Women and girls are less likely to undergo female genital mutilation, or FGM, than 30 years ago. That's the encouraging news from a UNICEF report on the controversial practice, presented this week at London's first Girl Summit.
The rate has dropped in many of the 29 countries across Africa and the Middle East where FGM is practiced. In Kenya, for example, nearly half the girls age 15 to 19 were circumcised in 1980; in 2010 the rate was just under 20 percent.
Since October, a staggering 57,000 unaccompanied migrant children have been apprehended at the southwestern U.S. border. Sometimes, they've been welcomed into the country by activists; other times they've been turned away by protesters.
The clock is ticking for the Metropolitan Opera in New York. The world's largest opera company may be headed for a shutdown. Most of the union contracts for the Met expire in a week. Yesterday, Met General Manager Peter Gelb sent a letter to the unions, warning them to prepare for a lockout if they don't come to terms.
For months now, the company and its unions have been at an impasse. Management has proposed cutting 16 percent of union members' compensation. Otherwise, Gelb contends, the company could go bankrupt in two to three years.
Joshua Wolf Shenk doesn't believe in the myth of the lone genius. "What has one person ever done alone?" he asks NPR's Robert Siegel. "We think of Martin Luther King and Sigmund Freud and Warren Buffett and Steve Jobs as these great solo creators, but in fact, if you look into the details of their life, they are enmeshed in relationships all the way through."
The voice came from over my shoulder, a shouted greeting in a room crowded with journalists, publicists, network executives, producers and stars.
I tuned to see David Boreanaz, star of the Fox TV show Bones, calling out to me like a long-lost friend. I knew he had mistaken me for someone else â€” in a party held by Fox at the exclusive Soho House club, where everyone from Kelsey Grammer to David Tennant was sipping cocktails and talking shop, it wasn't hard to make that kind of mistake.
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ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
Hamas is asking for the blockade of Gaza to end. Would the Palestinian Authority, would President Abbas, accept the condition that Gaza would be permitted no rockets, no weapons that could reach Israel if the crossings were to reopen?
Many of us get confused by claims of how much the risk of a heart attack, for example, might be reduced by taking medicine for it. And doctors can get confused, too.
Just ask Karen Sepucha. She runs the Health Decisions Sciences Center at Boston's Massachusetts General Hospital. A few years ago she surveyed primary care physicians, and asked how confident they were in their ability to talk about numbers and probabilities with patients.
Bill Simon, head of Wal-Mart's U.S. division, is leaving the retail giant, the company said Thursday.
Any major shake-up at Wal-Mart is closely watched because the company is so important â€” it tops the Fortune 500 list with annual sales approaching a half-trillion dollars. So lots of people are speculating about what Simon's departure really means. Here are some theories:
The U.S. says it has "new evidence" that Russian forces have been firing artillery across the border to attack Ukrainian military positions, and that Moscow is planning to ship powerful rocket artillery to the rebels it backs in the country's east.
"We have new evidence that the Russians intend to deliver heavier and more powerful multiple rocket launchers to the separatist forces in Ukraine, and have evidence that Russia is firing artillery from within Russia to attack Ukrainian military positions," State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said during a daily briefing.
Itâ€™s estimated that 22 military veterans commit suicide every day, but if you talk to people who are familiar with this issue, theyâ€™ll tell you the real number is probably higher. The latest statistics from the Pentagon show that suicides among active duty military are up slightly, compared to the same period last year. There have been 161 confirmed or suspected suicides so far in 2014. There were 154 by this time last year.
According to the Associated Press, suicides are up among Navy and Air Force personnel. The numbers are down for soldiers and Marines.
The fight against Ebola in West Africa suffered a setback Wednesday. Dr. Sheik Umar Khan, one of the top doctors treating patients, caught the virus, even though he was wearing protective gear.
"Even with the full protective clothing you put on," Khan has said, "you are at risk."
That statement made us wonder about those yellow and white suits you see in photos: Just how good are they at protecting health workers from the bodily fluids that can transmit the virus â€” vomit, blood, sweat, mucus?
The presidents of Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador will meet with President Obama on Friday.
But before the meeting, the heads of state are making the rounds in Washington, telling their side of an immigration crisis that has driven tens of thousands of unaccompanied children to the U.S. border.
It was an elaborate con involving wine and some of Americaâ€™s wealthiest collectors.
Rudy Kurniawan is the first person to be tried and convicted for selling fake wine in the United States. He manufactured phony vintages in his kitchen and sold more than $35 million worth in 2006 alone.
The BBCâ€™s business correspondent, Michelle Fleury, reports on the case as it moves towards sentencing.
There's a wonderful 1982 memoir called An Orphan in History by the late Village Voice writer Paul Cowan. It's about Cowan's search for his European Jewish roots, and in it he says something about the sacrifices of older generations of immigrants that's always stayed with me. Cowan says: "Millions of immigrant families . . . left the economically and culturally confining Old World towns where they were raised, and paid for the freedom and prosperity this country offered with their pasts."
Originally published on Thu July 24, 2014 11:55 am
Despite a public outcry that resulted in more than a half-million petition signatures and a personal appeal by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Arturo, Argentina's "sad bear," has been deemed too old to migrate to Canada.
The U.S. State Department's global database for processing visas and passports is experiencing problems that could cause delays for millions of people around the world who are awaiting travel documents.