Endless hours of waiting on platforms and riding in train compartments are a recipe for conversation. And with a parliamentary election in Russia on Sunday, Trans-Siberian travelers seem more than willing to talk politics.
"The country has been going its way — down, down," said Nina Kuzmina who, like other travelers, spoke through an interpreter. The 35-year-old was bundled up in the cold at Yaroslavsky train station in Moscow, ready to board a train back to the industrial city of Perm, in the Ural Mountains, where she is raising three children.
And we're going to end with some breaking news today. Moments ago, Herman Cain announced that he is suspending his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination. Here is what Mr. Cain said moments ago; his wife, Gloria, standing behind him outside of his Georgia campaign headquarters.
HERMAN CAIN: Today, with a lot of prayer and soul searching, I am suspending my presidential campaign.
From NPR and WBEZ-Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT...DON'T TELL ME!, the NPR News quiz. I'm Carl Kasell. We're playing this week with Luke Burbank, Roxanne Roberts and Mo Rocca. And here again is your host, at the Chase Bank Auditorium in downtown Chicago, Peter Sagal.
PETER SAGAL, HOST:
Thank you, Carl.
(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE)
SAGAL: Thank you. In just a minute, Carl announces amazing deals on limericks. It's Black Rhyme Day.
Celebrity auctions have become common, but once in a while there's an event that will make almost anyone stand up and take notice. After a world tour, the entire collection of Elizabeth Taylor's jewelry, clothing and memorabilia is on view starting Saturday at Christie's auction house in New York City.
After 10 days, there will be a four-day auction. Some 2,000 objects from the film star's life will be on the block, both at Christie's and online.
Originally published on Sat December 3, 2011 7:03 am
Move over Zagat and Yelp. There's a new diners' guide in town, designed to help consumers choose restaurants based on what's happening behind the kitchen door. But this isn't about what's on the plate; it's a rare survey of the working conditions and employment practices of restaurants.
Russians vote in parliamentary elections on Sunday, but there's no doubt the ruling United Russia Party will get the most votes. With Vladimir Putin ruling Russia for more than a decade now, the political opposition has been emasculated. Yet Kremlin officials are worried about the size of United Russia's majority, and the growing numbers of Russians voicing dissatisfaction with corruption and a sluggish economy. Host Scott Simon speaks with reporter Julia Loffe in Moscow.
A Shostakovich opera plucked from the Soviet composer's trash gets its world premier this weekend at the Los Angeles Philharmonic's Disney Hall. We hear from Gerard McBurney, the composer charged with fleshing out Shostakovich's lost work, Orango.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. European leaders meet in Brussels next week with an urgent mission: agree on a plan that to keep debt-ridden countries like Greece and Spain from default and save the euro. A plan is emerging now in broad outline - this and coordinated action by central banks around the world - boosted investor confidence. NPR's Eric Westervelt reports.
The current world economic crisis has raised hard questions about the assessments made by the big three ratings firms, S&P, Moody's and Fitch. It's also brought charges that they not only missed the onset of financial crisis, but helped fuel it with faulty judgments. Host Scott Simon talks with Roben Farzad, a senior writer for Bloomberg-Businessweek.
The NBA comes back on Christmas, and the NFL marches on to week 13. Will Americans tune in to basketball late, and will the Packers reach the end of the season without a loss? Scott Simon talks with ESPN's Howard Bryant about the week's sports.
The U.S. Postal Service has waived its rule banning someone from being honored on a stamp until he or she has been dead for at least five years. Host Scott Simon reports the Postal Service has received thousands of nominations from the public for new stamps to honor more recent celebrities, ranging from Billy Graham to Lady Gaga.
People who are lucky enough to have jobs could still see a cut in their paychecks next month unless Congress votes to extend a payroll tax cut. NPR's Scott Horlsey and Tamara Keith join host Scott Simon to talk about the status of the cut.
A group of more than 100 volunteers helped decorate the White House this year, covering the mansion in Christmas trees, cookie ornaments and several versions of the Obamas' dog, Bo. The real stars, however, were the military families who joined the celebration.
Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
Newt Gingrich is now the focus of the race to become the GOP presidential nominee — and with that comes the heat. His main opposition, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney went on the attack Friday, but Gingrich insists he'll stay positive. The big question is whether the former House speaker can sustain his surge in the polls.
The U.S. unemployment rate took a big tumble in November, from 9 percent to 8.6 percent, according to the government's monthly jobs data. Still, it's probably too soon pop the champagne corks. A combination of forces caused the big drop, some good and some bad.
Getting a big fall in the unemployment rate is always good news in the White House, but President Obama was careful not to gloat at an appearance Friday in Washington.
"This morning we learned that our economy added another 140,000 private sector jobs in November. The unemployment rate went down," he said.
"Robert Spiegel's passion for Russian literature, the New York Mets, ethnic cooking and beagles endeared him to generations of students and colleagues at Central Connecticut State University," The Associated Press says. "Now, through the power of social media, the 77-year-old former English professor's obituary is charming strangers, as well."