WBEZ | The Two-Way http://www.wbez.org/tags/two-way-0 Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Steve Jobs Has Died; Apple Co-Founder Was 56 http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-10-05/steve-jobs-has-died-apple-co-founder-was-56-92878 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//npr_story/photo/2011-October/2011-10-05/jobs.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Steve Jobs, the visionary who co-founded Apple, left the company, and then returned to build it into a global powerhouse, has died at age 56, according to the company.</p><p>Jobs had been fighting pancreatic cancer for several years — a battle that forced him to take several extended breaks from his duties as Apple's CEO. He resigned from that post on Aug. 24, 2011.</p><p>In a <a href="http://www.apple.com/stevejobs/">statement on its website</a>, the technology firm said:</p><p><blockquote></p><p>Apple has lost a visionary and creative genius, and the world has lost an amazing human being. Those of us who have been fortunate enough to know and work with Steve have lost a dear friend and inspiring mentor. Steve leaves the company that only he could have built, and his spirit will forever be the foundation of Apple.</p><p></blockquote> <div class="fullattribution">Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit <a href="http://www.npr.org/">http://www.npr.org/</a>.<img src="http://metrics.npr.org/b/ss/nprapidev/5/1317859135?&gn=Steve+Jobs+Has+Died%3B+Apple+Co-Founder+Was+56&ev=event2&ch=103943429&h1=The+Two-Way,Technology,Business,U.S.,Home+Page+Top+Stories,News&c3=D%3Dgn&v3=D%3Dgn&c4=141096090&c7=1019&v7=D%3Dc7&c18=1019&v18=D%3Dc18&c19=20111005&v19=D%3Dc19&c20=1&v20=D%3Dc20&c31=103943429&v31=D%3Dc31&c45=MDA0OTc2MjAwMDEyNjk0NDE4OTI2NmUwNQ001"/></div></p></p> Wed, 05 Oct 2011 18:49:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-10-05/steve-jobs-has-died-apple-co-founder-was-56-92878 Palin Says She Will Not Run For President In 2012 Election http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-10-05/palin-says-she-will-not-run-president-2012-election-92876 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//npr_story/photo/2011-October/2011-10-05/palin_wide.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin will not be adding her name to the pool of candidates running for U.S. president in 2012, according to reports. In a <a href="http://marklevinshow.com/Article.asp?id=2303165&spid=32364">statement provided to the Mark Levin radio show</a>, Palin said, "I have decided that I will not be seeking the 2012 GOP nomination for president of the United States."</p><p>In the statement, read on air by Levin, Palin went on to say that she and her husband, Todd, had considered the matter and decided that not competing for the nomination was the best move for their family.</p><p>"My decision is based upon a review of what common-sense conservatives and independents have accomplished, especially over the last year. I believe that at this time, I can be more effective in a decisive role to help elect other true public servants to office, from the nation's governors and congressional seats to the presidency."</p><p>After Levin read the statement, he spoke with Palin via telephone — and asked her if perhaps her decision leaves open the possibility that she would seek a third-party nomination.</p><p>But Palin dispelled that idea, saying, "I would assume that a third party would just guarantee Obama's election, and that's the last thing that our republic can afford."</p><p>We'll have more updates and reaction about this news. <div class="fullattribution">Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit <a href="http://www.npr.org/">http://www.npr.org/</a>.<img src="http://metrics.npr.org/b/ss/nprapidev/5/1317855535?&gn=Palin+Says+She+Will+Not+Run+For+President+In+2012+Election&ev=event2&ch=103943429&h1=Presidential+Race,Election+2012,The+Two-Way,Around+the+Nation,Politics,U.S.,Home+Page+Top+Stories,News&c3=D%3Dgn&v3=D%3Dgn&c4=141094625&c7=139482413&v7=D%3Dc7&c18=139482413&v18=D%3Dc18&c19=20111005&v19=D%3Dc19&c20=1&v20=D%3Dc20&c31=103943429&v31=D%3Dc31&c45=MDA0OTc2MjAwMDEyNjk0NDE4OTI2NmUwNQ001"/></div></p></p> Wed, 05 Oct 2011 17:33:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-10-05/palin-says-she-will-not-run-president-2012-election-92876 Currying Danger: Restaurant's Spice Contest Puts Two In Hospital http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-10-05/currying-danger-restaurants-spice-contest-puts-two-hospital-92875 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//npr_story/photo/2011-October/2011-10-05/naga_chili_wide.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>A Scottish restaurant's competition to see who could eat the spiciest curry — and raise money for charity in the process — has ended in painful trips to the emergency room for at least two participants.</p><p>The <a href="http://www.kismot.co.uk/">Kismot</a> restaurant of Edinburgh, which serves Indian and Bangladeshi food, challenged competitors to eat its hottest curry. At least 20 people answered the bell. But problems became evident almost as soon as participants began eating the curry.</p><p>As the competitors started in on their dishes, half of the 20 people who took part in the challenge had dropped out after witnessing the first 10 diners vomiting, collapsing, sweating and panting," <a href="http://www.scotsman.com/news/Hot-chilli-challenge-puts-two.6848035.jp">reports <em>The Scotsman</em></a>.</p><p>By the time the remaining contenders reached the final bowl, dubbed the "Kismot Killer," the spice had become even more extreme, and it was clear that any victory would be of the Pyrrhic variety.</p><p>American Curie Kim, an exchange student attending Edinburgh University, came in second. She <a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-edinburgh-east-fife-15183070">described the ordeal for the BBC</a>:</p><p><blockquote></p><p>"The woman who won ate the last bowl in four seconds and then ran outside to be sick, whereas I didn't. So I've learned I should have had a game plan like that," she said.</p><p>"There were three rounds and I managed half of the last bowl.</p><p>"I was in so much pain I wasn't aware of what was going on around me and when I got to hospital they gave me medicine for the indigestion."</p><p></blockquote></p><p><em>The Scotsman</em> reports that all competitors signed a legal disclaimer before eating the curry, "and two members of the British Red Cross were on hand, but they could not cope with the nature of the injuries sustained."</p><p>The BBC spoke to the man who arranged the contest:</p><p><blockquote></p><p>Organizer Abdul Ali said: "The British Red Cross we had on board could not cope. We put our hands up. We did have to call the emergency services for a couple of our participants."</p><p>Mr Ali said he regretted that the services had to be called out on a busy Saturday.</p><p>He said all participants were now "fit and well" and more than £1,000 was raised for charity.</p><p></blockquote></p><p>Proceeds from the event were donated to CHAS, the Children's Hospice Association of Scotland.</p><p>The restaurant's website has evidently exceeded its allotted bandwidth, so I turned to <a href="http://www.yelp.co.uk/biz/kismot-edinburgh">Yelp UK</a> to learn more. Kismot has a 4.5-star rating out of 5 stars, based on seven reviews. And one satisfied customer confirms that at Kismot, they don't just bring the heat out for charity events:</p><p><blockquote></p><p>We were offered the chance to endure 'Scotland's hottest curry' in a bid to make it to the Kismot Hall of Fame, I'm a curry lover but that was an offer I put off till another day. However, there was a table beside us who took the challenge, we all shared in congratulating a very satisfied if a little hot under the collar guest who had made it to the famous Kismot Hall of Fame.</p><p></blockquote> <div class="fullattribution">Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit <a href="http://www.npr.org/">http://www.npr.org/</a>.<img src="http://metrics.npr.org/b/ss/nprapidev/5/1317851965?&gn=Currying+Danger%3A+Restaurant%27s+Spice+Contest+Puts+Two+In+Hospital&ev=event2&ch=103943429&h1=Food,Foreign+News,Scotland,The+Two-Way,Europe,World,Home+Page+Top+Stories,News&c3=D%3Dgn&v3=D%3Dgn&c4=141092344&c7=1053&v7=D%3Dc7&c18=1053&v18=D%3Dc18&c19=20111005&v19=D%3Dc19&c20=1&v20=D%3Dc20&c31=129009726,127602464,126801129,103943429&v31=D%3Dc31&c45=MDA0OTc2MjAwMDEyNjk0NDE4OTI2NmUwNQ001"/></div></p></p> Wed, 05 Oct 2011 16:45:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-10-05/currying-danger-restaurants-spice-contest-puts-two-hospital-92875 Occupy Wall Street Gets Union Backing; Approval Rating Tops Congress http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-10-05/occupy-wall-street-gets-union-backing-approval-rating-tops-congress-92867 <p><p>Occupy Wall Street is getting a shot in the arm, as some of America's largest unions have announced that they're now supporting the movement. The gain in momentum comes as off-shoots of the original Manhattan group plan marches and protests around the nation.</p><p>The AP notes the group's fast growth into a movement:</p><p><blockquote></p><p>The protests began two and a half weeks ago with a few dozen demonstrators who tried to pitch tents in front of the New York Stock Exchange. Since then, hundreds have set up camp in a park nearby and have become increasingly organized, lining up medical aid and legal help and printing their own newspaper.</p><p></blockquote></p><p>And in a sign of technical sophistication, the group also has its own Bitcoin address, where it's accepting donations. Wednesday, protests inspired by Occupy Wall Street led to protests in cities from Dayton, Ohio, to San Francisco, Calif.</p><p>And in New York City, the group is marching on Wall Street once again today — a <a href="http://occupywallst.org/">notice on its website</a> says that at 4:30 p.m. ET, "the 99% will march in solidarity with #occupywallstreet from Foley Square to the Financial District, where their pensions have disappeared to, where their health has disappeared to."</p><p>The group has attracted some mockery, largely for its members' proclivity for dressing up like zombies. But a <a href="http://www.slate.com/blogs/weigel/2011/10/05/poll_occupy_wall_street_starts_off_with_favorable_ratings.html">new Rasmussen poll</a> finds that the group enjoys a higher approval rating (33 percent) than does Congress (14 percent).</p><p>Perhaps sensing a groundswell of opinion, <a href="http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1011/65229.html">several key Democrats</a> have endorsed the group, including former Sen. Russ Feingold and Rep. John Larson, who called it a sign of a coming <a href="http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/996099ee-eea7-11e0-959a-00144feab49a.html#axzz1ZvtrALUG">"American autumn"</a> — a reference to the Arab Spring protests that have reshaped parts of the Middle East.</p><p>And like their Arab counterparts, the key members of Occupy Wall Street seem to be young people frustrated by a lack of opportunity, and angered by the disparity between a suffering middle class and the wealthiest citizens — as personified, here in America, by Wall Street bankers.</p><p>Just as the Tea Party movement has refused to join the Republican rank and file, the political establishment may also have a hard time assimilating Occupy Wall Street's grassroots energy. Or, as <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-partisan/post/why-occupy-wall-street-and-democrats-arent-natural-allies/2011/10/05/gIQAYuvyNL_blog.html"><em>The Washington Post's</em> James Downie</a> writes, "at least not without Democrats renouncing the influence Wall Street holds on them, as well."</p><p>From the Occupy Wall Street site, here's a partial list of the union groups that announced their support Wednesday:</p><p><ul></p><p><li>AFL-CIO (AFSCME)</li></p><p><li>United NY</li></p><p><li>Strong Economy for All Coalition</li></p><p><li>Working Families Party</li></p><p><li>TWU Local 100</li></p><p><li>SEIU 1199</li></p><p><li>CWA 1109</li></p><p><li>RWDSU</li></p><p><li>Communications Workers of America</li></p><p><li>CWA Local 1180</li></p><p><li>United Auto Workers</li></p><p><li>United Federation of Teachers</li></p><p><li>Professional Staff Congress - CUNY</li></p><p><li>National Nurses United</li></p><p><li>Writers Guild East</li></p><p></ul> <div class="fullattribution">Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit <a href="http://www.npr.org/">http://www.npr.org/</a>.<img src="http://metrics.npr.org/b/ss/nprapidev/5/1317848340?&gn=Occupy+Wall+Street+Gets+Union+Backing%3B+Approval+Rating+Tops+Congress&ev=event2&ch=103943429&h1=Occupy+Wall+Street,National+News,Economy,protests,The+Two-Way,Around+the+Nation,Politics,U.S.,Home+Page+Top+Stories,News&c3=D%3Dgn&v3=D%3Dgn&c4=141089001&c7=1091&v7=D%3Dc7&c18=1091&v18=D%3Dc18&c19=20111005&v19=D%3Dc19&c20=1&v20=D%3Dc20&c31=140847403,127602855,127602331,126976013,103943429&v31=D%3Dc31&c45=MDA0OTc2MjAwMDEyNjk0NDE4OTI2NmUwNQ001"/></div></p></p> Wed, 05 Oct 2011 15:18:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-10-05/occupy-wall-street-gets-union-backing-approval-rating-tops-congress-92867 Civil Rights Legend Rev. Shuttlesworth Dies; Defied Jim Crow Laws http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-10-05/civil-rights-legend-rev-shuttlesworth-dies-defied-jim-crow-laws-92850 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//npr_story/photo/2011-October/2011-10-05/shuttles_custom.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Civil rights leader Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth has died in Cincinnati, according to reports. He was 89. In the 1950s, Shuttleworth's activism resulted in beatings and attempts on his life in Birmingham, where he established the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights in 1956.</p><p><em>The Birmingham News</em> has put up a <a href="http://blog.al.com/spotnews/2011/10/fred_shuttlesworth_obituary.html">slideshow of the civil rights leader</a>, along with some highlights of his life-long struggle against racism and discrimination:</p><p><blockquote></p><p>The Rev. Shuttlesworth, who was brutally beaten by a mob, sprayed with city fire hoses, arrested by police 35 times and also blown out of his bed by a Ku Klux Klan bomb during his struggle against segregation in Birmingham, said he never feared death.</p><p>"I tried to get killed in Birmingham and go home to God because I knew it would be better for you in Birmingham," he once told an audience of students at Lawson State Community College.</p><p></blockquote></p><p>In an obituary that will air on <em>All Things Considered</em> this afternoon, Debbie Elliott reports that Shuttlesworth was known for pushing for change in what had come to be called "Bombingham."</p><p>And Shuttlesworth was also essential to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as Rep. John Lewis tells Elliott:</p><p>"Fred Shuttlesworth had the vision, the determination never to give up, never to give in," Lewis says. "He led an unbelievable children's crusade. It was the children who faced dogs, fire hoses, police billy clubs that moved and shook the nation." <div class="fullattribution">Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit <a href="http://www.npr.org/">http://www.npr.org/</a>.<img src="http://metrics.npr.org/b/ss/nprapidev/5/1317833938?&gn=Civil+Rights+Legend+Rev.+Shuttlesworth+Dies%3B+Defied+Jim+Crow+Laws&ev=event2&ch=103943429&h1=obituaries,Race+in+America,Obituaries,Religion,National+News,Civil+Rights+Movement,The+Two-Way,Around+the+Nation,Remembrances,U.S.,Home+Page+Top+Stories,News&c3=D%3Dgn&v3=D%3Dgn&c4=141081785&c19=20111005&v19=D%3Dc19&c20=1&v20=D%3Dc20&c31=136581461,128654323,128466026,127608374,127602855,126918541,103943429&v31=D%3Dc31&c45=MDA0OTc2MjAwMDEyNjk0NDE4OTI2NmUwNQ001"/></div></p></p> Wed, 05 Oct 2011 11:56:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-10-05/civil-rights-legend-rev-shuttlesworth-dies-defied-jim-crow-laws-92850 National Cathedral Will Reopen In November; Repairs Will Cost Millions http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-10-05/national-cathedral-will-reopen-november-repairs-will-cost-millions-92851 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//npr_story/photo/2011-October/2011-10-05/nat_cath_custom.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The National Cathedral, closed since sustaining extensive damage from the August earthquake that shook Washington, D.C., and the surrounding area, will reopen on Nov. 12, according to officials.</p><p><a href="http://www.nationalcathedral.org">The cathedral</a> is also trying to raise money to pay for repairs, estimated to run into the tens of millions of dollars. A statement on the landmark's website says organizers are seeking "at least $25 million" to cover its expenses through the end of 2012.</p><p>The quake damaged several spires and pinnacles high above the cathedral's roof, and caused cracks in its exterior. According to the statement, there seems to be no rappelling going on, as there was <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2011/09/27/140839487/happening-now-rappelling-at-washington-monument">at the Washington Monument</a> — a part of that monument's repairs that has now been completed, according to the AP.</p><p>Adjacent to the National Cathedral, a huge crane is in place, and scaffolding that resembles a giant roof deck is being assembled across its spires:</p><p><blockquote></p><p>A safety perimeter remains in place during stabilization work involving a 550-ton-capacity construction crane, with which workers are in the process of placing numerous steel beams weighing a total of 70 tons in the central tower. Scaffolding is being constructed atop the beams to gain access to and then safely remove the damaged pinnacles.</p><p></blockquote></p><p>The cathedral, whose foundation stone was laid in 1907, was constructed in several phases — the last of which ended in 1990. <div class="fullattribution">Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit <a href="http://www.npr.org/">http://www.npr.org/</a>.<img src="http://metrics.npr.org/b/ss/nprapidev/5/1317833940?&gn=National+Cathedral+Will+Reopen+In+November%3B+Repairs+Will+Cost+Millions&ev=event2&ch=103943429&h1=Religion,National+News,Culture,Earthquake,The+Two-Way,U.S.,Home+Page+Top+Stories,News&c3=D%3Dgn&v3=D%3Dgn&c4=141080383&c7=1016&v7=D%3Dc7&c18=1016&v18=D%3Dc18&c19=20111005&v19=D%3Dc19&c20=1&v20=D%3Dc20&c31=127608374,127602855,127602802,125099550,103943429&v31=D%3Dc31&c45=MDA0OTc2MjAwMDEyNjk0NDE4OTI2NmUwNQ001"/></div></p></p> Wed, 05 Oct 2011 11:12:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-10-05/national-cathedral-will-reopen-november-repairs-will-cost-millions-92851 Relief Pitcher Admits Living A Lie, And Then Life Gets Complicated http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-10-04/relief-pitcher-admits-living-lie-and-then-life-gets-complicated-92828 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//npr_story/photo/2011-October/2011-10-04/nunez_vert.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>One week before the pro baseball season ended, Florida Marlins pitcher Leo Nunez made a stunning admission: For the past 10 years, he lied about both his age and his name. As the subterfuge finally came apart, Nunez left for his native Dominican Republic. Details about why he assumed someone else's identity are only now coming out.</p><p>"His real name is Juan Carlos Oviedo," <em>Miami Herald</em> reporter Frances Robles tells NPR's Lynn Neary. "And when he was 17, he assumed a friend's identity, who was 16 — because the teams pay so much more money for 16-year-olds."</p><p>Robles <a href="http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/10/02/2435672_p2/in-bonao-marlins-pitcher-leo-nunez.html">visited Oviedo's Dominican hometown</a> of Bonao, where she talked to a coach who runs a "baseball school" that nurtures young players, many of them both talented and desperate to help their families. There, Oviedo was reportedly known almost exclusively by his nickname, "C.D."</p><p>That nickname seems to have made it particularly easy for Oviedo to take the name of a younger friend named Leo Nunez. In 2000, he signed a contract with the Pittsburgh Pirates, who believed he was 16.</p><p>"They don't pay big bucks for 17; they pay big bucks for 16," Robles says. "The difference can be hundreds of thousands of dollars."</p><p>As for the real Leo Nunez, Robles reports that he still lives in Bonao, where he works in a duty-free zone. But he would not speak with Robles for her article.</p><p>Instead, he spoke with local journalist Fabian. Robles writes:</p><p><blockquote></p><p>"That business that's going around that the real Leo got money isn't true," Fabián said. "He never got any money, nothing, never. In this country, people would just do that for a friend."</p><p>In a country where most people are poor and baseball is among the few paths to riches, he said, everyone wanted Oviedo to succeed.</p><p></blockquote></p><p>Robles says that Oviedo himself brought down the ruse, by contacting the Dominican consulate in Florida and telling them his real name, saying that he wanted to "straighten out my paperwork." He then signed a statement acknowledging that he had falsified his identity.</p><p></p><p>As for why Oviedo decided to come clean, Robles says there are two competing stories out there. One version supposes that he's trying to fulfill a final request from his father, who died last spring. In a similar scenario, this one popular in his hometown, he revealed his real identity so that he could become a naturalized U.S. citizen and bring his family to America.</p><p>Pitching as Leo Nunez for the Marlins in 2011, Oviedo, whose actual age is 29, recorded 36 saves and compiled a 4.06 ERA, appearing in 68 games.</p><p>For now, Oviedo remains in the Dominican Republic; the Marlins have placed him on the "restricted list," used to denote players who are obligated to a team but unavailable to play. That status means that he cannot play for any team but the Marlins — and it can be revised if he resolves his legal issues, allowing him to return to active duty with the team.</p><p>Robles says Oviedo would likely have to serve at least a one-year suspension, and forfeit the $6 million salary that would come with it, under his current contract.</p><p>In reporting her story for the <em>Herald</em>, Robles was unable to speak with Oviedo. But she spoke with his mother-in-law, Miguelina, who told her, "He'll play baseball again: it's not like he killed anybody... He seems very calm to me. He does not seem worried at all."</p><p>As Robles tells Lynn on <em>Morning Edition</em>, the problem of assumed identities doesn't end with Oviedo, noting that 319 players from the Dominican Republic signed new contracts in 2011 — for a combined total of $42 million in signing bonuses.</p><p>"As long as there's that many players with that much money, this fraud is going to continue," she says.</p><p>Robles says that after U.S. officials tightened identity checks after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, 540 baseball players, many of them Dominican, "had fudged either their date of birth, or their name and their date of birth."</p><p>And even now, she says, Major League Baseball has found that "a full third of the prospects who are coming in are found to be with fraudulent documents." <div class="fullattribution">Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit <a href="http://www.npr.org/">http://www.npr.org/</a>.<img src="http://metrics.npr.org/b/ss/nprapidev/5/1317787205?&gn=Relief+Pitcher+Admits+Living+A+Lie%2C+And+Then+Life+Gets+Complicated&ev=event2&ch=103943429&h1=human+interest,Major+League+Baseball,Legal,Sports,The+Two-Way,Latin+America,U.S.,Home+Page+Top+Stories,News&c3=D%3Dgn&v3=D%3Dgn&c4=141063029&c7=1055&v7=D%3Dc7&c18=1055&v18=D%3Dc18&c19=20111004&v19=D%3Dc19&c20=1&v20=D%3Dc20&c21=3&v21=D%3Dc2&c31=129641447,128704066,127603218,127602530,103943429&v31=D%3Dc31&c45=MDA0OTc2MjAwMDEyNjk0NDE4OTI2NmUwNQ001"/></div></p></p> Tue, 04 Oct 2011 18:52:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-10-04/relief-pitcher-admits-living-lie-and-then-life-gets-complicated-92828 Bicycles, China's Former Love, Get A Second Look http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-10-04/bicycles-chinas-former-love-get-second-look-92821 <p><p>For years, it was common to see images of Chinese people riding bikes in massive packs, coursing along the streets of Beijing or other sprawling metropolises. Then, as the nation's economy took off, bicycles came to be seen as part of the country's past — and cars as a sign of its future.</p><p>That was the view of Ambassador Yu Qingtai, who for more than two years was China's "special representative for climate change negotiations." In a 2009 <a href="http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=120811453">interview with <em>The Nation</em></a> republished here at NPR, Yu said, "We should not be expected to stay forever as a kingdom of bicycles!"</p><p>Indeed, a story published by <a href="http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific/view/1157129/1/.html">Channel News Asia today</a> paints a picture of how far the pendulum has swung in the other direction, saying of Beijing, "Once a cyclists' paradise, the Chinese capital is now better known for its snarled traffic jams and unbreathable air."</p><p>But the article also suggests that some Chinese citizens are now finding ways to avoid driving cars. In a trend that mirrors one here in the United States, more and more Chinese people are turning to cycling because they're fed up with traffic and hoping to get some exercise.</p><p></p><p>China's cycling culture reportedly got a boost from the 2008 Summer Olympics, held in Beijing. And the country's top track cyclist, Guo Shuang, competed in the women's sprint at this year's world championships in the Netherlands.</p><p>The sport/hobby may get another boost Wednesday, when some of the world's top road racers will ride in the five-day <a href="http://www.tourofbeijing.net/">Tour of Beijing</a> — part of the UCI World Tour, which also includes the Tour de France and the Giro d'Italia.</p><p>The article states that Chinese bike businesses are thriving, too:</p><p><blockquote></p><p>Trek China, the local outfit of US bike manufacturer Trek Bicycle Corp, expects to record sales of 100 million yuan ($15.6 million) this year, up from just two million yuan in 2006.</p><p></blockquote></p><p>And it should be noted, Trek is still making inroads into China, where the market is dominated by Taiwan's Giant and China's domestic brands Flying Pigeon and Phoenix. In fact, Flying Pigeon models — the famous "city bikes" featuring black paint and a full chain guard — are now being <a href="http://flyingpigeon-la.com/">imported for sale in the U.S.</a>, Trek's home market. <div class="fullattribution">Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit <a href="http://www.npr.org/">http://www.npr.org/</a>.<img src="http://metrics.npr.org/b/ss/nprapidev/5/1317761963?&gn=Bicycles%2C+China%27s+Former+Love%2C+Get+A+Second+Look&ev=event2&ch=103943429&h1=bicycles,Environment,Sports,Foreign+News,The+Two-Way,Asia,World,Home+Page+Top+Stories,News&c3=D%3Dgn&v3=D%3Dgn&c4=141053757&c7=1055&v7=D%3Dc7&c18=1055&v18=D%3Dc18&c19=20111004&v19=D%3Dc19&c20=1&v20=D%3Dc20&c31=139578326,127602567,127602530,127602464,103943429&v31=D%3Dc31&c45=MDA0OTc2MjAwMDEyNjk0NDE4OTI2NmUwNQ001"/></div></p></p> Tue, 04 Oct 2011 15:24:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-10-04/bicycles-chinas-former-love-get-second-look-92821 U.S. Regulators Promise Oversight Of Offshore Drilling Contractors http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-10-04/us-regulators-promise-oversight-offshore-drilling-contractors-92810 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//npr_story/photo/2011-October/2011-10-04/oilplatform_wide.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Nearly 18 months after a disastrous oil spill killed wildlife and endangered the futures of fishermen and resort businesses along the Gulf of Mexico, the federal government announces it will regulate not only the operators of offshore oil rigs, but the contractors who own and work on them, as well.</p><p>The shift in enforcement is one of several changes announced in the past 24 hours, as federal regulators seek to ensure the <a href="http://www.npr.org/series/126475680/gulf-oil-spill-complete-coverage">Gulf spill catastrophe</a> does not recur.</p><p>"We will regulate contractors as well as operators. There is no compelling reason or logic not to do so," Michael Bromwich, interim director of the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, said at an oil conference, <a href="http://uk.reuters.com/article/2011/10/04/us-oilsafety-idUKL5E7L433M20111004">according to Reuters</a>.</p><p>After the spill in April 2010, harsh criticism was leveled at BP, which operated the rig and owned the drilling permits; Transocean, the contractor that owned the Deepwater Horizon rig; and Halliburton, which capped the leaking well. The federal agency in charge of monitoring the drilling, the Minerals Management Service, also came under harsh scrutiny — and was dismantled only one month later.</p><p>Before the gulf spill, it had been common practice for the MMS to monitor only the operator of deep-sea oil rigs, not contractors. And before changing that, Bromwich said that he first had to be sure the agency wasn't overstepping its authority.</p><p>"The lawyers said there was no doubt that we had the legal authority to do it," he said. "The question then became whether it was appropriate to do it, and I concluded that it certainly is."</p><p>Bromwich made his pledge to regulate contractors shortly after being named the interim director of the new Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement — an offshoot of the now-defunct U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement. The agency was split into two parts on Oct. 1, with the other half being the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.</p><p>The effects of the Deepwater Horizon spill are still being felt along the coast of Louisiana, where some seafood fishermen say their business has yet to return to normal.</p><p></p><p>More than one month into the white shrimp season, fishermen say this year's harvest will be a small one.</p><p>"I am talking to the guys, I am talking to the docks, and they are telling me that they are 80 percent off," Clint Guidry, president of the Louisiana Shrimp Association, tells the AP. "We should have had a good year this year."</p><p>The low yield is also causing problems for seafood processors, the AP reports:</p><p>"We have done zero this year," said Randy Pearce, the plant's owner-operator. "We have not peeled one Louisiana white shrimp." <div class="fullattribution">Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit <a href="http://www.npr.org/">http://www.npr.org/</a>.<img src="http://metrics.npr.org/b/ss/nprapidev/5/1317747543?&gn=U.S.+Regulators+Promise+Oversight+Of+Offshore+Drilling+Contractors&ev=event2&ch=103943429&h1=Gulf+oil+spill,National+News,Accidents+and+Disasters,Louisiana,The+Two-Way,Around+the+Nation,Environment,Business,U.S.,Home+Page+Top+Stories,News&c3=D%3Dgn&v3=D%3Dgn&c4=141045160&c7=1091&v7=D%3Dc7&c18=1091&v18=D%3Dc18&c19=20111004&v19=D%3Dc19&c20=1&v20=D%3Dc20&c31=132084502,127602855,127602334,126023579,103943429&v31=D%3Dc31&c45=MDA0OTc2MjAwMDEyNjk0NDE4OTI2NmUwNQ001"/></div></p></p> Tue, 04 Oct 2011 11:45:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-10-04/us-regulators-promise-oversight-offshore-drilling-contractors-92810 ESPN Pulls Hank Williams Jr. Song From 'MNF' Over Hitler Remark http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-10-03/espn-pulls-hank-williams-jr-song-mnf-over-hitler-remark-92787 <p><p>ESPN says it won't use Hank Williams Jr. in tonight's <em>Monday Night Football</em> program, after the singer compared President Obama to Adolf Hitler. Williams made the remark Monday on Fox News while talking about Obama playing golf with House Speaker John Boehner.</p><p>Appearing on <em>Fox & Friends</em>, Williams brought up the round of golf after being asked to weigh in on the Republican field of presidential candidates.</p><p>After answering that he liked "nobody" in the GOP field, Williams said, "You remember the golf game they had, ladies and gentlemen? Remember the golf game?</p><p>"That was one of the biggest political mistakes ever. That turned a lot of people off."</p><p>When asked what he didn't like about Obama and Boehner playing golf, Williams responded, "It'd be like Hitler playing golf with [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu."</p><p>Asked what he didn't like about the outing, which came in June as both parties argued over a potential government shutdown, Williams said, "They're the enemy." He then added that he was referring to Obama and Vice President Joe Biden.</p><p>You can watch the exchange here:</p><p>For tonight's <em>Monday Night Football, </em>the abrupt programming change means the broadcast will be without Williams' Emmy-winning song "All My Rowdy Friends" for the first time in 20 years. It will also lack the country singer's signature opening line, "Are you ready for some football?"</p><p>In a statement, ESPN said, "While Hank Williams, Jr. is not an ESPN employee, we recognize that he is closely linked to our company through the open to <em>Monday Night Football</em>. We are extremely disappointed with his comments, and as a result we have decided to pull the open from tonight's telecast."</p><p>It was not clear whether the removal of the song would be permanent or temporary.</p><p>As a <a href="http://espn.go.com/espn/story/_/id/7056003/espn-pulls-hank-williams-jr-ready-opening-mnf">report on ESPN's website</a> describes, the singer was given a chance to tone down his remarks toward the end of the interview on Fox, as "anchor Gretchen Carlson told Williams he used the name of one of history's most hated men to describe the president."</p><p>Williams replied, "Well that's true. But I'm telling you like it is." <div class="fullattribution">Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit <a href="http://www.npr.org/">http://www.npr.org/</a>.<img src="http://metrics.npr.org/b/ss/nprapidev/5/1317690006?&gn=ESPN+Pulls+Hank+Williams+Jr.+Song+From+%27MNF%27+Over+Hitler+Remark&ev=event2&ch=103943429&h1=Adolph+Hitler,Politics,Sports,Football,President+Obama,The+Two-Way,U.S.,Home+Page+Top+Stories,News&c3=D%3Dgn&v3=D%3Dgn&c4=141027499&c7=1055&v7=D%3Dc7&c18=1055&v18=D%3Dc18&c19=20111003&v19=D%3Dc19&c20=1&v20=D%3Dc20&c31=137027942,127602596,127602530,126950481,126026613,103943429&v31=D%3Dc31&c45=MDA0OTc2MjAwMDEyNjk0NDE4OTI2NmUwNQ001"/></div></p></p> Mon, 03 Oct 2011 19:46:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-10-03/espn-pulls-hank-williams-jr-song-mnf-over-hitler-remark-92787