Bitcoin, the digital currency that trades outside the control of central banks and international borders, reached new heights Tuesday, surpassing the $200 mark for the first time. That level comes just five days after bitcoin approached $150, a development that Mt.Gox, the largest exchange service for the currency, deemed to be "epic."
Bitcoin's rise has been sharp. It was only two months ago that exchange rates put a single bitcoin's value at around $20.
A group of musicians and major donors pose with Lionel Hampton's vibraphone at the 2013 Jazz Appreciation Month launch. From left: Mark Dibner of The Argus Fund, drummer Horacio "El Negro" Hernandez, Fran Morris Rosman of the Ella Fitzgerald Charitable Foundation, pianist Randy Weston, Richard Rosman of the Ella Fitzgerald foundation and Smithsonian American History Museum Director John Gray.
The 12th official Jazz Appreciation Month began when April did. But today, the Smithsonian Museum of American History, which founded the JAM campaign, kick started its own celebration with a series of performances, discussions and ceremonies.
Matthew Marcus works at his desk in the basement of Kansas City Startup Village in Kansas City, Kan., in January. The village houses several startup companies and takes advantage of the high-speed Internet. Google announced on Tuesday it would be installing its Google Fiber network in Austin, Texas, next.
Google announced Tuesday that its Google Fiber project would be hitting Austin, Texas, next. The company says Austin, famous for its South by Southwest festival, is a "mecca for creativity and entrepreneurialism, with thriving artistic and tech communities."
Google Fiber is the tech giant's blazing fast Internet service, with current rates at 1 Gpbs, about 100 times faster than your typical cable broadband Internet service. It debuted in Kansas City in 2012.
After an unsuccessful face-lift attempt by Ron Johnson, J.C. Penney will be led by former CEO Myron Ullman. Some analysts say this might be it for the retailer; others say it must "embrace" its customers to recuperate.
A year and a half ago, J.C. Penney's then-brand new CEO Ron Johnson undertook what was supposed to be a transformation of the 110-year-old department store. Yesterday, the retailer cut his tenure short.
J.C. Penney lost nearly $1 billion last year as customer traffic dropped off.
Now, it's bringing back former Chief Executive Officer Myron Ullman to try to stanch the bleeding.
University of Louisville fans have had a lot to cheer about lately — and not just basketball.
Monday's big victory by Louisville's men's basketball team over Michigan is just the latest success for the school and for an athletic department that is quickly becoming one of the country's most admired.
In January, the football team upset fourth-ranked Florida to win the Sugar Bowl, and coach Charlie Strong turned down a lucrative offer from the University of Tennessee to continue rebuilding the Louisville program.
Republicans don't often make high-profile speeches at Howard University, one of the country's most prominent historically black schools. But on Wednesday, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul will talk to Howard students about how his party can be more inclusive.
Paul believes one answer is libertarianism — and party leaders are starting to think he might be on to something.
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It's become a regular refrain on Capitol Hill. When it comes to political money and corruption, the government should just enforce the laws already on the books. Well, today, two senators held a Judiciary subcommittee hearing on why those laws aren't well enforced. NPR's Peter Overby has that story.
Melissa Block talks to Idaho Sen. James Risch about opposing the gun legislation Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid wants to move to the floor later this week. Risch was one of thirteen Republican senators who signed a letter addressed to Sen. Reid on Monday, threatening to filibuster the bill.
Secretary of State John Kerry left Israel today with plans to return soon. He spent the past couple of days going back and forth between meetings with Palestinian and Israeli officials in his bid to restart peace talks. Kerry said he got a lot of constructive suggestions from both sides and that everyone has homework to do. From Jerusalem, NPR's Emily Harris has our story.
A U.S. Senate committee held a confirmation hearing for Ernest Moniz on Tuesday, who has been nominated to be the U.S. Energy Secretary. Moniz says he will retire from MIT, where he's a professor of physics and energy systems. He would advocate for the Obama administration's "all of the above" energy strategy, which calls for continued fossil fuels development and supports nuclear energy, wind and solar.
Mass transit advocates in New York City are daring to dream big. Penn Station is North America's busiest transportation hub and some civic organizations argue it's time to replace it with a world class train station.
But as NPR's Joel Rose reports, there's at least one big obstacle: Madison Square Garden, the world famous arena, sits right on top of it.
We almost feel guilty writing this post, because here in Washington, we're finally seeing some spring (the cherry blossoms have reached full bloom!): But in the Plains, a spring storm is bringing snow to Colorado and Wyoming and whipped up enough winds to cover parts of Arizona in dust.
Originally published on Thu April 11, 2013 8:42 am
There's lots of science trying to connect a baby's birth date to health later in life. It's usually about serious diseases that have no clear cause, like schizoprenia, autism and multiple sclerosis.
And it's almost all junk science, the medical equivalent of astrology. That's because though studies have shown a correlation between season of birth and disease for MS and other disorders, they've never been able to show how seasonal differences in people's bodies or the environment could cause disease.
Adm. Samuel Locklear, speaking before the Senate Armed Services Committee, was asked by Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., if the U.S. had the ability to intercept a North Korean missile launched "within the next several days."
Razan Shalab Al-Sham, in bright blue, works for the Syrian Emergency Task Force. She helped provide uniforms for the new civil police force of Khirbet al-Joz in northern Syria.
Credit Jodi Hilton / NPR
Razan Shalab Al-Sham, 26, is from a wealthy Syrian family and has been working to bring supplies into the country for the Syrian Emergency Task Force. Here she meets with local councils in Syria who came to the southern Turkish city of Gaziantep.
In November, Razan Shalab Al-Sham, the daughter of a wealthy Syrian family, led the way to the Syrian farming village of Khirbet al-Joz to deliver an unusual kind of aid: police uniforms. A cold winter rain turned the frontier forest between southern Turkey and Syria into a muddy march up a mountain ridge along a smugglers' trail. She climbed the mountain to make the delivery herself.
Protesters march last week in Miami, in support of immigration overhaul legislation. The marchers were calling for a new immigration system with a path to citizenship for 11 million people currently in the country illegally.
Tonight, there's a chance for a rare double in NCAA Division I college basketball.
As we reported earlier, if the University of Louisville scores a victory in the women's championship game, it will be only the second school to capture both the men's and women's titles in the same year.
KPMG has withdrawn as auditor of Herbalife and Skechers USA after the accounting firm revealed that one of its partners may have sold inside information on the companies to a third-party stock trader.
Nutrient-supplement seller Herbalife briefly halted activity in its shares after the revelation, only reopening trading Tuesday afternoon. The company's stock was down 21 cents at $38.18 Tuesday. The broader market was mixed.
Originally published on Tue April 9, 2013 12:28 pm
In an essay for Sports Blog Nation, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Stephen Dunn reflects on his path from college basketball player to poet. "What basketball and poetry have in common," he writes, "is that they each provide opportunities to be better than yourself — opportunities for transcendence."