Tunisia, the cradle of the Arab Spring, held its first elections since its longtime dictator was toppled after a popular revolt. The elections were seen as one of the brightest moments in the regional movement.
But, today, it became clear that the path to democracy won't be easy. After the country announced that the Islamist Ennahda party had won 41 percent of the votes and 90 seats of the 217-member assembly, protests erupted across the country.
Ken Ward of the Charleston Gazette has a story this morning featuring a rare interview with the U.S. Attorney for West Virginia, who says prosecutors are exploring more serious charges against senior Massey Energy officials in last year's deadly explosion at the company's Upper Big Branch mine.
Originally published on Fri October 28, 2011 3:31 pm
Consider the last time you ordered a salad at a restaurant. What, precisely, was in it? Chances are you'll remember the biggest, brightest ingredients, like the lettuce, the tomato, maybe the grilled chicken.
But will you remember the little bits — the nuts, berries or toppings? In an age when salads increasingly aspire to be confetti-like piles of artistic greatness, you'd be pardoned if you didn't take note every morsel.
Sure, it's just one poll of many, but October marks a crummy month for sentiment about the federal Affordable Care Act.
For the first time since President Obama signed it into law in March 2010, more than half of those polled — 51 percent — told researchers from the Kaiser Family Foundation they had an unfavorable view of the measure overhauling health care. Only 34 percent said they viewed the law favorably, a post-passage low.
But personal income grew only 0.1 percent last month — meaning that consumers dug into their savings in order to boost spending. According to the bureau: "Personal saving as a percentage of disposable personal income was 3.6 percent in September, compared with 4.1 percent in August."
Officials of the International Criminal Court are having "indirect" talks with Saif al-Islam Gadhafi about his possible surrender, the ICC's prosecutor told The Associated Press and other news outlets today.
Saif al-Islam, one of Moammar Gadhafi's sons, once was seen as the heir apparent to the former Libyan dictator.
"Despite a pledge not to take money from lobbyists, President Obama has relied on prominent supporters who are active in the lobbying industry to raise millions of dollars for his re-election bid," The New York Times reports this morning.
ARI SHAPIRO, host: Good morning, I'm Ari Shapiro. She was an Occupy Wall Streeter in tears from pepper spray. He was a volunteer medic who rushed to her side. Their eyes met, and the energy between them felt like a show of excessive force. The cooing new couple told the New York Daily News, nothing strengthens a relationship like a chemical agent. The police officer who fired the pepper spray was stripped of ten days vacation. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.
Blind activist Chen Guangcheng with his wife and son outside their home in northeast China's Shandong province in 2005. He's been held incommunicado at his home for more than a year and has become the focus of a microblog campaign by human-rights activists.
Credit Courtesy of Zhu Mingyong
Yang Jinde says he was tortured in a police dog training center, leaving him blind in one eye and deaf in one ear. These pictures were taken by lawyer Zhu Mingyong inside a detention center, where the lawyer also shot a video of Yang that has gone viral.
In China, microblogs are transforming the way activists draw attention to human-rights cases. Despite strict Internet controls, netizens are using Chinese Twitter as a powerful tool.
Two recent cases show just how effective microblogs can be in shaping the debate over human-rights abuses and driving citizen activism.
One case involves a chilling video that was recently released online. In it, a man lies under a green quilt, apparently naked. His left eye and right ear are covered with bandages; the skin on his feet is discolored and peeling.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao meeting in Berlin on June 28. During Europe's economic crisis, both China and the United States have stayed mostly on the sidelines.
Credit Lionel Cironneau / AP
U.S Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner (left) speaks to French Finance Minister Francois Baroin (right) during talks in Marseille in September. While the U.S. has been concerned about Europe's debt crisis, the Americans have not been major players.
When Columbus sailed west in the late 15th century, he launched a long and lucrative relationship between Europe and the Americas. Family ties, economic bonds and shared military goals continue to knit us together.
But as the European debt crisis has deepened, it has highlighted this early 21st century shift: The United States is becoming more of a Pacific Rim country and less of a North Atlantic partner.
Stone elephants line a newly inaugurated park dedicated to Dalit, or lower caste, leaders in a suburb of New Delhi, India. Mayawati, a politician known as the "Dalit queen," says previous governments did nothing to honor the leaders who fought for Dalit rights.
Credit STR / AFP/Getty Images
Mayawati, chief minister of the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, gestures as she prepares to open the newly built Dalit memorial on the outskirts of New Delhi on Oct. 14.
Greek's economic problems work their way down the supply chain to people like Kosta Bouyoukas, who imports olives and other foods from Greece. He says suppliers are changing the terms of contracts, and sometimes products don't show up at all.
The so-called millionaires tax on New York's top wage earners is set to expire at the end of the year, even as the state struggles to balance its books. A poll released Thursday shows that New Yorkers favor extending the tax by more than 2 to 1.
But the millionaires tax also has its opponents, including the state's popular and powerful governor, Democrat Andrew Cuomo.
John Samuelsen, president of New York City's transit workers union, called on lawmakers to extend the millionaires tax during a rally this week outside City Hall in Manhattan.
ARI SHAPIRO, host: And, of course, this crisis stretches far beyond Greece. French President Nicolas Sarkozy went on national television last night to explain his country's part of the deal. He said the French people must expect further belt-tightening measures. Eleanor Beardsley reports that it was a chance for Sarkozy to assert control just six months ahead of a presidential election.
ARI SHAPIRO, host: This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Ari Shapiro. Renee Montagne and Steve Inskeep are away. In Oakland, California, protestors with the Occupy Wall Street movement continue to stand vigil in a downtown plaza in front of City Hall. This week, police fired teargas and bean bags at protestors. The incident is under investigation, and NPR's Carrie Kahn reports that the confrontation has reignited criticism of the Oakland police.
CARRIE KAHN: In the downtown park in front of City Hall, the protestors have changed their tune.
U.S. stocks had one of their best days in weeks Thursday: The Dow jumped nearly 3 percent and prices in Europe went through the roof. The surge came after the announcement that European leaders finally agreed on a comprehensive plan to tackle their debt problems. Does the rally mean investors think the crisis is over?