A row of restaurants in the Cleveland Park neighborhood of Washington, D.C., looks tantalizing — there's Vietnamese, Italian, New American.
But if you walk around to the alley at the back of this row you might gag. Dumpsters packed with trash are lined up, and they get emptied only twice a week. Which means a lot of food sits here, filling the block with a deep, rank odor.
A grand bargain, a compromise to avert the so-called fiscal cliff, could all come down to one word: revenue. It's now widely agreed that steering away from the cliff — the combination of spending cuts and tax increases set to hit at the start of the year — will require some combination of revenue increases and spending cuts. The central sticking point could well be whether President Obama and Congress can agree on the definition of revenue.
At the moment, the casual observer could easily get the sense that the president and Republicans in Congress are talking past each other.
Authorities in Hunan province sentenced Tang Hui to 18 months in a re-education-through-labor camp after she repeatedly complained about the way police investigated the case of her daughter's kidnapping and forced prostitution. An uproar on Weibo, China's answer to Twitter, pushed authorities to free Tang days later.
Credit Carlos Barria / Reuters/Landov
A man holds an iPhone as he visits Sina's Weibo microblogging site in Shanghai earlier this year.
On Tuesday's Morning Edition, NPR's Neda Ulaby has a story about Chuck Lorre, the producer whose name is attached to three of the five highest-rated comedies on American television last season: The Big Bang Theory, Two And A Half Men, and Mike & Molly.
Most people try to avoid ticks. But not Tom Mather.
The University of Rhode Island researcher goes out of his way to find them.
He looks for deer ticks — poppy seed-sized skin burrowers — in the woods of southern Rhode Island. These are the teeny-tiny carriers of Lyme disease, an illness that can lead to symptoms ranging from nasty rashes to memory loss.
On Oct. 9, in Mingora, Pakistan, in the country's picturesque Swat Valley, Kainat Riaz left her high school and climbed into the back of a small van. The bright-eyed 16-year-old sat near another schoolgirl, Malala Yousafzai.
At just 15, Malala, an outspoken critic of the Taliban, had already earned a name in her country — and internationally — for her courage. Kainat says there was a lot of chatter in the six-seat van as it shuttled the girls home.
Then, in the middle of a busy road, the van suddenly stopped, and a masked gunman got into the vehicle.
For holiday shoppers, retailers' approach to fees, returns and other practices can bring praise or anger. And when customers rant or rave, Consumer Reports takes note — and compiles them into its annual "Naughty and Nice" list of companies.
"They're policies and practices that people either felt were consumer-friendly or not," Consumer Reports senior editor Tod Marks tells NPR's Steve Inskeep. He adds that the list isn't related to the ratings his magazine is known for.
I'm often asked how I choose the books that I'm going to talk about on Morning Edition's "Under the Radar" segments. Simple: I just pick some of the titles that I've most enjoyed since the last time I was on, without concern for whether they're fiction or nonfiction, genre or not, or aimed or classified as being for children or teens.
After a series of controversial decrees by Egypt's President Mohammed Morsi, the country's judges are conflicted over what to do.
The president and Egypt's highest judicial authority met Monday to try to resolve the crisis, but the decrees, which essentially nullify judicial oversight, remained in place. And the judges are going ahead with plans for a strike.
Yussef Auf has been a judge for 10 years and says he has never witnessed such an affront to his profession.
Intrade, the prediction website that accepted bids on, among other things, the result of the presidential election, is shutting its operations to U.S. customers. The move came Monday just hours after the Commodity Futures Trading Commission accused the Ireland-based company of violating the agency's ban on off-exchange options trading.
Here's more from Intrade's news release announcing the move:
A Burmese python coils around the arm of a hunter during a news conference in 2010 in the Florida Everglades. New research suggests that the pythons won't spread through the American Southeast, as previously believed.
There are several exotic snake species that have become a problem in the Everglades. But for wildlife managers, the biggest headache is the Burmese python.
Earlier this year, researchers with the U.S. Geological Survey captured the largest Burmese python yet in Everglades National Park. Three USGS staffers had to wrestle the snake out of a plastic crate to measure it. The snake was a 17-foot-7-inch female carrying 87 eggs.
Wildlife managers are working to get a handle on the problem of exotic snakes in South Florida; but the snakes have already made a big impact.
Rosa Maria Ramirez lost most of her belongings in the storm and is moving out of her damaged house on Staten Island. Because she's undocumented, she doesn't qualify for federal financial disaster assistance.
The living room was muddy and foul when 16-year-old Prisma revisited her family's apartment days after Superstorm Sandy washed through it last month. The furniture was tarnished, and most of the family's belongings were scattered and in ruins. The home was uninhabitable.
"Everything was completely in a different place," Prisma says. "It was really nasty."
Originally published on Mon November 26, 2012 4:42 pm
NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson tells our Newscast unit that despite a meeting with leaders of the judiciary, Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi has not given any signal that he is backing down from most of his power grab.
A decree that essentially prohibited the judiciary from reviewing any of his decisions has brought violent demonstrations across the country from protesters who say they traded in one dictator for another.
Originally published on Tue November 27, 2012 8:00 am
A handful of congressional Republicans after finishing their Thanksgiving dinners decided to give anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist the brushoff, saying they wouldn't abide by his "no new taxes" pledge as they work on a budget deal.
Army Pfc. Bradley Manning is escorted out of a courthouse in Fort Meade, Md., after a pretrial hearing in June. Manning is charged with aiding the enemy by giving hundreds of thousands of classified diplomatic cables and war logs to the secret-sharing website WikiLeaks.
The young Army private accused of passing diplomatic cables and war reports to the website WikiLeaks has made an unusual offer: Bradley Manning says he'll plead guilty to minor charges in the case. But he rejects the idea that he ever acted as a spy or helped America's enemies.
The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments Monday in a case that asks the justices to define who is a "supervisor" when the issue is harassment in the workplace. The definition is important because employers are automatically liable for damages in most cases in which a supervisor harasses a subordinate.
President Obama and daughters Sasha and Malia go shopping at a small bookstore, One More Page, in Arlington, Va. This is shaping up to be a better holiday season for independent booksellers than in past years.
In recent years, the start of the holiday shopping season has meant nothing but gloom for independent bookstores. But this year, the mood seems to be lifting, and a lot of booksellers are feeling optimistic. Even President Obama kicked off his Christmas shopping at a neighborhood bookstore in Northern Virginia.
Cyber Monday saw a big retail push following a Black Friday that expanded into Thanksgiving Day. The big question now is whether all the early shopping will boost total holiday sales or just push them up earlier on the calendar.
Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) chairwoman Mary Schapiro is stepping down. She took over the agency in 2009 as it was reeling from criticism over the financial crisis and the Bernard Madoff's Ponzi scheme. Schapiro is credited as a consensus builder who restored some stability to the SEC. She is being replaced by SEC commissioner Elisse Walter.
Residents of Mutriku, a fishing village on Spain's northern coast, lounge at their local beach, protected from fierce Atlantic waves by a cement breakwater that also houses Europe's first wave energy plant.
Credit Lauren Frayer for NPR
One of the 16 turbines inside the Mutriku breakwater, part of Europe's first wave energy plant.
Waves constantly thrash the fishing village of Mutriku on Spain's northern coast. Records from the 13th century describe the dangerous surf and shipwrecks here. Until recently, water occasionally hurled debris through windows of homes, before the local government built a cement breakwater to shelter the harbor.
Arab-Kurd skirmishes in southern Iraq late last week injured dozens of people and killed at least one. Now troops from both sides are escalating and tensions are high again. This all comes as Kurdistan president Massoud Barzani battles Iraqi Central government Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. Analysts say Barzani has been emboldened by independent oil contracts, the increasing support of Turkey, and ongoing events in Syria.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.
ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
And I'm Robert Siegel.
Syrian Air Force jets launched a failed strike today. Their target, a rebel military headquarters in the northern part of the country. But it's the rebels who've been on the offensive lately, seizing four strategic military bases in just the past week. And today, they claim to have captured a hydroelectric dam on the Euphrates River that supplies electricity to much of the area.
While attention has been focused on Egyptian protests and hostilities between Gaza and Israel, the land between those two stories has been largely ignored. The Sinai Peninsula, while a part of Egypt, exists in a world of its own. Robert Siegel speaks with reporter Nicolas Pelham about his new article in the New York Review of Books about the Sinai and the Bedouin tribes that control it.
Comedians Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele have an avid following for their weekly show, "Key and Peele" on Comedy Central. They've parodied everything from the names of black athletes to white people with dreadlocks. This year, the duo set their sights on the presidential campaign and examined the role that race played in it.
This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.
ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
And I'm Robert Siegel.
Sandy was one of the biggest hurricanes ever to hit the Atlantic Coast. It may also turn out to be the most expensive. Today, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said his state would seek a staggering $42 billion in federal aid to rebuild. This comes after New Jersey's governor said the storm would cause his state nearly $30 billion. NPR's Joel Rose has the latest on Sandy's steep price tag.
A baby hatch that is fixed in a window at Waldfriede Hospital in Berlin. Mothers can bring unwanted babies and leave them anonymously. Baby boxes are a revival of the medieval "foundling wheels," where unwanted infants were left in revolving church doors.
Originally published on Mon November 26, 2012 3:30 pm
For centuries, European mothers who felt they were incapable of caring for a newborn could leave the baby in a "foundling wheel," a rotating crib set up at the entrance to a convent or a place of worship.
Today, there's a debate over the modern version of the practice: the baby box.
At least 11 European countries, as well as Russia and India, now have baby boxes, sometimes known as baby windows or hatches.