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All Tech Considered
11:38 pm
Thu January 12, 2012

CES: Tech Launching Pad, Home To 8M Types Of iPod Cases

H2O has figured out a way to waterproof gadgets. The company was a media sensation at this year's CES.
H20

More than 3,100 companies flocked to the Consumer Electronics Show this year to hawk their wares. The show's host, the consumer Electronic Association, estimates roughly 20,000 products were launched at the show this year. And chances are good that many – maybe even most — will fail.

The show will close its doors Friday and there are lots of little companies and entrepreneurs packing up that may not make it back next year. Still, their hustle is infectious. And with luck, a few startups launched here this year could go on to become huge.

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Deceptive Cadence
11:28 pm
Thu January 12, 2012

Will The Show Go On At New York City Opera?

The embattled general manager and artistic director of New York City Opera, George Steel.
Jason Kempin Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 13, 2012 10:50 am

For almost 70 years, New York City has been home to two opera companies: the well-heeled Metropolitan Opera and its scrappy younger sibling, the New York City Opera. But City Opera has fallen on hard times, and a bitter labor dispute might mean curtains for this beloved institution.

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Planet Money
11:01 pm
Thu January 12, 2012

The Transformation Of American Factory Jobs, In One Company

Maddie Parlier at work.
Dean Kaufman The Atlantic

Originally published on Sat January 14, 2012 1:46 pm

This is the second in a two-part series. Part one is here. For more, see Adam Davidson's cover story in this month's issue of The Atlantic.

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Afghanistan
11:01 pm
Thu January 12, 2012

In Afghanistan, Some Former Taliban Become Police

The northern Afghan town of Char Bolak is guarded by the Critical Infrastructure Police, an auxiliary police program. The U.S. is increasingly relying on ad hoc local militias to fight the Taliban, but residents and government officials have concerns about the militias.
Quil Lawrence NPR

Originally published on Fri January 13, 2012 10:50 am

NATO officials say they have reversed a disturbing trend in northern Afghanistan.

In 2009 and 2010, Taliban insurgents made inroads across the north of the country, which had been secure for years. NATO says that last year it brought the north back under control, but Afghan officials say it's thanks to one of the most controversial American tactics here: the use of ad hoc local militias.

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StoryCorps
11:01 pm
Thu January 12, 2012

Threats And Lies, And 'Who I'm Supposed To Be'

Nathan Hoskins told Sally Evans the story of how his mother tried to scare him out of being gay, during a visit to StoryCorps in Lexington, Ky.
StoryCorps

Nathan Hoskins knew from an early age that he was gay. But when he was growing up in rural Kentucky, his mother took extreme steps to convince him otherwise.

"When I was in sixth grade, I had met a good friend and he wasn't interested in girls," Hoskins, who's now 33, tells his friend Sally Evans. "One day, he said, 'I have a Valentine's Day card for you.'"

"I asked him for it, and he said it was so special that he mailed it," he says. "And he didn't know he'd done a very terrible thing because at my house only one person got the mail — and that was my mother."

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Economy
11:01 pm
Thu January 12, 2012

In GOP Campaign, Private Equity Firms Draw Flak

Originally published on Fri January 13, 2012 11:20 am

Was Mitt Romney a job-creating turnaround artist? Or was he, as some on the campaign trail have said, a "vulture capitalist"? That question has become a top issue in the Republican presidential primaries.

In the 1980s, Romney ran a private equity firm called Bain Capital. It's an industry where it's hard to avoid getting your hands dirty.

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Economy
11:01 pm
Thu January 12, 2012

Layoffs Hit Wall Street As Financial Needs Change

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in December. In the past year, banks in New York and around the country have announced tens of thousands of job cuts, as there isn't the same need for some financial services as before.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 13, 2012 10:50 am

It's hard to tell if the Occupy Wall Street protests had much impact on banks, but banks are doing some de-Occupying within their own ranks. It wasn't as bad as the massive layoffs following the 2008 meltdown, but last year was painful for Wall Street. Bank of America, Citigroup, Goldman, Morgan Stanley — almost all the big banks — announced big layoffs, totaling more than 60,000 employees.

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Election 2012
11:01 pm
Thu January 12, 2012

Evangelical Leaders Struggle To Crown A Candidate

Richard Land, president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention, testifies before Congress on July 14, 2010. He thinks religious conservatives should try to rally behind a candidate other than Mitt Romney.
Alex Brandon AP

Rick Santorum was fresh off his surprise showing in the Iowa caucuses and fielding questions on a radio program, when a caller challenged the Republican presidential candidate on his overt religiosity.

"He said, 'We don't need a Jesus candidate. We need an economic candidate,' " Santorum recalled later, at a town hall meeting in New Hampshire. "And my answer to that was, 'We always need a Jesus candidate, right?' "

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World
11:01 pm
Thu January 12, 2012

In Russia's Far East, A Frayed Link To Moscow

Compared to many of the dynamic economies in Asia, development is Russia's Far East is limited. Here, men wait for a ferry to take them to Russky Island just off Vladivostok, on Russia's Pacific Coast. In the background, a bridge to the island is being built.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Fri January 13, 2012 10:50 am

After a train journey of nearly 6,000 miles from Moscow, the Russian Pacific port of Vladivostok can feel like a different country. The people and the language are still Russian, but the strong Asian influence is undeniable. And many residents say the bond to the rest of Russia has been growing weaker, while the ties to Asia have been growing stronger since the Soviet breakup two decades ago. NPR's David Greene has this report as he wraps up his journey on the Trans-Siberian railway.

The last of three stories

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It's All Politics
11:01 pm
Thu January 12, 2012

GOP Primary Campaign Inundates South Carolina TV Viewers

Originally published on Fri January 13, 2012 10:50 am

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Business
11:01 pm
Thu January 12, 2012

Kodak Retirees Worry Amid Bankruptcy Talk

Amid recent reports that Kodak could be headed into bankruptcy, financial advisers in Rochester, N.Y., where the company is based, are seeing more and more Kodak retirees who are anxious about their personal financial futures.

Once upon a time, Kodak provided secure, good-paying jobs to tens of thousands of local residents. For about the past 25 years, the company has been shedding local employees — from a high of more than 60,000 in 1982 to about 6,000 today.

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World Cafe
6:01 pm
Thu January 12, 2012

Chris Isaak On World Cafe

On his new album, Chris Isaak croons his way through classic covers.
Courtesy of the artist

More than 20 years after his hit single, "Wicked Game," appeared in David Lynch's film Wild at Heart, Chris Isaak continues to produce the sort of timelessly yearning music that made him a star. Over the course of his 30-year career, Isaak has composed and crooned his way into the national spotlight with 15 albums and countless TV appearances.

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The Two-Way
5:10 pm
Thu January 12, 2012

VIDEO: Could It Be? A Snowboarding Bird?

A bird slides down a snowy roof.
YouTube

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Energy
4:53 pm
Thu January 12, 2012

Pro-Pipeline Canada To Americans: Butt Out, Eh?

OurDecision.ca campaign, which calls on Canadians to write to Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver asking him to ban foreigners and "their local puppet groups" from appearing before ongoing public hearings for a new pipeline project. " href="/post/pro-pipeline-canada-americans-butt-out-eh" class="noexit lightbox">
A screen shot from Ethical Oil's OurDecision.ca campaign, which calls on Canadians to write to Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver asking him to ban foreigners and "their local puppet groups" from appearing before ongoing public hearings for a new pipeline project.
OurDecision.ca

Originally published on Thu January 12, 2012 9:28 pm

Yet another foreign government has accused Americans of meddling in its internal affairs. It says U.S. donors are bankrolling local political activists, and it may be time for a crackdown on the political influence of outsiders.

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Around the Nation
4:48 pm
Thu January 12, 2012

Heavy Lobbying Before Keystone Oil Pipeline Decision

The Syncrude tar sands mine north of Fort McMurray, Alberta, is seen in November. Alberta's tar sands would supply the oil for the prospective Keystone XL pipeline.
Todd Korol Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu January 12, 2012 9:12 pm

The oil industry and environmentalists are fighting over the Keystone XL pipeline, and in this election year, President Obama is caught in the middle.

The industry says the pipeline, which would carry oil from Canada to the Gulf Coast, would create jobs. Environmentalists worry it will lead to more pollution. Obama has until next month to make a decision, and that has both sides lobbying heavily.

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