This was a good year for cross-genre pollination. It was packed with brilliant books that stretched the boundaries of what counts as science fiction and fantasy — and even what counts as fiction itself. Authors like Ken MacLeod and G. Willow Wilson spun tales that begin as near-future dystopian science fiction, only to turn abruptly into fantastical tales of supernatural creatures. Call it magical cyberpunk realism.
Stationed in a covert base overseas, Maya (Jessica Chastain) is a member of the elite team of spies and military operatives who secretly devote themselves to finding Osama bin Laden in <em>Zero Dark Thirty</em>.
Kathryn Bigelow's kill-bin-Laden thriller Zero Dark Thirty is cool, brisk and packed with impressively real-sounding intelligence jargon. It presents itself as a work of journalism — just the facts, ma'am — but there's no doubting its perspective. It's the story of America's brilliant, righteous revenge.
The prologue is a black screen with sounds of Sept. 11: a hubbub of confusion and then, most terribly, the voice of a woman crying out to a 911 operator who tries vainly to assure her she'll be OK. The recording is genuine.
Originally published on Sun December 16, 2012 8:33 am
Many of us following the news out of Newtown, Conn., do not have a personal relationship with those murdered Friday. Some of us may not have children whom we need to guide as they see images from the scene.
Yet even without these connections, many people are looking for ways to process their grief and mourn the victims.
On a list of the world's highest-grossing tours of last year, you'll find a lot of familiar names: U2, Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga. And then, at No. 9, is an outlier: Andre Rieu, Dutch violinist and conductor of the Johann Strauss Orchestra.
Then-Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., and Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., observe voting in parliamentary elections in Lahore, Pakistan, in 2008. President Obama is reportedly considering Hagel as his next defense secretary, and Kerry for secretary of state.
Credit KM Chaudary / AP
Michele Flournoy is reportedly among those President Obama is considering for defense secretary.
Originally published on Tue December 18, 2012 11:50 am
In the category of unintended consequences, Susan Rice's announcement about her future could — under one scenario — mean a Republican in President Obama's inner circle, decorated Vietnam veterans overseeing the nation's military and its foreign policy, and another special election for Senate in Massachusetts.
And as police begin to piece together a picture of the gunman, Adam Lanza, they will also be looking at possible motives. Here in the studio with me is NPR science correspondent Shankar Vedantam.
And, Shankar, you have reported in the past about building profiles of these kinds of assailants. I mean, usually, we're talking about men. We're talking about often about white men. Does what we know about Lanza fit that profile of a mass shooter?
We're going to turn to other news for a moment and a story out of Egypt. Voters in that country began to turn out for the first phase of a controversial constitutional amendment. Opponents of that Islamist-backed draft constitution have been mounting protests for weeks. Some of those clashes turned deadly. Reporter Merrit Kennedy is in Alexandria, and she sent this report.
It's WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Guy Raz. Fred Rogers, better known as Mr. Rogers, was often asked by parents how to explain death to children. And so on his program one day, he decided to try and deal with that challenge. And here's how he started:
FRED ROGERS: When I was very young, I had a dog that I loved very much. Her name was Mitzi. And she got to be old, and she died. I was very sad when she died, because she and I were good pals. And when she died, I cried.
Originally published on Tue December 18, 2012 4:49 pm
Former South African President Nelson Mandela was recovering Saturday after surgery to remove gallstones, the government said. There was no indication when the 94-year-old anti-apartheid leader would be released from the hospital, though the government said he was recovering well.
Mandela was admitted to the unnamed hospital in the capital, Pretoria, a week ago. As the BBC's Karen Allen told our Newscast Unit, there's been much concern about his health and limited detail about his medical condition.