Arts & Life

Arts and lifestyle coverage from around the globe and Illinois.

Ways to Connect

Updated at 2:10 p.m. ET

A Russian military transport plane crashed as it was on landing approach at an air base in western Syria on Tuesday, killing all 39 people aboard, the Russian Defense Ministry said.

The twin-engine Antonov An-26 transport crashed at the Hemeimeem Air Base in Latakia province and initial reports indicated a likely mechanical failure, the ministry said.

Updated at 2:45 p.m. ET

Britain's foreign secretary has warned that the U.K. will respond "appropriately and robustly" to Moscow if it is found to have been involved in the mysterious poisoning of an ex-Russian spy who suddenly fell ill in southern England over the weekend.

Is there anything more Floridian than a flamingo?

Flamingo iconography is everywhere in the state: decorating front lawns, swizzling cocktails, lighting up motel signs.

The long-legged pink birds were once common in Florida. But their striking feathers were prized decorations for ladies' hats, and they were hunted out of existence for the plume trade in the 1800s.

At least, scientists thought the flamingos had been wiped out.

Updated at 2:50 p.m. ET

North Korea says it is willing to discuss denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula with the United States, a key requirement laid out by the Trump administration as a precondition for talks with Pyongyang.

South Korean officials who returned from a two-day visit to the North Korean capital reportedly brought back the communication. The North also said it was willing to send a delegation for dialogue with the South next month at the border village of Panmunjom.

Oscars TV Ratings Fall, Again

Mar 6, 2018

The powerhouse ratings grabber that is the Oscars telecast dropped to record low viewership this year, falling nearly 20 percent from 2017. It's the fourth consecutive year that viewership has declined.

Usually tied to the success of blockbuster movie hits, normally no fewer than 30 million people tune in on the big night to see the outcome of movie nominees. But this year just 26.5 million people watched, according to Nielsen records — which is even fewer than this year's Winter Olympics opening ceremony in Pyeongchang, which drew 27.8 million viewers.

Faces of NPR: Events Team

Mar 6, 2018

Faces Of NPR is a weekly feature that showcases the people behind NPR, from the voices you hear every day on the radio to the ones who work outside of the recording studio. You'll find out about what they do and what inspires them. This week's post features the NPR Events team.

You all work on the Events team. What are your roles?

Jessica Goldstein, Director of Events and Strategic Initiatives

Joanna Pawlowska, Senior Manager, Generation Listen

Allie Prescott, Events Manager

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit


We tend to forget how near a thing it was, how outlandish an idea it seemed to some at the time, this concept of women gaining access to the ballot box. In one of history's great thrillers, the battle to ratify the 19th Amendment, almost a hundred years ago, came down to single vote, a single male legislator and — crucially — a single dear, darling, determined mother.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit


Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit


Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit


Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit


To create the fantastical, otherworldly story in A Wrinkle In Time, the cast and crew traveled to the mountains of New Zealand and to a sequoia forest in Northern California. They also created elaborate sets on a soundstage in Santa Clarita, north of Los Angeles, which is where director Ava DuVernay was behind the camera over a year ago.

Updated at 11:30 p.m ET

The city of San Francisco is joining the cause of removing old statues that are out of step with contemporary political and cultural tastes.

The sculpture "Early Days" sits near San Francisco's City Hall. It depicts a vaquero and a missionary standing over a sitting Native American.

The Florida state Senate passed a package of gun control measures designed to prevent another school shooting like last month's attack on Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.

The proposals, which passed by a 20-18 vote, include raising age restrictions on the purchase of all firearms in the state, banning the purchase and possession of bump stocks, and setting a three-day waiting period to buy any gun, including rifles and shotguns.

A shipwreck off the coast of Alabama is not a famous slave ship after all. The Alabama Historical Commission says the ship is too new and too large to be the Clotilda, which was the last known vessel to bring enslaved people to the United States in 1860.

Ben Raines, a reporter for, had been searching for the ship and thought he'd found it.

Voting ballots for the upcoming 2018 midterm elections will feature a record number of female candidates. Despite the influx of women interested in political office, men still dominate most leadership roles in the United States.

Russ Solomon, the founder of the enormously influential and widely beloved Tower Records chain, has died at age 92.

His son, Michael Solomon, told the Sacramento Bee on Monday that his father died of an apparent heart attack on Sunday evening while watching the Oscar awards ceremony and enjoying a glass of whiskey.

Real estate nowadays is expensive.

Have you seen the prices in Jerusalem lately? You can barely buy a two-room apartment for less than 2 million shekels. (That's about $577,000).

Updated on March 6 at 11:45 a.m. ET

A former campaign aide to Donald Trump appears to have changed his mind and will not fight a subpoena he says he has received in the Russia investigation — after daring special counsel Robert Mueller to arrest him in multiple media appearances.

Sam Nunberg called reporters and TV news programs on Monday and said live that he'd gotten a grand jury subpoena as part of Mueller's investigation asking for communications with other people in the Trump orbit — but that he would not comply.

Updated at 6:02 p.m. ET

Citing his ailing health, Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., announced he will resign on April 1, setting up a special election this November.

"I regret my health has become an ongoing challenge," Cochran said in a statement Monday. "I intend to fulfill my responsibilities and commitments to the people of Mississippi and the Senate through the completion of the 2018 appropriations cycle, after which I will formally retire from the U.S. Senate."

"Philando Feeds the Children," a fundraiser in memory of school cafeteria supervisor Philando Castile, who was shot and killed by a police officer in 2016, has paid all outstanding student lunch debt at all 56 schools in the St. Paul, Minn., Public School system.

"Philando is STILL reaching into his pocket, and helping a kid out," the charity wrote in an update posted last week. "One by one. With your help."

In the new film Red Sparrow, a CIA officer walks alone in Moscow's Gorky Park. There's a hand-off — a brush pass in the darkness with a Russian agent. Then all goes wrong: Police lights flash, gunshots ring. The CIA officer runs for his life straight to the gates of the American Embassy.

Jennifer Lawrence plays Dominika, a ballerina-turned-Russian-spy who's taught the tools of her trade by a secret, highly specialized "Sparrow School."

Writer Sherman Alexie last week issued a statement admitting he "has harmed" others, after rumors and allegations began to circulate about sexual harassment. Without providing details, Alexie said "there are women telling the truth," and he apologized to the people he has hurt. Now, some of those women have come forward to speak to NPR about their experiences with him.

Updated at 3:13 p.m. ET

"I have two words to leave with you tonight, ladies and gentlemen: inclusion rider."

Technology is threatening a lot of jobs — travel agents, truck drivers, factory workers. But here's one you might not expect: actors.

Technology in the entertainment business is on course to create digital actors who compete with live ones.

Global Stories of Women and Girls

Mar 5, 2018
Photo by Jason Falchook

Mary Hamilton gets married to an unconventional man.

Esther Ngumbi hides an act of defiance from her mother.

Jon Howe re-commits to his ailing wife.

Emely Recinos struggles with her diminishing eye-sight.

The quality of American cars got a lot better after the financial crisis. They got lighter, more efficient and more reliable. And the car business boomed.

But now they're getting too expensive. Sticker prices for the SUVs and trucks that Americans love are high enough that manufacturers don't have to sell as many vehicles to make money.

But that's not going to last.