As the federal debt balloons, reducing it would seem more and more pressing. Yet policymakers remain far apart. Debt, deficit and budget rhetoric is often accompanied by numbers cherry-picked to support a particular political view.
But a new book by Wall Street Journal economics writer David Wessel lays out the numbers that both political parties face.
A cross-sectional X-ray shows what's called a "sunken chest." The bright circle near the bottom is the spine; the gray blob on the right is the heart.
Credit Living LLC / Getty Images
Justin Rosales, 14, had a powerful magnet implanted in his chest that snaps onto another one inside a brace, shown on the right. Over the next two years, doctors hope the magnets will gradually correct his sunken chest.
Credit Amy Standen for NPR
An X-ray of Justin Rosales' torso shows the magnet implanted inside his chest.
Credit Courtesy of the University of California, San Francisco
You may not have heard of pectus excavatum — or "sunken chest," as it's commonly known — but there's a good chance you know someone who was born with it.
It's the most common deformity of the chest wall, affecting roughly one in 500 people — boys much more often than girls. And while sunken chest can be corrected with surgery, the procedure is invasive and very painful. Many families won't do it.
One rite of passage most teenagers look forward to and parents dread is learning how to drive. Car crashes are the No. 1 killer of teens by far, on the order of five times more than poisoning or cancer. Does that mean you should scare the daylights out of teens to encourage safe driving? Traditional driver education classes tend to do exactly that, with gruesome videos and photos of fatalities and smashed-up cars.
Authorities will file formal charges in the Aurora, Colo., theater shootings Monday. It's widely assumed that prosecutors will file dozens, if not more than a hundred, first-degree and attempted murder charges against 24-year-old James Holmes, the lone suspect in the July 20 attack.
Poet Ouyang Yu comes to NPR's Poetry Games representing two continents: Asia, where he was born (in China); and Australia, where he moved in 1991. He is a prolific writer of poetry, fiction, nonfiction, literary translation and criticism in English and Chinese.
Of his poem "Lifting," he writes: "Much as I admire weightlifting heroes or heroines, I can't help reminding myself that, however powerful a weightlifter is, he or she can't lift himself or herself up. The magic of the word is that, when well lifted, it has the power to transform."
Speaking from Israel on Sunday, presumptive GOP nominee for president Mitt Romney said that he would respect the nation's "right to defend itself" against Iran. He said the United States also has "a solemn duty and a moral imperative" to prevent Iran from creating nuclear weapons.
Romney's trip and his speech are typical of presidential candidates, who every four years work to outdo one another when it comes to credentials on Israel and U.S. relations with the Jewish state.
An old taxi is pushed toward a vehicle license office to be exchanged for an import permit in Yangon, Myanmar. As many Burmese citizens take cars as an investment, many imports are sold and resold with a higher markup.
Credit Soe Zeya Tun / Reuters/Landov
Mechanics at Ohn Myint's car repair shop on the outskirts of Yangon refurbish rusty, decades-old government jeeps.
Credit Anthony Kuhn / NPR
U Ohn Myint has serviced many decades-old jalopies and kept them roadworthy when ordinary Burmese could not import private cars.
Nowhere are the many recent reforms in Myanmar, also known as Burma, so evident as on city streets. Until this year, they were often choked with ancient jalopies because for most of the past half century ordinary Burmese citizens weren't allowed to purchase imported cars.
But the country's car import policies are now undergoing a lurching sort of liberalization, whose speed, quirks and unintended consequences offer a window on Myanmar's reforms.
<em>Killer Joe</em> (2012) is the latest film from William Friedkin, the director of <em>The French Connection </em>and <em>The Exorcist</em>. The movie, which stars Matthew McConaughey<em></em>, earned an NC-17 rating for its violent content.
Credit LD Entertainment
McConaughey and Zac Efron play brothers in Lee Daniels' 2012 film <em>The Paperboy</em>, based on a novel by Pete Dexter. The film played at this year's Cannes Film Festival.
Credit Anne Marie Fox / Le Festival de Cannes
In 2012's <em>Magic Mike,</em> McConaughey brings a subtle, frightening darkness to the role of a strip-club owner with a sizable sleazy streak.
This may be the year of actor Matthew McConaughey.
At the very least, fans will remember 2012 as the year that McConaughey revolutionized his career. He's starred in five different independent films, taking on smaller, character-actor parts in place of his usual roles as the sly-grinning heartthrob in romantic comedies.
You might not be able to hear it on television, but in the Olympic stadiums and arenas of London over the next weeks, games-watchers will be treated to some exclusive new tracks from world-renown mashup artist Jordan Roseman, better known as DJ Earworm.
"Out of the blue, there was an email," Roseman tells weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz. "They wanted these mixes."
Former Vice President Dick Cheney is calling Sen. John McCain's choice of Sarah Palin as his running mate in 2008 a "mistake."
In an excerpted interview with ABC News'This Week on Sunday, Cheney said it's important that Romney not repeat the fumble. The list of potential VP picks is a big one, he says, but there's a shorter list, too:
Originally published on Sun July 29, 2012 12:39 pm
Fighting continues in Aleppo, Syria's largest city on Sunday while accusations of meddling – and pleas to meddle more – are flying on the international stage.
According to Guardian correspondent Luke Harding, reporting from Aleppo province, the rebels are holding their own but are ultimately outmatched against government forces using heavy weaponry. He quotes a rebel commander who "was relatively pessimistic about the Free Syrian Army's chances of fending off repeated attacks":
The Olympics have officially had a "Salahi moment." Remember, the White House gatecrashers? Well, on Friday during the opening ceremony, a young woman wearing a red jacket and turquoise pants was seen walking with the Indian delegation into Olympic stadium. Not only that, but she was walking alongside the flag bearer.
Jack Daniel's Old No. 7 Tennessee Whiskey is an American classic with a distinctive black-labeled bottle that kind of looks like the typeface on an old wanted poster. Patrick Wensink wrote a novel called Broken Piano for President with a cover that was clearly inspired, maybe a little too much, by Jack Daniel's.
While Major League baseball is big and epic, there's something magical about sitting in a small stadium. Guest host David Greene reports on the progress of Minor League Baseball player Tyler Saladino at one of his team's away games. Saladino is an infielder for Alabama's Birmingham Barons.
This is WEEKEND EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning, I'm David Greene. The presumptive Republican nominee for president, Mitt Romney, is holding meetings today in Israel with top Israeli officials, and also with the Palestinian prime minister. This morning, Gov. Romney made a visit to the Wailing Wall.
This is the second stop on a much-anticipated overseas trip that got off to a rocky start, in London. Sheera Frenkel is joining us on the line from Jerusalem, to update us on the trip. And Sheera, good morning.
Day One of the London Olympics may have signaled a passing of the torch from one generation of swimming superstars to another. Expectations were sky-high for Michael Phelps, who already had the biggest gold medal haul in Olympic history. But a much-anticipated showdown with swimming teammate Ryan Lochte, turned out to be not much of a showdown at all.
If you own a smartphone, chances are it's made by Apple or a company that Apple is suing. And for the first time tomorrow, one of those lawsuits is going to a jury trial. Apple wants more than two and a half billion dollars from Samsung for what it claims is patent violation.
NPR's Laura Sydell has been following this story and joins us. Hey, Laura.
LAURA SYDELL, BYLINE: Hi.
GREENE: So, two and a half billion dollars? I mean is that real? That's a huge amount of money.
Improvised explosive devices, or IEDs, remain one of the biggest killers in Afghanistan. As NATO forces prepare to withdraw from the country, Afghans are learning the special skills needed to find and disarm these deadly weapons.
The training area near the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif is a large expanse of dirt and gravel, dotted with a few beat-up old taxis and scattered bunkers.
Mike Lee is one of the most conservative members of the Senate. The freshman Utah Republican was elected with strong Tea Party backing and, like Sen. John Thune of South Dakota, he's a man of the West.
Mention the possibility that Thune, 51, might team up with Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, and Lee's eyes light up: "I love John," he says. "He's articulate, passionate, collegial. I mean ... I think he'd be great."
In Spain, the growing crisis — debt, austerity and joblessness — has prompted more people to vote with their feet. In the first six months of 2012, emigration from Spain is up more than 44 percent from the same period last year.
The Spanish government denies it, but the "brain drain" has become something of a flood with more and more educated, skilled Spaniards moving abroad.
In August, lawmakers will be heading home to their districts for the month's recess. Last summer, things weren't quite so calm.
A year ago at this time, Congress was in a nasty and protracted battle over whether to raise the debt ceiling. If they didn't make a decision, the government was going to go into default. It's a fight that cost Congress its already waning public support, and cost American taxpayers $1.3 billion.
Satoshi Shimizu (left) of Japan celebrates his 10-9 points decision over Isaac Dogboe of Ghana, in their Round of 32 bantamweight bout at the 2012 London Olympic Games. The first full day of competition brought many close finishes in London.
The first full day of Olympic competition brought moments of tense excitement, in the pool and on the archery course, among other places. At the time of this post, China leads the overall medal count, with 6, followed by Italy and the United States, with 5. Four of China's medals are gold.