This week, All Things Considered is hitting refresh on its All Tech Considered segment — taking you into the changing landscape of technology and how it intersects with everyday life. From Silicon Valley to China, we'll feature stories from around the world, stay on top of innovations that matter — and get you the news you need to know. Every Monday, we'll preview the week's big tech stories.
Garth Knox was born to play the viola. As a youngster, he already had two sisters who played violin and a brother who played cello. "So for the family string quartet," Knox says, "it was very clear from the start which instrument I would play."
A political crisis in Greece and economic woes in Spain are again raising concern about the future of the eurozone.
In Athens today, Greek politicians tried again and failed to form a coalition government, though talks are ongoing. There is growing fear that Greece will not be able to remain in the currency union and avoid defaulting on its debts.
As close as the general election is expected to be, virtually everything the presidential candidates do from here until November is about maximizing the turnout of voters in their respective bases without repelling independents or moderates.
The emotional and financial costs of caregiving have been a central theme in Morning Edition's special series called "Family Matters: The Money Squeeze." It profiles three families struggling with the complexities of living in multigenerational households and facing difficult financial decisions: how to afford care for an elderly relative while paying for college and saving for retirement.
It's a weekday night at the Welcome Stranger pub in downtown Melbourne. Tom Cummings, who used to be a regular here, shows me around the gaming room.
"This machine here, which is called Shaman's Magic, has four different jackpots that you can win. If you'd like to give it a whirl, you can see how you go," says Cummings.
The machines here take Australian $50 bills (Australian dollars are currently worth almost exactly the same as U.S. dollars). You can lose $1,200 in an hour. And a win is not always what it appears to be.
California is facing a budget shortfall of $15.7 billion. Today, Gov. Jerry Brown released a budget that closes that budget with a combination of tax hikes and deep cuts to health and welfare spending.
Amid allegations of corruption and misconduct in college football programs, critics have questioned whether the schools are exploiting student-athletes in an attempt to make millions of dollars. And alarms have been raised about the risks of repeated head injuries.
But football supporters say the sport is unifying, it teaches life lessons to players and it offers chances to young men that they may not get elsewhere.
When Californians go to the polls in November, they will very likely have the chance to make California the first state in the nation to require labeling of genetically engineered food. That's according to California Right to Know, which filed a petition to force a statewide vote.
And the group is pretty confident it will succeed. "Polls show that nine out of ten California voters agree that they want labeling," Stacy Malkan, spokeswoman for the group, tells The Salt.
In Pennsylvania, there's an industrial revolution going on. Battalions of drilling rigs are boring into the earth to extract natural gas from an underground layer of shale called the Marcellus formation.
And as the wells multiply all along the western end of the state, people worry they may be facing another toxic legacy.
The first one came from coal mining. All over the state, you can see bright orange rivers and streams. The aquatic life was killed by acidic runoff from abandoned mines.
As the election year began, conventional wisdom was pretty well set about the outcome of the presidential race. If the economy improved, President Obama would win. If not, he'd be a one-termer.
So what does it mean that many big economic indicators are moving sideways?
"Obama seems to be in that gray area," says Paul Pierson, a political scientist at the University of California, Berkeley. "The numbers are neither so good nor so bad that they give you a definitive answer."
The spiraling drug violence is increasingly affecting journalists, in a country considered one of the most dangerous for reporters. Host Michel Martin speaks with Jose de Cordoba of The Wall Street Journal, and Carlos Lauria of the Committee to Protect Journalists. Advisory: This segment may not be comfortable for some listeners.
Jurors in Chicago recently reached a verdict in the murder case against William Balfour, the man accused of killing Oscar-winner Jennifer Hudson's mother, brother, and nephew. Host Michel Martin speaks with WBEZ reporter Natalie Moore about the elements of race, class, and violence in Chicago's South Side that came into play in the trial.
Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Horst Faas, who captured several iconic moments during the Vietnam War, died May 10. He was 79.
Haas was the chief of The Associated Press' Southeast Asia bureau from 1962 to 1974, where he covered the fighting and mentored dozens of young photographers who were sent out across Vietnam to capture images of the war's terror and inhumanity.
While U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Ryan Crocker says there is a path toward relative stability in Afghanistan and away from a return to the kind of civil war that devastated the country in the early 1990s, the difficulties still facing that nation have been underscored by more violence:
-- CNN.com reports that "a bomb exploded inside a shop in the northern Afghanistan province of Faryab on Monday, killing nine people, according to the Afghan Interior Ministry."
A technique called hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, has kicked off an energy boom in the United States. Fracking lets drillers unlock vast reservoirs of natural gas that were previously inaccessible. Over the past decade, about 200,000 gas wells have been drilled across the country.