Republicans hope to wrest control of the U.S. Senate in November from the majority Democrats, who have twice as many seats to defend this year. One state where the GOP has high hopes is Nebraska, where two-term incumbent Ben Nelson, a Democrat, is retiring. Voters from both parties will select their nominees Tuesday, and the Republican winner is likely to face a familiar face: former Democratic Sen. Bob Kerrey.
You may have heard of Dear Photograph, a website that invites readers to submit photos of photos β images from the past, set in the present. Over the past year, the website received thousands of submissions. In fact, enough for a book, also called Dear Photograph, which was released earlier this month.
In Syria, anyone who speaks out against the regime of President Bashar Assad risks harassment, detention and sometimes worse. One famous cartoonist who'd lampooned Assad was pulled out of his car last summer by pro-regime thugs and had his hands broken.
Public figures like singers and actors are under much pressure to keep silent. Even a small and critically acclaimed group of Syrian painters is not immune β but that might be attracting buyers outside Syria to their work.
There have been hints that the obesity epidemic's rise has slowed a bit among certain populations, but for the most part, it continues to dominate American health. One third of children and teenagers are now overweight or obese. And researchers forecast as many as half of our nation's population could be obese β not overweight but obese β by 2030.
Six months before the presidential election, the Florida ground game is already under way.
In political terms, the ground game is the process of mobilizing voters and getting them to the polls. And the first step is registering people to vote.
But in Florida this year, there are tough new restrictions on groups that conduct voter registration drives. The restrictions already appear to be having an impact on the number of people who are registering to vote.
You may think of surfers as slackers. But in Santa Cruz, Calif., they're city council members and business owners. And they're also conservationists β who just got their piece of the central California coast named a World Surfing Reserve.
Long before surf music topped the charts and long before surfers had crazy nicknames, surfers have been riding the waves in Santa Cruz.
Fifty years ago, Johnny Carson became the host of TheTonight Show. During his 30 years as host, he reached a nightly audience of 15 million people and became one of the most trusted and famous men in America.
But Carson was intensely private off-screen, and very few people β including members of his own family--really knew him. Documentary filmmaker Peter Jones wanted to try and change that. Once a year, for 15 years, Jones sent Carson a letter, begging him for permission to make a documentary on his life.
Voters in Germany's most populous state, North Rhine Westphalia, have delivered a major blow to the ruling party, the Christian Democrats, led by Chancellor Angela Merkel. Weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz talks with Michael Kolz, the chief political reporter for German station Phoenix, about why the results in North Rhine Westphalia matter and what they mean for the left-wing Social Democrats.
One week ago today, an enormous chalkboard popped up on a busy street here in Washington, D.C. And at the very top corner painted in huge letters, just three words: Before I Die. The board was like a magnet to passersby to write their greatest wishes, their wildest dreams, the things they want to accomplish before they die. Think of it as a crowd-sourced bucket list.
In 2002, Rafe Sagarin was working in Washington, D.C., as a science adviser. It wasn't long after the Sept. 11 attacks, and Sagarin started paying attention to the security measures on Capitol Hill.
"I'd watch these other Capitol Hill staffers and I noticed that they'd just put their hand over the keys in their pockets so they didn't have to waste 30 seconds putting it on the conveyer belt though the security screening β and that didn't set off the alarm when they did that," Sagarin tells host of weekend All Things Considered Guy Raz.
Weekends on All Things Considered continues its "Why Music Matters" series with stories of music fans, told in their own words. Today's story is about Amy O'Neal, a choreographer who took on the challenge of dancing in complete silence.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News, I'm Rachel Martin.
On the same day that President Obama announced that he's had a change of heart and now publicly supports same-sex marriage, there were quieter moves on Capitol Hill to protect the rights of some who do not.
On Wednesday, the House Armed Services Committee passed its version of a bill designed, in part, to protect military chaplains from coming under pressure to marry service members of the same sex.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
MARTIN: If life is a ball game, then Mike Pesca is the guy behind home plate helping us sort out the check swings from the foul balls. He is, of course, NPR's sports correspondent and our guide to the fascinating intersections between life and sports. He joins us, as he does every week. Hey, Mike.
MIKE PESCA, BYLINE: Hey. Every once in a while you could foul a ball off a check swing.
Host Rachel Martin talks with NPR's national political correspondent Mara Liasson about Mitt Romney's commencement address and the dominant political story of the past week: President Obama's public endorsement of same-sex marriage.
It's graduation season at colleges and universities around the country. And just as Mitt Romney addressed the students at Liberty University, other prominent politicians, entertainers and leaders are joining in that celebrated tradition. Here now, we present a composite commencement address for the class of 2012, drawn from some famous voices over the years.
(SOUNDBITE OF COMMENCEMENT SPEECHES)
PRESIDENT JOHN F. KENNEDY: Board of trustees, distinguished guests...
For more on the Yemen bomb plot and what it tells us about U.S. intelligence operations, we're joined by Philip Mudd, former deputy at the CIA's Counterterrorism Center. He's now a senior research fellow with the New America Foundation here in Washington. He joins us in studio.
Egypt, under ousted President Hosni Mubarak, was one of America's closest intelligence partners in the Middle East. And U.S. officials are watching this month's presidential election in Egypt very carefully.
A one-time leader of the Muslim Brotherhood is emerging as a leading candidate. He's considered a moderate Islamist who appeals to secular as well as religious Egyptians.
But, as we hear from reporter Merrit Kennedy in Cairo, the candidate is walking a fine line trying to stay true to his agenda.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gets questioned about her political future wherever she goes. She says she plans to get off the "high-wire" of politics after she wraps up her tenure as secretary of state, but her trips sometimes feel like she's campaigning β for America's image and for her own legacy. NPR's Michele Kelemen has this behind-the-scenes reporter's notebook of Clinton's most recent swing through Asia.
President Bashar Assad's regime has launched a new and sweeping arrest campaign of opposition activists and intellectuals in the past few weeks, according to Western analysts and diplomats.
The growing tally of arrests has gone largely unnoticed, overshadowed by the daily violence that threatens to jeopardize the U.N. peace plan. But in combination, both are undermining the already faint hopes of peace.
Archaeologists working in one of the most impenetrable rain forests in Guatemala have stumbled on a remarkable discovery: a room full of wall paintings and numerical calculations.
The buried room apparently was a workshop used by scribes or astronomers working for a Mayan king. The paintings depict the king and members of his court. The numbers mark important periods in the Mayan calendar.
After spending much of the year on the rise, gas prices are now falling. The average price for a gallon of regular gas nationwide is $3.73, according to AAA. That's a drop of nearly 20 cents in one month, and industry analysts expect the price to keep falling.
You can get in a lot trouble trying to predict commodity prices, though. Phil Flynn, a market analyst at futures brokerage PFGBEST in Chicago, says there is one thing you can predict.
President Obama's support for same-sex marriage has been a hot topic this week. After he announced his position during an ABC News interview Wednesday, it's been difficult for pundits, the media and the public to focus on much else, especially since the news came on the heels of North Carolina's approval of a ban on same-sex marriage.
From NPR News, it's WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Guy Raz.
For three days now, Mitt Romney's campaign has tried to steer the national conversation back to the economy. But the pressure to respond to President Obama's announcement in support of gay marriage has been intense. And this morning at a speech to students at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, Romney definitively spoke out.
MITT ROMNEY: Marriage is a relationship between one man and one woman.
Football is a violent game, but a century ago it used to be a lethal pastime. NPR's Tom Goldman explains how President Teddy Roosevelt stepped in and forced the establishment of new rules that made the game safer.