Activist Van Jones served as special adviser to President Obama on green jobs. He resigned in 2009 after media reports questioned his beliefs about the 9/11 attacks. Now, Jones is back with a new book, Rebuild the Dream, outlining his vision for the progressive movement. He speaks with host Michel Martin.
Originally published on Mon April 23, 2012 9:59 am
Actor Jack Black is best known for his comedic performances in films like Nacho Libre and School of Rock. In his latest film, Bernie, Black goes to a darker place: He plays a serious small-town funeral director who uncharacteristically murders his live-in companion, a wealthy widow played by Shirley MacLaine.
Originally published on Mon April 23, 2012 9:00 am
While the headlines proclaim that thanks to a new draft agreement the U.S. will continue to defend Afghanistan for a decade after the planned 2014 withdrawal of foreign combat forces from that country, the stories themselves make clear that many of the key details remain to be worked out:
Originally published on Mon April 23, 2012 9:17 am
A British winemaker has finally been given official approval to release a limited-edition wine made in collaboration with Malbec grape growers in Argentina, on one condition: It can't sell the wine, or label it a Malbec. Actually, it can't even call it wine at all.
The Chapel Down winery's only option for getting rid of its wine is to give it away as a sample, calling it a "fruit-derived alcoholic beverage from produce sourced outside the EU."
Todd Snider is, on one level, your average guitar-strumming singer-songwriter with varying amounts of musical accompaniment for songs he sings with mush-mouthed intimacy. But Snider, now in his mid-40s and impressively prolific, is also an exceptional singer-songwriter, able to set up scenes with quick, precise details.
Within the next few days, several more Secret Service agents will lose their jobs because of their roles in the so-called summit scandal during which they allegedly cavorted with prostitutes in Colombia earlier this month, the chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security said this morning.
"Far-right National Front candidate Marine Le Pen" now has a chance to swing the French presidential election, as France 24 reports, after pulling in 18 percent of the ballots in the first round of voting Sunday.
Misaki Murakami and his family lost everything in last year's tsunami in Japan. Waves carried his soccer ball — covered in notes from third grade friends — to a beach in Alaska. The ball is being returned.
In the 1990's, a Panthers' player earned a place in pro hockey lore when he found a rat in the dressing room, and whacked it with his hockey stick. Fans are encouraged to litter the ice with plastic rats after a win. In a playoff game Saturday, a player from the opposing New Jersey Devils raced for the puck, and kicked a toy rat instead.
As a part of Earth Day celebrations, performance artist Alison Knowles took salad making to the extreme in New York City. Knowles chopped romaine lettuce, carrots and cucumbers to the beat of live music. She then tossed the avalanche of salad off a balcony into a giant tarp, where the salad was served up to audience members.
Originally published on Mon April 23, 2012 4:36 am
A deadly fire and explosion at a German chemical plant has created big headaches for the global auto industry. The recent blast has resulted in a shortage of a chemical compound used in plastic fuel and brake lines. The chemical is hard to replace, and now automakers are scrambling to avoid major production disruptions.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy and socialist challenger Francois Hollande will face off next month in a presidential runoff. Anti-immigrant candidate Marine Le Pen came in a surprisingly strong third place.
Now Marco Rubio happens to be one of those regularly mentioned as a possible vice presidential choice for Mitt Romney. And that's where we pick up our discussion with Cokie Roberts, who joins us most Mondays. Cokie, good morning.
COKIE ROBERTS, BYLINE: Hi, Steve.
INSKEEP: So is the vice presidential choice an opportunity for Romney to appeal to Hispanics?
Originally published on Mon April 23, 2012 5:27 am
Sebastian Vettel won the Bahrain Grand Prix over the weekend, but in a larger sense the winners were the race organizers. They managed to hold the race which was canceled last year by political unrest, which was part of the uprisings of the Arab Spring. Bill Law, of the British Broadcasting Corporation, talks to Steve Inskeep about the weekend's events in Bahrain.
Originally published on Mon April 23, 2012 5:09 am
Swiss food and drink giant Nestle announced a deal Monday to acquire Pfizer Inc.'s infant-nutrition business for $11.85 billion in a bid to boost sales in emerging markets. Before the announcement, Nestle already had the largest share of the global baby-formula market at just under 20 percent.
The conservative group that has seen some corporate donors flee because of its involvement in pushing for voter ID and stand-your-ground gun laws, has new troubles. Common Cause has filed a complaint with the IRS that the American Legislative Exchange Council, known as ALEC, violated the limits of its charity tax status.
Originally published on Mon April 23, 2012 5:19 am
Unlike the United States, Germany never had a housing bubble. Its mortgage market is too tightly regulated. But some German banks did lose a lot of money in the financial crisis, and they're still paying a big price for it.
Later this week, we get some key data to help judge the state of the nation's housing market. There are some early signs of recovery, but home prices are still falling in many areas, as NPR's Chris Arnold reports.
CHRIS ARNOLD, BYLINE: Tomorrow, we'll get the latest word on home prices from what's called the S&P Case-Shiller index. That keeps showing price declines in many areas. Though those price drops have been leveling off, so things definitely aren't as bad as they were.
At a Republican candidates' forum in Wisconsin before the state's primary earlier this month, a speaker who wasn't on the ballot had strong words for the GOP regarding its low standing among Hispanic voters.
"The way the party ... talks about immigration is going to impact the future course of this party and the future course of this nation," said former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, the first Hispanic to hold the nation's highest law enforcement post.
Lots of kids get bullied. But kids with autism are especially vulnerable.
A new survey by the Interactive Autism Network found that nearly two-thirds of children with autism spectrum disorders have been bullied at some point. And it found that these kids are three times as likely as typical kids to have been bullied in the past month.
We'd probably like to think that clean, safe food goes hand in hand with pristine nature, with lots of wildlife and clean water. But in the part of California that grows a lot of the country's lettuce and spinach, these two goals have come into conflict.
Environmental advocates say a single-minded focus on food safety has forced growers of salad greens to strip vegetation from around their fields, harming wildlife and polluting streams and rivers.