President Obama holds a Labor Day campaign rally in Toledo, Ohio, on Monday, and then flies to Louisiana to inspect the damage from Hurricane Isaac. The Toledo rally is part of a long weekend of campaigning, leading up to the Democratic National Convention, which starts Tuesday in Charlotte, N.C.
The president held a rally with thousands of students at the University of Colorado over the weekend. Just five days earlier, he'd been at Colorado State. Obama is hoping to harness the cross-state rivalry between the schools in the service of his re-election campaign.
A view of the skyline of Charlotte, N.C., on Sunday. Preparations for the Democratic National Convention are under way around Charlotte, where the party is expected to nominate President Obama to run for a second term.
Originally published on Mon September 3, 2012 6:53 am
It's getting tougher to be a Republican in some parts of the country while also fully accepting the practice of Islam.
In Tennessee, an incumbent in the U.S. House found herself on the defensive after being called soft on Shariah law, the code that guides Muslim beliefs and actions. And the state's governor has been forced to explain why he hired a Muslim.
Omm Ahmed, a refugee from Daraa, Syria, carries her infant near her tent at Zaatari Refugee Camp in Mafraq, Jordan, on Sunday. Syrian civilians have borne the greatest brunt of the conflict in their country.
The conflict in Syria is now nearly a year and a half old, and there appears to be no end in sight.
August was the deadliest month yet, with thousands of people, mostly civilians, killed in fighting around the country. While anti-government rebels are making advances, government troops are digging in their heels.
It started as a protest movement. Now, analysts in the U.S. and the region agree, the conflict in Syria is a civil war.
A Civil War
Even Syrian President Bashar Assad came close to acknowledging as much in a speech last week.
Seventy-five years ago, Key Underwood and his raccoon-hunting dog Troop had a connection. Years of training and a deep relationship make human and canine a seamless hunting unit. The two can share a special bond.
So when old Troop died, Underwood buried him on the crest of a hill hidden away in the lush countryside near Cherokee, Ala. It was Underwood's favorite hunting spot. He marked the grave with an old chimney stone he chiseled with a hammer and screwdriver.
In 2010, NPR reported that some Army commanders refused to award the Purple Heart to many troops who got concussions in combat because they didn't consider these "real" injuries. As a result of our story, the Army did its own investigation and put out new guidelines on Purple Hearts. Last week, the Army told NPR that under the new rules, they've finally awarded the medal to almost 1,000 soldiers, including Michelle Dyarman, whom we profiled in our original 2010 reports.
Democrats today, for the most part, balance between two slightly competing ideas: that government is part of the solution, while still acknowledging that it can be part of the problem. Meanwhile, they're up against a long-running Republican messaging campaign against "big government."
The concept of big government goes back to around the beginning of the 20th century. Princeton historian Julian Zelizer traces the idea to the Wilson administration and its initiatives, including the creation of the Federal Reserve.
Many people in Missouri are still backing GOP Rep. Todd Akin — some more strongly than before — after his controversial remarks about rape and pregnancy.
Akin was polling ahead of the incumbent, Democrat Claire McCaskill, in the U.S. Senate race in Missouri, but his support fractured into several distinct camps after his comment that women's bodies can block pregnancy in cases of "legitimate rape." (He has since apologized.)
Moon and his wife are introduced during the Affirmation of Vows part of the Interreligious and International Couple's Blessing and Rededication Ceremony, 2002, at New York's Manhattan Center. Some 500 to 600 couples participated in the New York ceremony, and an estimated 21 million couples participated worldwide via a simulcast to 185 countries.
Credit Stephen Chernin / AP
Moon leaves the Federal Correctional Institution in Danbury, Conn., July 4, 1985. Moon was imprisoned in 1984 after being convicted of tax-evasion charges. He left Danbury to serve the remainder of his sentence at a halfway house in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Credit Bob Child / AP
Moon and his wife participate in the traditional invocation of a blessing at a mass wedding in Seoul's Chamsil gymnasium, where 6,000 couples from about 80 countries were married in 1982.
Moon appears before a capacity crowd of 2,000 in 1974 in New York's Madison Square Garden, where he preached for the rebirth of Christianity. His appearance was part of a 40-city U.S. tour that year.
Rev. Sun Myung Moon, founder of the Unification Church, and his wife, Han Hak Ja, attend the ceremony after the Peace Cup final match between Hamburger SV and Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma at Suwon World Cup Stadium on July 22 in Suwon, South Korea.
Credit Kiyoshi Ota / Getty Images
Captain Heiko Westermann (third right) and Son Heung-Min (third left) of Hamburger hold the trophy with Moon, as they celebrate after winning the Peace Cup final match.
Credit Kiyoshi Ota / Getty Images
Moon spreads holy waters during a mass wedding ceremony arranged by his Unification Church at Sun Moon University in Asan, south of Seoul, South Korea, in October 2009.
Credit Lee Jin-man / AP
Couples from around the world participated in the mass wedding ceremony.
Credit Lee Jin-man / AP
Bridegroom Uriah Buscovich from California and his bride, Moona Field from Argentina, exchange their wedding rings during the mass wedding ceremony.
Credit Lee Jin-man / AP
Moon celebrates his 80th birthday in 2000 in Washington, D.C. Religious leaders, diplomats and friends from 150 nations marked the occasion.
Credit Neshan Naltchayan / AFP/Getty Images
Rev. Sun Myung Moon (left), founder of the Unification Church, and his wife, Han Hak Ja, attend the ceremony after the Peace Cup final match between Hamburger SV and Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma at Suwon World Cup Stadium on July 22 in Suwon, South Korea.
Credit Kiyoshi Ota / Getty Images
Couples from around the world participate in a mass wedding ceremony arranged by the Rev. Sun Myung Moon's Unification Church in South Korea in 2009.
Rev. Sun Myung Moon died Sunday at age 92. The controversial founder of the Unification Church was known for attracting young converts in the 1970s and for conducting mass weddings.
Sun Myung Moon was born in 1920 to a poor family in what is now North Korea. His life took a dramatic turn on Easter Sunday, 1936, when, he says, Jesus appeared before him. As he told cartoonist and interviewer Al Capp, Moon recognized Jesus from a vision he had had at age 3. Moon said he spoke with Jesus in Korean.
"We carried conversation with mind-to-mind, heart-to-heart," Moon said.
Occupy Wall Street activist Jason Woody listens to a speaker during a rally before the start of the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., on Aug. 27.
Credit Steve Nesius / Reuters/Landov
From left, Mike Garcia, Terri Schultz-Rivers, Tim Rivers and Alissah Depiro, all of Tampa, attend a rally and march organized by the Occupy movement in downtown Tampa on Monday. Turnout was much lower than expected, and rain drenched the crowd.
Originally published on Sun September 2, 2012 11:07 am
As President Obama reintroduces himself to America at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., next week, the Occupy movement will be there trying to do the same.
Remember Occupy Wall Street, originator of the "We are the 99 percent" slogan?
The group, which helped reshape the nation's political discourse last year before falling into disarray and uncertainty, plans to hold a demonstration outside the convention hall in an effort to recapture the spotlight. A Tampa, Fla., Occupy group protested at the Republican convention in there last week.
Members of historical clubs, dressed as Russian cavalry, advance during the 2010 re-enactment of the 1812 battle between Napoleon's army and Russian troops in Borodino.
Credit AFP/Getty Images
Re-enactor Viktor Penzas of Belarus represents a lieutenant colonel in the Russian army. He says the officers of the time were frequent casualties, because they were expected to lead their troops from the front.
Credit Corey Flintoff / NPR
A Russian hussar races past the artillery as the battle is about to begin.
Two hundred years ago this week, Napoleon Bonaparte fought a battle in Russia that may have begun his undoing. He led his Grand Army against the Imperial Russian Army near a village called Borodino, about 70 miles from Moscow.
It was the single bloodiest day of the Napoleonic Wars, and it's remembered by Russians as a symbol of national courage. An army of re-enactors relived that Sunday.
City Academy in St. Paul, Minn., became the nation's first publicly funded, privately run charter school when it opened its doors in 1992. Its founders, all veteran public school teachers, had tried but failed to create new programs for struggling students in their own schools.
The school helped launch a movement that has since grown to 5,600 charter schools across the U.S. But back in the late 1980s, it faced strong resistance.
U.S. soldiers still patrol in Afghanistan, like this one speaking with a young man in the eastern province of Khost in August. However, Afghan forces are taking on increased responsibility as the U.S. draws down and prepares for its troops to leave by the end of 2014.
Credit Jose Cabezas / AFP/Getty Images
Afghan security forces are already playing a more prominent role, though questions remain about the quality of the forces. Here, an Afghan policeman talks with an elderly man in the eastern province of Khost in August.
Tens of thousands of American troops will be leaving Afghanistan as the NATO-led coalition enters its final two years in the country. Already, more security responsibility is being placed in the hands of the Afghan security forces, says U.S. Gen. John Allen, who heads the NATO-led coalition here.
"The insurgency is today confronted by a rapidly transforming and increasingly capable [Afghan army], which is bearing a larger share of the burden and a larger share of the sacrifice," Allen says.
Isphanyar Bhandara, the head of Pakistan's only brewery, Murree Brewery, sits at his grandfather's desk at the headquarters in Rawalpindi, near Islamabad. Bhandara's grandfather was a director at the brewery when Pakistan gained independence in 1947, and he bought a controlling stake in the company. The brewery has been run by the Bhandara family ever since.
A lot has changed for Alanis Morissette in the past two decades. Raised Catholic in Ottawa, she spent much of her youth believing she couldn't sing. When she began her music career as a teenager, it was as a dance-pop artist — and, briefly, Vanilla Ice's opening act. Finally, in 1995, she released Jagged Little Pill, an international smash that made Morissette an overnight celebrity, won her an armload of Grammy awards and left her with a "scorned woman" image that she hasn't shaken since.
Barack Obama won more than 95 percent of the black vote in the last presidential election, and Democrats are expected to have a huge advantage this November. Even so, Republicans looked for ways to appeal to those voters at their convention in Tampa, Fla.
Though the convention hall was packed with delegates this week, it wasn't until gospel star Bebe Winans and the Tampa Bay City Life Church Chorus came on stage that there was any sizable number of African-Americans around.
Along the shore of Lake Erie, the rusting relics of Buffalo, N.Y.'s industrial days have long blocked access to the water and posed risks to residents. Now, after decades of inaction, the city is finally clearing a path for the public to return to the waterfront.
Buffalo's approach has been dubbed "lighter, faster, cheaper." Tom Dee has led this effort as president of the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corp., a special state agency in charge of city waterfront property. He says years were wasted chasing grand redevelopment projects, but now the strategy is more homegrown.
In his book, Robert Sullivan considers, among other things, how little Emanuel Leutze's 1851 painting <em>Washington Crossing the Delaware</em> has in common with the actual historic crossing, which took place at night and during a snowstorm.
Credit Metropolitan Museum of Art / AP
Robert Sullivan's writing has appeared in <em>The New Yorker, The New York Times</em> and <em>Vogue</em>, where he is a contributing editor.
Credit Myrna Copaleen / Courtesy of Farrar, Straus and Giroux
When we think of the seminal moments in the birth of the United States of America, many people would point to the battles of Lexington, Concord and Bunker Hill. But according to Robert Sullivan, the founding landscape of our nation is not in Massachusetts. It is in and around New York.
In his new book, My American Revolution: Crossing the Delaware and I-78, Sullivan writes that the majority of battles in the Revolutionary War were fought in the middle colonies: New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania.
Originally published on Fri September 7, 2012 10:10 am
Throughout the week at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., NPR digital journalists asked delegates, politicians and other attendees to react to the statement: "Why I'm a Republican." Here are some of those responses. (And here's what we heard from Democrats in Charlotte.)
Correction: the Runner's World calculator discussed below is used for training purposes. A pace calculator estimates that Ryan would have needed to run at about 6:50 per mile to complete a marathon in 2:59.
Lawyers for 270 miners in South Africa are threatening legal action if their clients are not released from prison today. The mine workers were charged with murdering their own colleagues after police opened fire on a crowd of about 3,000 striking workers two weeks ago, killing 34 people.
NPR's Ofeibea Quist-Arcton tells us the government charged the miners with murder using an obscure legal doctrine employed by the apartheid government.