Browsing articles in "News from US"

Episode 807: Anatomy of a Hustle

Nov 24, 2017   //   by Administrator   //   News from US  //  Comments Off on Episode 807: Anatomy of a Hustle

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort leaves federal court following a hearing Thursday. Manafort and his former business partner Richard Gates pleaded not guilty to a 12-charge indictment.

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort leaves federal court following a hearing Thursday. Manafort and his former business partner Richard Gates pleaded not guilty to a 12-charge indictment.

Before serving as Donald Trump’s campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, spent years as a lobbyist for foreign leaders in some dicey countries. It was a very profitable business. One of his best clients was Viktor Yanukovych, of Ukraine. But, according to Robert Mueller’s indictment, Manafort hid the millions he made from Yanukovych, and sneaked them into the United States.

To do that, he used some pretty inventive avenues, like beautiful suits and extremely expensive rugs. And Range Rovers. And it might have worked, too, but Manafort decided to step into the spotlight, running Trump’s campaign. In the end, prosecutors would end up using Manafort’s lavish lifestyle as evidence to build a case against him.

Today on the show: A political consultant goes to Ukraine to work for an ally of Vladimir Putin — and finds himself jostled awake years later when the FBI raids his home.

Plus a convicted felon explains on how Manafort could have done a much better job of hiding his money.

Music: “The Duchess,” “Soft Soulful Scene.” Find us: Twitter/ Facebook.

Subscribe to our show on Apple Podcasts, PocketCasts and NPR One.

Less Waste, More Taste: A Master Chef Reimagines Thanksgiving Leftovers

Nov 24, 2017   //   by Administrator   //   News from US  //  Comments Off on Less Waste, More Taste: A Master Chef Reimagines Thanksgiving Leftovers

Chef Massimo Bottura creates a meal from Thanksgiving leftovers in NPR’s kitchen. “The leftover is a big problem if you don’t have a vision, if you don’t have the knowledge of what you can do,” he says. Above, he checks the breadcrumbs to make sure they’re dry and fine enough to turn into a pasta called passatelli.

Beck Harlan/NPR


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Chef Massimo Bottura creates a meal from Thanksgiving leftovers in NPR’s kitchen. “The leftover is a big problem if you don’t have a vision, if you don’t have the knowledge of what you can do,” he says. Above, he checks the breadcrumbs to make sure they’re dry and fine enough to turn into a pasta called passatelli.

Beck Harlan/NPR

Food waste is a huge problem globally — starting with our own refrigerators. Over this Thanksgiving week, Americans will throw out almost 200 million pounds of turkey alone, according to figures from the Natural Resources Defense Council.

But before you toss that bird, read on. We asked Massimo Bottura, one of the world’s best chefs, to help us figure out what to do with our holiday leftovers.

Bottura is a rock star in the food world. His restaurant in Modena, Italy, Osteria Francescana, has three Michelin stars. But at this moment, he’s in the kitchen of NPR’s cafeteria, bent over a compost bin. He’s looking for … ingredients.

“I found something very interesting — onion peels and celery,” Bottura says as he straightens up again. He also plucks out the stems of a bunch of Italian parsley and declares them “perfectly fresh.”

Bottura kneads the breadcrumbs with some eggs, nutmeg and grated Parmesan cheese to create a dough for our pasta.

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Bottura kneads the breadcrumbs with some eggs, nutmeg and grated Parmesan cheese to create a dough for our pasta.

Beck Harlan/NPR

Bottura is a firm believer that nothing should be wasted in the kitchen. Most Americans aren’t so conscientious. A recent NRDC survey in three U.S. cities found that the average American tosses out 2.5 pounds of perfectly edible food each week. At the top of the list: produce and leftovers.

“The leftover is a big problem if you don’t have a vision, if you don’t have the knowledge of what you can do,” Bottura says.

Bottura’s vision for our Thanksgiving leftovers is a traditional dish from Emilia-Romagna, the region of northern Italy that he calls home. It’s a pasta dish served in broth: “Passatelli!” he says, letting each syllable roll out slowly on his tongue. It’s his daughter’s favorite dish, he says.

To make passatelli, you’ll need a turkey carcass, leftover bread, eggs, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and nutmeg. As for the rest? It depends on what you have on hand. Bottura takes the scraps he found in our compost bin — celery, parsley, an onion which he chops roughly, skin and all — and lays them next to the turkey bones on a baking sheet. Then he adds something most of us toss out: the leafy green tops of carrots. He breaks off some of the greens and dips it in olive oil for me to taste: It’s very flavorful.

People don’t realize how many ingredients you can discover if you are curious,” Bottura says.

Bottura puts a turkey carcass, nestled on a baking sheet with veggie scraps, in the oven to roast and unlock its flavor. After about 45 minutes, the bones go in water to boil to become the broth for passatelli.

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Bottura puts a turkey carcass, nestled on a baking sheet with veggie scraps, in the oven to roast and unlock its flavor. After about 45 minutes, the bones go in water to boil to become the broth for passatelli.

Beck Harlan/NPR

The turkey bones and vegetables go in the oven to roast for about 45 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, though we check on the bones often to make sure they don’t burn. (Roasting coaxes more rich flavor out of the bones.) When improvising in the kitchen, Bottura says, it’s important to use your nose as a guide. When the aromatic scents from the oven smell just like Thanksgiving dinner, we know the bones are ready to make broth.

We cover the bones in a big pot with water, add more veggie scraps and a Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese rind that Bottura found in the NPR fridge. (He says it called out to him: “Use me! Use me! Touch my soul!”) The rind, he says, will be important to creating a savory broth.

While the broth heats, we turn to breadcrumbs — a good way to use up those stale rolls from Thanksgiving. If the bread isn’t dry enough, you can toast it in the oven first for about 20 minutes at 250 degrees. Then, grind up the bread in a food processor.

blending bread crumbs in the blender

Credit: Maia Stern/NPR

Or do what Bottura did to get an even finer texture: roll over the crumbs with a glass bottle, a trick he learned from his grandmother.

NPR’s food processor wasn’t producing a fine enough texture for Bottura, so he decided to manually crush the crumbs by rolling over them with a glass bottle from the kitchen.

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NPR’s food processor wasn’t producing a fine enough texture for Bottura, so he decided to manually crush the crumbs by rolling over them with a glass bottle from the kitchen.

Beck Harlan/NPr

“If my grandmother could see me doing this now in Washington, she would laugh,” he says as he works.

The breadcrumbs go into a bowl with eggs, some grated Parmesan and nutmeg.

bread mush

Credit: Maia Stern/NPR

Bottura kneads it all into dough, then squeezes it through a ricer to make thick noodles. (You can also roll the dough by hand into gnocchi-like shapes.) By now, our broth has been simmering for about 40 minutes and is full of flavor, so we plop in the noodles and raise the heat to high. Once it reaches a boil, the pasta is ready.

pasta being squeezed out of a ricer

Credit: Maia Stern/NPR

The result is delicious, warm, hearty — perfect for a cold day.

“Food costs? Nothing. Emotion? A lot,” Bottura says as we savor his handiwork.

The finished product: passatelli in brodo, a traditional Italian dish perfect for a chilly day.

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The finished product: passatelli in brodo, a traditional Italian dish perfect for a chilly day.

Beck Harlan/NPR

The cost of not eating our leftovers, on the other hand, is big — for our wallets and for the planet.

“The average household of four is wasting about $1,800 annually on food that they buy and then never wind up eating,” says Dana Gunders, senior scientist at NRDC, citing the group’s latest figures.


Bread Is Gold

Bread Is Gold

Extraordinary Meals With Ordinary Ingredients

by Massimo Bottura

Paperback, 423 pages |

purchase

About This Book

Bread Is Gold was born of Refettorio Ambrosiano, a project Bottura started in 2015 in Milan, Italy. It’s a soup kitchen, designed to look like a high-end restaurant, serving meals from donated ingredients to the city’s neediest residents. He recruited dozens of world-class chefs – including Gastón Acurio, Ferran and Albert Adrià and Alice Delcourt — to cook there; many contributed the recipes they created to the new cookbook. Proceeds from Bread Is Gold go to Bottura’s nonprofit, Food For Soul, which is setting up soup kitchens stocked with surplus flood in cities around the world.

“Households are actually the biggest contributor to the amount of food going to waste across the country — more than grocery stores or restaurants or any other sector,” Gunders says. Food is the No. 1 contributor to landfills, and as it decomposes, it releases methane, a powerful greenhouse gas.

But Gunders says changing our habits at home really can make a difference. That means things like planning before shopping so we don’t buy more food than we can use in a week, freezing food before it goes bad — and learning to love leftovers.

For Bottura, changing the culture around wasting food has become a passion. His new cookbook, Bread Is Gold: Extraordinary Meals with Ordinary Ingredients, is full of recipes and tips for home chefs to improvise with whatever is in the fridge. His goal is to create more confidence in home kitchens. “This is not a charity project,” he says. “It’s a cultural project.”

“You’re going to spend less, you’re going to have better food, you’re going to save money and fight waste,” he says. “Because it’s about you, your creativity.” All proceeds from the book go to Food for Soul, Bottura’s nonprofit that is setting up soup kitchens stocked with surplus flood in cities around the world.

“This is a mission,” Bottura says. “You know, cooking is an act of love. And so if you can transfer that to people, you can change the world.”

Changing the world … one leftover meal at a time.

Massimo Bottura’s Passatelli in Turkey Broth

Editor’s note: This is the recipe Bottura improvised in NPR’s kitchen. It’s based on a recipe handed down from his grandmother, which we’ve also included below.

For Passatelli:

10 ounces dried breadcrumbs

¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

3 eggs

¼ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon ground pepper (either black or white is fine)

Grated nutmeg to taste**

To make the breadcrumbs, you can run stale bread through a food processor. Make sure the breadcrumbs are dry — you’ll want them to be almost powdery when ground up. If your crumbs aren’t dry, toast them in the oven at 250 degrees Fahrenheit for about 20 minutes (but don’t let them burn).

Master Chef Turns Leftovers Into Fine Dining For Brazil's Hungry

In a medium bowl, mix together the breadcrumbs, Parmigiano and nutmeg. Mix in the salt, pepper and eggs. Bottura’s advice: Start by adding one egg at a time so that you don’t end up with dough that’s too watery. Bottura started by adding 1 whole egg plus one yolk (because he loves the taste), then added another egg after finding the dough was still too dry. You don’t want dough to be too mushy or too dry — just wet enough that it holds together.

Gather the dough into a ball, cover with plastic wrap and set it aside for 20 minutes. When it’s done resting, push the dough through a ricer and drop the noodles into the turkey broth (once it is ready). (Note: If you don’t have a ricer, you can roll the dough by hand instead but may need to use more eggs to create a more malleable dough.)

For turkey broth:

Turkey bones

Onions

Carrots

Parsley

Celery

Parmigiano-Reggiano rind

Lay the turkey bones out on a baking sheet or pan with an edge. Add the onions, chopped roughly, skin and all, green carrot tops, parsley. (The vegetables enhance the flavor of the bones.) Roast in the oven at 450 degrees Fahrenheit for about 45 minutes, checking the bones every 10 minutes or so to make sure they don’t burn, as that will alter the flavor of the broth. After about 20 minutes, use tongs to turn over the bones to ensure even roasting.

When roasted, put the bones in a pot and cover them with cold water. Add fresh onions (no peels this time), more carrots and celery (not the vegetables you just roasted). Bottura added the Parmigiano-Reggiano rind he found in the NPR fridge for added flavor.

Let the broth simmer on medium-low heat for at least 40 minutes (an hour or more is ideal). Once it tastes right (nice and meaty), drop the passatelli into the broth and raise the heat to high. When the passatelli surfaces (about 1 minute), it’s ready. (Over-boiling will result in mushy pasta.)

Serve passatelli in broth, topped with Parmesan cheese.

Nonna Ancella’s Passatelli

Courtesy of Massimo Bottura and his wife, Lara Gilmore

Breadcrumbs are the epitome of the “waste not, want not” food ethic. If there is an important lesson we have learned from the Italian kitchen, and one that we can pass on to future generations: Never let edible food go to waste! We share this message in the shape of my grandmother Ancella’s recipe for passatelli in broth.

This classic Emilian recipe, passatelli in broth, has been passed on from generation to generation in the Bottura family. Our daughter, Alexa, learned to make passatelli from her grandmother Luisa. Massimo learned how to make them from his grandmother Ancella. It is a rite of passage in many Modenese households. The recipe is so easy and child-friendly, we encourage teaching the whole family to get their hands messy and cook with their parents.

For the broth, a classic vegetable or chicken broth is best. However, in an emergency, Massimo often prepares a Parmigiano-Reggiano rind broth. He keeps all the rinds from grated cheese in the refrigerator until he has a good amount — say ½ pound. The cheese rinds can be added to a big pot of cold water and simmered for a couple of hours. As the rinds melt, they give off flavor and thicken the broth with the proteins and fats from the cheese. This broth is very simple but can be great to have in a pinch. Of course, the cheese rinds can also be added to classical broths to enrich the flavor as well.

Ingredients:

1 ½ cup (150 grams) breadcrumbs

1 cup (100 grams) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

3 eggs

pinch of ground nutmeg

34 ounces (1 liter) of chicken broth

1 teaspoon of lemon zest

Kitchen tools:

potato ricer with large holes

large pot for broth

ladle

Place the breadcrumbs, Parmigiano-Reggiano, nutmeg and lemon zest in a shallow bowl. In the meantime, bring broth to a low simmer. Break the eggs and add to the dry ingredients. Mix together into a uniform ball of dough. Place the dough in a ricer and press it directly into the boiling broth. Cook the passatelli until they surface, about 1 minute. Serve hot with broth in a bowl.

Jack Johnson On World Cafe

Nov 23, 2017   //   by Administrator   //   News from US  //  Comments Off on Jack Johnson On World Cafe

Jack Johnson has been making people smile since 2001. Well, probably before that, but that’s when his debut record came out. If you know Jack for songs like “Better Together,” “Upside Down,” “Banana Pancakes,” “Sitting, Waiting, Wishing” … you might have the sense that this is a good-vibes kind of guy. Just how “good vibes”? Well, get ready to find out.

Jack Johnson has a new record out called All The Light Above It Too. We sat down to talk about it, hear Jack perform some of it and talk about some of his passions — like reducing his carbon footprint and the amount of plastic that a touring musician generates. Johnson has donated tens of millions of dollars to charitable organizations; he’s truly humble about both his success and his generosity. He also walked into our studio wearing sandals — he flew in from Hawaii.

And love, love, love. You know how you can tell when someone really loves the person he’s talking about? That’s how Jack Johnson sounds when he talks about his college sweetheart, who is now his wife and the mother of his children. They all live in Hawaii in the same town where Jack grew up surfing.

We’ll talk about all of that for Thankgsiving — make sure you save room for some banana pancakes after your turkey. Listen in the player above.

Myanmar And Bangladesh Announce Tentative Deal On Rohingya Crisis

Nov 23, 2017   //   by Administrator   //   News from US  //  Comments Off on Myanmar And Bangladesh Announce Tentative Deal On Rohingya Crisis

Myanmar and Bangladesh say they’ve agreed on terms for the return of hundreds of thousands of refugees to Myanmar. Rohingya Muslims have been fleeing violence the U.S. describes as “ethnic cleansing.”

Beck On World Cafe

Nov 22, 2017   //   by Administrator   //   News from US  //  Comments Off on Beck On World Cafe

Beck

Eliot Lee Hazel/Courtesy of the artist


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Beck

Eliot Lee Hazel/Courtesy of the artist

Remember that song back in the early ’90s? “Soy … un perdedor /
I’m a loser, baby / So why don’t you kill me?” That’s Beck and his breakout “Loser” from 1993 — a song where rap, sitar, steel guitar and a little Spanish can live together. It was a surprise mainstream hit, and Beck has continued to surprise his fans ever since — including his new release, Colors. I’m willing to bet few Beck fans would have predicted a big, shiny, accessible pop album. That’s how I hear Colors.

In this session, I talk to Beck about how he hears it, and which song his kids saved from the cutting room floor. Plus, we’ll dig back into some of the early experiences that shaped Beck’s approach — including how the helicopters and hecklers of his East L.A. childhood neighborhood worked their way into 2005’s Guero. Hear the complete session with Beck in the player above.

The Mystery And The Magic Of Giving Thanks

Nov 22, 2017   //   by Administrator   //   News from US  //  Comments Off on The Mystery And The Magic Of Giving Thanks

Roosters floating in the celestial sky

Roosters floating in the celestial sky

This Thanksgiving I will be thinking about turkey, of course.

But also about chickens and roosters.

I now live in the United States, but I grew up in Ghana, where there is no national holiday of Thanksgiving. But giving thanks is a very important part of my culture.

Almost every week my father would sacrifice chickens to the rivers, the mountains, the ancestors and the gods. It was his way of expressing thankfulness for his blessings: 7 wives, 32 children — and none of them had become blind, as was common in my village, or crippled, probably by polio, which was circulating in Ghana at that time.

We all believed that a failure to give thanks could have serious consequences.

During my last year in high school I was seriously sick with what I now think was mumps. I could not swallow water nor food, and I was sent home from my boarding school.

The next morning around 4 a.m. my uncle started the six-hour journey on his bicycle to visit an oracle in a neighboring village. He wanted to know why I was sick.

The oracle told him that the river god, my ancestors and the god of the land were all angry that they have been protecting my family for the past several years and that we had failed to give thanks for their blessings and protection — and that any delay to address this lack of thankfulness would cost my life.

In fact, the week before my sickness, two young people died in the village. Everyone said it was because of failing to give thanks.

In my village, we also believed that the failure to give thanks to the gods could result in poor rainfall leading to poor crop yield.

Today, I am not sure if all bad outcomes are the result of failing to give thanks to the gods.

I’m now a student in public health at Johns Hopkins University. With my present knowledge of diseases, I am certain that illness and death are not caused by angry gods or ancestors.

But there’s a mystery I cannot explain. When I was growing up in Ghana, it seemed that whenever people made sacrifices as a way of giving thanks, the sick person would get better. And if families failed to offer a chicken sacrifice, the opposite would happen.

Is A Placebo A Sham If You Know It's A Fake And It Still Works?

How The Brain Powers Placebos, False Memories And Healing

Some people may call this the placebo effect, as NPR wrote last year about a new study: “Placebos can make people feel better.” In one study of asthma patients, some took an active drug; others had a placebo inhaler or a fake acupuncture treatment. The reporter wrote: “The reported improvements were better than in patients given no treatment at all.”

As for me, I call this the thanks-giving chicken sacrifice effect. I believe that diseases may not be caused by gods or ancestors or spirits, but I do believe that there is healing, strength and protection to be found in the act of giving thanks.

For me and my probable case of the mumps, the remedy was to sacrifice three roosters — one for my ancestors, one for the river god and one for the god of land. After the sacrifice, a traditional herbalist provided me with concoctions and ashes from burned herbs mixed with shea butter to apply to my neck. Within three days I felt better and was able to return to school.

Since then I have never forgotten to give thanks, even in the worst of situations. So on Thursday, when I eat the turkey dinner with my American family and friends, I will be thankful. And I will also keep in mind that like the roosters and chickens in my homeland, the turkey made the ultimate sacrifice — for which everyone at the table is thankful!

George Mwinnyaa grew up in Ghana and now lives in Baltimore with his wife and 2-year-old son. He is pursuing a master’s degree in Infectious Disease Epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Songs We Love: Kamaiyah, ‘Playa In Me’

Nov 21, 2017   //   by Administrator   //   News from US  //  Comments Off on Songs We Love: Kamaiyah, ‘Playa In Me’

While some of us are bracing for impending winter, Bay Area rapper Kamaiyah is happy to report that dropping temperatures are no match for the “coldest bitch alive.” The West Coast MC surprised fans with her latest mixtape Before I Wake earlier this month and has been following up with some icy visuals to accompany the music ever since. Her latest video for “Playa In Me” embodies the rapper’s effortless ethos down to a T.

While hip-hop heads are more than used to seeing male rappers flaunt their riches, Kamaiyah switches up the script on the Evan Croker-directed clip. She lounges on an old-school Mercedes-Benz and takes quick trips in a helicopter with her friends, all while draped in diamonds and bubblegum fur.

“Can’t name one fear cause I ain’t took one yet / Fly as f****** hell and only took one jet,” raps Ill Ya Ya in the second verse, through glittery grills. “With Keyshia Cole to see the fight have Floyd bets / We just make money no we don’t void checks.”

The Oakland native first gained national recognition last year thanks to her stellar debut project, A Good Night In The Ghetto, where the newcomer harnessed the G-funk and boogie sound her region pioneered with the help of producers like 1-O.A.K., CT Beats and P-Lo. On Before I Wake, fans can expect even more slaps.

Before I Wake is available now.

Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe’s Longtime President, Resigns After Tumultuous Week

Nov 21, 2017   //   by Administrator   //   News from US  //  Comments Off on Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe’s Longtime President, Resigns After Tumultuous Week

Pedestrians walk past a newsstand in Harare on Monday. Zimbabwe’s longtime president, Robert Mugabe, ignored a midday deadline set by the ruling party to step down or face impeachment proceedings. Meanwhile, Zimbabweans stunned by his failure to resign during a national address vowed more protests to make him leave.

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Pedestrians walk past a newsstand in Harare on Monday. Zimbabwe’s longtime president, Robert Mugabe, ignored a midday deadline set by the ruling party to step down or face impeachment proceedings. Meanwhile, Zimbabweans stunned by his failure to resign during a national address vowed more protests to make him leave.

Ben Curtis/AP

Updated at 11:06 a.m. ET

Zimbabwe’s longtime president Robert Mugabe has resigned, according to a letter read by the speaker of the country’s parliament. Lawmakers had already opened impeachment proceedings against him Tuesday.

This comes one day after Mugabe ignored a deadline set by his party to resign. Jubilant crowds are celebrating the apparent end of his rule on the streets of the capital Harare.

Mugabe, 93, has been Zimbabwe’s leader since the country gained its independence from the U.K. — but lately he has been under exceptional pressure to end his 37-year tenure in power.

Now under house arrest by the military, which seized power last week in what it described as a “bloodless correction,” Mugabe has also heard calls for his resignation from his own ruling ZANU-PF party and demonstrators in the streets. Just days after tens of thousands gathered to demand that he step down in the capital, Harare, Reuters reports another sizable protest collected outside the parliament building in the city Tuesday.

The recently ousted vice president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, called on Mugabe to “accept the will of the people” and resign. Mnangagwa is viewed by many as Mugabe’s likely successor.

No Word From Zimbabwe's Mugabe As Deadline For His Resignation Passes

“Parliament is the ultimate expression of the will of the people outside an election and in my view is expressing national sentiment by implementing the impeachment,” Mnangagwa said in a statement from an undisclosed location Tuesday, according to The Guardian. Mnangagwa, who said he had heard there were plans to “eliminate” him after his ouster, added that he “would not return home now until I am satisfied of my personal security, because of the manner and treatment given to me upon being fired.”

The tumult Tuesday follows days of uncertainty surrounding Mugabe, who was displaced from power by the military in an attempt to reclaim the country from the “criminals around [Mugabe] who are committing crimes” — though, as it soon became clear, the military intended Mugabe to step down, too.

That move has appeared to have the backing of many vocal protesters, who have been in a “jubilant” mood, journalist Jeffrey Barbee told Weekend Edition.

“People are really excited to see the end of Mugabe,” he said.

South Africa Grants Grace Mugabe Diplomatic Immunity, To Critics' Dismay

Nelson Mandela, Robert Mugabe And The Countries They Shaped

Then, the capper: On Sunday, even Mugabe’s own ZANU-PF party voted to remove him and his wife, Grace, and appoint Mnangagwa in his stead. That’s when the party issued its ultimatum: Step down, or you will be impeached.

Mugabe’s critics are “saying that Mugabe has brought economic despondency,” NPR’s Ofeibea Quist-Arcton told Morning Edition, “and also that he has allowed his wife, the first lady Grace Mugabe — who has unbridled political ambition and wanted to become vice president, we are told, and that is why he sacked one of his vice presidents — that he has allowed his wife to usurp power.”

But in a rambling televised speech later that day, Mugabe spoke of the economy, party rules — just about everything but the resignation many had expected. A party-set deadline to resign by midday Monday also came and went without definitive word from Mugabe.

And on Tuesday, Mugabe even called a cabinet meeting — which most ministers apparently chose not to attend.

Still, it’s unclear how much of a change in policy Mnangagwa would promise, if indeed he is to replace the longtime strongman. Mnangagwa “is no street angel” himself, Ofeibea reported last week:

“He’s no savior. He’s cut from the same cloth, the cloth that has seen Zimbabwe’s economy tumble. This was the breadbasket of southern Africa. He’s also seen as having been absolutely brutal in the ’80s in Matabeleland when there was a massacre. So people shouldn’t think of Emmerson Mnangagwa, who may come back and head an interim government, as being a savior for Zimbabwe — certainly not.”

“Zimbabweans I know — I’m Zimbabwean — we’re ululating all around the world and we are celebrating,” journalist Michelle Faul told Weekend All Things Considered, “but we need to be cautious. This is not a revolution to bring reform. This is about an internal ZANU-PF coup to ensure that ZANU continues its one-party rule of Zimbabwe.”

The Big Tiny Desk Holiday Special

Nov 20, 2017   //   by Administrator   //   News from US  //  Comments Off on The Big Tiny Desk Holiday Special

Sharon Jones The Dap-Kings perform a holiday Tiny Desk Concert in 2015.

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Sharon Jones The Dap-Kings perform a holiday Tiny Desk Concert in 2015.

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The Oh Hellos perform a Tiny Desk Concert on Dec. 13, 2016.

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The Oh Hellos perform a Tiny Desk Concert on Dec. 13, 2016.

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Preservation Hall Jazz Band performs at the Tiny Desk on Dec. 3, 2013.

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Preservation Hall Jazz Band performs at the Tiny Desk on Dec. 3, 2013.

John W. Poole/NPR

For nearly 10 years, NPR Music has recorded concerts from behind Bob Boilen’s desk. During the holidays, the desk gets a little more festive, thanks to a snow machine, paper snowflakes and Stephen Thompson’s hand-drawn Christmas tree. (It’s labeled “tree.”) Whether they perform original songs or new takes on holiday staples, these artists bring big sounds to the Tiny Desk.

Each holiday Tiny Desk Concert has brought something a little different. In 2010, The Polyphonic Spree became the largest group of performers we’d ever hosted behind the desk. Sibling duo The Oh Hellos brought family tradition and a love of bells, and Sharon Jones The Dap-Kings filled our office with joy and light.

This year, Hanson stuck around after its non-holiday Tiny Desk Concert to don ugly sweaters and sing some original songs. Wyclef Jean got us tapping our feet to his version of “Feliz Navidad.” And Steve Martin brought a bluegrass band with him to share the tale of “The Strangest Christmas Yet.”

In this holiday special, join NPR Music’s Bob Boilen and Stephen Thompson as they look back on these and other performances from years past.

Featuring:

  • Preservation Hall Jazz Band, ‘Sugar Plum’ and ‘Happy Holiday’
  • The Polyphonic Spree, ‘Happy Xmas (War Is Over)’ and ‘Silver Bells’
  • Hanson, ‘Finally It’s Christmas’ and ‘To New Year’s Night’
  • Matt Wilson, ‘O Come All Ye Faithful’ and ‘Hark! The Herald Angels Sing’
  • Sharon Jones The Dap-Kings, ‘8 Days Of Hanukkah’ and ‘Big Bulbs’
  • The Oh Hellos, ‘Silent Night, Holy Night,’ and ‘Every Bell On Earth Will Ring’
  • Steve Martin, ‘The Strangest Christmas Yet’
  • Wyclef Jean, ‘Feliz Navidad’

Sen. Al Franken Hit With Second Groping Allegation

Nov 20, 2017   //   by Administrator   //   News from US  //  Comments Off on Sen. Al Franken Hit With Second Groping Allegation

Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Nov. 15. He’s facing a second allegation of groping a woman without her consent.

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Carolyn Kaster/AP

Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Nov. 15. He’s facing a second allegation of groping a woman without her consent.

Carolyn Kaster/AP

Minnesota Democratic Sen. Al Franken is facing a second allegation that he groped a woman without consent while her husband took a photo of her with the senator at the Minnesota State Fair in 2010.

Franken “pulled me in really close, like awkward close, and as my husband took the picture, he put his hand full-fledged on my rear,” said Lindsay Menz, who told her story to CNN. “It wasn’t around my waist. It wasn’t around my hip or side. It was definitely on my butt,” she said.

CNN confirmed the account with Menz’s husband, mother and father who she told of the interaction at the time. CNN reports Menz also posted the photo on Facebook at the time and commented to her sister: “Dude — Al Franken TOTALLY molested me! Creeper!”

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“I take thousands of photos at the state fair surrounded by hundreds of people, and I certainly don’t remember taking this picture,” Franken told CNN in a statement. “I feel badly that Ms. Menz came away from our interaction feeling disrespected.”

Menz told CNN that she came forward following broadcaster Leeann Tweeden’s account of a 2006 interaction with Franken in which she alleges he forcibly kissed her and took a photo in which he appears to touch her chest while she is asleep.

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“I don’t want to paint my story in the same light as hers,” Menz told CNN, saying she believes Tweeden’s account is worse than what happened to her, but “the reason I want to say something is if someone sees that I said something, maybe it would give them the courage to say something, too.”

Franken issued an apology to Tweeden last week and called for the Senate Ethics Committee to investigate the matter. Tweeden’s account occurred before Franken was a senator, which cast some doubt on how the ethics panel would conduct an inquiry. However, Menz’s 2010 account occurred while Franken was a first-term senator and clearly falls within the committee’s jurisdiction to investigate.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer have echoed the call for an ethics investigation. While an inquiry seems likely, the panel has not commented on the Franken matter, yet.

A Franken spokesperson told the Minnesota Star Tribune over the weekend that Franken has no plans to resign and that he is spending the Thanksgiving holiday in Washington, D.C., with his family, “and he’s doing a lot of reflecting.”

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The allegations against Franken come as the Republican Party is grappling with allegations of sexual assault and other misconduct against Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore, ahead of a Dec. 12 special election. Moore is accused of a range of predatory behavior towards teenage girls as young as 14, including one allegation of sexual assault. Top Senate Republicans, including McConnell and long-time Alabama Sen. Richard Shelby have called on Moore to get out of the race. Moore remains defiant, and the state GOP largely stands behind him. The Alabama Republican Party remains supportive as does GOP Gov. Kay Ivey.

If Moore wins, he will face similar calls for a Senate ethics investigation. One GOP senator, Colorado’s Cory Gardner, has said the Senate should expel him if he wins, but it’s unclear whether senators would ultimately be willing to overturn the results of an otherwise free election.

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