Our friends over at Food & Think, a Smithsonian blog, had a nice little post not long ago about one of Pierre-Auguste Renoir's best loved paintings of a Paris café. "Luncheon of the Boating Party" is a jolly scene of men and women flirting and chatting over lunch. But if you look closely, it's hard to tell just what they're eating.
Phillips Collection Chief Curator Eliza Rathbone tells Food & Think:
GUY RAZ, host: From NPR News, it's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Guy Raz.
MELISSA BLOCK: And I'm Melissa Block. Today, the Players' Union for the National Basketball Association decided to disband and take its fight with NBA owners to the courts. The move could jeopardize the entire 2011 to '12 NBA season. The union plans to argue that the NBA lockout of players is illegal and will sue the owners under antitrust laws.
The Supreme Court said Monday it will review President Obama's health care overhaul, setting up an election year legal showdown.
In an apparent effort to be as comprehensive as possible, the court certified four questions for review. First, and most important: Did Congress exceed its constitutional authority in requiring virtually all Americans to have basic health care coverage?
Weapons and paraphernalia from gangs are displayed during a news conference in 2006. Authorities in Fairfax, Va., have brought five prostitution cases in the past year against gangs. One member of the MS-13 gang was recently sentenced to life in prison for sex trafficking.
The MS-13 gang got its start among immigrants from El Salvador in the 1980s. Since then, the gang has built operations in 42 states, mostly out West and in the Northeastern United States, where members typically deal in drugs and weapons.
But in Fairfax County, Va., one of the wealthiest places in the country, authorities have brought five cases in the past year that focus on gang members who have pushed women, sometimes very young women, into prostitution.
For the first time, the Department of Transportation has fined an airline for keeping passengers cooped up in a plane while it lounges on the tarmac for hours. Today, DOT announced it fined American Eagle, a regional affiliate of American Airlines, $900,000 for 15 planes that sat on a Chicago O'Hare International Airport runway for more than three hours.
Over the past 30 years, prolific American author Don DeLillo has written more than a dozen novels, including White Noise, Falling Man, Libra and Underworld. But his latest, The Angel Esmeralda, is a departure from his expansive novels. It is a collection of short stories — nine brief flashes, which, like DeLillo's longer works, center on characters who feel out of sync with the worlds around them.
Italy's new premier-designate economist Mario Monti meets with journalists at the Quirinale Presidential Palace after talks with Italian President Giorgio Napolitano in Rome on Sunday. Monti told reporters that he will carry out the task "with a great sense of responsibility and service toward this nation."
In a country where politicians shield themselves behind dark-tinted windows in sleek limousines, Roman paparazzi are having a field day with Italy's new premier-designate, Mario Monti, who actually walks down the street, without bodyguards.
But the longest sound bite reporters are likely to get from him is: "Isn't it a splendid day?"
Monti was chosen to replace the flamboyant Silvio Berlusconi, who was forced to step down over the country's worsening eurozone crisis.
A woman rides down a Manhattan street on a bicycle in New York City. Like many major metropolitan areas, New York has witnessed a surge in bicycle use and plans to launch a bike-share plan by next summer.
On April 9 of this year, the jazz pianist Keith Jarrett sat alone on the stage of an old opera house in Rio de Janeiro, his only company a piano — an American Steinway he described as "not perfect at all."
For nearly two hours, Jarrett played — as he often does — without any idea of what was coming next. It was sheer improvisation.
He says the result, now available on the album Rio, was some of the best music he's ever produced in a career spanning almost 50 years.
King Abdullah of Jordan put more pressure on Syria's embattled President Bashar Assad to step down.
"I believe, if I were in his shoes, I would step down," King Abdullah told the BBC. "If Bashar has the interest of his country, he would step down, but he would also create an ability to reach out and start a new phase of Syrian political life."