Originally published on Sat April 28, 2012 12:22 pm
Credit Cohen Media Group
Michelle Yeoh plays pro-democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi in The Lady. Yeoh says it was important that the film portrayed Suu Kyi's struggles realistically, including how her 15-year house arrest kept her from her husband and sons.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told reporters at a recent film premiere that she'd told Aung San Suu Kyi that she was moving from being an icon to being a politician.
The film Clinton saw is The Lady, starring Michelle Yeoh as the pro-democracy activist who spent 15 years under house arrest in Myanmar (also known as Burma), and who won the Nobel Peace Prize before being freed in 2010.
The guilty verdict against former Liberian President Charles Taylor, who was convicted of aiding and abetting war crimes in Sierra Leone this week, is sinking in across West Africa. The historic judgment of the first African president to be prosecuted in an international court leaves Taylor facing a lengthy sentence in a British prison.
Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors, and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:
The general election campaign for president is springing to life, now that Mitt Romney is all but certain to be President Obama's Republican opponent next fall. On Capitol Hill, though, the battle over who will sign or veto Congress' bills next year is already blazing.
In two key votes this past week, many Republicans fell in step with candidate Romney and his quest for more support from younger voters and women.
The past few years in Texas have seen a parade of DNA exonerations: more than 40 men so far. The first exonerations were big news, but the type has grown smaller as Texans have watched a dismaying march of exonerees, their wasted years haunting the public conscience.
Yet a case in Williamson County, just north of Austin, is raising the ante. Michael Morton had been sentenced to life in prison for murdering his wife. He was released six months ago — 25 years after being convicted — when DNA testing proved he was not the killer.
Director Garry Marshall has worked on so much popular comedy in his career — television like Happy Days and The Odd Couple, movies like Pretty Woman and Beaches — that something he's done has probably made you laugh. And now he's written a memoir called, fittingly, My Happy Days In Hollywood: A Memoir.
A picture taken on April 25 shows jailed opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko in the Kachanivska penitentiary colony for women in Kharkiv.
Yulia Tymoshenko is "wasting away in prison," her family told the AP. Tymoshenko went on a hunger strike and her family said she was "bruised from prison beatings and afraid she will be force-fed by her political foes."
On a chilly grey morning I come across a big, lush patch of nettles in a Pittsburgh park. Leah Lizarondo, the food writer who brought me here, has her hands wrapped in old plastic bread bags.
Those bags are crucial because touching stinging nettles with your bare hands can be pretty unpleasant. "It's like something pricked you, like a little ant bit you, and then it starts being a little painful," said Lizarondo.
General-election battle lines are taking shape between President Obama and likely Republican challenger Mitt Romney.
Romney is sticking with his long-standing attack on the president as someone not up to the huge job of turning around the economy.
But the Obama campaign has recently changed its message: Instead of portraying Romney as a flip-flopping, say-anything politician, it is now arguing that the former Massachusetts governor is a man with extreme positions far outside the American mainstream.
Today at All Things Considered, we continue a project we're calling NewsPoet. Each month, we bring in a poet to spend time in the newsroom — and at the end of the day, to compose a poem reflecting on the day's stories.
Originally published on Fri April 27, 2012 6:53 pm
The fallout from the Secret Service prostitution scandal in Colombia continues: Now the Secret Service says it is tightening and clarifying its policies for traveling employees.
NPR's Tamara Keith spoke to a Secret Service spokesperson who says the Secret Service leadership detailed the new rules in an internal message regarding personal conduct sent to all employees.
The new policy covers alcohol consumption and what types of businesses employees can patronize, Tamara tells our Newscast unit. "The Agency is also adding additional briefings on standards of conduct."
The U.S. economy lost some steam during the first three months of the year. The Commerce Department said Friday that growth slowed to just 2.2 percent, down from 3 percent at the end of last year.
The good news was that the economy continued to grow during the first quarter of the year. But anyone who was waiting for growth to kick into a higher gear was disappointed once again. One reason for that was a slowdown in business investment — companies spent less on new equipment and software even though profits were surprisingly strong.
The Philadelphia Police Department and the FBI Violent Crimes Task Force are seeking the public's assistance in identifying and locating the suspects responsible for a bank robbery at the Sovereign Bank, 8310 Stenton Ave., on March 20.
Credit Kimberly Paynter / WHYY
Imam Isa Abdul-Mateen is part of a group offering a $20,000 reward for information about crimes committed by men disguised as Muslim women.
Credit Kimberly Paynter / WHYY
Aishia Muhammed, who lives in West Philadelphia, says she is outraged that men are dressing as Muslim women to commit crimes.
The surveillance tape shows what looks like a Muslim woman, her face and body hidden by her traditional clothing, robbing a Philadelphia bank. But the robber in the abaya and khimar is actually a man. He's part of a recent crime spree involving perpetrators in Muslim garb.
The worst of the incidents happened in Upper Darby when, Police Superintendent Michael Chitwood says, someone who appeared to be a Muslim woman went into a barbershop.
Attorney General Eric Holder, shown speaking at the 2012 National Law Enforcement Training on Child Exploitation earlier this month, tells NPR he's achieved his highest goal: leading a Justice Department that shaped him as a lawyer and as a person.
Credit Brian Kersey / AP
Holder surveys the room before speaking at Northwestern University's law school March 5 in Chicago.
Credit David Goldman / AP
Holder walks off stage after a speech April 17 in Atlanta.
Attorney General Eric Holder — the first African-American to hold the nation's top law enforcement job — is in the homestretch of his first, and probably last, full term in the post.
And after more than three years on the job, Holder is in an unusually reflective mood. He's thinking about the country's ongoing struggle over civil rights and what he wants to accomplish in his last months of government service.
Turkish army personnel patrol near the border with Syria in Kilis earlier this month. Activists and smugglers say it's getting harder to get medical and communications equipment into Syria across the Turkish border.
The spring sun is warming the fields and orchards along the Turkey-Syria border, and new refugee camps are sprouting as well.
Smugglers who have long worked these mountain border trails are now busy moving civilians out of Syria to the safety of Turkish camps. They're also moving medical and communications equipment and people into opposition-held neighborhoods in Syria. But recently, some say that's getting harder.
A smuggler known as Abu Ayham says Turkish guards, who used to permit nonlethal aid to pass freely, have suddenly grown much tougher on the smugglers.
To Chicago now where a plan to close city-run mental health clinics has prompted protests. Nearly three dozen demonstrators have been jailed. Mayor Rahm Emanuel has set a Monday deadline for half the city's mental health clinics to be closed. He says the plan, which would send some patients to private clinics, will improve care.
As NPR's Cheryl Corley reports, mental health patients and their advocates aren't convinced.
Even before the hospital bills started coming, Lori Duff and her family were living paycheck to paycheck. So when the debt collector called the Columbus, Ohio, mother and demanded $1,800 for the prenatal visits she'd had while pregnant with her third son, she panicked.
The Federal Communications Commission on Friday approved a rule requiring TV stations to post details online about the amount of advertising time political candidates and campaigns buy, as well as how much the stations charge for those ads.
TV stations already are required to keep such public records. But in most cases, the information has been accessible only to those who visit a TV station and physically look through paper files, NPR's Brian Naylor reported.