Civilian furloughs have begun at U.S. military installations worldwide. The mandatory days off without pay, prompted by the current round of budget cuts known as sequestration, are looming over Defense Department-run schools that serve the children of military families. For teachers at the nation's most populous Army base, Fort Bragg, cuts mean no new textbooks and a loss of school days.
A bipartisan group of senators announced a deal Thursday to protect college students from an interest rate hike on federal student loans. Those rates doubled on July 1, and lawmakers raced to forge an agreement before most students begin taking out loans for the new school year.
Congress held yet another hearing on the IRS targeting scandal Thursday. But unlike previous hearings, where the IRS took the brunt of the tough questions for flagging conservative groups, Thursday's hearing saw the auditor whose report sparked the whole proceedings get equally tough questions from Democrats. They accuse him of neglecting to point out that liberal groups received similar scrutiny. Audie Cornish gets the latest from NPR's Tamara Keith.
Federal furloughs caused by sequestration could ground "Hurricane Hunter" aircraft, depriving forecasters of real-time measurements of storms during what's expected to be an especially active Atlantic hurricane season.
We get a lot of mail at NPR Music, and amid the aluminum-siding pamphlets disguised as jury summons is a slew of smart questions about how music fits into our lives — and, this week, a blistering rebuttal of last week's column.
Researchers have discovered the largest virus ever, and they've given it a terrifying name: Pandoravirus.
In mythology, opening Pandora's Box released evil into the world. But there's no need to panic. This new family of virus lives underwater and doesn't pose a major threat to human health.
"This is not going to cause any kind of widespread and acute illness or epidemic or anything," says Eugene Koonin, an evolutionary biologist at the National Institutes of Health who specializes in viruses.
This latest one is taking shape in Wyoming, where Liz Cheney, daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, announced Tuesday that she's challenging incumbent Sen. Mike Enzi in the 2014 Republican primary.
Her announcement is a fitting prelude to the next four years, when voters will witness America's political royalty in its full glory.
A lawyer for New York Times reporter James Risen is citing new Justice Department guidelines about when to subpoena journalists to support his argument that Risen is covered by a common-law reporter's privilege and need not testify about a former CIA agent who allegedly served as his source.
Call it "The Mystery of the Missing Book Sales" — and I don't think we'll be needing to bring Sherlock Holmes in to solve this one. In April, a debut mystery called The Cuckoo's Calling was published. It appeared to be written by an unknown British writer named Robert Galbraith, who was identified on the book jacket as a former military cop now working in private security.
It's almost uncomfortable to laugh at Maria Bamford's comedy, because so much of it is about really serious problems she has: OCD, bipolar disorder, suicidal thoughts. She's been hospitalized several times. But you have to laugh, because she's that funny.
In addition to the difficulties from which she suffers, Bamford — who has a new comedy CD out called Ask Me About My New God! — incorporates her family into much of her material. She's close to both her parents, in part, she says, because they've been through so much together.
Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 10:44 am
Apple, Google, Microsoft and a broad coalition of major tech companies are making a loud call for greater government disclosure of digital communications monitoring.
In a letter out today, an alliance of 63 companies and groups are calling for dramatically increased transparency around U.S. government surveillance efforts. This comes as the companies — and individual Americans — continue to grapple with recent revelations of a sweeping surveillance program led by the National Security Agency.
More people around the globe view the United States positively than do China, but most of them also believe that Beijing is set to eclipse Washington as the world's dominant Superpower, according to a new Pew Research survey.
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Finally today, we go Behind Closed Doors. That's the segment where we talk about issues that people usually keep private. Today, we're speaking with a woman who turned what often becomes a private shame into a very public campaign and ultimately, a triumph. Author Beverly Donofrio turned her experience as a struggling young mother into the best-selling memoir "Riding in Cars with Boys." That was made into a film starring Drew Barrymore in 2001.
Now we go to Mexico where this week brought a major development in the drug war. Authorities there captured the man they believe is the leader of the Zetas, a group that's been described as a paramilitary drug cartel responsible for some of the most grotesque violence connected to Mexico's drug war.
Today is Nelson Mandela's 95th birthday, and his legacy is being celebrated around the world. John Silvanus Wilson Junior, the president of Morehouse College, met Mandela in 1992. He tells Michel Martin about how that meeting changed his life, and fueled his commitment to educating African-American men. He also talks about the lessons he might share with his students in light of the George Zimmerman verdict.
In a global survey, many respondents believe that China has overtaken or eventually will overtake the U.S. as the world's leading superpower. Chinese are shown here walking in Shanghai's financial district in March.
Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 11:56 am
China has supplanted or soon will supplant the U.S. as the world's leading superpower. That's the headline from a survey by the Pew Research Center, which put this proposition to people around the world.
In 23 of the 39 countries surveyed, majorities or pluralities said China has overtaken or will overtake America.
In China, the verdict was clear: Two-thirds believe their country already has supplanted or eventually will supplant America.
The crew of a North Korean ship carrying a clandestine cargo of Cold War-era weapons from Cuba has been charged with endangering public security by Panamanian authorities, who seized the vessel earlier this week.
The North Korean vessel en route from Cuba was seized as it attempted to transit the Panama Canal.
Army Pfc. Bradley Manning (right) is escorted out of a courthouse in Fort Meade, Md., on June 25, 2012. His attorney announced that Manning, who is accused of leaking classified information to WikiLeaks, had agreed to plead guilty to lesser charges.
Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 12:15 pm
The military judge presiding over the court-martial of leaker Bradley Manning has declined to drop the most serious charge against him.
The Associated Press reports that the judge, Col. Denise Lind, said she would allow the government to proceed with a case accusing Manning of aiding the enemy, a charge punishable by life in prison. Lind found the government had enough evidence to support the charges, the AP says.
Misha Friedman began training his lens on tuberculosis patients in the former Soviet Union in 2007, when he worked in logistics for the nonprofit Doctors Without Borders.
At first he took photos in his spare time, whiling away his off days by documenting the patients and hospital workers he met on the job. But this hobby quickly turned into more than that when he won a photo competition judged by renowned photojournalist Gary Knight, founder of the VII photo agency.
Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 10:02 am
We have news this morning from Russia that opposition leader and Moscow mayoral candidate Alexei Navalny was convicted of embezzlement and sentenced to five years in prison.
"The judge found Navalny and his business partner guilty of embezzling nearly a half-million dollars' worth of timber from a state-owned company in 2009," NPR's Corey Flintoff tells our Newscast unit. "The case was previously dismissed for lack of evidence but later reinstated after Navalny published embarrassing revelations about the foreign assets owned by the head of Russia's investigative committee."