NPR Blogs

Monkey See
12:52 pm
Thu September 12, 2013

Toronto 2013: Some Film Festival Highs And Lows

Julianne Nicholson, Meryl Streep, and Julia Roberts in August: Osage County.
Toronto International Film Festival

Tastiest Scenery To Chew: August: Osage County, the John Wells-directed adaptation of the Tracy Letts stage play, stars Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Juliette Lewis, Chris Cooper, Margo Martindale, Benedict Cumberbatch, and a generally very impressive cast. But Streep is cranked up to 11 as the miserable, pill-popping matriarch. I expect her to win an Oscar for this role, simply because it's so over-the-top and because she is compelling in it.

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The Two-Way
12:32 pm
Thu September 12, 2013

D.C. Mayor Vetoes 'Living Wage' Bill Targeting Large Retailers

A worker collects shopping carts at a Wal-Mart parking lot, in Bristol, Pa.
Matt Rourke AP

Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 2:25 pm

Washington, D.C., Mayor Vincent Gray has vetoed a controversial "living wage" bill that would have forced large retailers such as Wal-Mart to pay a 50 percent premium on the district's $8.25 per hour minimum wage.

When the bill was approved by the city council in July, Wal-Mart said it would abandon three of the six stores it planned to build in the district, claiming the required minimum $12.50 it would have to pay was too much.

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The Two-Way
12:26 pm
Thu September 12, 2013

Bitter Battle Ends As Dell Shareholders OK $25 Billion Buyout

Dell Chairman and CEO Michael Dell in 2011.
Kimihiro Hoshino AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 12:44 pm

Dell Inc. shareholders, as expected, have approved founder Michael Dell's $25 billion offer to take the company private, ending a protracted battle that saw billionaire investor Carl Icahn mount his own takeover bid for the computer maker.

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The Two-Way
11:51 am
Thu September 12, 2013

New FBI Chief Says Budget Cuts Threaten Agency's Mission

Newly minted FBI Director James Comey speaks at a swearing-in ceremony last week at the Justice Department in Washington, D.C.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 1:10 pm

In his first full week on the job, new FBI Director Jim Comey is already expressing "intense concern" about budget cuts hitting the bureau as part of sequestration.

Comey used his first visits to FBI field offices in Virginia and New York, where he once served as a federal prosecutor, to sound an alarm about the ability to fulfill the agency's mission in a time of belt tightening.

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The Two-Way
11:43 am
Thu September 12, 2013

J.K. Rowling To Write Screenplay For 'Harry Potter' Spinoff

Remember the frenzy when Harry Potter books and movies came out? Fans may be cast under a similar spell now that J.K. Rowling has agreed to write the screenplay for a Potter spinoff. (This 2005 photo was taken in London when the book Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince was released.)
Paco Serinelli AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri September 13, 2013 9:00 am

Hold on to your sorting hats, everyone, there's exciting news today for muggles everywhere:

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The Salt
11:28 am
Thu September 12, 2013

Doctors Lean Toward Introducing Allergenic Foods To Kids Early

SafetyTat, the inventor of children's safety tattoos, offers a line of allergy tattoos to help children with food allergies.
Courtesy of SafetyTat

Originally published on Fri September 13, 2013 10:31 am

It's an anxiety that lots of us parents live with: With all the talk about the high rates of food allergies, will my baby or toddler be next?

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The Two-Way
11:20 am
Thu September 12, 2013

Missouri Vote Fails On Measure To Invalidate Federal Gun Laws

George Sherer and his son, Jeff, look at a SIG Sauer 716 patrol rifle during the NRA Annual Meetings and Exhibits last April in St. Louis.
Whitney Curtis Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 12:30 pm

Missouri lawmakers failed to override Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon's veto of legislation aimed at invalidating certain federal firearms restrictions.

Senators voted 22-12 Wednesday night to override the veto, falling a single vote short of the required two-thirds majority. The override had already passed the Republican-controlled House.

The Associated Press reports:

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The Two-Way
9:48 am
Thu September 12, 2013

UPDATED: U.S. Rejects Assad's Timetable For A Chemical Weapons Deal

In Washington, D.C., this week, there have been demonstrations both in favor of and against a military strike on targets in Syria. Outside the White House on Monday, supporters of Syrian President Bashar Assad waved a Syrian flag with his face on it.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 5:44 pm

Thirty days after his regime signs the international Chemical Weapons Convention that bans their use he will start handing over data about Syria's stockpile, President Bashar Assad told a Russian TV channel Thursday.

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The Two-Way
9:04 am
Thu September 12, 2013

Jobless Claims Hit 7-Year Low, But Data Weren't Complete

At a Target store in San Francisco last month, job seekers waited in line.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

A plunge in the number of first-time claims for jobless benefits last week — to a 7-year-low 292,000 — can be partly explained away by "technical problems," Reuters writes:

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Monkey See
8:42 am
Thu September 12, 2013

Nothing Personal, But I'm Not Reading Your 'Breaking Bad' Analysis

Aaron Paul and Bryan Cranston as Jesse and Walt on AMC's Breaking Bad, which will have its finale in a few weeks.
Frank Ockenfels AMC

Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 9:12 am

The closer we get to the end of Breaking Bad, the less I want to read about it.

I'm not calling for a moratorium on Breaking Bad content from now until the finale (and not only because of ... you know, futility.) From now until then, I expect an avalanche of recaps, interviews, think pieces, retrospectives, speculations and so forth. That's exactly as it should be with any show coming to a close, let alone a show as great as this one.

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The Two-Way
8:38 am
Thu September 12, 2013

You May Not Want To Look: Blobfish Named 'Ugliest Animal'

The blobfish: world's ugliest animal?
NOAA.gov

Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 10:47 am

At first glance, we thought it was a Star Wars character.

But, no, the blobfish is a real creature that bobs around in the waters off Australia.

And now it's the "winner" of the Ugly Animal Preservation Society's online vote to choose a mascot.

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The Two-Way
8:14 am
Thu September 12, 2013

Top Stories: Syrian Rebels On Russian Plan; Putin's Editorial

Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 10:45 am

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The Two-Way
7:32 am
Thu September 12, 2013

Book News: Lance Armstrong's Lies Are Protected, Judge Says

Lance Armstrong talks to the media after the 2011 Xterra Nationals triathlon in Utah.
Jim Urquhart AP

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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The Two-Way
7:00 am
Thu September 12, 2013

Russian Plan 'Is Just A Lie,' Syrian Rebel General Says

A Free Syrian Army fighter in eastern Syria on Wednesday.
Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 10:13 am

  • On 'Morning Edition': Free Syrian Army Gen. Salim Idris

As Secretary of State John Kerry was preparing to sit down with his Russian counterpart Thursday to discuss whether the Assad regime's chemical weapons can be handed over to international monitors, the commander of the rebel Free Syrian Army was telling NPR that "the Russian initiative is just a lie."

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Shots - Health News
3:45 am
Thu September 12, 2013

Why Painting Tumors Could Make Brain Surgeons Better

Physician Jim Olson cares for children with brain cancer in Seattle. His laboratory studies the gene expression programs controlling neural differentiation, brain tumor genesis and neurodegenerative diseases.
Courtesy of Susie Fitzhugh/Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 6:58 am

Perhaps one of the most uncomfortable things a doctor has to tell patients is that their medical problems are iatrogenic. What that means is they were caused by a doctor in the course of the treatment.

Sometime these iatrogenic injuries are accidental. But sometimes, because of the limits of medical technology, they can be inevitable. Now, a medical researcher in Seattle thinks he has a way to eliminate some of the inevitable ones.

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