R&B singers Nicole Wray and Terri Walker both had promising starts to their careers more than ten years ago. Wray came up on the Virginia coast under the wing of mentor Missy Elliott. Walker, a Londoner, was classically trained yet released her debut on a Def Jam subsidiary. Both enjoyed early critical success but by decade's end struggled to find a wide audience. Instead, they found each other.
Originally published on Fri March 15, 2013 2:11 pm
The Reuters journalist Matthew Keys — whom many know by his Twitter handle @TheMatthewKeys — was indicted today for allegedly "conspiring with members of the hacker group 'Anonymous' to hack into and alter a Tribune Company website."
Wisconsin has the highest number of binge drinkers in the nation — one in four adults. And binge drinking — defined as five or more alcoholic drinks in a short period of time for men, and four for women — cost the state $6.8 billion in 2012.
That breaks down to about $1,200 per person in higher taxes, more health care, and other costs, according to a new study from the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute.
In rebel-held parts of Syria, a clash of ideologies is playing out. Powerful Islamist brigades are competing with pro-democracy civilians to shape Syria's future.
One battlefront is in the courts. In many areas in northern Syria, Islamists have set up religious courts that deliver rulings under Shariah, or Islamic law — a fundamental change in Syria's civil legal system.
This is evident on a recent day in a courtroom in the northern Syrian city of Azaz.
Once known as the most beautiful avenue in the world, the Champs Elysees is changing. Some Parisians fear it's starting to look like any American shopping mall as high rents and global chains steadily alter its appearance.
"We just try to keep a sort of diversity on the Champs Elysees, with the cinemas, with restaurants, with cafes and shops," says Deputy Mayor Lynn Cohen-Solal. "We don't think the laws of the natural market, the free market, make for a good Champs Elysees."
Convicted murderer Gary Haugen has spent more than 30 years in prison; he's been on death row since 2007. And if he had his way, he would schedule his execution tomorrow. But in an unusual case, the Oregon Supreme Court must decide whether Haugen, who has waived his right to appeal, can die — or if Gov. John Kitzhaber's reprieve of Haugen should stand.
Kevyn Orr, "a high-powered Washington, D.C., lawyer and University of Michigan graduate who worked on Chrysler's 2009 bankruptcy restructuring," has been given the job of straightening out the city of Detroit's desperate financial mess, the Detroit Free Press writes.
Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R), who earlier this month declared that the city is in a financial emergency, tapped Orr with the job Thursday.
Originally published on Thu March 14, 2013 1:24 pm
As the sun rose over Latin America this morning, we're getting a clearer picture of how Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio — now Pope Francis — was viewed in his home of Argentina and what the first pope from the New World could mean for the continent.
We've read through dozens of news outlets from the region to bring you highlights:
More than a week has passed since thousands of dead pigs were first discovered floating in a river in Shanghai, but authorities have yet to explain fully where the pigs came from or why they died.
Fourteen of the pigs had tags in their ears identifying them as coming from Jiaxing city, in neighboring Zhejiang province. Getting to the bottom of the pig story, though, is tough. A visit to Zhulin village, where most everyone raises pigs, was greeted by serial denials.
Originally published on Thu March 14, 2013 2:34 pm
U.S. drivers are much more likely than Europeans to drive while distracted, federal health officials report Thursday.
Nearly 69 percent of Americans who drive say that they talked on their cell phones while driving at least once in the previous month, according to a survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
That's a lot higher than what was reported by Europeans in another survey. Only 21 percent of British drivers reported chatting on their cell phones while behind the wheel, for example. In Germany and France it was about 40 percent.
Originally published on Thu March 14, 2013 11:09 am
Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio's ascendency to Pope Francis has suddenly placed his Jesuit order in the spotlight.
Francis' papacy is the first for a member of the Society of Jesus, which was founded in 1540 by the Spaniard St. Ignatius of Loyola and has grown to become the single-largest Catholic order, playing a central and occasionally controversial role within the church.
Today, some 20,000 Jesuits, about three-quarters of them priests, work in more than 100 countries and are best known for the schools and institutions of higher learning they administer.
Originally published on Thu March 14, 2013 12:47 pm
Monarch butterflies that once covered 50 square acres of forest during their summer layover in central Mexico now occupy fewer than 3 acres, according to the latest census.
The numbers of the orange-and-black butterflies have crashed in the two decades since scientists began making a rough count of them, according to Mexico's National Commission of Natural Protected Areas.
At a news conference Wednesday, the commission said the count was down 59 percent from December 2011 levels, when the insects filled 7.14 acres of fir trees in central Mexico.
Alabama's Gov. Robert Bentley has signed a sweeping education bill that gives tax credits to parents who want to transfer their children from a failing public school to another public or private school. The bill became law one day after the Alabama Supreme Court ruled that a lawsuit against it was premature.
Following celebrations for the historic election of Argentine Pope Francis, it's time to look at the business of leading the world's 1.2 billion Catholics — bureaucracy and all. Host Michel Martin discusses the Pope's future agenda with Reverend Jose Hoyos, of the Diocese of Arlington, and religion professor Anthea Butler.
Studies show there are a growing number of homeless people around the age of 50. But it's common for them to experience illnesses and injuries more common among people well beyond their age. Host Michel Martin speaks with NPR correspondent, Pam Fessler and homeless advocate, Tony Simmons, about the rising number of aging homeless.
By a 10-8, party-line vote with Democrats in favor and Republicans opposed, the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday moved legislation that would revive the ban on assault-style weapons that expired in 2004.
Originally published on Sun March 17, 2013 11:36 am
Nothing says party like pancakes and butter. At least, not if you happen to be in Russia this week.
The country is in the midst of celebrating Maslenitsa, an Eastern Slavic folk holiday that takes place the week before the start of Russian Orthodox Lent (this year, it starts March 18). Though now tied to the Christian calendar, Maslenitsa has roots in ancient Slavic sun worshippers — it originally marked the end of winter and advent of spring. And, like Mardi Gras, it involves a whole lot of feasting before the Lenten fast — with blinis, a Russian pancake, as the food of choice.
The death of Ieng Sary, co-founder of the Khmer Rouge that ruled Cambodia from 1975 to 1979 and killed an estimated 1.7 million of that nation's people in the process, has dashed the hopes "among survivors and court prosecutors that he would ever be punished for his alleged war crimes," The Associated Press writes.
Originally published on Thu March 14, 2013 11:58 am
North Korea's nuclear chest-beating has achieved the seemingly impossible by aligning the concerns of South Korea, Japan and even China, three Asian neighbors that have a long history of strained ties.
While all those countries have separate aims and interests, they share with the United States a mutual interest in containing the North Korean regime, restraining its rhetoric and keeping Pyongyang's nuclear option in a box, says Richard Bush III, the director of the Center for Northeast Asian Policy Studies at the Brookings Institution.