Four years ago, on the cusp of what would become a national economic meltdown, Kansas City made a bet. And the Missouri river town bet big, plunking down $300 million for a brand-new sports arena with no full-time tenant.
Today, that bet is paying off. Pollstar magazine ranks Kansas City's Sprint Center as America's fifth-busiest arena and No. 13 among worldwide venues.
Tina Brown, editor of The Daily Beast and Newsweek, tells us what she's been reading in a feature that Morning Edition likes to call Word of Mouth. This month, Brown has been considering the voice of the columnist through readings that provide new perspectives on political issues, moral issues and national events.
South Africa's Parliament has passed a highly controversial state information bill that gives a limited number of government officials the authority to classify information and imposes harsh penalties on those who possess or distribute state secrets. Critics say it will allow officials to cover up corruption and greatly restrict the flow of information.
Imagine a windswept moor in the north of England. Add a big house, where a clergyman and his four children live — isolated, pale little children inventing fantasy worlds in the nursery of a rambling old house.
The most involved sports fans cannot let a little thing like death get in their way for their devotion to a team.
For several years now it's been possible to buy caskets that feature the logo of your favorite, so that you can lie forever with, say, the emblem of the Chicago Cubs resting right before your sightless eyes. Not perfect, but the best available option.
The U.S. Office of Special Counsel is one of those small corners of the government with an important mission: It's supposed to help protect federal whistle-blowers and shield civil service workers from politics.
But during the Bush years, the office was engulfed in scandal. It was raided by FBI agents, and its chief was indicted for obstructing justice.
It's into that unsettled environment that the new leader, Carolyn Lerner, arrived five months ago. And good government groups say she's already taking the office in new directions.
The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission wants AT&T to prove that its merger with T-Mobile would be "in the public interest." Julius Genachowski sent the request for a hearing to the other three commissioners.
The move throws another roadblock in the proposed $39 billion merger. As we reported back in August, the Justice Department is already suing AT&T over the merger.
For Lindsey Santana and her young family, video Web chats via Skype are an integral part of their lives. Her husband, Capt. Paul Santana, is a helicopter pilot serving in Iraq. And their video phone calls have helped them make the best of things during his deployment, which continues past this Thanksgiving.
The couple was also linked via video during the birth of their first child, Natalie, in West Virginia this past summer. And since then, Paul has been able to see his daughter "at least a few times a week," Lindsey tells NPR's Linda Wertheimer.
Originally published on Tue November 22, 2011 5:52 pm
The moment of last-minute head counts and late-night runs to the supermarket has nearly arrived. But a small but proud segment of the population simply smiles and puts their feet up. They're having Thanksgiving dinner served to them in a restaurant.
The congressional supercommittee announced Monday that it failed to come to an agreement on reducing the deficit. After three months of negotiating, the Democrats and Republicans just couldn't agree on how much spending to cut or how high to raise taxes.
But this is not a story about how the left and right disagree with each other. In fact, they actually largely agree.
SuperHeavy's credentials don't read much like those of most new bands. Its members boast 11 Grammy Awards between them, legendary parents, record sales in the millions and multiple Academy Awards for film scoring. And, on top of that, the band's existence was kept a secret until May 2011.
An atmosphere of tension surrounded The Rolling Stones when the band got into the studio to record Some Girls, its 16th U.S. release, in 1978. Not only did the group worry that the new waves of disco and punk threatened to pass it by, but Keith Richards was awaiting a serious heroin-trafficking court date that threatened to put him and the group out of commission. The Stones were in trouble.
When Talk of the Nation's Neal Conan asks for callers on a given topic, there's no telling what he'll get. Today, the show followed up with NPR's Tom Bowman on his series about the tremendous sacrifices of the "Darkhorse" Battalion — the Marines of the 3rd Battalion, 5th Regiment. Lance Cpl. Jake Romo lost both his legs in Afghanistan with the battalion, and he spoke with Conan and Bowman about his tour.