In the days of the ancient Greeks, poetry and sport went hand in hand at athletic festivals like the Olympics. Poets sang the praises of athletic champions and, at some festivals, even competed in official events, reciting or playing the lyre. Here at NPR, we're reviving that tradition with our own Poetry Games.
What people in New Jersey like about Gov. Chris Christie is his candor — the sense that he's speaking from his heart, instead of a script.
Last summer, as Hurricane Irene barreled toward the Jersey shore, the Republican governor offered a particularly memorable moment during a press conference: "Get the hell off the beach in Asbury Park and get out," he said. "You're done. It's 4:30. You've maximized your tan. Get off the beach."
The Kalandia checkpoint between Jerusalem and Ramallah in the West Bank is best known as a flashpoint between Palestinian protesters and Israeli security forces. Images of masked youths throwing rocks by the painted concrete wall here are ubiquitous.
Protesters gathered at Kalandia again last week, but their focus wasn't Israeli soldiers: It was Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
The first stop — Britain — in Mitt Romney's foreign tour certainly is starting out rockier than nearly anyone expected.
First there was the kerfuffle over remarks, attributed by a British newspaper to an anonymous campaign adviser, that Romney understood the shared "Anglo-Saxon heritage" between the U.S. and Britain in a way President Obama didn't. Those comments were viewed as racist by some and were disowned by the Romney campaign.
Many people think of the seedless watermelons popping up at grocery stores and markets everywhere in the last few years as a marvel of modern scientific technology. In fact, more than 60 percent of watermelon shoppers seek this smoother pink flesh, and the numbers are increasing every year, according to a recent survey done for the National Watermelon Promotion Board.
Rebeca Espinal admits with a shy smile that she's a straight-A math student. She's a high school graduate who dreamed of going to college.
Instead, Espinal, 17, is working in a Charlotte, N.C., factory that makes gas turbines and generators. She is an apprentice with the German company Siemens.
"I was planning on getting a degree in international relations, but with financial aid and how difficult it is to pay for college and everything," she says. "So when Siemens came along and gave me the offer, it was too good of an opportunity to just let it go.
U.S.gymnast McKayla Maroney will compete in the London Summer Games, despite the lingering effects of a broken toe. Maroney, a gold medal contender, is the reigning world champion in the vault. Early reports suggested that Maroney broke her toe in London. But it appears that she merely tweaked an earlier injury.
On Twitter, NBC producer Alexa Ainsworth clarified that Maroney's toe "was broken before Classic and she just aggravated that here."
The province of KwaZulu-Natal has emerged as the epicenter of South Africa's HIV epidemic. South Africa already has more people infected with HIV than any other country in the world, but parts of KwaZulu-Natal have HIV rates that are more than twice the national average.
Now in addition to HIV and AIDS, the province is also dealing with a major tuberculosis epidemic.
In the northeastern part of KwaZulu-Natal, dusty dirt tracks wind through pastures and fields of sugar cane. The hillsides are dotted with small huts made of cinder blocks and field stones.
The Obama administration is enlisting new allies to fight health care fraud: insurers.
Today the Departments of Health and Human Services and Justice announced a partnership with more than a dozen health insurers and industry groups to nip fraudulent schemes in the bud, instead of tracking down bad guys after the fact.
Born in New Orleans and still in his mid-20s, Frank Ocean has already written songs for major pop stars. He sang on the Kanye West/Jay-Z collaboration Watch the Throne, and he's been part of the tumultuous Los Angeles musical collective known as Odd Future. None of which quite prepares a listener for the beautifully moody music that dominates his new album, Channel Orange.
It was likely something that the United States Department of Agricultural didn't put much thought into. In an internal newsletter detailing agency's "greening" efforts, there's information about new lightbulbs and locally bought fruits and vegetables.
But on page three of five, there's also a passage that encourages forgoing meat on Mondays.
Rebecca Smith owns a Tampa, Fla., construction-management firm that does a lot of work overseeing the building of schools and jails, and other projects for state and local governments.
But even though much of her firm's $80 million in annual revenue comes from contracts with government agencies, she says she was "disgusted" by President Obama's thesis that government had a significant role in her business achievements.
Obama's actual words, from a July 13 speech in Virginia, were:
Facebook reported slightly stronger than expected profits. For the second quarter, it reported a net loss of $157 million or 11 cents a share. But when it adjusted its earnings to remove stock compensation charges related to its IPO, Reuters reports, Facebook actually made 12 cents a share.
In the novel What Happened to Sophie Wilder, writer Charlie Blakeman runs into his former college love after 10 years and finds out that she has converted to Catholicism. Charlie can't make sense of her conversion, but as he finds out more about Sophie's past, he sees her life is more complicated than he previously thought. When Sophie once again disappears, Charlie sets out to discover what has happened to her.
A couple of months ago, I visited Beijing, and like so many before me, I was stunned by how hypercapitalist Communist China has become — the hundreds of glossy highrises, the countless shops selling Prada and Apple, the traffic jams filled with brand new Audis. You felt you could be in L.A. or Tokyo — until you wanted some information. Then you discovered that Facebook was permanently blocked, certain words in Google searches always crashed your browser, and, as my wife joked, it was easier to buy a Rolls-Royce than a real newspaper. Here was a country at once booming — and repressive.
Y'know your local mall? The one you drive to whenever, or just as easily drive past? What would happen if you didn't have a choice — if you couldn't avoid going there? Would you walk right through without stopping and shopping? Or, a darker question: What if you could never get out?
The Justice Department inspector general has uncovered what he calls illegal hiring practices at the federal agency. In a new report he cites eight employees for trying to find jobs for their children and other relatives.