When Mitt Romney kicked off this past week with a blitzkrieg tour of Iowa, he had no way of knowing just how true this statement would be: "You guys in Dubuque, you're the best. Get out there and vote tomorrow. I need every vote!"
He wasn't kidding. When the final numbers were tallied in Iowa, the former Massachusetts governor edged his closest rival, Rick Santorum, by the smallest margin in Iowa history — just eight votes.
Elizabeth McGovern is back — though she was never really gone. She just moved across the pond.
She was 19 when a star — hers — was born, after she played the love interest in Robert Redford's film Ordinary People. She went on to co-star with some of Hollywood's leading men, including Robert De Niro, Brad Pitt and Sean Penn, and landed an Oscar nomination for Milos Forman's big-budget film Ragtime.
But in the early '90s, McGovern married a British guy and gave up Hollywood for London. She raised a family and developed a British acting career.
Italy's new prime minister, technocrat Mario Monti, wants to stimulate growth by boosting productivity and competitiveness. A new law that went into effect Jan. 1 allows shops, cafes and restaurants to stay open 24/7 all year long, holidays included. This deregulation puts Italy ahead of many European countries, but many Italians are resisting.
Friday — the Day of the Epiphany — was the first holiday of the year. In Rome, however, hardly anyone took advantage of the liberalized shop hours.
The U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments Monday in a case near and dear to EPA haters.
It would seem to be a David-and-Goliath case that pits a middle-class American couple trying to build their dream home against the Environmental Protection Agency. But the couple, Michael and Chantell Sackett, is backed by a veritable who's who in American mining, oil, utilities, manufacturing and real estate development, as well as groups opposed to government regulation.
President Obama took a controversial step this week in making appointments to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and National Labor Relations Board during what the White House considered a congressional recess, bypassing any objections from lawmakers.
The struggle between government forces and protesters continues in the Gulf nation of Bahrain. Today, it came back into focus when Nabeel Rajab, a prominent human rights activist, was detained and beaten by government security forces.
The Bahrain Centre for Human Rights said Rajab was beaten "for participating in a peaceful protest" in the capital city of Manama, today. In a press release, the organization reports:
When it comes to a gunshot or stab wound in the stomach, surgeons will almost reflexively open up a patient's abdomen to look for damage.
But that's starting to change as doctors rethink how best to manage trauma cases.
A team of researchers pored over the National Trauma Data Bank and examined more than 25,000 cases of penetrating injuries to the abdomen (about 12,000 gunshot cases and 13,000 stabbings) in the U.S. between 2002 and 2008.
Each January, the first bluefin tuna auction at Toyko's Tsukiji fish market commands some of the highest prices of the year.
This year's auction got off to an especially extravagant start when a sushi chain owner paid 56.49 million yen, or about $736,000, for one 593-pound bluefin tuna yesterday, according to wire service reports.
For the past several years, a group of friends has gathered every week in the living room of a suburban home in Logan, Utah, to sing long-forgotten songs. It's a fun way to spend the evening, but it's also therapy for a dear friend.
Until several years ago, Barre Toelken was a folklorist at Utah State University. He'd spent much of his life preserving sea shanties and other antique songs, but then he had a stroke and was forced to retire.
"I used to know 800 songs," Toelken says. "I had this stroke, and I had none of these songs left in my head. None of them were left."
In Tuesday's primary, many of those showing up to vote will not be registered as Republicans. In New Hampshire, voters unaffiliated with either party can vote in the primary.
So-called "undeclared" voters outnumber both Republicans and Democrats in the Granite State, accounting for more than 40 percent of the electorate. That makes New Hampshire's independent vote a tempting, but elusive target.
This is the season of the presidential super PACs: They flooded Iowa with attack ads and now they are looking ahead to primaries in South Carolina and Florida.
Super PACs (political action committees) can solicit big, corporate contributions — something candidates can't do. And, according to the law, super PACs are barred from coordinating their ads with the candidates they support. But it's not nearly that simple.
Hairy-chested yeti crabs, seven-armed sea stars, white octopuses — all these creatures were seen for the first time by researchers in the Antarctic. Robert Siegel talks to biologist Alex Rodgers of the University of Oxford, who led the expedition.
One of the last remaining Navajo Code Talkers from World War II has died. Keith Little, who transmitted codes in important Pacific battles such as Iwo Jima and Saipan, died Tuesday at 87. He led the Navajo Code Talkers Association in recent years and fought to get recognition for the Code Talkers, who were ordered to keep their contribution to the war effort secret for decades after the war ended.
Syrian authorities say a suicide bomber killed more than two dozen people in Damascus Friday, just two weeks after a similar attack in the capital left more than 40 dead. Opposition activists are questioning the government account of the bombing.
The Justice Department is redefining the criminal definition of "rape" for the first time since the 1920s. It will now include same-sex assaults and a definition beyond actual intercourse. This will change the way local police departments report crime statistics.
The NFL kicks off an exciting weekend of games Saturday when it starts its playoffs. Meanwhile, there's big news in the sport that most of the rest of the world calls football. Fox television is making a major play to air more soccer games in this country, including an English Premier League game before the Super Bowl. Sportswriter Stefan Fatsis talks with Robert Siegel about the news in both kinds of football.
A U.S. Navy ship has rescued the crew of an Iranian fishing vessel from pirates. The Iranians had apparently been held for weeks. The U.S. ship, part of the USS Stennis carrier battle group, took some 15 pirates prisoner. The Stennis is the same ship that Iran threatened just a few days ago as it transited out of the Persian Gulf. Robert Siegel talks to NPR Pentagon correspondent Tom Bowman for the latest.
Melissa Block speaks with our regular political commentators, E.J. Dionne, of the Washington Post and Brookings Institution, and David Brooks, of the New York Times. They discuss the jobs numbers, Obama's recess appointments and presidential campaign developments.
Moroccan rapper Mouad Belrhouat — commonly known as "El-Haqed," or "the sullen one" (shown here on an album cover) — has been jailed for four months and is awaiting trial in Casablanca. His supporters say his case shows the limits of recent, post-Arab Spring political reforms.
Credit Abdelhak Senna / AFP/Getty Images
Young protesters in Rabat, Morrocco, demand political and social changes along with Belrhouat's release, Sept. 11, 2011,
Morocco has been called one of the winners of the Arab Spring. The country's young king, Mohammed VI, offered a new constitution and early elections, taking the steam out of the February 20th protest movement.
But the arrest and trial of an artist who writes provocative rap songs shows that the reforms have a long way to go.
The rap songs of 24-year-old Moaud Belrhouat are popular in Morocco, even more so after the four months he has spent in jail.
We thought the World Wide Web was supposed to make information fly.
But now we have to question that notion.
It's taken a year and a half for us to hear that Pepsi is defending itself against a lawsuit claiming that a mouse was found in a can of Mountain Dew by saying that the furry little creature couldn't have been there because:
Open any children's book with a scene set downtown and you'll see a picture of basically the same row of shops. There's a bookstore, a pharmacy, a florist, a post office and a bank, and maybe a bakery where the kids can hope for a free cookie.
Nearly all those businesses are under threat from the Internet.
The Obama administration said it is proposing a change for the way some apply to become legal, permanent residents of the United States. The change would affect American citizens who are married to or have children who are in the country illegally.
The current rule mandates that in order to apply for legal status, a person must return to their country and wait there while the long process continues. The rule tweak would allow those family members to stay in the country while the application works its way through the bureaucracy.
When it comes to unemployment reports in an election year, it's not just the data — it's also the spin.
Friday's jobs report could be seen as good news — at 8.5 percent, it's the lowest in three years. Good news for President Obama? Not according to Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney, who lost no time in pointing out that the number is still above 8 percent — the figure that the president said would be the worst case under his 2009 stimulus package.