All Things Considered
The studio responsible for bizarre viral videos featuring 3-D animations of the news is more serious than you'd think. Go behind the scenes at the Taipei-based Next Media Animation to find out why this fast-moving — and controversial — company says it's charting the future of news.
In a community overrun with stray animals, one woman in Macon, Ga., has taken it upon herself to spay every single female dog at her own expense. The stray dog problem is acute in the South and has gotten worse since 2008. Kerri Fickling decided she would never really solve the problem piecemeal; the only solution was to stop overpopulation at the source, and if no one else would do it, she would. Adam Ragusea, of Georgia Public Broadcasting, reports on her quest.
Prickly relations between the U.S. and Islamabad are becoming even thornier because of one issue: the case of Shakil Afridi, the Pakistani doctor who helped the CIA find Osama bin Laden in 2011. Afridi is seen as a hero by many Americans, but that didn't deter Pakistan from jailing him for alleged militant ties. The U.S. Congress is withholding $33 million in aid to Pakistan until the doctor is freed. But Afridi's lawyer fears this tactic will antagonize Islamabad. He urgently wants Afridi freed, warning that the doctor is at severe risk of being killed by fellow prisoners.
Out of Cairo on Monday came new indications that Egypt's military chief, General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, will run for president in an election expected within the next three months. The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, Egypt's highest military body, disseminated a message praising Sisi and endorsing him for a presidential bid.
Attempts by Ukraine's president to quell anti-government protests — including an offer to install opposition leaders in a reshuffled cabinet — seem to have failed. The protests grew over the weekend and spread beyond the capital, Kiev. The protestors say they are determined to force the president's resignation and end what they call a corrupt and dictatorial regime.
On Sunday night, Daft Punk took home the top Grammy Awards — both for their hit single "Get Lucky" and its parent album, Random Access Memories. But if you were hoping to catch a glimpse of the faces behind their masks or hear the voices of the French electronic act, you were out of luck. Their collaborators spoke for them. Last year, though, the "robots" spoke with us about their work. In honor of their big wins, we revisit that interview.
For the first time, the Syrian peace conference brought the rival sides together, while Syria's competing media delegations faced off at even closer range. Pro-government and pro-rebel journalists reported on the same events for the first time, side by side. They sparred, traded insults and even threw some punches in a media war that is as hot as the fighting on the ground.
At the Syrian peace talks, government and opposition representatives held their first face-to-face discussion about a political transition — but by the end of the day, UN mediator Lakhdar Brahimi had no progress to report. He urged both sides to focus on the desperate humanitarian situation facing Syrians in several besieged cities.
Alan Cheuse reviews Roddy Doyle's latest novel, The Guts. The book revisits some of the characters from Doyle's debut hit, The Commitments.
Allegations that a young woman in India was gang-raped on the orders of an informal "Village Council" have sparked outrage across India. The woman was apparently punished for having relations with a man from outside her community. Critics have called for a crackdown on village councils, saying that they are based in a traditional and outdated concept of morality and that they undermine India's established law.
President Obama's aides have hinted that the president plans to make greater use of executive orders going forward, primarily in order to bypass a gridlocked Congress. To learn more about how past presidents have used these unchecked executive orders, Robert Siegel talks with Ken Mayer, an expert on presidential powers from the University of Wisconsin.
The political world is gearing up for President Obama's State of the Union on Tuesday night, an address in which the president gets to outline his priorities for the coming year. With tens of millions of people watching on TV and — the administration hopes — on their cell phones and tablets, the speech offers the chance to reframe the terms of many of the difficult issues that have so far dogged the president's second term.
After years of working at a restaurant by day and performing improv comedy by night, Bobby Moynihan got the opportunity of a lifetime: an audition for Saturday Night Live. But as Moynihan recalls, actually getting his 'big break' on the show was much more difficult.
Typhoon Haiyan was one of the strongest storms ever recorded at landfall when it struck the Philippines late last year. More than 6,000 people were killed and millions more were displaced, and authorities are still struggling with clearing away debris, rebuilding houses and counting the dead.
Like many cities nationwide, Cleveland is sending thousands of decades-old rape kits for testing. Investigators expect to reopen as many overlooked rape cases, but for some, justice comes too late.
A prolific collaborator, Crosby says a good song is better off shared than strategically set aside. His new solo studio album, Croz, is his first such release in two decades.
After hosting The Tonight Show for two decades, Jay Leno will pass the torch to Jimmy Fallon in February. NPR's Kelly McEvers tals with Matt Belloni, executive editor for The Hollywood Reporter, about the business of late-night talk shows.
Beginning next week, NPR News will be taking an in-depth look at the unprecedented oil drilling boom happening on the Northern Plains, where the state of North Dakota has fast become one of the nation's most productive drilling regions. NPR's Kelly McEvers talks with NPR reporter Kirk Siegler, back from a recent reporting trip in North Dakota for the series.
After a reading specialist at a kindergarten outside Chicago had a series of small strokes, she could no longer read. She's using her skills to teach herself how to recognize words again, but those who suffer from alexia face a long road back to literacy.
There's been a groundswell of support for coding education — "developer evangelists" host 24-hour code-a-thons and there's talk of teaching coding as early as kindergarten. But one critic says that's overkill. Afterall, he says, just because you drive a car doesn't mean that you have to be an auto mechanic.