Like a mirror that reflects one's ideology back at the viewer, and no more so than during a general-election year, the political players saw what they wanted, and what they thought was most politically useful to their side, in the reports Monday by the Social Security and Medicare trustees on the long-term prospects for those two entitlement programs.
During a demonstration at Cairo's Tahrir Square last week, veiled Egyptian women hold posters supporting Muslim cleric Hazem Abu Ismail, an ultra-conservative preacher who was disqualified from running for the presidential elections on technical grounds.
Credit Amr Nabil / AP
Amr Moussa, the former Arab League secretary-general and Egyptian foreign minister, is currently considered the front-runner in Egypt's presidential election. Here, he speaks during a press conference in Cairo on Sunday.
Egypt's election commission is expected to announce the final list of candidates this week for next month's presidential elections. But which candidate will win is far from clear.
A recent Egyptian poll shows nearly 40 percent of voters have no idea who to support. Another 30 percent who had decided will be forced to select someone else because their preferred candidates were among the 10 barred by election officials recently.
As a result, Egyptian voters who were once excited about the prospect of their first free presidential election are growing frustrated.
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney campaigned outside of Philadelphia and Pittsburgh on Monday, a day before Pennsylvania and four other states hold their primary contests.
Romney isn't concerned about the primary, but Pennsylvania will likely be an important swing state in the general election. And Monday also offered a chance to audition a potential running mate: Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.
Yesterday, the Sioux City Journal in Iowa did something it had never done before. It devoted the entire front page of its Sunday paper to an editorial. The headline, "We Must Stop Bullying, It Starts Here and It Starts Now." That editorial came soon after a 14-year-old Iowa boy named Kenneth Weishuhn committed suicide. He had been subjected to bullying and death threats after he told friends he was gay.
Mitch Pugh is editor of the Sioux City Journal and he joins me now.
Israelis who support Jewish settlements in the West Bank rally against a demolition order for the outpost of Ulpana on Sunday. Israeli courts have ordered the outpost torn down, but Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government is looking to keep it intact.
Credit Uriel Sinai / Getty Images
A view of the Ulpana outpost in the West Bank on Sunday. Israeli courts have ruled that it was built on Palestinian land and ordered it demolished by May 1.
The political changes brought about by the Arab Spring have raised hopes among high-tech entrepreneurs that this will translate into an improved business climate. Here, budding entrepreneurs work at Oasis 500, a seed investment firm in Amman, Jordan, on Nov. 2, 2011.
Social networking sites have been at the vanguard of the Arab uprisings over the past year. Egyptians used online pages to organize protests, and Syrian activists have posted frequent YouTube videos showing government forces shelling civilian areas.
The same growing Arab online awareness that made the Internet part of the pro-democracy movements has also created a mini-revolution for Arab technological business.
Due to regulation, limited infrastructure and governments wary of the Internet, the Middle East has not been the easiest place to launch a tech startup.
For 50 years, the taco has been a staple of American life. It's in school lunches and Michelin-star restaurants. It even helped launch the food truck craze. So how did the taco come to loom so large in American bellies?
Originally published on Mon April 23, 2012 5:39 pm
ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
And I'm Melissa Block.
President Obama toured the U.S. Holocaust Museum in Washington today joined by Holocaust survivor, author and Nobel Laureate, Elie Wiesel. Mr. Obama said the U.S. must never again allow such atrocities to take place.
As NPR's Don Gonyea reports, the president also announced new tools to punish countries that use technology to track and target their citizens.
The historic wave of migration from Mexico to the United States, which over four decades brought 12 million immigrants to the country, has come to a standstill. That's what a new Pew Hispanic Center study released today found.
Here's one thing Mitt Romney and Marco Rubio did not address at that meeting today. It's an idea Rubio has floated recently: an alternative to the DREAM Act. That's the measure backed by the White House which would create a path to citizenship for young people brought to the country illegally so long as they go to college or serve in the military. The bill never made it out of Congress. NPR's Tamara Keith explains Rubio's version.
Miller Farms in Maryland is a family-run operation that sells its home-grown vegetables at farmers' markets and local grocery stores. Phil Miller, whose family owns the farm, says he's trying to earn a food safety certification now required by many food buyers.
Credit Maggie Starbard / NPR
Phil Miller with this year's crop of cabbage at his farm in Clinton, Md.
Originally published on Tue April 24, 2012 5:23 am
There were lots of comments on this blog regarding my recent stories about making salads safer. Many of those comments argued that the solution is to grow your own. Or at least buy from local farmers.
Which raises an interesting question: Are salad greens from your local farmer's market actually safer than packaged lettuce from thousands of miles away? And should the same safety rules apply to both?
Three years ago, Rufus McDonald found historic documents in an abandoned house and took them to a rare-books dealer. The papers and books belonged to Richard T. Greener, a 19th century intellectual who was the first African-American to graduate from Harvard University.
Credit Cheryl Corley / NPR
Greener's 1870 Harvard diploma was among the items found.
Three years ago, just moments before sledgehammers ripped through an abandoned home in Chicago, the head of a demolition crew decided to save the contents of an old steamer trunk stored in the attic.
"They were about to demolish it because they couldn't get it down the stairs," says Rufus McDonald, who gathered what was inside the steamer trunk — documents and old books — and took them to a rare-book dealer in Chicago.
"He said, 'Do you know who this is?' I said, 'Nah, who is it?' He said, 'It's Richard Theodore Greener," McDonald recalls. "I said, 'Who is he?' "
Facebook didn't necessarily make Tanja Hollander lonely, per se, but it did make her curious. It was a little over two years ago when she looked at that number representing "friends," 626 in her case, and started to analyze it.
In 1985, Chris Turner was convicted of the murder of Catherine Fuller. After spending decades in prison, Turner is now out on parole; he maintains his innocence. He is shown here in his childhood neighborhood in Northeast Washington, D.C., about 100 yards away from what was Fuller's home.
Originally published on Mon April 23, 2012 1:39 pm
Six men wearing bright orange prison jumpsuits appeared in a D.C. courtroom today, seeking to overturn their decades-old convictions in a brutal murder by arguing the Justice Department failed to turn over critical evidence that could have helped them assert their innocence.
Originally published on Mon April 23, 2012 2:37 pm
The trustees in charge of nation's Social Security program said a sagging economy has hit the program hard. The program's trust fund, which goes mostly to retirees, said the trustees, will run dry by 2033.
The AP reports "Medicare's finances have stabilized but the program's hospital insurance fund is still projected to run out of money in 2024."
The AP analyzed government data and came up with this stunning figure: "Half of young college graduates [are] either jobless or underemployed in positions that don't fully use their skills and knowledge."
The whole story is worth a read, so we encourage you to click over, but here is the meat of the AP's analysis:
President Obama announced a set of new sanctions that target "Syria and Iran and the 'digital guns for hire' who help them oppress their people with surveillance software and monitoring technology," the AFP reports.
The president made the announcement during a visit to the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington. His visit was the first as president.
The forces on the unmanned hypersonic glider tested last summer by the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) were so great that large parts of its skin peeled off causing its emergency system to plunge it into the ocean.
As we reported last August, the Falcon HTV-2 "was shot up on a rocket and right at the edge of space, it separated and glided through the atmosphere at 13,000 mph."
If you're into images of Earth taken from space, NASA has a new video for you. Called Walking on Air, it "features a series of time lapse sequences photographed by the Expedition 30 crew aboard the International Space Station" and is set to the song Walking in the Air by Howard Blake.
Activist Van Jones served as special adviser to President Obama on green jobs. He resigned in 2009 after media reports questioned his beliefs about the 9/11 attacks. Now, Jones is back with a new book, Rebuild the Dream, outlining his vision for the progressive movement. He speaks with host Michel Martin.
Originally published on Mon April 23, 2012 9:00 am
While the headlines proclaim that thanks to a new draft agreement the U.S. will continue to defend Afghanistan for a decade after the planned 2014 withdrawal of foreign combat forces from that country, the stories themselves make clear that many of the key details remain to be worked out:
Originally published on Mon April 23, 2012 9:17 am
A British winemaker has finally been given official approval to release a limited-edition wine made in collaboration with Malbec grape growers in Argentina, on one condition: It can't sell the wine, or label it a Malbec. Actually, it can't even call it wine at all.
The Chapel Down winery's only option for getting rid of its wine is to give it away as a sample, calling it a "fruit-derived alcoholic beverage from produce sourced outside the EU."
Originally published on Mon April 23, 2012 7:46 am
Within the next few days, several more Secret Service agents will lose their jobs because of their roles in the so-called summit scandal during which they allegedly cavorted with prostitutes in Colombia earlier this month, the chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security said this morning.