It looks like even Antarctica isn't far away enough to avoid getting caught up in the government shutdown.
That's because it's currently springtime there, and scientists who study this remote, rugged continent are poised to take advantage of the few months when there's enough daylight and it's warm enough to work. Advance teams have already started working to get things set up and ready for the researchers, who usually begin heading south right about now.
Detail of the central compartment of <em>The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb</em>, completed in 1432 by Jan van Eyck, where pilgrims gather to pay homage to the lamb of God. Many art historians interpret the painting's fountain as a symbol of eternal life.
Credit DEA Picture Library / De Agostini/Getty Images
A majority of Americans from all walks of life believe in life after death. Yet conversations about the afterlife — from what it might look and feel like to who else one may find there — often remain highly personal ones, shared with family members, clergy or others who share one's faith.
To better understand how many Americans conceive of the afterlife, All Things Considered has spoken with leaders from different faith traditions on their views on life after death.
The government is just 10 days away from defaulting on its debt. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew has said that by Oct. 17, the department will likely have less money on hand than it needs to pay all its bills.
"The reality is that if we run out of cash to pay our bills, there is no option that permits us to pay all of our bills on time, which means that a failure of Congress to act would for the first time put us in a place where we're defaulting on our obligations as a government," Lew said on NBC's Meet The Press on Sunday.
Republican South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley announces her candidacy for a second term in August, with South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott (from left), Govs. Rick Perry of Texas, Scott Walker of Wisconsin, and Bobby Jindal of Louisiana.
Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 2:23 pm
The federal government shutdown has given governors across the country an opportunity to take part in one of their favorite pastimes: scolding Washington.
Among Republicans, though, there appears to be some disagreement over exactly who's to blame for the latest budget impasse.
One camp of GOP governors — often those in blue states or with national ambitions (if not both) — has largely chastised all parties involved. They're eager to distance themselves from Washington and portray themselves as results-oriented "outsiders."
Malala Yousafzai, the 16-year-old Pakistani advocate for girls education who was shot in the head by the Taliban, attends a conversation with the United Nations Secretary General Ban-ki Moon and other youth delegates.
George R.R. Martin prepares to introduce author Neil Gaiman and performer Amanda Palmer at charity benefit at his newly renovated Jean Cocteau cinema in Santa Fe, N.M., on Sept. 29. Reopening the old movie house has been a passion project for the <em>Game of Thrones</em> author — but for some of his fans, it's one more distraction that's come between them and Martin's unfinished epic.
Credit Grayson Schaffer for NPR
The Cocteau theater was dark for seven years until Martin purchased and renovated it. It reopened in early August.
Credit Grayson Schaffer for NPR /
Ygritte (Rose Leslie) and Jon Snow (Kit Harington) in HBO's <em>Game of Thrones</em>. The show's most recent season covered roughly the first half of the third book; Martin has published five of a projected seven novels so far.
George R.R. Martin's hit fiction series A Song of Ice and Fire has sold more than 25 million copies and sparked an HBO adaptation, Game of Thrones, that won two Emmys in 2013, bringing its total to 10.
But many fans are grumbling that Martin hasn't been spending enough time of late in his mythical kingdom of Westeros and its surroundings. On the list of things Martin is doing instead of writing the next Game of Thrones book? Reviewing the latest episodes of Breaking Bad, editing a sci-fi series and writing a novella.
In other immigration news, California Governor Jerry Brown has signed into law a measure that makes it harder for federal immigration officials to detain people believed to be in this country illegally. The new state law, called the Trust Act, restricts local police from holding undocumented immigrants without serious criminal records and turning them over to immigration authorities. NPR's Richard Gonzales reports.
The government shutdown was a plan months in the making — the brainchild of a constellation of dozens of conservative groups — according to Sheryl Gay Stolberg, who co-wrote an article about it in The New York Times. The report describes a conservative blueprint that linked funding the government with undoing Obamacare.
One week into the federal shutdown and the reviews are coming in in the form of public polls. The Pew Research Center has a new poll out today that shows widespread public frustration, but also deep partisan differences about how to relieve that frustration. Michael Dimock is the director of the Pew Center. Welcome to the program once again.
MICHAEL DIMOCK: Hi, Robert.
SIEGEL: I gather the answer to the question, whom do you blame for the shutdown is that depends on which people you ask.
Japan Airlines stunned the aviation world today by announcing that for the first time in the company's history, it will buy new wide-bodied jets from Airbus, the European aircraft manufacturer. The deal is worth billions and it's a big setback for Boeing, which has long dominated the Japanese aviation market. NPR's David Schaper reports.
DAVID SCHAPER, BYLINE: Airbus president and CEO Fabrice Bregier was positively beaming in Tokyo this morning in an interview with financial network CNBC.
Now to Egypt, where militants carried out a series of attacks against government targets today. Nine people were killed and dozens more were wounded. The incidents follow deadly clashes yesterday and add to concern that the political crisis, sparked by the ouster of former President Mohamed Morsi, could lead to an insurgency.
Daring weekend raids by U.S. armed forces to capture suspected terrorists in Somalia and Libya are generating a hearty debate among national security lawyers who are raising questions about what authority U.S. forces have to enter foreign soil and how long the al-Qaida operative who was captured can be held without trial.
For the first time in four years, the Los Angeles Dodgers are in the playoffs. They have plenty of stars on the field, but the most famous and beloved member of the organization is in the radio booth. Eighty-five-year-old Vin Scully has been broadcasting games for 64 years. Ben Bergman of member station KPCC got a rare interview with Scully, who says he'll keep going for at least another year.
Originally published on Mon October 7, 2013 3:07 pm
Days after doctors said Argentina's President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner must take a month off from work to recover from a brain hematoma, reports now indicate that she'll undergo surgery to relieve the condition Tuesday.
Libyan protesters burn a replica of the U.S. flag on Monday during a demonstration against the capture of Abu Anas al-Libi. U.S. forces seized him Saturday in the Libyan capital Tripoli. He is accused of involvement in two U.S. embassy bombings in Africa in 1998 and is being held on a U.S. Navy ship in the Mediterranean Sea.
Credit Esam OmranAl-Fetori / Reuters/Landov
Abu Anas al-Libi was captured by U.S. forces in Tripoli, Libya, on Saturday. He's described as a long-time member of al-Qaida and is wanted in the 1998 U.S. Embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania.
Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 7:45 am
After seizing terror suspect Abu Anas al-Libi in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, U.S. forces took him to a ship in the Mediterranean where he could be interrogated for weeks or even months to come.
Why a ship?
In short, this allows the U.S. to hold and question al-Libi about his alleged role in a pair of 1998 U.S. Embassy bombings in Africa without putting him in the U.S. civilian court system, which could limit or halt efforts to interrogate him.
Geography is destiny in Jhumpa Lahiri's new novel, The Lowland. Her title refers to a marshy stretch of land between two ponds in a Calcutta neighborhood where two very close brothers grow up. In monsoon season, the marsh floods and the ponds combine; in summer, the floodwater evaporates. You don't need your decoder ring to figure out that the two ponds symbolize the two brothers — at times separate; at other times inseparable. But there's still more meaning lurking in this rich landscape.
Prior to filming, director Paul Greengrass kept the pirate crew and the boat crew separate to make the hijacking scenes feel more authentic. "The hair did stand up on the back of our heads," says Tom Hanks, above.
Credit Hopper Stone, SMPSP
Director Paul Greengrass says he thought the film would feel more authentic if it was all shot at sea. He had personal motivations, too: "My father was in the Merchant Marine and was at sea all his life so I wanted to explore his world," he says.
Credit Jasin Boland / Columbia Pictures Industries
Greengrass says it was important to him to find young Somali actors to play the part of the pirates. He held auditions in Minneapolis -- where there is a large Somali community -- and hundreds of actors showed up.
In April 2009, Somali pirates boarded an American-flagged container ship and took its captain, Richard Phillips, hostage on a small lifeboat. That led to a five-day drama at sea, much of it covered on television, as a U.S. Navy destroyer tailed the lifeboat and Navy SEAL sharpshooters eventually freed the captain. In 2010 Phillips wrote a memoir called A Captain's Duty and the harrowing experience has now been adapted into a film called Captain Phillips.
Originally published on Mon October 7, 2013 3:56 pm
China — which holds nearly $1.3 trillion in U.S. securities (pdf) — is asking the U.S. to get its finances in order and not allow a political stalemate to cause the country to default on its obligations for the first time in history.
The United States is expected to run out of money by Oct. 17, so the Treasury needs Congress to extend its credit limit before then. As has happened before, the House and Senate are at odds and the prospects of a compromise look shaky.
Rapper Blitz the Ambassador explains to Tell Me More for the occasional series "In Your Ear," that his favorite songs are the ones that helped shape his sound. "I keep these songs really close because they always remind me of where it all begins, and what makes me the artist that I am," he says.
As his name suggests, Blitz sees himself as an ambassador for Africa and hip-hop.