The frail 79-year-old in a pale brown shirt with close-cropped hair sitting at a fast-food restaurant table looks absolutely unremarkable. But Bao Tong has a lightness in his eyes, a confidence that speaks of a man whose conscience is clear, a man with nothing to fear.
"I have become my own person," he says. "When I was a Communist Party member, I had to follow party discipline. When they threw me out of the party, my brain was set free."
Originally published on Mon October 29, 2012 12:48 pm
Before you brave the rain, wind and inevitable lines at the already depleted grocery store today in the Mid-Atlantic region, take a deep breath.
If you're a moderately good grocery shopper, you probably already have the food you need on hand to make it through the next few days if (when) we lose power because of Hurricane Sandy. (If not, best to find a shelter near you.) But you do need to take extra precautions that what you're preparing is safe.
"Personal income increased $48.1 billion, or 0.4 percent," in September from August, the Bureau of Economic Analysis says, while "personal consumption expenditures" — consumer spending — rose 0.8 percent.
Originally published on Mon October 29, 2012 11:04 am
It is autumn, and where I live the leaves are peaking; there is a riot of them everywhere, narrow ones, broad ones, droopy ones, crunchy ones. Leaves come in so many shapes, hues, textures — the closer you look, the more differences you see. Botanists have names for every leaf type, and clumped together, says writer Robert Dunn, they sound like free verse poetry ...
Originally published on Tue October 30, 2012 11:18 am
As Hurricane Sandy drenches much of the Mid-Atlantic and moves northwest, we're updating with the latest news about a storm that forecasters say will be historic in size and intensity and how it is affecting millions of Americans:
Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep. Key West, Florida has seen its share of hurricanes. But as Sandy passed well to the east, residents of the island completed their annual Fantasy Fest. The theme was A-Conch-Alypse, you know, the apocalypse but with conch shells. A parade included floats with alien invaders and a post-apocalyptic zombie ghost town. One float featured a zombie presidential election with advocates for zombie care and a candidate named Eaton D. Brains. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
Coyotes have moved into the Boston suburb of Belmont, Mass. The Boston Globe says they've lost their fear of humans because people feed them. So, Belmont is training volunteers for coyote hazing. Their job is to harass coyotes — shouting at them, throwing objects their way, even squirting them with water hoses.
Political commentators will be working overtime in the countdown to the presidential election. So will political comedians, including the candidates' impersonators.
Impersonators have been part of the political landscape for so long, it's hard to imagine a time without them: Rich Little, Dana Carvey, Will Ferrell, Dan Aykroyd, Darrell Hammond, Tina Fey and other comedians have all famously done their turns as candidates. Remember "I can see Russia from my house"?
One issue that has received little attention in this year's presidential race is the war in Afghanistan. But according to Thomas E. Ricks, we should be paying attention — specifically to those in charge of the military there, because they can make the difference between long, expensive wars and decisive victories. That's the lesson Ricks explores in his latest book, The Generals.
Originally published on Sun October 28, 2012 7:28 pm
One of the most common complaints from Afghan forces and officials is that they don't have the equipment they need to lead the fight in Afghanistan. They routinely call on NATO to provide more cutting-edge hardware for Afghan troops.
Certainly, when you see a U.S. soldier standing next to an Afghan one, the difference is striking. U.S. soldiers are often saddled with pounds and pounds of electronics and gadgets, ranging from GPS units to night-vision goggles and radio-jamming devices.
There's a new development in the British investigation into the allegations of child sex abuse against a late BBC television host: U.K. media, including the BBC, are reporting that police Sunday arrested rocker and convicted sex offender Gary Glitter on suspicion of sex offenses.
It's WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Jacki Lyden, in for Guy Raz.
NPR is keeping an eye on the progress of Hurricane Sandy as it heads up the East Coast. We'll update you on that in a moment. The weather is now officially dominating the headlines but not entirely. We do have an election on November 6th.
You know what the ticking means. It's time for Three-Minute Fiction, our contest where we ask you for original stories that can be read in about three minutes. Our judge in this round, the thriller writer Brad Meltzer, the challenge: to write a story that revolves around a U.S. president who could be fictional or real. And, of course, the story had to be 600 words or less. We received nearly 4,000 entries, and here are two that stood out.
About 35 students meet every Sunday at an undisclosed location in Georgia to study. They are undocumented and banned from attending some of the most prestigious colleges in the state.
Georgia is one of three states to bar undocumented students from attending schools. But a group of professors at the University of Georgia has created a fledgling school to provide a place for students to learn.
Translation is everywhere — that's is the crux of a new book by Nataly Kelly and Jost Zetzsche: Found in Translation: How Language Shapes Our Lives and Transforms our World.
From NASA to the U.N. to Chinese tattoo parlors, the book looks high and low for stories of the undeniable importance of language. One of those stories centers on a man named Peter Less, 91, an inspiration of sorts to interpreters and translators everywhere.
Originally published on Wed October 31, 2012 2:37 pm
Back in the 1700s, there was a young printer's apprentice who lived in Boston. His name was Isaiah Thomas and he became one of the first newspaper publishers in the country. He also founded the American Antiquarian Society, which celebrates its 200th birthday this week.
Located in Worcester, Mass., the American Antiquarian Society houses the largest collection of materials printed in the United States. Its library has books, newspapers, letters, even board games dating from 1640 to 1876. Its members include some notable characters, including 14 presidents.
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday considers whether to allow a challenge to a federal law that provides for large-scale electronic surveillance of international phone calls and emails. The case is not a direct test of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Rather, it is a test of whether the law can even be challenged in court at all.