"Two days before he died, Michael Jackson appeared strong during one of the final rehearsals for his highly anticipated comeback concerts, a promoter told jurors Wednesday as the involuntary manslaughter trial of the pop superstar's physician entered its second day."
Reebok International Ltd. came to an agreement with the Federal Trade Commission over what the government said were "over-hyped advertising claims" by Reebok that a pair of its specialty shoes could tone leg and butt muscles better than regular shoes.
One TV ad, cited by the FTC, claimed that Reebok's EasyTone shoes tone "your butt up to 28 percent more than regular sneakers, just by walking."
Over the past decade, the number of roundabouts in the U.S. has increased dramatically, from the low hundreds up to the thousands. Modern traffic circles can cut down on commute time and pollution. Studies have shown that they even reduce accidents. And many American cities are planning to put in more. But there are still a few roadblocks in the way of a true roundabout revolution.
Near a traffic circle in West Los Angeles, a nexus of car culture, NPR put up a handwritten sign that said, "Talk to a reporter about roundabouts."
Picture this: An alternate-reality, suspended-in-space American metropolis where steampunk contraptions –- like propeller-driven dirigibles, squeaky trolley wires and clunky robotic creatures –- operate against a backdrop of clanging liberty bells, red, white and blue powder kegs and jingoistic posters warning: "Patriots! Arm Thyself Against the Foreigners and Anarchists!"
Greece's capital city was gridlocked Wednesday as mass-transit workers walked off the job for the third day this week over fresh austerity measures imposed by the government in hopes of securing crucial bailout funds.
The 24-hour strike left Athens without buses, subway trains, taxis or trams. Workers in customs and tax offices also walked off the job, and scores of retirees picketed outside the Finance Ministry to protest pension cuts.
Originally published on Fri September 30, 2011 3:23 pm
UPDATE: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Thomas Frieden said in a press conference today that officials "do anticipate a rising number of cases in days and weeks to come" in the cantaloupe-listeria outbreak, the deadliest in over a decade.
"There are suspect cases that are under investigation" in the state, says Sherri McGarry, a senior advisor in FDA's office of foods, who has been involved in the investigation.
Republicans in the Sunshine State have long been expected to throw the 2012 GOP presidential primary-and-caucus season into its usual chaos.
Reports Wednesday that legislators will schedule the state's primary on Jan. 31, a week earlier than the tentative date for the usual first-in-the-nation Iowa presidential caucuses, would accomplish that.
Florida legislators are determined to have the state GOP primary go fifth in the contest order, behind only the national party-sanctioned early states of Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada.
The fried egg — a massive star surrounded by a double, outer ring of gaseous dust — is the closest yellow hypergiant star found neighboring Earth to date. Yellow hypergiants are rare, massive stars living in a phase of a star's life cycle that generally only lasts a few hundred thousand years — a flash in the lifespan of the galaxy. They consume a lot of energy to burn so brightly.
Originally published on Wed September 28, 2011 3:41 pm
Today, Amazon announced the debut of its 7-inch tablet, the Kindle Fire. Available for $199, the Kindle Fire is being positioned as a device that will deliver Amazon's e-books, MP3s, magazines, web browsing, and streaming video for less than half the price of full-featured tablets like the Apple iPad. The Fire is available for preorder starting today, and will ship November 15.
Originally published on Wed September 28, 2011 10:30 am
There's much breathless live-blogging going on in the tech world as Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos unveils his company's latest gadgets, including what Bloomberg News first reported will be a $199 tablet computer called Kindle Fire — Amazon's much-anticipated competitor to the iPad.
Originally published on Wed September 28, 2011 11:45 am
The controversial "Increase Diversity Bake Sale" sponsored by young Republicans at the University of California, Berkeley, brought a large crowd of students and others to the school's Sproul Plaza on Tuesday, and the student-run Daily Californian says the climax was a counter-demonstration "that saw hundreds of protesters lie on their backs."
Idris Elba tells Linda Wertheimer on Wednesday's Morning Edition that he didn't come to the United States from the UK to play "black roles," but merely "roles." And he has: roles like Stringer Bell on HBO's dark drug epic The Wire and John Luther, the central character of Luther, a drama series that returns for a second season tonight on BBC America.
Originally published on Wed September 28, 2011 7:16 am
The Washington Postwrites this morning that "Adm. Mike Mullen's assertion last week that an anti-American insurgent group in Afghanistan is a 'veritable arm' of Pakistan's spy service was overstated and contributed to overheated reactions in Pakistan and misperceptions in Washington, according to American officials involved in U.S. policy in the region."
The Land of 10,000 Lakes is being rebranded. Fast Company reports Nicole Meyer missed Minnesota's lakes when she moved away to Phoenix. She's keeping her Midwest roots in mind by designing logos for EACH Minnesota lake. She creates one per day, meaning she will finish in 27 years.
Here's a fact worth pondering: Farming accounts for 70 percent of all the water that's used for any purpose, worldwide. And demand for it is growing, along with the planet's population and our increasing appetite for meat. That's according to the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), which recently published this poster and others in a striking series on the vital role of water in growing our food.
Originally published on Wed September 28, 2011 9:05 am
When Texas Gov. Rick Perry announced plans to run for president, he made a point of noting that it was his wife, Anita, who urged him to go for it, to get out of his "comfort zone."
Step into the fray, she urged.
That fray in recent days has taken a toll on Perry, who had a roundly-panned performance at GOP presidential debate last week followed by a surprising drubbing in Saturday's Florida Republican presidential straw poll.
Joblessness can be particularly tough for those in middle age. The recession hit this age group hard, and they aren't getting rehired as quickly during the sluggish recovery.
Middle-aged workers face more financial demands than other age groups and are too young to retire, yet they also don't have as much time to work their way up again from the bottom rung like younger workers.
Some of our best ideas supposedly come to us in the shower: a business to start, an industry to shake up. Or maybe not, says entrepreneur Eric Ries.
"When we're in the shower, when we're thinking about our idea — boy, does it sound brilliant. But the reality is that most of our ideas are actually terrible," he says. "But it's hard to know which are the brilliant ones, and which are the crazy ones, until we actually test them against reality."
Vladimir Putin's planned run for the presidency next year comes as no surprise to U.S. policymakers. But it may make their lives more complicated and signal a return to more troubled times in U.S.-Russian relations.
Russia's dominant political party, United Russia, nominated Putin as its presidential candidate on Saturday. That virtually assures him that he will return to his old job, which he held from 1999 to 2008. The current president, Dmitry Medvedev, will be the candidate to replace Putin as prime minister.
In the coastal Mexican city of Acapulco, teachers are out on strike — not over wages, working conditions or pensions, but because of crime.
Teachers say they're being extorted, kidnapped and intimidated by local gangs and they're refusing to return to their classrooms until the government does something to protect them. Over the last two years, drug cartels fighting for control of Acapulco have terrorized the once-popular tourist resort.
Most baby boomers say they're planning on an active and healthy retirement, according to a new poll conducted by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health. And, in a switch from earlier years, more than two-thirds recognize the threat of long-term care expenses to their financial futures.
But some experts worry that when it comes to their health, boomers are still woefully unprepared — or worse, in denial.
After seven months of protests in Syria, the international community has stepped up economic pressure, and some of Syria's traditional allies have turned into critics.
Yet President Bashar Assad presses on with a relentless and bloody crackdown, and his government seems to be operating on its own timeline when it comes to the uprisings that have already toppled several Arab regimes.
The events in Syria suggest it's time for a reassessment of the Arab spring, according to Vali Nasr, a former U.S. government adviser and Middle East scholar at Tufts University.