China is about to get new leaders for the first time in a decade, and it comes at a sensitive moment for the world's most populous nation. Economic growth, which surged for decades, has slowed. Demands for political reform have increased and the Communist Party has been hit by scandal. In a series of stories this week, NPR is examining the multiple challenges facing China. In our first story, Louisa Lim looks at how the Chinese view the Communist Party in the place where it took shape.
The frail 79-year-old in a pale brown shirt with close-cropped hair sitting at a fast-food restaurant table looks absolutely unremarkable. But Bao Tong has a lightness in his eyes, a confidence that speaks of a man whose conscience is clear, a man with nothing to fear.
"I have become my own person," he says. "When I was a Communist Party member, I had to follow party discipline. When they threw me out of the party, my brain was set free."
Originally published on Mon October 29, 2012 10:48 am
Before you brave the rain, wind and inevitable lines at the already depleted grocery store today in the Mid-Atlantic region, take a deep breath.
If you're a moderately good grocery shopper, you probably already have the food you need on hand to make it through the next few days if (when) we lose power because of Hurricane Sandy. (If not, best to find a shelter near you.) But you do need to take extra precautions that what you're preparing is safe.
"Personal income increased $48.1 billion, or 0.4 percent," in September from August, the Bureau of Economic Analysis says, while "personal consumption expenditures" — consumer spending — rose 0.8 percent.
Originally published on Mon October 29, 2012 9:04 am
It is autumn, and where I live the leaves are peaking; there is a riot of them everywhere, narrow ones, broad ones, droopy ones, crunchy ones. Leaves come in so many shapes, hues, textures — the closer you look, the more differences you see. Botanists have names for every leaf type, and clumped together, says writer Robert Dunn, they sound like free verse poetry ...
Originally published on Tue October 30, 2012 9:18 am
As Hurricane Sandy drenches much of the Mid-Atlantic and moves northwest, we're updating with the latest news about a storm that forecasters say will be historic in size and intensity and how it is affecting millions of Americans:
Coyotes have moved into the Boston suburb of Belmont, Mass. The Boston Globe says they've lost their fear of humans because people feed them. So, Belmont is training volunteers for coyote hazing. Their job is to harass coyotes — shouting at them, throwing objects their way, even squirting them with water hoses.