The deluge of hype, buildup, beer and pizza ads will be over on Sunday, because either the Seattle Seahawks or the Denver Broncos will rise victorious out of the swamps of Jersey — raising high the trophy that goes to the winner of Super Bowl XLVIII. Back in the hometowns, the fans are gearing up.
In a rare and historic development in the Arab world this week, an Islamist party stepped down as part of an orderly democratic transfer of power. It happened in Tunisia, the country that sparked the pro-democracy uprising three years ago that became the Arab Spring.
Tunisia has seen plenty of strife in the interim, including the assassination of two liberal political leaders. But while Tunisia’s neighbors, including Egypt and Libya, have slipped on the path to democracy, Tunisia just passed the most liberal constitution in the Arab world.
Google has agreed to sell Motorola to the Chinese technology giant Lenovo. This comes just two years after Google paid $12.5 billion to buy the company.
Google was counting that getting into the mobile cellphone business would pay off, but that didn’t happen. However, this isn’t a total financial loss for Google. The company is keeping billion of dollars’ worth of Motorola patents.
Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 3:42 pm
Dumpstaphunk has thrived in the New Orleans funk scene alongside some of the best in the business. The group's new album, Dirty Word, features a number of guest stars, including Ani DiFranco, who lives in New Orleans, and Flea of The Red Hot Chili Peppers.
The record hints at gospel, blues, R&B and rock while still preserving Dumpstaphunk's funky musical heritage. Here, the band performs in the studio for World Cafe.
Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 4:48 pm
If the prestigious Institute of Medicine pays attention to your disease, that's usually considered a good thing. But some patients with chronic fatigue syndrome fear that the review of the condition by the institute, an independent organization that advises the government on health issues, might perpetuate the widespread belief that their condition is purely psychological.
The controversy begins with the name. Everyone experiences fatigue, and lots of people are tired most of the time. But long-standing fatigue is just one of many debilitating symptoms.
Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 5:48 pm
The reviews are in for President Obama's stepped-up use of executive powers to carry out policies he can't get through Congress.
Republicans think the idea stinks.
Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann threatened to sue Obama over his announced intent to use his "unilateral authority" to change rules regarding, for instance, the minimum wage paid to employees by federal contractors.
Originally published on Fri January 31, 2014 7:59 am
Jessica Lutz is on her way from making arty designs in coffee cups to carving Olympic ice in Sochi. And although she grew up in the U.S., Lutz will compete for the Swiss hockey team. Her story is an example of the sacrifices and strategies many athletes rely on to get to the games.
For most of the past year, Lutz, 24, crafted latte art as a barista in Washington, D.C. Born and raised in the D.C. suburb of Rockville, Md.,Lutz had a chance to compete for Switzerland because of her father's nationality (she's a dual citizen).
For fans of world music, South Africa's Ladysmith Black Mambazo needs no introduction.
The group has been singing a capella together for 50 years, brought together by Joseph Shabalala, a young farmhand turned factory worker from the town of Ladysmith. He had a dream of tight vocal harmonies and messages of peace.
That dream developed, and the band came to the attention of Paul Simon, who had it record "Homeless" on his album Graceland. It introduced the group to the world.
Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 1:53 pm
The U.S. Chemical Safety Board has released its draft report into the causes of a devastating 2010 explosion at a Tesoro refinery on Puget Sound. The accident killed seven workers, and the community has been increasingly upset by how long the investigation has dragged on.
On Sunday, the Super Bowl will draw a TV audience of more than 100 million people, spawn countless watching parties and generate a week's worth of chatter about the half-time show and the best commercials. But at the heart of it is a game — one that Ray Didinger has been covering for decades for a variety of media organizations, including NFL Films.
This is FRESH AIR. To find out what it feels like to play pro football and to play in the Super Bowl, we reached out to former quarterback Ron Jaworski who is now a football analyst for ESPN. Jaworski spent spent 16 years in the NFL, most of them with the Philadelphia Eagles, the team he took to the Super Bowl 15 in 1981. Jaws, as he was often known, had a great passing year then but a rough time in the big game.
Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 4:07 pm
Making good on a campaign promise, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said the city will drop an appeal challenging a judge's opinion that found the city's controversial "stop and frisk" practices violated the civil rights of thousands of black and Latino residents.
Rep. Henry Waxman, (D-Calif.), a key architect of the Affordable Care Act and for four decades a ferocious liberal voice on matters of health and the environment, revealed Thursday that he plans to retire at the end of the year.
Waxman's news comes on the heels of a similar announcement from another liberal California "Watergate baby" elected in 1974, Rep. George Miller. Both are top allies of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, also of California.
Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 12:05 pm
Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel says the U.S. is "concerned" that Syria is behind schedule in removing its chemical stockpiles.
Hagel, speaking during a visit to Poland, says Syria "is behind in delivering these chemical weapons precursor materials on time with the schedule that was agreed to."
White House spokesman Jay Carney, speaking to reporters aboard Air Force One, added: "It is the Assad regime's responsibility to transport those chemicals to facilitate removal. We expect them to meet their obligation to do so."
Nearly 20 percent of the officers in the U.S. Air Force's nuclear weapons corps have now been implicated in a proficiency test cheating scandal, the secretary of the Air Force said Thursday.
Deborah Lee James told reporters that 92 individuals in the 500-member force are now thought either to have shared information about the answers to the test or to have known that others had done so, The Associated Press reports.
For the historical novelist, the past sometimes seems like one great filing cabinet of material that may lend itself to successful novelization. And in the case of France's so-called "Belle Epoque," the gifted English writer Robert Harris seems to have opened the right drawer. His latest novel, An Officer and a Spy, is set during this period of peace and prosperity between the end of the Franco-Prussian war and the lead-up to the First World War.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Now we'd like to return to an issue that's in the news all too often. We're talking about gun violence, particularly that experienced by children. That's something the president touched on in his State of the Union address Tuesday night, and something that, in fact, dominated his speech last year. But when we talk about this issue, usually, tragically, we are talking about young people who've been killed.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Today, we want to focus on events in Egypt, which as you probably know, has seen some of the region's most dramatic change since the beginning of the Arab Spring when longtime President Hosni Mubarak agreed to relinquish power.