It has been just over a week now since Curiosity, the NASA Mars rover, made its successful landing on the Red Planet. Curiosity is by far the most technologically advanced rover to reach the surface of Mars so far, and it's already begun sending back some pretty compelling, high-resolution photographs of the planet's surface. To talk about space and the importance of this mission, we're joined, as we often are, by Neil deGrasse Tyson, astrophysicist and director of the Hayden Planetarium in New York.
All right. So we just heard in Renee's conversation there that American Olympic gymnast Gabby Douglas has hundreds of thousands of Twitter followers, giving her clout with potential sponsors.
Our last word in business today is Klout spelled with a K. Klout, k-l-o-u-t, is a Web startup that's been around for a few years. The company says it can measure your online influence by using a special algorithm.
Over the past four years, Bruce Marks has been on a traveling road show to help people avoid foreclosure. His nonprofit, the Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America, has held more than 80 events in cities around the country. So far, Marks says, NACA has helped 202,000 people get their payments lowered so they can afford to keep their homes.
A man from the Mundari nomad tribe stands among cattle on Jan. 18, in Juba, South Sudan. Cattle raids, a common occurrence in the region, have grown increasingly violent in recent years.
Members of the Murle tribe displaced by cattle raiding attacks are seen here in Pibor in South Sudan's eastern Jonglei state, on Jan. 5, in a photo released by the United Nations Mission in South Sudan.
Credit Isaac Billy / AP
Amer is a 16-year-old Dinka girl in South Sudan's Jonglei state. Her grandmother is asking 80 cows as her dowry. Escalating dowries are one reason for the spike in violent cattle raids.
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's running mate, Paul Ryan, has staked out a reputation in Congress as a fiscal conservative. He has spoken out against President Obama's efforts to jump-start the economy with the stimulus law and, after a conversion a few years ago, now opposes earmarks. But when it comes to helping out his district in southern Wisconsin, Ryan's principles have been flexible.
A motorbike burns following a raid by Egyptian security forces on the village of El-Jurah in Egypt's North Sinai province on Aug. 12. Six gunmen were killed in the raid.
Credit AFP/Getty Images
Army trucks carry Egyptian military tanks in El Arish, in the northern Sinai Peninsula, on Aug. 9. Security forces are conducting a major security campaign in the area after a deadly attack by masked gunmen on a border post left 16 soldiers dead.
Egyptian security forces are conducting a major campaign in the Sinai Peninsula after an attack by masked gunmen on a border post earlier this month. While the government assures the nation and the world that it will deal with the threat, Sinai residents worry that they will be blamed, targeted and abused as a result of the assault that left 16 soldiers dead.
The national recession may be over, but local governments around the country are still hurting. Core services and programs are being scaled back, cut or privatized. In Upstate New York, county officials are scrambling to sell off nursing homes that have been taxpayer-funded for generations.
Horace Nye Nursing Home in Elizabethtown, N.Y., a modest brick building that sits a stone's throw from the village square, has 100 beds, and that's how many elderly people live here. There is always a waiting list.
Originally published on Thu August 16, 2012 6:23 am
Ariz. Gov. Jan Brewer is throwing more punches in her contentious relationship with the federal government.
Today, she issued an executive order that says young people granted a deportation deferral under President Obama's new policy will still be considered undocumented and won't be granted public benefits.
Originally published on Wed August 15, 2012 5:55 pm
The diplomatic battle in the case of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has taken a dramatic turn today: In an angry press conference streamed live on the Internet, Ecuadorean Foreign Minister Ricardo Patiño said Britain threatened to storm their embassy in London if Assange was not handed over to police.
"Ecuador is not a British colony," Patiño said. "The days of colonialism are over."
He added that "such a threat is improper of a democratic and civilized country."
Bill Gates, co-founder of the the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, checks out a toilet demo at the Reinvent the Toilet Fair in Seattle, Wash. The festival featured prototypes of high-tech toilets developed by researchers around the world.
If you have ever dreamed of playing big-league baseball, chances are the dream started to fade sometime in high school.
It gradually becomes clear: You won't be starting in Game 7 of the World Series, and tipping your cap after hitting a walk-off homer. So at some point you go from player to fan — watching others chase greatness on the diamond.
But not every baseball dreamer is willing to give up so early. And in Bradenton, Fla., there's a place that lies somewhere between the Little League field and Yankee Stadium.
Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, the newly chosen vice presidential running mate for Republican Mitt Romney, was in Ohio on Wednesday to speak at his alma mater.
Ryan graduated from Miami University of Ohio in 1992 with degrees in economics and political science. And his ascension to the GOP ticket thrills Rob Harrelson, a member of the school's College Republicans (as was Ryan, two decades earlier).
Originally published on Wed August 15, 2012 6:04 pm
A judge's decision Wednesday to uphold the new Pennsylvania voter identification law shifted attention to the state's highest court, which could now determine if the requirement will be imposed on Election Day.
Attorneys for the plaintiffs had asked the judge to stop the law from taking effect as part of a constitutional challenge. Their complaint claims the law would make it disproportionately harder for seniors, minorities and others to vote in the Nov. 6 general election.
The U.S. Women's National Soccer Team is home from the Olympics with gold medals. They got redemption by winning the final over Japan, after losing to Japan in last year's World Cup. But the women's team comes home to an uncertain future. The U.S. Women's Professional Soccer League folded earlier this year, which means there's no top-level league where they can play.
In Georgia, among those returning when school resumes this month are several thousand students who attend private religious academies on scholarships paid for by taxpayers. Georgia is one of several states that allow businesses and individuals to receive tax credits for contributions to scholarship programs for kids, kindergarten through 12th grade.
The tax credit scholarships are popular with school choice advocates. Like vouchers, they use public money to pay for private education. But in Georgia, even some supporters say the scholarships may be open to abuse.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
And I'm Melissa Block.
The center of the Syrian capital, Damascus, was shaken today by a bomb attack and clashes between rebels and government troops. At the same time, the U.N. issued a report accusing both sides of war crimes.
A new study shows college graduates have fared much better in the economic recovery than those without a degree. The Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce reports that nearly all of the jobs recovered since the economic downturn have required a post-secondary degree. And despite the struggles of many recent graduates, workers with college degrees still enjoy a substantial wage benefit over those with only a high school education.
Iranians walk through the main bazaar in Tehran in January. Sanctions by the EU and U.S., plus political woes related to the Syrian uprising, have created the most serious crisis faced by Tehran since the 1980s.
Credit Vahid Salemi / AP
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (left) greets Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem in the presidential palace in Tehran on July 29, in this official handout photo. The war in Syria threatens Iran's only ally in the Arab world.
Iran appears to be facing a crisis more serious than anything it has experienced since its war with Iraq in the 1980s.
Diplomatically, President Bashar Assad's regime is under threat from the widening war in Syria, Iran's sole ally in the Arab world. Domestically, the European oil embargo and U.S. banking sanctions are undermining the Iranian economy, bringing inflation, food shortages and unemployment.
Iran is trying to maintain a defiant posture, without much success.