From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
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And I'm Melissa Block.
President Obama's nominee to lead the Pentagon spent the day getting grilled by his former colleagues in the Senate. Chuck Hagel is a Republican and President Obama picked him in part as a gesture to the GOP. But today's hearing did not feature a lot of bipartisan warmth. As NPR's Tom Bowman reports, it was Hagel's stellar Republicans who gave him the toughest time and forced him to defend his record.
Melissa spent months looking for a job — any job. For days, the 25-year-old consistently visited her welfare-to-work program in downtown Brooklyn, resume in hand and an interview smile splashed across her face.
"Every day, Monday through Friday, 9 to 4," she explains. "That's dedication."
Melissa, who asked us to not reveal her last name, has plenty of job experience. She's a self-identified "people person" and says she aces every interview. But there's just one thing holding her back: the past.
Brazilian federal police patrol the Mamore River, which separates Brazil from Bolivia. The river is used by traffickers to ferry cocaine from Bolivia into Brazil, where cocaine consumption is rising rapidly.
Credit Juan Forero/NPR
An agent of Brazil's Forca Nacional, an agency made up of military policemen, stands guard in a largely abandoned border hamlet that is used by drug traffickers to ferry cocaine from neighboring Bolivia.
As cocaine consumption falls in the United States, South American drug traffickers have begun to pioneer a new soft target for their product: big and increasingly affluent Brazil.
And the source of the cocaine is increasingly Bolivia, a landlocked country that shares a 2,100-mile border with Brazil.
As Brazilian police officers and border agents can attest, the drug often finds its way to Brazil by crossing the Mamore River, which separates the state of Rondonia from Bolivia in the heart of South America.
The Italian art-house film Caesar Must Die and the teen zombie-comedy Warm Bodies do not, at first glance, appear to have much in common. But they share a bit of creative DNA, both being inventive riffs that turn Shakespearean tragedies into something else entirely.
On 53rd Street and Vermont Avenue in South Los Angeles, violent members of at least six gangs run the streets. A landmark church is boarded up and tagged. There are liquor stores and abandoned lots. On Tuesday night, there was a drive-by shooting two blocks away, and folks are expecting retaliation.This is an area where murders, robberies and rapes are common — and so are guns.
"There's too many guns out there," says Randolph Wright, 18. "I can tell you right now, every hood has an AK[-47]. Regardless of whatever other gun they got, they have an AK."
Dave Grohl has always been a joy to watch onscreen, whether bashing away at a drum kit like the heavy-footed, wild-haired spawn of John Bonham and the Muppets' Animal in Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" video, or flashing an endearingly goofy grin in the Mentos-spoof clip for the Foo Fighters' "Big Me." And a big part of that appeal is the sense that no matter how long he's been in the business, Grohl is still a guy who is acutely aware that he's living out a teenage daydream every day of his life.
Intended as a victory lap for three great stars of advancing age, Stand Up Guys is another entry in the "old folks doing stuff" subgenre, which offers comic affirmation that life is not strictly for the young.
Adapted from a French graphic novel and outfitted with an ethnically diverse cast, Bullet to the Head is an artifact of a newly internationalized Hollywood. But that doesn't mean it feels especially new.
Over the past year, small gnomes started springing up all around Oakland, Calif. The elfin creatures are hand-painted on wooden boards; each is about 6 inches tall, with red hat, brown boots and white beard. They're bits of urban folk art from an anonymous painter who surreptitiously screws them onto the base of utility poles.
Originally published on Thu January 31, 2013 3:59 pm
Shots were fired at an Atlanta middle school, this afternoon, several news outlets are reporting. The Associated Press quotes an Atlanta fire official saying that a 14-year-old had been shot at Price Middle School.
WSBTV reports that one teacher was injured and the condition of the teen is not known.
Officially as of last week, there's nothing quite like Apple's stores. After an array of patents of its products, Apple has decided to go whole hog and trademark its minimalist store design. The trademark was approved by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Jan. 22, Reuters reported.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) told Fox News that Secretary of State Hilary Clinton "got away with murder" for her handling of the attacks on the U.S. consulate in Libya. Ambassador Thomas Pickering, who led the independent investigation into the attacks, talks about the future of diplomatic security.
The traditional American shooting range is extending its range.
In Summerville, S.C., for example, the ATP Gunshop & Range stages community-minded blood drives and Toys-for-Tots collections. Twice a week there are Ladies Nights, where women can learn to fire pistols and receive free T-shirts.
The New York Times writer Jon Pareles called Lionel Loueke "the gentle virtuoso" for the engaging way Loueke melds African guitar traditions with jazz harmony. Loueke gets African-style rhythms going, tapping on his guitar and using his effects pedals. He sings and harmonizes with his own voice.
Originally published on Thu January 31, 2013 12:42 pm
President Barack Obama says he hopes that the immigration reform plan designed out by a bipartisan Senate committee will become a bill as soon as March. The president also warned, that this debate will become more heated and emotional as it moves ahead.
The Washington Post's Fact Checker takes on the subject of whether President Obama was shooting straight when he told The New Republic that he has fired a gun and that "we do skeet shooting all the time" at Camp David.
On a new box set collecting the first four albums of Jack DeJohnette and his band Special Edition, two discs are gems and the other two have their moments. DeJohnette's quartet-slash-quintet was fronted by smoking saxophonists on the way up, set loose on catchy riffs and melodies. The springy rhythm section could tweak the tempos like no one this side of '60s goddess Laura Nyro.
A $20.1 billion merger of beer conglomerates is now delayed, after the U.S. Justice Department sued to stop Anheuser-Busch InBev's acquisition of Mexico's dominant brewer, Grupo Modelo, Thursday. The agency's antitrust division says the two corporations haven't done enough to protect consumers.
The deal would put Corona, Bud Light, Stella Artois, and other popular beers under the same corporate umbrella, ending the competition that Justice officials say has resulted in lower prices. The Mexican government approved the merger last November.