The Syrian economy has so far weathered the mass protests and widespread violence that have rocked most every major city. But in a move that could increase the pressure, the European Union is considering a ban on imported Syrian oil, similar to sanctions the U.S. imposed earlier this month.
Western governments say the Syrian regime's harsh response to an anti-government uprising has demonstrated that it is not fit to lead.
At more than 28,000 feet, K2 is the second-highest mountain in the world. And when Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner reached its summit this week, she became the first woman to climb all 14 of the world's tallest peaks without using any supplementary oxygen.
The world's top women golfers are battling it out in Mirabel, Quebec, this week at the Canadian Women's Open. In the field is a powerful, yet little-known player: world No. 1 Yani Tseng of Taiwan.
Tseng has been powering and smiling her way around golf courses — and making history. At the relatively tender age of 22, she's already done something that no one who's swung a golf club has done before: Tseng has won five major championships.
Nervous investors will be listening Friday to Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's remarks in Jackson Hole, Wyo., for clues to additional steps the Fed might take to shore up the sagging economy.
For the past three decades, central bankers, and the people who watch them, have been gathering each summer in the Rocky Mountain resort to do some deep thinking about the economy. Fiscal watchdog Maya MacGuineas, who has attended several of these meetings, says it's not just the view of the Grand Tetons that makes them special.
Arizona is once again challenging the authority of the federal government. This time the state's attorney general is suing the feds to get out from under the Voting Rights Act, which requires Arizona to get prior approval before changing election rules and maps.
NPR's Carrie Johnson filed this report:
Tom Horne, the top elected lawyer in Arizona, says the landmark 1965 voting rights law is out of date and forces the state to bend to the whim of the federal Justice Department.
Hurricane Irene is forecast to hit North Carolina hard. The National Hurricane Center says it will be a major Category 3 hurricane as it makes landfall, so state officials have ordered evacuations of the Outer Banks, the barrier islands exposed off the Carolina's Atlantic coast.
As always, there are those who stay put. All Things Considered host Melissa Block spoke to a husband and wife who live in Ocracoke, N.C. and they're planning on weathering the storm at home.
The polar bear scientist who has spent more than a month suspended from his government job has now been told that he should report back to work on Friday — although NPR has learned that his job is changing and he will no longer manage federal contracts.
"Chuck is planning to go to work. He just doesn't know what the work is going to be," says attorney Jeff Ruch of Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, which is providing legal representation for wildlife biologist Charles Monnett.
Thousands of same-sex married couples now have hopes of staying together in the U.S. thanks to a change in deportation policy. The government says it will now prioritize deportations, giving lower priority to those with families in the U.S.
And the Obama administration has included same-sex couples in its definition of family.
Left In Legal Limbo
Bradford Wells, 55, a longtime resident of San Francisco, has good days and bad days.
The Food and Drug Administration is telling doctors and patients not to use high doses of the popular antidepressant Celexa anymore because they can raise the risk for potentially harmful changes in heart rhythms.
Hurricane Irene was poised to cause major destruction along the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast over the weekend, and thousands of people were leaving North Carolina's exposed coast Thursday in preparation for the storm's likely first U.S. strike.
"This is everything a hurricane can be, and it's on one of those worst-case tracks for the East Coast," said Dennis Feltgen, a spokesman for the National Hurricane Center.
Even though the Virginia-centered earthquake on Tuesday only resulted in mild damage, it did open up a good-sized, good-natured national chasm – between the East Coast and West Coast of the United States.
"Really all this excitement over a 5.8 quake??? Come on East Coast, we have those for breakfast out here!!!!" California-based comedian Dennis Miller famously quipped. The early salvo was cut-and-pasted throughout the Twitterverse,
An Iranian exile group is ramping up its lobbying campaign to get off a U.S. terrorist list, and the issue has sparked a fierce debate among foreign policy experts about the wisdom of such a move.
Supporters of the Mujahedeen-e Khalq see it as a potentially useful group in countering Iran. It has provided the U.S. information about Iran's nuclear program, for instance. Others see it as a dangerous cult and warn that taking it off the Foreign Terrorist Organization list would undercut peaceful Iranian dissidents, who want nothing to do with the MEK.
The unveiling of the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial in Washington, D.C., this week has brought attention to the slain leader's former lieutenants, many of whom became iconic figures in the civil rights movement.
Warren Buffett came to the rescue of Bank of America, the giant financial services company that faces a range of legal and financial problems. Buffett said Thursday he would invest $5 billion in the company and could buy more shares down the road. Buffett's decision to buy into Bank of America sent its share price higher, though the company still has to contend with big challenges.
Through people who have visited Col. Moammar Gadhafi's Bab al-Aziziya compound in Tripoli talked about the miles of hallways and bunkers built below ground, no images had ever been seen of them.
As Mark noted earlier, now that the rebels control the complex it is being explored and ransacked. And today, we got images of those legendary tunnels. In this Al Jazeera report, you'll see video of one of those tunnels at around the 1:25 mark:
Vaccines do come with risks for trouble, but problems are generally rare, according to a new review of the evidence from the Institute of Medicine.
The independent panel considered adverse effects from eight common childhood vaccines, and found that in many cases there wasn't enough evidence to if say there was a problem. But the committee came out loud and clear on the controversial question which drove the report.
Do vaccines — such as the one against measles, mumps and rubella — cause autism?
No doubt there are plenty of career retrospectives about the just-departed Apple CEO Steve Jobs today. He did, afterall, lead Apple to become the world's premiere technology company and for a few moments earlier this month, Apple surpassed Exxon Mobil as the most valuable American company.
The New York Times has a report about a government plan that could affect millions of homeowners in the United States. The paper reports that the Obama administration is kicking around a proposal that would "allow millions of homeowners with government-backed mortgages to refinance them at today's lower interest rates, about 4 percent..."
Anna Hazare, a 74-year old anti-corruption crusader in India, is on the 10th day of a hunger strike. Today Prime Minister Manmohan Singh asked him to end his hunger strike saying parliament could discuss anti-corruption legislation.
Foreclosures made up roughly one-third of all home sales this spring. While that's a smaller share of sales from the previous quarter, it's six times the percentage of foreclosures in a healthy housing market. Meanwhile, fixed mortgage rates edged up this week from their lowest levels in decades.
Foreclosure sales, which include homes purchased after they received a notice of default or that were repossessed by lenders, accounted for 31 percent of the market in the April-June quarter, foreclosure listing firm RealtyTrac Inc. said Thursday.
With Moammar Gadhafi and his regime driven from their strongholds in Tripoli, the most pressing question now is whether the rebels will be able to set up a government and establish order in the capital and the rest of Libya.
In their battle so far, the rebels have been boosted by NATO air power. Western nations have also been providing political and diplomatic backing to the rebel leadership, known as the Transitional National Council. And the U.S. and European states say they are prepared to return Libyan assets that were frozen in the final months of Gadhafi's rule.
When Steve Jobs stepped down from his position as CEO of Apple yesterday, he handed the reins immediately to chief operating officer Tim Cook, who has had such a significant hand in day-to-day operations that many expect that Apple won't immediately suffer much in the way of effects on either its ability to turn out beloved products or its business position.
And an album full of photos of former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
Odd as that may sound, what appears to be something of a keepsake about Rice — who Moammar Gadhafi once referred to as "my darling black African woman" and of whom he said, "I love her very much" — was found by opposition fighters as they searched and ransacked the Libyan leader's compound in Tripoli.
Shares in Bank of America jumped nearly 25 percent in"premarket trading" this morning after it was reported that billionaire investment guru Warren Buffett is buying a $5 billion stake in the company, The Wall Street Journal's MarketBeat blog writes.
Though the number of claims remained well above the level normally associated with a healthy economy, one factor was temporary. According to Reuters, "Verizon workers filed 8,500 claims for jobless benefits last week, after submitting 12,500 applications the previous week."