During the holidays, family kitchens are ground zero for intense craziness: mixers whirling, timers buzzing, knives flying. So yes, it's understandable that many of us just stay out of way of the experienced cook. Especially when the knives come out and Mama is talking under her breath.
Chinese Communist Party leaders attend the opening session of the 18th Communist Party Congress at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, on Thursday. The meeting marks the beginning of a once-in-a-decade transfer of power.
Credit Alexander F. Yuan / AP
During his speech Thursday, Chinese President Hu Jintao, who is also the top party official, warned delegates that corruption could be "fatal" to the party and even cause "the fall of the state."
Two days after the U.S. election, another major political development is unfolding on the other side of the world. China began its once-in-a-decade transition of power on Thursday with the opening of its 18th Communist Party Congress.
With its lack of personalities or political platforms, it is almost diametrically opposed to the hurly-burly of U.S. elections. In Beijing, the message was about fighting corruption and keeping the Communist Party in power.
Jared Loughner, the 24-year-old who pleaded guilty to killing six people and wounding 13 others during a shooting spree at a congressional meet-and-greet in Tucson, Ariz., will spend the rest of his life in prison.
Loughner was sentenced today as a U.S. District Court in Tucson, Ariz.
Before the judge handed down his punishment, victims and their families addressed Loughner and the court.
The number of states where gay marriage is legal will grow by at least two. On Tuesday, Maine and Maryland became the first states to approve same sex marriage by popular referendum. It brings the number of states where such unions are allowed to eight. In the state of Washington, the vote on a similar measure is still too close to call. In Minnesota, voters turned down an amendment to the state constitution that would have banned gay marriage.
Patty Manfredonia, president of a volunteer ambulance company in Sayville, N.Y., has been collecting blankets for Long Island residents without power. A new storm Wednesday is already causing new outages.
Credit Steve Henn / NPR
Long Island Power Authority's <a href="http://www.lipower.org/stormcenter/outagemap.html">outage map</a>, as of 4 p.m. EST Wednesday. Blue indicates restored customers (in previous versions, blue represented areas without power).
Credit LIPA screen grab
Crews work to restore power in Bethpage, N.Y., on Saturday. As of Wednesday, more than 200,000 Long Island residents were still without power, as a nor'easter made new outages likely.
Normally, the nor'easter bearing down on the Northeast on Wednesday wouldn't be a tremendous cause for concern. But the storm, delivering snow, sleet and wind gusts of up to 60 miles per hour, is expected to hit parts of Long Island and New Jersey still reeling from Hurricane Sandy.
Karl Rove, former adviser to President George W. Bush, speaks last year in Corpus Christi, Texas. Rove is the chief fundraiser for the biggest outside spender this election season: the twin groups American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS.
Now a pair of historic votes among last night's many ballots measures. Voters in Colorado and Washington State passed initiatives legalizing the recreational use of marijuana. But as the governor of Colorado said last night, don't break out the Cheetos or Goldfish too quickly
NPR's Wendy Kaufman reports that the measures are in direct conflict with federal law.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
And I'm Melissa Block.President Obama wins a second term; Democrats flip a handful of seats. in both the House and the Senate; and Republicans begin a new round of soul-searching.
SIEGEL: It's only Wednesday, but we have more than enough to talk about with our Friday regulars - E.J. Dionne, of the Washington Post and Brookings Institution; and David Brooks, of the New York Times. Welcome to both of you.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.
ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
And Robert Siegel. The confetti has fallen in Chicago, where President Obama celebrated a decisive reelection win early this morning. Now comes the hard work of preparing for a second term. Before flying back to Washington this evening, Mr. Obama acknowledged some of the big issues ahead.
And we're going to be checking in a lot tonight with Andy Kohut of the Pew Research Center, who's here with us now to talk about early exit polls. Andy, what are you seeing, first of all, in terms of the presidential race?
And now on to the biggest state that is really a contested battleground. I mean, we assume New York and California are barely contested by Republicans and Texas is assumed to go to Republican.
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
SIEGEL: But with 29 electoral votes, Florida is always a state we look at. And our own Debbie Elliott is in Tampa at the Republican Party event there. And, Debbie, who are the key constituencies in Florida who are thought to be the ones who will decide who wins this day today?
And in our studio, NPR's senior Washington editor Ron Elving. Every couple of years, here we are around this time trying to figure out who has been elected to what. Tonight, what are you looking for? What are the important signs you're looking for in the numbers as they come in?
And we're going to move on now to Ohio. Polls don't close there until 7:30, about 20 minutes from now. That's where we find NPR's Tamara Keith, who's at a polling place on the campus of the Ohio State University in Columbus. And Tamara, what can you tell us about the voting issues in Ohio. It's a closely contested state, of course, and a real electoral prize, 18 votes, 18 electoral votes.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Lynn Neary. And the results are starting to come in. At this hour, polls in six states have closed. That includes the all-important swing state of Virginia. It's the only state in the bunch that is too close to call. In South Carolina, Georgia, Kentucky and Indiana, NPR projects that Mitt Romney will win. And in Vermont, the NPR projection is a win for President Obama. No surprises there.
While New York City and other places along the Northeast coast are still recovering from Superstorm Sandy, they're also looking ahead to how they can prevent flooding in the future, when sea level rise will make the problem worse. They may be able to take some lessons from coastal Norfolk, Va., which is far ahead of most cities when it comes to flood protection.
Jennifer Ruiz and her 2-year-old daughter, "Moo Moo," at a Red Cross shelter in Little Egg Harbor Township, N.J. Ruiz and her daughter evacuated from their home in Seaside Heights.
Credit Alix Spiegel / NPR
Homes are surrounded by sand washed in by Superstorm Sandy on Oct. 31 in Seaside Heights, N.J.
Credit Mario Tama / Getty Images
Jan and Manny DiNunzio bought a home in Seaside Heights five years ago. But now the streets of the town are filled with sand, and they're not sure when they'll be able to return. In the meantime, they're living in a Red Cross shelter.
The barrier islands off the coast of New Jersey were hit hard by Superstorm Sandy, and for the moment, most residents are banned from living in their homes because the area is far too damaged.
Which is why this past weekend, in a Red Cross shelter at Pinelands High School in Egg Harbor, N.J., on the mainland, around 100 stranded island residents were lining up for dinner, while Red Cross volunteers worked hard to keep things reassuring.
"Excuse me everybody!" shouted one of the volunteers, waving her arms above her head. "Is there a Jan and a Manny in the house?"
The Fairway supermarket in Red Hook, Brooklyn is the sort of place New Yorkers, accustomed to cramped spaces, talk about with amazement. It's an actual, full-size supermarket, right at the edge of New York Harbor.
It's a beautiful setting, but one that was diastrous last week, when Sandy came through.
"There were five feet of water throughout the store," Bill Sanford, the president of the company told me. "Everything was submerged."
They had to throw out dumpsters worth of food. Chicken, fish, vegetables.
Passengers wait to board the Gautrain, Africa's first high-speed train, in Johannesburg, South Africa, Aug. 2, 2011. The train travels at speeds of up to 100 mph and makes commuting much easier for South Africans accustomed to congested roads and traffic jams.
Credit Li Qihua / Xinhua /Landov
Despite some people's grumbling about ticket prices, the Gautrain is operating at full capacity during peak hours. Passengers praise the cleanliness of the trains as well as the speed. Here is the Gautrain station in Pretoria, South Africa's capital.
Credit Ofeibea Quist-Arcton / NPR
Refilwe Edith Seabi (left) and her sister Girlie are taking the Gautrain from Pretoria to go shopping in Johannesburg. Seabi is pleased when the ride clocks in at 30 minutes — compared with a drive that sometimes takes her two hours.
Now many who will cast presidential ballots in New York have been facing a complicated post-storm challenge - where they should vote. Superstorm Sandy has displaced many residents from their homes and some polling places are out of commission because of storm damage. Late today, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo issued an order, telling voters they can cast ballots wherever they want.
I asked NPR's Quil Lawrence in New York about just what Governor Cuomo said today.
A plea to the Long Island Power Authority for electricity to be restored is posted on a barrier last Wednesday in Mastic Beach, N.Y. The south shore Long Island community was among the hardest hit by the storm that pounded the Northeast.
Credit Frank Eltman / AP
Mastic Beach Mayor Bill Biondi looks over a map of the flooding in his community from Hurricane Sandy. More than 1,000 homes here were inundated with seawater.
A week after Hurricane Sandy hit the region, roughly 1 million people are still without power in the New York area, and more than one-third of those live on Long Island.
In the hierarchy of hurricanes that have hit Mastic Beach, N.Y., over the years, this one ranks near the top, says Mayor Bill Biondi.
"This is the worse we've had in a long time," Biondi says. "I guess the only thing that was worse than this ... was the hurricane of 1938. I haven't seen or heard anything in between those years that was worse than this one."
Early voting ended in Florida on Saturday. But on Sunday, some county elections officials opened their offices to allow people to vote using absentee ballots.
In Miami-Dade County, elections officials opened the office for over-the-counter absentee voting, but then inexplicably shut down. A couple of hundred waiting voters began chanting and pounding on the doors. An hour later, the office reopened.
If you bought a Hyundai or Kia over the past three years, you could soon be getting some money back from the two automakers.
The Environmental Protection Agency says the South Korean carmakers, owned by the same parent company, overstated the gas mileage on 900,000 vehicles over the past three years. The EPA discovered the bloated figures during an audit of gas mileage tests undertaken by the companies. The agency said last week it was investigating how the carmakers arrived at the numbers.
Lincoln's life has been adapted for the screen so often that there's room for the artistic liberties of films like <em>Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter</em>.
Credit Twentieth Century Fox
You'd be hard-pressed to find a more omnipresent president than Abraham Lincoln. With his face on the penny, Mount Rushmore and a larger-than-life memorial, he's a fascinating and familiar figure for moviemakers to tell stories about.
Credit Terry Chambers / Getty Images
Daniel Day-Lewis stars as the 16th president in Steven Spielberg's highly anticipated <em>Lincoln</em>.
Credit David James / DreamWorks Pictures
The historical Lincoln, circa 1863, and Day-Lewis at the Academy Awards in 2008.
Credit Alexander Gardner/Frazer Harrison / Getty Images
He's a statue in many a monument, a profile on the penny, a face on the $5 bill, and an animatronic robot at Disneyland. He's even carved into a mountain in South Dakota. So, of course, Abe Lincoln has been a character in the movies — more than 300 of them, in fact.
A rebel fighter raises his weapon after firing a missile Sunday toward Syrian government troops in the northern city of Aleppo. Syria's largest city has been the scene of heavy fighting for the past three months. Both sides control part of the city, and the fight has been a stalemate recently.
Credit Narciso Contreras / AP
Rebel fighters watch as smoke rises after Syrian government forces fired an artillery round at a rebel position during heavy clashes in the Jedida district of Aleppo, Syria, on Sun., Nov. 4.
Credit Narciso Contreras / AP
In one Aleppo neighborhood, government forces and rebel fighters are separated by an abandoned building that forms the front line. Most civilians have fled, and rebels live in the abandoned apartments. Government snipers are posted on rooftops.