The U.S. Postal Service has waived its rule banning someone from being honored on a stamp until he or she has been dead for at least five years. Host Scott Simon reports the Postal Service has received thousands of nominations from the public for new stamps to honor more recent celebrities, ranging from Billy Graham to Lady Gaga.
The NBA comes back on Christmas, and the NFL marches on to week 13. Will Americans tune in to basketball late, and will the Packers reach the end of the season without a loss? Scott Simon talks with ESPN's Howard Bryant about the week's sports.
The current world economic crisis has raised hard questions about the assessments made by the big three ratings firms, S&P, Moody's and Fitch. It's also brought charges that they not only missed the onset of financial crisis, but helped fuel it with faulty judgments. Host Scott Simon talks with Roben Farzad, a senior writer for Bloomberg-Businessweek.
European leaders meet in Brussels next week with an urgent mission: Agree on a plan that to keep debt-ridden countries like Greece and Spain from default and save the euro. NPR's Eric Westervelt has the latest on efforts by European leaders.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has just completed a trip to Asia, including a historic visit to Myanmar. That country, also known as Burma, has been subjected to international isolation for many years because of its brutal military dictatorship. Now there are signs that a new civilian regime is loosening the generals' grip. NPR's Michele Kelemen accompanied Clinton on her visit, and filed this Reporter's Notebook.
GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain has been dogged by allegations that he sexually harassed several women. This week, an Atlanta woman claimed she and Cain had a 13-year affair that ended earlier this year. Now Cain has scheduled an event Saturday afternoon, where he is expected to announce the future of his candidacy. Host Scott Simon talks with NPR's Don Gonyea.
A Shostakovich opera plucked from the Soviet composer's trash gets its world premier this weekend at the Los Angeles Philharmonic's Disney Hall. We hear from Gerard McBurney, the composer charged with fleshing out Shostakovich's lost work, Orango.
Russians vote in parliamentary elections on Sunday, but there's no doubt the ruling United Russia Party will get the most votes. With Vladimir Putin ruling Russia for more than a decade now, the political opposition has been emasculated. Yet Kremlin officials are worried about the size of United Russia's majority, and the growing numbers of Russians voicing dissatisfaction with corruption and a sluggish economy. Host Scott Simon speaks with reporter Julia Loffe in Moscow.
Move over Zagat and Yelp. There's a new diners' guide in town, designed to help consumers choose restaurants based on what's happening behind the kitchen door. But this isn't about what's on the plate; it's a rare survey of the working conditions and employment practices of restaurants.
A "Bo" made from plastic garbage bags sits in front of the fireplace in the library. Mrs. Obama drew a laugh from the crowd when she said Bo, "the most famous member of the Obama family," has been a little confused walking around the house and seeing himself in "gigantic form."
"Shine, Give, Share" is the theme for the Obama family's third Christmas in the White House. This year, a total of 37 Christmas trees and a 400-pound White House made of gingerbread, white chocolate and marzipan decorate the mansion.
A group of more than 100 volunteers helped decorate the White House this year, covering the mansion in Christmas trees, cookie ornaments and several versions of the Obamas' dog, Bo. The real stars, however, were the military families who joined the celebration.
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