, he got to know a boy in his early teens named Ali, who walked through their compound one day.
Cabbie John Crowood's traditional London taxi was one among hordes as he began trundling through the city's streets with so many other benevolent black beetles more than 30 years ago.
Today, he's one of a dwindling band. Crowood says that the only company that makes the classic retro London cab had to recall 400 of its newest vehicles after a mechanical defect was found, leaving hundreds of his fellow cabbies unable to ply their trade.
Nearly two years ago, Soner Yalcin and more than a dozen of his employees at the online news outlet OdaTV joined the growing list of incarcerated Turkish journalists. Yalcin, the owner of OdaTV, is one of the sharpest critics of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's government.
As their trial proceedings dragged on, challenges to the state's case grew, and most of the outlet's journalists were released, pending the trial's conclusion. But Yalcin and two others remain behind bars, 22 months and counting.
We want to remind everybody they can join us here most weeks at the Chase Bank Auditorium and at our upcoming show in Los Angeles on December 6th at the Nokia Theater. It'll be like the Emmys without all the attractive people. For tickets and more information go to wbez.org, or you can find a link at our website, waitwait.npr.org.
Right now, panel, time for you to answer some questions about this week's news. Roxanne, after multiple complaints from customers, a coffee shop in the U.K. is finally making a change. What are they doing?
CARL KASELL: From NPR and WBEZ-Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT...DON'T TELL ME!, the NPR News quiz. I'm Carl Kasell. We're playing this week with Roxanne Roberts, P. J. O'Rourke, and Alonzo Bodden. And, here again is your host, at the Chase Bank Auditorium in downtown Chicago, Peter Sagal.
PETER SAGAL, HOST:
Thank you, Carl.
SAGAL: In just a minute, Carl moves a ton of limerick nearly 500 miles on one gallon of rhymes in our listener limerick challenge. If you'd like to play, give us a call at 1-888-Wait-Wait. That's 1-888-924-8924.
Coming up, it's Lightning Fill in the Blank but first it's the game where you have to listen for the rhyme. If you'd like to play on air, call or leave a message at 1-888-Wait-Wait, that's 1-888-924-8924. Or, you can click the contact us link on our website waitwait.npr.org.
There you can find out about attending our weekly live shows here at the Chase Bank Auditorium in Chicago and our upcoming shows in Milwaukee next week, or in Los Angeles, "the Milwaukee of the West," on December 6th.
Mervel Parker fills out his ballot at Aldersgate United Methodist Church in Montgomery, Ala., on Tuesday. Alabama is one of nine states with a history of discrimination that the Voting Rights Act requires to obtain pre-clearance before changing any election procedures.
Originally published on Fri November 9, 2012 5:17 pm
The U.S. Supreme Court said Friday it would consider eliminating a key provision of the Voting Rights Act, the federal law that for decades has been the government's main tool for fighting discrimination at the polls.
The law, first enacted in 1965 and reauthorized three times by Congress since then, is generally considered the most effective civil rights legislation in American history. Its provisions were extended by a Republican Congress in 2006 and signed into law again by President George W. Bush.
Since Superstorm Sandy ravaged the New Jersey and New York coastlines last week, FEMA has already put more than 30,000 residents in hotels and motels and given out roughly $300 million in rental assistance.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Friday announced more help for residents: a new program called NYC Rapid Repair for people whose houses were damaged by the storm. The program, paid for by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, will cut through bureaucracy and get contractors to many damaged homes starting next week, he said.
Originally published on Fri November 9, 2012 3:52 pm
If you fell asleep Rip Van Winkle-like earlier in the year only to wake up Friday, you might be forgiven for thinking no time had passed.
Because on Friday, President Obama called for higher taxes on the wealthy to be part of any agreement to avoid the fiscal cliff, while House Speaker John Boehner strongly indicated that proposal was a non-starter with House Republicans.
But, of course, we just had an election in which the president won a second term and, through that, some political capital. Exactly how much remains to be seen.