Originally published on Sat January 24, 2015 1:23 pm
Thai legislators installed by the country's military junta have voted to impeach ousted Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on charges of criminal negligence related to her government's failed effort to prop up the price of rice.
Originally published on Fri January 23, 2015 1:23 pm
The fate of two Japanese hostages threatened with death by the self-styled Islamic State is unclear after the expiration of a 72-hour deadline imposed by the militants for Japan to pay $200 million to secure its citizens' release.
The Associated Press and Japanese news organizations are reporting that the militants posted a video today with a warning that "the countdown has begun." The AP adds: "The posting which appeared Friday shows a clock counting down to zero along with gruesome images of other hostages who have been beheaded by the Islamic State group."
Originally published on Fri January 23, 2015 1:14 pm
Saudis are mourning the passing of King Abdullah, who died early Friday at the age of 90 after a long illness.
As NPR's Kelly McEvers reported, he is being remembered as a man who laid the foundation for reform in the conservative Arab country. Dignitaries from around the world, including Vice President Joe Biden, will gather today in Saudi Arabia for Abdullah's funeral. Several Arab countries have declared a day of mourning.
Originally published on Fri January 23, 2015 12:46 pm
King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al-Saud of Saudi Arabia has died. He was 90 and had been hospitalized for a lung infection.
Abdullah was born before Saudi Arabia was even a country. It was the early 1920s, and his father, Abdul Aziz ibn Saud, set out to conquer the tribes of the Arabian Peninsula. In one famous battle, ibn Saud surrounded the capital of a rival tribe.
"Famously, instead of executing everybody, he invited them to be his guests," says Robert Lacey, author of two books on Saudi Arabia.
Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 6:49 pm
The Great Recession hobbled the U.S. economy and crushed many businesses, but some companies thrived, including the so-called "dollar" stores.
Shoppers flocked to them because you could buy a lot with not much money. And as the economy rebounds, people are still going to some. But one chain, Family Dollar, hasn't kept pace with its competitors.
Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 7:57 pm
Among the sweeping changes France is proposing in the aftermath of this month's terrorist attacks in Paris are new measures to fight Islamic radicalization in its prisons. It is an enormous problem brought into starker relief because two of the suspects in the attacks earlier this month were products of the French penal system.
Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 8:18 pm
"Making aliyah," or returning to Israel, is usually a cause for celebration among Jews. But recently fear has pushed many Jews to leave France β a record 7,000 departed last year.
And that was before the recent Paris attacks that included the killing of four Jews at a kosher grocery store.
Jean Marc Illouz, a former senior correspondent for French television, who is also Jewish, says he's been pushing back against what he calls ridiculous comments on the Internet about anti-Semitism in France. He says Americans seem to think it's a resurgence of Nazism.
Seven years ago, Carmen Guadalupe Vasquez Aldana went to jail in El Salvador. She was initially charged with abortion but prosecutors elevated the charge to aggravated homicide, arguing that the fetus was viable. Vasquez always contended that she did not have an abortion but had lost her unborn son due to medical complications late in the pregnancy.
Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 8:32 pm
House Republicans decided Wednesday night to shelve a bill that would have banned abortion at 20 weeks post-conception. But 10 states already ban abortions at 20 weeks and two others are defending such laws in court.
Activists are pushing for bans in at least three more states; a panel in the South Carolina Legislature passed one Thursday.
But under the 1973 Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade, a woman has the right to an abortion for several weeks after that, until the point when the fetus is considered viable.
Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 6:28 pm
Audie Cornish talks to Kiev-based journalist David Stern about the ongoing fighting in Ukraine. Ukrainian officials acknowledged on Thursday that rebel fighters had taken control of its airport in Donetsk. A trolley bus had also been shelled by artillery, killing at least eight people.
Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 8:36 pm
Acknowledging that he would rather be discussing the upcoming Super Bowl, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady said he didn't give the game balls a thought during his team's win over the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC Championship Game.
"I didn't alter the ball in any way," Brady told a roomful of reporters at a Thursday news conference. He described the routine he goes through before every game to select footballs that have been conditioned by the Patriots' equipment staff.
Amazon owns 41 percent of all book sales and 67 percent of all e-book sales mainly because it offers lower prices. But the e-commerce company came under fire in late 2014 when Amazon and the publishing house Hachette faced off over who should set the price for e-books. The debate raises questions about Amazon's growing place in the market, the changing role of publishers and the value of books in our society.
Originally published on Fri January 23, 2015 12:55 pm
The special tool-wielding power of human hands may go back farther in evolutionary history than scientists have thought.
That's according to a new study of hand bones from an early relative of humans called Australopithecus africanus. Researchers used a powerful X-ray technique to scan the interior of the bones, and they detected a telltale structure that's associated with a forceful precision grip.
Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 7:02 pm
The NASCAR season that begins next month will bring the last run at a championship for Jeff Gordon, who announced today that he won't race full-time after this year. Now 43, Gordon has been part of competitive racing since he was 5 years old.
But don't call it a retirement. Gordon says he'll stay involved in both NASCAR and Hendrick Motorsports, the team he's been affiliated with for more than two decades.