Originally published on Fri October 11, 2013 5:34 pm
We're all guilty of it. Even if we don't want to admit it, we've all been suckered into grabbing a bottle of wine off the grocery store shelf just because of what's on the label. Seriously, who can resist the "see no evil" monkeys on a bottle of Pinot Evil?
But the tricks that get us to buy a $9 bottle of chardonnay — or splurge on a $40 pinot noir — are way more sophisticated than putting a clever monkey on the front.
Most kidnapping melodramas have final scenes — after their climaxes — that are, effectively, throwaways. There are sighs of relief, tearful reunions with families, cameras that dolly back on domestic tableaux to suggest the world has at last been righted.
I think it's telling that in Captain Phillips the most overwhelming scene is after the resolution, in the infirmary of a ship. So much terror and moral confusion has gone down — so much pain — that the cumulative tension can't be resolved by violence. The movie's grip remains strong even when it cuts to black.
Originally published on Fri October 11, 2013 11:59 am
Human Rights Watch has accused Islamist Syrian rebels of slaughtering nearly 200 unarmed civilians belonging to the minority Alawite sect and kidnapping hundreds more during an offensive against pro-regime villages.
The New York-based group issued a 105-page report on Friday outlining the atrocities it says were committed on Aug. 4 in more than a dozen villages in Latakia province.
Luisa Blue, head of the local Service Employees International Union in San Jose, Calif., has five more months to spend $1 million. The union received a grant from Covered California, the state's health insurance marketplace, to educate the public about the exchange.
SEIU is using some of the money to call people in their homes at night and on the weekend. "Over 4,000 (people) have said tell me more about Covered California and how can I enroll to get health insurance," Blue says of the union's first two weeks on the case.
Originally published on Fri October 11, 2013 10:40 am
The Norwegian Nobel Committee on Friday awarded the 2013 peace prize to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, a group that's only recently been thrust into the spotlight as it works to dismantle Syria's chemical program.
The OPCW, which is based at the Hague, was established in 1997 and now has an annual budget of $100 million and a staff of about 500 people. Here's a profile of the group.
Originally published on Fri October 11, 2013 1:25 pm
Most Americans say they aren't directly affected by the shutdown. But some pockets of society, beyond furloughed federal workers and their families, are being severely hit.
We used NPR's social media network to ask about the impact and were deluged by messages from people who are worried and scared, especially veterans and the disabled, and many others who are angry and frustrated.
Originally published on Fri October 11, 2013 8:05 am
Happy Friday, fellow political junkies. It's the 11th day of the partial federal government shutdown, 2013 edition.
President Obama and House Republicans at least opened a line of communications before the second week of the shutdown ended, so that was good news.
Less positive was that it came only a week before the Oct. 17 expiration date Treasury Secretary Jack Lew gave for when he would run out of tricks to keep the U.S. government from defaulting on its obligations.