Cambodia's former King Norodom Sihanouk dominated his country's politics through more than a half century of foreign invasion, genocide and civil war.
The monarch of the small Southeast Asian country, who often felt himself better suited to art than to statecraft, died of a heart attack Monday in Beijing, where he was receiving medical treatment. He as 89.
"The King Father," as Sihanouk was known in Cambodia, spent many years in exile in the Chinese capital, beginning in 1970.
Governor Robert Bentley today released details of a voluntary retirement incentive program.
The plan would offer state employees two retirement incentive packages, either Post- Retirement Group Health Insurance Coverage or a cash incentive payment of $15,000 dollar that would be made in two installments. Projections from the Alabama Department of Finance show that for every 500 employees who participate, the state saves between 18 to 26 million dollars a year in salaries and benefits.
It's not easy for John Hawkes to watch clips of himself in his new movie, The Sessions. He plays a man named Mark O'Brien, based on a real writer and poet, who spends most of his time in an iron lung as a result of childhood polio; that meant the role was hard on Hawkes' body. As he tells Melissa Block on All Things Considered, "It was a physically painful role to play." Not only did it require him to act primarily from a horizontal position, but it called for him to create the illusion of a curved spine.
Japan's Softbank has announced it will spend $20 billion to take a majority stake in Sprint-Nextel. The deal will provide Sprint, the third largest carrier in the U.S. market, with some much needed cash. It also gives Softbank the opening it's been looking for to break into the U.S. market.
Melissa Block explores the long family history of the companies that comprise what became Sprint. It all began in Kansas in the late 19th century and came to include a long distance system created by the Southern Pacific Railroad Internal Network Telecommunications, or SPRINT.