This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Over 18 months Syria has come unraveled. Infuriated by government brutality and emboldened by the Arab Spring, protestors in provincial cities took to the streets and spawned a movement that evolved in the face of ever-escalating violence to a revolution.
Bill Pullman enjoyed a star turn as the president of the United States in Independence Day. And in an upcoming NBC show, 1600 Penn, he's back in the White House. He's also starring in a new film, Bringing Up Bobby.
"This is an amazing time to be making a comedy about the White House," Pullman tells NPR's Neal Conan. "There's all these ... articles about the misspeaking that the presidents have done ... and I thought, boy, these are the lines I get to say, you know?"
Edwidge Danticat and Julia Alvarez pronounce 'perejil'
Seventy five years ago, thousands of Haitians were murdered in the Dominican Republic by a brutal dictator. It was one of the 20th Century's least-remembered acts of genocide.
As many as 20,000 people are thought to have been killed on orders given by Rafael Trujillo. But the "parsley massacre" went mostly unnoticed outside Hispaniola. Even there, many Dominicans never knew about what happened in early October 1937. They were kept in the dark by Trujillo's henchmen.
Starting today, America's hospitals will find that their checks from Medicare are a little bit lighter.
As part of the government's biggest effort yet at paying for performance, Medicare is withholding 1 percent of its regular hospital payments and putting that money into a fund to reward hospitals that score well on 20 different quality measures.
Originally published on Mon October 1, 2012 12:32 pm
There was a time — and it wasn't that long ago — when kids would leave home on a summer morning and roam free. "I knew kids who were pushed out the door at eight in the morning," writes Bill Bryson of his childhood in the 1950s, "and not allowed back until five unless they were on fire or actively bleeding." That's what kids did. They went out. Parents let them, and everybody did it. "If you stood on any corner with a bike — any corner anywhere — more than a hundred children, many of whom you had never seen before, would appear and ask you where you were going," Bryson writes.
After studying details of the tax changes now set to take effect for 2013, the researchers were struck by "how big the tax increase is," said Eric Toder, one of those researchers. "It's a huge, huge number."
October marks 75 years since a dark period in the Dominican Republic's history. In 1937, President Rafael Leonidas Trujillo ordered the execution of thousands of ethnic Haitians. Guest host Celeste Headlee discusses the "Parsley Massacre" with two noted authors, one Dominican and one Haitian: Julia Alvarez and Edwidge Danticat.