Originally published on Sun September 23, 2012 1:11 pm
The giant panda cub born to much excitement at the Smithsonian National Zoological Park in Washington, D.C., last weekend was found dead this morning.
The Associated Press reports panda-keepers were alerted by sounds of distress from the cub's mother, Mei Xiang, but it was too late. The cause of death is not yet known, but zoo officials are planning a press conference at 1 p.m. ET.
Weekends on All Things Considered continues its "Why Music Matters" series with music from the heavens, as chosen by astronaut Stan Love.
"In space, every day is an important day of work," Love says. But when he was sent up to the space station to drop off and pick up crew members, the returning station crew member asked, "Dudes, where are the tunes?"
Originally published on Sun September 23, 2012 10:43 am
More women are running for Congress this year than ever before. The 18 women running for the Senate break the previous record of 14, set two years ago. Also, there are 163 female candidates for House seats, more than the 141 who ran in 2004.
That gives this election season a Year-of-the-Woman ring to it, says The Center for American Women and Politics. The center's director, Debbie Walsh, offered some reasons in a press release:
Automaker Fiat announced its commitment to remain in Italy after a meeting Saturday between the company's CEO and the country's president.
Fiat had threatened to shut down its operations in Italy unless it received additional state assistance. The crisis came at a time the entire country is undergoing a steep decline across all industrial sectors.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer.
In Pakistan, a government minister is offering a $100,000 bounty for anyone who kills the maker of a video that denigrates the Islamic Prophet Muhammad. The offer came one day after many cities in Pakistan were engulfed in violent demonstrations over the online video. At least 23 people were killed and 200 others injured.
NPR's Jackie Northam is in Pakistan's capital, Islamabad. She joins us now. Good morning, Jackie.
President Barack Obama has pulled ahead of Governor Romney in another battleground state - Virginia. That's according to recent polls. This past week, we drove west from Washington, D.C. to the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia to talk to voters about the presidential election. On the way, we stopped at an apple barn to see some of the other choices Virginians face.
Keeping the weight off can be a challenge for college students, too. Many college freshmen dread that infamous Freshman 15 - the extra pounds that come with a diet of pizza, snacks and sodas. Well, a new study from Auburn University has found that the average college student actually gains about 12 pounds over FOUR years. Sareen Gropper is a nutrition professor at Auburn. She is the co-author of this study. And she joins us from Auburn, Alabama. Professor Gropper, thank you for being with us.
Violin virtuoso Itzhak Perlman compares Jewish cantor Yitzchak Meir Helfgot to some of the giants of opera. Helfgot is the chief cantor at Manhattan's Park East Synagogue. He has sung at the Metropolitan Opera. Now, he and Perlman have recorded an album together that goes back to a time when cantors were opera stars. Jon Kalish reports.
When you walk into a McDonald's in India, it doesn't feel that much different from one in the U.S. That is, until you try to order.
When McDonald's first came to India 15 years ago, it ditched the Big Macs and Quarter Pounders to try to fit in in a country where cows are sacred and most people frown on eating beef. The chain tried re-creating its American classics with lamb, but it was a flop.
President Obama and his Republican rival, Mitt Romney, seem to have switched places in recent days.
The incumbent president is promising to change Washington from the outside. Meanwhile, Romney, who made his fortune turning businesses around, says he wants to work within the existing political system.
The contrast was on display Saturday in Wisconsin, where Obama held one of the biggest rallies of his re-election campaign.
On-air challenge: Every answer is the name of a TV show, past or present. Each can be found in consecutive letters in the sentences read. Name the TV shows. For example, in the sentence, "We watched the acrobat many times," the hidden TV show is BATMAN. Hint: Each answer has at least six letters.
A Palestinian family rides on a donkey cart along a waste dump in Al-Nusirat, central Gaza Strip, in February. Living conditions continue to deteriorate for the 1.8 million Palestinians who reside in Gaza.
Credit Ashraf Amra / APA/Landov
Palestinians fill their bottles with potable water at a water purification station in Deir al-Balah, central Gaza Strip, in July. About 95 percent of the municipal water is undrinkable, and only about 40 percent of homes have access to potable water on a regular basis.
Ihab Abu Nada's family lives down a series of dark narrow alleyways in Gaza City. The house has two bedrooms for the seven people living there — the kitchen and the bathroom are in the same space, and the roof is made of tin and frequently leaks.
Still, most of the Palestinian family's income goes into paying the rent.
Ihab's picture adorns a cracked wall; it's a simple memorial. Earlier this month, after being unable to find work, the 18-year-old set himself on fire and died. The family is still in mourning.
Originally published on Mon September 24, 2012 11:39 am
If you had a sudden urge to put a horn on your head, not use your knees and chew on some leaves, you may be catching the spirit of World Rhino Day. It's being celebrated all over the world with art shows, auctions, walk-a-thons and lectures with the theme of "Five Rhino Species Forever."
A reminder from weekends on All Things Considered guest host Jacki Lyden that Round 9 of Three-Minute Fiction is still open for submissions. Our judge, Brad Meltzer, is looking for an original short story that revolves around a U.S. president — fictional or real — in under 600 words. Listeners can submit their story online at www.npr.org/threeminutefiction. The deadline for submissions is Sunday, September 23, at 11:59 p.m. ET.
In a move to perhaps change the topic after a turbulent few weeks, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney released his 2011 tax returns. But the move has not silenced his critics. With just 45 days until Election Day, weekends on All Things Considered guest host Jacki Lyden speaks with NPR's White House Correspondent Ari Shapiro about the candidate's next steps.
It's WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Jacki Lyden.
MITT ROMNEY: Eight percent unemployment for over, how many, 43 months right here in Las Vegas and in Nevada. You've seen housing prices bumping along the bottom, record numbers of foreclosures. These are tough times. We have a president who says he can't fix Washington. I can. I will lead. I'll get the job done.
Theweekends on All Things Considered series Movies I've Seen A Million Times features filmmakers, actors, writers and directors talking about the movies that they never get tired of watching.
For actor Michael Peña, whose credits include Crash, World Trade Center, and End of Watch, which opened in theaters this weekend, the movie he could watch a million times is Woody Allen's Broadway Danny Rose.
In the 1980s, Elliott Sharp was the height of New York City cool, a central part of that town's experimental music scene. His creations were inspired by advanced mathematical concepts. He tuned his guitars according to the Fibonacci Sequence and wrote challenging pieces inspired by fractal geometry.
Despite a series of political fumbles, Mitt Romney is "still very much in the game," according to political strategist Steve Schmidt. But, he says, it will take some work.
Schmidt served as John McCain's senior strategist in the 2008 election and helped George W. Bush get reelected in 2004. He spoke with Weekend Edition Saturday host Scott Simon about the Romney campaign's stresses.