Authorities in Hunan province sentenced Tang Hui to 18 months in a re-education-through-labor camp after she repeatedly complained about the way police investigated the case of her daughter's kidnapping and forced prostitution. An uproar on Weibo, China's answer to Twitter, pushed authorities to free Tang days later.
Credit Carlos Barria / Reuters/Landov
A man holds an iPhone as he visits Sina's Weibo microblogging site in Shanghai earlier this year.
For holiday shoppers, retailers' approach to fees, returns and other practices can bring praise or anger. And when customers rant or rave, Consumer Reports takes note — and compiles them into its annual "Naughty and Nice" list of companies.
"They're policies and practices that people either felt were consumer-friendly or not," Consumer Reports senior editor Tod Marks tells NPR's Steve Inskeep. He adds that the list isn't related to the ratings his magazine is known for.
I'm often asked how I choose the books that I'm going to talk about on Morning Edition's "Under the Radar" segments. Simple: I just pick some of the titles that I've most enjoyed since the last time I was on, without concern for whether they're fiction or nonfiction, genre or not, or aimed or classified as being for children or teens.
Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep with sad news for Beliebers. Justin Bieber's video for "Baby" is no longer the most viewed video on YouTube. The new record-holder is "Gangnam Style" by the South Korean rapper PSY, which topped 820 million views this weekend. And then this happened. Yesterday, Mr. Bieber gave a halftime concert at Canadian football's championship game and his home country crowd booed. Bieber called out coolly: Thank you so much, Canada. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep with an example of home field advantage. The Miami Dolphins hosted the Seattle Seahawks over the weekend. And with 1:40 to play in the third quarter, something strange happened: The sprinklers came on. A quick play-by-play announcer joked: This is just Miami's way of showing a little Seattle hospitality. But if that's what it was, the hospitality only went so far. Miami defeated Seattle, 24-21. You're listening to MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.
Ahmed Jama was running a successful Somali cafe in southwest London when he decided it was time to go home. Against the urgent advice of friends, he returned to Mogadishu three years ago and started cooking.
Jama epitomizes the spirit of rebirth in the city that has been brutalized by 21 years of civil war. As expatriates return to take their homeland back from warlords, terrorists and looters, Jama is doing his part to revive Mogadishu one prawn at a time.
Lots of good business ideas have emerged from kids' play. Seattle-area resident Will Chapman could thank his youngest son. At the age of 9, he wanted to know all he could about World War II and was using Lego toys to act out history. But his son was stymied — he couldn't find all the pieces he wanted.
Each year Lego turns out 19 billion plastic bricks, figures and gears for building things. But sometimes, it seems, even 19 billion isn't enough.
When you think of mental illness, you don't often think of comics; but for cartoonist Ellen Forney, the two came crashing together just before her 30th birthday. That's when she found out she has bipolar disorder, a diagnosis that finally explained her super-charged highs and debilitating lows.
After spending millions of dollars in the presidential and Senate campaigns with little to show for it, many superPACs and other outside groups are still tending their wounds. But it's too soon to write off superPACs as a waste of wealthy donors' money.
Consider, for instance, this upset in a congressional race outside Los Angeles.
Good morning. I'm Linda Wertheimer. The postcard begins: Dear Pauline and Theresa, we arrived safe. But the news was out of date. Sent from Rockford, Illinois, the card took 69 years to reach Elmira, New York. Pauline and Theresa's parents went to visit brother George at a military camp. They're all dead now, but another family with two girls lives at the Elmira address, and the card has become a seventh grade history project. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
Nothing goes better with a turkey sandwich than a full day of college football. The season is winding down. There's a lot at stake as teams look ahead to bowl games and to the national title. Thanksgiving weekend brings about some of the great rivalries in college football. And here to give us a preview of the weekend is Chris Dufresne, who covers college football for the L.A. Times.
Today's last word in business is busting the doorbusters.
Shoppers are heading out to stores today. Many went shopping overnight to seize those Black Friday bargains. But are the deals really unbeatable?
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
No. Not according to an analysis by pricing research firm Decide Incorporated and The Wall Street Journal. They found that many products with so-called doorbuster deals had deals that were available at even lower prices at other times of the year - even at the same retailer.
President Obama, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (center) and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie visit the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey's World Trade Center site for a briefing on construction progress in June. The Republican Christie and Democrat Cuomo will have to find consensus on the plan for rebuilding after Superstorm Sandy, together and with a divided Congress.
A forest near Trieste, Italy, is largely dead owing to drought stress during the summer of 2012.
Credit Herve Cochard / Nature
An air embolism in a narrow water-transporting cell in a leaf of a walnut tree, captured using light microscopy. Drought stress increases the likelihood of embolism, reduces photosynthesis and may eventually lead to plant death.
Scientists who study forests say they've discovered something disturbing about the way prolonged drought affects trees.
It has to do with the way trees drink. They don't do it the way we do — they suck water up from the ground all the way to their leaves, through a bundle of channels in a part of the trunk called the xylem. The bundles are like blood vessels.
When drought dries out the soil, a tree has to suck harder. And that can actually be dangerous, because sucking harder increases the risk of drawing air bubbles into the tree's plumbing.
There have been a number of books about great Jewish athletes, starring legendary baseball players like Sandy Koufax or Hank Greenberg, the "Hebrew Hammer." But a new book doesn't focus only on Jewish players — it looks at the myriad ways Jews have contributed to the American athletic landscape. Jewish Jocks: An Unorthodox Hall of Fame is a collection of essays compiled and edited by Franklin Foer and Marc Tracy of The New Republic magazine.
Foer and Tracy join NPR's Linda Wertheimer to discuss the rise of Jews in big-league sports.
Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. In Sweden, Anna Erickson got a letter accepting her into the local preschool. It had gone out to everyone in town born in '07. Great, except for one detail: Anna was born in 1907. So the 105-year-old won't be showing up to class. In New York, the elegant Waldorf-Astoria experienced a blast from the past this week when a man returned one of the hotel's silver-trimmed teapots, pilfered back in the 1930s. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.
Good morning. I'm Linda Wertheimer. Kingston, Ontario held its annual Santa Claus parade this past weekend. But Virginia, we are sad to report a Grinch was in attendance. As the Christmas-themed floats cruised down the street, a man began shouting, claiming that Santa Claus does not exist. Apparently, he had gotten into the Christmas spirits instead of the Christmas spirit. He was arrested for public intoxication. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
In this image provided by Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi (right), Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal meets with Morsi at the Presidential Palace in Cairo on Sunday. Morsi has won praise for brokering the cease-fire agreement between Hamas and Israel.
The cease-fire between Hamas and Israel has been a political boost for Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi. The Islamist leader spent hours in meetings and on the phone with world leaders, including President Obama, and got results: a cessation of violence that puts Egypt back on the international map. But Morsi faces a test Thursday night, when negotiations on the details begin.
As we charge into the holiday gift buying season, gadgets are usually near the top of many people's wish lists. Our regular technology commentator Rich Jaroslovsky of Bloomberg News tells us about his gadget picks for 2012.
Rich, thanks for joining us.
RICH JAROSLOVSKY: Thank you.
WERTHEIMER: First, Rich, let's look at the camera. It's an amazing little machine. It doesn't even vaguely look like a camera. It looks like it must be expensive and do lots of clever tricks?
This Thanksgiving, as hearty aromas fill the house, take a moment to savor a different kind of nourishment — poetry about food.
The Hungry Ear, a new collection, celebrates the pleasures and the sorrows of food with poems from Pablo Neruda, Sylvia Plath and dozens more. Poet Kevin Young cooked up — or edited — this readable feast. He tells NPR's Renee Montagne that, much like the best meals, the best poems are made from scratch.
Gray Thursday may become the new Black Friday. Many big retailers have moved up the beginning of their shopping season, traditionally the Friday after Thanksgiving, to Thursday evening.
Brick-and-mortar retailers are feeling pressure from online retailers, which have given consumers an earlier shopping option.
"In the past, online retailers have had Thanksgiving Day all to themselves," says Marshal Cohen, retail analyst with the NPD Group. "And what that means is by the time Black Friday comes around, a lot of consumers have already spent a bunch of money."
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., prepares to announce a debt ceiling deal in July 2011. That deal laid the foundation for the across-the-board spending cuts set to take effect on New Year's Day, 2013.
New Year's Day typically inspires hope and new beginnings. But this next one may be cause for trepidation. Tax cuts for all income levels expire on Jan. 1, 2013, and most federal programs will face a 10 percent haircut — because Congress failed to agree on a deficit-reduction plan.
Let's turn now to the urgent diplomatic efforts underway. Secretary of State Clinton is now in Cairo, meeting with Egyptian leaders in efforts to reach a ceasefire. NPR's Leila Fadel joins us from Cairo to discuss the latest.
LEILA FADEL, BYLINE: Good morning.
MONTAGNE: So what do you know about what's happening on the diplomatic front today there in Cairo?
Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. As the story goes, pardoning a turkey dates back to Lincoln, when his young son Tad begged his father to let the White House Thanksgiving meal live. Today, President Obama pardons two turkeys - Cobbler and Gobbler. Ahead of their big moment, the birds have been staying at the swanky W hotel, nibbling on organic meals prepared by the hotel's chef. And once pardoned, the turkeys will retire to Mount Vernon. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
Good morning. I'm Linda Wertheimer with a Thanksgiving dessert that goes way past pumpkin pie a la mode. An Arizona ice cream shop is creating an entire Thanksgiving dinner in ice cream form. Scooptacular is offering sweet potato ice cream, also cranberry. And for the adventurous, corn and even turkey by the scoop. Can you get hot fudge with that? Would you want hot fudge with that? It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.