Tomorrow is the 200th birthday of composer and pianist Franz Liszt. Morning Edition's music commentator Miles Hoffman thinks there are plenty of reasons to celebrate.
"This is a man who lived an extraordinarily long and an extraordinarily productive life — a very complicated life," Hoffman says "By many accounts he was the greatest pianist of the 19th century, somebody who revolutionized people's ideas of what was possible on the piano."
President Obama said Moammar Gadhafi's death marks the end of a long and painful chapter for the Libyan people. The seven-month military campaign that toppled the Libyan leader also marks a high point for the kind of international cooperation that Obama has championed.
The White House was careful Thursday not to claim vindication for the president's policies, but the Libyan exercise does offer an example of what an "Obama Doctrine" might look like.
The Syrian government has barred most international journalists from the country, restricting coverage since an uprising began last spring. In response, Syrian activists have played a crucial role in providing information to the wider world.
One of the most prominent is Alexander Page — an alias that a young Syrian used for his safety. He was often cited by international media outlets, including NPR.
But he recently fled Syria after his identity was compromised and he was in danger of arrest.
Although dinosaurs died out 65 million years ago, there are still thought to be a few species left over from those days. Plants called cycads are among these rare "living fossils" — they have remained pretty much unchanged for more than 300 million years, but a study in Science magazine suggests that glamorous title may not be deserved.
There's no time machine in Washington, D.C., but Harvard botanist Sarah Mathews leads me to what's arguably the next best thing — a room made of glass in the U.S. Botanic Garden, just downhill from the U.S. Capitol.
With the nation's student-loan debt climbing toward $1 trillion, it's taking many young people longer than ever to pay off their loans. Two-thirds of college students now graduate with debt, owing an average of $24,000. But some borrow far more and find this debt influencing major life decisions long after graduation.
"I was very naive, and I realize that now," says Stephanie Iachini, of Altoona, Pa. She was the first in her family to go to college and financed it herself. "Basically I was just signing papers because the education part meant a lot to me."
At the same time that Gap is closing 20 percent of its stores, a big Japanese clothing retailer called Uniqlo plans to open hundreds of shops in the U.S. Uniqlo is sort of like the Gap of Japan: The low-priced casual clothing retailer has been around since the 1980s, but sales are flattening out in its home market so the company is looking overseas for growth.
The U.S. is at the heart of its strategy, according to the head of Uniqlo's U.S. operation, Shin Odake.
Originally published on Fri October 21, 2011 8:24 am
The Institute of Medicine sympathizes with us consumers and the confusion we suffer weighing health claims on food packaging at the grocery store. Our convoluted food labels might have something to do with why so many Americans aren't eating as healthfully as they could, and are shouldering too much weight and diet-related health problems, the IOM says.
The timing is almost too good: a terrific Wall Street melodrama at the moment the Occupy Wall Street protests are building. We haven't seen the like since Three Mile Island had a near-meltdown a couple of days after The China Syndrome exploded into theaters. Now, Margin Call seems anything but marginal.
Originally published on Thu October 20, 2011 10:46 pm
Early voting is underway in Ohio, where a fierce fight with political and economic implications is forcing voters to pick sides between Republican budget-cutters and public workers' unions. At issue is whether to keep or repeal SB 5, a controversial bill supported by Gov. John Kasich and passed by the GOP-dominated legislature this spring. Among other things, SB 5 dramatically restricts Ohio's public sector workers collective bargaining rights. Under SB 5, public employees cannot strike or negotiate for wages or working conditions.