The songs we turn to during winter months are as distinct from the light, joyous anthems of summer as tank tops and shorts are from the mittens and scarves we pull out of the closet when a chill creeps into the air. This season, we'll ask musicians, writers and listeners to tell us about a song that evokes winter for them, along with a memory or story that goes with it.
When the iconic American punk band Fugazi started playing back in 1987, it started taping, too.
"Our friend Joey Picuri, who was a local sound man — or a fellow who helped do sound for bands — he recorded the shows," Fugazi frontman Ian MacKaye tells NPR's Guy Raz. "He just gave us tapes of our first show, and he gave us a tape of our second show."
There are basically two solutions to the European debt crisis. One, someone can show up with really deep pockets and bail out all the countries. Or, two, the European Central Bank can create a bunch of money and loan it to the countries who need it. The problem is there's a barrier blocking both these potential solutions — a certain European country known for its beer and brats: Germany.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad waves in Pakdasht, southeast of Tehran, Nov. 23. Ahmadinejad on Wednesday said he was surprised at European moves to isolate Tehran's central bank.
Credit Atta Kenare / AFP/Getty Images
Iranians shout slogans during a demonstration outside the British Embassy in Tehran, Nov. 29. New British sanctions against Iran's central bank sparked the recent protests. Now, the U.S. is considering even tougher measures.
Iran has been dealing with economic sanctions for years, but the country could soon face measures tougher than anything it has encountered before: Legislation moving through the U.S. Congress would target the central bank of Iran, with the likely effect of severely limiting Iran's oil exports.
Such sanctions would almost certainly damage Iran's economy. The challenge would be to make sure other countries are not hurt as well, given the fragile state of the global economy and the tight global oil market.
A new Pennsylvania law could curb municipalities' ability to zone and regulate hydraulic fracturing — or "fracking." And that raises questions about how much say a local government should have over what goes on within its borders.
State lawmakers are grappling with how to update Commonwealth's decades-old Oil and Gas Act to catch up with a natural gas drilling boom.
Ken Harbaugh is a former Navy pilot and an NPR commentator.
When I was five, my father made a promise he never intended to keep. He had returned from a long trip, with presents. I got a fossilized shark tooth, and spent the next month asking about fossils.
At some point, my father made the mistake of describing a massive fossil bed somewhere in Germany. I begged him to take me. There were good reasons that could never happen. Dad knew nothing about fossils; Germany was far away; I was five. But I would not be deterred.
The major central banks of the world moved Wednesday to prevent a banking crisis in Europe. They're providing more liquidity to the European banking system in hopes that big banks there will remain solvent and continue to make loans. The coordinated move by the central banks sent stock markets soaring. But it will not even begin to fix Europe's fundamental economic problems.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Guy Raz.
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
And I'm Melissa Block.
President Obama took his call for payroll tax relief to Scranton, Pennsylvania today. It was his ninth visit to the state this year, underscoring the role that Pennsylvania will play in the 2012 election. The president told a crowd at Scranton High School that extending the payroll tax cut should trump partisan politics.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Send your senators a message. Tell them - don't be a Grinch.
Melissa Block and Guy Raz read emails from listeners about a report on Kentucky's Berea College, about Melissa's remembrance of Vermont poet Ruth Stone, and about the other person responsible for that mega-hit earworm "Moves Like Jagger."
Rep. Barney Frank, the long-time liberal voice (and a fast-talking, brusque one at that) who announced he won't be running for re-election, discussed with NPR's Guy Raz, co-host of All Things Considered, the items of unfinished business he plans attend to during his remaining year in Congress.
Welcome to the second installment of NPR's Backseat Book Club! Every month, we invite kids to read a book along with us, and then send in their questions for the author.
Our book club selection for November is a classic that's celebrating a big anniversary. The Phantom Tollbooth — written by Norton Juster and illustrated by Jules Feiffer — was published 50 years ago. Juster tells NPR's Michele Norris that the story sprang from his own childhood.
A package of tough new economic sanctions imposed this week by the Arab League is another blow to the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad. But will international pressure really help the people of Syria? Melissa Block talks with Kimberly Ann Elliott, a senior fellow at the Center for Global Development. Elliott co-authored a case study on sanctions against Syria that was published by the Peterson Institute.
President Obama is ramping up his campaign for continuation of a payroll tax cut, which only affects the first $106,000 in individual income. Republicans object, in part because they don't even consider it a tax since the money goes to the Social Security Trust Fund. Democrats see it a progressive tax cut. "Spreading the wealth" is a theme Obama campaigned on four years ago.
An Atlanta woman has told a local TV station that she had a 13-year-long sexual relationship with GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain. For several weeks now, Cain's campaign has been dogged by several accusations of sexual harassment. Melissa Block talks with NPR national political correspondent Don Gonyea.
Sobhi Saleh, right, a senior member of the Muslim Brotherhood and candidate for parliament, speaks to voters at a polling station in Alexandria, Egypt on Monday. The Brotherhood is expected to make a strong showing in the polls.
Credit - / AFP/Getty Images
Members of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood take part in a press conference in Cairo on April 30, to announce the formation of a new party, the Freedom and Justice Party, to contest up to half of parliament's seats in a September election.
Dozens of veiled women tried to squeeze past each other Monday and into a polling station in the working-class neighborhood of Raml in the northern Egyptian city of Alexandria.
They were eager to cast ballots for a clean-shaven man in a crisp blue suit and matching tie.
His name is Sobhi Saleh and he heads the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party ticket in three of Alexandria's districts. The party is considered the best organized in Egypt and is expected to do well in the country's first election since President Hosni Mubarak was toppled in February.
After 30 years in Congress, Democrat Barney Frank is retiring. A leading liberal voice and one of the first openly gay congressmen, the 71-year-old from Massachusetts says he's leaving, in part, because his district has just been redrawn. He would likely face a grueling re-election campaign.
As NPR's Tovia Smith reports, Frank also says he feels like he's accomplished a lot, and wants to do other things.
Egyptian voters in Cairo, Alexandria and several other major cities are voting Monday in the first stage of the country's parliamentary election. Turn out is heavy and so far there has been no major violence. Melissa Block talks to NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro.
Smart electric meters are being installed in homes across the country. The wireless devices replace old meters and transmit electricity usage data wirelessly to utilities. But there are concerns about accuracy and safety. Guy Raz talks to David Baker, energy reporter at the San Francisco Chronicle, for more.
Millions of voters go to the polls in the Democratic Republic of Congo Monday in only the second election in its history. The mood in the country is tense. The current president Joseph Kabila is deeply unpopular, but many in Congo believe he will go to any lengths to hold onto power. Melissa Block talks to NPR's Ofeibea Quist-Arcton.