When compared with its neighbors Coney Island and the Rockaways, Manhattan seemed hardly touched by the waters and winds of Superstorm Sandy in late October. But almost three months later, areas of lower Manhattan are still laboring to recover.
Earlier this month, a museum devastated by Sandy finally reopened. About 800 people packed the lobby and upstairs galleries of the South Street Seaport Museum in lower Manhattan as Mayor Michael Bloomberg addressed the crowd.
Gen. Carter Ham, who heads the U.S. Africa Command, meets with Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika last September. Amid upheaval in the region, AFRICOM is still attempting to define its mission.
Credit Farouk Batiche / Getty Images
U.S. soldiers at the closing ceremony for a two-week joint military training exercise with the Botswana Defense Force. The U.S. Africa Command was created, in part, to help train African military forces before crises begin.
Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 7:42 am
Rarely do we consider the trucks, trains and tankers that transport our food around our cities — and around the world. It's not until an accident happens, and the food inside these vessels comes pouring out, that we remember all this food in motion around us, and how damaging it can be when it spills.
The truth is, a lot of food is extremely sticky, bulky — and sometimes, flammable. And apparently, the people who move it around are just as accident prone as the rest of us.
Controversial experiments on bird flu could resume within weeks because leading influenza researchers around the world have finally called a halt to an unusual moratorium that has lasted more than a year.
The voluntary pause in the research started back in January 2012. Scientists had genetically altered the bird flu virus H5N1, changing it in ways that allowed it to spread through the coughs and sneezes of ferrets — the lab stand-in for people.
In a May 9, 2012 photo, Capt. Sara Rodriguez, 26, of the 101st Airborne Division, carries a litter of sandbags during the Expert Field Medical Badge training at Fort Campbell, Ky. Female soldiers are moving into new jobs in once all-male units as the U.S. Army breaks down formal barriers in recognition of what's already happened in wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta has decided to lift a ban that prohibited women from serving in combat, a congressional source tells NPR's Tom Bowman. The move opens up thousands of front-line positions.
Panetta is expected to announce the decision along with the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on Thursday.
It was probably a first for Norway when a truck trailer full of sweet goat cheese caught fire near the town of Narvik late last week, blocking a road tunnel. it took four days for firefighters to put out the flames. No one was hurt. Norwegian Broadcasting says the tunnel was so badly damaged that geologists are checking it for safety, and any lingering toxic gases.
Now to the civil war in Syria. Rebels report new rocket strikes by government forces today - attacks, they say, that killed six members of one family. Nearly two years after the government sent army tanks to crush anti-government protests, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said yesterday he does not see much prospect for a negotiated resolution, and he warned that the humanitarian situation in the country is dire.
Originally published on Wed January 23, 2013 12:18 pm
A decade after news of the sex abuse scandal in the Boston archdiocese of the Catholic Church broke, reports of abuse continue to emerge. The number of priests in the U.S. is in rapid decline, raising questions about who still chooses the job and how the work has changed after high-profile abuse scandals.
Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 5:56 am
Choosing hospice care is never an easy decision. It's an admission that the end is near, that there will be no cure.
But even after a family has opted for this end-of-life care, some still face an unexpected hurdle: Twelve percent of hospices nationwide refuse to accept patients who don't have a caregiver at home to look after them, according to a recent survey of nearly 600 hospice providers published in Health Affairs.
Customers chat at a Beijing cafe modeled after the Central Perk cafe in the hit American sitcom <em>Friends</em>, in<em> </em>2010. Nearly a decade after the series ended, the popularity of <em>Friends</em> continues among young Chinese, who use the show as a language-learning tool and enjoy its depiction of young Americans.
Credit Ng Han Guan / AP
Du Xin, the "Chinese Gunther," owns Central Perk in Beijing. That's not all he has in common with Gunther on the show. "I love Rachel," he sighs.
Credit Loiusa Lim / NPR
The six Manhattan singles of <em>Friends</em> (from left, Joey (Matt LeBlanc), Chandler (Matthew Perry), Monica (Courteney Cox), Rachel (Jennifer Aniston), Ross (David Schwimmer) and Phoebe (Lisa Kudrow) congregate at Central Perk in this 1999 still photo from the program.
Almost a decade since the end of the hit American TV series Friends, the show — and, in particular, the fictitious Central Perk cafe, where much of the action took place — is enjoying an afterlife in China's capital, Beijing. Here, the show that chronicled the exploits of New York City pals Rachel, Ross, Monica, Chandler, Phoebe and Joey is almost seen as a lifestyle guide.
Tucked away on the sixth floor of a Beijing apartment block is a mini replica of the cafe, orange couch and all, whose owner Du Xin introduces himself by saying, "Everyone calls me 'Gunther' here."
A well-traveled root: A vendor sells sweet potatoes at a market near Manila in 2011. The Portuguese brought the root to the Philippines all the way from the Caribbean.
Credit Ted Aljibe / AFP/Getty Images
The sweet potato made three independent trips to Southeast Asia. The Polynesians probably introduced it in 1100 A.D. (red). While the Spanish (blue) and Portuguese (yellow) brought other varieties from the Americas around 1500.
Credit Courtesy of Caroline Roullier/PNAS
The Polynesians had sophisticated, double-hulled canoes that were built for deep sea voyages. An artist aboard Capt. Cook's ship drew a picture when they arrived in Hawaii.
Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 9:15 am
When it comes to spreading food around the world, Christopher Columbus and his European compatriots get most of the credit.
Yes, they introduced some quintessential ingredients into European and Asian cuisine. Who could imagine Italian food without the tomato? Or Indian and Chinese dishes without the spicy kick of chili peppers?
Originally published on Wed January 23, 2013 1:55 pm
A large study is providing a rare glimmer of hope for patients with pancreatic cancer, perhaps the deadliest of all malignancies.
By the time they're diagnosed, most patients with pancreatic cancer have advanced disease that's spread to the liver and lung. And the primary tumor may be inoperable because it's wrapped around vital blood vessels and nerves.
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, the Supreme Court case that established abortion rights in this country is now 40 years old, but the political and cultural fights about abortion are going on still. We'll talk about this with our panel of women commentators. That's our Beauty Shop roundtable and that's in just a few minutes.
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, President Obama's vision for reducing gun violence includes improving access to mental health care. So we decided to ask two mental health professions who've thought a lot about violence, especially gun violence, for their perspectives on what kinds of changes they think would be helpful.
This month, Jimmy Kimmel's late-night ABC talk show, Jimmy Kimmel Live, joins the 11:35 p.m. nightly lineup — which puts him in direct competition with two reining comedy kings: Jay Leno and Kimmel's idol, David Letterman.
Kimmel, who paid tribute to Letterman at the Kennedy Center Honors in December, didn't break the news to Letterman himself.
"Britain's prime minister said Wednesday he will offer citizens a vote on whether to leave the European Union if his party wins the next election, prompting warnings from fellow member states about the soundness of such a move," The Associated Press writes.
The wire service adds that:
"Cameron proposed Wednesday that his Conservative Party renegotiate the U.K.'s relationship with the European Union if it wins the next general election, expected in 2015.
Half of all tomatoes eaten in the U.S. come from Mexico, and tomato growers in Florida aren't happy about that. In fact, they're willing to risk a trade war to reverse the trend.
At JC Distributing In Nogales, Ariz., one misstep and you're likely to get knocked over by a pallet full of produce. Forklifts crisscross each other carrying peppers, squash and especially tomatoes from trucks backed into the warehouse loading dock.
"This is a Mexican truck being unloaded," says JC President Jaime Chamberlain. "He's just waiting for his paperwork to get back."
Julie Caruso of Akron, Ohio, was wrapped up Tuesday as she waited in line for a White House tour. It was well below freezing in the nation's capital. Temperatures were even lower in other parts of the nation.
Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep. A Scottish sports reporter recorded a soccer team press conference using his phone. Great idea, but inevitably the reporter's phone rang. The soccer team manager picked it up.
(SOUNDBITE OF PRESS CONFERENCE)
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Hello?
INSKEEP: It was the reporter's wife, who hung up in confusion, but then called again. And the manager answered again.
Update at 3:30 p.m. ET. Clinton Testifies Before House Committee:
One of the defining moments of Hillary Clinton's tenure as secretary of state was her strong advocacy for U.S. military intervention that helped oust Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi in 2011.
But as she prepared to step down from the post, she faced a grilling from Republicans in both the House and the Senate over what went wrong in Benghazi, Libya, on Sept. 11, 2012, when four Americans were killed, including Ambassador Chris Stevens.