Often I'm asked, "What's the worst movie ever made?" and I say, "I don't know, but my own least favorite is Oliver Stone's Natural Born Killers." The early script by Quentin Tarantino was heavily revised, and the final film became a celebration of serial killers, now existential heroes with absolute freedom. Beyond the bombardment that was Stone's direction, the worldview was abominable.
Losing your job is rarely good. Not being able to find one for months can be disastrous for individuals, and bad for society as well. Yet during the recent recession and the current anemic recovery, more people in the U.S. have been unemployed for longer than at any time since 1948.
Of all Americans who were unemployed in June, almost half had been without a job for 27 weeks or longer. In other words, 5.4 million people have been jobless for more than half a year.
Nearly four decades later, there's some solace for the families of young women in Argentina who were killed after giving birth under orders from the country's then-dictators. The women's babies — Argentina's "stolen children" — were then handed over to loyal members of the military.
It is definitely wrong to hit and run, but it's a little impressive that a high school student was hit and kept running. Anaheim, California police say a high school cross country team was running when a turning car whacked one of the runners. The young woman was apparently determined, because she got backed up and ran away. The driver called after her to stop, stayed where he was and called police. The runner was eventually treated and suffered only minor injuries.
Good morning. I'm Linda Wertheimer. To kick her 10-year habit, Tori is leaving home for a small island - theoretically, a no-smoking island. Home is an Indonesian zoo. Tori is an orangutan. The Guardian reports she learned to smoke imitating visitors who tossed cigarette butts into her cage. Her non-smoking orangutan roommate does what he can, stamping out burning butts before she can get to them. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.
Job growth was even weaker than economists feared in June as public and private employers added just 80,000 jobs to their payrolls, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported this morning. They had been expecting BLS would say there were closer to 100,000 more jobs in June than in May.
A separate BLS survey showed the nation's jobless rate remained stuck at 8.2 percent. It's been above 8 percent since February 2009.
Three weeks from today, the 2012 London Summer Olympics begin. London will show off its cathedrals and castles, it's parliament and palaces, all that is splendid in one of the world's greatest cities. There is a seedy side of London, however, one that Olympic organizers presumably will not present. That is where we'll be going today with this encore presentation from our Crime in the City series.
Mystery writer Mark Billingham took reporter Vicki Barker to some of the places that inspired his dark twisted thrillers.
And today's last word in business takes us to London, where Europe's new tallest building has been inaugurated. It's called the Shard. Maybe that's because it sort of looks like a giant shard of glass, 1,016 feet tall. It stands out in a city with a relatively low skyline. It towers over the Tower of London, and the Shard brings many metaphors to mind.
Newspapers acknowledged publishing dozens of items in print or online from outsourcing firm Journatic that appeared under fake bylines. The <em>Chicago Tribune</em>, for example, said the matter is under investigation. But the newspaper's corporate parent, the Tribune Co., is a new investor in Journatic.
Credit Charles Rex Arbogast / AP
A screenshot of the Journatic website, announcing the company's deal with the Tribune Co.
Major newspapers in Chicago, Houston and San Francisco are among those this week that have acknowledged they published dozens of items in print or online that appeared under fake bylines.
As was first disclosed by the public radio program This American Life, the items in question were not written by reporters on the staffs of the papers at all but by employees of what is effectively a news outsourcing firm called Journatic.
A growing number of cities want to tackle the problem of homelessness by outlawing what are known as "acts of daily living" — sleeping, eating and panhandling in public. In Philadelphia, a new rule is targeting not the homeless but those who feed them.
When Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter announced the ban on serving food in public parks last March, he said moving such services indoors was part of an effort to raise standards for the homeless.
The U.S. Supreme Court took on a number of high-profile cases this term, including the decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act.
Credit Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images
Supreme Court Chief Justice John G. Roberts.
Credit Tim Sloan / AFP/Getty Images
The U.S. Supreme Court justices (first row, from left) Clarence Thomas, Antonin Scalia, Chief Justice John Roberts, Anthony Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, (back row) Sonia Sotomayor, Stephen Breyer, Samuel Alito and Elena Kagan.
The justices of the U.S. Supreme Court have fled Washington, leaving in their wake a storm of historic headlines. In the last 10 days alone, the high court upheld the Obama health care law, struck down much of the Arizona immigration law and ruled unconstitutional mandatory sentences of life without parole for juveniles convicted of murder.
Chief Justice John Roberts is in Malta, a place that, as he pointed out, is "an impregnable island fortress." He puckishly observed that it "seemed like a good idea" to go there after the tumultuous end of the Supreme Court term.
Coral polyps feed in the plankton-rich waters by Santa Catalina, Panama. A new study of coral reefs off the Pacific coast of Panama shows that dead coral reefs may be able to recover from rising ocean temperatures and other environmental disasters.
Credit laszlo-photo / Flickr
Fish swim by a colorful variety of coral near Indonesia's Komodo island.
Coral reefs may be able to recover from disaster, according to a study that provides a bit of reassurance about the future of these endangered ecosystems.
Coral reefs around the world are at risk as the ocean's temperature continues to rise. Those trends could kill not only coral but also the fish and other species that depend on the reefs. Those reefs are important for people as well.
Zachariah Fike has an unusual hobby. The Vermont Army National Guard captain finds old military medals for sale in antique stores and on the Internet. But unlike most memorabilia collectors, Zac doesn't keep the medals for himself.
Instead, he tracks down the medals' rightful owners, and returns them.
His effort to reunite families with lost medals all began with a Christmas gift from his mother — a Purple Heart, found in an antique shop and engraved with the name Corrado A.G. Piccoli.
Health officials in Kenya say reducing the transmission of HIV among gay men is a central part of their national AIDS strategy. But they face serious challenges, including the fact that homosexuality is still a crime in the East African nation.
HIV rates among gay and bisexual men in Kenya are far higher than the national average.
Groupon and Living Social have sold tens of millions of daily deals and are now a major force in retail. But they rely heavily on getting businesses to offer their goods and services at deep discounts. In exchange, businesses hope for payoff in the form of return customers.
Sometimes, though, the flood of extra business causes more problems than it solves.
Ailie Ham had just opened Creative Hands Massage in Washington, D.C., when she decided to offer deals through Living Social and Groupon last year.
Judge Richard Posner, a conservative on the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago, has long been one of the nation's most respected and admired legal thinkers on the right. But in an interview with NPR, he expressed exasperation at the modern Republican Party, and confessed that he has become "less conservative" as a result.
When you decide to hold a pie contest at a prominent art museum, it's hard to ignore all the inspiration around you. And so it happened that last year the Los Angeles County Museum of Art hosted our station KCRW's 3rd Annual Good Food Pie Contest. When we realized that an impressive show of more than 700 Tim Burton works would be up, we immediately had a new category.
President Obama began a two-day bus tour of swing states Ohio and Pennsylvania on Thursday and spent part of the time campaigning on his bailout of U.S. automakers.
"My experience has been in saving the American auto industry. And as long as I'm president that's what I'm going to be doing, waking up every single day thinking about how we can create more jobs for your families," Obama said at a rally in Maumee, Ohio.
This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.
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And I'm Robert Siegel. Demand is up in the car industry. That's great news for U.S. automakers. They're on track to have their best year since 2008 and it's a success that President Obama is seizing on as he campaigns across northern Ohio today. The president began a two-day bus tour that will also take him into western Pennsylvania.
There's a stretch of beach in the small Jamaican fishing village of Treasure Beach where booths sell poetry books right alongside jerk chicken, and local villagers mix with international literati. On a weekend in late May, some 2,000 people sit entranced as author and poet Fred D'Aguiar reads them his work from a bamboo lectern.
Holley Mangold successfully completes the 145 kilogram "clean and jerk" lift at the trials for the U.S. Olympic women's weightlifting team in March. Mangold came to weightlifting after trying her hand at several other sports.
Credit Jamie Sabau / Getty Images
Holley Mangold played football for 12 years in her hometown of Kettering, Ohio — including with her high school varsity team.
Near the back of the North YMCA in Columbus, Ohio, several men and women line up on a row of beat-up platforms. They take turns practicing the two lifts that make up Olympic weightlifting; the "Snatch," and the "Clean and Jerk."
The goal? To hoist large amounts of weight from the floor into an overhead position.
Among the lifters here is 5-foot-8 inch, 350-pound Holley Mangold. She is the epitome of power, in appearance, attitude and athletic ability.
The African nation of Kenya is attempting to get more than 1 million men between the ages of 15 and 49 circumcised by the end of 2013. If successful, this could be a groundbreaking effort in the fight to curb the spread of HIV.
Around the time I turned 12, I figured out exactly what I wanted to be when I grew up: an alcoholic.
I didn't actually know what it meant to be an alcoholic, but I knew that one day, I would drink copious amounts and dash around the streets of Paris, preferably in the company of bullfighters, bankrupts, impotent newspaper correspondents, and morbidly depressed, exotically beautiful divorcees.
In a good jazz rhythm section, the players function independently and as one. Their parts and accents crisscross and reinforce each other, interlocking like West African drummers. Beyond that, the bass is a band's ground floor. When it changes up, the earth shifts under all the players' feet. From moment to moment, Linda Oh's bass prowls or gallops, takes giant downward leaps, or stands its ground.