Arts & Life

Arts and lifestyle coverage from around the globe and Illinois.

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On the Friday before Christmas, Fox News confirmed that its chief Washington correspondent, James Rosen, had left the network. He had worked there for 18 years and become something of a legend. The U.S. Justice Department under the Obama administration was so frustrated by his reporting on U.S. intelligence about North Korea that it conducted a leak investigation into his sources.

After the Trump administration promised Florida that the state would be exempt from expanded offshore oil drilling, other coastal states had just one question: "What about us?"

From Oregon to South Carolina, governors and other leaders are publicly noting that Florida does not have a monopoly on picturesque coasts, tourist economies or local opposition to offshore drilling. But currently, it's the only state to have received a pledge from the administration that it won't be considered for new oil and gas platforms.

Authorities in Myanmar have brought formal charges against two Reuters reporters who were arrested last month as they reported on the government's treatment of the Rohingya Muslim minority. Prosecutors said Wednesday that Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo had violated Myanmar's Official Secrets Act — a colonial-era law that bears a maximum penalty of 14 years in prison.

In the summer of 2015, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's son partied with friends at a Tel Aviv strip club.

What happened next has created a political embarrassment for the prime minister, who is already facing a criminal investigation into suspected corruption.

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(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "COCO")

RENEE VICTOR: (As Abuelita) No music.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTORS: (As characters, singing in Spanish).

In a phone call with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, President Trump once again expressed his willingness to hold talks between the U.S. and North Korea "at the appropriate time, under the right circumstances," according to a White House readout of Wednesday's call.

The fallout from the Harvey Weinstein scandal has been felt far and wide. As women continue to speak out against sexual aggression, the #MeToo movement has ended a few careers. Many people in France now wonder if it could also topple a longstanding social custom — the two-cheek kiss known as la bise.

In December, the female mayor of Morette, a small town in western France, fired off an email to 73 municipal counselors, telling them, "From now on, I would prefer to shake hands, like men do."

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Carolyn Owen Sommer is a name many in the Springfield arts community will know. Her work is part of a new exhibition called 'Paperworks' opening at the Hoogland Center for the Arts, in the SAA Collective Gallery. The reception is Friday night from 5 to 7, it is free and open to the public. Owen Sommer's pieces will consist of a series of images depicting women and landscapes, they combine watercolor and collage. Artist Teri Zee will have 3D whimsically clothed birds on display, and Joan Burmeister's colorful pieces will also be included. The exhibition will be up through March 1st. We spoke with Owen Sommer to find out more about her experience as an artist in the central Illinois area, and her forth-coming show and exhibition:

In the 19th century, Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote in his essay Nature: "A man is a god in ruins."

Ever since people contemplated the existence of a divine dimension — and this belief must go back to the very early stages of Homo Sapiens or even earlier — with Neanderthals, a split occurred between the human condition and the eternal.

As humans, it is our curse and our blessing to be aware of our own mortality — and to suffer with the loss of our close ones — and, in a broader sense, with the predicament of others.

Updated at 7:30 p.m. ET

Rescue efforts continue in Santa Barbara County, California, with search teams looking for people who were caught by massive mudslides that swamped houses and trapped cars on Tuesday.

At least 17 people have died as a result of the mudslides, triggered when heavy rains hit hills that were recently devastated by wildfires, The Associated Press reports.

Some people are still unaccounted for, and the death toll is expected to climb, Danielle Karson reports for NPR.

Every decade, the U.S. Census Bureau asks some personal questions for the national headcount required by the constitution. But since 1960, one topic that hasn't come up for all U.S. residents is citizenship.

The Trump administration is trying to change that with a Department of Justice request for a question about citizenship on the 2020 census.

#MeToo Movement Has Gone Too Far, Catherine Deneuve Says

Jan 10, 2018

A debate is raging in France after actress Catherine Deneuve and more than 100 French women, including prominent actresses and performers, denounced the #MeToo movement.

In a letter published in the newspaper Le Monde, the women said the fallout from the Harvey Weinstein scandal had gone too far.

NPR's Eleanor Beardsley reports for our Newscast unit:

Carles Puigdemont aims to return to office as president of Catalonia — despite the fact it's unlikely he'll actually return there in person. He's currently living in Belgium, facing immediate arrest if he goes back home.

Ali Smith is flat-out brilliant, and she's on fire these days. Writing in the heat of outrage following England's divisive Brexit vote, she opened a seasonal quartet of novels last year with Autumn, a moving requiem for an unusual friendship between two unlikely kindred spirits, a young art historian and her singularly cultivated old neighbor, whose waning days coincide with an alarming erosion of civility and compassion in the not-so-United Kingdom. Deservedly, Autumn landed on the Booker Prize shortlist.

Editor's note: This report includes graphic and disturbing descriptions of sexual assault.

The victim couldn't tell anyone what happened that night. She was a woman with an intellectual disability who doesn't speak words. So the alleged rape was discovered, according to the police report, only by accident — when a staff worker said she walked into the woman's room and saw her boss with his pants down.

In a Muslim shrine in Lahore's ancient quarter, men and women pray around the tomb of a local saint. They hurl garlands and flower petals toward the tomb, each from their own, gender-segregated side: men from the left, women from the right.

On each side, transgender women lead the believers in song.

Among the men, they sing flamenco-style laments. A teenage trans woman leads the women. They struggle to keep up with her urgent chants in praise of the Prophet Muhammad's family.

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Federal Judge Temporarily Blocks Trump's Decision To End DACA

Jan 10, 2018

Updated 9:55 a.m. ET

A federal judge in California temporarily blocked the Trump administration's decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program late Tuesday night.

Widely known as DACA, the program protects young immigrants from deportation. In September, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the program would be phased out.

Tuesday was car day at the U.S. Supreme Court, as the justices heard arguments in two cases testing when police can search a motor vehicle without a warrant. While both cases challenged criminal convictions, both involved searches in circumstances that could well be encountered every day by law-abiding citizens.

In both cases the justices seemed divided on how to draw the lines, with Trump appointee Neil Gorsuch giving indications he might side with the court's liberals, and Justice Anthony Kennedy — who so often casts the decisive fifth vote in cases — taking a harder line.

A week after announcing a dramatic expansion of offshore drilling in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said the Trump administration will grant an exception for the state of Florida.

A ban on the manufacture of microbeads, those tiny bits of plastic used in some exfoliating cosmetic products, took effect Tuesday in the U.K. The move bars manufacturers from putting them in skin lotions, toothpastes or any other items intended to be rinsed off — and it presages a ban on the sale of such products that will take effect there in July.

The great mystery behind what hurt two dozen U.S. diplomatic personnel in Cuba remains unsolved, according to a Senate hearing on Tuesday. But an FBI investigation is casting doubt on a once-popular theory: that embassy staff were the victims of "sonic attacks."

According to a report seen by the Associated Press, an FBI investigation has turned up no evidence that sound waves harmed American diplomats in Havana.

Lea Berman and Jeremy Bernard have organized state dinners and congressional picnics, each serving as White House social secretary for different administrations. Bernard worked for President Obama; Berman for President George W. Bush. And they've collaborated on a new book that uses their White House experiences to draw out lessons in how to handle crises, defuse awkward moments and manage expectations. It's called Treating People Well: The Extraordinary Power Of Civility At Work And In Life.

Dozens of powerful men, including two at NPR, have lost their jobs and reputations in the cultural reckoning that is the #MeToo movement. Clearly, there's tremendous momentum behind it, but where does it go from here? Do those men have a shot at redemption?

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