President Obama and congressional leaders lunched at the White House Wednesday on sandwiches the leader of the free world purchased during a visit to a Washington, D.C., eatery where he met earlier in the morning with a group of small-business people.
Descriptions of the White House lunch meeting from those on the opposing red and blue teams aware of the details of the discussion made it sound like yet another meeting featuring the nation's top policymakers that you could have accurately described beforehand.
The House and the Senate are once again at odds: This time over a reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act.
The Senate passed a beefed-up version of the bill and the House removed those new protections in their version. With that, the conversation has shifted into the controversial areas of immigration and identity politics. The House debated the bill — H.R. 4970 — today and a vote could be scheduled for this week.
Facebook's initial public offering is shaping up to be one of the largest in history. This morning the company told the Securities and Exchange Commission that it was expanding its offering ... again.
Now Facebook is planning to raise up to $16 billion from investors by taking a small slice of the company to the public. And it will likely be worth more than $100 billion on its opening day of trading. It could easily go higher.
Sen. Dick Lugar, R-Ind., crosses the finish line of the 3-mile Capital Challenge charity race with Olympic marathoner Meb Keflezighi. It was Lugar's 31st race, and his last as a senator after he lost a primary challenge this month.
Credit Javaun Moradi / NPR
Sen. Dick Lugar, 80, runs in the Capital Challenge charity race. He has participated every year since the race started in 1981.
Credit Javaun Moradi / NPR
Sen. Lugar signs an autograph at the Capital Challenge race.
The partisan divisions on Capitol Hill are numerous — but Wednesday morning, about two-dozen members of Congress did something entirely nonpartisan. They ran in a 3-mile race for charity, along with their staffs and teams from the executive and judicial branches and the media (including NPR).
The ACLI Capital Challenge is an annual tradition that dates back to 1981, and one senator has run the race every time: Dick Lugar, R-Ind. But Wednesday's race was also his last.
Three men stand with their penny farthing bicycles. Follow their example for Bike to Work Day, and take a photo of yourself and your bike. Then, post the photo to Twitter or Instagram, with the hashtag #NPRbike.
Credit Hulton Archive / Getty Images
Just because you're biking to work doesn't mean it can't be a nice ride — and you also don't have to ride straight home. This photo was taken on an afternoon along the Potomac River, outside Washington, D.C.
Bike to Work Day is this Friday, May 18. And that prompts a question: Do you bike to work? If so, you should prove it — by taking a photo of yourself with your bike. Then share the picture, and we'll consider it for NPR's Bike to Work Day gallery.
U.N. monitors in Syria leave their Damascus hotel on Wednesday on a mission. A day earlier, their U.N. colleagues were at the scene of a major clash in northern Syria that left more than 30 Syrians dead.
There was a deadly clash in northern Syria on Tuesday, but it was different than many other such episodes over the past 14 months of the Syrian uprising.
This time, United Nations monitors were watching. The monitors are in Syria to keep an eye on the government forces and the opposition, who are supposed to be observing a cease-fire and opening a dialogue.
But the trouble Tuesday began with a funeral the northern Syrian town of Khan Sheikhoun.
Chuck Brown, known as the "Godfather of Go-Go," a style of percussion-heavy funk pioneered in Washington, D.C., died Wednesday. His death was reported by The Washington Post, quoting his manager, and other local outlets confirmed his death with family members.
Brown had been hospitalized for pneumonia. He was 75.
Since a small contingent of Marines landed in the northern port town of Darwin last month, the U.S. has shown greater interest in using Australian military facilities as part of a larger effort to refocus its military capabilities in Southeast Asia and the western Pacific.
"We have no better ally or friend in the world than Australia, and we have no area in the world which is as important or dynamic over the next 50 years as the Asia Pacific," says Jeffrey Bleich, the U.S. ambassador to Australia.
The Shaolin Warriors, from Shaolin Monastery in central China, put on a demonstration of traditional kung fu fighting techniques, with some crowd-pleasing stunts thrown in. They had never performed with a circus before this year.
Credit Courtesy of UniverSoul Circus
Zanda "Zeke" Charles began as UniverSoul's ringmaster sidekick 18 years ago. Today, he co-hosts the show, and, when not in the ring, he roams the audience signing autographs and giving out hugs.
For almost 20 years, the UniverSoul Circus has been pitching its tent in urban plazas across the country. The circus was founded by a Baltimore native as a showcase for black talent, one that he hoped would inspire black audiences.
In more recent times, the circus has evolved into an eclectic mix of acts from around the world. Now, it's pushing to diversify its audience, with a show called "Us."
Strength, Precision And Crowd-Pleasing Nerve
In the beginning, all of the talent was black. They came from Africa, the Caribbean and the U.S.
Looking to get more popular on Facebook? Alex Melen will sell you 1,000 "likes" for about $75.
Melen runs an Internet marketing company. About six months ago, companies he worked with started coming to him more and more with a simple problem: They had created pages on Facebook, but nobody had clicked the "like" button.
"You would go there, and there would be two likes," Melen says. "And one of them would be the owner. And people right away lost interest in the brand."
We here at The Salt usually ignore food festivals and those "Celebrate Whatever We're Eating Now" Days. They're a bit precious, no? But this one was too good to pass up: Today is the day the French celebrate the Feast of St. Honoré, the patron saint of bakers and pastry chefs.
And since the French hold their corner bakery right up there with the Catholic Church, the celebration is not complete without a big bite of the complicated confection named for the saint in question. More on the cake a little later.
Bloomberg took out its pencil, paper and calculator and came up with this number: $67 million.
That's how much the news service estimates Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin could save in federal income taxes after having renounced his United States citizenship in advance of social media company's public debut.
Quite a few of the 225 people who live in Dish, Texas, think the nation's natural gas boom is making them sick.
They blame the chemicals used in gas production for health problems ranging from nosebleeds to cancer.
And the mayor of Dish, Bill Sciscoe, has a message for people who live in places where gas drilling is about to start: "Run. Run as fast as you can. Grab up your family and your belongings, and get out."
If young voters were the breakout stars of the 2008 presidential election, then Latino voters may take center stage this year.
Every other week or so, it seems, a new poll gauges Latinos' opinions about the candidates, the issues and their level of engagement. Both parties are pouring millions into their Latino outreach. Latino politicians have assumed prominent roles in the conventions of the Republican and Democratic parties. And a Latino senator is on the short list of potential running mates for presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney.
The push for civil unions recently failed in Colorado, and Governor John Hickenlooper has some ideas about why. Also, former Nevada Governor Bob List talks about the influence of Ron Paul on the Republican Party. And NPR's Political Junkie columnist Ken Rudin rounds up the news.
Wisconsin Democrats hope to unseat Republican Governor Scott Walker in a recall election. In the Los Angeles Times, Jonathan Zimmerman, a lifelong Democrat, says he is "appalled." The recall, he writes, "epitomizes the petty, loser-take-all vindictiveness of contemporary American politics."
Just months after moving to Paris to start her first full-time job, Suleika Jaouad was diagnosed with cancer — acute myeloid leukemia. Like many who face life-threatening illnesses in their 20s, she is coping with a dwindling sense of independence — increasingly relying on her parents for care — while simultaneously dealing with the very adult issues of mortality, infertility and disease.
A German man, who says he was mistakenly shipped to a secret prison in Afghanistan as part of the CIA's "extraordinary rendition" program, took the stand at the European Union's human rights court today.
After unsuccessfully seeking redress in the U.S. and Germany, Khaled El-Masri is suing Macedonia, where he was allegedly kidnapped. El-Masri argued that the country was callous and calculating when it turned him over to the U.S. This hearing could also mark the end of the legal road for a case that spans eight years.
President Barack Obama awarded a posthumous Medal of Honor today to Spec. Leslie H. Sabo Jr., a Pennsylvania rifleman killed after sacrificing his body to grenade fire in Vietnam during 1970's "Mother's Day Ambush".
A Defense Department description of Sabo's heroic actions says the 22-year old saved the lives of several other soldiers. He charged enemy positions and killed several North Vietnamese fighters while drawing fire away from his unit.
There's quite a bit of news coming of out of Syria today. The big one is a report from The Washington Post, quoting "U.S. and foreign officials" saying that the Persian Gulf states and the United States have stepped up their efforts to assist and arm the opposition.
No more ifs, ands or butts about the claims that Skechers USA made for its goofy-looking toning shoes.
The company has agreed to pay $40 million to settle claims that it deceived customers by saying its Shape-ups shoes would help people who wore them shed pounds and tone their abs, buttocks and legs, the Federal Trade Commission said.
The FTC alleged there's no evidence the Skechers shoes would do a better job by those measures than regular old gym shoes.
Nyachieng Nguot Teng, 25, lost her left leg and her 7-month-old son suffered a fractured leg when a Sudanese bomb fell on her hut in Lalat, South Sudan, on May 5. The United Nations is trying to prevent the recent fighting between the two Sudans from escalating into full-scale war.
Credit Ofeibea Quist-Arcton / NPR
South Sudanese soldiers travel near the front line with Sudan last month. The two sides have clashed repeatedly in recent weeks.
There's a tense calm at South Sudan's front line, just 10 miles from the frontier with Sudan, its neighbor to the north. South Sudanese commander Maj. Gen. Mangar Buong says his troops remain on alert and on the defensive.
There is not a civilian in sight. They all fled the area, known as Panakuach, after Sudan's recent aerial bombardments and escalating concerns about a full-scale war.
Many fans will be disappointed that Sacha Baron Cohen's The Dictator is a more or less conventional comedy and not an ambush-interview mockumentary in the style of Borat and Bruno. But that guerrilla-clown shtick would be tough to sustain: Why not let him try something else? The good news is that The Dictator is loose and slap-happy and full of sharp political barbs and has funny actors moving in and out — and at a lickety-split 83 minutes, it doesn't wear out its welcome.