The UN Security Council now has before it an application from the Palestinians to join the United Nations as a full member. The U.S. is promising to veto the bid as diplomats try to revive Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, but as NPR's Michele Kelemen reports, the parties sound very far apart.
Tens of thousands of Palestinians across the occupied West Bank took to the streets Friday night to celebrate their formal bid for statehood at the United Nations. Watching on large television screens set up in city squares, Palestinians reacted with joy at the uncharacteristically impassioned speech given by Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas. From Ramallah, NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro talks with host Scott Simon.
It decides nothing, and may be totally meaningless, but like many other political events, the Florida straw poll gets a lot of attention from candidates and the media. This year, the poll is expected to draw 3,500 party activists to take part in Orlando, where NPR's Greg Allen reports from the Conservative Political Action Conference.
The trial of seven Italian scientists began this week. They are charged with manslaughter for failing to adequately warn the residents of L'Aquila, Italy, about the risk of an earthquake in 2009. Host Scott Simon speaks with Rick Aster, president of the Seismological Society of America, about the trial.
The once-rare possibility of a federal government shutdown reared its head again this week. This time it was over House Republicans' desire to pay for disaster relief costs with money for other, unrelated projects. NPR's David Welna explains the Capitol Hill machinations ahead of the Sept. 30 deadline.
Every week it seems there are more people looking for work, more companies laying people off, and more nations teetering at the edge of unrecoverable debt. But beyond the latest headlines of gloom, there is a fundamental shift going on in our economy and our world. Host Scott Simon talks with Mike Hawley, formerly of MIT's Media Lab, who says that shift may also hold great promise.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. It's election day in the Persian Gulf kingdom of Bahrain. Voters there will fill seats left vacant when the leading Shi'ite opposition party walked out of parliament to protest the crushing of unrest back in March. The opposition is calling for a boycott; street protests have continued, but the government, with the encouragement of the U.S. government, insists it will maintain order and usher in genuine reforms. NPR's Peter Kenyon is in Bahrain and has this report.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon.
There's going to be usual art exhibit this afternoon in Oakland, California. Unusual because it features art made by Palestinian children living in the Gaza Strip, and also because the art exhibit will not be shown inside the museum that had originally scheduled the show.
The once-rare possibility of a federal government shutdown has reared its head again, this time over House Republicans' desire to offset spending for disaster relief with money for other unrelated projects.
A clean-car loan program has become a key battleground. The House spending bill would take $1.5 billion from the program for disaster relief. Democrats say that would be a huge mistake.
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen, right, and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta testify before the Senate Armed Services Committee on September 22. The Pentagon is tasked with cutting $450 billion from its budget in the next 10 years.
The congressional super committee has two months to come up with a way to slash more than a trillion dollars from the federal deficit, or risk deeper cuts that would be triggered automatically. Everything is on the table in the debate — including defense spending.
The Pentagon is on a mission to prevent the defense budget from taking the brunt of the cuts, and the threat of losing funding has both the military branches and the defense industry fighting back.
A pensioner shops in Athens' central market on May 12. The rapidly aging population in Europe will increasingly strain national budgets across the continent, where more retirees will be depending on fewer workers.
Researchers made quite a find this week in Utah: a new species of raptor dinosaur. The ancient creature, a meat-eater, was small and fast, with talon-like toes.
"These animals were incredibly fast, incredibly intelligent and some of them wielded very significant claws and sharp teeth," Dr. Lindsay Zanno of the New University of Wisconsin tells NPR's Scott Simon. Zanno led the dig team that made the discovery.
The Arizona Diamondbacks, the Milwaukee Brewers and the Texas Rangers all won division titles Friday night. But in New England, the Boston Red Sox have been falling like leaves from a mighty oak in the race for the American League wild card spot. Host Scott Simon talks sports with sports commentator Howard Bryant about this story and more.
After Hewlett-Packard announced that it was replacing its CEO with Meg Whitman, lots of talk erupted about the state of the technology behemoth.
Most of it wasn't pretty. Perhaps NPR's Richard Gonzales got the most succinct analysis of the situation from Ashok Kumar, an analyst at Rodman & Renshaw, who called HP "a clown without a circus, a tragicomedy."
Amnesty International offered new evidence today of what it said was the Syrian regime's brutal crackdown on protesters. The human rights organization said the mutilated body of 18-year-old Zainab al-Hosni, the first woman known to have died in custody during Syria's recent unrest, was discovered by her family in "horrific circumstances."
That anyone with bedbugs in their home would resort to desperate measures to get rid of them comes as no surprise. The insects are some of the most aggravating and entrenched of any bug that bites or buzzes around us. But a report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests the DIY approach to bedbug control is a pretty risky enterprise.
Mexican journalists march in a protest against violence directed against the media on Sept. 11, in Mexico City. Drug cartels, which have been responsible for many of the deaths, are now intimidating social media sites.
The Mexican drug cartels silenced the mainstream media by threatening and killing journalists. Now they seem to be extending the practice to social media.
Many Mexicans have had to rely on social media to find out what's going on in their cities after newspapers, TV and radio stations stopped reporting on drug-related violence.
But last week, the mangled bodies of a young man and woman were hung from a highway bridge in Nuevo Laredo along with a sign that read: "This is what happens to people who post funny things on the internet. Pay attention."
Originally published on Fri September 23, 2011 7:01 pm
Debate over the constitutionality and morality of the death penalty has long been an under-the-radar skirmish that occasionally emerges as part of a larger national conversation.
These past few weeks it has emerged in a big way.
It was first roused at a GOP presidential debate during which the record number of state-sponsored executions overseen by Texas Gov. Rick Perry (234 at the time; 235 as of this writing) was a surprisingly enthusiastic applause line for the candidate.
Scientists at the University of California, Berkeley found that by looking at brain activity, they could get a fairly good picture of a human's visual experiences. The study is published in the current issue of Current Biology.
Ten years ago today, as a horrified America struggled to respond to the September 11 attacks, 13 coal miners died in multiple explosions at the Jim Walter Resources coal mine in Brookwood, Alabama.
The overwhelming and justifiable attention to the thousands of deaths in New York, The Pentagon and Pennsylvania 12 days before kept the Jim Walter mine disaster in the shadows. It was the nation's worst mine disaster in nearly two decades and it involved a methane gas explosion, a familiar danger underground.
Libyans flee on foot along the main road heading west, away from Sirte, on Tuesday. Sirte, cut off from the rest of the country, is the last major town controlled by forces loyal to toppled dictator Moammar Gadhafi.
Credit Gaia Anderson / AP
Revolutionary fighters drive up the western road entering Sirte on Thursday. The rebels are playing a waiting game; they are set up outside the city but are not yet trying to advance.
In Libya, civilians are fleeing from Sirte, the last major town that is still in the hands of forces loyal to ousted strongman Moammar Gadhafi.
Many say they were cut off from the rest of the country, without electricity and with dwindling food supplies. Some say they knew nothing of the rebel advances in the past month, including the capture of the capital, Tripoli.
They didn't know that they would be emerging into a new country.
A resident speaks to a Federal Emergency Management Agency agent atop his destroyed house in the devastated town of Hueytown, Ala., on May 1. FEMA will run out of money to help disaster victims by early next week unless Congress acts.
Congress is at odds over a measure needed to keep the government operating past the end of the month.
While lawmakers have a week to work out their differences before the government faces another partial shutdown, one agency faces a much earlier deadline.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency will run out of money early next week, putting a halt to projects in communities around the country still struggling to recover from this year's spate of hurricanes, tornadoes and wildfires.
Decrying the state of American education, President Obama announced Friday that his administration is allowing states to be exempt from basic elements of the No Child Left Behind law if they meet certain conditions.
States can now apply for waivers so that they won't face federal sanctions under the sweeping Bush-era legislation.
A fundamental rule of nature is that nothing travels faster than the speed of light. Now, physicists working in Europe say they may have discovered a sub-atomic particle that breaks that speed limit. But that extraordinary claim is being greeted with a healthy dose of skepticism.
We all know too much sodium in our diet can be bad for our health. It can lead to high blood pressure, heart disease, strokes and more. The U.S. dietary guidelines made specific recommendations last year for African Americans to reduce their intake. But why is it so hard to cut back?