This summer, while athletes prepare for the Olympic Games in London, music lovers are getting ready for the "Olympics of Choral Music." Officially called the World Choir Games, this Herculean singing competition features hundreds of choirs from around the world. This year is the first time it will be held in the U.S. — in Cincinnati, starting Wednesday.
Catherine Roma, conductor of women's choir MUSE, says her philosophy is more about musical excellence than competition. After witnessing the 2010 Choral Olympics in China, she saw something that surprised her.
Michael Phelps, the American Olympic swimming star, will not try to repeat his incredible feat of Beijing. Phelps collected eight gold medals in 2008, which essentially cemented his place as the the best swimmer the world has seen.
The New York Times reports that Phelp's coach, Bob Bowman, announced today that Phelps will not compete in the 200-meter freestyle in London, which reduces his event load to seven.
In what could be a troubling sign for the U.S. economy, manufacturing activity started contracting last month. U.S. manufacturing has been a much-needed bright spot, with companies adding jobs and selling more products.
But today, as NPR's Chris Arnold tells us, we got evidence that things might be changing.
Originally published on Wed September 26, 2012 12:39 pm
Brooklyn-born Aaron Copland was an American original in more ways than one. It's not just his music, with its openness and simple elegance. It's that he expected ballet dancers to act like cowboys, pianists to play blues and orchestra players to accompany political speechmaking. His Lincoln Portrait, composed during World War II, matches words from our 16th president with symphonic music.
There is increasing awareness of cities as a defining trait of humanity and their importance to our health, economy and the environment. Here, some basic nuts and bolts about cities and the people who live, drive, work and play in them
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Leonel Manzano leads Matthew Centrowitz to the finish in the men's 1500 meter final at the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials Sunday, July 1, 2012, in Eugene, Ore. Manzano came in first and Centrowitz crossed second. Both made the Olympic team. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Leonel Manzano is the new U.S. track and field champion in the men's 1500 meters. He took home the title on Sunday night, and booked his place on the 2012 U.S. Olympic team. As part of Tell Me More's preview of the Summer Olympics, host Michel Martin speaks with Manzano about his humble beginnings in Mexico.
There apparently isn't a unified Republican message on whether President Obama has introduced a big new tax through the Affordable Care Act.
Eric Fehrnstrom, a top aide to Mitt Romney, said Monday that the Republican presidential candidate's position is that the penalty under the new law — the one for people who can afford to buy health insurance, but don't — is not a tax.
The Supreme Court last week upheld the health care law's individual mandate on the grounds that it is a permissible tax, in a 5-4 opinion authored by Chief Justice John Roberts.
Afghanistan produces about half the power it currently uses and imports the other half from neighboring countries. But that total still doesn't meet the country's demands. This photo shows Kabul at night in January.
Credit Bay Ismoyo / AFP/Getty Images
Only about one-third of Afghans have access to a reliable power supply.
Credit Sean Carberry / NPR
The Omid Plastic Making Factory in Kabul manufactures plastic bags. Even though the industrial park where it's located was supposed to guarantee full power, the factory often relies on a generator. "There is no industrial power for us. We are using the same power as normal people," says factory manager Abdul Qadida Sozai.
Credit Sean Carberry / NPR
This welding shop in Kabul relies on a generator because the city power supply isn't reliable or powerful enough for the equipment.
Afghanistan desperately needs to jump-start its economy if it hopes to stand on its own after NATO's drawdown in 2014. But there's a major constraint for a country trying to build a modern economy: electricity shortages.
Afghanistan ranks among the countries with the lowest electricity production per capita in the world. Despite billions of dollars in projects over the past decade, at best one-third of the population has access to regular power.