The main street in Oberhausen — Germany's most indebted city — is dotted with vacancies. Despite its economic woes, Oberhausen, like other western German cities, must make "reunification" payments to the former communist East. The payments help explain German voters' reluctance to bail out Greece and other eurozone countries.
Credit Patrik Stollarz / AFP/Getty Images
Tackenberg elementary school in Oberhausen, slated to close by mid-2015, is one of the casualties of the city's required austerity measures.
Germany, the economic engine of Europe, has been a key player in bailing out the Continent's most troubled economies.
Yet there are places in the former West Germany — like Oberhausen — that are struggling with their own debt problems, even as they pay hefty sums to revitalize former East German cities with transfers known as "Solidarity Pact" payments.
Originally published on Tue November 13, 2012 9:06 am
They're asking politely. Malcontents from 20 different states are petitioning the White House to allow them to secede from the union.
Using the White House website's We the People function, in which petitions garnering at least 25,000 signatures get a response from the president, people from the state of Texas are asking to "peacefully ... withdraw from the United States of America and create its own NEW government."
Many veterans aren't just looking for a job; they're looking for a career, a calling and, of course, financial stability. Those recently separated from the military have to confront what is still a fairly weak civilian job market.
Ferry service into Manhattan started Monday for the Rockaway section of Queens, one of the hardest-hit New York City neighborhoods after Superstorm Sandy. Many residents are still feeling cut off, struggling without power or adequate public transportation options. And now worries about mold are creeping in.
But the new ferries were a small consolation for the trickle of commuters who trudged onto Manhattan soil for the first time in two weeks. Some of them, like Sheila Curran, were grinning all the way down the plank.
Many farmers want their farms to be located close to a city - especially organic farmers who'd like to sell their produce at big urban farmers markets. But the price of land within range of a big city is sky high and only getting higher.
Most small farmers buy their land, but some are now looking to lease in suburban or exurban areas. And to do that, they're using something straight out of Fiddler On The Roof: A matchmaker.
Afghan villagers look at a translator as U.S. soldiers tend to an injured local Afghan man, who was shot for being suspected of planting a roadside bomb in Genrandai village at Panjwai district, Kandahar, on Sept. 24.
Credit Tony Karumba / AFP/Getty Images
An Afghan boy watches an Afghan National Army soldier on patrol in Logar province, eastern Afghanistan, on May 17. NATO forces are scheduled to leave Afgahnistan by the end of 2014.
Credit Anja Niedringhaus / AP
In the Panjshir Valley, where mujahedeen commander Ahmed Shah Massoud fought off the Soviets and the Taliban, Afghans are hopeful, but nervous, about the country's future after NATO troops leave in 2014.
Credit Sean Carberry / NPR
The mausoleum of Ahmed Shah Massoud, the rebel commander who fought the Soviets in the 1980s and the Taliban the following decade.
Uncertainty is gripping Afghanistan as the clock ticks toward the withdrawal of NATO combat troops by the end of 2014.
People and money are leaving the country. Housing prices are falling. Construction is slowing down. Many Afghans are trying to be hopeful, but even the most optimistic admit that a number of troubling variables could determine what post-2014 Afghanistan looks like.
The Panjshir Valley, some 60 miles north of Kabul, is one of the most scenic places in Afghanistan. The Panjshir River winds its way through barren mountains.
As part of Virginia's waiver to opt out of mandates set out in the No Child Left Behind law, the state has created a controversial new set of education goals that are higher for white and Asian kids than for blacks, Latinos and students with disabilities.
Virginia Democratic state Sen. Donald McEachin first read about the state's new performance goals for schoolchildren in a newspaper editorial.
Lance Armstrong competes in the Rev3 Half Full Triathalon Sunday in Ellicott City, Md. Armstrong joined other cancer survivors in the event, which raised funds for the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults.
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, with the election now over President Obama and members of Congress are getting no end of free advice about how they should spend the next four years. So today and tomorrow, we'll talk about that with people we are calling the loyal opposition. Today, we speak with one of Mr. Obama's former advisors, Van Jones, and we'll ask him what progressives want to see in the next four years.
Van Jones has become a leading voice on the progressive left. That only happened after a short stint as the Obama administration's Green Jobs czar. Jones is now the co-founder of the policy group, Rebuild the Dream. He talks with host Michel Martin about what progressives should expect — and demand — in a second Obama term.
Originally published on Sun November 18, 2012 7:11 am
Some of the latest news on the conflict in Syria:
-- Israel Fires Back. "Israeli troops fired tank shells into Syria on Monday in retaliation for a mortar round that struck near an army post in the Golan Heights, scoring 'direct hits' on the source of the fire, the [Israeli] army said." (Al-Jazeera)
Originally published on Mon November 12, 2012 8:05 am
Paula Broadwell, the woman whose extramarital affair with retired Gen. David Petraeus led to his resignation Friday from the post of CIA director, is a major in the Army Reserve who specializes in counterterrorism issues. She's also the author of All In: The Education of General David Petraeus, a biography of the former top U.S. commander in Afghanistan.
David Petraeus, while he was the top commander of U.S. and coalition forces in Afghanistan, and Paula Broadwell in July 2011. He resigned from his post as CIA director because of an extramarital affair they had.
Originally published on Mon November 12, 2012 1:16 pm
At Arlington National Cemetery on Sunday, President Obama expressed the nation's gratitude to its veterans.
"Whenever America has come under attack, you've risen to her defense," he said. "Whenever our freedoms have come under assault, you've responded with resolve. Time and again, at home and abroad, you and your families have sacrificed to protect that powerful promise that all of us hold so dear –- life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."
When Sandy brought high winds and a massive storm surge, the city of Long Beach on Long Island was among the hardest hit. The loss of the city's high school locker and equipment rooms may not have been the most tragic event, though it did make it unlikely that the school's football team would finish its season. But this weekend, the Long Beach Marines did manage to field a team. NPR's Mike Pesca reports.
Let's look now at the impact of some shocking revelations on the other side of the Atlantic. Britain's media has had a pretty rough year. First, the phone-hacking scandal that led to the closure of Rupert Murdoch's popular tabloid News of the World. Now the esteemed BBC is in trouble. Over the weekend, the head of the BBC resigned, plunging the world's largest public broadcaster into its second crisis within weeks. NPR's Philip Reeves has more.
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.
With the election settled, Washington, Wall Street and much of the rest world, it seems, are focused on whether Congress and a reelected president can avoid the fiscal cliff. To tell us what's at stake, we turn now to David Wessel. He's the economics editor of The Wall Street Journal and author of "Red Ink," a new primer on the federal budget and the deficit.
Originally published on Mon November 12, 2012 3:44 am
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.
The nation's capital this morning is trying to make sense of the sudden resignation last week of CIA director David Petraeus. More details are emerging about the extramarital affair that brought Petraeus down. It came to light following an FBI investigation that was not focused originally on the CIA director, but which soon led straight to him.