Inside palace walls built by Saddam Hussein, U.S. generals plotted the war's course, tracked the mounting death toll and swore in new American citizens under gaudy glass chandeliers.
Just outside the palace, American troops whacked golf balls into man-made lakes or fished for carp while others sat down with a cigar and a can of nonalcoholic beer hoping for a respite from incoming rockets or mortar shells.
Along another lake some distance away, a jailed Saddam tended to tomatoes and cucumbers in a small, walled-off enclosure with guards patrolling overhead.
Corporate America is jumping on the opportunities to make people healthier, while keep their bottoms line strong. Leaders of Supermarkets, hotel chains and restaurant groups gathered in Washington this week for a summit aimed at shaping private sector solutions to the obesity epidemic.
A new film called Shame arrives in theaters with several honors, including the best actor award from the Venice Film Festival. It also arrives with a rare NC-17 rating. Michael Fassbender plays Brandon, a New Yorker who's addicted to sex.
While on her visit to Myanmar, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met with Nobel Peace Prize winner and opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi at her home. She has been freed from house arrest after many years, and says she trusts the new government's changes enough to run for office in upcoming elections.
Working mothers spend significantly more time multitasking when they are at home than their counterparts, working dads. That's according to a new study published in this month's journal The American Sociological Review. The findings are something that many women are surely saying, even as I speak, that they already knew. NPR's Patti Neighmond has this report.
Producer Harvey Weinstein says Oscar wins can give film studios and financiers "the confidence to make daring movies and not do the same old you-know-what." He is shown above arriving at the Academy Awards in Los Angeles in February 2009.
If you think the presidential campaigns are heating up, visit Hollywood — where campaigns of a different sort are kicking into overdrive. It's Oscar season, and studios are orchestrating a blitz of interviews, ads and billboards in an attempt to influence academy voters.
If this season has a commander in chief, it's producer Harvey Weinstein. He is credited with inventing the modern Oscar campaign — famously beating out Saving Private Ryan for best picture with Shakespeare in Love.
Austin Mitchell walks away from an oil derrick outside Williston, N.D. With what many are calling the largest oil boom in recent North American history, temporary camps to house the huge influx of workers now dot the sparse North Dakota landscape.
Credit John McChesney for NPR
The oil industry stages events like this energy festival parade in downtown Williston in an effort to maintain good relations with the community. Industry rigs and trucks of every description roar by as drivers throw candy to the kids.
The tough economy has taken its toll on most states, putting budgets deep in the red and putting people out of work.
But North Dakota has a low 3.5 percent unemployment rate and a state budget with a billion dollar surplus. That's because of a major oil boom in the western part of the state, a discovery of at least 2 billion barrels to be gained by fracking — the controversial process of injecting fluid deep into underground rock formations to force the oil out.
Chris Whitney lived in San Francisco in the 1980s, when there wasn't much known about AIDS. But then he tested positive for HIV in 1985. He explains what happened next to his frien Erin Kuka.
"The first person I told was the person I was dating at the time, and that was pretty much the last conversation I had with him," Whitney says. "You know, the fear just took over. That kind of made me really wary about opening up to people.
AIDS activists haven't always been happy with Barack Obama. But many of them were on this Worlds AIDS Day.
The president used the occasion to pledge a 50 percent increase in the number of HIV-infected people getting treatment through the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, or PEPFAR — from around 4 million now to 6 million by the end of 2013.
The American electorate is getting more diverse, more educated and younger. These demographic trends seem to suggest that voters could, in theory at least, be more Obama-friendly in 2012, especially in some key states. But it's not clear whether these shifts can outweigh the dragging economy and the president's dismal approval ratings.
By one measure, the browser landscape was reshaped last month: According to data released today by StatCounter, which measures browser usage, Google's Chrome has taken over the No. 2 spot, sending Mozilla's Firefox to third place.
A Pew Hispanic Center study released today finds that two-thirds of undocumented immigrants in the United States have lived in the country for more than 10 years. The study also found that 46 percent of undocumented immigrants had minor children.
In its press release, Pew says this research is important because it comes on the heels of a hot debate on immigration during the Republican presidential debates.
Children in foster care are significantly more likely than other kids to be given mind-altering drugs, according to a study of five states released Thursday by the Government Accountability Office.
The report, which focused on children in the Medicaid program, also found that foster kids were more likely to be prescribed five or more psychotropic drugs at an age and at doses that exceed the maximum FDA-approved levels — both of which carry serious health risks.
Originally published on Mon December 5, 2011 4:37 pm
This is just a guess, but the single part of America's food system that inspires the most horrified fascination is probably the slaughterhouse. One reason may be that these factories that turn cattle, hogs and chickens into packaged meat are generally off-limits to the public and photographers.
From left, GOP presidential candidates Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, Rick Perry and Mitt Romney participate in the Fox News/Google GOP debate at the Orange County Convention Center in September. Since then, the candidates have gotten tougher on each other.
Despite boasting one of the highest per-capita incomes in the country, San Jose, Calif., is running large and growing deficits. And next Tuesday, the city council is expected to declare a state of "fiscal emergency." The main reason is pensions and other benefits for retired city workers, such as health insurance.
San Jose's problems are severe, but hardly unique. In recent years, pension costs have become a central concern both in the U.S. and in Europe.
The songs we turn to during winter months are as distinct from the light, joyous anthems of summer as tank tops and shorts are from the mittens and scarves we pull out of the closet when a chill creeps into the air. This season, we'll ask musicians, writers and listeners to tell us about a song that evokes winter for them, along with a memory or story that goes with it.
In this case, a photo taken today when Hillary Rodham Clinton had a private dinner in Myanmar with Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi speaks volumes about the purpose and meaning of the first visit to the country by an American secretary of state in more than five decades.