Provocative Japanese artist Megumi Igarashi, who has been arrested twice this year on charges related to her design for a kayak that incorporates a 3-D model of her genitals, has been indicted on charges that she distributed "obscene" data.
The case has attracted wide attention, both for its unique circumstances and for its depiction of how Japan's pornography laws interact with cutting-edge technology and images of the female body.
Traffic came to a halt on Wednesday when bundles of new Hong Kong 500 dollar notes flew out of a security van. Drivers and passersby were not shy about taking advantage of the Christmas Eve windfall.
Video posted on the BBC shows people abandoning their cars and scrambling to pick up bills strewn across a busy eight-lane roadway. The cash blizzard littered the Wan Chai district of Hong Kong around lunchtime.
Originally published on Fri December 26, 2014 5:06 pm
California's health insurance marketplace, Covered California, has supported the development of more than 200 new storefronts at or near shopping centers across the state this year, each tasked with explaining the ins and outs of different health plans to holiday (and everyday) shoppers.
Originally published on Fri December 26, 2014 4:54 pm
A government job in China used to be a gravy train: easy hours, little scrutiny and — usually — a chance to make good money through perks and corruption. This year, though, the 1.4 million candidates who signed up to take China's civil service exam marked a drop of more than 100,000 from the previous year.
Most people think the reason is the government's fierce anti-corruption drive, which has taken a lot of the profit out of public service. Recently, a low-level Shanghai official vented to NPR about life under China's toughest crackdown in modern memory.
Originally published on Wed December 24, 2014 1:40 pm
Sony Pictures' The Interview, the comedy that centers on a plot to assassinate North Korea's leader, will be shown on streaming services starting today, the studio said in a statement.
Starting at 10 a.m. PST, the comedy starring Seth Rogen and James Franco will be available to rent in HD on Google Play, YouTube Movies, Microsoft's Xbox Video and a dedicated website at a price of $5.99. The film can also be bought in HD for $14.99, the statement said.
Originally published on Wed December 24, 2014 2:06 pm
"This is a very, very depressing year for film," critic David Edelstein tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross, "because none of the great material came from Hollywood studios."
Studios, he says, direct their financial resources into sequels and comic-book movies, which leaves little room for "creative expression, and for doing something weird and potentially boundary-moving."
Originally published on Wed December 24, 2014 2:47 pm
Although it wasn't a great year for the shows themselves, it was a good year for programming, says TV critic David Bianculli.
"In terms of what was happening on television, in terms of new and old formats and new, exciting players coming into the mix — [it was] another good year," Bianculli tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "I'm actually kind of encouraged."
Originally published on Wed December 24, 2014 2:16 pm
The parents of Antonio Martin say their son was killed by police in Berkeley, Mo., last night. And while he had had problems, it "doesn't make any sense for them to kill my son like this," Toni Martin-Green tells the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She added, "I am trying to remain calm."
Originally published on Wed December 24, 2014 12:28 pm
With the spread of Christianity among some Native Americans in the early 20th century came certain Christmas rituals — trees and presents and jolly old Santa Claus — that were folded into traditional wintertime celebrations.