On the campaign trail, GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum often discusses his opposition to abortion rights and gay marriage. That message served him well in Iowa with its large contingent of evangelical voters. Christian conservatives are also dominant in South Carolina, which votes Saturday. Santorum hopes to repeat his Iowa performance, but he's been struggling to keep pace in polls.
GOP presidential campaigns and superPACs have been spending millions of dollars on TV and radio advertising ahead of Saturday's South Carolina primary. While the negative superPAC ads air, the candidates are delivering a more positive message.
Newt Gingrich's swift rise has been fueled by one thing above all — his forceful performances in the debates. And Thursday night, Gingrich was dominant from the start when he got the first question. It was about an explosive television interview with his ex-wife Marianne.
Escorting a squadron of bombers, Andrew "Smokey" Salem (Ne-Yo) signals fellow pilots on the way into combat with German forces in the new film Red Tails, based on the experiences of the famed Tuskegee Airmen fighter group.
Cuba Gooding Jr. plays pipe-smoking, swaggering Maj. Emmanuel Stance in Red Tails.
It took George Lucas more than two decades to bring the movie Red Tails to the screen. It was all the way back in the late '80s that the man behind Star Wars and Indiana Jones fell under the spell of another story of adventure, this one with real-life heroes — the African-American fighter pilots of World War II.
As Mara just mentioned, the debate last night opened with a question about a claim made by Gingrich's ex-wife. Well, Marianne Gingrich gave her exclusive interview to ABC's "Nightline," putting the candidate's personal life in the spotlight once again. NPR's Tamara Keith has more.
TAMARA KEITH, BYLINE: The interview was incredibly hyped, in part because Marianne Gingrich has been silent so far on her ex-husband's presidential candidacy. This was her first television interview since their 1999 divorce.
The Iowa Republican Party has certified the results of its caucuses earlier this month. Rick Santorum is 34 votes ahead, but the party will not declare a winner because there are missing results in eight precincts. Before the certification process, Mitt Romney had been declared the winner.
Dozens of televisions display a political advertisement with the image of GOP presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich at a store in Urbandale, Iowa, on Dec. 27. Republican candidates and their superPACs have spent millions on television and radio ads.
Saturday is South Carolina's Republican presidential primary. It's also the second anniversary of the Supreme Court's famous Citizens United decision.
That's the case that allows corporations to explicitly support or attack specific candidates. The day will be marked with attack ads — and protests.
The Republican presidential race has covered just three states so far. And superPACs linked to candidates Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum and Ron Paul have spent a total of $20 million. They're feeding voters a heavy diet of negativity.
Republican presidential candidates (from left) Rick Santorum, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul participate in the GOP presidential candidate debate at the North Charleston Coliseum in Charleston, S.C., on Thursday.
The last Republican presidential debate before Saturday's South Carolina primary was expected to be lively. It didn't disappoint.
It was clear, even before the four remaining candidates met on the stage in Charleston, SC, that at least three of them would face some fairly high-stakes moments that could change the course of the contest. The question going into the debate was would they be able to master those moments?
Comedian Stephen Colbert appears before the Federal Election Commision in Washington, June 30, 2011. The FEC granted Colbert's request to form a political action committee.
Kinky Friedman trims the ivy growing as hair on a 6-foot bust of Gov. Rick Perry. In 2006, Friedman came in fourth in his bid to be governor of Texas, drawing in part on his fame as a country musician. He has also written several mystery novels.
To prove that he thought all campaigning was bunk, actor and satirist Will Rogers created a mock presidential campaign in 1928, running as the "bunkless candidate" of the Anti-Bunk Party. Here, he's seen with actress Anne Shirley.
In 1940, Gracie Allen, the female half of the comedy team Burns and Allen, announced her intention to run for president on the Surprise Party ticket. The party's mascot was a kangaroo; the slogan was "It's in the bag."
Dick Gregory, a social and political comedian, ran for president on the Peace and Freedom Party ticket. Here, he clears his way before speaking in Norfolk's Liberty Park, on Oct. 18, 1968.
Comedian Pat Paulsen announces his candidacy to be president in Universal City, Calif., in 1996 — his eighth run for the slot. Paulsen's earliest bid for the presidency was announced in 1968 on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour.
Credit Photo by Kevin Winter / Tonight Show/Getty Images for The Tonight Show
Roseanne Barr announces she is a candidate for president on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno at the NBC Studios in 2011. Barr says she is the candidate of the Green Tea Party.
Credit AP / Comedy Central, Kristopher Long
Stephen Colbert's flirtation with running for president has evolved from the formation of a superPAC to an appeal to voters in the primary held in his home state of South Carolina. The comedian mounted a short-lived campaign very early in the 2008 race, as well.
Comedy Central's Stephen Colbert is running for president. He's parodying the process — including, now, superPACS — in the same way he has parodied cable news. He's getting plenty of attention, but to really look into his political practical joke, I needed to go upstairs and find Peter Overby, NPR's man on campaign finance. I warned him it would seem like a dumb question, but I needed his help. What, exactly, is a superPAC?
In 1999, Rene Foreman was diagnosed with esophageal cancer. She underwent surgery that saved her life; it also took her voice box. To speak, Rene now uses an electrolarynx — a small device that she holds against her throat to produce her voice, electronically.
Discussing how having a synthesized voice has changed her life, Rene, 70, told her daughter Michelle that the electrolarynx helps her to enjoy each day, even if it also makes her stand out in some ways.
Of those times, Michelle asks, "How do you feel when people turn around and look at you?"
Morocco's King Mohammed VI introduced reforms after protests began last February. But activists say the measures didn't go far enough and they are still taking to the streets. Here, the king is shown in his palace in Rabat last June 17.
Millions of homeowners are finding out that their property taxes are either holding steady or climbing, even as their house may be worth much less. There may not be much they can do about it.
In Ohio, Cuyahoga County's fiscal officer, Wade Steen, has been taking many calls from unhappy homeowners. He says they most often live in a community where voters passed a recent levy. That's a property tax measure that boosts funding for things such as schools and libraries.
If you listen to commercial radio, this is not news: Katy Perry had a huge year. She went No.1 five times. She was the most played artist on the radio. But the record industry is so weird, it's hard to know whether this kind of success translates into huge amounts of money.
So we asked.
I walked over to Katy Perry's record label. She's on Capital, which is under EMI. I met Greg Thompson, executive vice president of marketing and promotion at EMI.
The scramble for train tickets for people traveling for the Lunar New Year, China's most important holiday, is always intense. The launch of an online ticketing system has created new headaches. Here, hundreds of people line up to buy train tickets at a railway station in Hefei in eastern China's Anhui province on Dec. 29, 2011.
Credit Frank Langfitt / NPR
An electronic board at Shanghai Railway Station shows many trains sold out for Jan. 16-18. China's Rail Ministry spent more than $8 million on the ticketing website — which crashed and sometimes charged users without actually giving them tickets.
Credit Frank Langfitt / NPR
On the day Li Xiusheng went to the Shanghai train station, he bought the last same-day ticket back to his hometown in central China's Anhui province. Li, a Christian, thinks it happened because of divine intervention.
In China during the Lunar New Year holiday, more than 200 million people will travel home in the world's largest annual migration. Every year, Chinese tell horror stories about trying to get train tickets.
The season the New Year falls on Monday, and it was supposed to be different: For the first time, China's rail ministry created a website to reserve seats.
Whenever the late New York Times caricaturist Al Hirschfeld sketched Carol Channing — whether picturing her as an indomitable Dolly Levi, swathed in feathers and sequins, or as carbon-crazed Lorelei Lee, eyes sparkling like the diamonds that were that splendid creature's best friends — he always made her appear a creature composed entirely of lipstick, mascara and hairspray.
Megaupload, one of the world's most popular file-sharing sites, was shut down Thursday as its founder and several executives were charged with violating piracy laws by the U.S. Department of Justice. As a technology used to transfer files too large to be sent by email, Megaupload has perfectly legitimate uses, but the Motion Picture Association of America claims that most of the content transferred over the site violates U.S. copyright laws.
Rhoda Janzen is the author of Mennonite in a Little Black Dress.
Recently my friend Peggy and I decided to make a jaunt from my house in Southwestern Michigan, across the state to Detroit. We took her car. At day's end we pulled into my remote driveway on Lake Allegan. It was then I realized that didn't have my keys. They were in fact, hanging in the little key box in my laundry room.
Earlier today, the Justice Department announced it had charged seven people on counts of copyright infringement and conspiracy in what's being called one the biggest criminal copyright cases.
NPR's Carrie Johnson filed this report for our Newscast unit:
"The Justice Department accused Megaupload, a popular file sharing site, with helping millions of people gain access to pirated movies, music and TV programs, often before the items are released for sale.
Food policy can sound like a dreary enterprise best left to Washington, D.C. But big-city mayors are starting to see local food policy as a key step in getting healthy, affordable food to their constituents.
This afternoon, the mayors of America are meeting in Washington, D.C., to launch their own food policy task force. The goal is to share information on projects that work, and also make sure that federal food policy doesn't muck up those local efforts.
Freestyle skiing pioneer Sarah Burke died this morning at the University of Utah Medical Center from injuries suffered nine days ago while practicing the sport she championed.
"Sarah passed away peacefully surrounded by those she loved," says a statement from the medical center. "In accordance with Sarah's wishes, her organs and tissues were donated to save the lives of others."
What do you do with a 1,000-foot wreck that's full of fuel and half-submerged on a rocky ledge in the middle of an Italian marine sanctuary? Remove it. Very carefully.
The wreck of the cruise liner Costa Concordia, which ran aground last week, is not unlike a car accident. The first order of business is determining whether it's worth repairing or it gets junked. Then there are the questions of how best to go about it – and who pays.
Remember that movie Sarah's Key? Did you miss it? It was last year's highest grossing foreign-language film, but it made less than eight million dollars. The fact is that selling foreign language films to U.S. audiences is a notorious challenge. Nevertheless, Fox, one of the world's most powerful media conglomerates, is beefing up its investment in foreign films.
Student activist Adam Adli addresses protesters outside Malaysia's high court in Kuala Lumpur on Jan. 9. The crowd was awaiting a verdict in the trial of opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, who was acquitted on charges of sodomy shortly afterward. Adam is leading the fight to abolish a decades-old law that bans college students from joining or speaking in support of political parties.
Credit Saeed Khan / AFP/Getty Images
Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim (center), accompanied by his wife, Wan Azizah (center right), speaks to his supporters in Kuala Lumpur on Jan. 9 after his acquittal. Anwar is a former student activist — and many say Adam is feared by the government as much as Anwar was.
In Asia's modern history, college students have played a leading role in pushing for political reform and challenging authoritarian regimes.
Adam Adli is one of these student activists, and is becoming a prominent political figure as he fights to abolish a 40-year-old law that bars college students in the prosperous Southeast Asian country from participating in politics.
The 22-year-old was among the crowd of thousands chanting "reformasi," or reform, outside Malaysia's high court in the capital, Kuala Lumpur, on Jan. 9.