NPR has obtained a report from the Inspector General of the Labor Department that describes an incident last year in which the nation's coal mine safety chief and agency lawyers withdrew a legitimate safety citation and order "not based upon the merits" but "to avoid the appearance of retaliation and possible Congressional scrutiny."
Australia is a huge island, with stretches of lonely, rocky coastline that extend for thousands of miles. What's more, there are lots of harbors and airports.
In short, opportunities are plentiful for an enterprising Mexican drug trafficker to move his product 8,000 miles across the Pacific Ocean to service the vibrant new market Down Under.
One such drug lord is Joaquin "Chapo" Guzman, head of Mexico's Sinaloa cartel. He's a cunning, small-statured, exceedingly dangerous outlaw recently dubbed "the world's most powerful drug trafficker" by the U.S. Treasury Department.
When the New York Hotel Trades Council ratified a new contract for hotel workers last month, much of the media coverage focused on "panic buttons." Coming after the sexual assault allegations against former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the idea of housekeepers wearing a badge that could call for help was all over the news.
In a move certain to bring even more attention to one of the latest media tempests, President Obama on Friday got on the phone to encourage the Georgetown University law student disparaged by conservative radio superstar Rush Limbaugh with misogynistic epithets.
Sandra Fluke, who is also an activist, was about to appear on MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell Reports when she took a phone call from the White House. It was the president. As an emotional Fluke explained once she was in front of the cameras with Mitchell:
Just three months ago, Russia's parliamentary elections prompted widespread allegations of fraud and drove thousands of protesters into the streets in the days afterward.
The Russian government and government critics both say they are trying to prevent a similar outcome in Sunday's presidential poll.
Valdimir Putin, who has been either the president or the prime minister for the past 12 years, is widely expected to win another six-year term as president. But the credibility of Russian elections is also at stake.
Estelle Swaray is a Londoner. But for the past few years, the British singer best known for the song "American Boy" (her 2008 Grammy-winning hit with Kanye West) has called the U.S. home. It was a particular American boy, she says, who convinced her to make the move.
Their marriage may be over, but singers Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony have come together for a new TV show that seeks out talent from throughout Latin America. It's been airing on Spanish language TV in the U.S. and in 21 countries. And as NPR's Mandalit del Barco reports on today's All Things Considered, the show will also premiere on Fox this weekend, with English subtitles.
All winter long, we've brought you songs that evoke the season. Yeah, we know it's March, but since winter doesn't officially end for another few weeks, we still have time to bring you a musical memory of a cold night from one of our listeners, Amanda Sauermann from Gracey, Ky. Her winter song is "Horchata" by Vampire Weekend.
Robert De Niro's last outing with director Paul Weitz was less than auspicious: The comedy Little Fockers received terrible reviews. Being Flynn, their second collaboration, is a more serious affair about the estranged relationship between a fractious father and his son.
"The U.N.-appointed Commission of Inquiry on Libya says in its report published Friday that "international crimes, specifically crimes against humanity and war crimes, were committed by Gadhafi forces."
White bread, like vanilla, is one of those foods that's become a metaphor for blandness. But it wasn't always that way.
Aaron Bobrow-Strain, professor of food politics at Whitman College, tells Weekend Edition's Rachel Martin that white bread was a deeply contentious food — ever since the early 1900s' ideas of "racial purity" up to the cultural revolution of the 1960s. He documents that cultural legacy in his new book, White Bread: A Social History of the Store-Bought Loaf.
A few days ago, amid darkness and freezing winds, thousands of small packages of seeds were carried into an underground storage vault on a remote Arctic island. That vault holds a growing collection of seeds from all the different kinds of crops around the world that humans grow for food.
Originally published on Fri March 2, 2012 12:36 pm
We're going to venture that just by nature of the fact that you're reading this blog, you count yourself as a member of the social mediarati.
If so, you, and a lot of other people, may sooner turn to Epicurious or Facebook to plan your next meal than your grandmother's recipe box or the Nestlé Toll House bag of chocolate chips in the cupboard. That's the word from the Hartman Group, a consumer research firm, and Publicis Consultants USA, a marketing agency.
Kristin Chenoweth talks to Jacki Lyden on today's Weekends on All Things Considered, and if the only thing you got from the interview was Chenoweth warbling a bit of the first solo she ever did in church, it would be well worth it.
The Emmy-winning actress stars on ABC's new GCB, a sort of Desperate-Housewives-ish dishy, soapy comedy-drama premiering Sunday night at 10. She's come quite a long way since, as she explains, her father negotiated her first contract.
There's been something wacky with the weather this winter, and many forecasters never saw it coming.
Among them was the Old Farmer's Almanac, the quirky, centuries-old mix of historical data, prognostications and folk wisdom. Millions of people consult the quirky, centuries-old almanac, which uses a secret formula to come up with its annual, year-long weather forecasts, even though meteorologists say it has a dubious track record.
It's hard to write a musical about capitalism. Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill gave it a shot with The Threepenny Opera. The musical Urinetown took a crack at it. Now comes Mission Drift, a two-hour experimental work created by a group called the Theater of the Emerging American Moment. The musical attempts to probe the love and ambivalence Americans have for endless growth.
Mission Drift's director, Rachel Chavkin, wondered what defines American capitalism compared to capitalism in the rest of the world. She went to composer Heather Christian.
Sandra Fluke, the Georgetown University law student who has become a "poster child" for Democrats since Republicans wouldn't let her testify at a House hearing about President Obama's policy on contraception, said today she was stunned and outraged Wednesday when conservative radio broadcaster Rush Limbaugh called her a "slut" and "prostitute" on his nationally syndicated show.
Originally published on Fri March 2, 2012 11:14 am
If Rick Santorum has a lead on Mitt Romney in Ohio, it looks like it's not much of one. A new Quinnipiac University poll shows Santorum leading Romney by four percentage points, 35 percent to 31 percent.
With the margin of error at +/-4.3 points, the two top rivals for the Republican presidential nomination are essentially tied just days before Super Tuesday when voters in Ohio and nine other states take part in the presidential primary process.
Children are diagnosed with lead exposure only when their health is already endangered. Wouldn't it be better to prevent that danger instead? That's the goal of a project in the city of St. Louis that tests the homes of pregnant women and removes dangerous lead before babies were born.
That SWAT-team approach can reduce children's exposure to toxic lead, according to a new study.
South Sudan gained independence in 2011, but it has been locked in a bitter conflict with its northern neighbor. Rep. Frank Wolf (R.-Va.) just returned from the area. He talks with host Michel Martin about what some observers are calling a humanitarian crisis, and what the U.S. can do to help.
Among the reports of more deadly violence in Pakistan today — about 70 people were killed in three incidents, DAWN reports — is word that about 20 of the deaths were the result of one militant group attacking another.