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Is Democracy Dying?

Aug 13, 2019
Fort Meade Public Affairs Office / Flickr Creative Commons

Populism is on the rise from Europe to India to the United States.

Americans elected Donald Trump on his promise to "Drain the swamp" of a political elite no longer responsive to their needs. Populists almost took control of Germany, France, and the Netherlands in 2017. Former prime minister of Italy Silvio Berlusconi regained power seven short years after being ousted from office for corruption. 

Dans / Wikimedia Commons

Constantin Mutu was four-months-old when he was separated from his father, Vasily. The elder Mutu was arrested while seeking asylum at the southern border. So far, Constantin is the youngest child to be separated from his family.

Marco Verch / flickr creative commons

We live in an Everything Should Take Twenty Minutes world. Movies are too long. SundanceTV has a show that airs in ten-minute episodes. Tierra Whack has a fifteen-minute album made of fifteen sixty-second songs. Todd Rundgren's memoir has 183 one-page, three-paragraph chapters.

So today, we turn our hour over to five short, little shows about short, little things.

Jamie Smed Photography / Creative Commons

The two biggest earthquakes to hit California since 1994 rocked an area about 120 miles northeast of Los Angeles on Thursday and Friday. Seismologists say a big earthquake happens every 100 years in California. The last big one hit 160 years ago. Is California prepared for the big one? If not, what does that mean for them and the rest of us? They are the fifth biggest economy in the world.

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

From the bestselling author of Lilac Girls comes a new novel. It's called Lost Roses and it centers on Eliza Ferriday, a one-time Connecticut resident and mother of esteemed philanthropist Caroline Ferriday.

This hour, author Martha Hall Kelly returns to our studios to talk about the book, and about her experience researching war and revolution in the early 20th century. 

Copyright Peter Kuper

Most of us know what Kafkaesque means even if we've never read a word Kafka wrote.

For example, it's Kafkaesque when your smart home turns on you. It's not Kafkaesque when you wait in line for two hours at DMV and they close the line when you get to the front. (Well, it's a little Kafkaesque.)

Kit Harington / HBO

This week, the long awaited final season of Game of Thrones launched on HBO.

As more than 17 million viewers dig in for one last round, some of the Nose's most dedicated fans gather to discuss what's made this series such a hit, and what they're thinking about as the show marches toward its end.

Chion Wolf / WNPR, Connecticut Public Radio

From the bestselling author of Lilac Girls comes a new novel. It's called Lost Roses and it centers on Eliza Ferriday, a one-time Connecticut resident and mother of esteemed philanthropist Caroline Ferriday.

This hour, author Martha Hall Kelly returns to our studios to talk about the book, and about her experience researching war and revolution in the early 20th century. 

Updated at 12:41 p.m. ET

The Trump administration is preparing to slap tariffs on billions of dollars' worth of imports from Europe, in retaliation for what it calls unfair subsidies of Airbus jets. The proposed tariffs would cover not only aircraft but also wine, cheese, woolen suits and other signature European products.

Hannah K / Creative Commons

The annual U.N. World Happiness Report was released last week on World Happiness Day. (I'm a little unhappy that we missed it.) 

In the corridors of the Europa building in Brussels, European Union officials gathered around a small table, determining the fate of the country that had voted to reject them.

U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May was relegated to another room while the rest deliberated: Would May get the months-long extension she had requested to give her time to negotiate a Brexit withdrawal arrangement with Parliament?

New Zealand's cabinet has agreed "in principle" to tighten gun control laws, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said Monday, promising the changes will make the country safer. "We've unified, there are simply details to work through," she said.

cellarfullofsoul / flickr creative commons

When Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band had its 50th anniversary, we put together a show with famed Beatles lecturer Scott Freiman and famed Hartford music genius Steve Metcalf.

And now that The White Album has had its 50th anniversary, we've gotten the band back together, and we're doing it again.

This hour: a look at the best-selling album of the 1960s, The Beatles.

Copyright Peter Kuper / Peter Kuper

Most of us know what Kafkaesque means even if we've never read a word Kafka wrote. 

For example, it's Kafkaesque when your smart home turns on you. It's not Kafkaesque when you wait in line for two hours at DMV and they close the line when you get to the front. (Well, it's a little Kafkaesque.)

Updated at 12:35 p.m. ET

British Prime Minister Theresa May has postponed a critical vote on the draft Brexit deal she negotiated with the European Union, conceding that it would not have enough support to pass Parliament if the vote were held Tuesday as scheduled.

"I've listened very carefully to what has been said in this chamber and out of it, by members from all sides," May told the House of Commons on Monday, only to be interrupted by a peal of derisive laughter from lawmakers.

BBC Studios

The first episode of Doctor Who aired on November 23, 1963. Since then, there have been 37 seasons and 849 episodes of the show. The current Doctor, the thirteenth, is portrayed by Jodie Whittaker, the first woman to take the role on.

Is a show with this much history impenetrable, at this point, for new viewers? Is Doctor Who nerd culture for nerds who think nerd culture isn't nerdy enough? Are Jodie Whittaker's Doctor and her diverse group of companions a fresh, compelling way into the series for new audiences?

Updated at 9:13 a.m. ET on Thursday

Hours after British Prime Minister Theresa May announced a tentative deal charting the United Kingdom's exit from the European Union and assuring the public that her Cabinet supported it, two key ministers abruptly quit her government in protest over the proposed pact.

The first to call it quits was Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab, who said in a letter of resignation that he could not "in good conscience" support the draft deal. Not long after, Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey followed suit.

Chion Wolf / WNPR/Connecticut Public Radio

It's as somber as it is blissful; as old as it is contemporary. And it's more than just the Horah!

This hour: the music of the Jewish klezmer tradition. We discuss its history and cultural significance, and we also hear from you. 

An Ode To Yodeling

Oct 10, 2018
Irina Slutsky / flickr

What is yodeling, anyway? Some consider it singing, some say it's an ululation, and still others consider it merely a means to herd animals. Whatever yodeling is, one's thing clear: Yodeling has been around for thousands of years and shows no signs of disappearing.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

One of the things you will learn this hour is how close New Haven came to being a possession of Spain. Even if you think you know the story of the New Haven Regicides, the men who fled to the New World rather than face punishment, by which I mean death, for their complicity in the execution of Charles I, we probably have some surprises for you.  

By we, I mean Lord Charles Spencer, who joins me in studio to talk about his book, Killers of the King. Spencer writes a very brisk and compelling style of history. To put it another way, if you like Game of Thrones, it's a pretty easy leap from there to this story. 

Updated at 5 a.m. ET on Wednesday

A long section of the towering Ponte Morandi Bridge completely collapsed in Genoa, Italy, on Tuesday, sending cars and trucks on the A10 highway crashing down below. Dozens of people died in the bridge failure, officials say.

Updated at 6:45 a.m. ET

A driver crashed a vehicle into security barriers outside the Houses of Parliament in London during the Tuesday morning commute, injuring three people, police and medical personnel say.

Carmen Baskauf / WNPR

It’s usually historians and scholars who get excited when a university acquires an ancient document. But in the 1960s, a map acquired by Yale University caused such a stir it divided the country.

Chion Wolf / WNPR/Connecticut Public Radio

Take a look at at any early 20th century photograph and you'll see them: Hats! From Beavers and Bowlers to bonnets and baseball caps, for hundreds of years hats were the essential accessory for any fashionable and upstanding citizen.

Annette Elizabeth Allen / NPR

President Trump is holding a news conference at the White House with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte. 

Updated at 6:54 p.m. ET

President Trump and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said Wednesday that they have agreed to work toward removing all trade barriers between the two sides.

In a Rose Garden announcement, Trump said the EU had also agreed to buy U.S. soybeans, a day after he announced a $12 billion bailout package for farmers hit by retaliatory tariffs. Trump said the EU will also become a "massive buyer" of U.S. liquefied natural gas.

Frédéric BISSON / flickr creative commons

We had planned ("planned") to do a show today about how we're getting too familiar with our sinking feelings.

And then that Trump-Putin press conference happened.

hbo.com

Logan Roy is the head of a major media conglomerate, much like Rupert Murdoch. Also like Murdoch, he's not sure if he wants any of his kids to take over when he decides to retire.

Carmen Baskauf / WNPR

It’s usually historians and scholars who get excited when a university acquires an ancient document. But in the 1960s, a map acquired by Yale University caused such a stir it divided the country.

Updated at 9:20 a.m. ET Thursday

British police say two people in their 40s are in critical condition after being contaminated by the same deadly nerve agent used to attack a former Russian spy there in March. They both became sick on Saturday in Amesbury, England.

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