2:25am

Fri December 14, 2012
Asia

What North Korea's Rocket Launch Tells Us About Iran's Role

Originally published on Fri December 14, 2012 8:03 am

This monitor screen image shows a graphic of the orbit of the satellite carried by the Unha-3 rocket, which North Korea launched this week. The image is from the Korean Central News Agency, distributed in Tokyo by the Korea News Service.
AP

U.S. officials say the satellite put into orbit by North Korea's rocket launch this week is wobbling, but that doesn't necessarily mean the launch itself was unsuccessful.

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2:24am

Fri December 14, 2012
Shots - Health News

Making The Rich Pay More For Medicare

Originally published on Fri December 14, 2012 4:33 am

Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., speaks Tuesday at a news conference calling for no reduction in the Medicare and Medicaid budgets, as part of the year-end budget talks on Capitol Hill in Washington. Waxman said he does not support means testing for Medicare.
Joshua Roberts Reuters /Landov

When it comes to reducing Medicare spending, asking wealthier seniors to pay more is one of the few areas where Democrats have shown a willingness to even consider the subject.

"I do believe there should be means testing. And those of us with higher income in retirement should pay more," said Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., on last Sunday's Meet the Press. "That could be part of the solution."

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2:19am

Fri December 14, 2012
Research News

Counting Bugs In Panama? Get Out Your Tree Raft

Originally published on Mon January 7, 2013 2:22 pm

Arachnoscelis magnifica
Maurice Leponce AAAS

There are more species of insects than pretty much anything else in the world. And scientists know there are millions they haven't even identified yet. Now, in a tropical rainforest in Panama, a multinational team of scientists has just completed the first ever insect census.

Scott Miller, an entomologist at the Smithsonian who worked on the Panama, shows off one of the species from the survey that's at the National Museum of Natural History's insect zoo in Washington, D.C.

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2:18am

Fri December 14, 2012
World

Families Of Spain's 'Stolen Babies' Seek Answers — And Reunions

Originally published on Fri December 14, 2012 9:20 am

Antonio Iniesta demonstrates in Madrid's Puerta del Sol square last month. He's searching for a younger brother he believes is one of Spain's bebes robados, or stolen babies.
Sylvia Poggioli NPR

Allegations of the existence of a secret network of doctors and nuns who stole newborn babies and sold them for adoption are reviving a dark chapter in Spain's recent history.

More than 1,000 people have gone to court hoping to track down sons and daughters or brothers and sisters they were told died in childbirth.

In Madrid's Puerta del Sol square last month, Antonio Iniesta stood next to a poster with the words bebes robados (stolen babies). His demonstration is intended to publicize his search for a brother he's convinced is alive.

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2:17am

Fri December 14, 2012
Business

Farewell, Bosses: A Wave Of Young Entrepreneurs

Originally published on Fri December 14, 2012 4:33 am

To save money, 30-year-old Alisha Mustafa runs her small pie-making business out of the kitchen of another restaurant.
Mustafa Pie Co.

Thirty-year-old Alisha Mustafa spent years working at low-paying restaurant jobs. The unemployment rate hovers around 10 percent in her hometown of Bloomington, Ind.

"I've worked it all in this town," she says. "I've worked for so many restaurants, and last year was my year from hell in the industry."

So, she quit and started her own business. Now, she spends most days baking treats like gluten-free strawberry mango pie for her business, Mustafa Pie Co.

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2:15am

Fri December 14, 2012
Education

In California, Parents Trigger Change At Failing School

Originally published on Fri January 11, 2013 2:18 pm

Parents leading a revolt to take over an elementary school say it has failed their children. From left: Cynthia Ramirez with her son, Mason; Doreen Diaz; Bartola DelVillar; and Kathy Duncan.
Claudio Sanchez NPR

Parents in one small California community have used a "parent-trigger" law for the first time to shut down and take over an elementary school. It's a revolt led by parents who say the school has failed their children, but others say it's not the school's fault.

The school is in tiny Adelanto, Calif., home to several prisons connected by desolate stretches of highway on the fringes of the Mojave Desert.

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5:20pm

Thu December 13, 2012
Superstorm Sandy: Before, During And Beyond

Lady Liberty's Sea-Washed Gates Closed Indefinitely

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 7:01 pm

The Statue of Liberty survived Sandy unscathed, but Liberty Island remains closed indefinitely as workers remove mud and debris.
Joel Rose NPR

The Statue of Liberty still lifts her lamp beside the golden door, but the island that's home to the iconic statue was severely tempest-tost by Superstorm Sandy. Flood damage inflicted by the storm has closed Liberty Island and nearby Ellis Island indefinitely.

On Thursday, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar made his first visit to the Statue of Liberty since the storm. David Luchsinger, superintendent of the Statue of Liberty National Monument, led the secretary on a walking tour.

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4:25pm

Thu December 13, 2012
Movie Reviews

A 'Hobbit,' Off On His Unhurried Journey

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 7:01 pm

Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) takes a fantastic adventure across Middle-earth in Peter Jackson's prequel to his Lord of the Rings trilogy.
James Fisher Warner Bros. Pictures

The Hobbit's path to the screen may have started out as tortuous as a trek through the deadly Helcaraxe, filled with detours (Guillermo del Toro was initially going to direct), marked by conflict (New Zealand labor disputes) and strewn with seemingly insurmountable obstacles (so many that the filmmakers threatened to move the shoot to Australia).

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4:25pm

Thu December 13, 2012
Sports

With 88 Goals, Lionel Messi Celebrates A Record Year

Originally published on Fri December 14, 2012 1:42 am

Barcelona forward Lionel Messi (in dark blue) shoots on Cordoba's goalkeeper Mikel Saizar (left) during the Spanish Copa del Rey football match in Cordoba on Wednesday.
Cristina Quicler AFP/Getty Images

Stop anyone on the street in Europe, Latin America, Africa and even Asia, and chances are they'll know the name Lionel Messi — and they'll probably know what he did this week. The soccer phenom scored his 88th goal of the year, which is widely thought to be a world record.

And the year's not over yet.

On Sunday, Messi, 25, scored his 86th goal of the calendar year in a Spanish league game against Real Betis, in Seville. The goal, Messi's second of the game, gave Barcelona a 2-1 win over Betis, with the announcer booming, "A new goal king!"

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Ella Taylor is a free-lance film critic, book reviewer and feature writer living in Los Angeles.

Born in Israel and raised in London, Taylor taught media studies at the University of Washington in Seattle; her book Prime Time Families: Television Culture in Post-War America was published by the University of California Press.

Taylor has written for Village Voice Media, the LA Weekly, The New York Times, Elle magazine and other publications, and was a regular contributor to KPCC-Los Angeles' weekly film-review show FilmWeek.

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