The narrator of Maria Semple's newest book, Where'd You Go, Bernadette, is 15-year-old Bee Fox. She's a nice kid, a good musician and a great student. In fact, she's such a great student that her parents have promised her anything she wants — and she chooses a family trip to Antarctica.
Bain is the private equity firm founded by Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Now what the documents tell us, is up for debate. And it's worth noting that NPR has not independently verified their authenticity.
This week, first lady Michelle Obama was doing something she loves to do, talking about nutrition with kids. She hosted the first state dinner for children, welcoming 54 of them and their parents to the White House.
"This is the hottest ticket at the White House, right here, because of all of you," Obama said to the children, who ranged in age from 8 to 12.
Gunmen wearing Afghan police and army uniforms have killed 40 U.S. and NATO troops so far this year, and the top American commander in Afghanistan says there is no single reason — and no simple solution.
Taliban infiltrators, disputes between NATO and Afghan security forces, and even the timing of Ramadan, the Muslim holy month, are all factors, according to Gen. John Allen.
"We think the reasons for these attacks are complex," says Allen, who spoke by video link from Kabul on Thursday. Ten of the American deaths have come in just the past two weeks.
Mitt Romney outlined an energy plan Thursday that would guide his Republican presidency. It focuses heavily on expanding the supply of fossil fuels. The presumptive nominee said the U.S., Mexico and Canada together could reach energy independence by 2020.
But the plan makes no mention of climate change and would end subsidies for cleaner sources of energy, such as wind and solar.
Twenty years ago, Homestead, Fla., was in the eye of what was then the worst storm to hit the United States.
Fifteen people died directly from Hurricane Andrew and a few dozen more died from injuries later. Tens of thousands of homes were destroyed. Andrew's 165-mile-per-hour winds took out nearly every building in Homestead, leaving tens of thousands homeless. Families spent hours in lines to get water and ice.
National Guard troops handed out bags of ice but limited how much each family could get.
Originally published on Mon August 27, 2012 6:58 am
If you're going to take a walk on the wild side and get a tattoo, it could get even wilder than you planned.
Federal and state health investigators have identified five clusters of skin infections linked to tattoos.
Now it's true that infection risks from tattoos are not exactly new or unknown. In fact, tattoo parlors are licensed and regulated in many jurisdictions to minimize the risk of trouble for people getting "inked."
During the next two weeks, the major political parties will assemble their faithful in Tampa, Fla., and Charlotte, N.C., to officially nominate their presidential tickets. These conventions were once places of high political drama. But over the decades, as the primary system has determined the candidates well in advance, conventions have become political theater. With that in mind, there's much to be said on staging in politics — not substance, but style.
Amb. James Cunningham on the Afghan people's support
With "green on blue" attacks by Afghans in uniform increasingly in the news, Americans officials are being asked whether the people of Afghanistan are turning against the coalition troops that have been in the Central Asian nation since late 2001.
Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 7:32 pm
Cecilia Giménez, 81, thought she was doing a good thing. A 19th century fresco by painter Elias Garcia Martinez had slowly been battered by time. The masterpiece portrait of Jesus had faded. His tunic was splashed by bare wall and half his face had gone missing.
Giménez, a member of the church where the fresco is located, took it upon herself to restore it to its former glory. Except, well, her artistic skills weren't up to the task.
The pictures tell the story, so we'll just show you.
Fire scientists are calling it "the new normal": a time of fires so big and hot that no one can remember anything like it.
One of the scientists who coined that term is Craig Allen. I drive with him to New Mexico's Bandelier National Monument, where he works for the U.S. Geological Survey. We take a dirt road up into the Jemez Mountains, into a landscape of black poles as far as you can see.
Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 9:00 am
Federal regulators and fast-food companies reacted with unprecedented speed this week to the release of an undercover video that animal-rights activists shot inside a California slaughterhouse. The video — which, we'll warn you, is pretty graphic — shows employees of Central Valley Meat Co. using electric prods repeatedly on cattle that appeared unable to get to their feet.
My significant other, Angela Hartsell, is the Community Gardens Program Manager of Green Spaces Alliance Of South Texas. She builds public and private coalitions to help communities and their gardens in San Antonio. So far her efforts have helped create 33 gardens.
Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 1:04 pm
Though there were "a few notable improvements" in places such as Indiana, where beneficial rains fell, the deep drought that has dug in across much of the nation's midsection continued in the past week, according to the statisticians at the National Drought Mitigation Center.
Their maps from the past three weeks tell the story.
The Republican National Convention is being held in Tampa, Florida, and it's expected to bring the city tens of millions of dollars. But many are wondering if Tampa is ready for two oncoming storms — the whirlwind of people descending on the city, and brewing tropical storm Isaac. Guest host Viviana Hurtado talks with Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn.
Questions are swirling around the death of a 21-year-old Arkansas man who died in police custody in July. An autopsy report lists Chavis Carter's death as a suicide. But his family is asking how he could have shot himself in the head while handcuffed in a police car. Guest host Viviana Hurtado speaks with Associated Press reporter Jeannie Nuss.
Memorial services are being held for miners shot dead recently by police at a South African mine. The violent images were compared to the darkest days of apartheid. Guest host Viviana Hurtado speaks with prominent Johannesburg radio host John Robbie to gauge the mood in the country.
Graham Spanier, who lost his job as president of Penn State University for allegedly not doing enough to investigate whether former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky was molesting young boys, has "launched a full-throttle defense" against charges that he cared more about the university's reputation than Sandusky's victims, Harrisburg's
Unpaid guides provide pitchforks so tourists can pose in front of the house that inspired Grant Wood's recognizable painting. And they dispense information about one of America's most celebrated artists.