Haiti has long been regarded as a special challenge for international aid organizations. Haiti has a noble, unique and often bloody history. It was the only nation of slaves to successfully revolt against their colonial overseers, became the first black-led republic in the world. It has also been afflicted with its own demons and tyrants.
The South Carolina primary is one week from Saturday. On Friday night, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum hit an upstate barbecue, vying to emerge as the candidate the state's conservative Republicans can rally behind. NPR's Debbie Elliott was there and has this report.
The Muslim Brotherhood has emerged as the big winner in Egypt's parliamentary elections. Long oppressed under the regime of Hosni Mubarak, the Islamist party is now the most important power broker in the country. Lourdes Garcia-Navarro reports that the question on everyone's lips now is what does the Brotherhood really represent and how will it govern?
The lack of snow in most of the northeast has extended the hiking season for those willing to brave the cold. Brian Mann takes a winter hike into Roaring Brook Falls in New York's Adirondack Mountains.
The NFL playoffs are well under way. Eight teams are still standing, but two will be sent home on Saturday. Howard Bryant of ESPN.com and ESPN The Magazine joins host Scott Simon to discuss the latest news in sports.
Karaoke machine manufacturers and the distributors of karaoke CDs have had an uphill battle fighting copyright infringement cases brought by music publishers. One player in the karaoke business is fighting a joint venture of Sony and the estate of Michael Jackson over a $1.28-billion bill. Host Scott Simon has more.
SIMON: We got lots of comments on Gloria Hillard's piece on Native Americans who've moved off reservations into major cities. The Bureau of Indian Affairs Urban Relocation Program had encouraged that migration a few decades ago, and Los Angeles County has the country's largest urban Native American population.
There's a downside to starting a two-month recall petition drive in mid-November in Wisconsin. Sometimes it snows. A lot.
On Tuesday, Democrats plan to turn in petitions by the truckload to try to force a recall election of Gov. Scott Walker. The effort follows the governor's move last year to strip public workers of union bargaining rights.
A heavy snowstorm late this week had most Wisconsin residents more occupied with shoveling than with knocking on doors. Recall petition circulators in the heavily Democratic city of Madison, for the most part, disappeared.
Six thousand miles. Seven time zones. And endless cups of hot tea.
NPR reporter David Greene along with producer Laura Krantz and photographer David Gilkey boarded the Trans-Siberian Railway in Moscow and took two weeks to make their way to the Pacific Ocean port city of Vladivostok.
The film Pina is Germany's official entry at the 84th Academy Awards β and a collaboration between two famous Germans of the postwar generation. The filmmaker Wim Wenders captures the groundbreaking modern-dance choreography of the late Pina Bausch, in what many critics are calling a groundbreaking use of 3-D film.
You can see some progress in Haiti two years since the 7.0-magnitude quake hit. But Port-au-Prince is a tour of unrelenting misery and often disturbing images. Things are happening β slowly. You can tell the pace of progress by looking into people's eyes β emptiness looks back at you. Pain is etched on their faces.
You see it in Elicia Andre. We met her back in December at the homeless encampment run by Catholic Relief Services in Port-au-Prince, where she sought refuge after the quake. The charity had just given her $500 to rent an apartment for a year.
Standard & Poor's downgraded the sovereign debt of France, Italy, Spain and six other European countries on Friday. The move was highly expected, but it's still a blow to France and sending shock waves across Europe. France is the eurozone's second-largest economy, and its downgrade could even threaten Europe's master plan to stop its debt crisis.
We're used to thinking of "obesity" in physical terms β unhealthful weight that clogs our arteries and strains our hearts. But there's also an obesity of information that clogs our eyes and our minds and our inboxes: unhealthful information deep-fried in our own preconceptions.
Originally published on Sat January 14, 2012 3:33 pm
There are two stories about space junk today: First, the AP reports that the International Space Station had to fire its engines to move out of the way of some space junk.
"NASA officials said debris from an old U.S. private communication satellite would have come within three miles of the orbiting outpost on Friday had the station not changed its orbit," the AP reports.
Ten years after the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics, there's still some debate about Mitt Romney's claim that he helped "save" the games β and about whether he used the Olympics to relaunch a fledgling political career.
In 1999, Romney accepted the job as CEO of the Salt Lake Organizing Committee (SLOC), five years after he failed to oust Sen. Ted Kennedy from his Massachusetts Senate seat.
Four years ago, Texas Rep. Ron Paul finished fifth in the New Hampshire presidential primary with just under 8 percent of the vote.
On Tuesday, he got nearly 23 percent of the vote in the New Hampshire primary, finishing second to former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney in the Republican contest. That came a week after Paul's third-place finish in the Iowa caucuses.
One year without another case is an impressive milestone in the decades-long effort to wipe the poliovirus from the face of the planet. Only a few years ago, India reported more polio cases than anywhere else β as many as 100,000 cases a year.
When you open a tub of yogurt, do you pour off that cloudy layer of liquid that collects on the top? If so, you're not just wasting nutritious protein and lactose β you're tossing out what some scientists see as a valuable raw material.
Strange though it might seem, researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering in Germany announced this week that they're turning whey into plastic-like films.
I can't imagine a more stimulating conversation opener than "God is dead." Indeed, this quote by Friedrich Nietzsche sparked heated debate in his time, as it still does today. But how many of us know the writings of this 19th-century philosopher?
Originally published on Fri January 13, 2012 2:48 pm
Bob Jones University used to be a "station of the cross for aspiring presidential candidates," NPR's Ari Shapiro reports on Friday's All Things Considered. Candidates like Ronald Reagan, Bob Dole and Pat Buchanan all spoke at the school, a "bastion of the most conservative brand of evangelical Christianity," Shapiro says.
Family heirlooms take all shapes: a pocket watch, a painting. For Robin MacArthur and her husband Tyler Gibbons, who form the folk duo Red Heart the Ticker, the family inheritance consists of an old house and lots of songs β both gifts from MacArthur's late grandmother, Margaret.
Making a point about government spending, Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky presented taxpayers from his state with a symbolic $500,000 "oversized check." Paul, who is the son of presidential candidate Ron Paul, said his office had saved more than 16 percent of its allotted operating budget last year, so he was giving it back to the Treasury.
In many ways, the Detroit Auto Show has become a kind of consumer electronics show for cars, where you're just as likely to see the rollout of a new app or entertainment system as the introduction of next year's models.
"The growth in mechanical changes [has] now become incremental, whereas the growth in the consumer electronics industry seems to be taking place at a rate that is almost unprecedented," says Thomas Tetzlaff, a spokesman for Volkswagen Canada.
The power of the pardon can redress an overly harsh sentence or a wrongful conviction. It can also prove to be a political landmine.
Exhibit A: Outgoing Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour's sweeping 11th-hour orders granting clemency to more than 200 people, ranging from convicted murderers to the brother of NFL great Brett Favre, who had his record cleared in connection with a 1997 conviction on manslaughter charges.
Russia's largest anti-government demonstrations since the Soviet breakup of 1991 are being organized and driven by a force that didn't exist two decades ago β social media.
In recent years, protests have been relatively rare, and Russians who got their news from state-run television essentially saw one narrative β one that relentlessly extolled the virtues of the country's leaders, particularly Vladimir Putin.
Originally published on Fri January 13, 2012 1:35 pm
Barely a day has gone by without Newt Gingrich complaining about the inaccuracy of ads run against him by a superPAC supporting Mitt Romney.
So now that an anti-Mitt Romney film purchased by a superPAC supporting Gingrich has been criticized for numerous inaccuracies, Gingrich has asked that the film's creators and the funders paying for ads using film snippets edit out the falsehoods or take the ads and film down entirely.