Last year, Venezuelans suffered from a shortage of toilet paper. Well, now thanks to government bureaucracy, another kind of paper is in low supply, newsprint. As John Otis reports, that's forced some Venezuelan newspapers to trim their size or, worse, stop printing all together.
Lawmakers are promising new efforts to restore jobless benefits for long-term unemployed, but it may take a while - 1.4 million people who've been out of work long term saw their benefits disappear three weeks ago. Congress failed to agree on funding to renew them. NPR's Tovia Smith visited with a few people who are without work in Boston.
Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors, and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:
The Portland, Ore., band Blitzen Trapper has spent seven albums refining its style, which mixes Americana, folk and rock with a wild-eyed psychedelic side. Its newest record is titled VII.
Singer-songwriter Eric Early wrote a piece for the New York Times Opinionator blog last year called "The Tale of The Seed and The Song," and we'll find out about some of the seeds of these new songs here.
Richard Powers' new novel, Orfeo, tells the story of an avant-garde classical music composer who finds himself dabbling in DNA. Like the Orpheus myth that inspired the book's name, this story takes its hero, Peter Els, on a journey. He becomes a fugitive accused of bioterror, but what follows is also a walk back into the recesses of his own memory told through the music and people he's loved and lost.
Nothing ends the tech week with a bang like the president's much-anticipated words on the NSA. But let's start with the weekly roundup of tech news from here at NPR and our friends at publications around the country.
Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 6:12 pm
Tom Coburn will leave the Senate with a reputation as "Dr. No," but not necessarily as doctrinaire.
The Oklahoma Republican, who at age 65 is undergoing his fifth bout of cancer, announced that he will resign in December, two years before his second term expires.
"This decision isn't about my health, my prognosis or even my hopes and desires," Coburn, a physician, said in a statement. "As a citizen, I am now convinced that I can best serve my own children and grandchildren by shifting my focus elsewhere."
Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 7:13 pm
In a period of just over two years, Pope Benedict XVI defrocked nearly 400 priests for molesting children, according to the AP, which says it obtained a document representing a rare collection of such data.
As of Friday afternoon, NPR hasn't independently confirmed the AP's information, not having seen the document. Here's a bit of context from NPR's Sylvia Poggioli in Rome:
"If confirmed, the number of nearly 400 marks a sharp increase over the 170 priests removed in 2008 and 2009, when the Vatican first provided details on the number of defrocked priests.