Sound Stage 28 at Universal Studios in Burbank, Calif., looks like any other Hollywood set — littered with wires, crew members everywhere. We pick our way through cables and cameras and stuff that would make Oscar the Grouch's trash can look tidy.
But then we head up — up a flight of wooden stairs that leads to the old set of the 1925 Lon Chaney silent film The Phantom of the Opera. It's draped with dusty red-velvet swags, and it looks like it might still harbor a ghost or two.
In today's tough economy, many people are doing whatever they can to make it through one more mortgage payment or survive other financial hardships that have reached their doorstep. For some retirees, that means selling their pensions for a lump-sum payment.
"They don't have a lot of other avenues to go to," says Leslie Scism of the Wall Street Journal,who has reported on this trend. "For many people, it's a way to get some quick cash."
A second uprising seems to be developing in Cairo. Protesters in Tahrir Square, angry with the military-led transitional government, increased in number recently as police clashes with them have become more violent. Weekends on All Things Considered guest host Laura Sullivan talks with reporter Merrit Kennedy about the situation in Egypt.
It's been one month since Moammar Gadhafi's death. Libyans were celebrating within hours of his killing. A month later, the jubilance has waned and the violence continues. Weekends on All Things Considered guest host Laura Sullivan talks with New York Times correspondent Clifford Krauss from Tripoli.
Credit Dr. Debra Furr-Holden / Johns Hopkins School of Public Health
Addicts' movements around Baltimore are mapped onto images like this, showing levels of violence in each neighborhood. Other maps track things like visible drug use and vacant housing-- all factors that may contribute to an addict's decision to use drugs.
Comedian Bill Maher wraps up every installment of his TV show, Real Time, with a segment called "New Rules." That's where he takes potshots at whatever's bothering him — from wrappers on ice cream cones, to red light cameras, to more serious subjects like war and economic ruin.
His new book, The New New Rules: A Funny Look at How Everybody But Me Has Their Head Up Their Ass, sports a title we can't say on the radio and a mix of rules both lighthearted and serious, some of which never appeared on television.
Time is short for the congressional supercommittee to find $1.2 trillion in deficit reductions, but the prospects of a deal are dim.
Several committee members hit the airwaves to say why the panel is on the verge of failure. Democrats insist the problem is Republicans' steadfast unwillingness to raise taxes on the wealthy. While Republicans, including Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey, say Democrats aren't willing to make serious cuts to Medicare and Medicaid.
University of California Davis ChancellorÂ Linda P.B. Katehi walked through a three-block long group of silent protesters Friday night after campus police used pepper spray on some protesters earlier in the day. There have been calls for her resignation.
When apartheid ended in 1994, the new South African government laid out plans to achieve economic and social equality. A key goal was land reform. The government hoped to transfer 30 percent of white-owned farms to black ownership by 2014, but, as Anders Kelto reports, it's clear the government is nowhere near that goal.