Before we move on to the day's news, serious and silly, we want to pause for a moment to note that it's Veterans Day.
As President Obama's declaration states, on this day Americans "pay tribute to our veterans, to the fallen, and to their families." And, the proclamation adds, "to honor their contributions to our Nation, let us strive with renewed determination to keep the promises we have made to all who have answered our country's call."
After more than two decades in Frankfort, state Sen. Tim Shaughnessy, D-Louisville, announced Thursday that he will not seek re-election to the Kentucky Senate in 2012. Shaughnessy did not indicate why he was retiring, but thanked constituents for allowing him to be a public servant since 1988. “I am grateful to the voters of my community for the honor and privilege of serving in the state Senate,” he said in a statement.
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.
More than a week after presidential candidate Herman Cain was confronted with sexual harassment accusations, he appears to be holding on to his base of support. Most polls show him still leading the other Republican candidates.
A law passed after the Exxon Valdez oil spill requires the government to assess the biological damage from big spills so fines can be fixed and damage paid for. The National Academy of Sciences has a report describing the methods and metrics of determining the "ecosystem services" that have been lost due to the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
The American Farm Bureau Federation has released its 26th annual price survey on the cost of the classic Thanksgiving dinner. That includes the turkey, sweet potatoes, cranberries and pumpkin pie. This year, the average cost for a feast for 10 people is $49.20. That's up almost $6 from last year.
The rating agency Standard and Poor's sent out an alert downgrading France's debt on Thursday. It turned out to be a false alarm, but it took nearly two hours for S&P to clarify that. S&P says it's investigating the mistake.
And let's talk now about a man who served his country out of uniform for generations. J. Edgar Hoover created the Federal Bureau of Investigation as we know it today. In his lifetime, he built up an image as a hero. His career went from the end of World War I to the 1970s. Since death in 1972, many have reevaluated Hoover as a menace. Now, Hoover is the subject of a movie in which he is played by Leonardo DiCaprio, in a film directed by Clint Eastwood. Kenneth Turan has a review.
This week thousands of women gathered in Portland, Ore., for the Grace Hopper Celebration, the world's largest technical conference for women and computing. High-tech companies are hiring, but there aren't nearly enough women to meet the demand.
Kate Schmalzried, a graduate student at Stanford, recalls one of her very first classes at the university — Computer Science 106A.
"That was really a good introduction to women in tech — there weren't many women in the class," she says, chuckling. "I distinctly remember being the only girl in my section."
Myanmar President Thein Sein (shown here in March 2010, left) has promised change, but some fear that he's a puppet of the repressive military leadership. He pleased many onetime critics by suspending construction on a controversial dam.
The government of Myanmar bars or severely restricts reporting by foreign correspondents. NPR is withholding the name of the veteran journalist who recently entered the country and filed this story, in order to protect his identity and his ability to return in the future.