The Obama administration is announcing a major new initiative to boost investments in rural Africa in hopes of lifting millions out of poverty. Several African leaders are in Washington, D.C., for the announcement, which comes as President Obama hosts leaders of the Group of Eight in Maryland. Food security is a key agenda item.
When Terry Walls of Springfield, Mo., decided to go back to college at age 52, he wanted to put to rest a family rumor. He had heard his mother was denied admission to Missouri State University, and he was pointed toward Meyer Library on the MSU campus for answers.
There, he discovered an eloquent letter typed on fragile, onion-skin paper and signed with his mother's maiden name: Mary Jean Price. It was dated Oct. 2, 1950, and it was addressed to the university registrar:
For many people, Bike to Work Day (which is today) is a reason to put air in their bike's tires and see if their chain is too rusty to get them to work on time. And as a growing list of photographs shows, many people who follow NPR online also ride to work.
This Saturday, 200 buglers will assemble at Arlington National Cemetery to begin playing "Taps," a call written 150 years ago this year.
Retired Air Force Master Sgt. Jari Villanueva, a bugle player, says he started out as a Boy Scout bugler at about age 12. He went on to study trumpet at the Peabody Conservatory before being accepted into the United States Air Force Band — where one of his duties over the next 23 years was to sound that call at Arlington National Cemetery.
NASA and SpaceX partnered closely to make the mission to the International Space Station possible. Above, the SpaceX control room.
A SpaceX rocket waits to be launched at Cape Canaveral, Fla., in March. If all goes as planned, the private company's rocket will be the first commercial spacecraft to visit the International Space Station.
SpaceX founder Elon Musk runs his rocket company like a Silicon Valley tech firm. "That's the operating system that I have in my head of how to run an organization. And that's how I've created SpaceX," he says.
A private spaceship owned by a company called SpaceX is scheduled to blast off from Cape Canaveral in Florida early Saturday morning.
If all goes well, the unmanned capsule will rocket up on a mission to deliver food and other supplies to the International Space Station, becoming the first commercial spacecraft to visit the outpost.
The highly anticipated mission could mark the beginning of what some say could be a new era in spaceflight, with private companies operating taxi services that could start taking people to orbit in just a few years.
The prosecution's star witness underwent a withering cross-examination on Thursday at Roger Clemens' perjury trial. Clemens, a seven-time Cy Young Award winner, is charged with lying to Congress when he testified that he never used performance-enhancing drugs. Brian McNamee, his one-time trainer, is the only witness who has firsthand evidence that contradicts the baseball-pitching ace.
Earlier this week, guided by the prosecution, McNamee testified in agonizing and repetitive detail about how he injected Clemens with steroids and human growth hormone between 1998 and 2001.
Documents have been released in the investigation of George Zimmerman's shooting of Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch captain, shot Martin, an unarmed teen. He's claiming self-defense. Robert Siegel talks to Greg Allen.
The law grants physicians access to information about trade-secret chemicals used in natural gas drilling. Doctors say they need to know what's in those formulas in order to treat patients who may have been exposed to the chemicals.
But the new law also says that doctors can't tell anyone else — not even other doctors — what's in those formulas. It's being called the "doctor gag rule."
A huge trove of documents has been released by prosecutors in the Trayvon Martin case. Among the biggest revelations so far is that the autopsy reveals Martin had THC in his system. But police said the shooting was "ultimately avoidable."
"Queen of Disco" Donna Summer performs in 1979. (Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
Credit Thos Robinson / Getty Images for The Buoniconti Fund to Cure Paralysis
"Music just evolves, people just get tired of it, and they move on to something else," she told The New York Times in 2003, speaking about the disco era. "In that period, people were in a dance mood. They wanted to be lifted up, they wanted to have fun, they didn't want to think." Summer performs here in New York City in 2010.
Credit Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images
Summer's exuberant dance music and style influenced other pop stars like Michael Jackson (pictured here in 1982), Whitney Houston and Beyonce.
Credit Thos Robinson / Getty Images for The Buoniconti Fund to Cure Paralysis
"Music just evolves, people just get tired of it, and they move on to something else," she told The New York Times. "In that period people were in a dance mood. They wanted to be lifted up, they wanted to have fun, they didn't want to think." Summer performs here in New York City in 2010.
Credit Fotos International / Getty Images
Donna Summer, known as the Queen of Disco, died Thursday at the age of 63. Here, she performs in 1975.
Pop singer Donna Summer, whose long career began in the 1960s and reached its apex in the disco era of the '70s, died of cancer on Thursday at her home in Naples, Florida. Summer was 63 years old. According to Billboard magazine, the singer born LaDonna Gaines had 32 singles that charted in the Hot 100. Fourteen of them made it into the top 10. To hear Sami Yenigun's appreciation of Donna Summer's life and career, as heard on All Things Considered, click the audio link.
Back when the dinosaurs ruled the Earth, some hardy bacteria took up residence at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. Eighty six million years later, they're still there. And a new study says they're living out the most Spartan lifestyle known on this planet.
When you hear Cecil Taylor perform, you never forget it. He's a force of nature at the piano, with a furious attack and a sound all his own.
"His piano is an orchestra," says Ben Ratliff, music critic for The New York Times. "Cecil has been with us for so long. And every once in a while he does these amazing, galvanizing solo piano performances. And you go see them, and you think, like, 'Wow. What was that? That was amazing.' And I can't get that anywhere else in the world. And that's unique."
When Facebook makes its initial public offering Friday on the NASDAQ, the stock will be priced at $38 per share, a price that's expected to bring in between $16 billion and $18.4 billion to the company. CNBC reports:
"[The price makes] it one of the most lucrative offerings the Street has ever seen. With that valuation taken into consideration, Facebook goes public with the highest valuation — in the $100 billion range — of any company on record at the time of its IPO."
Battleground states like North Carolina are where the action is when it comes to presidential contests. Thus, they are where political tactics like, say, the anti-Obama ad campaign featuring the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, first reported by The New York Times Thursday (and now disowned by virtually everyone the Times linked to it), are most likely to be rolled out.
Several news outlets are reporting that computer giant Hewlett-Packard will announce the elimination of 25,000 to 30,000 jobs. All Things D reports that the announcement will come from CEO Meg Whitman when the company announces its quarterly earnings next Wednesday.
A Marine Corps team carries the remains of Marine Sgt. J.P. Huling, 25, of West Chester, Ohio, at Dover Air Force Base, Del., on May 9. Huling was killed three days earlier by an Afghan soldier in southern Afghanistan, one of a growing number of such shootings.
May is the month we see strawberries explode in the market. There are strawberry festivals in every corner of the nation celebrating the juicy ruby beauties, and Strawberry Queens crowned galore. Those traditional harvest time festivals make us think our strawberries are mostly grown on the farm just down the road.
President Obama has said "I don't bluff," when it comes to opposing any effort by Iran to develop nuclear weapons (which that nation says it is not trying to do). And, he told The Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg in March, "all options are on the table."
Ever wonder why some people can run a 50-mile ultramarathon while for others even the thought of such endurance sports borders on torture?
Exceptional physical fitness, of course, sets the ultramarathoners apart from the rest of us. But scientists say what might be more important is athletes' excellent ability — both psychologically and physically — to cope with pain.
It turns out that most athletes' high tolerance for pain while exercising may also help them deal with it when they're at rest.
Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin, who renounced his U.S. citizenship, is now facing backlash from politicians: Two U.S. senators are proposing a plan that would prevent people like Saverin from reentering the country.
A 43-year-old woman in San Clemente, Calif., suffered second- and third-degree burns on her right leg and right arm Saturday after rocks in a pocket set her shorts on fire, The Orange County Register says.
Orange County Fire Authority officials tell the newspaper that the woman collected the rocks on a nearby beach, returned home and "was standing in her kitchen ... when the pocket of her cargo shorts caught fire."
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, you know award winning actress Glenn Close from her work in provocative movies like "Fatal Attraction" and "Albert Nobbs," but behind the scenes she's also become an outspoken advocate for mental health. We'll learn how mental illness has affected her own family in just a few minutes.
A year after a devastating tornado ripped through Joplin, Missouri, President Obama is set to go back and deliver Joplin High School's commencement speech. Host Michel Martin speaks with Joplin High Principal Kerry Sachetta for an update on how the school and the town are recovering.
Anwar al-Awlaki was killed in a U.S. drone strike in Yemen. "The United States is doubling down on its use of air power and drones, which are swiftly becoming the primary focus of Washington's counterterrorism operations," writes Jeremy Scahill.
U.S. intelligence officials announced last week that they had broken up a plan by al-Qaida's affiliate in Yemen to blow up a plane headed toward the United States.
U.S. officials are aggressively targeting terrorists in Yemen, which is now considered to be "the greatest external threat facing the U.S. homeland in terms of terrorism," says investigative reporter Jeremy Scahill.