Near the mountain city of Potosi in the southern highlands of Bolivia, the cone-shaped peak of Cerro Rico stands as a 15,800-foot monument to the tragedies of Spanish conquest. For centuries, Indian slaves mined the mountain's silver in brutal conditions to bankroll the Spanish empire.
Today, the descendants of those slaves run the mines. But hundreds of years of mining have left the mountain porous and unstable, and experts say it is in danger of collapsing.
Football fans are furious. Bettors are out an estimated $150 million. Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin â the Republican who's famous for battling with organized labor â is on the side of the referees union. And the NFL is in something of a "prevent defense," saying that nothing can be done to change the outcome.
Arctic sea ice is in sharp decline this year: Last week, scientists announced that it hit the lowest point ever measured, shattering the previous record.
But it turns out that's not the most dramatic change in the Arctic. A study by Canadian researchers finds that springtime snow is melting away even faster than Arctic ice. That also has profound implications for the Earth's climate.
Each week, All Things Considered and Lenore Skenazy, author of the book and blog Free-Range Kids, bring you "Another Thing," an on-air puzzle to test your clever skills. We take a trend in the news and challenge you to help us satirize it with a song title, a movie name or something else wacky.
So six weeks to go before Election Day, but in-person early voting has already started in a handful of states. Many others will begin soon, and more and more of us are choosing to vote early. In Colorado, for example, where we just heard from Ari Shapiro, nearly 80 percent of votes were cast early in the 2008 presidential election.
Michael McDonald tracks these trends with the U.S. Elections Project at George Mason University and he joins me now. Welcome to the program.
The U.S. military, along with more than 30 allied countries, has just launched a new round of naval exercises in the Persian Gulf at a time when tensions in the region are running particularly high.
But U.S. officials say the aim is not to increase anxiety, but rather to ensure stability. More specifically, the exercises are designed to deal with mines that could hamper shipping in the Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz, through which a fifth of the world's oil supply transits.
After decades of enforced silence, Singaporeans who spent years in jail without charges or trial are shattering a political taboo by speaking out about their detention â and the colonial-era security laws that made it possible.
The affluent trading hub â known for its solid rule of law â still allows the government to detain citizens indefinitely.
But people who say that the laws were used to abuse them and silence their dissenting voices are now talking â which many see as a foreshadowing of bigger political changes for Southeast Asia's wealthiest nation.
Starting a new car company from scratch isn't tried often in the United States. The last time one was truly successful was about 100 years ago. And Tesla Motors, a startup from Silicon Valley, faces some unusual hurdles.
Still, despite the challenges Tesla faces, the electric car company and its CEO, Elon Musk, have gotten further than most automotive entrepreneurs.
The income gap is receiving much attention lately as more Americans are isolating themselves around "people like us."
More accurately, they surround themselves with people who earn similar incomes, and it is now fueling a rise in residential segregation. One recent study suggests the income gap might be greater today than even during colonial times â even when you account for slavery.
Cities and towns facing tight budgets have often neglected their cemeteries, an oversight that has left many of them in disrepair with broken fencing, crumbling gravestones, overgrown grass and persistent weeds.
But this summer, the Vermont town of Charlotte implemented a new strategy to both save money and keep grass in the town's graveyards under control, and it's a decidedly traditional way of doing it: Let goats and sheep do the work.
The town of Roosevelt, N.J., was born out of an era not much different from today. It was 1937, the economy was in the toilet, and the country bitterly divided.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt had won a second term in office â an election as acrimonious as today's â and with his re-election, a host of New Deal programs moved forward. One of these projects built 99 towns outside of industrial centers across the country. The town of Roosevelt, 50 miles south of New York City, was one of them.
It's a small town girl's dream: One day, you're strutting the floorboards of a summer stage; the next, the silver screen. Thus is the arc of Elsa Emerson, a Door County, Wis., girl whose life at the Cheery County playhouse never quite goes away when she becomes the Oscar-winning Laura Lamont.
Weekends on All Things Considered continues its "Why Music Matters" series with music from the heavens, as chosen by astronaut Stan Love.
"In space, every day is an important day of work," Love says. But when he was sent up to the space station to drop off and pick up crew members, the returning station crew member asked, "Dudes, where are the tunes?"
In a move to perhaps change the topic after a turbulent few weeks, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney released his 2011 tax returns. But the move has not silenced his critics. With just 45 days until Election Day, weekends on All Things Considered guest host Jacki Lyden speaks with NPR's White House Correspondent Ari Shapiro about the candidate's next steps.
It's WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Jacki Lyden.
MITT ROMNEY: Eight percent unemployment for over, how many, 43 months right here in Las Vegas and in Nevada. You've seen housing prices bumping along the bottom, record numbers of foreclosures. These are tough times. We have a president who says he can't fix Washington. I can. I will lead. I'll get the job done.
A reminder from weekends on All Things Considered guest host Jacki Lyden that Round 9 of Three-Minute Fiction is still open for submissions. Our judge, Brad Meltzer, is looking for an original short story that revolves around a U.S. president â fictional or real â in under 600 words. Listeners can submit their story online at www.npr.org/threeminutefiction. The deadline for submissions is Sunday, September 23, at 11:59 p.m. ET.
Theweekends on All Things Considered series Movies I've Seen A Million Times features filmmakers, actors, writers and directors talking about the movies that they never get tired of watching.
For actor Michael PeÃ±a, whose credits include Crash, World Trade Center, and End of Watch, which opened in theaters this weekend, the movie he could watch a million times is Woody Allen's Broadway Danny Rose.
In the 1980s, Elliott Sharp was the height of New York City cool, a central part of that town's experimental music scene. His creations were inspired by advanced mathematical concepts. He tuned his guitars according to the Fibonacci Sequence and wrote challenging pieces inspired by fractal geometry.
President Obama named a new national monument on Friday: Chimney Rock in southwestern Colorado. With two sandstone spires soaring from a mesa, not only is Chimney Rock a spectacular place; it also provides a fascinating glimpse into the ancient people who lived in that region more than 1,000 years ago.