State and National News


Movie Reviews
10:11 pm
Sat June 22, 2013

Age And Mortality, Mournful Notes In A Familiar 'Song'

Gemma Arterton plays Elizabeth, the director of a senior citizens' choir that provides an outlet for curmudgeon retiree Arthur (Terence Stamp) and his wife, Marion, who's battling cancer.
The Weinstein Co.

Originally published on Thu June 20, 2013 4:03 pm

As a pitch, at least, Unfinished Song might raise a few eyebrows: Amour meets School of Rock. (Or Joyful Noise. Or Pitch Perfect).

Paul Andrew Williams' fourth film tells the story of Arthur (Terence Stamp) and Marion (Vanessa Redgrave), an elderly couple coping with the recent news that Marion's cancer is now terminal. The doctor has given her two months to live — just enough time for Marion to help her seniors' choir, the OAPz, qualify for a singing competition. Their name stands for Old Age Pensioners; the "z" is for spunk.

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Planet Money
10:11 pm
Sat June 22, 2013

Planet Money Is Hiring


Originally published on Thu June 20, 2013 3:50 pm

We're looking for a visual journalist bursting with great ideas who can lay out a compelling vision and execute on it. Someone great. We're not exactly sure what your title would be, but here's what we'd like you to do:

Essential Duties Include:

  • Tell stories with any combination of data, drawings, photos, videos. Words, too, if you need them. Your job, should you choose to accept it, will have you producing your own work, coaching others and running freelancers, all at the same time.

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Microphone Check
10:09 pm
Sat June 22, 2013

Statik Selektah On Boom Bap And His Mom's Favorite Rapper

Statik Selelktah.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue September 3, 2013 10:42 am

  • Ali Shaheed Muhammad And Frannie Kelley With Statik Selektah

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10:08 pm
Sat June 22, 2013

Supreme Court: Provision In AIDS Law Violates Free Speech

People line up to enter the Supreme Court building on April 22, when the court heard arguments in the Agency for International Development v. Alliance for Open Society International case.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 20, 2013 8:18 pm

The U.S. Supreme Court, headed into its final days of the term, left all of its marquee cases undecided on Thursday. Still being hashed out in private by the justices are two same-sex-marriage cases, plus major tests of affirmative action in higher education and the Voting Rights Act. No more decisions are expected this week.

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Monkey See
10:07 pm
Sat June 22, 2013

To Be, Or Not To Be (Covered By The AP)

Originally published on Fri June 21, 2013 3:45 pm

Ever so quietly this week, the national arts scene became a bit more fragmented, a bit more stratified and a lot more invisible. The Associated Press has just spiked a chunk of its opera, dance and off-Broadway coverage. And in this case, no news is bad news.

In an email, AP chief theater writer Mark Kennedy described the decision to me:

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The Protojournalist
10:03 pm
Sat June 22, 2013

Online Tracking: Is Everyone Doing It?

Gabriel Weinberg is the founder and CEO of DuckDuckGo.
Courtesy of Duck Duck Go

Originally published on Thu June 20, 2013 1:48 pm

Today's phrase: "search engines that do not collect personal information."

We Googled it this morning (with the quotation marks) and got one measly hit — a 2012 forum in LinuxQuestions, a message board that explores the open-source operating system.

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The Salt
10:03 pm
Sat June 22, 2013

Why Slave Labor Still Plagues The Global Food System

Workers process shrimp at a factory in Thailand in 2009.
Chumsak Kanoknan Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 21, 2013 9:01 am

When the State Department released its annual report on human trafficking Wednesday, we got a chilling reminder that even in 2013, slave labor is still embedded in the global food system.

As many as 27 million men, women and children are estimated to be trafficking victims at any given time, according to the report. And some of those victims, the State Department says, are later forced to work in agriculture and food processing (though no one has a good idea how many).

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Author Interviews
10:02 pm
Sat June 22, 2013

'Blood & Beauty' Breathes New Life Into The Borgias

Sarah Dunant is also author of the novels The Birth of Venus and Sacred Hearts.
Charlie Hopkinson

Originally published on Fri June 21, 2013 11:48 am

In the 1500s, Italy is bursting with some of the most influential and vivid figures in history. Many — like Leonardo da Vinci, who balanced art and the sciences; Galileo Galilei, who turned his telescope to the heavens; and Niccolo Machiavelli, who calculated the ruthless politics of the day — are still remembered even now for their major contributions.

Author Sarah Dunant has drilled down into the Italian Renaissance for over a decade — reconstructing a time of artistic innovation, political corruption and war into captivating, and highly accurate, fiction.

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It's All Politics
10:02 pm
Sat June 22, 2013

4 Facts You Might Not Have Known About The IRS Scandal

Dennis Brack Landov

Originally published on Mon July 8, 2013 12:52 pm

For a little more than a month now, we've been reporting on the IRS's flagging of Tea Party and conservative groups for extra scrutiny. Through it all, some basic questions remain: Who ordered the targeting? And why?

We don't have any satisfying answers to those questions yet — and it seems neither do the congressional investigators. But along the way, as new revelations have trickled out, we've noticed some surprising and even puzzling facts about the situation that haven't gotten much attention.

Here are four of them:

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The Two-Way
10:02 pm
Sat June 22, 2013

Singapore Endures Record Smog

The sun rises over the Singapore Central Business District as smog shrouds the city-state on Thursday.
Joseph Nair AP

Originally published on Thu June 20, 2013 12:07 pm

Face mask-clad Singaporeans enduring record-breaking smog got some more bad news from their government on Thursday: The pollution may last awhile.

The choking smog that blanketed the city-state earlier this week, generated by burning clear-cutting fires in Indonesia, has gone well beyond the "hazardous" level on the Pollutant Standards Index, hitting 371 on Wednesday before coming back down to about 250. The previous record was 226, reached in 1997.

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