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Movie Reviews
12:06 pm
Fri July 27, 2012

Two Films Shoot Past Realism To Weirder Territory

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.
Skip Bolen LD Entertainment

Originally published on Fri July 27, 2012 3:12 pm

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.

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The Two-Way
12:04 pm
Fri July 27, 2012

CNN Chief Jim Walton Stepping Down

Originally published on Fri July 27, 2012 12:18 pm

Saying that the cable news network "needs new thinking," CNN Worldwide President Jim Walton told his staff today that he's stepping down at the end of the year.

In a memo, he said:

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The Salt
11:44 am
Fri July 27, 2012

McDonald's Food Has A Healthy Glow, At Least In China

Tomatoes getting a splash of water reinforces the notion that McDonald's food is wholesome in China, as seen in this video screengrab.
McDonald's China

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.

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'It's All Politics': NPR's Weekly News Roundup
11:37 am
Fri July 27, 2012

It's All Politics, July 26, 2012

Charles Dharapak AP
  • Listen to the Roundup

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.

The Two-Way
11:17 am
Fri July 27, 2012

Hubig Pies, Landmark New Orleans Bakery, Has Burned Down

Fresh Hubig pies read for delivery in 2007.
Alex Brandon AP

Originally published on Fri July 27, 2012 11:39 am

A bakery that's been producing hand-size, fried fruit pies for hungry folks in and around New Olreans since 1922 is "a total loss" after a blaze today, city fire officials tell The Times-Picayune.

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The Torch
11:11 am
Fri July 27, 2012

'It's What We Have': Spain's Athletes Sigh, And Put On Olympic Uniforms

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.
Alex Fabregas/Twitter

Originally published on Fri July 27, 2012 1:56 pm

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.

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Author Interviews
10:31 am
Fri July 27, 2012

In '1493,' Uncovering The World Columbus Discovered

Charles C. Mann is a journalist and contributing editor for Atlantic Monthly and Science.
J.D. Sloan

Originally published on Fri July 27, 2012 12:47 pm

This interview was originally broadcast on August 8, 2011. 1493 is now available in paperback.

"In fourteen-hundred-and-ninety-two, Columbus sailed the ocean blue," goes the old elementary school rhyme.

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The Torch
10:15 am
Fri July 27, 2012

Place All Metal Objects In The Tray, Please... Oh, Hi Kobe!

As Team USA basketball player Kobe Bryant passed through a security checkpoint Friday, British soldiers were moved to relax a ban on photography in the area.
Vickie Walton-James NPR

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.

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The Two-Way
9:54 am
Fri July 27, 2012

Stories Of The Colorado Victims: Young Artist Was 'Ball Of Joy'

Alexander "AJ" Boik in an undated photo provided by his family.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri July 27, 2012 6:02 pm

As they're told, we're pointing to some of the stories about the 12 people who died and the 58 who were wounded when a gunman opened fire on July 20 at a movie theater in Aurora, Colo. Click here to see more. As you see others, please share the links in the comment threads.

-- "AJ" Boik, Wanted Everyone To Be Happy:

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The Torch
9:25 am
Fri July 27, 2012

Let's Catch Up: Lighting The Olympic Cauldron, And Angry Fans

This sculpture of a skeletal gymnast stands in London's Olympic Village, where athletes are preparing for today's Opening Ceremony. If you think it's weird, you're not alone.
Alexander Hassenstein AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri July 27, 2012 1:57 pm

Good morning. Today's lone public Olympic event is the Opening Ceremony, which begins at 4 p.m. EDT. NBC will not air the broadcast until the evening, however, at 7:30 p.m. in all time zones. We'll have a post later about that issue, and how you can watch. For now, here's a rundown of news items:

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Kitchen Window
8:27 am
Fri July 27, 2012

You Can Never Have Too Many Blackberries

Deena Prichep for NPR

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?

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The Two-Way
8:22 am
Fri July 27, 2012

Derecho, The Sequel: Storm Roars Over Pennsylvania And New York

Broken trees lying across a truck in Elmira, N.Y., after Thursday's storm.
Heather Ainsworth AP

It didn't leave behind as much destruction or as many downed power lines as the storm that rolled over states from the Midwest through the Mid-Atlantic on June 30, but some news outlets are saying the summer's second derecho struck on Thursday.

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The Salt
8:06 am
Fri July 27, 2012

Designer Kitchens And Why We Think We Need Them

Do you really need a kitchen like this to boil water?
iStockphoto.com

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?

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Movie Reviews
7:59 am
Fri July 27, 2012

An Unwitting Folk Hero Finds A Spotlight At Last

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.
Hal WIlson Sony Pictures Classics

Originally published on Fri July 27, 2012 3:06 pm

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.

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Strange News
7:44 am
Fri July 27, 2012

Freed Inmate Re-Incarcerated For Refusing To Leave

Originally published on Fri July 27, 2012 11:44 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

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.

Sports
7:44 am
Fri July 27, 2012

Olympic Gymnasts Take The (Hot Pink) Floor

Originally published on Fri July 27, 2012 11:44 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne.

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.

The Two-Way
7:38 am
Fri July 27, 2012

Did Economy Slow Further In Second Quarter? We Find Out Today

Originally published on Fri July 27, 2012 10:01 am

The economy grew at a sluggish 1.5 percent annual rate in the second quarter, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reported this morning, down from a 2 percent pace in the first quarter.

This is the bureau's first estimate of GDP growth in the spring months. It will revise the figure twice in coming months. It's now 8:33 a.m. ET. We'll have more about the report shortly.

Update at 10 a.m. ET. The White House Points To String Of Positive Quarters:

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The Two-Way
7:00 am
Fri July 27, 2012

In London, The Games Are Afoot

The Olympic Flame as it passed through London on Thursday.
Andrew Cowie AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri July 27, 2012 7:47 am

You've almost surely heard by now:

The London Summer Olympics officially begin today. The opening ceremony, with — we hear — a song from Sir Paul McCartney, some farm animals and "helmeted cyclists wearing giant silvery-blue flapping wings, pedaling around in two huge circles" — is to start just after 4 p.m. ET.

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It's All Politics
1:13 am
Fri July 27, 2012

Obama Would Pay More — Romney, A Lot More — If Bush-Era Tax Cuts End

President George W. Bush signs tax cut legislation on June 7, 2001. The cuts from this and a subsequent bill are set to expire at the end of 2012.
Stephen Jaffe AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri July 27, 2012 3:42 pm

An occasional series, Fiscal Cliff Notes breaks down the looming "fiscal cliff" of expiring tax cuts and deep automatic spending cuts set to hit around the first of year.


About 80 percent of Americans would see their taxes go up if all the tax cuts signed into law by President George W. Bush were to expire as scheduled at the end of this year. And nearly 100 percent of the highest income earners would have to pay more — including both the Obamas and the Romneys.

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The Torch
1:13 am
Fri July 27, 2012

'Tremendous Honor': Dancing For The World At Olympics Opener

Sasha Feachem (right) will be performing in an urban street dance during the London Olympics' opening ceremony Friday.
Tom Goldman NPR

Originally published on Fri July 27, 2012 11:44 am

The London Summer Olympics officially begin today with the opening ceremony. Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle of Slumdog Millionaire has put together the latest Olympic kickoff spectacle. As NPR's Philip Reeves reported yesterday, a preview video has been released.

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