We've been focusing on Greece, today, but Italy is facing its own crisis: President Silvio Berlusconi called for an emergency meeting to enact a series of reforms meant to keep his country from spiraling into a debt crisis.
Faith-based health providers got a chance to vent about new federal rules that require them to offer prescription contraceptives as part of their health insurance plans at a House subcommittee hearing today. They also proposed some changes.
But backers of the rules say the revisions sought by opponents would render the requirement meaningless.
Herman Cain's sexual harassment crisis worsened Wednesday with a third woman telling a news organization that he sexually harassed her when they both worked at the National Restaurant Association in the 1990s.
Meanwhile, in another stunning turn, a male Republican pollster went on the record with a news organization to say he actually witnessed Cain's alleged harassment of one of the former trade association employees and indicated that the Republican presidential candidate's behavior wasn't exactly a secret at the time.
At the University of California, Davis test vineyard, researchers grow familiar grapes like chardonnay and pinot noir, and some unfamiliar ones like Nero d'Avola and Negroamaro.
Credit Lauren Sommer / for NPR
Grape breeder Andy Walker of the University of California, Davis inspects grapes on the campus vineyard. Walker says some Spanish or Italian grapes would do better in warmer temperatures, but growing and marketing new varieties is a big investment.
Prime California wine country areas like the Napa Valley could soon be facing rising temperatures, according to climate change studies. So some wineries are thinking of switching to grapes that are better suited to a warmer climate. But when vineyards have staked their reputations on certain wines, adapting to climate change is a tough sell.
The group of hacker activists Anonymous made news last month when it announced an operation that targeted the Zetas, one of Mexico's most dangerous drug cartels. In the past Anonymous has gone after tech firms like Sony and authoritarian governments across North Africa.
Usually, they bring down websites by overwhelming them with requests. On occasion, they'll deface official sites and in on other occasions they will hack databases and release private information.
Indian students pose with the supercheap Aakash tablet computers, which they received during the Oct. 5 product launch in New Delhi. The Indian government intends to deliver 10 million tablets to college students across India at a subsidized price of $35.
Credit Gurinder Osan / AP
The Aakash tablet computer (shown here during its Oct. 5 launch in New Delhi) can be used for functions like word processing, Web browsing and video conferencing. It has a battery life of about three hours.
India has unveiled what its government says is the world's cheapest tablet computer, along with a promise to make the device available to the country's college students, and possibly, to those in high school as well. The government says it's a major step toward bridging the country's gigantic digital divide.
The tablet is called "Aakash," the Hindi word for "sky," and boosters say it could give Internet access to billions of people.
The Aakash was developed for the government by Datawind, a London-based company founded by two brothers from India's Punjab state.
Wal-Mart's recent decision to cut benefits for new, part-time employees may be part of a trend, as companies grapple with higher health costs.
That's the view of John Rother, the new president of the nonpartisan National Coalition on Health Care, who chatted with All Things Considered host Robert Siegel about the country's growing pack of part-time workers and why companies are rolling back their benefits.
A fishing boat washed ashore by the tsunami that hit Japan March 11 sits in the deserted port area in Kesennuma, Miyagi Prefecture, northeastern Japan, in September. Residents of Kesennuma are now trying to rebuild their town from scratch.
Credit Koji Ueda / AP
Vegetable shop clerk Emi Akiyama talks on a cellphone in Kesennuma in May. The Japanese government has proposed surrounding all coastal towns with 20-foot tsunami barriers, but residents of Kesennuma, who are trying to boost tourism, have decided not to do so.
What would you say to a cheap, easy way to stay slim, one that would help avoid serious illness and early death? How about if it made your neighbors healthier, too? It could be as simple as biking to the store.
Researchers at the University of Wisconsin were wondering if getting people out of their cars just a wee bit would create measurable improvements in health. health. So they gathered up data sets on obesity, health effects of pollution, and air pollution caused by automobiles in 11 Midwestern cities, and did a mashup.
Questioning the motives of those seeking the truth about the sexual harassment allegations against him when he led the National Restaurant Association, Herman Cain said he suspects critics on the political left of attacking him for racial reasons.
Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback answers questions in July about his policy regarding the new federal health care law. During his campaign for the governor's office last year, he said: "What we'll do in Kansas is we'll do what we're required to do, but we're gonna fight it all the way."
A few months ago, Kansas seemed ahead of the game in preparing for an important requirement of the federal health law. The state had started to plan for exchanges — online marketplaces to help individuals and small businesses compare and buy health insurance.
Syria accepted an Arab League proposal calling for it to withdraw armored vehicles from the streets and stop violence against protesters in a bid to end the country's seven-month-old political crisis that has led to the deaths of some 3,000 people.
The agreement was announced by Qatar's Foreign Minister Hamad bin Jassim, who urged Damascus to follow through with action on the ground. Syria has continued its bloody crackdown on anti-government protesters despite international condemnation and previous promises of reform.
Arab League Secretary General Nabil al-Arabi (L) sits next to Qatari Premier and Foreign Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabr al-Thani during a ministerial meeting at the 22-nation organization's Cairo headquarters on the situation in Syria.
The Arab League, which had sent a delegation to Syria to try and bring the seven-month conflict between protesters and the government to an end, announced that Syria had agreed to withdraw its military from residential areas and release political prisoners.
The AP reports:
The proposal calls on Syria to withdraw all tanks and armored vehicles from the streets, stop violence against protesters, release all political prisoners and begin a dialogue with the opposition within two weeks.
Women who raise a glass just a few times a week appear to have a higher risk of getting breast cancer than those who are teetotalers.
A study that looked at the drinking habits and development of breast cancer in more than 100,000 nurses found those who drank more had a small but detectable increase in breast cancer compared with those who drank less.
Originally published on Wed November 2, 2011 2:39 pm
Citing stronger economic growth, the Federal Reserve announced it is not making any changes to its monetary policy.
As the AP reported earlier, economists were expecting this wait-and-see approach because they figured the Fed would want time to assess whether its policy from August and September was spurring growth.
The schedule for the first four Republican presidential caucuses and primaries appeared officially set Wednesday with New Hampshire announcing that it would hold its first-in-the-nation primary on Jan. 10.
That would come exactly seven days after the Iowa caucuses, which were moved to Jan. 3, the first Tuesday of the new year, and which will kick off the process by which Republicans will choose their party's nominee to contest President Obama for the White House.
Nothing is more basic and simple than food. Yet it comes to us courtesy of a long, complicated supply chain that spans the globe.
That chain delivers food cheaply — but it can break. Four years ago, it blew up in most spectacular fashion, affecting hundreds of millions of people who rely on rice for sustenance. That crash — the great rice crisis of 2008 — was a true disaster for some of the poorest people in Asia and West Africa.
Indian Border Security Force soldiers (in khakhi) and Pakistani Rangers (in black) perform the daily retreat ceremony at the India-Pakistan border in Wagah. It's hoped that freer trade will reduce tensions between their two nations.
The news today that Pakistan's cabinet has moved to normalize trade with India — giving its neighbor "Most Favored Nation" status — is being viewed as a positive first step toward the possible normalization of diplomatic relations between the two nuclear rivals.
Former Democratic Rep. Artur Davis of Alabama is in favor of voter ID laws. He says that over the years there have been numerous allegations of absentee voter fraud — and even a handful of convictions — in Alabama.
Credit Dave Martin / AP
Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted says that both parties need to "tone it down." The Republican says he doesn't believe you need to have a voter ID to "provide for voter security."
The debate over requiring voters to show photo ID at the polls has been a heated one. Democrats accuse Republicans, who support such laws, of wanting to suppress the votes of minorities, the elderly and the poor. Republicans accuse Democrats, who oppose ID rules, of condoning voter fraud.
It's a sharp partisan divide. But a few people have gone against the tide — and they're getting some political heat for doing so.
Originally published on Wed November 2, 2011 8:36 am
The Paris offices of a French newsweekly that in its latest issue "invited" the Prophet Muhammad to be a guest editor and satirically wrote of what a "soft version" of Sharia law might be like, were burned early today.
The lawyer for one of two women who in the late 1990s accused Republican presidential contender Herman Cain of sexual harassment wants her side of the story to come out because she believes Cain has not been telling the truth about what happened, a lawyer who represents her said Tuesday on CNN's Anderson Cooper 360.
British judges ruled this morning that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange can be extradited from the U.K. to Sweden, where authorities want to question him about allegations from two women that he sexually assaulted them in August 2010.
A South Korean man takes a photo of his baby during a picnic in Seoul, in 2009. After years of promoting family planning, South Korea is seeing unprecedented numbers of women staying single into their 30s — up from a handful a generation ago to 40 percent.
Credit Jung Yeon-Je / AFP/Getty Images
An elderly woman rakes leaves in Kaliningrad, Russia. Since 1992, the number of deaths in the country has outpaced births by nearly 3 to 2.
Originally published on Wed November 2, 2011 2:40 pm
Right now, many people are nervous about the challenges presented by a global population that has reached 7 billion and is still rising. But for a lot of countries, a lack of babies is the bigger worry.
The so-called birth dearth is starting to cause problems across much of Europe and a substantial portion of Asia. With fewer children born, populations in many countries are aging rapidly. Soon, they may also be shrinking.
Government opponents in Syria have not been able to dislodge President Bashar Assad, but they are doing something the country has rarely if ever seen: they are organizing by themselves, outside of government control.
The massive street protests, demanding the end of Assad's regime, have defined the revolt over the past eight months.
But other things are happening as well, far from public view. In one quiet office in Damascus, Ashraf Hamza, 28, is leading a group of men at a session on community organizing.