At The William Grant Still Arts Center in the West Adams neighborhood in Los Angeles, jazz superstars and comic book superheroes are gathered together — in miniature, as part of the Black Doll Show.
For the past 34 years, the center has held a doll show to showcase diverse dolls for children. The exhibit features dolls submitted by artists and collectors from around the country. This year's theme is A League Supreme: Jazz Superheroes.
As part of a series called "My Big Break," All Things Considered is collecting stories of triumph, big and small. These are the moments when everything seems to click, and people leap forward into their careers.
Tom Toro didn't always dream of becoming a cartoonist at The New Yorker. Sure, he drew cartoons in college, but he didn't see that as a career path. Instead, he went to film school at NYU.
Then he came to the sudden realization that he was in the wrong field — and he had no idea what he was going to do.
No, not the lime green British Leyland Mini that was the prop for so many of the character's antics. We're talking about the purple McLaren F1 "supercar" owned by the actor who plays Mr. Bean, Rowan Atkinson. It's the same car that Atkinson famously wrapped around a tree in 2011.
Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko says he will "calm" fighting between his forces and Russian-backed separatists in the country's east a day after rocket fire killed 30 people in and around the port city of Mariupol.
Poroshenko, speaking after an emergency meeting of Ukraine's security council, said reviving a shattered peace deal agreed in September was the only way out of the conflict.
The Obama administration is proposing new protections for large portions of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). The U.S. Department of Interior says it's the first time it's recommended additional protections and that their new recommendations have the potential to be one of the largest conservation measures "since Congress passed the visionary Wilderness Act over 50 years ago."
Parts of the U.S. northeast are bracing for as much as 2 feet of snow as a blizzard-like system bears down on the region.
The strong system could leave significant snowfall on the ground from Philadelphia to Maine beginning late tonight and continuing through Tuesday.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio urged residents of the city to expect unusually icy conditions and to "look out for your fellow New Yorkers ... check on them." Long Island could get 24 inches of snow, forecasters said.
Greece's radical left Syriza party has become the first anti-austerity party to win elections in Europe, throwing into doubt whether the troubled country stays the course on an international austerity plan.
The party fell just short of an absolute majority, NPR's Joanna Kakissis reports for our newscast unit, and will have to work with another party to govern.
Republican presidential hopefuls are turning out this weekend for two big events, but just one of them, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, plans to be at both.
Cruz is among seven possible contenders who spoke Saturday at the Iowa Freedom Summit, cosponsored by Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) and the group Citizens United. Sunday night, Cruz is scheduled to join two possible primary rivals, Sens. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Rand Paul, R-Ky., at a semi-annual conference of the Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce.
Originally published on Sun January 25, 2015 9:59 am
Video games are great for passing time or battling monsters with friends online. But the medium is also being used to explore complex stories and themes. It's even being used as form of journalistic storytelling, immersing people in places and events that can be hard to imagine.
In an unfinished building in the northern Iraqi city of Erbil, displaced Christian children sing a little song about returning to their village. "We're going back," they sing, "to our houses, our land, our church."
Right now, they're living in an open concrete structure. The self-styled Islamic State, or ISIS, took over their home village of Qaraqosh, and the Christians fled in fear, on foot.
President Obama announced Sunday that the U.S. and India have made progress on civilian nuclear trade. In a joint news conference with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi, Obama said the countries had agreed to more cooperation in other areas as well, including defense and climate change.
Originally published on Sun January 25, 2015 5:36 pm
This is the first in a series, "Inside Alzheimer's," about the experience of being diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's disease.
In 2009, 59-year-old Greg O'Brien was a successful journalist and writer living in Cape Cod. He was healthy and happy — he exercised every day, made a good living, spent time with his three children and wife.
But he had also started to notice changes in himself. He was forgetting things, and his judgment sometimes seemed to fail him. Meanwhile, his own mother was dying of Alzheimer's disease.
President Obama wants to close the prison at the U.S. Navy base at Guantanamo Bay before leaving office. But his departing defense secretary, Chuck Hagel, told NPR News the job is "going to be very difficult" to complete in that time.
Hagel made that remark in an exit interview Friday, one of only a handful he granted as he prepared to vacate his expansive office at the Pentagon. The interview will air Monday on Morning Edition.
In the State of the Union this week, President Obama noted that crime in America is down. "For the first time in 40 years," he said, "the crime rate and the incarceration rate have come down together."
Originally published on Sun January 25, 2015 4:58 am
Years of austerity have worn down Greeks, who will choose a new government Sunday. Greek voters are expected to elect the first anti-austerity party in the Eurozone.
Maria Tsitoura, one of those voters, is a lively grandmother in her 70s. Like many retirees in Greece, she shares her small pension with her grown children, whose salaries have dropped by more than half in the last four years.
Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors, and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:
Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called the purported beheading of a Japanese hostage by his ISIS captors an "outrageous and unacceptable" act that had left him speechless.
The remarks came after a video surfaced showing what appears to be one hostage holding a photo of his decapitated fellow abductee.
"This is an outrageous and unacceptable act of violence," Abe told reporters as he arrived at his office after midnight for an emergency meeting, according to Reuters. "We strongly demand the immediate release."
Every Saturday just before our show begins I get on the public address system here to announce to our crew, "It's a beautiful day for a radio show. Let's do two today!"
It's an admiring imitation of Ernie Banks, the Chicago Cubs Hall of Fame baseball player who died last night at the age of 83. Ernie used to say, especially in the long years of hot summers — including this last one, when the Cubs were stuck in last place — "It's a beautiful day for a ballgame. Let's play two today!"
A main leader of Russian-backed rebels in eastern Ukraine reportedly says the separatists have launched an attack on the port city of Mariupol, where rocket fire killed at least 15 people in an open-air market and residential area.
"Today an offensive was launched on Mariupol. This will be the best possible monument to all our dead," Alexander Zakharchenko was quoted as saying by Russia's RIA news agency.