Fri August 12, 2011
Movie Interviews

Octavia Spencer: You Can't 'Help' But Feel This Film

If the audience is uncomfortable watching The Help, that's appropriate, says actress Octavia Spencer: "People lived this discomfort." Spencer plays Minny Jackson — an African-American maid in 1960s Mississippi — in the film adaptation of Kathryn Stockett's controversial novel.
Dale Robinette Dreamworks Pictures

The movie adaptation of the best-selling book, The Help roared into theaters this week, racking up more than $5 million in box office receipts on its opening day.

It closely follows Kathryn Stockett's novel about life among well-to-do white women in 1960s Jackson, Miss. The book told that story in large part from the point-of-view of the black women who served them — which earned Stockett both praise and condemnation.

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Fri August 12, 2011
All Politics are Local

Economics and Politics


Guaging  public sentiment on a wide variety of issues is common practice today.   But, political surveys may top the list.  And, assessing Congressional performance is a question routinely put before likely voters.

“Congress tends to be unpopular and has been for decades really since we’ve done polling…there’s some ups and downs, but this we’re reaching new lows every day at this point,” said Joe Gershtenson

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Fri August 12, 2011

Obama Seeks To Rekindle Campaign Passion In 2012

President Obama likes to say that the American economy is facing headwinds: turmoil in Europe, the Arab spring and the tsunami in Japan. His reelection campaign is facing headwinds too: 9 percent unemployment, a U.S. credit downgrade, and a presidential approval rating slipping toward 40 percent.

Despite those daunting numbers, the President plans to convince Americans that he deserves another four years.

During the 2010 midterm campaign, Obama often told audiences that Republicans drove the economy into a ditch, and now they want the keys to the car back.

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Fri August 12, 2011
Shots - Health Blog

Hackers Hijack Websites In Online Pharmacy Scam

Those who search for drug information online may be "drowned out in a sea of rogue results."

People searching for prescription drug information online are being led astray by hackers and redirected to illicit online drug sellers in one out of every three searches.

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Fri August 12, 2011
Middle East

Egyptians See Their Revolution As Mideast Barometer

A protester shouts as Egyptian soldiers stand guard behind barbed wire at the Defense Ministry in Cairo on July 23. Egyptians say their revolution is still not complete, but they believe they are setting the tone for the region.
Mohamed Hossam AFP/Getty Images

After Egyptians toppled President Hosni Mubarak in February, many thought that their revolution, driven by peaceful, mass demonstrations, would be duplicated elsewhere in the Middle East with the same powerful results.

All too soon, they saw on their TV screens that would not be the case, as uprisings in Libya and Syria brought bloodshed and slaughter. That led to uncertainty and fear in Egypt, because many agree with activist Hossam al-Hamalawy, who says that Egypt's revolution cannot fully succeed on its own.

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Fri August 12, 2011
The Two-Way

Europe Bans Short Sells, But Will It Work?

France, Spain, Belgium and Italy decided to ban short selling on some stocks for two weeks.

"Some authorities have decided to impose or extend existing short-selling bans in their respective countries," the European Securities and Markets Authority said in a statement. "They have done so either to restrict the benefits that can be achieved from spreading false rumors or to achieve a regulatory level playing field, given the close inter-linkage between some EU markets."

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Fri August 12, 2011
Business And Economics

In Manhattan, Preschool Interviews Induce Anxiety

Children play with blue foam building blocks at the Blue School in New York City on March 31. The Blue School is one of many competitive private preschools in Manhattan, founded by original members of the Blue Man Group so they could send their own children to a school that they felt supported creative offerings for their children.
Mark Lennihan AP

The value of preschool isn't a surprise to one group of people in America: Some Manhattanites spend $20,000 or $30,000 a year sending their children to preschool.

But before you can even pay the tuition, you have to get in. Competition for a spot at some of Manhattan's most coveted schools is fierce.

And one of the most anxiety-inducing parts of the process for parents is the preschool interview.

'It's Like A Sport'

When you think preschool interview, it's hard not to imagine a job interview for babies. But that's not exactly how it works.

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Fri August 12, 2011
Planet Money

Preschool: The Best Job-Training Program

Job training.
The Co-Op School

When economist James Heckman was studying the effects of job training programs on unskilled young workers, he found a mystery.

He was comparing a group of workers that had gone through a job training program with a group that hadn't. And he found that, at best, the training program did nothing to help the workers get better jobs. In some cases, the training program even made the workers worse off.

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Fri August 12, 2011

The Lone Star State Beginnings Of Rick Perry

Originally published on Wed August 1, 2012 6:32 pm

Texas Gov. Rick Perry speaks at the Texas Education Agency Administrators' Midwinter Conference in Austin, Texas, in 2001.
Deborah Cannon AP

Texas Gov. Rick Perry will officially make clear his intentions to run for the GOP presidential nomination during a speech on Saturday in South Carolina. But he has sounded like a candidate for a while.

"Until Washington figures out that the only true stimulus is more money in the hands of employers across all economic sectors, as well as a restrained bureaucracy that is no longer overreaching into the workplaces, our national nightmare will continue," he said in San Antonio this week.

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Fri August 12, 2011
NPR Story

Appeals Court Rejects Part Of Health Care Law

A federal appeals court in Atlanta has ruled against the individual mandate contained in the new health care law, saying it is unconstitutional to require citizens to buy health insurance.