The Europeans are in the midst of their most serious economic crisis in 60 years, and now they're hearing it's not just their own fate they have to consider: The whole global economy hangs in the balance.
The International Monetary Fund last week warned that if Europe's problems get any worse, it could push the entire world back into recession.
European Union leaders, meeting in Brussels on Monday, are said to be close to resolving some of their most difficult issues — and they'd better be.
At the Art Shanty festival on Medicine Lake in Plymouth, Minn., the ICE-Cycles Shanty uses a bit of fun (and weather-appropriate tires) to try to encourage wintertime bike riding.
Credit Nathaniel Freeman
Students and teachers from the Volunteers of America SALT (Service Adventure Leadership Team) High School run the 30 Star Shanty. Students demonstrate traditional crafts like block printing and quilting.
Call it the Burning Man of the Midwest: a temporary city built around artistic expression. Only this one takes place in the suburbs of Minneapolis in the middle of winter.
Minnesota is known for its 10,000 lakes. When the lakes freeze for the winter, the state is known for its ice fishing and its ice shanties — little homemade fishing shacks full of heaters, radios and bottles of schnapps.
A majestic building still dominates the skyline of Rochester, N.Y., the word "Kodak" shining brightly from the top. It's the legacy of George Eastman — the founder of the Eastman Kodak Co. — a company that helped Rochester thrive and gave it the nickname "Kodak Town."
In 1976, Kodak sold 90 percent of the film around the world. The company basically invented digital photography, but it couldn't figure out how to make the transition from film quickly enough to out-compete its Asian rivals. Of the 20 best-selling digital cameras in the U.S., not a single one is from Kodak.
Just a few years ago, America's auto industry was on the verge of collapse. When President Obama took office, he had to decide whether to bail out General Motors or let it die. He chose to send them a lifeline, to the tune of $50 billion. In this week's State of the Union speech, President Obama said that decision paid off.
"Today, General Motors is back on top as the world's No. 1 automaker," Obama said.
One morning many years ago, a little boy in Brooklyn named Peter woke up to an amazing sight: fresh snow.
Peter is the hero of the classic children's book by Ezra Jack Keats, The Snowy Day, which turns 50 this year. Peter has a red snowsuit, a stick just right for knocking snow off of trees, and a snowball in his pocket. And, though this is never mentioned in the text, Peter is African-American.
A niche industry of tour companies is taking people into wolves' habitat at Yellowstone National Park. Montana Public Radio's Dan Boyce went on an expedition with a man who recognizes the problems wolves bring to the landscape even as he makes his living off of them.
Republican candidates' efforts to win Hispanic voters have intensified in advance of the Florida primary, airing ads in Spanish and contending over immigration. Host Scott Simon speaks with Maria Elena Salinas, co-host of Noticiero Univision, about Hispanic voters' role in the Republican primary and the upcoming presidential election.
Time now for your letters. Last week we spoke with Christian Bale who stars in the new film, "The Flowers of War." The movie takes place in China during Japan's violent occupation of Nanjing in 1937. "The Flowers of War" has been criticized as being part of an effort by the Chinese government to improve China's image in the world.
The women's finals in the Australian Open are already over. In baseball, power-hitter Prince Fielder has returned to his childhood team, the Detroit Tigers, for which his father played. Host Scott Simon talks sports with Howard Bryant of ESPN the Magazine and ESPN.com.
The future of the state of the U.S. housing market was a primary focus for the White House this week. On Tuesday's State of the Union address, President Obama unveiled a new plan to try to correct the housing downturn. It would allow qualifying homeowners the chance to refinance their mortgages at historically low rates.
This week, Egyptians marked the first anniversary of the uprising that led to the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak. Deepening political divisions between pro-Islamist and secular protesters marred the event, erupting into violent scuffles. NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson reports.
Martin Mull and Fred Willard are comic partners in many minds. They helped create Fernwood Tonight in the late 1970s, and while they went on to solo careers in films and stage, they were reunited to play one of TV's first gay couples on Roseanne. Host Scott Simon sat down with the duo for the public television show Backstage With.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. We begin with the latest in the Republican race for president. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney campaigned in Florida yesterday. Mr. Gingrich made appearances before two communities whose votes he hopes to win in Tuesday's primary. He spoke to Latino home builders and businesspeople in the morning, and had a rally with a group of Republican Jewish voters in the afternoon. NPR's Brian Naylor reports.
President Obama is back in Washington Saturday after visiting five different states, all of which are likely to be hotly contested in November. He expanded on some of the ideas he outlined in Tuesday's State of the Union address and offered a preview of the argument he'll be making in the general election. NPR's Scott Horsley reports.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon.
An illegal Jewish outpost in the occupied West Bank is at the center of a battle over settlements. The collection of trailers and makeshift buildings is called Migron, and the Israeli Supreme Court has said it must be dismantled by the end of March. The Israeli government has tried to come up with a compromise which the settlers have rejected. And the issue even threatens to bring down the government of Prime Minister Netanyahu.
Originally published on Tue February 21, 2012 3:03 pm
SCOTT SIMON, HOST:
What do you do when the conversation lags? Our friend Richard Glover of the ABC in Sydney, Australia might know. This week he and sports author and journalist Peter FitzSimons set a new Guinness World Record for Longest Radio or TV interview: 24 hours, with only an occasional loo break. [POST-BROADCAST CORRECTION: The record-setting interview did not take place "this week." It was actually in December 2011.]
Trainers help Cleveland Browns quarterback Colt McCoy after he took a hit during a game in December. In a series of interviews with The Associated Press, 23 of 44 NFL players said they would try to hide a brain injury rather than leave a game.
Originally published on Sat January 28, 2012 2:12 pm
Think you know how to avoid overeating? Think again.
Research suggests that choices, like how much to eat during a meal, are often made subconsciously. Trouble is, our brains are hard-wired to mislead us in lots of little ways, which can have a big impact on our diets.
Take the Delboeuf effect, an optical illusion first documented in 1865. It starts with two dots of equal size. But surround one dot with a large circle and the other dot with a small one, and suddenly the second dot looks bigger.
Originally published on Sat January 28, 2012 12:55 pm
The argument over whether voters should have to present photo identification at the polls usually splits along party lines. Republicans who favor the requirement say it prevents ballot fraud. Democrats and election rights groups who oppose it say it is meant to suppress turnout.
And people of all political stripes wonder what all the fuss is about.
<strong>Ingenue or Leading Lady:</strong> Ivy Bell (Megan Hilty, left) and Karen (Katharine McPhee, right) compete for the coveted lead role in a new Marilyn Monroe Broadway musical in <em>Smash</em>, which premieres Feb. 6 on NBC.
Credit Will Hart / NBC
Theresa Rebeck, creator and executive producer of <em>Smash</em>.
Credit Patrick Randak / NBC
<strong>Dream-Making Team:</strong> Anjelica Huston plays an influential theater producer and Jack Davenport plays the new musical's director.
Puerto Rico Gov. Luis Fortuno endorsed Mitt Romney at a campaign rally in Orlando, Fla., on Friday.
Credit Emmanuel Dunand / AFP/Getty Images
Mitt Romney speaks at Astrotech in Cape Canaveral, Fla., on Friday. He said he would make decisions about the space program the way he would make them in the private sector, by first researching and setting objectives.
After his second-place finish in the South Carolina primary, Mitt Romney arrived in Florida armed with money and organization. He's used both to stop Newt Gingrich's momentum. With three days until the primary, polls give Romney a solid lead over Gingrich in Florida.
Florida is a big state, but Romney and Gingrich's paths have crossed often this week. There were the two debates, and in Miami on Friday, Romney, like Gingrich, spoke to the Hispanic Leadership Network.
British writer Penelope Lively was in her late 30s before she began her career writing children's books. Now, four decades and 20 works of fiction later, she has just released the novel How It All Began, in which she explores the capricious role that chance plays in our lives.
Lively's lifetime habit of storytelling began when she was growing up in Egypt during World War II. She spent a lot of time alone and amused herself by making up stories, which often involved embellishing the classics with her own personal touch.
Police stand near the scene of a murder in Juarez, Mexico. The country suffers from drug cartel-related violence despite some of the most restrictive gun laws in the world.
Credit Spencer Platt / Getty Images
Workers pack red chilies for shipment to New Mexico on the LeBaron family farm.
Credit Peter Breslow / NPR
Alex, Daniel and Max LeBaron look out over Colonia LeBaron in Chihuahua, Mexico, in front of a shack they built as a lookout against approaching criminals. The murder of two citizens galvanized this community to protect itself, Alex says.
Credit Peter Breslow / NPR
Alex LeBaron points his gun toward a target at a local shooting club. If Alex makes it into the federal Congress, his most passionate issue will be changing Mexico's gun laws.
In Mexico, where criminals are armed to the teeth with high-powered weapons smuggled from the United States, it may come as a surprise that the country has some of the most restrictive gun laws in the world.
Law-abiding Mexicans who want a gun to defend themselves have no good options. Either they fight government red tape to get a legal permit, or they buy one on the black market.
After an outbreak of violence, one embattled community in northern Mexico called Colonia LeBaron has begun to ask if it's time for the country to address its gun laws.