Lana Del Rey appeared on Saturday Night Live recently, giving two rather tentative performances that, depending on your point of view, were awkward and amateurish or shrewdly restrained and vulnerable. Del Rey, in her mid-20s, attracts polarizing opinions.
Producers Neil Meron and Craig Zadan have been making musicals together for almost 20 years. They're the team behind movie musicals like Hairspray, Chicago and Annie, and the TV musicals Gypsy and The Music Man.
Now Meron and Zadan have teamed up once again on the new NBC series Smash, a drama that goes behind the scenes as a motley crew of creative types put together a Broadway musical based on the life of Marilyn Monroe.
Ahead of signing day, wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham of Springfield, Mo., was the highest-ranking recruit who had yet to announce his college choice. Here, he visits a basketball game at the University of Missouri.
Well, here we are starting February, with the single most important day in sports upon us.
No, of course I don't mean a silly little thing like Super Bowl Sunday. But today, the first Wednesday of the second month, is by some sort of — what, pagan lunar calendar? –– officially decreed National Signing Day, when all over America, high school seniors can officially plight their troth to a college football program.
Even in the dead of winter, the Russian city of St. Petersburg, with its church spires, palaces and waterways, is one of the world's truly beautiful cities. It was here that the Russian revolution began, and it's here where Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and President Dmitry Medvedev cut their teeth politically.
When her first child was born, Pamela Druckerman expected to spend the next several years frantically meeting her daughter's demands. In the U.S., after all, mealtimes, living rooms and sleep schedules typically turn to chaos as soon as a baby arrives. That's the reason one friend of mine used to refer to his child as a "destroying angel."
Two senators who have taken the lead on legislation aimed to help homeowners refinance at historically low interest rates were blunt this morning about how concerned they are by the news NPR reported earlier this week that Freddie Mac "has placed multibillion-dollar bets against American homeowners being able to refinance to cheaper mortgages."
Communist Party activists in Moscow campaign on Dec. 2 for the party's candidates in parliamentary elections. The Russian Communist Party is hoping to capitalize on a wave of dissatisfaction with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and his ruling United Russia party.
Credit Krill Kudryavtsev / AFP/Getty Images
Gennady Zyuganov, speaking at a news conference in Moscow on Jan. 26, has led the Russian Communist Party since 1993. Many younger Communists say they yearn for a more modern and flexible leader.
A snazzy new Communist Party poster shows two young, tech-savvy and attractive Russians. Both are smiling and dressed in red: The woman holds a red iPhone; the man holds a red laptop, his T-shirt emblazoned with a hammer and sickle.
For the fifth consecutive month, builders increased spending in December, the Commerce Department said today. The figures tempered yesterday's news that home prices in most markets tracked by the S&P/Case-Shiller index had slipped 1.3 percent in November.
For many chefs, especially those who still idealize French cuisine, there is no greater glory than winning the Bocuse d'Or. In a world crazy for competitive cooking, the French contest, named for legendary chef Paul Bocuse, has earned a reputation as the most fiercely competitive and prestigious showcase of cooking excellence in the world.
But in its 25-year history, no American has ever won.
The resolution in front of the United Nations Security Council that would call for the ouster of Syrian President Bashar Assad will be vetoed by Russia.
Reuters reports that as the violence continued in Syria, Moscow's envoy to the European Union Vladimir Chizhov said the resolution had no chance of adoption unless it explicitly rejected a military intervention.
The big question coming off of Mitt Romney's decisive 14-point victory in Florida is, "What's next for Newt Gingrich?" If you go by what the former speaker said during interviews and his speech last night, the campaign will extend into the summer.
Mitt Romney at his state campaign headquarters Tuesday in Tampa, Fla.
Credit Charles Dharapak / AP
Mitt Romney watches his GOP rival Newt Gingrich on TV as he rides his campaign bus on Sunday with his brother Scott and sister-in-law Sheri. Using the power of television — through ads and debates — was a key part of Romney's strategy in Florida.
Credit Emmanuel Dunand / AFP/Getty Images
Mitt Romney watches primary election results with his son Josh in Tampa on Tuesday night. He won in Florida by the same margin he lost by in South Carolina.
It was a great night for Mitt Romney, restoring the former Massachusetts governor's lead in the race for the Republican presidential nomination.
Storming from behind after his crashing fall in South Carolina 10 days earlier, Romney overtook rival Newt Gingrich and passed him in the course of a week. In the end, he won the far larger and more pivotal state of Florida by the same margin he had lost by in South Carolina.
He did it in two ways, both depending on the power of TV in a state too large for retail campaigning.
The town of Nitro has its beginnings in 1917, when the U.S. government created it as a place to locate a munitions plant.
Credit Jeff Brady / NPR
The former Monsanto chemical plant site along the Kanawha River, where for more than 20 years, the plant produced a herbicide that is the principal component of Agent Orange.
Credit Jeff Brady / NPR
A gate into the former Monsanto chemical plant near Nitro, W.Va. A class-action lawsuit filed against Monsanto (and subsequent company Solutia) claims the company improperly polluted the town with dioxin.
For about two decades, ending in 1971, a former Monsanto chemical plant in West Virginia produced the herbicide 2,4,5-T which was used in "Agent Orange" — the defoliant the military sprayed over Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War.
Now, Monsanto faces a class-action lawsuit, filed on behalf of people living where the herbicide was manufactured in Nitro, W.Va.
As the Republican candidates were rallying their supporters in Florida on Tuesday night, their campaigns were quietly sending disclosure reports to the Federal Election Commission in Washington. The big picture: Mitt Romney had more money than Newt Gingrich. President Obama had more than either of them. And a few of the new superPACs filed donor lists filled with high rollers.
Tuesday's disclosures run only through Dec. 31 but still reveal some essential truths.
Rapid building in Istanbul is remaking the city, and activists are seeking to preserve historic places. The Haydarpasa train station, which dates to the 19th century, is closing for renovations. But longtime station workers suspect the city will convert the station into a luxury hotel or other commercial property.
Credit Peter Kenyon / NPR
Demonstrators in Istanbul's Taksim Park protest against several development projects that would also include forced evictions from working-class neighborhoods. Yves Cabanne, a professor from University College in London, speaks to the crowd.
On a frigid January morning, bundled-up travelers step off a ferry and scurry toward the imposing stone walls of the Haydarpasa train station, a 19th century landmark in Istanbul, a city full of history.
The people boarding this morning are nostalgic. They're longtime station employees, taking one of the last train runs to Eskesihir, where the station's first director-general is buried.
They're going, as it were, to give him bad news — that Haydarpasa's 150-year service as a public transportation center may be coming to an end.
Credit U.S. Forest Service / Oregon State University Libraries
Controlling dust from activities like this was on the minds of those in the Department of Labor in the 1930s, as silicosis, a lung disease, was taking a toll on American workers. Above, a worker jackhammers into rock in Lassen National Forest in California in 1934, preparing to shoot explosives.
Credit Bloomberg via Getty Images
A worker sprays water onto a large circular saw as the machine cuts sandstone in Sydney, Australia, in 2005. Applying water can help reduce the amount of dust that makes it into the air.
Any job that involves breaking up rock or concrete or brick can potentially expose workers to dangerous silica dust, and last year it looked like the Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration was about to put stricter controls in place to limit this health hazard.
Saying "we all have a choice — stand with the people of Syria and the region or become complicit in the continuing violence there," Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton just urged the U.N. Security Council to support an Arab League call for "a negotiated, peaceful political solution to this crisis and a responsible, democratic transition in Syria" that would lead to the end of President Bashar Assad's regime.
FBI Director Robert Mueller, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and CIA Director David Petraeus appear before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday.
Iran is moving toward a nuclear capability but its intentions are unclear. Al-Qaida is weakened but remains dangerous. In Afghanistan, the Taliban are a determined adversary, but it may make sense to negotiate with them.
These were the highlights of the annual assessment of threats to U.S. security, delivered Tuesday on Capitol Hill by the nation's intelligence agencies.
The director of national intelligence, James Clapper, was also able list some accomplishments, beginning with the big triumph — tracking down and killing Osama bin Laden.
Unfortunately, though, the change doesn't apply to plans that enroll some of the sickest people: those who buy coverage in so-called high-risk insurance pools because they have medical problems that make them uninsurable in the private market.