NASA launched the Mars Science Laboratory from Cape Canaveral, Fla., on Saturday. The MSL is five times heavier than the rovers currently on Mars and has twice as many scientific instruments. It will take nine months for the spacecraft to reach the Red Planet, and there's plenty of things for it to do before then.
Andrew Robinson was injured by a roadside bomb during his second deployment to Iraq. Now a quadriplegic, he says he is learning how to use his limited mobility and is proud of having protected his fellow soldiers. He is especially motivated because his wife is expecting twins next month.
Photographer Lindsay McCrum's new book includes images of women who feel that hunting is a way to bring people and family together. Among those women is Alexandra, who poses for McCrum with her son, Truett, and her Ithaca 20-gauge side-by-side shotgun.
Credit Kurt Mangum /
Lindsay McCrum is a fine art photographer. She lives in New York City and California.
If you turn to page 109 of Lindsay McCrum's photo book, you'll see a photo of a woman wearing jeans and a green baseball cap standing in a grassy field. She's looking straight at the camera, clutching a semi-automatic rifle as if it were a water bottle. Standing between her legs is her son, his blond hair peeking out from behind her thigh as he poses with his toy gun, a miniature of his mother's.
When Rachel Martin was given a slot guest-hosting weekends at All Things Considered, she took the opportunity to get a little holiday shopping out of the way. Needing musical stocking-stuffers for a few pesky relatives — her fiance's mom, for example, or her dad, who likes "Tchaikovsky and Johnny Cash" — she consulted NPR Music's Stephen Thompson, and asked him for some tips.
Egypt's military rulers named a former prime minister under Hosni Mubarak to head the new government. The move is likely to further incite the tens of thousands of protesters in Cairo's Tahrir Square, demanding the resignation of the ruling military council. And for the first time, pro-military protesters gathered in another of Cairo's squares.
Last year, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited SeaWorld following the death of a killer whale trainer. If a Florida court rules in favor of OSHA, employees of SeaWorld and other parks like it will no longer be able to come into direct contact with whales unless there is a barrier between them. Guy Raz speaks to Tim Zimmermann, a correspondent for Outside Magazine, about the ongoing legal dispute.
It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Guy Raz. And now it's time for your letters - all about our annual Thanksgiving Day story by writer Bailey White. This year, Bailey told us about a Florida painter who moved to Vermont, where he has trouble fitting in. At a neighbor's suggestion, he turns to raising turkeys.
Guy Raz talks with our weekly commentators, E.J. Dionne of The Washington Post and the Brookings Institution and David Brooks of The New York Times, about Congress' tough spot, observations on the political divide, economic mobility and disagreement over core values.
In September, the pro-Russia Harmony Center party won parliamentary elections in Latvia. But the governing coalition has left the party on the sidelines. Supporters of the Harmony Center party protest in front of the Parliament building during its opening session in Riga on Oct. 17. The banner reads: "No to ethnic discrimination."
Credit Virginia Mayo / AP
The Museum of Occupation (shown here in 2005) was a pro-Soviet museum before the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. Now, the museum's exhibits chronicle Latvia's periods of Nazi and Soviet occupation.
Of all the economic downturns of the past few years, the tiny European nation of Latvia may have suffered as much as any place. Incomes fell and families suffered as the government implemented harsh austerity measures.
Now, the citizens of this former Soviet republic seem more open to what was once unthinkable: backing a social democratic party that's pro-Russian.
It's been an All Things Considered Thanksgiving tradition since 1991— a Bailey White original short story. Over the years, White's stories have included tales about a rose queen, a telephone man, an ostrich farmer and a wife exacting revenge. This year, White presents "Call It Even." It's about a shy painter who moves from Florida to Vermont and wants to feel like he fits in — so he raises a dozen turkeys.
In the small-town of Elko, ambition looks like high-heel suede booties on the floor of the auto shop at the local high school.
Brandi and Kaylee look like the Olsen twins. And they're the best auto-shop students at Elko High. The girls have a plan. Everyday out the school window, they see trucks heading up to the gold mines. Day and night. So, the girls figure, why not open a truck repair shop after they graduate?
"In Elko we've been really blessed and really lucky to actually have a good economy," Kaylee says. "We can actually have our hopes and dreams."
Nov. 23, 1936, was a good day for recorded music. Two men, an ocean apart, each stepped up to a microphone and began to play. One was a cello prodigy who had performed for the queen of Spain; the other was a guitar player in the juke joints of the Mississippi Delta. But on that day, Pablo Casals and Robert Johnson each made recordings that would change music history.
The U.S. Office of Special Counsel is one of those small corners of the government with an important mission: It's supposed to help protect federal whistle-blowers and shield civil service workers from politics.
But during the Bush years, the office was engulfed in scandal. It was raided by FBI agents, and its chief was indicted for obstructing justice.
It's into that unsettled environment that the new leader, Carolyn Lerner, arrived five months ago. And good government groups say she's already taking the office in new directions.
The congressional supercommittee announced Monday that it failed to come to an agreement on reducing the deficit. After three months of negotiating, the Democrats and Republicans just couldn't agree on how much spending to cut or how high to raise taxes.
But this is not a story about how the left and right disagree with each other. In fact, they actually largely agree.
President Obama Monday put the blame for the supercommittee's failure squarely on congressional Republicans — and their unwillingness to consider higher taxes on the wealthy. Obama also threatened to veto any effort to escape from the automatic spending cuts agreed to in August without a balanced plan to reduce the deficit. Robert Siegel talks to NPR's Scott Horsley for more.
With Thanksgiving hard upon us, now is a good time to think about our past. History writers can tell the best stories from centuries of human achievement and folly, yet too often they produce recitations of one damned thing after another. A few, though, combine a respect for accuracy with a deep understanding of the longings, fears and triumphs of the people of our past. Such books make magic.
Comedian Bill Maher wraps up every installment of his TV show, Real Time, with a segment called "New Rules." That's where he takes potshots at whatever's bothering him — from wrappers on ice cream cones, to red light cameras, to more serious subjects like war and economic ruin.
His new book, The New New Rules: A Funny Look at How Everybody But Me Has Their Head Up Their Ass, sports a title we can't say on the radio and a mix of rules both lighthearted and serious, some of which never appeared on television.
It's Weekends on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Laura Sullivan.
MAHMOUD SHAMMAM: What we can confirm now that Saif al-Gadhafi has been arrested and he should be tried in front of the Libyan court, by Libyan people and by Libyan justice.
SULLIVAN: That's Mahmoud Shammam, Libya's National Transitional Council's information minister, announcing that Moammar Gadhafi's son Saif al-Islam had been captured. The U.S. State Department hasn't confirmed it yet.
Billy McCarthy lost his mother to suicide when he was a teenager. He cared for his schizophrenic brother as best he could after that, but his brother landed in solitary confinement in prison, where he eventually took his own life, too. Somehow, McCarthy found a way to rise above his anguish — as a songwriter. He began playing music while living in foster care in California.
Kurt Vonnegut was a counterculture hero, an American Mark Twain, an avuncular, jocular friend to the youth — until you got to know him.
"Kurt was actually rather flinty, rather irascible. He had something of a temper," author Charles Shields tells weekends on All Things Considered host Laura Sullivan. Shields is the author of a new biography of Vonnegut, called And So It Goes: Kurt Vonnegut: A Life.
"But as I also point out in the book," Shields adds, "he was a damaged person."
A report out this week by NPR and the Center for Public Integrity highlights severe environmental violations by a copper smelting plant in Hayden Arizona. The smelter in question belongs to the American Smelting and Refining Company, or ASARCO, which operates four plants in the southwest. ASARCO once operated a similar smelter in El Paso, Texas. When the company was shut down, they left behind a legacy of pollution.
Reviewer Jim Terr sees a lot of cultural and entertainment events in the course of a year in northern New Mexico. But he says his favorites have come down to a small number, including one event that occurs annually in Los Alamos.