Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne, with a lesson on how to keep calm, sleep in and carry on.
Twenty-one-year-old Jack Oliver went to bed ready to represent Great Britain at the Olympics. That was until the weightlifter overslept by an hour on his big day. He was roused by his coach and got dressed in 30 seconds, he says, and still managed two personal bests, grabbing a fourth place finish. The sleep did me good, he said. I had less time to think about the competition.
We'll see where the count stands after another day of competition at the London Olympics but after Thursday, the United States is at the top with the most medals. Renee Montagne has results of Thursday night's Olympics competition.
Both athletes were U.S. swimmers, both were dripping wet after finishing an Olympics final, and both had just won medals.
The first said, "It's not my normal specialty. ... We went out there and raced tough – and just came up a little short."
The second had a beaming face. He said, "[I] swam my own race. And knew I had a lane, and had an opportunity, and I went for it. It worked out, you know, it's just awesome that I get to go on the podium tonight. Honestly, I'm really proud of myself!"
Late last month, counterterrorism officials discovered a disturbing video on YouTube that showed what appeared to be a faction of the Syrian rebel army standing in front of a fluttering black banner. The mysterious flag — which read "no god but God" in white Arabic cursive — is thought to be a reproduction of the Prophet Muhammad's battle flag. It has also become al-Qaida in Iraq's calling card in Syria.
Kofi Annan will step down at the end of the month from his post as UN-Arab League envoy for Syria. Annan's resignation is the latest blow to the faltering efforts to find a solution to the crisis in Syria. Steve Inskeep talks about the implications with Robert Malley of the International Crisis Group.
With his much-publicized foreign trip behind him, Mitt Romney traveled yesterday to the swing state of Colorado. He huddled with Republican governors who he praised on him in Aspen, where he also held a fundraiser. The Republican candidate began his trip at a rally in the Denver suburb of Golden, which is where NPR's Brian Naylor begins his report.
RBS, the Royal Bank of Scotland, is already in a tough spot. It's among several banks being investigated for allegedly rigging the interbank lending rate known as LIBOR. As Steve Inskeep reports, Friday it warned that it faced several potential lawsuits over those allegations.
New York City officials are experimenting with a new way to fund social programs normally paid for with tax dollars. New York City officials say the prison intervention program could keep many of the nearly four thousand adolescent males that enter the jail system each year from returning. WNYC's Colby Hamilton reports Goldman Sachs is set to make a nearly $10 million investment in a social impact bond.
The last word in business: women's intuition. Research shows that the stocks of companies that include women on their board of directors do better than companies with all-male boards. Renee Montagne and Steve Inskeep explain the report.
Michael Phelps won his 20th Olympic medal, the gold, in his last race with Ryan Lochte, who took the silver. Rebecca Soni won a gold, as well. All in all, it was a good day for American swimmers. NPR's Howard Berkes reports from London.
The Labor Department announces the number of jobs added in July and the national unemployment rate Friday. NPR's Scott Horsley joins Renee Montagne to talk about the report and the consequences for the presidential race.
The London Olympics have produced lots of fascinating moments in its early days. Records have been shattered, rules have been broken. And it's only the first week. NPR's Mike Pesca has been covering the games and joins Steve Inskeep.
Look for a review of the new science fiction epic "Total Recall" and you'll see headlines ready Total Makeover. You might recall the 1990 original starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. With our review of the remake, here's Kenneth Turan.
Over the next few years, the Affordable Care Act will probably boost demand for nurses to take care of the newly insured, she says, "and I need faculty to teach the practitioners that are going to take care of these uninsured."
As fans around the world are riveted to the 2012 Summer Games in London, one young gymnast already has his sights on 2016.
Albuquerque, N.M., native C.J. Maestas, 20, has been tumbling his entire life. A self-described "hyper" kid who loved to climb on things, C.J. joined his first gymnastics class when he was 18 months old.
"As a little baby, you were always jumping," C.J.'s grandfather Frank Maestas recalls.
South African poet Mbali Vilakazi is also a performer and radio producer based in Cape Town. Vilakazi's poem pays tribute to South African swimmer Natalie du Toit, the first female amputee ever to qualify for the Olympic Games.
Gabby Douglas, the 16-year-old gymnast from Virginia Beach, Va., won another gold medal Thursday. The first was won with her team earlier this week. She was the only member of the team to perform in all four rotations. So, why are some black women obsessed with her hair? Writer Monique Fields has this perspective.
Never mind how she flies like a raven on the balance beam. Or flutters across the floor. Or soars on vault. Or swings on the uneven bars.
The West Nile virus is back, and it's looking like it could be particularly bad this year. As as result, federal health officials are warning people to protect themselves against the mosquito-borne infection.
The West Nile virus first showed up in the U.S. in 1999 and quickly spread from coast to coast, raising widespread alarm. Some have argued that red-breasted robins play a key role in the spread of the virus.
One person has died and at least 25 have been hurt when a double-decker crashed into a concrete pillar near Litchfield, Illi., police said. The Megabus, which was headed to Kansas City, lost control on a south-bound lane of I-55 when a tire blew.
Originally published on Thu August 9, 2012 2:21 pm
A few days ago, I found myself sitting in a room full of cross-legged yogis with my sweaty hands resting on the sweaty knees of the people beside me, bellowing a mantra in unison over and over again. What united us at that yoga studio was empathy for yoga instructor Michael Joel Hall, who was savagely beaten as he walked home earlier that week with his boyfriend.
Writer Caitlin Moran believes most women who don't want to be called feminists don't really understand what feminism is. In her book How to Be a Woman, Moran poses these questions to women who are hesitant to identify as feminists:
What part of liberation for women is not for you? Is it the freedom to vote? The right not to be owned by the man that you marry? The campaign for equal pay? Vogue by Madonna? Jeans? Did all that stuff just get on your nerves?
Originally published on Thu August 2, 2012 5:32 pm
In his first campaign speech since returning from his trip abroad, Republican Mitt Romney on Thursday told an audience in the swing state of Colorado that President Obama has failed on the economy. And he wielded a scorecard to make his point.
"His policies have not worked," Romney said in Golden, Colo., outside Denver. "They have not gotten America back to work again. My policies will work."
Obama spent much of the day in battleground Florida before a planned evening trip to another swing state, Virginia.
Is a film in development where the aged Russian gymnast is allowed to give Michael Phelps the medal that broke her record? How about "Bad News Badminton" or "Dream Team V"? Well, there's no way to know whether we're going to see the butterfly, shuttlecocks or slam dunks in 3D anytime soon, but in the grip of Olympic fever, we kick off our annual summer film festival with a celebration of Hollywood's past focus on the drama of the games. Our favorite film buff Murray Horwitz joins us in just a moment.
Originally published on Fri August 3, 2012 7:49 am
A landmark federal law used to block the adoption of state voter identification cards and other election rules now faces unprecedented legal challenges.
A record five federal lawsuits filed this year challenge the constitutionality of a key provision in the Voting Rights Act. The 1965 statute prevents many state and local governments from enacting new voter ID requirements, redistricting plans and similar proposals on grounds that the changes would disenfranchise minorities.
It was a controversial hearing to begin with. This morning, a House subcommittee was looking into a bill that would make English the official language of the United States and require that government functions like naturalization ceremonies be conducted in English.
Democratic Rep. John Conyers of Michigan was not a fan, so he decided to deliver his opening statement in Spanish.
First he thanked the chairman, then he proceeded to assail the measure.
Gil Evans, born a century ago this year, was a leading jazz arranger and composer starting in the 1940s, when he wrote for big bands. He helped organize Miles Davis' Birth of the Cool sessions, then arranged Davis' celebrated orchestra albums like Sketches of Spain. Evans, who had his own big bands that went electric in the 1970s and '80s, died in 1991, but some of his rare music has been newly recorded.