Vladimir Putin will be president, says 30-year-old Yelena.
The lifelong Muscovite is chatting to a friend in Alexander Gardens next to the Kremlin in Moscow. Yelena, who like many Russians won't give her last name when discussing politics, says she's not even sure she will vote.
"Everything's been decided," she says in Russian. "It will be the same no matter who we vote for."
It's election season in Russia, with votes due for parliament in December and president next March. Everyone knows who will win, however, and voters are not energized by the campaign.
If you've ever thought that most of politics is game-playing, you're right. Political scientists often use mathematical game theory to describe how Congress works. And when they look at the current battle over how to handle the deficit, the game that comes to mind is chicken.
Steven Smith is a professor of political science at Washington University, and he says yes, Republicans and Democrats sometimes remind him of two cars driving as fast as they can toward a cliff.
Syrians walk in the Hamidiyah market, decorated with portraits of Syrian President Bashar Assad and Syrian flags, in Damascus, Syria, Oct. 5, 2011. The European Union has intensified economic sanctions against Syria, but the crackdown against anti-regime protesters is unlikely to stop, Syrians say.
Credit Bassem Tellawi / AP
In this photo taken during a government-organized visit for media, Syrian army soldiers shout slogans in support of Assad as they enter a village near the town of Jisr al-Shughour, Syria, June 10, 2011. Ongoing military operations to crush anti-government protest is draining money from the national budget.
Every Syrian is feeling the economic pain of a seven month uprising and western sanctions to end a bloody crackdown on anti-government protesters.
But shopkeepers tell a different story along a street of open-air shops in the Midan neighborhood in central Damascus. A government escort accompanies an NPR reporter for interviews about the sensitive subject of tightening economic sanctions against Syria.
Hassan Shagharouri runs a sweets shop. When asked if prices are rising, he responds that the prices are the same and that everything is perfect.
A Gallup poll released today found support for the death penalty in the United States is at a 39-year low. As Gallup reports, "this is the lowest level of support since 1972, the year the Supreme Court voided all existing state death penalty laws in Furman v. Georgia."
The job market is barely treading water. The Labor Department Thursday reported that 404,000 people filed for unemployment benefits last week — pretty much unchanged from the week before. Overall, there are 14 million people looking for work in the U.S.
One of those places where jobs are especially hard to find is Spartanburg, S.C.
On Thursday, the Occupy Wall Street protests spread to the heavily conservative corner of the heavily conservative state. It was a small turnout — about 20 people got some honks of support and some catcalls from people who shouted, "Get a job!"
Protesters with Occupy Wall Street march along New York's 5th Avenue, where prominent heads of major business and financial institutions live, on Tuesday. The movement has expanded, along with media coverage.
Credit Mario Tama / Getty Images
Police arrest two Occupy Wall Street demonstrators after they tried to cross the Brooklyn Bridge on Oct. 1. Media coverage spiked after the incident.
An Australian court issued a temporary injunction that bars Samsung from selling its Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet computer in the country. The judgement is a big win for Apple, which has filed lawsuits worldwide alleging that Samsung had copied its iPhone and iPad.
The Australian court ruled Samsung could not sell its device if included certain features such as a touch-screen.
Originally published on Thu October 13, 2011 4:31 pm
Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain, who has surged to the top of some national presidential preference polls, told NPR's Scott Simon, host of Weekend Edition Saturday, that his fundraising has increased 20-fold in the past few weeks, and he is hiring more, much-needed staff.
In fact, he told Scott in an interview Thursday that will air on NPR Saturday, that he just "brought on an entire team" of about 10 new people to help his campaign ramp up.
On Capitol Hill, the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction has been very quiet. Also known as the supercommittee, it was created by Congress this summer and is tasked with finding at least 1.2 trillion dollars in cuts over the coming decade. But, so far, its members are keeping their ideas for doing that on the down-low — and that may be a good sign.
It's been weeks since the committee had an open hearing. In fact, it's only had three meetings total — the first of which was to set up its rules.
The latest edition of the federal government's annual reviews of private Medicare health plans came out Wednesday, just in time to help seniors choose plans during this year's open enrollment period that starts Saturday and runs through Dec. 7.
One rival said he thought it was "the price of a pizza" (Jon Huntsman's quip). Another said you need to turn it upside down because "the devil's in the details" (Rep. Michele Bachmann's 6-6-6 reference).
Thousands of anti-government protesters in Yemen demonstrate against President Ali Abdullah Saleh last month. Saudi Arabia wants Saleh to step down, but also worries that his departure could lead to chaos.
Anti-Gadhafi fighters point their guns at a carpet depicting Moammar Gadhafi after taking the village of Abu Hadi, the deposed Libyan leader's birthplace, on Oct. 3. Regime loyalists who fled to the village find themselves grappling with the realities of a new nation.
Many civilians have fled the fighting in the besieged Libyan city of Sirte in recent days and have ended up in a nearby village, which has one distinction: It's where deposed Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi was born. But Sirte residents are not the only ones finding shelter there.
Michael Gill is the proud owner of a bicycle. It's not new, and it's not flashy — in fact, right now, it's just a frame. But it's tied to Gill's past, when he rode the Peugeot bike for thousands of miles in the 1980s. That's when he had to part with the elite machine — until last month, when he found it again.
Back in the early 1980s, Gill trained on the Peugeot PX-10 and rode it in races. He calls it "my first serious racing bike." On it, he covered an average of 200-300 miles each week.
A truck stop near Hesperia, Calif. To address a shortage of truck drivers resulting from a mismatch of skills in the labor market, some trucking companies have started free driving schools with the promise of a job upon completion.
The job market is barely treading water. The Labor Department reported Thursday that 404,000 more people filed for unemployment benefits last week, a number that's essentially unchanged from the week before.
Overall, there are 14 million people looking for work in the U.S., but at the same time there are still job openings around the country.
Some of the computers controlling America's fleet of drone aircraft are reportedly infected by a persistent virus. In this file photo, a senior airman remotely operates an MQ-9 Reaper during a training mission at Creech Air Force Base in Indian Springs, Nev.
Originally published on Thu October 13, 2011 12:06 pm
In a story today, the Associated Press talks to an anonymous Air Force official, who said the virus that attacked the Pentagon's drone program last month was common malware and wasn't designed to specifically infect the aircraft.
Food fresh from the farm is undeniably appealing. Raw milk enthusiasts take it one step further: They like their milk fresh from the cow — skipping pasteurization.
But it's illegal to sell raw milk in stores in most U.S. states, and fans have been known to go to great lengths to buy dairy in its purest form. Last year, we told you about one Maryland mom who regularly drives almost two hours to a farm in Pennsylvania to buy unpasteurized milk for her family — paying $5 to $7 per gallon.
"What we know is that an individual of Iranian-American descent was involved in a plot to assassinate the ambassador to the United States from Saudi Arabia, and we also know that he had direct links, was paid by and directed by individuals in the Iranian government," President Obama just said.
T.J. Turner stands in his yard in Yellow Springs, Ohio, on May 27 near a sign protesting the practice of fracking, a process used to extract oil or natural gas from hard rock formations. Turner was approached by a salesman for an energy exploration company to lease rights for drilling on his property.
Credit Courtesy of Mhari Saito
Mary Catherine Nixon, the recorder in Ohio's Belmont County, says she's collecting $1,400 in copying fees alone from the two to three dozen mineral rights researchers who have camped out in her offices for months.
Originally published on Thu October 13, 2011 1:12 pm
Teenagers can, in fact, make some mature decisions when it comes to sex.
The latest government data show that 8 of 10 teen males used a condom the first time they had sex, an increase of 9 percentage points since 2002.
The findings, released yesterday, come from the National Survey of Family Growth, conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention between 2006 and 2010. The data were gathered from in-person interviews with 4,600 teenagers across the country.