Tonight, Mitt Romney formally accepts the Republican Party's nomination to be president of the United States. The path to a presidential nomination is never smooth, but by Republican Party standards, this year's primary campaign was pretty choppy. NPR's Ari Shapiro has this look back.
ARI SHAPIRO, BYLINE: Mitt Romney launched this campaign on June 2nd, 2011, at a farm in New Hampshire.
With its all-sky infrared survey, NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, has identified millions of quasar candidates. This image zooms in on one small region of the WISE sky, covering an area about three times larger than the moon. The WISE quasar candidates are highlighted with yellow circles.
"In one study, astronomers used WISE to identify about 2.5 million actively feeding supermassive black holes across the full sky, stretching back to distances more than 10 billion light-years away. About two-thirds of these objects never had been detected before because dust blocks their visible light. WISE easily sees these monsters because their powerful, accreting black holes warm the dust, causing it to glow in infrared light."
In the fall of 2008 my friend, TJ Anderson — a member of the University of Iowa's Herky the Hawk mascot squad — took note of an unused space in the southwest corner of Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City. And the idea of "Herky's Nest" was born.
TJ envisioned creating Herky's Nest — a home for Herky — that also serves as a premium seating area for children and families from the University of Iowa Children's Hospital. The goodwill gesture brings the community together in a lighthearted and meaningful way.
Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 8:33 am
We've come to accept the baby-fication of our vegetables – baby spinach, baby lettuce, and baby squash prized for their tenderness and cute size have staked out territory in the produce section of many a grocery store.
Scientists in Germany have been able to get enough DNA from a fossilized pinky to produce a high-quality DNA sequence of the pinky's owner.
"It's a really amazing-quality genome," says David Reich of Harvard Medical School in Boston. "It's as good as modern human genome sequences, from a lot of ways of measuring it."
The pinky belonged to a girl who lived tens of thousands of years ago. Scientists aren't sure about the exact age. She is a member of an extinct group of humans called Denisovans. The name comes from Denisova cave in Siberia, where the pinky was found.
Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 8:02 am
There are claims flying back and forth today over whether Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan has falsely accused President Obama of breaking a promise to make sure a GM plant in Ryan's hometown stayed open.
My friend Erica Raggett is one of those rare individuals who, when she heard about something atrocious, didn't forget about it, feel sad about it, or throw money at it.
She did something about it.
The just-opened A 2nd Cup is Erica's vision of a non-profit coffee shop that seeks to raise awareness of human trafficking in the Houston community, partner with other anti-trafficking organizations and fund aftercare solutions for survivors.
"This situation could happen to me at the Democratic convention or standing on the street corner. Racism is a global issue," CNN camerawoman Patricia Carroll, in an interview with an institute that promotes diversity in the news media, says of the ugly racial taunts directed her way Tuesday night at the Republican National Convention in Tampa.
The aftermath of a truck bomb in Kandahar, the main city in southern Afghanistan, which wounded the provincial police chief and killed two civilians Monday. Taliban attacks against Afghan officials are up sharply this year.
Credit Mamoon Durani / AP
Afghans bury the mayor of Kandahar, Ghulam Haidar Hamidi, after he was killed in a suicide bombing in July 2011. Afghan officials have extensive security but are still vulnerable to attack.
Almost daily, Taliban assassins target Afghan government officials and community elders with ambushes or bombings. The United Nations says such killings are up more than 50 percent compared to the same period last year.
On Monday, the target was the powerful police chief in southern Afghanistan's Kandahar province. A suicide bomber struck the convoy of Gen. Abdul Raziq, who survived the attack and is at a U.S. military hospital recuperating from burns and other injuries.
Originally published on Thu August 30, 2012 10:57 am
Mitt Romney has a tough to-do list.
He has to walk an ideological tightrope. As he accepts the GOP presidential nomination tonight, Romney will try to fire up partisans in the convention hall and watching at home, without turning off moderates and independent voters.
He also has to convey certain intangible qualities. The former Massachusetts governor will want to appear presidential while also attempting to lift his low "likability" ratings.
This is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Coming up, this country is facing history again this year. It's a chance to elect this country's first Mormon president. So we decided to ask a group of faith leaders representing different traditions to tell us what role they think religion plays or should play when it comes to choosing the next president. That's coming up later in the program.
As the Republican convention continues, the major political parties are defining their positions — and many are focused on faith. Host Michel Martin speaks with a diverse panel of religious leaders to weigh how they balance faith and politics.
Gambia's President Yahya Jammeh recently ordered the executions of all 47 prisoners on death row. Nine have been killed so far. The news comes decades after the last execution was ordered in that country. Host Michel Martin discusses the political situation in Gambia with Pa Nderry Mbai. He's a Gambian journalist living in exile in North Carolina.
Senior driver Preston Carter, 100, talks with police officers after police say his car went onto a sidewalk and plowed into a group of parents and children outside a South Los Angeles elementary school on Wednesday.
Originally published on Fri August 31, 2012 6:16 am
Women who had multiple abortions before giving birth to a first child were more likely to have that child very prematurely or to deliver a child with a low birth weight, according to one of the first large-scale studies to look at the issue.
"Many of the adults we tutor have lost their jobs, and now find themselves ill-equipped to find employment in today's job market," says Director Kim Payne. "Most of them are working toward a GED, but many of them have high school diplomas. However, the workplace has changed over the years, and now most jobs require not only higher reading and math levels, but computer skills as well."
Originally published on Thu August 30, 2012 9:05 am
With Election Day drawing closer, each presidential candidate is pushing harder to make the case that he would be a better leader for the economy.
And voters are listening to the pitches. A recent Washington Post-ABC poll showed that nearly 3 in 4 Americans say the candidate's approach to the economy will be a "major factor" in deciding between President Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney.
A secret service agent accidentally left her gun inside the lavatory of Mitt Romney's campaign plane.
CBS News reports that the loaded gun was found by one of its reporters who was travelling with the Republican presidential nominee from Tampa to Indianapolis, Ind., where Romney was scheduled to deliver a speech.
A doctor examines chest X-rays at a tuberculosis clinic in Gugulethu, Cape Town, South Africa in late 2007. The number of TB cases that don't respond to both first- and second-line medications is rising worldwide.
Cases of drug-resistant tuberculosis are increasing around the globe, and at a faster rate than previously thought. And if that weren't enough, TB is quickly building resistance to more and more of the drugs commonly used to fight it.
The troubling picture emerged in a study just published in The Lancet.
The number of Americans filing first-time claims for unemployment remained flat, last week, the Employment and Training Administration reports. In the week that ended Aug. 25, a seasonally adjusted 374,000 claims were filed, matching the previous week's total, which was revised up.
For those who like word clouds, here is Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan's speech Wednesday night at the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa, during which he accepted his party's vice presidential nomination.
This picture of how often he said something drew our eyes to:
-- "Obama." That would be the president, of course, who Ryan said has failed the American people.
Darrell Hill, 11, feeds his sister Floy Dillon, 2, at a flood shelter in a school gym in Kentwood, La., Thursday. Residents fled to the shelter after officials announced that a dam upstream in Mississippi was in danger of bursting.
Credit John Moore / Getty Images
Errol Ragas walks past a cemetery to recover dry blankets from his home as rising waters from Hurricane Isaac flood the neighborhood of Oakville in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana.
Let's follow up on another story. Earlier this year, five big banks settled the so-called robo-signing case, admitting they rushed the foreclosure processes for thousands of homeowners. Now, those banks are working to forgive and modify $20 billion worth of home loans.
As NPR's Yuki Noguchi reports, yesterday was the first chance to look at how banks are handling this part of the settlement.
YUKI NOGUCHI, BYLINE: Joseph Smith's first full report wasn't due until November, but he was eager to keep the issue top of mind.
Good morning, I'm Steve Inskeep. Every so often, people talk of eliminating the penny - which isn't worth much anymore. It survives, but not in a Chipotle restaurant in New Jersey. The Star-Ledger says a customer discovered the restaurant rounding his bill to the nearest nickel, often collecting an extra cent.