Federico Macheda of Manchester United (center) challenges players from Shanghai Shenhua during a friendly match between the two teams in Shanghai, China, on Wednesday.
Speculation is rampant over the salary of Shanghai Shenhua's Didier Drogba, formerly with Chelsea, shown here during his Chinese Super League debut against Guangzhou Fuli in Guangzhou in southern China, July 22.
Credit Louisa Lim / NPR
Aspiring soccer stars try to score against former Manchester City goalkeeper Alex Williams in Beijing. Local soccer clinics provide visiting international teams publicity for themselves and their sponsors.
Credit Angie Quan for NPR
Hardcore fans were allowed to watch a Manchester City training session ahead of a match against rival Arsenal in Beijing's Bird's Nest stadium Friday.
Originally published on Thu August 9, 2012 1:20 pm
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.
The savings are never passed on to the consumer, but a little product placement has become standard practice for Hollywood movies — a pizza box here or a conspicuously angled soda can there, and few take notice. But product integration is another matter: If a movie has been explicitly designed to accommodate a sponsor, it's worse than just a commercial movie. It's a movie commercial.
Originally published on Thu August 2, 2012 12:23 pm
Home is everything. It's where we come from and where we run to, wanting to start anew. But it's also that place we can't escape, the one that's so much a part of us that no matter how old we get, it's impossible to erase its presence from our memories, our bodies.
Today, reluctantly, we say goodbye to someone our listeners may have come to feel attached to, even though they've never heard her voice on our show.
Until about 3 years ago, we were so obsessed with getting Fresh Air on the air every day that we were virtually ignoring all the social media possibilities, and our website was pretty bare-boned. Then we hired Melody Kramer to be our associate producer for online media.
A Dallas hard-luck case (Emile Hirsch, left) hires a corrupt cop (Matthew McConaughey) to kill his estranged mother when he hears about her rich insurance policy. Needless to say, the plot of Killer Joe doesn't quite work out as planned.
Credit Merrick Morton / Fox Searchlight Pictures
Calvin (Paul Dano) with the woman he manifested from his typewriter, Ruby Sparks (Zoe Kazan). Kazan also wrote the film Ruby Sparks, which is directed by the team behind Little Miss Sunshine.
Amid the slapstick comedies, sequels and superhero movies that have come to define summer moviegoing, two films opening today center on disturbed and disturbing romantic ties. Ruby Sparks and Killer Joe aren't fantasy or horror pictures, but they're within screaming distance — close enough to remind you how much deeper artists go when they barrel past realism into weirder areas of the psyche.
Originally published on Mon October 22, 2012 11:34 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.
Taking One For The Team: Field hockey player Alex Fabregas modeled Spain's Olympic outfit in this photo he posted on Twitter. Athletes have been publicly stoic about the colorful clothing, which was provided for free.
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.
Originally published on Thu August 16, 2012 10:28 am
When I first moved to the Pacific Northwest, I was amazed at how many people had the same landscaping complaint. "I spent all weekend cutting down the blackberries," some co-worker would groan on Monday morning, looking for sympathy for the lost hours and aching back. However, as someone who didn't grow up in such Edenic surroundings, I was totally dumbfounded. Cutting back blackberries? Why would you cut back blackberries? Don't they, you know, give you blackberries?
Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 11:24 am
If you've ever tuned in to TV shows like HGTV's House Hunters, you've heard many an aspirational "hunter" lamenting the woes of a home without kitchen upgrades: They want to know, where are the granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, high-end fixtures, and custom cabinets?
In the 1960s, protest singer Rodriguez didn't find an audience in the United States. Unbeknownst to him, though, one of his albums became a massive success in South Africa. Swedish director Malik Bendjelloul tracks him down in Searching for Sugar Man.
Credit Sony Pictures Classics
Rodriguez was discovered in a Detroit dive bar by producers who mostly worked with Motown artists but thought his lyrics would relate to the protesters of the times.
In 1968, two music producers went to a Detroit dive called The Sewer to hear a Mexican-American protest singer with a small cult following.
The producers' client list was mostly Motown, but they immediately signed Rodriguez (full name Sixto Rodriguez), whose stirring lyrics they hoped would speak to disenfranchised outsiders of all stripes and their champions.
Together, they made two albums — one of which, Cold Fact, provides the soundtrack for the thrilling new documentary Searching for Sugar Man.
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.