12:01am

Tue February 21, 2012
Latin America

Prison Break Epitomizes Mexican Drug War Woes

Originally published on Tue February 21, 2012 8:08 am

A relative of an inmate observes Mexican police behind the security fence after a riot inside Apodaca prison near Monterrey. At least 44 inmates were killed during Sunday's riot, and about 30 alleged members of the drug cartel Los Zetas were rushed out of the prison.
Julio Cesar Aguilar AFP/Getty Images

Officials in Mexico are offering a reward of nearly $1 million for the capture of 30 inmates who broke out of a prison in the northern state of Nuevo Leon on Sunday.

The governor says the inmates staged a riot, during which 44 people died, to create a diversion for their escape.

It was a jail break that epitomized the Mexican drug war: Rival gang members brutally killed each other, corrupt public officials looked the other way, and dangerous criminals went free.

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5:50pm

Mon February 20, 2012
You Must Read This

A Depressive Diarist Chronicles His Descent

istockphoto.com

Patrick deWitt is the author of The Sisters Brothers.

"Doesn't the act of noticing matter as much as what's noticed?" So asks the narrator of Harry Mathews' masterpiece of minutia, The Journalist.

On the mend from a nervous breakdown (though it's mentioned only in passing — "the steering wheel came off in my hands," he says), he's been encouraged by his doctor to keep a journal. A seemingly benign idea, and he throws himself into the task with gusto — far too much gusto, it turns out, as the journal soon eclipses his entire life.

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5:19pm

Mon February 20, 2012
All Tech Considered

Tech Pioneer Channels Hard Lessons Into Silicon Valley Success

Originally published on Tue October 16, 2012 4:31 pm

Nvidia Chief Executive Officer Jen-Hsun Huang co-founded the graphics chip maker in 1993.
Paul Sakuma AP

Modern computer games and their fast-paced graphics require an incredible amount of computing horsepower. So much, in fact, that the kinds of chips commonly used for gaming are now being built into some of the world's fastest supercomputers.

If you're a serious gamer, if realistic, detailed graphics get your pulse racing, you should write Jen-Hsun Huang a thank-you note.

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John Donvan is a correspondent for ABC News' Nightline. He has served over a career of more than two decades in the following capacities for ABC News: chief White House correspondent, chief Moscow correspondent, Amman bureau chief, Jerusalem correspondent and correspondent for the ABC News magazine Turning Point.

3:52pm

Mon February 20, 2012
Arts & Life

Our Media, Ourselves: Are We Headed For A Matrix?

Originally published on Tue February 21, 2012 10:31 am

Design Within Reach? The cool sterility of 2001: A Space Odyssey is just one example of how pop culture expresses an anxiety that's seemingly about technology, but may be as old as time.
MGM

When Hollywood imagines the future, from Logan's Run to Avatar, it tends to picture living spaces as sterile and characterless, without any cultural clues to the person who lives there. No record library, no DVDs, no Hemingway on bookshelves ... often no bookshelves.

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3:13pm

Mon February 20, 2012
Economy

With Business Up, Owners Say Banks Lending Again

Originally published on Tue February 21, 2012 11:26 am

A big reason for the slow recovery has been that the nation's battered banks haven't been able or willing to lend. There are signs that's changing and that bank lending is helping to support stronger growth.

Paul Kasriel, chief economist at Northern Trust, a Chicago-based bank, say his reading of Federal Reserve data has convinced him that banks have finally taken the baton from the Fed and are now making credit more available.

"We've seen a sharp increase in business loans on the books of banks," he says.

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3:00pm

Mon February 20, 2012
Election 2012

Candidates Hit Ground For Contests In Mich., Ariz.

Originally published on Mon February 20, 2012 5:54 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

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3:00pm

Mon February 20, 2012
Election 2012

Lawsuits Flying Over Florida's Redistricting

Originally published on Mon February 20, 2012 5:54 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

In Florida, members of Congress and the state legislature are scrambling to decide what districts they'll run for in this year's election. The legislature recently released maps that redraw the districts. It's a once-in-a-decade process every state goes through to reflect population changes since the last census. Because of its growth, Florida is gaining two seats, but there is bipartisan unhappiness with the maps. And NPR's Greg Allen reports that the battle over how they were drawn may ultimately be decided by the courts.

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2:58pm

Mon February 20, 2012
Europe

Portugal Plays By The Rules, But Economy Slumps

Originally published on Tue February 21, 2012 11:25 am

A once-bustling vegetable market in Lisbon is now beyond the reach of many Portuguese — a sign of their country's economic problems.
Sylvia Poggioli NPR

The eurozone crisis has focused attention on debt-burdened Greece spiraling into decline. Meanwhile, Portugal is seen as the international creditors' poster-child for obediently slashing spending and welfare benefits.

Nevertheless, the Portuguese national debt continues to grow, and the country is mired in recession and soaring unemployment.

The Portuguese national character has long been identified with Fado music. Raquel Freire, an activist with the local Occupy movement, says the melancholy style helps explain decades of resignation.

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1:54pm

Mon February 20, 2012
Author Interviews

Ojibwe Writer Seeks Out The Beauty Of 'Rez Life'

Novelist David Treuer is the son of an Ojibwe trial judge.
Jean-Luc Bertini

Stories about life on Native American reservations often focus on the hardships — alcoholism, drugs, violence and poverty. In Rez Life: An Indian's Journey Through Reservation Life, Ojibwe writer David Treuer strives to capture stories about the beauty of life on Indian reservations.

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