In China, an "outpouring of grief" is meeting the sad news that a toddler has died after being struck by two vans on a crowded street in the city of Foshan, according to state-run media.
The story became a national — and then international — sensation after a security camera's video revealed that more than a dozen passers-by had ignored the injured Wang Yue, 2, as she lay in the street, crying.
Only Chen Xianmei, 57, who was in the area collecting garbage, pulled the girl to safety and called for help. Police reportedly have the drivers of both vans in custody.
Originally published on Tue October 25, 2011 3:00 am
Last fall at troubled strip mall in Phoenix, a few brave business owners opened in a virtually empty complex called Bethany East during a decidedly bad economy. In March of this year, the center fell into foreclosure and new buyers stepped in. It's been a turbulent year on this corner, but things are finally looking up for the tenants.
Citizens of the Scandinavian nation gets a unique ID number for life that can be used by researchers to pull together health records, including data from cancer registries, for just about anybody in the country.
In the fall of 1963, in the throes of the Cold War, Coral Way Elementary took in the children of political refugees fleeing Fidel Castro's Cuba. The goal was not just to teach them English, but to make sure they remained fluent in Spanish and held on to their culture. Cuban-Americans thrived in Miami, and so did Coral Way's bilingual immersion model.
With a book about Steve Jobs' life set to hit real and virtual shelves soon, his official biographer, Walter Isaacson, is appearing on 60 Minutes this Sunday. And as often happens in these cases, portions of the book have hit the web a little ahead of its Oct. 24 publish date.
The second game of the World Series came down to the ninth inning Thursday night, as the Texas Rangers used a string of base hits, sacrifices and a stolen base to beat the St. Louis Cardinals, 2-1. It was the second tight game of the series, which is now tied, 1-1.
NPR's Tom Goldman calls Ian Kinsler's steal of second in the ninth inning "a key moment" in the win. At that point in the game, the Rangers were down 1-0. But then Kinsler reached first base, on a bloop single to shallow left field. And he was determined to make it to second base.
Originally published on Fri October 21, 2011 11:05 am
The United States military has intervened and helped topple three autocratic leaders over the past decade, yet it remains far from clear whether any of these countries will be successful in the years to come.
Iraq and Afghanistan are still struggling to find stable footing years after U.S. invasions drove out Saddam Hussein and Mullah Omar.
The death of Moammar Gadhafi on Thursday removes him as a force that could undermine the new, interim Libyan leadership. But the country still faces many obstacles to building a stable, prosperous and democratic future.
The funeral for former Libyan ruler Moammar Gadhafi was to have taken place Friday, in keeping with Islamic tradition that bodies be buried as soon as possible. But a host of concerns have caused the body to be placed in temporary storage instead — and an inquiry may be launched into how he died.
The dictator was found and killed in his hometown of Sirte Thursday, after eight months of unrest and violence in Libya.
Here are some of the open questions concerning Libya:
The leader of the Lord's Resistance Army, Joseph Kony, is shown in 2006. He has fought against the Ugandan government for years. The U.S. is now sending 100 military advisers to central Africa to help regional armies fight against Kony's movement.
Credit Jay Directo / AFP/Getty Images
U.S. Marines and their Filipino counterparts take part in a training exercise last year in the Philippines. The U.S. has a history of sending small military contingents abroad.
President Obama's decision to send 100 U.S. troops into central Africa to help combat a rebel group may have struck many as a surprise, but there's a long precedent for such operations.
U.S. forces have worked collaboratively with numerous militaries around the globe in recent decades, whether to put down insurgencies in places like the Philippines and El Salvador, or to fight the drug trade in Colombia and Mexico.
A giant dioon, seen at the United States Botanic Garden, is part of the cycad family and can be found growing in Mexico and Central America.
Credit Maggie Starbard / NPR
A cycad stands at the United States Botanic Garden in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 19. The 300 "modern" cycad species burst onto the scene about 12 million years ago, though the lineage of cycads extends back 300 million years.
Credit Maggie Starbard / NPR
Sarah Mathews, a botanist at Harvard University, says a changing climate on the planet about 12 million years ago led to a burst of new plant species, including cacti and agave.
Credit Maggie Starbard / NPR
A natal grass cycad grows in the greenhouse at the United States Botanic Garden.
Although dinosaurs died out 65 million years ago, there are still thought to be a few species left over from those days. Plants called cycads are among these rare "living fossils" — they have remained pretty much unchanged for more than 300 million years, but a study in Science magazine suggests that glamorous title may not be deserved.
There's no time machine in Washington, D.C., but Harvard botanist Sarah Mathews leads me to what's arguably the next best thing — a room made of glass in the U.S. Botanic Garden, just downhill from the U.S. Capitol.
The Syrian government has barred most international journalists from the country, restricting coverage since an uprising began last spring. In response, Syrian activists have played a crucial role in providing information to the wider world.
One of the most prominent is Alexander Page — an alias that a young Syrian used for his safety. He was often cited by international media outlets, including NPR.
But he recently fled Syria after his identity was compromised and he was in danger of arrest.
The mannequins are fashionably dressed at Uniqlo's new Fifth Avenue flagship store in New York. Uniqlo's U.S. chief says he would eventually like to have 1,600 stores in the country, almost twice the number in Japan.
Credit Mark Lennihan / AP
Uniqlo opened a new flagship location on Fifth Avenue last week and will open a 34th Street location Friday. The company has also had a SoHo store since 2006.
At the same time that Gap is closing 20 percent of its stores, a big Japanese clothing retailer called Uniqlo plans to open hundreds of shops in the U.S. Uniqlo is sort of like the Gap of Japan: The low-priced casual clothing retailer has been around since the 1980s, but sales are flattening out in its home market so the company is looking overseas for growth.
The U.S. is at the heart of its strategy, according to the head of Uniqlo's U.S. operation, Shin Odake.
With the nation's student-loan debt climbing toward $1 trillion, it's taking many young people longer than ever to pay off their loans. Two-thirds of college students now graduate with debt, owing an average of $24,000. But some borrow far more and find this debt influencing major life decisions long after graduation.
"I was very naive, and I realize that now," says Stephanie Iachini, of Altoona, Pa. She was the first in her family to go to college and financed it herself. "Basically I was just signing papers because the education part meant a lot to me."
President Obama said Moammar Gadhafi's death marks the end of a long and painful chapter for the Libyan people. The seven-month military campaign that toppled the Libyan leader also marks a high point for the kind of international cooperation that Obama has championed.
The White House was careful Thursday not to claim vindication for the president's policies, but the Libyan exercise does offer an example of what an "Obama Doctrine" might look like.
Originally published on Fri October 21, 2011 6:24 am
The Institute of Medicine sympathizes with us consumers and the confusion we suffer weighing health claims on food packaging at the grocery store. Our convoluted food labels might have something to do with why so many Americans aren't eating as healthfully as they could, and are shouldering too much weight and diet-related health problems, the IOM says.
Originally published on Thu October 20, 2011 8:46 pm
Early voting is underway in Ohio, where a fierce fight with political and economic implications is forcing voters to pick sides between Republican budget-cutters and public workers' unions. At issue is whether to keep or repeal SB 5, a controversial bill supported by Gov. John Kasich and passed by the GOP-dominated legislature this spring. Among other things, SB 5 dramatically restricts Ohio's public sector workers collective bargaining rights. Under SB 5, public employees cannot strike or negotiate for wages or working conditions.
Originally published on Thu October 20, 2011 4:18 pm
Teenage drivers have fewer crashes after they've been driving for a while, but new research suggests that a few months behind the wheel doesn't improve their driving skills all that much.
Researchers persuaded 42 newly licensed teen drivers to have data-recording systems installed in their cars — a camera, a GPS, and an accelerometer to measures rapid stops, sharp turns and swerves. They also checked up on how their parents did when driving the same cars.
The idea was to compare the driving habits of novices with those of more experienced drivers under similar conditions.
Moammar Gadhafi proved true to his word that he would remain in Libya and "die as a martyr," though his final hours were an ignominious end for a man who long ruled from a fortress-like compound in the heart of Tripoli.
His last moments were reportedly spent holed up in a culvert under a road in his hometown of Sirte as loyalist forces waged a losing battle to keep control of the city.
Former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice held a special place for Col. Moammar Gadhafi. We know that because he once referred to her her as "my darling black African woman," and said, "I love her very much."
The assassination of Ahmed Wali Karzai (center, shown in 2009), the half-brother of Afghan President Hamid Karzai, prompted fears of a security breakdown in the southern Afghan city of Kandahar. Ahmed Wali Karzai was rumored to have a hand in everything that went on in the region: tribal affairs, politics and business.
This past summer, two assassinations paralyzed the southern Afghan city of Kandahar with fears of a power vacuum.
In the first incident, President Hamid Karzai's half-brother, Ahmed Wali Karzai, considered the unofficial kingpin of the south, was gunned down in July by a close associate. Two weeks later, a Taliban assassin killed the city's mayor, Ghulam Hamidi, with a bomb concealed in his turban.
Commuters on Northern California's I-80, which connects the Bay Area to Sacramento, saw something unexpected early this morning. Two rigs collided and about 5,000 chickens spilled onto the highway near Vacaville.
A museum employee stands beneath a mastodon skeleton on display at the U.S. National Museum, now the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, circa 1917. A new study revisits an old debate about the evidence for an early mastodon hunt in North America.
Credit Center for the Study of the First Americans / Texas A&M University
A spear point is embedded near the end of this mastodon rib bone.
Credit Center for the Study of the First Americans / Texas A&M University
This CT scan image shows a section of mastodon rib where researchers found a spear point lodged in the bone. The spear would have passed through more than 10 inches of hide, tissue and muscle.
More than 13,000 years ago, hairy elephant-like creatures with giant tusks roamed North America. These mastodons were hunted by some of the earliest people to live here, and scientists recently learned a bit more about those mysterious cultures by taking a new look at an old mastodon bone.
Mitt Romney, shown here at the Iowa State Fair in August, was back in the state on Thursday — his first visit since summer. At one point during his town hall on Thursday, he was asked why he's spent so little time in the state.
Mitt Romney's current run for the White House has not included a big presence in the first state that will actually vote: Iowa, which holds its caucuses on Jan. 3.
He failed to meet expectations at the Iowa caucuses in 2008. So for 2012, his campaign has focused instead on New Hampshire as the key to a series of primary victories that, they believe, will result in the former Massachusetts governor winning the GOP nomination.
Moammar Gadhafi was killed in the crossfire of a battle between his supporters and fighters loyal to the opposition that topped the dictator's regime, Libya's interim prime minister told NPR this afternoon.
"Nobody can tell if the [fatal] shot was from the rebel fighters or from his own security guard," Interim Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril told All Things Considered host Robert Siegel.
Part of Herman Cain's appeal to GOP presidential primary voters was that he seemed to have more street cred with social conservatives than the putative front runner, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. Doubts about Romney have helped fuel Cain's recent rise in the polls, putting him in a virtual dead-heat with Romney.
It's been a few decades since Americans were engaged in a back-of-the-bus controversy. Now a popular bus route between two New York City neighborhoods is reviving the issue.
Last Wednesday, Melissa Franchy boarded the B110 from Williamsburg to Boro Park, two Hasidic Jewish neighborhoods in Brooklyn. She was accompanying her friend, Sasha Chavkin, a reporter for The New York World, a Columbia Journalism School publication. Their mission: Find out what would happen if Franchy sat at the front of the bus.