Movie Reviews
5:03 pm
Thu August 2, 2012

In A Decrepit Future, An Identity Crisis Multiplies

Doug Quaid (Colin Farrell) visits Rekall, a company that implants memories in its customers, in an attempt to explain a series of recurring dreams. Farrell plays the role originally portrayed by Arnold Schwarzenegger in the 1990 film of the same name.
Michael Gibson Columbia Pictures

Set in a high-tech yet shabby future, the remake of Total Recall is a fully realized piece of production design. But its script, credited to six authors, is more like a preliminary sketch.

Directed by Underworld franchise veteran Len Wiseman, the movie retains some elements of Paul Verhoeven's friskier (and more graphically violent) 1990 original. Yet it also makes lots of changes, notably by downplaying the brain-bending aspects of the scenario in favor of thought-free action. (Also, it never leaves a devastated Earth for Mars.)

Read more
Election 2012
4:27 pm
Thu August 2, 2012

New Target In Voter ID Battle: 1965 Voting Rights Act

A voter casts his ballot in a West Miami, Fla., fire station during the Republican primary in January.
J Pat Carter AP

Originally published on Fri August 3, 2012 9:49 am

A landmark federal law used to block the adoption of state voter identification cards and other election rules now faces unprecedented legal challenges.

A record five federal lawsuits filed this year challenge the constitutionality of a key provision in the Voting Rights Act. The 1965 statute prevents many state and local governments from enacting new voter ID requirements, redistricting plans and similar proposals on grounds that the changes would disenfranchise minorities.

Read more
The Two-Way
4:22 pm
Thu August 2, 2012

At 'English-Only' Hearing, Rep. Conyers Delivers His Statement In Spanish

Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

It was a controversial hearing to begin with. This morning, a House subcommittee was looking into a bill that would make English the official language of the United States and require that government functions like naturalization ceremonies be conducted in English.

Democratic Rep. John Conyers of Michigan was not a fan, so he decided to deliver his opening statement in Spanish.

First he thanked the chairman, then he proceeded to assail the measure.

Read more
Shots - Health Blog
4:16 pm
Thu August 2, 2012

The Science Of Ritual: Why We Seek Help And Healing In Repetition

Devotees take part in rituals and offer gifts in celebration of Yemanja Day, in Salvador, Bahia state, Brazil, in February.
Ricardo Cardosa DPA /Landov

Originally published on Thu August 9, 2012 4:21 pm

A few days ago, I found myself sitting in a room full of cross-legged yogis with my sweaty hands resting on the sweaty knees of the people beside me, bellowing a mantra in unison over and over again. What united us at that yoga studio was empathy for yoga instructor Michael Joel Hall, who was savagely beaten as he walked home earlier that week with his boyfriend.

Read more
Theater
4:07 pm
Thu August 2, 2012

Playwright Fugard Bucked South Africa's 'Racist Ideas'

South African playwright, actor and director Athol Fugard was a thorn in the apartheid regime's side. Now 80, he calls any suggestion that he would slow down "nonsense."
Gregory Costanzo

South African playwright, actor and director Athol Fugard describes the time Nelson Mandela was released from prison in 1990 as "a period of euphoria that was the most extraordinary experience of my life."

He says he was also convinced he would be the country's "first literary redundancy."

"My life had been defined by the apartheid years," he tells Michel Martin, host of NPR's Tell Me More. "Now we were going into an era of democracy ... and I believed that I didn't really have a function as a useful artist in that anymore."

Read more
Economy
4:01 pm
Thu August 2, 2012

What Can We Do To Fix The Economy?

Courtesy of Jared Bernstein

U.S. employment is stalled, growth is anemic, and the Federal Reserve has decided not to take action for at least another month.

Most economists weren't expecting the Federal Open Markets Committee, which sets the Fed's monetary policy, to announce another round of quantitative easing — a fancy term that basically means the central bank buys bonds to increase the money supply and make borrowing cheaper — at this week's meeting. Still, that's exactly what a number of them think is needed.

Read more
The Two-Way
3:39 pm
Thu August 2, 2012

Knight Capital Says It Lost $440 Million Because Of Computer Glitch

Remember the computer glitch that caused market turmoil Wednesday morning?

As we told you, it was caused by a computer glitch that accidentally forced Knight Capital Group to buy a great number of stocks.

Read more

Maureen Corrigan, book critic for NPR's Fresh Air, is a critic-in-residence and lecturer at Georgetown University. She is an associate editor of and contributor to Mystery and Suspense Writers (Scribner) and the winner of the 1999 Edgar Award for Criticism, presented by the Mystery Writers of America.

Corrigan served as a juror for the 2011 Pulitzer Prize in Fiction. So We Read On, her forthcoming book on the extraordinary "second act" of The Great Gatsby, will be published by Little, Brown in September 2014.

The Two-Way
2:06 pm
Thu August 2, 2012

48 Years After Divorce, Couple Is Giving Marriage Another Shot

The happy couple. Lena Henderson and Roland Davis, who will marry again on Saturday.
David Duprey AP

Originally published on Thu August 2, 2012 6:39 pm

As Lena Henderson says, she hadn't been expecting to remarry Roland Davis some 48 years after their divorce, but "you never know what tomorrow is going to bring."

All Things Considered today tells the touching story of how the two 85-year-olds are set to tie the knot again on Saturday in Buffalo, N.Y.

Read more
The Two-Way
1:56 pm
Thu August 2, 2012

With Peace Plan In Tatters, Kofi Annan Resigns As Syria Envoy

UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan looks on before a meeting at his office at the United Nations Offices in Geneva.
Fabrice Coffrini AFP/Getty Images

As the international envoy to Syria, Kofi Annan was supposed to bridge divides and bring peace and perhaps even a political transition in the country. But his role was an exercise in frustration with both the regime of Bashar Assad and the rebels ignoring ceasefire agreements.

On the diplomatic front, he was also stymied by the gulf that existed between Russia and China and the rest of the U.N., which supported tougher sanctions against Assad.

Read more

Pages