This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Ari Shapiro in Washington; Neal Conan is away. Year by year, cities are raising fees and cutting public services to stay out of financial trouble. For some cities, that's just not enough. Detroit projects a $200 million deficit this year, and the city owes $14 billion in long-term obligations. The state's Republican Governor Rick Snyder says there's probably no city more financially challenged in the entire United States.
The HBO series Enlightened wrapped up its second season Sunday night. The show began as the story of a woman — the naive, idealistic, manipulative, determined and sincere Amy Jellicoe, played by Laura Dern — trying to put her life back together in the wake of a breakdown. After spending a couple of months at a New Age recovery center in Hawaii, Amy attempts to apply what she has learned to her life back in the real world of corporate America.
As early as silent film, directors attempted to create widescreen images. But in the 1950s it became a commercial necessity to give the multitude of new TV watchers what they couldn't get on a small screen. So even before CinemaScope, VistaVision, Todd-AO and Panavision, there was Cinerama — a process in which three projectors threw three simultaneous images onto a gigantic curved screen. Cinerama offered what no TV or movie screen could provide before — peripheral vision, which could make you feel as if you were really in the midst of the action.
President Obama rounds out his Cabinet for his second term, nominating three new leaders Monday: Walmart Foundation's Sylvia Mathews Burwell for budget chief, MIT scientist Ernest Moniz to head the Energy Department and veteran regulator Gina McCarthy to run the EPA — a post that's likely be a lightning rod during Senate confirmations.
Rats have been a problem for many years in Tehran. As the BBC reported in 2000, officials back then launched a poison control program that they hoped would kill many of the estimated 25 million rats in the city.
Czech President Vaclav Klaus is due to leave office this week. But, today, the country's upper house of Parliament handed him quite a going-away gift: They impeached him for treason and referred his case to the Constitutional Court.
Reuters reports that his left-wing opponents are angry because he granted amnesty to thousands of prisoners. The court will decide whether those pardons violated the constitution
We'd like to talk now about new research on the wealth gap between white and black families in the U.S. According to a federal survey, the median black family has five cents for every dollar of wealth owned by their white counterparts. Now, that gap is obviously very large, but it is also growing. We wanted to talk more about this, so we've called Washington Post reporter Michael Fletcher, who wrote about this recently. And he's with us from The Washington Post's studios.
Lawmakers failed to avert across-the-board spending cuts to the federal government, and they officially kicked in last week. Host Michel Martin speaks with NPR senior business editor Marilyn Geewax, and The Wall Street Journal's Sudeep Reddy about what it all really means.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Coming up, it's been called a landmark in the American literary canon. Certainly it's one of the premier works of Chicano literature. Now it's finally made its way to the big screen. We are going to speak with its star, herself a well-loved pioneer among Latina actresses. Her name is Miriam Colon and she's with us in just a few minutes to tell us about "Bless Me, Ultima."