And if you're just joining us, you're listening to WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Guy Raz. Fifty years ago, a film franchise ushered in a new era of action, adventure, and of course, style.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
RAZ: James Bond. Men wanted to look like him, and women also wanted men to look like him.
(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "DR. NO")
SEAN CONNERY: (as James Bond) Am I properly dressed for the occasion?
Fifty years ago, three men set out into the frigid waters of the San Francisco Bay in a raft made out of raincoats. It was one of the most daring prison escapes in U.S. history.
As one newsreel put it: The spoon proved "mightier than the bars at supposedly escape-proof Alcatraz prison."
"Three bank robbers serving long terms scratched their way through grills covering an air vent, climbed a drainage pipe and disappeared from the forbidding rock in San Francisco Bay," the report continued.
The 182nd Infantry Regiment of the Army National Guard landed back in the U.S. last March after a yearlong deployment to Afghanistan.
After two months of leave, however, their official transition time is over and the deployment paychecks have stopped. It's now time to get back to regular life, and for the members from Massachusetts, that means a mandatory check-in with the unit's leadership.
NASA may have retired its shuttles, but it has its sights on sending astronauts deeper into space than ever before.
These voyages are years away, but on Monday, astronauts are heading underwater to take part in a simulation that will help them figure out how they might explore one possible new destination: a near-Earth asteroid.
Southeast of Macon, Ga., near Oglethorpe, rows of peanuts planted six weeks ago have sprouted. Tiny yellow flowers dot the rich-green plants. Donald Chase, his father and grandfather have owned this farm since the 1950s.
Like many southern farmers, Chase objects to the version of the farm bill kicking around in the Senate this week. The bill aims to do away with direct payments to farmers by expanding crop insurance programs.
On Jan. 1, trillions of dollars in spending cuts and tax increases — called Taxmageddon — will take effect unless Congress and the White House can agree on a new plan. Many economists say the country will fall back into a recession if it happens. Former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin says Congress may actually be "forced to make a decision that affects taxes and spending."
It's WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Guy Raz.
Support for Syria's president, Bashar al-Assad, may be further deteriorating. That's after Russia's foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, said his country would be glad to see Assad step down if most Syrians agreed. Russia's been one of the Syrian regime's staunchest supporters.
In Syria itself, another night of gunfire and explosions, some of it in the capital, Damascus. NPR's Deborah Amos is there and with me now.
The Justice Department has launched an investigation to determine the source of a series of leaks about sensitive intelligence matters. President Obama denied his administration authorized the leaks, but some Senate Republicans accused the White House of deliberately leaking the stories in order to boost the president's national security credentials.
Last year, Kansas became the first state in the nation to completely eliminate arts funding. Republican Gov. Sam Brownback has always said he supports the arts, but when the state was facing a tight budget, he said Kansas needed to cut back.
"As we look to grow Kansas' economy and focus state government resources to ensure the most efficient use of taxpayer dollars, we must do all we can to protect the core functions of state government," he said.