Oliver Stone's latest film, Savages, opened in theaters earlier this month. The movie centers on two young marijuana growers, Ben and Chon, who live and deal in California, alongside their girlfriend O — short for Ophelia. They find themselves thrust into a world of violence and murder when a Mexican drug cartel comes after their business. The film is based on the book by crime writer Don Winslow, who also co-wrote the screenplay.
We are all used to judicial nomination fights, but what has been remarkable in the Obama administration has been the molasses-like confirmation process for noncontroversial nominees, especially federal district court nominees.
More bad news for Penn State: The NCAA says it will issue sanctions Monday against the school over the child sex abuse scandal involving Jerry Sandusky.
The announcement came the same day the school removed the famed statue of legendary football coach Joe Paterno from outside the Penn State football stadium. Our colleague Eyder Peralta has written more about that move.
Originally published on Sun July 22, 2012 10:12 am
-- President Obama is headed to Aurora today to meet with the families of the victims. Obama, reports USA Today, is also scheduled to meet with state and local officials.
-- By evening, Aurora Police said that "all hazards" had been removed from the suspect's apartment. Residents in surrounding buildings were allowed to return home after law enforcement conducted a controlled detonation.
Originally published on Mon July 23, 2012 10:08 am
Among the many contenders who could wind up becoming presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney's running mate, there are some potential surprises — like former presidential candidate-turned TV and radio host Mike Huckabee.
Putting Huckabee on the GOP ticket could certainly liven up the presidential race. In addition to being a respected former governor of Arkansas, he's well known for his good-natured public persona. At a Huckabee campaign event, you might find him playing an electric bass with the old-time rock 'n' roll band Capitol Offense.
Spain is a country that partied for days after winning the European Soccer Championships earlierthis month.
Soccer dominates the sports scene, and the Spanish side is favored to win Olympic gold in London this summer. But Spain is also a basketball powerhouse and is currently ranked No. 2 in the world behind the U.S.
At a school gym, you'll find Spaniards who actually know that. Basketball is growing in popularity among kids, especially girls.
"Basketball is a sport that's beautiful for me," says 13-year-old Lucia Gutierrez.
With the largest HIV epidemic in the world, no nation has been more affected by HIV and AIDS than South Africa, but the country has also had one of the most conflicted responses to the epidemic.
A decade ago, as the virus was spreading rapidly, then-President Thabo Mbeki was questioning the link between HIV and AIDS. His health minister was advocating the use of beetroot, garlic and lemon juice to treat it.
Now, years later, South Africa is trying to make up for lost time. The nation is attempting to put in place a cutting-edge HIV treatment and prevention program.
The Arapahoe County Coroner's Office has released the names of 11 of those killed in Friday's mass shooting in Aurora, Colo., during a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises. An additional victim was identified in a statement released by the family. Officials notified the families of all of the victims before publicly releasing the names.
This list will be updated as we learn more about each of those killed in the shooting.
Weekends on All Things Considered continues its "Why Music Matters" series with Aria Saadi, an actor and musician originally from Iran. Saadi now lives and works in Vancouver, Canada, where he escaped after running afoul of the Iranian government.
Saadi says he remembers well one of his first encounters with Iranian authorities. A self-taught keyboard player, he was performing at what most Americans would call a normal party.
There's currently no cure for Parkinson's, a debilitating neurological disease. There's also no blood test that can detect it, meaning early intervention is almost impossible.
But soon there might be a shockingly easy way to screen for Parkinson's disease. It would be as simple as picking up the telephone and saying "ahhh."
"There's some evidence, admittedly weak, that voice disturbances may well be one of the first or early indicator of the disease," mathematician Max Little tells weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz.
Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 3:18 pm
Earlier this year, classical percussionist Mike Tetreault walked onstage at Symphony Hall in Boston for the audition of a lifetime: The Boston Symphony Orchestra was looking for not just one but two new percussionists.
When tragedies happen, comparisons are always made to past events. It's become part of the news coverage of the Aurora, Colo., theater rampage to refer to it as "one of the deadliest mass shootings in recent U.S. history," as The Associated Press says.
Businesses in Aurora, Colo., sprang into action Friday to assist victims and their families. Kevin Hougen, president of the Aurora Chamber of Commerce, worked with businesses to help provide necessities to victims of the shooting. Host Scott Simon spoke with Hougen Friday from his office, which overlooks the movie theater.
American flags are flying at half-staff today over the White House, and elsewhere in the country. The shootings in Aurora have silenced politics as usual - at least, for the moment. The Romney and Obama campaigns have both pulled their TV ads from the air in Colorado, a state that had three top political advertising markets in the country this week. NPR's Ari Shapiro reports on a somber day on the campaign trail.
There's another dimension to that unfolding LIBOR scandal which cost Barclays, the British bank, its CEO and $450 million in fines after it was revealed that the bank had been manipulating international lending rates. Attention has shifted to why U.S. financial regulators, who knew about the rate rigging, didn't move to stop it more swiftly.
We're going to put that question to Robert Smith, correspondent for NPR's Planet Money. He joins us from New York. Robert, thanks for being with us.
The phrase "theater number 9" may soon be one of those added to our collective memory. That is where the shootings in Aurora, Colo., took place. It has some movie goers wondering about their safety in cities across the country.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. And it's time now for sports.
(SOUNDBITE OF SPORTS THEME MUSIC)
SIMON: OK, maybe that should be the (hums Olympic theme) because in just a few days, all the pomp and patriotism, the grit and athleticism, the sweat and pomposity of the 2010 Olympic Summer Games begins. Here with a preview NPR's Tom Goldman joins us. Tom, thanks so much for being with us.
TOM GOLDMAN, BYLINE: Did I just hear doves released in the studio there, Scott?
A new book about global attitudes to the AIDS epidemic in Africa, lays some of the blame at the door of Joseph Conrad. Conrad's novel "Heart of Darkness," says the author - who's Uzodinma Iweala - connected inferiority and disease with Africa and Africans, in way which is still evident today. Uzodinma Iweala was himself was born in Washington D.C., the city with the worst incidence of AIDS in the United States. His first book, a novel called "Beasts of No Nation," told the harrowing story of child soldiers in Africa.
Opposition activists in Syria report that there's been another day of heavy shelling in a number of cities, as rebel fighters continue their guerrilla war to topple President Bashar Assad. Host Scott Simon talks with NPR's Peter Kenyon in Beirut, which has seen a huge increase in refugees in recent days.