We imagine the lobbyist stalking the halls of Congress trying to use cash to influence important people. But it doesn't always work that way. Often, the Congressman is stalking the lobbyist, asking for money.
Many Web users have little idea about how, or when, they're being tracked. In this 2011 photo, Max Schrems of Austria sits with 1,222 pages about his activities on Facebook — the company gave him the file after he requested it under European law.
Fairview Developmental Center in Costa Mesa, Calif., is a sprawling facility of offices, residential buildings and therapy rooms set between a noisy boulevard and a golf course.
Some 400 people with developmental disabilities live at Fairview. And while minor scratches and bruises are not uncommon for these patients, over the years, the center has seen scores of serious injuries and even deaths.
Fairview is one of five state-run developmental centers in California — homes for people with developmental disabilities who are unable to care for themselves.
The news business has changed a lot in recent years, and that's especially true of political news. But when you ask about a book that captures what it's like to report on a presidential campaign, one decades-old classic still rules: The Boys on the Bus by Timothy Crouse.
The rough-and-tumble account of the reporters who covered President Richard Nixon's re-election against George McGovern back in 1972 is part of a Morning Edition series on political history.
This November 2011 photo provided by The American Quarter Horse Journal shows Rita Crundwell of Dixon, Ill., at the 2011 American Quarter Horse Association World Championship Show in Oklahoma City. FBI agents arrested Crundwell, the Dixon comptroller, on charges she misappropriated more than $30 million since 2006 to finance a lavish lifestyle.
The top financial official for the small city of Dixon, Ill., is accused of stealing more than $30 million from city coffers over the past six years. It's a staggering amount of money for the city of just 15,000 residents in northwest Illinois, and federal prosecutors allege she used the funds to finance a lavish lifestyle that included horse farms and a $2 million luxury motor home.
Anoushka Shankar is the daughter and protege of the renowned Indian sitar player Ravi Shankar, who is credited with introducing Indian classical music to Western audiences. Now, Anoushka Shankar carries on this tradition in more ways than one. On her new album, Traveller, she goes back in time to make the connections between India and Spain.
Originally published on Wed April 18, 2012 5:37 pm
Ever since Ronald Reagan posed the killer question to voters in a 1980 debate with then-President Jimmy Carter — "Are you better off than you were four years ago?" — challengers to incumbent presidents have tried to repeat the Reagan magic.
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks with a staffer on the night of the Florida primary in January. Now that he's pivoting away from the primaries to the general election, Romney is expected to quadruple his staff soon.
Now that he's all but certain to be the Republican challenging President Obama in November, Mitt Romney has begun to expand his operations. In the past week, he's named a top aide to head his vice presidential selection team, and his paid staff is expected to soon quadruple in size.
With the president's campaign well-staffed and spread across the map, it's become a game of catch-up for Romney.
There are Republican primary contests in five important states next Tuesday, but with Rick Santorum's departure from the race, they've gotten little attention.
Originally published on Wed April 18, 2012 4:22 pm
Three agents accused of cavorting with prostitutes during a trip to Cartagena as part of the "advance" team working on President Obama's trip to Colombia are leaving the agency.
The AP reports:
"Of the three workers forced out in the scandal, one is a supervisor who was allowed to retire. Another is a supervisor who has been designated for removal for cause, which requires that the employee be given 30 days' notice and a chance to respond with the help of a lawyer; and a third employee, not a supervisor, has quit.
I'm an English professor, and I spent the first 15 years of my career trying to write like one. You might be surprised by what that's like. We don't emulate the fiction writers we most admire. We too rarely practice what we preach to our composition students — namely that good writing is simple and direct. In fact, we're notorious for maze-y sentences and ugly jargon. The point seems less to attract readers with clear prose than to smack them over the head with a sign that says, "Aren't I smart?"
The 150 passengers aboard the National Geographic Explorer cruise ship arrive in Monrovia, the Liberian capital, on April 16. It's reportedly the largest group of tourists to visit the country since the 1970s.
Credit Tamasin Ford for NPR
A cultural troupe dances for tourists arriving on the National Geographic Explorer in Monrovia, Liberia, this week.
Liberia has been better known for conflict than tourism the past couple of decades.
But this week, a group of 150 tourists, many of them Americans, arrived for a brief stay in the small nation on Africa's West Coast. When their cruise liner docked in the capital of Monrovia, they became the largest group of tourists to visit the country in many years, probably since the 1970s.
Dock workers in Monrovia usually unload cargo ships full of secondhand clothes or rice — not a cruise ship full of American tourists.
The Vatican has ordered a crackdown of an American organization representing most nuns in the United States. The Vatican ordered an investigation of the group in 2008 and today it said it was appointing an American archbishop to oversee a reform of the group.
The Environmental Protection Agency announced new rules Wednesday to control the problem of air pollution coming from wells being drilled by the booming oil and natural gas drilling industry.
Currently, waste products from the drilling operations, which include a mix of chemicals, sand and water, can be pumped into open enclosures or pits, where toxic substances can make their way into the air. The new rules will require this fluid to be captured by 2015, and flared — or burned off — in the meantime.
At the same time gasoline prices are soaring, the cost of electricity is falling. The reason? Cheap and plentiful natural gas. A utility in Massachusetts has just sliced rates by 34 percent. Coming out of a recession, the lower electricity prices are quietly boosting the economy and providing some welcome savings to businesses and families.
Newly-published photos show U.S. troops in Afghanistan posing with the dead bodies of insurgents. The incident, first reported by The Los Angeles Times, occurred in 2010. It's the latest setback for the military's counterinsurgency strategy, which depends on winning the hearts and minds of the Afghan people.
Pop culture icon Dick Clark died Wednesday at age 82. He started his career as a college disc jockey and went on to shape the way America viewed music, TV game shows and New Year's Eve. Here, he hosts American Bandstand in 1958.
Credit Getty Images
Dancing teens flock to Clark's American Bandstand after he took it national from Philadelphia's WFIL-TV in 1957.
Credit Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images
Clark and his first wife, Barbara, get a hand from the newest member of the Bandstand family, Richard Clark Jr., in 1958.
Clark broadened his legacy in the 1970s and '80s by building a game-show empire. Here, on the set of The New $25,000 Pyramid in 1984, Clark mugs with Roxie Roker (left) and Marla Gibbs, co-stars of TV's The Jeffersons.
The eternally youthful Clark shares the stage at the Emerson Radio Hall of Fame in 1990 with fellow inductees (from left) Charles Osgood, Frank Stanton and Paul Harvey.
Credit M. Caulfield / WireImage/Getty Images
Clark celebrates the 50th birthday of Bandstand on May 3, 2002, with fans and a musical supergroup.
Credit Getty Images
A debilitating stroke in 2004 forced Clark to cut back on public appearances. Here, he and his third wife, Kari Wigton, hang out at the 2010 Daytime Emmy Awards with Ryan Seacrest, who'd become his co-host on New Year's Rockin' Eve.
In his later years, Clark became as much a New Year's Eve fixture as he was on Bandstand decades earlier. By 2011, he and Seacrest shared Rockin' Eve host duties.
Dick Clark, affectionately known as the "world's oldest teenager," has died. He was 82, and had suffered a heart attack while in a Santa Monica hospital for an outpatient procedure.
Richard Wagstaff Clark became a national icon with American Bandstand in the 1950s, hosting the show for more than 30 years. Clark also hosted the annual New Year's Eve special for ABC for decades. He weathered scandals, hosted game shows and renewed his Bandstand fame with a new generation by producing the nostalgic TV drama American Dreams.
Originally published on Wed April 18, 2012 7:24 pm
Dick Clark, the legendary television producer who became a national icon with American Bandstand in 1950s, has died. He was 82.
Clark, known as the the "world's oldest teenager," produced American Bandstand for over 30 years.
"The original American Bandstand was one of network TV's longest-running series as part of ABC's daytime lineup from 1957 to 1987. Over the years, it introduced stars ranging from Buddy Holly to Michael Jackson to Madonna," the AP writes.
Adapted from The Servant of Two Masters, the new comedy One Man, Two Guvnors follows the "always famished and easily confused" Francis Henshall (James Corden, left), who must combat his own befuddlement while keeping both of his employers — a local gangster and criminal-in-hiding Stanley Stubbers (Oliver Chris) — from meeting.
Credit Tristram Kenton /
Henshall's second master is Rachel Crabbe (Jemima Rooper), who's Stubbers' secret lover — and posing as her dead mobster brother, whom Stubbers has killed.
If you weren't a college theater major, you can be forgiven for not knowing much about commedia dell'arte, the 500-year-old theatrical tradition that Carlo Goldoni used for his comedy The Servant of Two Masters in 1743. Contemporary playwright Richard Bean has adapted that play into the decidedly British laugh riot One Man, Two Guvnors -- and he says all you really need to know about commedia is ... well, it's funny.
In his 2006 thriller, Rainbow's End, author Vernor Vinge imagined a near future when people use high-tech contact lenses to interface with computers in their clothes. Google plans to make at least some of it a reality later in 2012 with the launch of what are known as augmented reality glasses.
At the sixth Summit of the Americas, tensions flared over Cuba's absence, and continued U.S. efforts to isolate the country. Syndicated Miami Herald columnist Andres Oppenhemier believes the first step to bringing Cuba back into the diplomatic community is to invite them to observe future summits.
Guest Political Junkie Matt Bai of The New York Times and Andy Stern, former president of the Service Employees International Union, talk about the state of the Democratic and Republican bases and what voters on each side are looking for in their candidates in the months ahead.
Each week, Talk of the Nation plays The Byrds' song "I Wanna Grow Up to Be a Politician" during the Political Junkie segment. McGuinn recorded a version just for the show. You can hear it in the last three minutes of this story.
Singer-guitarist Roger McGuinn, best known as leader of The Byrds, is a folk-rock pioneer. The Byrds blended traditional folk songs with a rock beat and scored major hits in the 1960s, including "Turn, Turn, Turn" and "Mr. Tambourine Man." The group disbanded in 1973, and McGuinn pursued a solo career, in which he performed acoustically and returned to his folk roots.
Originally published on Wed April 18, 2012 12:25 pm
Most Americans believe that global warming has played a role in a series of unusual weather events during the past year.
A poll released today by the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication and the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication found that 72 percent of Americas believe global warming played a role in the very warm winter the United States just experienced.