Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Katherine Boo spent more than three years in Mumbai's Annawadi slum to do research for her new book, Behind the Beautiful Forevers. Residents of the slum — which is located next to the Mumbai airport and in the shadow of several luxury hotels — live in devastating poverty.
The two DVDs I want to talk about today are hilarious, but they aren't sitcoms. They're talk shows — well, one's a talk show, and one's a filmed seminar. But they're both fascinating examples of a specific pop-culture moment frozen in time.
And they're something else as well: Both are highly entertaining real-time examples of talk-show Darwinism. Both shows feature a large, unwieldy guest roster, all of the guests competing for attention at the same time — and by the time the programs are over, the winners are apparent.
One week after pausing with about 40 feet to go, Russian scientists today announced that they have successfully drilled through two miles of ice to reach Lake Vostok — a body of water the size of New Jersey that hasn't been touched for millions of years.
Pity the poor news junkie, waiting bleary-eyed at the witching hour, wondering how to feel about the latest events in the Republican nominating contest.
One news source — let's say it's a cable news operation — says the latest round of GOP presidential preference contests is a huge boost to the flagging fortunes of Rick Santorum, the winner of the night's trifecta. The cable outlets all air tape of Santorum's triumphant victory speech again and again. He surely looks like a winner.
Originally published on Wed February 8, 2012 6:36 am
As the U.S. continues to search for diplomatic solution to the crisis in Syria, "the Pentagon and the U.S. Central Command have begun a preliminary internal review of U.S. military capabilities," CNN is reporting.
Donald Trump won't be living in the White House, but his brand will be a few blocks away. The Obama administration has chosen Trump to redevelop the Old Post Office. His company plans to build a luxury hotel in that stone Victorian landmark in Washington, D.C.
The twists and turns of the Republican presidential campaign have been practically made for — and watched on — live television. And despite predictions of new media tools like Twitter and Facebook dominating election coverage, Americans are continuing to rely on an old standby: cable TV.
After coming in second in the Nevada caucuses, Newt Gingrich assured reporters that national news exposure would be a surefire remedy for catching up with Mitt Romney.
As Western nations increasingly push to end the violence in Syria, tension has reached the capital Damascus. Last June, a woman there who blogs under the pseudonym "Jasmine Roman," described Damascus as a city removed from the demonstrations that were taking place elsewhere in the country. Renee Montagne talks with her again, to see how things have changed 11 months after the anti-government uprising began in Syria.
GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney had expected to win at least one nominating contest Tuesday. Instead, rival Rick Santorum swept the Minnesota and Colorado caucuses plus the non-binding primary in in Missouri.
It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning, I'm Renee Montagne.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
And I'm Steve Inskeep. Good morning.
Several factors may affect your thinking as you decide how important last night's voting was. Turnout was low, and no convention delegates were awarded as Missouri held a primary, and Minnesota and Colorado held caucuses.
MONTAGNE: Then again, nobody awarded delegates when Iowa voted, either. The fact is, people voted, and Rick Santorum won all three states.
Syria's turmoil has overshadowed but not stopped talk about war in another country - Iran. The usual scenario is that Israel might strike Iranian nuclear facilities, with or without the approval of the United States. In The Daily Beast, historian Niall Ferguson dismissed concerns about a strike. In the Washington Post, David Ignatius wrote that U.S. officials oppose an Israeli strike but think it may come in the spring.
We put some basic questions to Karim Sadjadpour of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
The deal Greek officials are working on includes several more painful concessions. Among them, reducing the minimum wage.
Joanna Kakissis reports from Athens on how strong unions secured those wages and why some economists say those guarantees have to go.
JOANNA KAKISSIS, BYLINE: The minimum wage in Greece is about one $1,000 a month before taxes. International lenders say it must be reduced to about $780 a month to make the Greek economy more competitive.
Some British companies are fuming over where the tickets for this summer's London Olympic games are being printed. Specialty printer Weldon, Williams and Lick in Fort Smith, Arkansas, won the contract.
Starbucks last week announced a plan to open stores in India by the end of the year. Let's follow up on that. This move might certify India as a rising coffee-drinking power, but it also signals a cultural change in a country that is devoted to tea. Elliot Hannon reports from New Delhi.
ELLIOT HANNON, BYLINE: The sound of a barista hard at work may be a familiar one in the U.S. or in Europe.
UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: Cappucino would be fine, ma'am?
There are three weapons in fencing: epee, foil and sabre. Mariel Zagunis is the best woman in sabre — she won Olympic gold medals in 2004 and 2008.
To understand the world of Zagunis' weapon of choice, it may be more apt to consult the Sex Pistols rather than a fencing historian. That's because sabre fencers, Zagunis says, are the "punk rockers" of her sport.
"You have to be more aggressive and explosive and kind of crazy," she says. "I think that kind of plays into our personality."
Although the population of Muslim students is growing, there are only about 30 Muslim chaplains at colleges across the country. This semester, the University of Michigan became the first public university with an endowed position for a Muslim chaplain.
"Muslims need to rely on somebody through times of hardship," says Mohammed Tayssir Safi, who was recently hired for the chaplaincy. The university has an estimated 850 Muslim students on campus.
When a company files to go public it has to lay out in black and white the biggest risks that face the firm. What could kill it? What could undermine its business? Wipe out all its investors' money? Executives are required to reveal this by law.
A legal case in Britain involving a radical cleric has raised new questions about whether authorities can hold a suspected terrorist forever. An immigration judge ruled Monday that a longtime terrorism suspect and detainee in the U.K. should be released on bail.
Uncertainties surrounding the future of the NATO mission in Afghanistan are of particular concern for an area near Kabul that French troops have controlled for the past decade. France now plans to withdraw its army a year ahead of schedule, sparking fears of a potential crisis in Kapisa province.
On a plateau amid the towering Hindu Kush mountains, Hukum Khan, a 31-year-old Afghan farmer, says the presence of French troops hasn't made much difference in his life in the past 10 years.
After a long hiatus, the Afghan and U.S. governments this week reopened talks on a strategic partnership that will determine how many American troops stay in Afghanistan past the end of the NATO mission in 2014.