Fifty-six years ago this weekend, newspapers across the nation told a sad tale of a family seemingly imploding.
At the center of the story was Coya Knutson, the opera-singing daughter of a Norwegian farmer, and the first woman from Minnesota elected to Congress.
Voted in on her own merits, not appointed to keep a late husband's seat warm for a successor, the trailblazing mother could only watch as vengeful party rivals, a manufactured scandal, and a feckless, alcoholic husband combined to sabotage her career.
It all came to a head on the eve of Mother's Day 1958.
If there are other Herman Cains and Michele Bachmanns out there with 2016 presidential hopes, it may be much harder than it was in 2012 for them to go from "who?" to Republican presidential contenders. That's because of new rules adopted Friday by the Republican National Committee at its meeting in Memphis, Tenn.
Rob Lowe and Peter Sagal are about the same age, and have led very similar lives: They've both made it huge in show business, been staples of the gossip magazines, are known far and wide for their strangely youthful good looks.
Back in the '80s Lowe was part of Hollywood's Brat Pack so we've invited him to answer three questions about some of the lesser known facts of bratwurst.
Kansas lawmakers have passed a bill to make it easier to fire teachers. The legislation will take away some of the employment protections offered to teachers. Supporters say school administrators need the flexibility to remove teachers who aren't performing, but as Kansas Public Radio's Stephen Koranda reports, teachers argue this will allow them to be fired for unfair reasons.
The White House released a report this week on the impacts of global warming. Many places are already feeling the effects. There's drought in the Southwest, rising sea levels in Miami, and now even fictional worlds are feeling the burn.
There have been novels about climate change since the 1960's, but to me the definitive example is a book that's not well known outside the field of science fiction: The Windup Girl, by the American novelist Paolo Bacigalupi, which won both the Hugo and the Nebula Awards in 2010.
The 1980s novel God's Pocket, by Pete Dexter, is a story of hapless drunks, construction workers and one washed-up newspaper columnist. The book takes its name from a fictional blue-collar neighborhood in Philadelphia.
Ireland is predicted to become the fattest country in Europe by 2030, according to a study released by the World Health Organization and the UK Health Forum.
As many as 90 percent of Irish men and 84 percent of Irish women are projected to be classified as overweight or obese by then. Blame goes to the usual culprits: unhealthy diets high in sugar and fats, and a lack of exercise.
As hopeful Republicans anticipate how their new select committee will get the Benghazi issue a full airing, and as Democrats gnash their teeth at what they're calling a political stunt, here's another possible scenario: It won't make much difference either way.
The new committee has subpoena power â€” just like the House Oversight Committee, which has already been investing Benghazi. The new committee will be able to look at classified material â€” just like the House Intelligence Committee, which has also been investigating Benghazi.
Nearly 300 schoolgirls remain missing in Nigeria. For more information on the pervasiveness of child slavery in Africa, Robert Siegel speaks with Benjamin Lawrance, the Barber B. Conable Jr. Endowed Chair in International Studies at the Rochester Institute of Technology.
The Pentagon's congressionally-imposed budget cuts ran into a powerful opponent this week: Congress itself. The House Armed Services Committee rejected $5 billion worth of proposed cuts in order to preserve items cherished by individual lawmakers.
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Nearly every state has a prescription drug monitoring program that's meant to end abuse of opioids and other powerful pain medicines. But critics say most of these programs have a big loophole: they're voluntary, and many doctors don't use them. States that have made participation in PDMPs mandatory say they've started to cut down on practices that allow pain meds to be diverted into the black market. But those states are the exception.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.
ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
And I'm Robert Siegel. President Vladimir Putin travelled to Crimea today to mark the anniversary of Russia's victory in the Second World War. It was his first time there since the peninsula was annexed by Russia. His visit was criticized by the Ukrainian government and Washington, but Putin told Crimeans that by being together with Russia, they're stronger.
PRESIDENT VLADIMIR PUTIN: (Speaking foreign language)
At 89 years old, Stella Peshlakai Smith shuffles around her Arizona yard in white tennis shoes and a long traditional Navajo skirt. She points to her ceremonial home, called a hogan. "My father made this one [almost 100 years ago]," Smith says. Her modern house sits next door.
Now, the story of three stolen fruit trees and how they sprouted a community movement. It all starts in a vacant lot next to the Cathedral of the Rockies. It's a Methodist Church in Boise, Idaho. Church leaders decided to transform the land into an urban fruit orchard. Last week the church's building superintendent Joe Prin went to a nursery and picked up 22 trees to plant. They included four trees bought by a family whose daughter was killed by a drunk driver. They were to be planted as a memorial to her.
As fire managers in the drought-stricken Southwest gear up for another long and expensive wildfire season, federal fire scientists are trying to better understand the physics behind what makes blazes spread.
NPR announced the selection of a new CEO. His name is Jarl Mohn, a longtime radio disc jockey and former media executive, who's been a venture capitalist and corporate board member in recent years. The appointment of Mohn follows last year's departure of Gary Knell, who left NPR to run the National Geographic Society.
Disco may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Scandinavia â€” although to fans of dance music, Norway is as well known for its disco producers as it is for its Viking lore. This month, one of the most famous Norwegian disco producers, Todd Terje, released his first full length album. And now he's covered in vomit.
Pianist Rachel Z trained at the New England Conservatory before beginning her professional career as a performer with the likes of Al Di Meola, Larry Coryell and the fusion band Steps Ahead. She also worked with saxophonist Wayne Shorter on his Grammy-winning comeback album, High Life.