NPR News



Sat July 30, 2011
The Record

'London Calling,' Repurposed As A Tourism Jingle

Courtesy of the artist

From the first few notes, the song is unmistakable. "London Calling," which kicked off The Clash's 1979 album of the same name, became an anthem for a new, edgy London that could be hard, dark, and cutting.

Now, organizers of the 2012 Olympic Games are using song to invite the world to come to London — a curious choice, given the tone of the lyrics. Here's a representative sample:

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Sat July 30, 2011

Preparing For Debt Fallout: What If Payments Stop?

If Democrats and Republicans are unable to meet the Tuesday deadline for raising the debt ceiling, and the Treasury starts running short of money, the government will have to start making choices about which bills to pay. On the West Coast, as elsewhere in the country, taxpayers and state officials are considering what would happen if Social Security and medical benefits really stop.

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Sat July 30, 2011

A 'Whistleblower' Made Into A Hollywood Heroine

Kathryn Bolkovac (at left), the inspiration for the film The Whistleblower, poses at the Toronto Film Festival in September, 2010 with actress Rachel Weisz, who plays the character based on Bolkovac in the film.
Alexandra Wyman Getty Images

In 1999, Kathryn Bolkovac had run into hard times. A police officer in Lincoln, Neb., who had recently lost custody of her daughters in a divorce settlement, she was looking for a new job that would give her the means to live near them.

When Bolkovac heard she could earn good money in a short period of time by becoming part of the U.N. International Police Force in Bosnia — run by a private British agency called DynCorp — she decided to sign on.

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Sat July 30, 2011

NFL Filmmaker Touches Down In Hall Of Fame

Next week, the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, will welcome its newest inductees, and among them is the man who helped turn football into an art form and the NFL into the most watched pro sports league in the nation.

Theme music, images of Vince Lombardi's frozen breath as he calls out plays, Joe Namath raising his hand in victory after winning the Super Bowl — Ed Sabol's cinematic vision brought Hollywood to pro football and football to America's living rooms.

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Sat July 30, 2011
Pop Culture

Jonathan Winters Reflects On A Lifetime Of Laughs

Jonathan Winters' entertainment career began when his wife encouraged him to enter a local talent contest in his hometown of Dayton, Ohio. He ended up winning the contest — along with a wrist watch and a job as a local radio DJ.
Stephen Shugerman Getty Images

The recent Smurfs movie has the distinction of casting one of America's most admired of comedians. He's Jonathan Winters and he gives voice to Papa Smurf in the new film, but he also voiced Grandpa Smurf in the 1980s TV cartoon series.

Winters has practiced comedy for over 60 years in just about every medium you can make people laugh in — on the radio, on television, in nightclubs, on recordings, in movies and even on telephone answering machines (ask your parents).

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