This may be the most harrowing assignment I have ever tackled for NPR: spending a day watching Oprah Winfrey's new cable channel. Winfrey has admitted she could have done a better job with OWN, which launched in January. Ratings have been disappointing and the original CEO has left. Now that her daily talk show is over, Winfrey says that she's going to focus her attention on making OWN more successful. I figured I could check it out to see how it's doing.
Betsy Brooks remembers her father, Charles, as a "razor-sharp" former Marine. The two had their share of arguments, she says. But that all changed late in her father's life, as Betsy recently told her boyfriend, John Grecsek.
Charles was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease when he was 78. Betsy tells John about her relationship with her dad before, and after, the diagnosis.
"We butted heads from the moment we could," Betsy says.
Michel Kilo's book-lined apartment in a Christian neighborhood in Damascus is a quiet contrast to streets where protesters demand an end to Syria's repressive regime.
But Kilo has never been silent, despite years in jail for directly criticizing what he calls a military dictatorship run by one family. At 71, Syria's best-known dissident watches the protest movement that has thrown the country into turmoil and reflects on the failures of his own generation.
In an interview with CNBC, Warren Buffett, the Oracle of Omaha and one of the world's wealthiest men, took sharp shots at politicians in Washington negotiating over raising the debt ceiling. Buffett said if the debt ceiling isn't raised, the U.S. would default on its debt and that is unprecedented and we simply don't know how that would turn out. That's why he compared the situation to a game of russian roulette. He said five times out of six everything would be fine but that one bullet could do a ton of damage. Playing, he said, is "silly."
The scene has become strikingly familiar over the 2 1/2 years of the Obama administration: congressional leaders footslogging in front of cameras to the White House for another "bipartisan" meeting to resolve yet another stalemate.
This time, however, the Thursday morning debt-ceiling confab in the Cabinet Room opened with a slightly different feel.