Originally published on Thu November 15, 2012 3:01 pm
After Superstorm Sandy, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's sign language interpreter became a pop culture phenomenon. Lydia Callis' energy and facial expressions drew wide attention and even a spoof on "Saturday Night Live." Some members of the deaf community took offense to some reactions.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Violence in Syria continues to escalate. Every day thousands of refugee flee into Lebanon, Turkey and Jordan, but for the first time in months, there's an opportunity to form a government in exile that could open room for diplomacy.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan, in Washington. As the holidays get underway, retailers go on high alert against shoplifters. Cases spike at this time of the year, and they're expected to raise losses for the year to nearly $35 billion.
Originally published on Thu November 15, 2012 5:12 pm
Two sources tell NPR that four more BP employees will be charged in relation to the BP oil spill, which dumped more than 200 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.
The individuals facing manslaughter charges are former BP well managers Donald Vidrine and Robert Kaluza. Another high ranking official, David Rainey, the former head of Gulf of Mexico exploration, will be charged with downplaying the spill to lawmakers. One more lower ranking BP employee will face insider trading charges.
Originally published on Thu November 15, 2012 5:23 pm
You walk into a room. There are people there, cars outside, dogs, phones ring, the radio is on, somebody coughs; it's the pleasant blur of a busy world, until something, someone catches your attention. Then you lean in, the other sounds fade back, and you focus. That's how listening works — for most of us.
Wang Heying, 64, supports the new Communist leaders, even if she can barely name them. She says government policies have led street lamps, bigger houses and a TV in every home.
Credit Frank Langfitt / NPR
Villagers in Dongjiangai, in eastern China's Jiangsu province, watch the presentation of the Communist Party's new leadership on national TV Thursday. They say they support the new leaders because of the improvements government policies have brought to their village.
Credit Frank Langfitt / NPR
Dongjianggai, a farming village, lies about 200 miles northwest of Shanghai.
An elderly couple is winnowing rice in the front yard of their home in the tiny village of Dongjianggai, about 200 miles northwest of Shanghai. They've just watched China's incoming leaders — including Xi Jinping, the new general secretary of the Communist Party — appear for the first time on national TV.
"We don't know them," the husband, Wu Beiling, says. "Xi Jinping was just unveiled. I'm not very familiar with the rest of the members."
Tony Kushner based his screenplay for Lincoln in part on Doris Kearns Goodwin's biography of the president, Team of Rivals — but he read many other histories and biographies, in addition to Lincoln's own writings.
Credit Joan Marcus-Hires / DreamWorks Pictures and Twentieth Century Fox
Kushner is the author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning play Angels in America. He also co-wrote the 2005 film Munich.
Tony Kushner spent years writing the screenplay for Steven Spielberg's film Lincoln, but that wasn't the only heavy lifting he had to do. It also took some effort to overcome Daniel Day-Lewis' reluctance to play the title role.
"I wanted to write to him and say, 'Daniel, apart from the fact that you're like one of the greatest actors ever, look in the mirror. God is trying to tell you something — you look like Abraham Lincoln!" Kushner tells Fresh Air's Dave Davies.
The DOC NYC film festival wraps up with The Central Park Five. The film recounts the notorious rape case of the Central Park jogger and the five young men wrongfully convicted and imprisoned for her rape. Host Michel Martin speaks with Raymond Santana, one of the convicted men. Advisory: This conversation may not be comfortable for all listeners.
Originally published on Thu November 15, 2012 2:20 pm
I saw Bruce Springsteen perform when I was 12. It was my first real concert, and I was there with my parents. (I have cool parents.) I remember it vividly — the giant screens surrounding the stage, the heady aroma of weed, that deep chant of "Bruuuuuce" that swelled through the stadium and kept going and going and going.
The United States Postal Service reported a record $15.9 billion loss in fiscal year 2012. That compares to a $5.1 billion loss last fiscal year.
Bloomberg reports that the postal service is forecast to run out of cash by Oct. 15, 2013 when it is scheduled to make a workers compensation payment to the Labor Department. The Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe painted a grim picture when he announced the loss.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie listens to a question in Trenton, N.J., Tuesday. He has refused to tip his hand on whether New Jersey will set up a federally mandated health insurance exchange or let the federal government handle the chores.
Moaz al-Khatib, a Muslim cleric, is the leader of the newly formed opposition group, the Syrian National Coalition. The opposition is working to build support inside Syria through Facebook and other social media.