Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep is taking a Revolutionary Road Trip across North Africa to see how the countries that staged revolutions last year are remaking themselves. Steve and his team are traveling some 2,000 miles from Tunisia's ancient city of Carthage, across the deserts of Libya and on to Egypt's megacity of Cairo. In the Libyan towns of Benghazi and Derna, he talks to Islamists about their desire to see a new Libya ruled by Shariah law.
The other day in Benghazi, Libya, we found our vehicle surrounded by truckloads of men with machine guns.
Originally published on Wed June 13, 2012 12:49 pm
If you think only farmers care about the farm bill currently being considered by Congress, you're very, very mistaken.
The measure will not only set policy and spending for the nation's farms for years to come, but it will also affect dozens of other seemingly unrelated programs — all at a cost of nearly $1 trillion over the next decade. Following are a few questions and answers about the massive legislation:
Why is it called the farm bill, and where did it come from?
The latest proposal for the farm bill — the law governing everything from food stamps to rural development grants — is being considered by the U.S. Senate this week. It's designed to save more than $23 billion over the next 10 years, in part by getting rid of direct payments to farmers. The direct payment program alone costs taxpayers $5 billion per year.
Baseball historians continue to poke around in the 19th century to better explain how the game was originated and developed, but I've always wondered if one of the prime movers wasn't a student of Shakespeare.
While I certainly don't know the terminology of all ball games, the popular ones I'm aware of — everything from basketball and football to golf and tennis — all use some variations of the words in and out when determining whether the ball is playable.
Only baseball is different.
"Fair is foul and foul is fair; Hover through the fog and filthy air."
The big story of this year's election campaign is big money. Since the Supreme Court, through its Citizens United ruling, has made it easier for corporations, unions and rich individuals to raise and spend unlimited amounts of money, Republicans have seized the advantage.
Right now, an analysis by NPR finds that Republican allied groups are outspending their Democratic counterparts by 8 to 1.
Originally published on Wed June 13, 2012 10:00 am
"This portfolio morphed into something that, rather than protect the firm, created new and potentially larger risks. As a result, we have let a lot of people down, and we are sorry for it."
That's part of JPMorgan Chase President and CEO Jamie Dimon will tell the Senate's Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs tomorrow, when it looks into the botched trades that lost the bank $2 billion. Chase released Dimon's prepared remarks this afternoon.
Federal authorities arrested seven people, today, in connection with what authorities say was a multi-million dollar money laundering operation run by Mexican drug cartel Los Zetas.
The scheme allegedly used the millions earned through the illicit drug trade to purchase, train, breed and race American quarter horses in the United States. The Department of Justice said 14 had been indicted; among them is Zetas leader Miguel Ángel Treviño Morales and his brothers Oscar Omar Treviño Morales and José Treviño-Morales.
Syrian activists have posted thousands of videos of civilians killed and wounded in the 15-month-old conflict. But there have been many casualties on the government side as well, and they are on display at a military hospital in the capital, Damascus.
For Abdul Kareem Mustapha, a 51-year-old colonel in the Syrian army, the war came for him at 8:15 a.m. on his way to his military post.
Democrats knew that they would be disadvantaged under the new campaign finance rules created by the Supreme Court. But the disparity between the amount of money Republicans can raise in unlimited anonymous donations and what the Democrats have been able to raise is huge.
Elinor Ostrom, the only woman ever to win an economics Nobel, died today at age 78.
She was famous for challenging an idea known as the tragedy of the commons — the theory that, in the absence of government intervention, people will inevitably overuse a shared resource.
So, for example, if a village shares a pasture, it's in the individual interest of each farmer to graze his cattle as much as possible on the pasture even though, in the long run, overgrazing may ruin the pasture for everyone.
The music made by Thomas Wesley Pentz, better known by his stage name, Diplo, is one part club-music mashup and one part pop music forecast. In 2009, he took bubblin' — a syncopated house style born in the clubs of Holland — as inspiration and collaborated with fellow DJ Switch, his partner in the group Major Lazer, to make the dance-floor hit "Pon de Floor." But he wasn't done with the bubblin' sound yet. In 2011, he used that song as basis for "Run the World (Girls)," a single by the pop star Beyonce.
George Zimmerman has been charged with second degree murder in the shooting death of teenager Trayvon Martin, a 17-year-old African-American. George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer, has claimed he acted in self defense.
Leaders of a group that represents most Catholic sisters in the United States meet with Vatican officials in Rome today. As we've reported, the sisters went to Rome to talk to the head of the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith about a report that found the group was running afoul of church doctrine.
Aung San Suu Kyi heads to Europe Wednesday, where she'll deliver a speech she was invited to give more than two decades ago: the one for her 1991 Nobel Peace Prize, which she was unable to collect while under house arrest.
In Myanmar's largest city, Yangon, at the headquarters of Suu Kyi's party, spokesman U Nyan Win says she is busy writing speeches for her extended trip to Europe, including the visit to Oslo for the belated Nobel address this weekend.
Recreational rehabilitation programs have long been a favorite for helping disabled veterans acclimate after war, and the number of young and disabled vets returning who need those services is on the rise.
Two brothers — with nearly 60 years of military service between them — are trying to help with a unique retreat that's free for young vets. The program gets them out of their hospital beds for a few days to hunt in rural Pennsylvania.
(Note: There is graphic testimony about the alleged sexual abuse of a young boy in this post.)
Mike McQueary, a key witness in the case against Jerry Sandusky, testified that he saw the former Penn State assistant football coach engaged in a "clear" "sex act" with a young boy at a campus shower, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.
Russia is sending attack helicopters to Syria for President Bashar Assad's regime to use in its campaign to stamp out opposition, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said today.
She warned that such action "will escalate the conflict quite dramatically."
The U.S. and Russia have been at odds over how hard to squeeze the regime in an effort to end its harsh crackdown on anti-Assad protests — a crackdown that the U.N. says has killed more than 10,000 people since March 2011, mostly civilians.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. In a recent op-ed in the Washington Post, Isabel Sawhill argued that then-Vice President Dan Quayle was right 20 years ago when he criticized television character Murphy Brown's decision to become a single mom. Sawhill cited statistics that show children in a two-parent family do better at school, then later in life.
Many first ladies choose a mission, and when Michelle Obama moved into the White House, she decided to take up the cause of combating childhood obesity. It's an epidemic that affects up to one-third of all children in the U.S. It's also a personal issue for the first lady. A number of years ago, her pediatrician asked her to rethink her daughters' diets.