To help U.S. troops ease back into civilian life, veteran Anthony Bravo Esparza offers them a haircut, and a safe and friendly place to hang out. Esparza β known to his friends as "Dreamer" β sees it as a way to help former soldiers find their way.
Dreamer's barbershop is easy to find; it's set up inside a trailer in the parking lot of the West Los Angeles Medical Center campus of the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System.
Tuesday is the next big day for Republicans in choosing their presidential nominee, with primaries in Michigan and Arizona.
Then there's an even bigger day a week later: March 6 is this year's Super Tuesday, when 10 states hold primaries and caucuses. Possibly the most consequential one will be in the swing state of Ohio. It has 66 delegates at stake, and it will also be a key battleground in November.
The situation in Syria is one of desperation, death and constant danger, a Syrian activist told All Things Considered's Melissa Block.
The activist, who goes by Abo Bakr, said he was in the house where journalists Marie Colvin and Remi Ochlik were killed.
"We were hearing so many explosions around us, but then the sounds got closer until one rocket hit the backyard of the house," Bakr said. "Then rockets started hitting the roof, and that resulted in the roof falling down completely."
President Obama apologized in a letter and Afghan President Hamid Karzai appealed for calm.
But that was not enough to keep Afghans from protesting violently for a third day following word that several copies of the Muslim holy book, the Quran, were burned at a large NATO base outside Kabul.
The latest incident resembled other cases in recent years, where rumors that a Quran was desecrated β even thousands of miles away in Florida or Guantanamo Bay β ignited deadly riots in Afghanistan.
It begins with a political leader or a businessman who hits on a powerful new idea, one that puts him miles ahead of everyone else. It could be a new innovation, like the financial derivative, or a new way of doing business, like Microsoft selling software. It could be something destructive, like Hitler's blitzkrieg, which ran over France in two months. No matter the specifics, it leaves everyone else flat-footed and looking foolish.
Our man (it's usually a man) is now indestructible and untouchable. With nothing in his way, he is, for a while, an irresistible force.
A proposed settlement has been reached in a big class-action lawsuit against Monsanto. The case is connected to the company's production of the controversial herbicide "Agent Orange," the defoliant the military sprayed over Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War.
Tony Gangi gave up a successful career in publishing in order to impale himself.
With his wife Suzanne's permission, he went from having a secure 9 to 5 job to following his dream of wowing audiences by doing shock-worthy things to his own body.
"Ladies and gentlemen, what I'm about to do is a 4,000-year-old art and it's known as sword swallowing," Gangi, also known as The Amazing Human Head, tells a crowd at a Salem, Mass., performance. "Oh no!" a child in the audience exclaims.
Fifteen miles from the border of Mexico, the city of El Centro in California's Imperial Valley has something most hard luck small towns don't: the Blue Angels.
For 45 years, the city has been the winter training home of the Navy's flight demonstration squadron. The "Blues," as the locals call them, have been an enduring source of pride for the desert community.
The "hay bales" is a dusty crop field a stone's throw from the runways of El Centro's Naval Air Facility. Lisa Gallinat has been watching the Blue Angels from here ever since she was a kid.
Congress is in recess this week, but that didn't stop House Democrats from holding a hearing to take testimony from a Georgetown law student who was barred from testifying in last week's hearing about President Obama's policy on contraceptives, health insurance and religiously affiliated organizations.
There's a civil war going on in California. It's the north vs. the south β Hollywood vs. Silicon Valley. And much like that other American Civil War, there are two different economic worldviews at stake. One of the highest-profile battles was fought last month, when large Internet sites like Wikipedia staged an online blackout to protest anti-piracy bills in Congress.
The north won that battle, and for now, the legislation is on hold. But the war between Hollywood and Silicon Valley over how to deal with intellectual property is far from over.
Originally published on Thu February 23, 2012 5:26 pm
War correspondents have always been at the short end of the actuarial tables. Life insurance salesmen do not pester them. No war is safe, and no correspondent is bulletproof.
But the rules of the game have been changing, and the recent deaths in Syria of two prominent correspondents, Anthony Shadid of The New York Times and Marie Colvin, an American working for Britain's Sunday Times, show how this line of work has grown even riskier.
Mitt Romney says his experience in private equity taking over troubled companies would make him a good manager of America's economy. So we're reporting on companies that Bain Capital bought while Romney was in charge of the firm. This morning, we told the story of one that went bust. Here's the story of one that succeeded.
Facing a financial crisis, the United States Postal Service announced that 223 processing facilities have been "found feasible for consolidation, all or in part." Of the 264 processing facilities studied, only 35 are set to remain open.
On Wednesday, President Obama and a number of special guests celebrated the groundbreaking for the National Museum of African American History and Culture. The Smithsonian museum on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., is expected to open in 2015.
West Virginia's Office of Miners' Health, Safety and Training has issued what is now the fourth investigative report on the April, 2010, Upper Big Branch mine explosion. It largely agrees with the earlier reviews, but in language that's tepid in comparison.
The South Carolina State Election Commission has just released its initial review of allegations from the state's Department of Motor Vehicles that more than 950 deceased voters appeared to have ballots cast in their names after they died. And no surprise, the commission found that of the 207 cases reviewed, there was no evidence in 197 of them that fraudulent votes had been cast. The commission said that records in the other 10 cases were "insufficient to make a determination."
Director Wim Wenders created the 3-D documentary "Pina," in tribute to German choreographer Pina Bausch. When the two met over 20 years ago, they started planning a film that would capture her unique style of modern dance. Bausch died of lunch cancer just days before filming started.
President Obama's plan to overhaul the nation's corporate tax system would sharply cut the taxes that U.S. companies pay. But it would also eliminate many of the loopholes that help them pare down what they owe.
White House spokesman Jay Carney says the proposal unveiled Wednesday should appeal to both Democrats and Republicans, by doing what both sides "say is important to do ... which is lower the rate, broaden the base [and] eliminate the underbrush of unnecessary subsidies and loopholes and special provisions that complicate the tax code."
A bill that could legalize same-sex marriage has cleared the Maryland House and is expected to pass in the Senate. A majority of black clergy in the state argue that same-sex marriage conflicts with the teachings of the Bible, but some pastors have spoken out in support of the bill.
Two movies about movies β The Artist and Hugo β are up for the 2012 Academy Award for best picture. Hollywood has a unique way of making films that depict life in Tinseltown. Film buff Murray Horwitz discusses Hollywood films that deal with the glitz, glamor and harsh realities of Hollywood.