There are three weapons in fencing: epee, foil and sabre. Mariel Zagunis is the best woman in sabre — she won Olympic gold medals in 2004 and 2008.
To understand the world of Zagunis' weapon of choice, it may be more apt to consult the Sex Pistols rather than a fencing historian. That's because sabre fencers, Zagunis says, are the "punk rockers" of her sport.
"You have to be more aggressive and explosive and kind of crazy," she says. "I think that kind of plays into our personality."
The twists and turns of the Republican presidential campaign have been practically made for — and watched on — live television. And despite predictions of new media tools like Twitter and Facebook dominating election coverage, Americans are continuing to rely on an old standby: cable TV.
After coming in second in the Nevada caucuses, Newt Gingrich assured reporters that national news exposure would be a surefire remedy for catching up with Mitt Romney.
As Western nations increasingly push to end the violence in Syria, tension has reached the capital Damascus. Last June, a woman there who blogs under the pseudonym "Jasmine Roman," described Damascus as a city removed from the demonstrations that were taking place elsewhere in the country. Renee Montagne talks with her again, to see how things have changed 11 months after the anti-government uprising began in Syria.
GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney had expected to win at least one nominating contest Tuesday. Instead, rival Rick Santorum swept the Minnesota and Colorado caucuses plus the non-binding primary in in Missouri.
Syria's turmoil has overshadowed but not stopped talk about war in another country - Iran. The usual scenario is that Israel might strike Iranian nuclear facilities, with or without the approval of the United States. In The Daily Beast, historian Niall Ferguson dismissed concerns about a strike. In the Washington Post, David Ignatius wrote that U.S. officials oppose an Israeli strike but think it may come in the spring.
We put some basic questions to Karim Sadjadpour of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning, I'm Renee Montagne.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
And I'm Steve Inskeep. Good morning.
Several factors may affect your thinking as you decide how important last night's voting was. Turnout was low, and no convention delegates were awarded as Missouri held a primary, and Minnesota and Colorado held caucuses.
MONTAGNE: Then again, nobody awarded delegates when Iowa voted, either. The fact is, people voted, and Rick Santorum won all three states.
Some British companies are fuming over where the tickets for this summer's London Olympic games are being printed. Specialty printer Weldon, Williams and Lick in Fort Smith, Arkansas, won the contract.
The deal Greek officials are working on includes several more painful concessions. Among them, reducing the minimum wage.
Joanna Kakissis reports from Athens on how strong unions secured those wages and why some economists say those guarantees have to go.
JOANNA KAKISSIS, BYLINE: The minimum wage in Greece is about one $1,000 a month before taxes. International lenders say it must be reduced to about $780 a month to make the Greek economy more competitive.
Although the population of Muslim students is growing, there are only about 30 Muslim chaplains at colleges across the country. This semester, the University of Michigan became the first public university with an endowed position for a Muslim chaplain.
"Muslims need to rely on somebody through times of hardship," says Mohammed Tayssir Safi, who was recently hired for the chaplaincy. The university has an estimated 850 Muslim students on campus.
When a company files to go public it has to lay out in black and white the biggest risks that face the firm. What could kill it? What could undermine its business? Wipe out all its investors' money? Executives are required to reveal this by law.
Omar Othman, better known as Abu Qatada, is seen at his North London home in October 2001. A British court ruled Monday that he should be released on bail. Although he was never charged with a crime, British officials say he's a "dangerous" supporter of radical Islam.
A legal case in Britain involving a radical cleric has raised new questions about whether authorities can hold a suspected terrorist forever. An immigration judge ruled Monday that a longtime terrorism suspect and detainee in the U.K. should be released on bail.
Spaniards march through the streets of Madrid, Nov. 27, 2011, to protest spending cuts, high unemployment and political corruption. The government is proposing an overhaul of the country's two-tier labor system, in order to close the gap between temporary and permanent workers.
Credit Pedro Armestre / Getty Images
People queue outside an unemployment registry office in Madrid, Dec. 2, 2011. One in four Spaniards is out of work; about half of Spaniards in their 20s are jobless.
A French gunner mans a machine gun in a Puma helicopter as it flies over Afghanistan. French President Nicolas Sarkozy recently ordered the withdrawal of all French troops from the country a year ahead of schedule.
Uncertainties surrounding the future of the NATO mission in Afghanistan are of particular concern for an area near Kabul that French troops have controlled for the past decade. France now plans to withdraw its army a year ahead of schedule, sparking fears of a potential crisis in Kapisa province.
On a plateau amid the towering Hindu Kush mountains, Hukum Khan, a 31-year-old Afghan farmer, says the presence of French troops hasn't made much difference in his life in the past 10 years.
Afghan men walk past American soldiers in Ghazni province on Thursday. U.S. and Afghan officials are in talks that will determine how many American troops stay in Afghanistan after the NATO mission ends in 2014.
After a long hiatus, the Afghan and U.S. governments this week reopened talks on a strategic partnership that will determine how many American troops stay in Afghanistan past the end of the NATO mission in 2014.
Imagine being not only the best high school player in the country — probably the world — and signing to play for the best college program in the country, but then walking away from the sport. Why would any kid do that?
But, of course, Elena Delle Donne did exactly that, and the reason she did is simply that she did not want to be away from her older sister.
As a candidate and as president, Barack Obama has disparaged the role of big money in politics. At his 2010 State of the Union address, he even called out the Supreme Court for a ruling that opened the door to unlimited personal and business contributions. But, faced with a Republican opposition that's raising millions from a handful of sources, President Obama let his fundraisers loose to play the game too.
A case of what appears to be a high-tech extorsion came to an abrupt end last night, when hackers, which call themselves Lords of Dharmaraja, made good on their promise to release the source code of Symantec's PCAnywhere software, which allows a user to access their computers remotely.
Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney has joined the chorus criticizing President Obama over a controversial policy that would require most employers, including Catholic hospitals and universities, to include birth control in their employees' health insurance.
Catholic opinion leaders have denounced the policy as an assault on their religious freedom.
Originally published on Tue February 7, 2012 4:46 pm
In the escalating fight over voter identification laws, South Carolina has filed a federal lawsuit to overturn a Justice Department decision blocking the state's new photo ID requirement.
South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson, representing his state in the case, said in the complaint filed Tuesday that the law "will not disenfranchise any potential South Carolina voter," as the Justice Department contends.
American comedy duo Jerry Lewis (left) and Dean Martin (right) with the English playwright and actor Noel Coward at an unknown location in 1953. Lewis and Martin were famous for their cabaret acts in the 1940s and 1950s.
Credit R. Mitchell / Getty Images
Murray Horwitz is a former Ringling Brothers Circus clown. He was the founding director of the American Film Institute's Silver Theater and Cultural Center in Silver Spring, Md.
One of New York City's most famous cabaret clubs, the Oak Room at the Algonquin Hotel, is closing. At least one person will feel the loss — Murray Horwitz, the author of two Broadway musicals and numerous cabaret acts.
Couple John Lewis (left) and Stuart Gaffney celebrate the gay-marriage ruling outside of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Feb. 7 in San Francisco. The pair had married during the brief time in 2008 when same-sex unions were legal in California.
The $750 million embassy building is the largest of its kind in the world and the Times adds that a major cut in staffing just two months after American troops withdrew from the country signals a "declining American influence."
Welsh composer Paul Mealor, who scored the music for Prince William and Kate Middleton's royal wedding, has a new composition in the works. For it, he's seeking a rich and low singing voice — one capable of reaching the "low E" note. And as he's learning, reaching the low E is no easy feat. To find a singer up to the task, Mealor has had to embark on an international search. Robert Siegel catches up with Mealor to hear how his search is going.