2:44pm

Fri November 23, 2012
Middle East

Just Another Day In Damascus

A man walks near buildings damaged after shelling by forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar Assad, at Harasta, a suburb of Damascus, on Nov. 19.
Abed Al-Kareem Muhammad Shaam News Network/HOReuters /Landov

Editor's Note: Throughout the Syrian uprising, the government has allowed few foreign journalists and other outsiders into the country, and there has been limited information about life in many parts of the country. In this essay, a Syrian citizen describes life in the capital, Damascus. For security reasons, NPR is not identifying the author.

Read more

1:32pm

Fri November 23, 2012
World

Russia, U.S. Seek To Resolve Friction On Adoptions

Originally published on Fri November 23, 2012 6:29 pm

Artyom Savelyev, now 9, was sent back to Russia on a plane by his adoptive U.S. mother in 2010. The case stirred anger in Russia.
Misha Japaridze AP

Americans have been adopting Russian children in sizable numbers for two decades, and most of the unions have worked out well. But it remains a sensitive topic in Russia, where officials periodically point to high-profile cases of abuse or other problems.

Now, the two countries are putting the finishing touches on a new agreement governing these adoptions. It will make the process costlier and more time-consuming, but it's designed to address a host of concerns.

Some Russian officials still seem to bristle at the very thought of foreigners adopting Russian children.

Read more

1:03pm

Fri November 23, 2012
World Cafe

Ben Folds Five On World Cafe

Originally published on Mon November 26, 2012 12:50 pm

(From left) Robert Sledge, Ben Folds and Darren Jessee of Ben Folds Five.
Courtesy of the artist

Three albums into a thriving career, Ben Folds Five abruptly announced it was over in 2000. Luckily for fans, Folds got the band back together 11 years later and even released a new album, The Sound of the Life of the Mind, this September.

The album is classic Ben Folds Five — at times irreverent, cerebral, quirky, wistful and playful. The Sound of the Life of the Mind peaked at No. 10 on the Billboard 200 and the video for the first single, "Do It Anyway," features Anna Kendrick, Rob Corddry and the cast of Fraggle Rock.

Read more

12:54pm

Fri November 23, 2012
Movies

What Happened To 'Baby Jane'? She's Turning 50

Originally published on Fri November 23, 2012 1:33 pm

Bette Davis in the role of Jane Hudson in What Ever Happened To Baby Jane? The classic horror film, which has just turned 50, is being released on Blu-ray
AP

Baby Jane Hudson is now 50 years old — or at least the strange and brilliant movie in which she's the main character is, just released as a beautifully remastered Blu-ray. Robert Aldrich's grotesque gothic tragedy is a cross between Gypsy, with its antithetical show-biz kid sisters, and Sunset Boulevard, with its decayed Hollywood glamour.

Read more

11:28am

Fri November 23, 2012
Movie Reviews

A Boy, A Boat, A Tiger: Reflecting On 'Life Of Pi'

Originally published on Fri November 23, 2012 12:54 pm

Pi Patel (Suraj Sharma) begins a journey of personal growth and spiritual discovery after being lost at sea.
20th Century Fox

Director Ang Lee has a surprising affinity for the Indian hero of Life of Pi — that's his name, Pi, and he's seen at several ages but principally as a 17-year-old boy adrift on a lifeboat in the South Pacific. He's the lone survivor of a shipwreck that killed the crew, his family and a variety of zoo animals his father was transporting to North America for sale.

Actually, Pi is the lone human survivor. He shares his boat and its dwindling food supplies with a man-eating Bengal tiger.

Read more

10:13am

Fri November 23, 2012
World

Italian Women Call For Action Against 'Femicide'

Originally published on Fri November 23, 2012 9:02 pm

Demonstrators rally to protest violence against women in a march in Milan, Italy, in November 2009. This year, more than 100 women in Italy have been killed by their male partners.
Antonio Calanni AP

Already this year, 105 women in Italy have been killed by husbands or boyfriends –- present or former.

Vanessa Scialfa, 29, was killed by her partner in Sicily. Alessia Francesca Simonetta, 25, was pregnant when she was stabbed to death by her boyfriend in Milan. Carmella Petrucci, 17, was stabbed in the throat as she tried to defend her sister from her ex-boyfriend.

Police inspector Francesca Monaldi, who heads the gender crime unit in Rome, says the names and the cities change, but the stories are very similar.

Read more

9:33am

Fri November 23, 2012
The Two-Way

Egyptians Take To The Streets After President Expands Powers

Originally published on Fri November 23, 2012 11:31 am

Egyptian opponents and supporters of President Mohammed Morsi clashed here in Alexandria and in other cities on Friday. The protests broke out a day after Morsi gave himself sweeping new powers.
AFP/Getty Images

Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi was showered with international praise on Wednesday as he brokered a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

On Friday, he was the target of angry protesters in Cairo's Tahrir Square as they denounced Morsi's decision to grant himself sweeping new powers a day earlier.

Read more

9:21am

Fri November 23, 2012
The Two-Way

Why 'Black Friday' Has Dark Roots

Originally published on Fri November 23, 2012 12:43 pm

People waited in line to make purchases at a Macy's department store in New York during last year's "Black Friday" shopping weekend.
Stan Honda AFP/Getty Images

Black Friday may not yet be a bigger holiday than Thanksgiving, but it certainly has a bigger marketing budget. Retailers may have needed it to overcome the term's long and negative history.

Read more

8:03am

Fri November 23, 2012
Music

Jazz Vocalist Susie Arioli Goes 'All The Way'

Originally published on Fri November 23, 2012 12:54 pm

Susie Arioli's new album, All the Way, was released in June.
Marianne Larochelle

This interview was originally broadcast on Aug. 8, 2012.

Read more

7:54am

Fri November 23, 2012
It's All Politics

How To Oust A Congressman, SuperPAC-Style

Originally published on Fri November 23, 2012 12:53 pm

U.S. Rep. Joe Baca of California, shown at the 2008 Democratic National Convention, learned the power of superPACs firsthand this year, when he lost for the first time since he was elected in 1999.
Jae C. Hong AP

After spending millions of dollars in the presidential and Senate campaigns with little to show for it, many superPACs and other outside groups are still tending their wounds. But it's too soon to write off superPACs as a waste of wealthy donors' money.

Consider, for instance, this upset in a congressional race outside Los Angeles.

Read more

Pages