This year's Christmas Grinch may be Mother Nature. The Associated Press reports that historic droughts in Texas and Oklahoma have killed thousands of evergreen trees in those states, including trees being grown for sale at Christmas. Karen Barfield joins us now. She runs the Tinsel Time Christmas Tree Farm with her husband in New Caney, Texas.
Mrs. Barfield, thanks for being with us.
KAREN BARFIELD: You're welcome.
SIMON: What's your farm look like now after the drought?
The holiday shopping season started even earlier this year in hopes that consumers would spend more in these economic times. Macy's, Toy R Us, Target, all moved up their opening times - in some cases to Thanksgiving Day. Joining us now to talk about Black Friday is NPR correspondent Yuki Noguchi. You've been reporting the scenes in stores. What can you tell us about the volume of shopping?
As a young reporter, Tom Wicker covered a beaver dam for the Sandhill, North Carolina Citizen. He went on to travel the world as a White House reporter and columnist for the New York Times and was in Dallas on November 22nd, 48 years ago this week when John F. Kennedy was shot. It was in a world before cell phones and text messages.
Bill Bratton is the former chief of police in Los Angeles, as well as Boston and New York. He helped introduced the system of predictive policing, and calls it the next era of crime prevention, and an evolution of community policing. Chief Bratton's now chairman of Kroll, a risk consulting company, and he joins us on the phone this morning. Thanks very much for being with us, chief.
BILL BRATTON: It's good to be with you, as always.
The 7 billion people on this planet have never been so connected. People in Shanghai can communicate instantaneously with people in Sioux City — which makes it all the more remarkable that there still exists a few thousand people in the Amazon rain forest who have never had contact with modern civilization.
In 2002, National Geographic asked journalist Scott Wallace to chronicle the trip of a 34-man team to search for the perimeters of a people known as the flecheiros — or the Arrow People.
Every Monday, Mario Barela heads to a domestic violence shelter on the west side of Phoenix to teach children of abused women how to drum. Their instruments are old paint buckets. They circle up in the cafeteria of the shelter as Barela leads.
(For the safety of families residing there, NPR can't name or share the location of the unmarked shelter or disclose the names of any of the children there.)
A resident talks with a Los Angeles police officer after another officer was wounded during a shooting in the city in August. Under a program the LAPD is rolling out this month, computer statistics will be used to predict where a crime will occur. Officials hope that the technique will help reduce crime.
Capt. Sean Malinowski of the Los Angeles Police Department does his crime-fighting in front of a computer screen.
He's in the LAPD's Real Time Analysis and Critical Response Division, located in a new crime data and analysis center in downtown Los Angeles. Malinowski is tracking two crimes that just occurred in south Los Angeles. Patrol cars are already on the scene. He says this facility is state of the art in real-time policing. He wants the force to be the best in predicting where criminals will strike.
President Obama's campaign is gearing up in the early states ahead of the 2012 election. In Iowa, Obama supporters are hoping to recapture at least some of the enthusiasm that catapulted a young senator from Illinois to victory in the state's leadoff caucuses four years ago.
When I heard Paula Deen was coming to town, the image that leaped to mind was a fried cheesecake, deep-fried. She actually makes this!
At a time when it's trendy to take things out of food (think: gluten-free, sodium-free, fat-free), Paula Deen unapologetically puts it all back in. She loves all that stuff we're told to eat less of: butter, mayonnaise, sour cream. Did I say butter?