The nation's big banks are writing death plans — living wills that spell out how, in a future crisis, they could be safely dismantled. The idea is that the death plans will help avoid another government bailout of the banks.
"You're technically writing your own funeral, down to the color of the flowers" says Dolores Atallo.
Like most pop singers, Sharon Van Etten seems to love repetition — a technique used aggressively in ad jingles and Top 40 hits, but also in more hypnotic and emotionally complicated ways. Van Etten's new record, Tramp, is full of repeated riffs, drones and phonemes, and they're more intense and emotionally packed than ever. Songs like "Serpents" display her expansive voice and coiled songwriting, and are earning Van Etten a good deal of attention.
GOP presidential candidates (from left) Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney and Ron Paul place their hands over their hearts during the national anthem at the start of a debate in Florida last month.
Cutting taxes is part of the DNA of the modern Republican Party. All four of the remaining GOP candidates for president have proposed steep cuts in business and personal taxes, and it sometimes seems like Republicans are competing to show the most enthusiasm for tax cuts.
At a debate last month, former Sen. Rick Santorum said tax cuts were needed to get the economy thriving again — even if they benefit the wealthy.
In the 11 years since the Oscars introduced an award for Best Animated Feature, the category has been dominated by children's movies, often with computer-animated pandas, penguins and ogres at their center. This year's a little different. Two of the animated films are subtitled, and one is definitely aimed at adults: the Spanish film Chico and Rita, an animated love story steeped in jazz.
Egyptian authorities have released details of the charges against 43 people, including 19 Americans, who worked for democracy-building NGOs around the country. Cairo says the suspects were carrying out political, not civil society activities, particularly after the revolution began just over a year ago.
It's been 30 years since Britain and Argentina went to war over the Falkland Islands. The British won, leaving the islands off the coast of Argentina in British hands. While the war may be over, tensions between the two countries about who owns the Falklands have risen in recent months. Host Robert Siegel talks with professor Mark Jones of Rice University for more.
A proposal in Congress could raise the tax bill for millions of undocumented immigrants by restricting who is eligible for a popular tax credit. From the Fronteras Changing America Desk, Jill Replogle has the story.
As a candidate and as president, Barack Obama has disparaged the role of big money in politics. At his 2010 State of the Union address, he even called out the Supreme Court for a ruling that opened the door to unlimited personal and business contributions. But, faced with a Republican opposition that's raising millions from a handful of sources, President Obama let his fundraisers loose to play the game too.
Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney has joined the chorus criticizing President Obama over a controversial policy that would require most employers, including Catholic hospitals and universities, to include birth control in their employees' health insurance.
Catholic opinion leaders have denounced the policy as an assault on their religious freedom.
American comedy duo Jerry Lewis (left) and Dean Martin (right) with the English playwright and actor Noel Coward at an unknown location in 1953. Lewis and Martin were famous for their cabaret acts in the 1940s and 1950s.
Credit Courtesy of Murray Horwitz
Murray Horwitz is a former Ringling Brothers Circus clown. He was the founding director of the American Film Institute's Silver Theater and Cultural Center in Silver Spring, Md.
One of New York City's most famous cabaret clubs, the Oak Room at the Algonquin Hotel, is closing. At least one person will feel the loss — Murray Horwitz, the author of two Broadway musicals and numerous cabaret acts.
Welsh composer Paul Mealor, who scored the music for Prince William and Kate Middleton's royal wedding, has a new composition in the works. For it, he's seeking a rich and low singing voice — one capable of reaching the "low E" note. And as he's learning, reaching the low E is no easy feat. To find a singer up to the task, Mealor has had to embark on an international search. Robert Siegel catches up with Mealor to hear how his search is going.
The L.A. Unified School District is replacing the entire staff of the elementary school at the center of a growing sex abuse scandal. Two teachers from Miramonte Elementary have been arrested on suspicions of abusing and conducting lewd acts on children.
Roger Boisjoly was a booster rocket engineer at NASA contractor Morton Thiokol in Utah in January, 1986, when he and four colleagues became embroiled in the fatal decision to launch the Space Shuttle Challenger.
Boisjoly was also one of two confidential sources quoted by NPR three weeks later in the first detailed report about the Challenger launch decision, and the stiff resistance by Boisjoly and other Thiokol engineers.
According to the libertarian social scientist Charles Murray, America is "coming apart at the seams." Class strain has cleaved society into two groups, he argues in his new book Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010: an upper class, defined by educational attainment, and a new lower class, characterized by the lack of it. Murray also posits that the new "lower class" is less industrious, less likely to marry and raise children in a two-parent household, and more politically and socially disengaged
Singer-songwriter Jill Sobule is probably best known for her 1995 hit single, "I Kissed a Girl." These days, she's taking on a new musical project: the gender-bending play by Isaac Bashevis Singer, Yentl.
Barbra Streisand turned Singer's play into her 1984 hit movie musical of the same name. Although Sobule's version features music, it's a little more Singer and a little less Streisand.
"She changed the ending and made it kind of Funny Girl coming to America. ... We keep to the word," Sobule tells weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz.
Richard Holbrooke and Katharine Pierce as students in 1961 at Brown University.
Credit Herman Hiller, World Telegram staff photographer / [Public domain] via Wikimedia Commons
Malcolm X, shown here in 1964, spoke at Brown University in 1961 to defend his views. That speech was recently unearthed in the university archives.
Credit Brown University Archives
The front page of the Brown Daily Herald on May 12, 1961, the day after Malcolm X spoke at the university. This was the clipping that Malcolm Burnley found last year in the library archives at the university.
Last semester, Brown senior Malcolm Burnley took a narrative writing course. One of the assignments was to write a fictional story based on something true — and that true event had to be found inside the university archives.
"So I went to the archives and started flipping through dusty compilations of student newspapers, and there was this old black-and-white photo of when Malcolm X came to speak," Burnley says. "There was one short article that corresponded to it, and very little else."
Boxing champion Sugar Ray Leonard remembers the trainer who stood in his corner through some of his greatest fights ever. Along with Leonard, Angelo Dundee trained a long list of boxing champions including George Foreman and the great boxing legend Muhammad Ali. The renowned trainer and cornerman died this week at age 90 at his home in Tampa, Fla.
It's WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Guy Raz.
Republican voters in Nevada have begun caucusing. It's the first state in the West to weigh in on the presidential nominating contest. And as we mentioned earlier, Mitt Romney is the overwhelming favorite to win. Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul have also been campaigning in the state. Rick Santorum is looking ahead to contests in the Midwest next week.
Turning now to Russia. In Moscow, tens of thousands of people took to the streets today in dueling demonstrations for and against the government of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. Putin is seeking to return to the presidency in next month's elections.
NPR's Corey Flintoff reports from the Russian capital.
NPR's Kelly McEvers has been following events in Syria from neighboring Lebanon, and she joins me now from Beirut. Kelly, as we just heard, the UN Security Council has failed to agree on a resolution condemning Bashar Assad. Any reaction from Syria?
The U.N. Security Council failed again Saturday to take decisive action to stop the escalating violence in Syria as Russia and China vetoed a resolution backing an Arab League plan that calls for President Bashar Assad to step down. NPR's Michele Kelemen reports the veto drew intense criticism from the U.S.
Just three days after announcing it would no longer fund cancer screenings at Planned Parenthood, the pink-ribboned breast cancer charity Susan G. Komen for the Cure abruptly reversed course today. But the Komen foundation's actions still leave many questions unanswered — not to mention a public relations challenge.
KUNM’s Gwyneth Doland stopped by Friday to give us an update on what’s happening at the Roundhouse in Santa Fe. She’s been covering the 30-day session for NMpolitics.net and KNME TV. Doland spoke to KUNM’s Elaine Baumgartel.
Ron Silver, the owner of Bubby's restaurant in Brooklyn, recently put a word on his menu you don't often see anymore: lard. The white, creamy, processed fat from a pig. And he didn't use the word just once.
For a one-night-only "Lard Exoneration Dinner", Silver served up lard fried potatoes. And root vegetables, baked in lard. Fried chicken, fried in lard. Roasted fennel glazed with lard sugar and sea salt. Pies, with lard inside and out. All from lard he made himself in the kitchen.