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.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. 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. A plan is emerging now in broad outline - this and coordinated action by central banks around the world - boosted investor confidence. NPR's Eric Westervelt reports.
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.
People who are lucky enough to have jobs could still see a cut in their paychecks next month unless Congress votes to extend a payroll tax cut. NPR's Scott Horlsey and Tamara Keith join host Scott Simon to talk about the status of the cut.
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.
Originally published on Sat December 3, 2011 7:03 am
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.