On a balmy August evening in Concord, N.H., the smells of summer float through the air: cooking meat, freshly cut grass and bug spray. A few hundred Ron Paul supporters have gathered under a white tent to hear their candidate speak at the opening of his state campaign headquarters.
They're excited about the Texas congressman's close second-place finish at the Republican presidential straw poll in Ames, Iowa. They're also a little frustrated that it hasn't been getting more attention.
Monday marks 15 years since President Clinton signed an overhaul of the nation's welfare system into law. The president said the measure wasn't perfect, but provided a historic opportunity to fix a system that didn't work.
"Today we are ending welfare as we know it," he said in a Rose Garden ceremony on Aug. 22, 1996. "But I hope this day will be remembered not for what it ended, but for what it began."
What it was supposed to begin was a program that would get the poor into the workforce and end their dependence on public aid.
As politicians go, California Rep. Xavier Becerra has a relatively low profile considering that he's been in Congress for 18 years. He's the vice chairman of the Democratic Caucus, the former head of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and the first Latino to serve on the powerful Ways and Means Committee.
When the Democrats had the House majority, Nancy Pelosi appointed him to the new post of assistant to the speaker. And earlier this month, she chose him to join the supercommittee tasked with finding a way to cut $1 trillion from the federal deficit.
Deep in the North Woods of Wisconsin, more than 200 miles north of Milwaukee, sits the world's largest handmade planetarium.
It isn't easy to find. A sign points down a dirt road toward Frank Kovac's backyard, where he built the planetarium over a period of 10 years. His lifelong fascination with the stars turned into a project of cosmic proportions.
As a child, Kovac looked at the sky through his father's small telescope.
The Department of Homeland Security will no longer target people who are in the United States illegally but have done nothing else wrong, under a new policy announced today by the Obama administration.
According to the White House, DHS and the Justice Department will review pending deportation cases on a case-by-case basis, and "clear out" the queue of people deemed to be low priority.
For years, gun stores were predominantly patronized by men. But these days, shooting ranges and shops selling firearms are seeing more female customers than ever before, and that has them changing the way they do business.
In one brand-new shooting range at Eagle Gun in Concord, N.C., shots from Sharon Skoff's handgun boom behind glass that separates the range from the rest of the shop.
"I just refuse to be a victim if I possibly can in life," Skoff says. "I actually went and got my concealed permit a couple months ago so I can carry."
Kids may claim that Tater Tots are the only edible food in the school cafeteria, but in reality, school lunches are getting more healthful.
Almost all cafeterias now serve fresh fruits and vegetables, according to a survey of school food directors released Thursday. Whole grains are readily accessible in 97 percent of schools, and 89 percent of districts offer salad bars or pre-packaged salads. Gone are the days of full fat milk; virtually all districts offer skim or 1 percent.
The stock market is at it again. After bouncing back last week, there was a huge sell-off Thursday.
The Dow Jones industrial average lost 419 points — more than 3.5 percent on the day — and once again, Europe's debt crisis was a big factor. It's affecting European banks which, in turn, affect the U.S. financial sector.
European bank stocks had lost as much as 14 percent of their value by the time the U.S. markets opened.
Originally published on Wed August 24, 2011 10:40 am
As President Obama embarks on vacation, he leaves behind roiling domestic markets, dismal unemployment numbers and speculation about what he'll propose in a planned jobs-and-economy speech after Labor Day.
While he's expected to lay out some familiar strategies when he returns, from extending payroll tax cuts to new infrastructure spending, economists are looking for more — and for how Obama will balance election-year politics with the imperative to get something done and quickly in bitterly divided Washington.
The orange goo that took over the shore of a remote Alaskan village is actually a mass of fungal spores — not microscopic eggs, as scientists at the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration first believed.
"At this point, the best identification we can give to as the origin of these spores is a rust fungus," says Steve Morton, Ph.D., who works in the NOAA lab in Charleston, S.C., that conducted the full analysis. "The spores are unlike others we and our network of specialists have examined; however, many rust fungi of the Arctic tundra have yet to be identified."
Pope Benedict XVI visited Spain on Thursday to celebrate World Youth Day with Catholic pilgrims from around the globe. But a country that was solidly Catholic for centuries has become much more secular, and not everyone extended a warm welcome.
Regal music is piped through the streets of Madrid as the popemobile rolls by. The faithful fall to their knees. Up to a million Catholics are present, including Sara Vallarta from Laredo, Texas.
"It's been an awesome experience. It's incredible, the amount of people here, coming all together with their faith," she says.
It's a natural question to wonder if cutting off economic ties with a country can truly stop an authoritarian regime from attacking its own people and if it can truly get it to give up power after four decades of family rule, as Obama demanded.
Arizona voters approved a constitutional amendment establishing an "independent" commission to decide where the lines get drawn. The intent was to avoid the self-interest of having the Legislature draw its own districts. But the commission is taking political flak — even before it releases any maps.
There's a revolution underway in biology. Scientists are coming to understand genetics isn't just about genes. Just as important are smaller sequences of DNA that control genes.
These so-called regulatory elements tell genes when to turn on and off, and when to stop functioning altogether. A new study suggests that changes in these non-gene sequences of DNA may hold the key to explaining how all species evolved.
An exhibition basketball game between Georgetown University's Hoyas and the Bayi Rockets descended into a brawl and then a full-on melee Thursday, one day after visiting Vice President Joe Biden stopped by to watch Georgetown play another team, the Shanxi Brave Dragons, in Beijing.
Both the Rockets and the Brave Dragons are professional teams. In Wednesday's game, the Hoyas beat the Brave Dragons, 98-81.
The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new drug to treat advanced melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. The drug got the green light faster than many other drugs under review, and advocates of personalized medicine say this bodes well for other gene-based drugs in development.
Anna Hazare will be allowed to stage a 15-day public hunger strike in New Delhi. As we reported yesterday, Hazare was in a standoff with the Indian government, which arrested him for planning a protest without a permit.
Police have been flown into the tiny Pacific resort island of Aitutaki, where officials say their bank has been robbed — a first for the small, tight-knit community. Part of the Cook Islands, Aitutaki is famous for its beaches, which ring a large lagoon full of clear, ice-blue water.
Tourism is the island's biggest industry — and that has local officials thinking that the shocking bank robbery was perpetrated by a visitor, not a resident.
The Bay Area Rapid Transit agency suspended cellular service to prevent a protest in San Francisco's subway last week. Such news prompts the question of how police can best enforce the law in the digital world. Guest host Tony Cox speaks with a San Francisco Chronicle journalist and an Electronic Frontier Foundation senior staff attorney.
The U.S. Postal Service proposed this month to cut 120,000 jobs. Guest host Tony Cox speaks with two former postal workers about what the USPS means to them, whether Americans still need the post office like they used to, and what the the future of USPS may entail.
Last night, Christine O'Donnell, who was a much-discussed Senate candidate in Delaware last year and author of a new book, walked out on her interview with CNN's Piers Morgan after he asked her to talk about gay marriage, which she said was rude, because she was there to discuss — in her words — one of "the issues that I choose to talk about in the book." Ultimately, their disagreement came down to her assertion that as a host, it's rude to ask her things other than the things she wants to be asked about.
The Justice Department is investigating whether Standard & Poor's improperly boosted ratings on mortgage securities that later turned out to be toxic, helping trigger the worst financial crisis in decades.
NPR has confirmed the investigation, first reported Wednesday by The New York Times.
President Obama today released a written statement calling for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to resign. In his statement, President Obama condemned, quote, "the disgraceful attacks on Syrian civilians." Secretary of State Hillary Clinton echoed that call in an announcement from the State Department.
Secretary HILLARY CLINTON (State Department): Assad is standing in their way. For the sake of the Syrian people, the time has come for him to step aside and leave this transition to the Syrians themselves.
Earlier this month, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he's "actively" considering legalizing gambling in the state to raise revenue. That would create competition for casinos owned by New York's native nations.
Casino and tobacco sales have turned the Seneca nation, south of Buffalo, from an impoverished territory to the fifth-largest employer in the region.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives denied a report from The Los Angeles Times that supervisors of ATF's controversial "Fast and Furious" operation were promoted.
The ATF said the supervisors were "laterally transferred."
"Fast and Furious" was a sting operation that sold weapons and allowed them to cross the U.S./Mexico border in an effort to bring in the bigger fish. What happened, however, is that the guns sold by the operation ended up being used in killings. The operation is now facing legal scrutiny.
In his first explicit demand, President Obama called on Syrian President Bashar Assad to leave power. The White House issued a written statement praising the protesters' "pursuit of a peaceful transition" and "strongly condemning" the Syrian regime's "brutality."