NASA is raising awareness for its upcoming launch of the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution spacecraft with its Going to Mars project. The MAVEN spacecraft is scheduled for launch this November, to study the Red Planet's upper atmosphere; the craft will examine why Mars lost its atmosphere, and how that catastrophe affected the history of water there.
Penny Pritzker, one of the nation's richest people and a "longtime political supporter and heavyweight fundraiser," as TheChicago Tribune writes, is President Obama's choice to be his next secretary of commerce.
The president announced the news this hour at the White House. He also said that one of his economic advisers, Michael Froman, is his choice to be the next U.S. trade representative.
State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell raised concerns about the lack of transparency in Kenneth Bae's trial and urged North Korea to him "amnesty and immediate release."
NPR's Michele Kelemen reports that Ventrell wouldn't say whether the U.S. was considering sending a high-level envoy to Pyongyang as it has done in the past to win the release of U.S. citizens in North Korea.
NPR's business news starts with two new cabinet appointments.
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MONTAGNE: This morning, President Obama appointed Penny Pritzker to run the commerce department.
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
Pritzker is an heiress to the Hyatt hotel empire. She also served on the president's Economic Recovery Advisory Board, and she is a long time financial backer of the president's political campaigns. Forbes ranks her as one of 300 richest Americans.
Actress Sophia Bush hung out with NPR at the "table for kids with peanut allergies" this past weekend, as our guest for the White House Correspondents' Dinner. (Clearly she doesn't carry the same attitudes as her popular, captain-of-the-cheerleading-squad character on One Tree Hill).
It's the end of an era at the Little Art Theatre in Yellow Springs, Ohio. On Tuesday, the theater will run its old, 35 mm film projector for the last time. Then, starting Wednesday, it will close for several months to install an expensive new digital projection system.
An openly gay basketball player? Next thing you know, there will be openly clever ScuttleButton puzzles.
Only not this week.
ScuttleButton, of course, is that once-a-week waste of time exercise in which each Monday or Tuesday I put up a vertical display of buttons on this site. Your job is to simply take one word (or concept) per button, add 'em up, and, hopefully, you will arrive at a famous name or a familiar expression. (And seriously, by familiar, I mean it's something that more than one person on Earth would recognize.)
On NBC's Parks and Recreation, former stand-up comedian Retta plays office manager Donna Meagle. Donna is mostly in the background of the show, but is known for obsessing over her Mercedes SUV and for creating the Parks and Rec Treat Yo Self holiday.
Retta says this character is quite different from the roles she was offered in the beginning of her acting career.