American Idol, The Sing-Off, The Voice — there's no shortage of over-the-top, glitzy, ratings-driven music competitions on TV. And now Aretha Franklin is getting in on the singing contest circuit, but she's turning her searchlight on the world of classical music. That's right — the Queen of Soul is searching for the next great opera singer.
South Korea's president delivered this message yesterday to North Korea: It will respond strongly to any provocations under North Korea's new leader, Kim Jong-un. However, in a televised speech, Lee Myung-bak also promised that North-South relations could improve if Pyongyang halts its nuclear weapons program.
Reporter Doualy Xaykaothao recently hit the streets of Seoul, to find out what South Koreans think of the power shift in the north. And for many the answer is simple: They don't care.
This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.
ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
And I'm Robert Siegel. All of the attention that Iowa has gotten in the past year comes to a head tonight. Nearly 2000 precincts across that state will record the first votes in the presidential nominating contest. At most sites, Iowans will write a name on a blank piece of paper and put it in a box.
Robert Siegel talks with Sidney Milkis, author of Theodore Roosevelt, the Progressive Party, and the Transformation of American Democracy, about the U.S. presidential election of 1912 — when there was a viable third party on the ballot: the Bull Moose Party.
The Federal Reserve will now tell the public its expectations for short-term interest rates. In the minutes of the Fed's Open Market Committee Dec. 13 meeting , the Fed said it would update that forecast four times a year, beginning after its Jan. 24-25 meeting.
Myanmar has set parliamentary by-elections for April 1, scheduling a highly anticipated vote that will return dissident Aung San Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy to mainstream politics after two decades. Here, Suu Kyi attends a fundraising event for the party in Yangon, Myanmar, last month.
Credit Khin Maung Win / AP
People stand behind barricades as they wait for family members to be freed from Insein Prison in Yangon, Myanmar, on Tuesday. Myanmar's government announced Monday that it is reducing the sentences of many prisoners, but stopped short of declaring an amnesty for political prisoners that many people had expected.
The six-word memoir conceit grew into a popular series of books, but the editors know it's tough to share a meaningful story in so few words. So Smith Magazine released The Moment: Wild, Poignant, Life-Changing Stories from 125 Writers and Artists Famous and Obscure, a collection of longer tales.
Larry Smith,editor of the collection, joins NPR's Neal Conan to talk about the moments included in the book, and to hear listeners' stories of the moments that changed their lives.
Crime rates dropped sharply in the past twenty years, according to FBI data, a trend that continues despite the recession and a recent decrease in prison populations. Criminologists see a clear trend, but can't fully explain what's driving the decline in violent and property crime rates.