In the 1950s, the moviegoing world fell in love with a young French ballerina and actress named Leslie Caron. She brightened the silver screen in musical films like 1958's Gigi, where she played a young courtesan-in-training who befriends a rich, handsome suitor in 1900s Paris.
Originally published on Tue December 4, 2012 5:18 pm
In Washington's latest game of chicken, President Obama is counting on voters who see things his way to give him the edge in his quest to get congressional Republicans to accept tax increases on the nation's wealthiest as part of any fiscal cliff deal.
To energize those voters, the president is ramping up a series of campaign-style events meant to educate the public about the stakes, as he sees them, of letting the Bush-era tax cuts for middle-class Americans expire if no agreement is reached by year's end.
Originally published on Sat December 1, 2012 7:54 am
Sofas and other cushy furniture often contain chemicals intended to reduce the risk of fire. But those chemicals may pose health risks of their own, and some researchers are trying to build the case for getting them out of the house altogether.
Eighty-five percent of couches tested in a new study contained at least one flame-retardant chemical in the foam cushioning.
Originally published on Mon December 3, 2012 9:54 am
Determined not to be excluded from the post-election bipartisan talk of passing immigration legislation, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus on Wednesday rejected two Republican proposals while outlining its own priorities.
Mitt Romney refused to mix religion with politics in this year's presidential campaign, but that didn't repress people's curiosity about Mormonism. His candidacy brought the homegrown faith into the spotlight.
Patrick Mason, a professor and chairman of the Mormon Studies program at Claremont Graduate University, says attention paid to his faith has been twofold. On one hand, it's been good for attracting new converts. On the other hand, it's turned Mormonism into something of a cultural punch line.
Every year, restaurants throw away as much as 10 percent of the food they buy, as we reported yesterday, yet food waste ranks low on most chefs' list of priorities. But some restaurants want to do something about food waste in their quest to go green. That includes Mario Batali's Lupa Osteria Romana, one of New York's trendiest restaurants.
Syrian rebels claim they shot down a MiG fighter jet not far from the Syrian-Turkish border on Wednesday. Along with the downing of a military helicopter on Tuesday, it would appear to be one of the first times rebels have successfully used a kind of weapon called a MANPAD, or portable, shoulder-fired, surface-to-air missile that can hit a plane in fight.
Originally published on Wed November 28, 2012 9:50 pm
A group of South African students and an aid agency in Norway are challenging the stereotypical image of Africa as a continent riddled with conflict, disease, corruption, poverty, and brutal dictatorships needing rescue from developed nations.
The latest film for Oscar-winning actress Marion Cotillard, Rust and Bone, is a French art film about two broken individuals who find love at the edge of the sea. It's poetic, lyrical — and not necessarily playing at a theater near you.
That was not the case earlier this summer, when Cotillard appeared as one of the central characters in the blockbuster Batman movie The Dark Knight Rises.
Originally published on Wed November 28, 2012 3:30 pm
The GOP's roughing up of U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice, thought to be President Obama's top pick for his second-term secretary of state, brings to mind the last time the Senate rejected a commander in chief's choice for that most crucial position.
It was some six decades ago, and after bitter and tumultuous hearings — think allegations of communism and homosexuality, as well as a high-profile suicide — that senators dumped the president's nominee by a vote of 74-24.
Rep. Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic minority leader in the House, says she's optimistic that Democrats and Republicans will reach a deal that would avoid triggering a wide array of tax increases and spending cuts scheduled to take effect in the new year and that experts say could send the economy into a recession.
Originally published on Wed November 28, 2012 1:21 pm
Susan Rice is in many ways a prototypical Obama administration official: young, ambitious and accomplished, with a reputation for being direct and — at times — confrontational.
But unlike her colleagues, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations is embroiled in a lingering controversy, over what she knew and what she said in the days after September's attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya.
Originally published on Thu November 29, 2012 10:28 am
Alexander Murphy recalls visiting a Guatemala museum some years ago and gazing up at a huge relief map of the country. Something about the borders struck the University of Oregon geography professor as out of place.
"And then I realized, 'Wait, all of Belize is shown as part of Guatemala,' " Murphy says. That's when he remembered a decades-old territorial dispute between the two Central American neighbors.
The holiday season means parties, shopping and movies. This year brings a new animated feature, Rise of the Guardians,based on William Joyce's series of children's picture books and novels, The Guardians of Childhood. The story follows Santa Claus (voiced by Oscar nominee Alec Baldwin), the Easter Bunny (Hugh Jackman), the Tooth Fairy (Isla Fisher) and the silent Sandman as they unite to fight off the boogeyman, Pitch (Oscar nominee Jude Law). They also get a big hand from Jack Frost (Chris Pine).
Originally published on Fri February 21, 2014 8:02 am
In an episode from the fifth season of Mad Men the show's main character, advertising executive Don Draper, is asked by his client, the cologne company Chevalier Blanc, to supply a Beatles song for a television commercial. The year is 1966, and the 40-year-old Draper doesn't have his finger on the rapidly rising pulse of popular music. So he calls in a team of younger, hipper copy writers, including his wife Megan.
"When did music become so important?" he asks her.
Citing a "lack of business integrity," the Environmental Protection Agency announced it was temporarily suspending the oil giant BP from entering into new contracts with the federal government.
In a press release, the EPA said BP demonstrated the lack of integrity during the Deepwater Horizon "blowout, explosion, oil spill and response." This kind of suspension, the EPA explained, is "standard practice when a responsibility question is raised by action in a criminal case."
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, when you imagine Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny, you probably think about warm, fuzzy characters, but those two, along with their friends, the Tooth Fairy and the Sandman, show their tough side in the new film "Rise of the Guardians." We'll talk with the director of the film and how he's making history in his own way. We'll have that conversation in just a few minutes.
Mexico's President-elect, Enrique Pena Nieto, is promising to work closely with President Obama. Pena Nieto was in Washington this week ahead of his inauguration on Saturday. Host Michel Martin speaks with Alfredo Corchado, Mexico bureau chief for The Dallas Morning News, and Stephen Johnson from the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
Finally today, some thoughts about so-called Black Friday, which actually started on Thursday this year. You know what I'm talking about, the big-box department stores, mainly: Wal-Mart, Kohls, Target, JCPenney. But also stores like Toys "R" Us and Best Buy opened anywhere from 8 PM to midnight on Thanksgiving Day to lure shoppers in with deep discounts on everything from appliances to pillows to computers to cameras.
Originally published on Wed November 28, 2012 10:19 am
Earlier this week, European Union dairy farmers decided to protest milk price controls by spraying police with high-pressure hoses filled with milk. It certainly wasn't the first time that food has been both subject and symbol of unrest (see food riots). But this one stands out because of the dramatic images.