The emoticon, punctuation to depict a facial expression, began 30 years ago this week. Using three keystrokes, the colon, dash and parenthesis, to suggest a smile may not be a great scientific advance, like the coronary stent or computer chip. But the emoticon has been simple, useful and enduring.
There had been previous hints of emoticons. A newspaper transcript of Abraham Lincoln drawing a laugh in 1862 follows it with a semi-colon and parentheses, but that may have simply been a printer's typo.
Despite a series of political fumbles, Mitt Romney is "still very much in the game," according to political strategist Steve Schmidt. But, he says, it will take some work.
Schmidt served as John McCain's senior strategist in the 2008 election and helped George W. Bush get reelected in 2004. He spoke with Weekend Edition Saturday host Scott Simon about the Romney campaign's stresses.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Chicago teachers voted to end their strike this week, the first in 25 years, and came back to class. It brought an end to a heated confrontation between leaders of the Chicago teachers union and Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who repeated this phrase time and again during the strike.
MAYOR RAHM EMANUEL: This was a strike of choice and it's a wrong choice for the children. Really, it was a choice.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon.
Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney released his 2011 tax return this week in an effort to quell fiscal controversy about his personal finances. The Romney Campaign accompanied the release with a letter from his accountant that says the candidate paid at least 13 percent of his income in taxes in each of the past 20 years.
Both campaigns tried to appeal to older voters yesterday. President Obama and Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan addressed thousands of members of the AARP in New Orleans. Changes to Medicare and Social Security topped the agenda for both, but NPR's Ina Jaffee reports, there was more to these voters reactions to the candidates.
If you live in a swing state, the political ads on TV right now are inescapable, and they're only going to get more intense in the seven weeks before Election Day. NPR's Ari Shapiro wanted to see the impact that all this advertising's having on one community. He's been in Colorado Springs for the last week reporting a pair of stories that will air on Morning Edition and All Things Considered on Monday. Ari joins us now. Thanks so much for being with us.
It's been more than a quarter century since the federal government enacted any immigration legislation which wasn't about enforcement and over that time, the government has spend hundreds of billions of dollars on fences, aircrafts, detention centers and agents. NPR's Ted Robbins looks at what taxpayer money has bought and why it's not likely to go away, even as budgets shrink and illegal immigration lessens.
Originally published on Sun September 23, 2012 3:51 am
Wanna cast your vote early? In Washington, D.C., and around the nation, food and drink have become a popular proxy for voter polls. Though they're unlikely to be accurate predictors, the results of a few seem to be drifting in the same direction as the presidential election polls conducted by professional pollsters at the moment.
American Muslims have not been protesting the recent anti-Islam video, <em>The Innocence of Muslims</em>. However, they have held demonstrations in recent years, including this one directed at the New York police department in November 2011.
Originally published on Mon September 24, 2012 10:00 am
Muslims have been demonstrating from North Africa to Southeast Asia, often violently, over the film that ridicules the Prophet Muhammad. But, in America, Muslims have been virtually silent over the video Innocence Of Muslims.
Ray Mancini carried hopes and ghosts into the boxing ring. He was the son of a great contender, Lenny Mancini, who was wounded in World War II before he ever got a chance at a championship. Mancini inherited his father's ring nickname — "Boom Boom" — and his championship dreams. In 1980, Mancini succeeded in winning the lightweight championship of the world, earning him widespread adoration.
Unemployment is rampant in Spain and full-time jobs are scarce. Here a woman works at a street stall in Madrid. Some Spaniards are signing up for "time banks," where individuals perform services based on their skills, and receive another service in return. No money changes hands. A woman is shown here working at a street stall in Madrid.
Saturday marks the 150th anniversary of a crucial moment in U.S. history. On Sept. 22, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln issued the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, announcing his intention to free the slaves in the states rebelling against the Union.
Rickie Lee Jones' new album<em>, </em><em>The Devil You Know</em>, is a collection of covers. "I think [I recorded the album] partially to remind people that a singer is the one who interprets the song," she says. "And once you do that, it's yours."
Eric San, who goes by the name Kid Koala, plays the blues. But just as Kid Koala isn't a traditional blues name like Blind Lemon Jefferson or Doctor Ross the Harmonica Boss, he isn't a standard blues man.
Kid Koala is a DJ. Big turntables, fast hands, scratching old-fashioned vinyl records — the whole deal. Now, he's taken that DJ equipment and produced a "turntable blues" album titled 12 Bit Blues.
So how did a Canadian DJ discover the blues, exactly? San says it all happened in high school.
A screengrab shows three highly funded Design projects currently on Kickstarter's site. The company's founder say they will require more information about the challenges potential entrepreneurs could face.
Originally published on Fri September 21, 2012 9:06 pm
Even as it has received praise for bringing innovative ideas to life, Kickstarter has been criticized for allowing creators to be a little fuzzy about their plans — and for providing little recourse to investors who become unsatisfied with the project they've supported. The site has now announced changes that it hopes will ease those troubles.
The biggest change is a new section called "Risks and Challenges," which requires potential entrepreneurs to list the obstacles they face, and how they plan to deal with them.
And then there were three — record labels, that is. Regulators in the United States and Europe have approved the acquisition of EMI Music by Univeral Music Group. The combined label will own close to 40 percent of the world music market with a trove of acts that includes The Beatles.
President Obama named a new national monument on Friday: Chimney Rock in southwestern Colorado. With two sandstone spires soaring from a mesa, not only is Chimney Rock a spectacular place; it also provides a fascinating glimpse into the ancient people who lived in that region more than 1,000 years ago.
Wisconsin is a prime battleground state in this year's presidential election.
Republicans hope the pick of native son Paul Ryan as their vice presidential nominee will bolster their chances to turn the state red in November. Wisconsin hasn't voted for a Republican for president since 1984. Barack Obama won the state by a blowout 14 points in 2008. And a run of Wisconsin polls this week shows him widening his lead over Mitt Romney.
So what do Wisconsin voters have to say about their choices — and their mood?
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
And I'm Robert Siegel. It is a move sure to anger Iran. The Obama administration has decided to take an Iranian resistance group known as the MEK off a terrorism list. MEK stands for Mujahadin-e-Khalq. The group has been lobbying for this delisting for years and recently the group won a U.S. court case. The court ordered Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to make a decision on the MEK by October 1. NPR's Michele Kelemen explains.
Robert Siegel talks to regular political commentators, E.J. Dionne of The Washington Post and Brookings Institution, and David Brooks of The New York Times. They discuss Mitt Romney's "47 percent," new polls on the presidential race, and close Senate races.
The Space Shuttle Endeavour passes the Hollywood Sign and the Griffith Observatory as seen from Dodger Stadium Friday.
Credit Mark J. Terrill / AP
The space shuttle Endeavour flies atop NASA's Shuttle Carrier Aircraft or SCA over the Griffith Park Obervatory in Los Angeles.
Credit Sandy Huffaker / Getty Images
Spectators take pictures with varied levels of excitement, as the Space Shuttle Endeavour, mounted on NASA's Shuttle Carrier Aircraft, flies near Santa Monica.
Credit Jae C. Hong / AP
Spectators Mario Vasquez of Redondo Beach and his son Mario Jr., 2, watch as Endeavour prepares to land at Los Angeles International Airport Friday. In a few weeks, the shuttle will travel through the city's streets to its new home at the California Science Center.
Credit Ringo H.W. Chiu / AP
Space shuttle Endeavour and its Shuttle Carrier Aircraft land at Los Angeles International Airport.
Credit Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images
The space shuttle Endeavor flies by Griffith Observatory on its final voyage to the California Science Center in Los Angeles, Calif., Friday.
Credit John Rose / NPR
Spectators Mario Vasquez, 40, of Redondo Beach and his son Mario Jr., 2, watch as space shuttle Endeavour, atop NASA's Shuttle Carrier Aircraft, prepares to land at Los Angeles International Airport Friday.
Credit Ringo H.W. Chiu / AP
The Space Shuttle Endeavour atop a modified 747 passes the Hollywood sign and the Griffith Observatory as seen from Dodger Stadium Friday.
Originally published on Fri September 21, 2012 3:59 pm
Separate appearances Friday by President Obama and Rep. Paul Ryan before an AARP meeting in New Orleans proved that the third rail of American politics, Medicare and Social Security collectively, is still very much electrified.
Speaking to a supremely friendly audience via live video feed from Virginia, where he was campaigning, Obama drew repeated applause and cheers with promises to defend Medicare and Social Security from Republican proposals that he said threaten the entitlement programs' ability to deliver the kind of benefits seniors have become accustomed to.
Francesa Anello with the Los Angeles County Mental Health Department heads up mental health services for prisoners at the county jail. She's responsible for reintegrating released prisoners with mental illness back into the community.
Under California's criminal justice realignment program, counties are taking over responsibility from the state for low-level felons. And that has affected how inmates with histories of mental illness move through the system even after they're released.
Both President Barack Obama and Republican vice presidential hopeful Paul Ryan presented their visions for Medicare to the nation's most influential lobbying group for the elderly on Friday. Julie Rovner has parsed their remarks and joins Audie Cornish to provide some context.
Republican Rep. Todd Akin and incumbent Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill debate Friday in Columbia, Mo. McCaskill had once been considered among the most vulnerable Senate Democrats until Akin made comments about "legitimate rape." The candidates were asked about Akin's controversial statement at the start of Friday's debate.
Originally published on Fri September 21, 2012 5:58 pm
Republican dreams of taking control of the U.S. Senate in November have been declared all but dead over the past several days by prognosticators pointing to trouble facing the party in unexpected places.
Missouri and Indiana come to mind.
But don't count Senate race analyst Jennifer Duffy among them.
"I'm not ready to call this done and over," Duffy said of the GOP's push to pick up four seats, which would definitely tip the Senate balance of power. "We seem to be in some period of transition. Whether it's permanent or not, we'll know in a couple weeks."