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?
Strange, even as fiction: Rhys Ifans (right, with Vanessa Redgrave) plays the 17th Earl of Oxford in Anonymous, a political melodrama inspired by a discredited theory about who "really" wrote the plays of Shakespeare.
Credit Jason Merritt / Getty Images
John Orloff's previous Hollywood project was Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole.
"What if" — two words that ignite the plot of Roland Emmerich's new movie Anonymous, which conjures up an Elizabethan England rife with dark motivations, political maneuverings and bold conspiracy, and dares to imagine a different identity for the world's most celebrated playwright. John Orloff wrote the screenplay for the movie, which starts with the premise that Shakespeare didn't write Shakespeare.
On Halloween 70 years ago, an iconic American monument was completed — Mount Rushmore. It took 14 years of blasting and chiseling granite to finish the work. And chief stone carver Luigi Del Bianco, an Italian immigrant, was there for most of them. Del Bianco was responsible for many of the finer details in Lincoln's face.
Del Bianco's daughter Gloria and her nephew, Lou, recently sat down at StoryCorps to share their memories of him and the work he did. The Mount Rushmore project began in 1927, when Del Bianco was 35. And it ended 14 years later.
Originally published on Fri October 28, 2011 2:36 pm
Farming nowadays is risky business — it's not uncommon for a farmer to invest $500,000 in 1,000 acres of corn or soybeans, and run the risk of losing a chunk of their income to pests or fickle weather events like droughts and floods.
That's why farmers say crop insurance is "the most important safety net program" for them, says Joe Glauber, chief economist of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
As expected, King Abdullah of Egypt has appointed his half-brother, 78-year-old Nayef bin Abdulaziz, crown prince. The news comes, after the heir to the throne, Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdel Aziz Al Saud died on Saturday.
There are some fresh insights from Australia that help explain why it's so difficult for dieters to keep off the weight they lose.
Willpower will only take you so far, in case you haven't run that experiment yourself. Turns out our bodies have a fuel gauge, not entirely unlike the gas gauge on our cars, that tell us when it's time to tank up on food.
What if you could time-travel back to Memphis' Sun Studios in the 1950s? Behind the console would be none other than producer Sam Phillips. You might hear such classic songs as "My Happiness," "Crazy Arms" or "Walk the Line," originally recorded at Sun Studio by Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis and Johnny Cash, respectively.
Adam Frank is an astrophysicist at the University of Rochester. He is a regular contributor to the NPR blog 13.7: Cosmos and Culture.
What is going to happen when our machines wake up? What will happen when all these computers that run our lives suddenly become intelligent and self-aware? It's a question that makes sense to ask today, as the world marks the recent passage of John McCarthy.
From cubicle farms to auto factories, accommodating larger and heavier employees has become a fact of life. One in three U.S. adults is obese, and researchers say the impact on business can be boiled down to a number: $1,000 to $6,000 in added cost per year for each obese employee, the figure rising along with a worker's body mass index.