Originally published on Wed September 14, 2011 12:36 pm
The harsh, tropical sunlight that dapples Bali's tourist-thronged beaches streams through the fingers of a palm leaf and lands on the shoulders of Nengah, who slumps like a rag doll amid a pile of tattered pillows in the island's far eastern reaches.
The poor village of Abang is remote, and Nengah spends her days in a heap, staring at hands that lie in her lap like dry leaves.
Today, Nengah is not alone. Neighbors have gathered in the mid-July heat to watch as her brother uses a stone to break a chain that has bound her to a concrete pit — her home — for nearly a decade.
If things go without a hitch NASA announced that its new Space Launch System could take its first manned test flight in 2017.
The new design looks a lot like the Apollo era rockets that took American astronauts to the moon, but NASA said the new spacecraft is much more powerful than any other rocket they've made before and could set up astronauts for deep space exploration. The SLS will be NASA's first exploration-calss vehicle since the Saturn V took astronauts to the moon.
At the unveiling of the plans Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) called it a "monster rocket."
When U.S. forces launched the war in Afghanistan on Oct. 7, 2001, they were riding a wave of anger and a call for justice by a broad swath of the American public.
Andrew Kohut, president of the Pew Research Center, says the initial support for the Afghan invasion was around 90 percent, and the war was closely followed by a large number of people. But since then, the public has been slowly disengaging, he says.
While there are still many open questions, some things are more certain in the sorry tale of Solyndra, the now bankrupt solar-cell manufacturer President Obama once praised as a model for the nation's renewable energy future.
One, U.S. taxpayers will take a loss on their $535 million federal loan guarantee that was part of the stimulus program.
Two, 1,100 workers have been laid off.
Three, the Federal Bureau of Investigation last week raided Solyndra's offices.
Scores on the critical reading portion of the SAT college entrance exam fell three points to their lowest level on record last year, and combined reading and math scores reached their lowest point since 1995.
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, it's an article of faith that parents are going to try to work hard and sacrifice so they can leave something to their kids. But a new survey shows that that's less and less the case for millionaire baby boomers. We'll hear more about that in just a few minutes. That's this week's Money Coach conversation.
For another perspective on combating the increase in poverty, Tell Me More turns to Jared Bernstein. He served in the Obama administration as Chief Economist and Economic Adviser to Vice President Joe Biden. He responds to Herman Cain's 999 plan and identifies the impediments of getting Americans back to work.
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. We're going to spend a good deal of time today talking about money, how much the government has to spend and how much and how little many American families have. Later we're going to talk about that special Congressional Committee that's been charged with coming up with a plan to take a big bite out of the federal deficit. That group held it's first public hearing on Tuesday.