Bringing the 1996 Summer Olympic Games to Atlanta was a long shot. Athens, Greece was the sentimental favorite to host the centennial games, and tension was palpable as IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch made the announcement back on September 18, 1990.
"The International Olympic Committee has awarded the 1996 Olympic Games to the city of ... Atlanta," Samaranch revealed.
During Washington's heated debate over the debt ceiling, President Obama and others in the administration canceled several campaign fundraisers as work on a compromise dragged on. But Wednesday night, Obama, who turns 50 Thursday, went out raising money at a pair of birthday-themed events in Chicago. The election is a long way off, but the country's long-term financial obligations seem certain to become a prime issue.
When it comes to this White House and judges, there's a string of firsts. The first Hispanic on the Supreme Court. The first openly gay man on a federal district court. And the first women nominees who are Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese.
Obama administration officials say that's by design.
Alarm is spreading through international markets as Italy, the eurozone's third largest economy, risks being sucked into the debt crisis. After a long silence, Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi addressed Parliament — and insisted that the country's economy is strong, while rebuffing opposition calls for his resignation.
Many Egyptians doubted that ex-president Hosni Mubarak would ever appear in court to face the charges against him. But he was in a courtroom Wednesday, lying in a hospital bed that was wheeled into the prisoner's cage. The scene was witnessed by millions of Egyptians as the proceedings were aired live on state television. Mubarak spoke only to deny the charges against him, but for many in Egypt just seeing him in those circumstances was hard to believe.
After months of massive anti-government protests and increasing bouts of violence involving a dizzying array of combatants, Yemen seems on the brink of total collapse and all-out war. But some in the Arabian country are still holding out hope for a negotiated solution, including the departure of longtime leader Ali Abdullah Saleh.
The U.N. Security Council has again failed to reach agreement on a resolution condemning the Syrian government for its violent crackdown on protesters there. Instead, the council president issued a much milder statement. The U.S. and the international community have a few options to increase the pressure on Bashar Assad's government.
The currency of Switzerland has soared to record highs against the U.S. dollar and the euro. And that has the Swiss government worried, as a stronger franc also makes the country's exports more expensive.
Investors have rushed to buy Swiss francs, seeing them as a safe haven. In much the same way, gold prices have soared in recent times of economic uncertainty. Gold hit a new record this week, trading at $1,661 an ounce.
While the number of people infected with HIV each year is relatively steady — approximately 50,000 new infections each year — there was a 48 percent increase in the number of young HIV-infected African American men who have sex with men from 2006 to 2009.
'Tis the season of the swimming pool, and here at Shots we've been patronizing our local public pools to escape the heat. One can't, however, frequent a pool without eventually contemplating its cleanliness, especially during a heat wave, when it's packed with people of all ages.
The stalemate in Congress over funding for the Federal Aviation Administration means the suspension of more than 200 airport expansion and renovation projects around the country, which is putting tens of thousands of people out of work.
Electrician Richard Zemlok is one of 60 engineers and contractors who were laid off in Oakland, Calif., as a result of the dispute.
He's no stranger to layoffs. A taut, barrel-chested man in his 50s, Zemlok spent 22 years at a local Toyota assembly plant before it was shut down last year.
Let's say you're a vampire bat, and you are trying to decide where to bite your victim. You want a spot rich in blood, right? But how do you find such a spot?
Turns out, vampire bats have a kind of remote sensing ability that can tell them where there is a warm patch of skin on a nearby animal. And a warm patch of skin means there are blood vessels just below the skin surface. And now scientists have identified the molecular basis for this remote sensing ability.
Watching a lot of TV makes for fatter kids, but media multitasking has taken the place of television in most kids' lives. So parents and pediatricians might want to rethink how they manage children's screen time.
In eastern Libya, the rebel stronghold of Benghazi is filled with tension following the murder last week of the rebels' top military commander.
Abdel-Fattah Younis was killed in mysterious circumstances. Now, members of his family and his tribe — one of the most powerful in Libya — are accusing the rebel authorities of dragging its feet in the investigation.
During the recent debt-ceiling debate, the phrase became a recurring motif. "You've got to look at the deficit not just in the next 10 years," White House political adviser David Plouffe told NPR, "but does it also produce savings in the out years."
Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) told the Los Angeles Times that enforcement of the plan will be the key to its success, but "it's always in the out years and it never happens."
When White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley joined President Obama's team at the beginning of the year, he was expected to bring stability and a centrist approach to managing a sometimes chaotic White House.
His close connection to the business world was one of the strongest selling points as chief of staff. Daley built close friendships with business leaders during his years at JP Morgan Chase, and the White House hoped he could undo some of the bad blood that developed between Obama and business leaders during the first two years of the term.
Peer out from an International Space Station window, and you might be greeted by this spectacular view, selected as NASA's image of the day. It's a simultaneous sunset and moonset; because the space station orbits the earth every 90 minutes, the crew experiences this about 16 times a day. Not bad.
Officials in Jiangmen, China, are banning residents from keeping dogs, in a move that will take effect at the end of August, according to Chinese media. In one week, owners can begin taking their dogs to drop-off centers, where they will be either adopted by residents of rural areas or euthanized.
The ban targets dogs in densely populated sections of Jiangmen, a city with a population of 3.8 million. Any owners who wish to keep their dogs must apply for a license, reports China Daily.
For a decade, Helen Zhang has had a dream: to run an international scientific journal that meets international standards. So she was delighted to be appointed journal director for Zhejiang University in the eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou.
In 2008, when her scientific publication, the Journal of Zhejiang University-Science, became the first in China to use CrossCheck text analysis software to spot plagiarism, Zhang was pleased to be a trailblazer. But when the first set of results came in, she was upset and horrified.
It turns out the ones with a below average IQ are a number of people in the news media — including us — who were fooled by an elaborate hoax that claimed users of Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser were slow. We fell for it and so did others like the BBC, CNN, Forbes as well as the IT publication The Register, which we quoted.
Chances are, if you're admitted to the hospital, the doctor in charge of your care won't be your own. He or she will be a hospitalist, a relatively new type of specialist whose sole job is to oversee the care of hospitalized patients.
During East Africa's worst drought in 60 years, tens of thousands have already died and millions urgently need food. The United Nations is warning that the crisis will worsen if aid is not increased. Nobel Laureate Wangari Maathai says government systems have severely lagged in helping locals and solving environmental problems. She tells host Michel Martin what else should be done to bring relief to the region.
Alek Wek is among 60 refugees sharing personal stories on the 60th anniversary of the 1951 U.N. Refugee Convention. She says stigma should never be attached to the term "refugee," and shares her struggles, triumphs and advocacy work with host Michel Martin. The United Nations' Larry Yungk also discusses the intent of this week's "First Refugee Congress."