The Mars rover Spirit conked out in May, but its twin, the rover Opportunity, is still functioning and has just arrived at a spot NASA's dubbed Spirit Point. Guest host John Ydstie speaks with geologist John Grant about his decades working on the Mars Rover project.
Libyan rebels have reached the important port city of Zawiyah, where they are engaged in fierce clashes with government forces. Zawiyah is the site of Libya's sole remaining refinery and it's on the road to Tunisia. If the rebels hold it, they will control the port, the refinery and one of Libya's main roads. Guest host John Ydstie gets the latest on the fighting from NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro in Libya.
The whereabouts of an American development expert are still unknown 24 hours after he was abducted by a group of armed men in Pakistan. NPR's Julie McCarthy reports on the abduction of Warren Weinstein, who was within days of leaving the country when he was kidnapped Saturday during a brazen early morning raid on his home.
Famines like Somalia's might be a thing of the past if farmers in the Horn of Africa could grow enough crops to protect against hunger. Making that possible would require a number of things, including international development aid to small farmers, but that's been in decline over the past 25 years. Guest host John Ydstie talks to author and Harvard Professor Robert Paarlberg about U.S. investment in farm development in Africa.
Less than two months into her campaign for the Republican presidential nomination, Minnesota Congresswoman Michelle Bachman won Saturday's Iowa straw poll. Bachman won what is considered to be a bellwether event and one measure of a presidential candidate's strength. NPR's Debbie Elliott reports.
Texas governor Rick Perry declared Saturday that he's entering the race for the Republican presidential nomination. Perry spoke at the Red State Gathering conference in Charleston, S.C. WFAE's Julie Rose reports.
The political landscape in California is on the verge of drastic change. On Monday, the state's Citizens Redistricting Commission is expected to give final approval to a new map of congressional and legislative districts. Those newly drawn districts, combined with a new primary election system, are likely to shake up California's political status quo for the first time in two decades. Guest host John Ydstie talks to Bruce Cain, director of the University of California Washington Center, about the national implications of redistricting in California.
Psychologists have found that great stories can't be spoiled. Guest host John Ydstie has more on a UC San Diego study that says film buffs and bibliophiles not only don't mind spoilers, they actually like them.
South America has produced more than its share of soccer superstars. The soccer giant Real Madrid is banking on Leonel Angel Coira of Argentina to become one of them. Last week the club signed the soccer prodigy to a one-year contract. When the contract expires, young Leonel will be all of 8 years old.
"Well everyone's looking for the next big thing," Tim Stannard, who writes for the soccer publication FourFourTwo, tells Weekend Edition guest host John Ydstie.
Women suffering from postpartum depression in the United States have not had an overnight clinic to address their specific needs. The new unit at the University of North Carolina, to open Monday, will offer that specialized treatment.
Jaime Jruz, son of Russian immigrants and leader of the Jewish community of Villa Dominguez, is one of the last Jewish gauchos found in this area. Jruz is still working on this farm, where he was born and grew up.
Credit Photos by Silvina Frydlewsky for NPR
In Basavilbaso, Argentina, about 15 people attend a Friday night Shabbat celebration at the Tefila L'Moises Synagogue. Community leaders have managed to conserve the old synagogue, which has served the Jewish community for about a century, but very few people still attend services.
Credit Silvina Frydlewsky / for NPR
Jaime Jruz, son of Russian immigrants and leader of the Jewish community of Villa Dominguez, still works on the farm where he was born and grew up.
Credit Silvina Frydlewsky / for NPR
Abraham Kreiserman, the president of the Jewish community of Villa Clara, shows a portion of a Torah scroll at Beth Iacob Synagogue in Villa Clara.
In the 1890s, Russian Jews fleeing anti-Semitic violence and discrimination arrived by the thousands to a remote corner of the Argentine Pampas. They founded hamlets similar to the shtetls they left behind. They spoke Yiddish, built synagogues and traditional Jewish schools — and became farmers and gauchos, the mythical Argentine cowboys.
President Barack Obama's Midwestern bus tour will focus on job creation and restoring confidence, but the Federal Reserve doesn't seem very confident about the future.
Last week, the Fed committed to near-zero interest rates until 2013, indicating that the Fed board isn't anticipating much growth in the job market. That's a troubling prospect for Americans, and it leaves a big challenge looming over Washington about whether the government can push growth above the painfully low bar set by the Fed.
How can you feed starving people without feeding an insurgency as well? That is one of the challenges the Obama administration faces in providing aid to Somalia.
As the U.S. and other donors scramble to help Somalis survive a famine, some experts see an opportunity of sorts. The drought, they say, seems to be starving the Islamist militia group al-Shabaab of resources, limiting its ability to wreak havoc in Somalia.
It may seem hard to believe after such a tumultuous week on Wall Street, but economists do see a few bright spots.
For one, Americans with good credit scores can get some of the best housing bargains in decades. Freddie Mac's latest survey shows the average rate on 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages has dropped to 4.32 percent. That's down to the half-century lows set during the fourth quarter of last year.
Republican presidential candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) and her husband, Marcus, wave to the crowd after she speaks at the Iowa Republican Party's straw poll in Ames, Iowa, on Saturday. Bachmann won the poll with 4,823 votes.
Credit Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images
Republican presidential candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) encourages people to vote for her outside the Hilton Coliseum at Iowa State University on Saturday.
As the rest of the Republican field jockeyed for support in Iowa's straw poll Saturday, Texas Gov. Rick Perry made a feisty late entry into the presidential race before hundreds of conservative bloggers in South Carolina, encouraging voters to "give a pink slip to the current residents of the White House."
Perry launched his bid touting his home state's record of job creation as a central reason to elect him, but Texas' economic picture is more complex than what the governor shares on the stump.
They love "the Huckster" in Iowa, and he loves them back.
And former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee says that Texas Gov. Rick Perry made a "tactical error" by shunning Saturday's straw poll, instead opting to announce his candidacy for president today in South Carolina.
"He's raining on the parade in Iowa," said Huckabee, taking a break from signing books for the happy crowd mobbing him Saturday morning. "I'm not against Rick at all, but this is the biggest day of the year for Iowa Republicans."
Some cab drivers might stay silent with customers in their cars. Others can talk your ear off. Joel Laguidao just wants to sing with you.
Laguidao has become known as the "karaoke cab driver." While driving for Red Top Cab Co. on weekend nights around Arlington, Va., he sings favorites like Journey's "Faithfully" and Bon Jovi's "Bed of Roses."
It started about three years ago. Laguidao grew tired of the FM radio offerings and bought a karaoke machine. He has two small monitors for reading lyrics, a large silver microphone and a thick song catalog.
A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on August 11, 2011. US stocks made another dramatic comeback after a stunning fall on Thursday, in another day of extreme volatility in markets around the world.
Credit University of Berkeley, California
Ulrike Malmendier, Associate Professor of Economics at UC Berkeley, says that living through a serious recession can make you less likely to invest in the stock market for decades.
This past week the stock market took a serious nose-dive, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 500 points on Thursday. As a result, investors across the board have been flocking to safer investments. Now you might expect older people to cash out in order to save their nest eggs — but young people? The standard investment advice would be to hold tight. Turns out, they're actually the ones fleeing from stocks the fastest.
Youths steal electrical goods from a store in Birmingham, central England, on August 9. While the riots started after a man was shot to death by police in north London, their actual cause continues to be debated.
It's been more than a week since the fatal shooting of a man by police in London. Riots that erupted after the killing of Mark Duggan have shaken England since. Many people are divided over the real reasons behind the riots, questioning how much is due to the current recession or alienation or boredom among young people. Some have suggested poor parenting is to blame.
Cultural critic and novelist Diran Adebayo grew up in north London, in a neighborhood next door to Tottenham, where the riots first broke out.
The swings in the U.S. market underline the contradictions in the European Union's economic underpinnings. The two most powerful nations in the EU plan a summit to seek a way out. Guest host Jacki Lyden talks with NPR's Tom Gjelten.
Republican presidential candidates are working to position themselves for November, but the man currently in the oval office seems to be losing his footing. Guest host Jacki Lyden speaks with Ted Widmer, director and librarian of the John Carter Brown Library at Brown University, about presidential leadership and recent criticism of President Barack Obama's leadership style.
Pentagon officials are investigating what happened to its Falcon Hypersonic aircraft that crashed into the Pacific Ocean last week. The Falcon is the fastest aircraft ever built and can fly 13,000 miles per hour. It's designed to carry a conventional warhead against any target within an hour. NPR Pentagon correspondent Tom Bowman reports.
A Libyan teen is fast becoming a media star in rebel-held Benghazi. The 14-year-old has established his own online news outlet. His father drives him to press conferences in Benghazi, and he is increasingly well-known among rebel leaders. NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro reports.
Flash-mob violence refers to an instantly organized crowd, usually teenagers, bent on mayhem. This summer there have been incidents around the country: Philadelphia, Cleveland, Chicago and, more recently, at the Wisconsin State Fair. Guest host Jacki Lyden talks with Eugene Kane, columnist for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, about incidents of alleged hate crimes involving young African Americans at the state fair.
An advertisement regulatory board in Australia recently spent two weeks deliberating over whether the red M&M in the M&M commercials was a bully. They've found, in fact, he is not. Guest host Jacki Lyden has more.
Thirty years ago this week, IBM released the first personal computer. It was a computer designed for the average American, and the average American couldn't get enough of it. Guest host Jacki Lyden talks to Dr. Dave Bradley, one of the 12 engineers who designed the original IBM personal computer and who also invented the control-alt-delete function.
Pat Gallant-Charette wants to swim across the English Channel in August. On top of her job as a nurse, the 60-year-old grandmother from Westbrook, Maine, follows a rigorous training schedule that includes one- to 10-hour swims along the crashing waves of the cold ocean shore. Gallant-Charette almost crossed the Channel once before, but currents kept her at bay just a mile and a half from the finish. This time, she's convinced she'll make it. Independent producer Patty Wight sends this audio postcard.