Jim Lauderdale's new album is called I'm A Song, a title that suggests his deep immersion in songwriting. His compositions have been covered by singers ranging from George Strait to Solomon Burke, from the Dixie Chicks to Elvis Costello. Since his debut album in 1991, he's recorded more than 25 albums for a variety of record companies, and I'm A Song contains a generous 20 songs. Rock critic Ken Tucker says Lauderdale's career is at once admirable and somewhat puzzling.
The Senate voted 71-26 on Wednesday to confirm San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro to head the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
All 26 no votes came from Republicans.
"Julian has lived the American dream in his own life, and I'm confident he will help Americans across our country seize their own piece of that dream for themselves and their children," President Obama said in a statement after the vote.
Jakarta Gov. Joko Widodo, who entered national politics just two years ago, has claimed victory citing early results in the presidential election in Indonesia, the world's most-populous Muslim nation. But his main rival, former Gen. Prabowo Subianto, is refusing to concede.
"This is the victory of the whole Indonesian population!" Widodo said.
The next Republican nominated for president will take the stage and wave to the crowd in ... wait for it ... Cleveland, Ohio.
That may shock you for any number of reasons, not least being that hardly anyone remembers the last time Cleveland hosted a national convention.
In fact, it was 1936, when the GOP went there to nominate a guy named Alf Landon, who carried exactly two states in November. It was the worst showing by a Republican nominee in U.S. history, which may have something to do with Cleveland's long wait for another try.
Edward Snowden remains a fugitive from U.S. authorities over leaking secret documents about its surveillance programs. Now he's asking Russia to extend the one-year term of asylum the country granted the former NSA contract worker last summer.
Snowden's asylum, which was granted last August, is set to expire at the end of this month. His lawyer, Anatoly Kucherena, says they've filed papers for an extension.
It's turning into the largest influx of asylum seekers on U.S. soil since the 1980 Mariel boatlift out of Cuba.
Since October, more than 52,000 children — most from Central America and many of them unaccompanied by adults — have been taken into custody. That's nearly double last year's total and 10 times the number from 2009.
It might be the oldest tree in Britain. A yew tree that sprawls over a churchyard in Wales is more than 5,000 years old, according to experts. While it's not exceptionally tall, the tree has a wide canopy. And it dates back to the era of Egypt's pharaohs.
From NPR's London bureau, Rich Preston reports:
"The 60-foot-wide yew tree sits in the grounds of St Cynog's churchyard near Swansea in Wales. Recent DNA and ring-count testing shows the tree to be more than 5,000 years old — making it older than the Great Pyramid of Giza.
Chris Froome, who raced to the top of the podium in Paris last July, is out of this year's Tour de France after falling in treacherous conditions on today's stage of the bicycle race.
Today's stage had been predicted to be harrowing, owing to the course's inclusion of cobblestones. But Froome went down twice before the race even reached that point, leaving his riding kit torn on both thighs and one shoulder, where a bloody wound could be seen.
When Henry Wanyoike and Joseph Kibunja first started running, it was out of necessity. The childhood friends had no other way to travel the three miles from their Kenyan village to school. So they made the barefoot trek every day, in both directions, regardless of weather.
Thirty years later, Wanyoike and Kibunja are still running together, only now, they're headed to the finish lines of races around the world — and often getting there first.
Although Kenya is known for producing champion runners, the duo stands out: Wanyoike is blind and Kibunja serves as his guide.
Nick Stadlberger, a fourth-year medical student at Dartmouth College spent four weeks this spring in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, working in the infectious disease ward at Muhimbili Hospital as part of his school's global health program.
Originally published on Thu July 10, 2014 12:04 pm
The giant remittances economy — which consists of folks, mainly immigrants, sending money across borders — has been expanding for years. In 2014, the World Bank expects that people will send $436 billion in remittances to developing countries (despite more deportations of migrant workers). And by 2016, the World Bank projects that global remittances will rise to $681 billion, with remittances to developing countries landing at $516 billion.
Israeli leaders are signaling that a ground invasion might be imminent as the offensive on Gaza intensifies, killing at least 53 people and wounding 465 others.
The toll comes from the Palestinian Authority's Health Ministry.
Reporter Daniel Estrin tells NPR's Newscast unit that Israel's military struck at least 200 Hamas targets on the second day of its offensive on the Gaza Strip. The operation is in response to rocket attacks from Gaza toward Israeli cities.
If you do a Google search on the World Cup game in which Germany slaughtered Brazil 7-1, the top results will say things like "destroy," "defeat," and "humiliate."
But Google itself is choosing to steer clear of negative terms. The company has created an experimental newsroom in San Francisco to monitor the World Cup, and turn popular search results into viral content. And they've got a clear editorial bias.
Ask somebody about stress, and you're likely to hear an outpouring about all the bad things that cause it — and the bad things that result. But if you ask a biologist, you'll hear that stress can be good.
Some red states like Louisiana and Texas have emerged as leaders in a new movement: to divert offenders from prisons and into drug treatment, work release and other incarceration alternatives.
By most counts, Louisiana has the highest incarceration rate in the country. In recent years, sentencing reformers in the capital, Baton Rouge, have loosened some mandatory minimum sentences and have made parole slightly easier for offenders to get.
But as reformers in Louisiana push for change, they're also running into stiffening resistance — especially from local prosecutors.
After a half-century of the War on Poverty, an anti-poverty agency in Ohio has concluded that decades of assistance alone just hasn't changed lives. Instead, it says, the ongoing breakdown of the family is to blame.
"You're seeing the same people come year after year, and in some cases generation to generation. And so then you think, why is that happening?" says Jennifer Jennette, program manager of the Community Action Commission of Erie, Huron and Richland Counties in Ohio.