Drummer and singer Levon Helm was a founding member of The Band. Helm and his group played as a backup band for Bob Dylan in the 1960s. Later the band became famous enough to simply be called The Band.
Any documentary about a singer-songwriter can provide great music, but with "Marley" you also get a remarkable personal story. We have a review from our critic Kenneth Turan.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
KENNETH TURAN, BYLINE: Bob Marley, who was only 36 when he died in 1981, could be a dusty musical footnote by now. Instead, the enormous popularity of this transcendent reggae superstar shows no sign of going away, and "Marley," a moving and authoritative new documentary, explains why.
Earlier this week, two women took a new approach to raising awareness about Syria's crackdown. The wives of the British and German ambassadors to the United Nations appealed directly to Syria's first lady with a video on YouTube. The narrator calls on Asma Assad to "stop being a bystander" — and to stop her husband and his supporters from continuing the conflict.
More refugees are fleeing the fighting in Syria. Lynn Neary talks to European Union Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response Kristalina Georgieva about what officials are doing to help the internally displaced, and those who have fled to neighboring countries.
Some other news. The Federal Reserve and other banking regulators have granted banks a two-year grace period to come into compliance with the Volcker Rule. That's one of the provisions of the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill passed a couple of years ago. It restricts American banks from making trades that put the bank and depositor funds at risk.
But as NPR's Yuki Noguchi reports, regulators are struggling to iron out the details.
Originally published on Fri April 20, 2012 5:24 am
Vegetarians and others were highly distressed after finding out that Starbucks uses a red coloring in some of its drinks that's made from crushed bugs. An online protest campaign delivered thousands of angry emails to Starbucks headquarters.
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Lynn Neary. Renee Montagne is on assignment.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
And I'm Steve Inskeep, good morning.
Lorain County, Ohio is a fading industrial community outside of Cleveland, and it's suddenly in the spotlight. President Obama campaigned there on Tuesday. Mitt Romney followed with a speech there yesterday.
As NPR's Ari Shapiro reports, Romney is chasing the president to accuse him of failing to live up to his campaign promises.
The Florida judge in the case of George Zimmerman, who shot and killed teenager Trayvon Martin in February, set bail this morning of $150,000. Zimmerman took the stand during the hearing and told Martin's parents that he was sorry for the loss of their son. Zimmerman is charged with second-degree murder, but he claims self-defense. Cable TV news channels carried the bail hearing live.
Yesterday, we reported on the fundraisers that lobbyists hold for Congressmen every day in Washington. Today, we hear what happens inside those events. The stories are part of our series on money in politics.
The British Library in London has just paid about $14 million to purchase Europe's oldest intact book, known as the St. Cuthbert Gospel. It's a copy of the Gospel of St. John, thought to have been produced in northeastern England sometime during the seventh century.
King Juan Carlos of Spain is discharged from Hospital San Jose in Madrid on Wednesday after undergoing hip replacement surgery. He fractured his hip during a recent elephant hunting trip to Botswana. The trip cost nearly $60,000 and has caused a furor in the country, which is suffering record unemployment and is being squeezed by austerity measures.
Credit Lauren Frayer for NPR
Members of the animal-rights group Igualdad Animal protest outside the Madrid hospital where Spanish King Juan Carlos was recovering after hip surgery this week. The king, who went elephant hunting in Africa, is the honorary president of the World Wildlife Fund in Spain.
The past week's political firestorm in the presidential race focused on stay-at-home moms, but two-thirds of women with young children now work. Nearly half are their family's primary breadwinner. What some feel is being lost in the political debate are the challenges they face in the workplace.
For the past two weeks, the campaigns of both President Obama and GOP rival Mitt Romney have accused each other of waging a war on women. But what's really going on is a war for women's votes.
The president, like Democrats before him, has an advantage with female voters — who make up 53 percent of the American electorate. Romney is trying to close the gender gap by using his most powerful and popular surrogate: his wife.
The Deepwater Horizon oil rig burns in the Gulf of Mexico in April 2010. The rig's crew were new to their positions just before the explosion. Such staffing reorganizations are increasingly common as the industry grapples with a staffing shortage.
Credit Jeff Brady / NPR
George King (left) with student Marvin Harris in a training lab at a Lone Star College campus in The Woodlands, Tex. Harris plans to work in the oil and gas industry upon completing his program.
Two years after the Deepwater Horizon accident killed 11 men and sent oil spewing into the Gulf of Mexico, the oil industry says it has learned valuable lessons from the disaster that are making drilling safer today.
But there's still a pressing issue looming for the oil industry: Oil field workers are retiring in huge numbers, leaving a workforce that's younger and — more importantly — less experienced.
Americans seem happier with Congress these days. That's what Gallup's two latest polls show: Congress, with an approval rating of 17 percent, has gained a whole seven points since February.
Still, they shouldn't get too cocky on the Hill, because this just means that 79 percent of Americans disapprove of the institution. That's down from a record high 86 percent in December of 2011. We suppose that's like saying in December almost everyone disapproved of Congress and now mostly everyone disapproves.
Here's Gallup's historical chart of Congress' approval rating:
Originally published on Fri April 20, 2012 10:09 am
It's hard to pinpoint exactlywhat it is about Fenway Park. A century after it was built, fans still gush about this "lyric little bandbox," as John Updike called it. To guys like Ed Carpenter, Fenway is history and home, magic and mystique.
"I love this place," he says, tearing up. "I mean, it's not mortar and bricks and seats."
Carpenter first started coming to Fenway with his dad in 1949, when he was 6.
"We walked up this ramp right behind this home plate," he recalls. "I can still see everything was green, emerald green. It was love at first sight."
Originally published on Thu April 19, 2012 4:06 pm
"Quite frankly, it's very visceral. It's like a sock in the stomach."
That's what Sister Simone Campbell, the executive director of Network, a Catholic social justice lobby, said when NPR's Melissa Block asked her what her reaction was to a Vatican reprimand issued yesterday.
Argentine President Cristina Fernandez holds a petroleum sample as she announces plans for her government to nationalize a giant oil company that is largely owned by a private Spanish company, Repsol. Behind her is an image of the country's former first lady, Eva Peron.
Credit Diego Giudice / Bloomberg via Getty Images
A pump extracts crude oil in western Argentina, at the foot of the Andes mountain range near the border with Chile, in 2007. The refinery is owned by the Spanish company Repsol, but Argentina's government plans to take over the company, which is complaining about the move.
Originally published on Fri April 20, 2012 8:39 am
It's sounds like a story from the past: A Latin American leader announces plans to nationalize a large foreign company, touching off a high-stakes battle that involves money, politics and diplomacy.
Yet it's happening right now. Argentina's President Cristina Fernandez said this week that her country plans to take over a giant Spanish oil company at a time when the economies in both countries are facing challenges.
Spanish officials are threatening to retaliate against Argentina for seizing a majority of shares in the biggest oil company in Argentina, YPF.
Originally published on Fri April 20, 2012 1:30 pm
The nation's oldest ball park is turning 100. Boston's Fenway Park has been home to the Red Sox through some of baseball's greatest highs and most heartbreaking lows. The park also narrowly escaped the fate of similar old stadiums that were torn down.
It's part of a new campaign to steer patients (and their doctors) to what the College of Physicians calls "high value care," and away from expensive tests and treatments that aren't any better — and often are worse.
Mya (Meagan Good), while dating Zeke (Romany Malco), follows the do's and don't's of dating advice from comedian Steve Harvey's real-world self-help book Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man.
Credit Alan Markfield / Sony Pictures
When the men — Jeremy (Jerry Ferrara), Bennett (Gary Owen), Michael (Terrence J), Dominic (Michael Ealy) and Zeke — discover the women are using dating tactics from Steve Harvey's book, they decide to turn the tables on their significant others.
Another country hoping to revive one of its marquee sporting events is Bahrain. Formula 1's Bahrain Grand Prix was called off last year during the Arab Spring demonstrations. The international racing event brings in half a billion dollars to Bahrain and draws more than 100 million TV viewers around the world. This year's race is set for Sunday despite plans by anti-government protesters to target the event. For more, I'm joined by Ryan McGee. He's a senior writer for ESPN The Magazine. Hey there, Ryan.
Originally published on Thu April 19, 2012 4:34 pm
Alabama is near the bottom of the country's academic rankings. The state has problems with test scores, school improvement ratings and dropouts. But the district in Birmingham has a different kind of issue. The state recently took over the school board because of infighting on the board. The move has triggered cries of racism.
Yum Brands, the company that owns Taco Bell and Pizza Hut, says it's the latest corporation to break ties with the American Legislative Exchange Council — a group that brings state lawmakers and corporate lobbyists together to write legislation.
Liberal groups are pressuring corporations to abandon ALEC, and a dozen companies have now dropped out.
This week, ALEC did some damage control. It said it is shutting down its task force on public safety and elections, which wrote controversial measures on voter ID, "stand your ground" and immigration reform.
Mitt Romney spoke at a shuttered factory in Lorain County, Ohio, Thursday. He was giving a response to President Obama, who spoke in the same county a day before. Romney blamed the president for failing to turn around the economy and re-open the factory. Ari Shapiro tells Melissa Block Ohio is once again expected to be a battleground state.
Originally published on Thu April 19, 2012 4:34 pm
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
The Vatican has clamped down on the largest group of Catholic nuns in the U.S., citing what it calls grave concerns about serious doctrinal problems. The Holy See says the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, or LCWR, has promoted radical feminist themes incompatible with the Catholic faith in some programs. And it has named an archbishop to oversee the nuns and approve their work. In a statement, the LCWR says it is stunned by the Vatican's conclusions and will prepare a response.