Anthony Hopkins has been knighted by Queen Elizabeth II, and has played Richard I, Richard Nixon, monarchs, statesmen, geniuses and heroes. He won an Academy Award playing one of the most notorious movie villains in history: Hannibal Lecter, the criminal cannibal with an affinity for Bach. Now, Hopkins is making his own music.
Coal mining company Genwal Resources has pleaded guilty to corporate criminal charges stemming from the 2007 Crandall Canyon mine collapse in Utah that left nine miners and rescuers dead.
Federal prosecutors say a plea agreement includes a provision that no criminal charges will be filed against any individuals in the case.
Federal and congressional investigators blamed the an initial mine collapse on "retreat mining," in which pillars of coal holding up the roof of the mine are dug out, causing collapse of the mine behind them.
Carolina Chocolate Drops breathed new life into old-time music with the 2010 album Genuine Negro Jig, which put a contemporary spin on Southern string tools from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. That collection went on to win a Grammy for Best Traditional Folk Album.
The earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan on March 11, 2011, lasted for many terrifying minutes. But the multiple nuclear meltdowns that followed created an emergency that lasted for weeks and a legacy that will last for decades.
Here's how the event unfolded. The tsunami knocked out power to the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant. As a result, the cooling systems failed and three reactors melted down. Steam laced with radioactive material poured into the air. Water contaminated with radiation also flowed into the sea.
Persistent pressure and criticism have prompted the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to erect a new "technological barrier" in the system used for controversial posthumous or proxy baptisms.
In the last few years, more than 4,000 refugees have found their way to a far-flung spot: Idaho. Most of the state's incoming refugees come to Boise. For years, the city's strong economy, good-quality affordable housing and supportive community created an especially favorable environment for refugee resettlement. The recession has shifted that picture.
Joseph Kony in southern Sudan in 2006. His exact whereabouts today are unknown.
Credit STR / AP
Invisible Children, the group that released the Joseph Kony video that went viral this week, has been making films about Kony for years and targeting young people as the main audience. Here, the group's co-founders, Jason Russell (left), Bobby Bailey (center) and Laren Poole, record footage in Africa in 2007.
Students at Tohoku Chosen, an elementary and junior high school for North Koreans in Sendai City, now take dance classes in the school's cafeteria because their main building was destroyed when the earthquake struck northeast Japan last March.
Credit Doualy Xaykaothao / NPR
Students draw during art class at Imagine Japan, an English-language school in Sendai City, Japan. Immediately following last year's earthquake and tsunami in northeast Japan, a teacher observed some of the kids drawing faces and bodies with black markers.
Teacher Dave Rowlands is talking to his students in a kindergarten class at Imagine Japan, an English-language school in the Miyagi Prefecture of Sendai City. The school is just a short walk from pre-fabricated homes built for families who lost more than just property in the earthquake and tsunami last year.
"What came after the earthquake, was what?" Rowlands asks. "A tidal wave. In Japanese, what do we say? Or in English, actually, tsunami is now used around the world in many languages. Tsunami. We kind of leave the 't' off of there."
Rhino poaching has been on the rise in the past few years. In South Africa and other regions where rhinos run, poachers have been killing or darting rhinos with tranquilizers for their horns.
Rather than adorning walls, many horns are ground up into medicines, sold mostly in Southeast Asia. A possible — yet controversial — way to stop poaching may be rhino ranches, where the horns are harvested for sale and the animals are allowed to grow new ones.
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Earthquakes in eastern Ohio have prompted stiff new regulations for some energy companies. The companies dispose of waste water from fracking by injecting it into deep underground wells. And some low-magnitude quakes in the Youngstown area have been linked to that disposal process. So Ohio's Department of Natural Resources introduced the new rules today.
Robert Siegel talks to retired Navy Captain Don Walsh about the attempt by movie director James Cameron to take a submersible capsule to the bottom of the Mariana Trench — the deepest spot on Earth. Walsh says it will be a combination of science and adventure, because Cameron is a storyteller and dedicated amateur explorer. Walsh made a 1960 dive to the same trench.
A U.S. soldier instructs Afghan soldiers in the western city of Herat last July. Afghans in security force uniforms have killed a number of U.S. and NATO troops recently. The shootings come as NATO works to prepare the Afghan forces to take control of security.
Credit Jalil Rezayee / EPA /Landov
Army Capt. Joe Fritze (right), who trains Afghan police officers in Kabul, works closely with interpreter Gul Agha Shirazi. Fritze says he depends on Shirazi not just to translate, but to warn him if he senses anything suspicious or dangerous.
In Afghanistan, the killings are called "green on blue" — that's when an Afghan soldier or police officer turns his gun on a NATO ally.
There was a wave of such violence just last month after U.S. soldiers accidentally burned Korans. Over the next week, six Americans were killed, apparently at the hands of Afghans working with the U.S.
The top U.S. and NATO commanders in Afghanistan think they have some answers to this recurring problem, and it's up to U.S. soldiers like Capt. Joe Fritze to see if they work.
Meet Willow Tufano, age 14: Lady Gaga fan, animal lover, landlord.
In 2005, when Willow was 7, the housing market was booming. Home prices in some Florida neighborhoods nearly doubled from one month to the next. Her family moved into a big house; her mom became a real estate agent.
But as Willow moved from childhood to adolescence, the market turned, and the neighborhood emptied out. "Everyone is getting foreclosed on here," she says.
The Department of Education's top civil rights official, Russlynn Ali, speaks with host Michel Martin about a new report. It finds students of color have less access to high-level classes, their teachers are often paid less than those of white students in same district, and suspension rates for black students are disproportionately high.
NAACP president Ben Jealous hopes that international pressure might be another weapon against strict new voter ID laws. Here Jealous speaks on Jan. 16 at the South Carolina State House in Columbia, S.C. for Martin Luther King Day.
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People announced it will appear before the United Nations' Human Rights Council in Geneva next week to seek support for its fight against voter identification laws enacted in U.S. states.
The civil rights organization says the laws are among several measures adopted by some states that violate the human and civil rights of minority voters by suppressing their participation in elections.
Unmanned aircraft systems, or drones, have long played a role in military operations. But imagine thousands of drones flying over U.S. skies — something we may see in just a few years. In February, President Obama signed an aviation bill requiring the Federal Aviation Administration to make plans to integrate drones into American airspace.
There are stark words this morning from the U.N.'s top humanitarian affairs official about what she saw this week during a two-day visit to Syria. In a statement sent to reporters, Valerie Amos says, in part:
In another sign that the economic recovery is deepening, the U.S. economy added 227,000 jobs in February, according to the Labor Department, more than what many economists had expected. Meanwhile, the jobless rate of 8.3 percent remained unchanged from the prior month even as more workers entered the workforce. The news kept alive a trend helpful to President Obama re-election chances.