Devotees pray and wash as they attend the first Shahi Snan, or grand bath. Up to 100 million worshippers will gather at the Kumbh Mela over the next 55 days to take a ritual bath in the holy waters, believed to cleanse sins and bestow blessings.
Originally published on Mon January 14, 2013 10:46 am
Imagine one-third of the entire U.S. population — 100 million or so people — visiting Dallas in the next 55 days.
That gives you a sense of what began today in Allahabad, India, a northern city of about 1.1 million people. Over about the next eight weeks it is expected to host nearly 100 times its population in pilgrims (not all at once, obviously). They're coming for the Hindu festival of Kumbh Mela, which happens every 12 years.
On this fourth day of French military operations aimed at routing Islamist militants in Mali, the al-Qaida-linked rebels are "vowing to drag France into a long and brutal ground war," Reuters reports.
"France has opened the gates of hell for all the French. She has fallen into a trap which is much more dangerous than Iraq, Afghanistan or Somalia," a spokesman for the MUJWA Islamist group told Europe 1 radio, the wire service writes.
Stella Rimingtonwrites spy fiction and is the former director general of MI5. Her most recent book is The Geneva Trap.
I first discovered Ian Fleming's From Russia With Love in the early '60s, before I knew that I would join MI5 and become part of that mysterious world myself, and before James Bond had become a worldwide phenomenon through the films.
Good morning, I'm Steve Inskeep, with regrets to Kelly Hildebrandt. She became famous in 2009 for marrying a man with the identical name, Kelly Hildebrandt. Perfect. No anxiety about changing names, and if they chose to hyphenate the kids, it would Hildebrandt-Hildebrandt. But now the Hildebrandts have separated and filed for divorce. Miami's WTVJ quotes Mr. Hildebrandt saying, She's a Florida girl, I'm a Texas guy. They're from different worlds. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.
Winning isn't everything but at least you don't have to dance. The mayors of Denver and Baltimore made a friendly wager when their teams met in the NFL playoffs. When Baltimore won in overtime, it was disaster for Denver Mayor Michael Hancock, who must now dance like Ray Lewis. The soon-to-retire Baltimore star does an awkward but enthusiastic sideline dance before games. And we're going to find out soon how well Mayor Hancock moves.
Originally published on Thu April 11, 2013 11:12 am
Democrats are fond of saying that Republicans are interested in only one thing, and that is to thwart President Obama at every opportunity. He proposes something, the GOP opposes it. He says it's day, they say it's night. In some cases, those complaints are justified; in others, it's just whining.
But it's a complex story about the opposition to Obama's choice of Chuck Hagel, the former two-term Republican senator from Nebraska, to become the next secretary of defense. It may not be about Obama at all.
Some six months after Syria's rebels tried to storm the country's largest city, they can claim the eastern part of Aleppo and perhaps 60 percent overall. In the west, the government army has the remaining 40 percent of the city.
The line dividing these two areas is supposedly the front line in Aleppo's war. But lately the front has gone cold, as people here say in Arabic.
Goldman Sachs is reportedly planning to hold back paying bonuses to its employees in the U.K. That's according to the Financial Times, which reports the bank is looking at waiting until the top British tax rate falls by 5 percent in April before paying out the bonuses that would otherwise pay now.