The House voted Monday to extend the federal debt limit and enact spending cuts. Here, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi arrives for a meeting with House Democrats and Vice President Joe Biden at the Capitol.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon condemned Syria's use of violence against anti-government protesters, urging Damascus to halt its military attacks on those unhappy with the regime of President Bashar al-Assad. In a statement, Ban said that Syrian officials "are accountable under international human rights law for all acts of violence perpetrated by them against the civilian population."
The SEAL mission that resulted in the death of Osama bin Laden was in doubt for around a full minute after one of its helicopters crash-landed at the al-Qaida leader's hideout in Abbottabad, Pakistan. That and other details are in Nicholas Schmidle's account of the raid, in a piece in The New Yorker.
Construction crews at a new air traffic control tower at Oakland International Airport were told on July 19 to stop working after the U.S. House refused to reauthorize routine funding of the Federal Aviation Administration.
Construction projects at airports around the country have stopped and 4,000 employees of the Federal Aviation Administration are furloughed, all because Congress couldn't agree on an extension of the agency's authority to operate.
Democratic Sen. Jay Rockefeller, who chairs the subcommittee that oversees the FAA, indicates he will offer a plan as soon as Monday night to end the shutdown. Rockefeller's plan includes cuts in air service subsidies to some rural communities.
Those subsidies keep commercial aviation service in rural areas that would otherwise be isolated.
When Heidi Koss picks up her daughter Bronwen from middle school in a Seattle suburb, it's completely routine: They chat about kickball and whether Bronwen ate the muffin her mother packed for breakfast.
But 10 years ago when Bronwen was born, things were anything but ordinary, says Koss.
"I felt nothing toward my baby," says Koss. "One day I woke up and I didn't care about her."
Congress' tentative deal to raise the nation's debt ceiling calls for more than $2 trillion in spending cuts, far short of the $4 trillion in deficit reductions proposed earlier in the process.
And that keeps the doors open to a potential downgrade in the country's credit rating. Of the three major ratings agencies, Standard & Poor's toed the hardest line on a possible downgrade to U.S. debt.
Last month, S&P said there was a 50 percent chance the U.S. could lose its top AAA rating if Congress failed to come up with a "credible agreement to reduce the debt."
The wall in the hallway outside the Redondo Beach Mayor's Office kind of says it all: There is row after row of smiling faces. Almost all male. All pale. Some blond, some gray. All very indicative of what many Americans still think of when you say "California beach city," until the last photo in the last row.
The state of South Carolina has lost a leading light of its Civil Rights transformation, as U.S. District Judge Matthew J. Perry died this past weekend. Perry, who spurred social and educational integration, would have celebrated his 90th birthday this week.
A researcher works at the Wuhan National Laboratory for Optoelectronics in central China's Hubei province on June 9. Beijing's spending on research and development has increased over the past few years in an effort to re-establish the country's scientific prowess.
Credit AFP/Getty Images
Quantum computing expert Fan Heng says that 10 years ago, Chinese scientists wanted to go abroad. But now, many of the same scientists are so keen to return home that positions are limited.
Credit Louisa Lim / NPR
He Jiao of the online community ScienceNet says China's decision to give a reported $4 million to Nobel laureate Luc Montagnier to establish an institute to study electromagnetic waves produced by DNA in water is "highly controversial."
China was probably the world's earliest technological superpower, inventing the plow, the compass, gunpowder and block printing. Then, science in the Middle Kingdom languished for centuries.
Until 1893, the Chinese didn't even have a word for "science." That was when a Japanese term originally made its way into the Chinese language, a symbol of just how much of a latecomer China was to modern science.
NASA's Dawn spacecraft has started beaming back pictures of the second largest body in the Asteroid belt that's between Mars and Jupiter. The images are the first of the asteroid Vesta, which is about the size of Colorado, and they are stunning:
Even though the decision was widely expected, there's no denying the news is still a pretty big deal. Today, the Department of Health and Human Services adopted in full the women's health recommendations issued two weeks ago by the independent Institute of Medicine.
Originally published on Mon August 1, 2011 10:46 am
The independent Congressional Budget Office has finished scoring the budget compromise reached by President Obama and Congressional leaders, yesterday.
In a letter to House Speaker John Boehner, the CBO reports that because of budget caps, the legislation would reduce budget deficits by $917 billion between 2012 and 2021 and because of spending cuts, it would reduce the deficit by $1.2 trillion. That's a $2.1 trillion cut over the next ten years. Using another projection, it found the cuts could amount to at least $2.3 billion.
President Obama and congressional leaders reached an agreement Sunday to avoid a first-ever U.S. default. The plan raises the debt ceiling and cuts more than $2 trillion from government spending over a decade. The Senate is expected to vote on it today. To learn more about the deal, host Michel Martin speaks with U.S. News and World Report's Mary Kate Cary and The Washington Post's Jonathan Capehart.
I was trying to keep track of the negotiations over raising the debt ceiling this weekend, and all of a sudden, it reminded me of an incident I had in a parking garage near my house last year.
It was late spring or summer, and it was hot. I had the kids with me, and we were finished doing whatever it was we were doing, and we were ready to go home. We jumped into the car and tried to head out. But we could not.
July was scorching. The National Weather Service says it was the warmest month on record in Washington, D.C.(84.5) Oklahoma City (89.2) and Wichita Falls (92.9). And the stifling heat will continue in the Southern and Central Plains, this week.
But as you wipe that sweat off your brow, think about Dallas. The city is in the midst of a 30-day streak of triple-digit temperatures. That is the second hottest streak in history.
House and Senate leaders prepared for possible votes Monday on the tentative deal to raise the government's debt ceiling and prevent a U.S. default.
Both Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and the office of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) said the votes could come as early as Monday evening, depending on the outcome of meetings with members. Cantor's office said the House would go first.
The agreement gained momentum in the Senate on Monday after months of partisan rancor.
A 1971 artist's sketch released by the FBI shows the skyjacker known as 'Dan Cooper' and 'D.B. Cooper'. The sketch was made from the recollections of passengers and crew of a Northwest Orient Airlines jet he hijacked between Portland and Seattle.
Forty years after parachuting into folklore, the mysterious skyjacker identified as D.B. Cooper may soon be identified.
"We do actually have a new suspect we're looking at," says FBI spokeswoman Ayn Sandolo Dietrich in a story in the British newspaper, The Telegraph. "And it comes from a credible lead who came to our attention recently via a law enforcement colleague."
The government of Syrian President Bashar Assad continued its bloody offensive against protesters today. On Sunday, government forces shelled the city of Hama and human rights groups said there were as many as 142 people dead.
Al Jazeera reports that the people of Deir ex-Zor, who were protesting the attack on Hama, found themselves under fire this morning:
In a photo provided to AFP by a third party, Syrians demonstrate against the government after Friday prayers in Hama on July 29. The Syrian government has banned most foreign media from entering the country, making it difficult to independently confirm events.
The holy month of Ramadan begins Monday in many parts of the Muslim world — 30 days of fasting from dawn to dusk, when large crowds gather for an additional nighttime prayer.
Ramadan could also be a decisive time for the protest movement in Syria. The government has stepped up mass arrests as activists vow to shift from weekly rallies to nightly ones outside mosques that have become centers of protest.
"I am not going to stop," said Mohammed Ali, a 24-year-old architect, and one of many activists who say they will be on the streets every night during Ramadan.
Is al-Qaida planning an attack to coincide with the tenth anniversary of September 11?
"Of course they'd like to," says national security analyst Peter Bergen. "And some of the materials recovered in the [Osama] bin Laden compound indicate a desire to do something. But a desire to do something is quite different than actual implementation. I think that this is a group that that has not only suffered the loss of its leader, but was already in very bad shape before that happened."
Allied Gen. John Holme, aka "Mad Kow" (left), and Nicky Angel Valor are seen at the "Invasion of Normandy" paintball battle — the largest event of its kind in the world. "This is our Superbowl," Valor says.
Credit Rob Sachs for NPR
Members of the Allied team take cover on the "beach" — the field that faces the tree line where the Axis team has embedded. Thousands of people traveled to a field in Jim Thorpe, Pa., to re-enact one of the most famous battles in history using paintball guns instead of real ammo.
Thousands of people traveled to a field near Jim Thorpe, Pa., earlier this month to re-create one of the most famous battles in history: D-Day, the invasion of Normandy. But with live ammunition — paintballs — and no predetermined winner, it wasn't a typical re-enactment.
In the paintball world, the invasion of Normandy isn't just an event, it's the event.
You know the feeling: You're driving and you spot a little-known memorial that makes you want to pull over and find out more. It could be a monument to some local hero or to a long-forgotten historical moment. NPR is taking a summer-long road trip and exploring the deep — and sometimes mysterious — histories of these spots. Click on the icons below to explore the series.