We've reported and heard plenty in the last year about how the Upper Big Branch mine explosion was preceded by failures to strictly apply mine safety regulations and practices. Both mine owner Massey Energy and the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration share blame, according to a recent report from the West Virginia Governor's Independent Investigation of the disaster.
Credit Jack Mitchell / Metropolitan Opera Archives
Poor James Levine. One minute he's praised, the next he's condemned. Last night many PBS stations aired the documentary James Levine: America's Maestro. That's got to feel good. So too would the publication last month of the coffee table book James Levine: 40 Years at the Metropolitan Opera, not to mention the lavish new 21-DVD and 32-CD boxed sets of his Met years.
Just as the Mississippi River settles after washing out swaths of the South, the flooding elsewhere has just begun: A raging Missouri River in the northern Plains now will threaten parts of the Midwest well into the summer.
Many communities in the upper Midwest had expected a wet season, but the specter of a more severe and sustained period of flooding surfaced following record rainfall concentrated in Montana.
Making matters worse, rising temperatures are expected to melt the snowcaps in the Rocky Mountains following a winter of greater-than-usual snowfall.
The E. Coli outbreak that has killed 17 people across Europe is also causing political tension. Today, Russia announced that it has banned imports of fresh vegetables from the European Union.
NPR's Philip Reeves reports that the European Union came out in protest just as quickly.
"We don't think that's the right move," said Frédéric Vincent, health spokesman for the European Commission. "We think this is disproportionate and we have a safety system in the E.U., which is working. We do have a health situation at the moment in Germany, but we're dealing with it."
As that stark line from Mitt Romney's Thursday speech in which he officially announced that he is seeking the 2012 Republican presidential nomination for a chance to unseat President Obama, the putatutive GOP frontrunner is doing what the challenger to an incumbent president does. You call the president a flop and try to make the race a referendum on his presidency.
Romney, appearing at a rally at Bittersweet Farm in New Hampshire, had at least three narratives of the Obama presidency aimed at different groups of voters.
Despite its hot-button kickoff point — a mass college shooting — Beautiful Boy is the antithesis of melodrama. Painfully perceptive and relentlessly raw, this intimate observation of a couple in extremis plays out with such subdued intensity that, by the end, audiences will very likely feel as wrung out as its embattled stars.
There's a genre of romantic comedy perfected by Woody Allen in Annie Hall that, when done right, can make you feel not just happy but liberated. It's philosophical and free-form, jumping around in time, indulging in flights of fantasy like a first-person comic novel.
The bacterium that is causing all the trouble in Europe is similar to the dreaded E. coli that has caused occasional but deadly outbreaks in the United States and elsewhere in the world. But the strain that has struck Germany is not so well known to science.
That leaves researchers puzzling over exactly why it's causing so many deaths, and wondering how long the epidemic will last.
At least medical scientists know quite a bit about its method of attack.
On June 21st, the streets, parks, and churches of Berlin will come alive with music as the Fete de La Musique welcomes summer. More than 4000 musicians will celebrate on 103 stages throughout the city. The Fete is the "open house" of the Berlin music scene.
The members of F---- Up don't know when to stop. The hardcore band's discography is littered with 12" singles based on the Zodiac, mixtapes, Christmas singles, three full-lengths and who-knows-what else. It's appropriate, then, that the band's latest album, the 78-minute rock opera David Comes to Life (streaming in its entirety here), has an odd assortment of bonus material attached to it.