Every recent opening ceremony of the Olympics went for glitter and glamour, in an escalating war of excess. Ceremony fanatics consider the Beijing opening ceremony the gaudiest of all — and Oscar-winner Danny Boyle (the director of Slumdog Millionaire) had $42 million to try to outdo the Chinese organizers.
Instead, Boyle says, "You can't get bigger than Beijing. So that, in a way, kind of liberated us. We thought, 'Great. Oh good. We'll try and do something different, then.' "
It's been a tough decade for the music industry. Revenues have tumbled — from more than $14 billion in 1999 down to $7 billion last year. EMI, one of the big four record labels, was taken over by venture capitalists and then taken over again, after they defaulted, by Citigroup. Now, Universal Music Group wants to buy the recorded music division of EMI for $1.9 billion. But critics say if the two companies merge it will create a superlabel that will dominate the music industry.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
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And I'm Robert Siegel. After more than three decades at CNN, the company's president is stepping down. His resignation is an admission of the challenges facing the profitable but poorly rated network. NPR's David Folkenflik has that story.
It may have just been a coincidence that on the eve of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's visit to Israel, President Obama signed legislation that increases U.S. military and security aid to the Jewish state.
But the timing was nonetheless fortuitous for the president, and showed once again the benefits of incumbency in an election year.
Originally published on Mon October 22, 2012 9:33 am
The Olympics begin this afternoon, and the stores are filling up with school supplies, meaning that you only have a few more weeks to fit in a summer vacation. And if you'd like to add a quirky food-themed museum to your getaway plans, The Salt has compiled a few suggestions that are certainly off the beaten path.
As we've reported, there were no public events on the Olympic sporting schedule today, the day of the opening ceremony. But we must note that two world records were set at the London 2012 Games this morning. That's when South Korean archer Im Dong-hyun scored a record 699 points.
Police in Prince George's County, Md., "have arrested a man who [they say] referred to himself as 'a joker' and threatened to shoot people at his former workplace," The Washington Post's The Crime Scene blog writes.
The Harvard researcher probably speaks for many of the 23,000 scientists, activists and policy mavens who came to the Washington conference. But they're going home with a big question on their minds: Can the world afford it?
Originally published on Fri July 27, 2012 11:46 am
The London 2012 Summer Games are set to begin in earnest, with today's opening ceremony kicking off a weekend of gold-medal competitions. But if you're in America and you hope to watch the Opening Ceremony live, I'm afraid you'll be disappointed: NBC is tape-delaying its broadcast until Friday night.
No surprise: The economy grew only sluggishly in April, May and June. The U.S. Commerce Department says gross domestic product — the sum of all goods and services produced in the country — grew by just 1.5 percent in the second quarter.
Originally published on Thu August 9, 2012 11:20 am
On a gray, polluted Beijing morning, parents peer through a fence anxiously at their little darlings' wobbly dribbling skills on the soccer pitch, as they try to score goals against former Manchester City goalkeeper Alex Williams.
Originally published on Mon October 22, 2012 9:34 am
Here in the U.S., McDonald's food is not usually considered all that healthy. But in China, it is.
That's because Chinese consumers trust American brands more than their own, says Shaun Rein, founder of China Market Research, who studies Chinese consumer behavior. Rein says that in China, McDonald's is seen as providing safe and wholesome food.
Mitt Romney figures, why just create gaffes in the United States when I can do the same in Europe? But before he leaves he socks it to the president at the VFW. Also, a look ahead to Tuesday's Republican Senate runoff in Texas. And Alaska Republican Don Young and Hawaii Democrat Mazie Hirono make nice in a most unusual commercial.
Join NPR's Ken Rudin and Ron Elving in the latest installment of the It's All Politics podcast.
Originally published on Fri July 27, 2012 11:56 am
Spanish Olympians are learning a painful lesson as they suit up for Friday's opening ceremony in London: You get what you pay for.
With Spain on the brink of bankruptcy, its Olympic committee decided to save money this year. It got its Olympic uniforms for free, from the Russian designer Bosco, which also provided kits for the Russian and Ukrainian teams.
We ran into USA Men's basketball at the security sweep today. Yes, even big-time basketball players and coaches must suffer the indignity of the magnetometer. We were all making our way through security into the Main Press Center, where the team was about to meet journalists.
USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo, coach Mike Krzyzewski and much of the rest of the team seemed to have little trouble getting screened. Assistant coach Nate McMillan may have forgotten to empty his pockets, because he got the pat-down.
Good morning. I'm Linda Wertheimer with the opposite of a jailbreak. Rodney Dwayne Valentine was released from jail. He asked police officers for a ride to a motel and the officers said no. They told him to call a cab. Instead, Valentine decided to stay put. He refused to leave the jail. The Greensboro News and Record reports that Valentine was then arrested for trespassing. He's back in the slammer. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
As the U.S. men's gymnastics team struggles to adjust to the London arena, where they will compete, they're thinking more about pink than gold. That's because the competition floor is covered in hot pink. In a room Barbie would love, the men's team says it's not about gender norms but rather an array of colors making it hard to spot the high bars. As one gymnast put it, real men do compete on pink floors.
It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.