A voter in Glendale, Wis., casts a ballot in a Democratic primary on Thursday, July 12, 2011, as part of recall efforts against Republican state Sen. Alberta Darling. Darling is one of six Republican state senators being targeted for recall for supporting Republican Gov. Scott Walker's budget-repair bill this winter. The recall election is Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2011.
Former Sen. Alan Simpson spoke to NPR's Steve Inskeep this morning and the conversation was wide-ranging and spirited, but one thing was crystal clear: Simpson, who served as a Republican senator from Wyoming, was not happy about the Congressional "horror show" that lead to Standard & Poor's downgrade of U.S. debt.
In the past year, more than two dozen states have considered legislation that would prevent the use of Shariah, the Islamic code that guides Muslim beliefs and actions, in courtrooms. Several prominent Republicans, including Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich and Michele Bachmann have all recently warned about the threat of Shariah law. In Tennessee, lawmakers recently debated whether to classify suspected Islamic terrorist groups as "Shariah organizations."
After a day that saw historic drops in the U.S. markets, the world markets continue their volatility today. The FTSE is up slightly while Japan's Nikkei was down 1.68 percent. Stock futures are forecasting another dramatic day in the U.S. The Wall Street Journal reports that in trading before opening, the Dow was up 167 points after a 300-point swing in the other direction.
Rep. Michele Bachman officially threw her hat into the presidential ring on June 27. Since then, the Minnesota congresswoman has emerged as a Republican front-runner, riding on a wave of Tea Party support and national media appearances.
Dalit Christians, or India's lowest-caste "untouchables" who converted to Christianity, hold placards as they march to the Indian parliament in New Delhi, India, Thursday, July 28, 2011. The protesters demanded that the government reclassify them as members of the lowest caste, allowing them to benefit from government quotas in higher education and government jobs.
Jonathan Cohn is a senior editor at The New Republic.
Did investors dump stocks on Monday because they'd lost faith in America's ability to pay its bills? Because they thought the federal government would cut spending further, slowing down the economy? Because they were adjusting to the latest news from Europe? The list of experts qualified to address those questions is long. And it does not include me.
Fred Barnes is executive editor of The Weekly Standard.
President Obama's support for raising income taxes on high earners is more than a talking point. It's an obsession. In negotiations in July over a $4 trillion "grand bargain" on deficit reduction, the president proposed the tax hike as part of an agreement with Republicans. It was a clumsy mistake on his part, an unforced error. Rather than facilitate a deal, he helped kill it.
Half-way through what was scheduled to be a 60 hour swim, 61-year-old Diana Nyad had to abandon what she called her "Xtreme Dream" — a 103 mile swim from Cuba to Florida.
"It's over. She lasted 29 hours in an heroic attempt," said Elaine Lafferty, one of Nyad's crew members, on Twitter.
On the same Twitter account, her team said that earlier in the evening Nyad was in the water, "surrounded by dolphins and a beautiful Caribbean sunset." But, they explained, a strong wind "blew her 15mph off course."
Prime Minister David Cameron cut his vacation short and parliament was recalled as riots went into their third night in England. Last night, for the first time, the mayhem spread outside of London to Birmingham and Liverpool. The BBC reports that 450 people have been arrested.
After the downgrade of Treasury Bonds by Standard & Poor's, consumers might be less likely to buy a home, car or other big ticket item if they believe the economy is going south.
But even as the market suffers through fits and falls, people are visiting car dealers. On a recent day, Jack Myers was trading in his gigantic, black 2002 Chevy pickup at a dealership in southeast Michigan.
"Well this [truck] is eating gas," Myers said, "and we [want] something more economical. We're purchasing a hybrid."
In San Francisco, gulls sit atop the large baseball glove behind the bleachers in left-center field during a game between the San Diego Padres and the San Francisco Giants. The gulls are known for arriving right at the end of games to pick up food scraps.
Credit Lauren Sommer for NPR
A Forster's tern chick is tagged by a crew member from the U.S. Gelogical Survey. Gulls eat 40 percent of the tagged chicks.
The aggressive California gull is putting a San Francisco Bay restoration project at risk. For more than a century, the bay has been home to industrial salt-harvesting ponds. Now, thousands of acres of those ponds are being restored for shorebirds and wildlife.
But that's creating an opportunity for the problematic gull.
Gulls In The Outfield
You can see them at work on a visit to AT&T Park. In the bottom of the 9th inning, the San Diego Padres are up, 5-3, over the hometown Giants.
The Taliban attack that claimed the lives of nearly two dozen members of the elite and secretive unit called SEAL Team 6 places a huge burden on the Special Forces community.
Officials say with a roughly 10 percent loss, they may have to rotate SEALs in before their downtime is complete, or pull SEALs from staff and training positions. Longer term, it will mean juggling the new SEAL Team 6 members with veterans.
A worker installs a solar panel on the roof of a house in Santa Cruz de Tenerife in the Spanish Canary Island of Tenerife in March 2011. The country's solar sector intends to double its contribution to the national grid by 2020, after an earlier government attempt at boosting the industry failed.
The streets of Madrid are sizzling in the summer. The sun bears down on everything — including the solar panels dotting houses, offices and even parking meters. Solar energy makes sense in Spain, and it's attracted people like Juan Casanovas.
Casanovas says he first became interested in the solar industry in 2003 "because it's a democratic way to generate electricity." He says people can become self-sufficient in energy.
Let's go back to the beginning — all the way to Adam and Eve, and to the question: Did they exist, and did all of humanity descend from that single pair?
According to the Bible (Genesis 2:7), this is how humanity began: "The Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul." God then called the man Adam, and later created Eve from Adam's rib.
U.S. stock benchmarks took another big hit Monday, in the first day of trading since America's credit was downgraded by Standard and Poor's rating agency late Friday. The Dow Jones Industrial index closed below the 11,000 mark for the first time since late 2010, ending the day at 10,811.
The Standard and Poor's 500 Index, meant to reflect the U.S. domestic economy, sank by 6.7 percent Monday. According to Bloomberg, all 500 of the stocks in the index declined on the same day — something that hadn't happened since at least 1996.
The Obama administration is giving school districts a waiver from some mandates of the No Child Left Behind education law.
The law requires schools to reach higher goals each year, and by 2014, it demands that every student be graded proficient in reading and math. The administration, which has repeatedly called on Congress to rewrite the legislation, says the law is overly punitive.
In an announcement on Monday, Education Secretary Arne Duncan opened the door for states to avoid the penalties and deadlines of the current No Child Left Behind Law.
A rioter throws a rock at riot police in Clarence Road in Hackney, London, Monday. Rioting and looting continued into the night Monday in parts of London, as well as in Birmingham. The unrest was prompted by the initial rioting in Tottenham and then in Brixton on Sunday night.
Cars and buildings were burning and stores were looted in areas across London Monday, on the third night of riots and violence in the British capital. "Area is an absolute war zone," pub manager Alan McCabe told the BBC in Croydon.
Prime Minister David Cameron is returning early from his summer vacation to help get the riots under control. He will meet with police and Home Office officials Tuesday, part of his "COBRA" emergency response team. The group takes its name from the Cabinet Office Briefing Room in which it meets.
Even though rising cigarette prices and new restrictions on smoking in public places have helped to make a dent in smoking rates in the U.S., there are still plenty of heavily addicted smokers out there who remain at great risk of developing cancer from their habit.
The political blame game that has followed Standard & Poor's U.S. debt downgrade has been dismally predictable.
Democrats point fingers at the Tea Party wing of the Republican Party. Republicans condemn President Obama for an inability to lead. And S&P has been alternately hailed for calling out Washington's budgeting dysfunction and excoriated for overstepping in its ratings role.
A ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit is being seen as a victory against "patent trolls," companies that acquire intellectual property for the sole purpose of extracting licensing fees or settlements, despite having no intention of using the protected technology or idea themselves.
Science has failed parents, at least when it comes to determining how to toilet-train their children. There's scant data on whether it's better to potty train early or late, or whether it's OK to go diaper-free with "elimination communication," which involves whisking tiny babies off to the potty whenever they pee, which can be two or three times an hour.
Standard & Poor's moved to downgrade housing lenders Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and a handful of insurance companies Monday — all in connection to Friday's credit downgrade of long-term U.S. debt.
There's a lot of speculation about how much these risk downgrades are weighing on stock markets, and whether they will continue to ripple through the economy. But, there are systemic reasons ratings matter less than they have in recent years.
Conventional wisdom says a U.S. downgrade would make Treasuries riskier. It would make yields — or interest rates — rise.
Scientists have long thought that Earth's continents once formed a "supercontinent" called Pangaea. Now they've found evidence that parts of North America and East Antarctica were joined in a supercontinent called Rodinia 1.1 billion years ago — even earlier than Pangaea.
"I can go to the Franklin Mountains in West Texas and stand next to what was once part of Coats Land in Antarctica," said geochemist Staci Loewy, who led the work. "That's so amazing."
Snake charming is a dying art in India. Here, a man named Buddhanath is shown at a New Delhi market during Nag Panchami, the yearly religious festival in honor of the king cobra. The charmer plays a gourd flute and his snake responds.
Credit Courtesy Wildlife SOS
Kartick Satyanarayan, of the animal rescue group Wildlife SOS, holds a rat snake. The group says it is trying to retrain traditional snake charmers and use their skills to remove danerous snakes from populated areas where they threaten people.