Federal workers say they don't have much to celebrate these days.
Furloughs began in April, exacerbating already low morale for many government agencies as budgets have tightened. Downsizing has meant more work for those who remain, and talk of further cuts has many worried about job security. This year is also the third that federal workers haven't received a pay increase, contributing to discontent.
British physicist Stephen Hawking has stepped into a political black hole.
He announced this week that he was withdrawing from a conference in Israel to protest that country's treatment of Palestinians, throwing his weight behind an academic boycott of the Jewish state. The Guardian reports:
President Obama turns his attention back to his economic agenda Thursday when he travels to Austin, Texas, where he will visit a technology high school and a company that makes the machines that make silicon chips.
The White House says the trip is part of Obama's Middle Class Jobs and Opportunity Tour. It also appears to be an effort by the president to get back to the issues Americans care most about.
Jurors on Wednesday found Jodi Arias, accused of killing her onetime boyfriend in a fit of rage, guilty of first-degree murder.
Arias, 32, initially denied involvement in the June 4, 2008, shooting death of Travis Alexander, blaming his death on two masked intruders. Two years later, she changed her story, saying she had killed him in self-defense.
Testimony began in January in the four-month trial in Phoenix that became a cable television sensation, with details of the couple's sexual escapades and photos of Alexander after his death presented as evidence.
The Alabama Legislature has approved a bill making it legal to brew beer at home, a practice that had been forbidden in the state. If Gov. Robert Bentley signs the bill, as is expected, home brewing will soon be legal in all 50 states.
Alabama lawmakers voted on the bill to legalize home brewing months after it was first introduced. And while it met with earlier debate and resistance, the arrival of the legislation — House Bill 9 — for a vote Tuesday night seems to have come to its supporters as a pleasant surprise.
You've likely seen or heard a news story in recent years that began something like this: F. Scott Fitzgerald once wrote, there are no second acts in American lives. But Fitzgerald clearly never met - fill in the blank.
It seems a whole generation of American politicians has fallen from grace only to rise again and disprove the line: Bill Clinton, Newt Gingrich, Eliot Spitzer. And just last night, South Carolina's newest congressman, Mark Sanford.
Three witnesses billed as whistle-blowers appeared before a House committee Wednesday to challenge the Obama administration's explanation of what transpired on Sept. 11, 2012, as the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, was attacked and the ambassador and three others killed.
Some critics say that ending polio has become Bill Gates' "white whale."
Why not just settle for the huge drop in polio cases that we've seen over the past decade and then spend money on other things that kill so many more kids, like diarrhea and malnutrition?
"Polio is special," Gates tells NPR's Robert Siegel on All Things Considered. "Once you get it done, you save $2 billion a year that will be applied to those other activities. There's no better deal economically to getting to zero."
The Carnival Cruise ship Triumph is traveling again, having left the terminal in Mobile, Ala., where it was forced to dock in February after severe problems with its engines led to its being towed across the Gulf of Mexico.
The odyssey of the ship, whose 3,143 passengers endured days without consistent running water and electrical services, attracted national attention as it drifted at sea before heading to the Alabama coast.
A cargo ship slammed into a dock in Genoa, Italy, on Wednesday, killing at least seven people and toppling the control tower at one of the country's busiest ports.
The Associated Press reports that divers had found seven bodies in the wreckage. Four others have been hospitalized and two were still unaccounted for, Luca Cari, a spokesman for the fire rescue teams at the scene, told The Associated Press.
Randy Newman never considered himself a rock star. He's had his hits like, "I Love LA" and "Short People," but may be better known for his work in TV show themes and film scores. His unmistakable voice has graced the soundtracks of dozens of films, including the Toy Story films, A Bug's Life and Monsters, Inc.
When the singer and composer got a call saying he'd be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, he was shocked. He told Rolling Stone, "I really thought maybe I'd have to die first."
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. One hospital outside Dallas charges a little over 14 grand for pneumonia treatment. Another hospital a few miles down the same street charges more than twice as much, over $38,000. Why? Why has it taken so long for those prices to be made public? And now that they're out, how is that going to change health care?
On July 21, 2010, President Obama signed into law the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, commonly known as the Dodd-Frank bill. Reporter Gary Rivlin says "the passage of Dodd-Frank was something of a miracle." But to the chief lobbyist for the Financial Services Roundtable, a lobbying group that represents 100 of the country's largest financial institutions, it was just "halftime."
"I used to be a wimp in school. ... Since I started playing football in 9th and 10th grade, all I did was get a haircut, start wearing decent clothes and play sports. Now I'm a popular person... and I want to keep it going that way."
Saying that "we are not barbarians, we bury the dead," the police chief of Worcester, Mass., on Wednesday appealed for someone in authority to clear the way for the body of Boston Marathon bombings suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev to be buried.
President Obama's job approval has inched up in recent weeks, but the percentage of Americans who say they believe he is effective has taken a hit, according to a Pew Research Center survey released Wednesday.
And while the image of Republican leadership remains "deeply negative," and continues bearing the brunt of the blame for Washington gridlock, the survey found that the GOP runs even with Democrats on the key issues of the economy, immigration and guns.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Coming up, we are going to talk about some controversies in hip hop recently that raise questions about just what crosses the line now between what's acceptable and what isn't and who decides that. That's coming up later in the program.
The Los Angeles Police Department is under scrutiny again. This time it's for sending almost 80 officers to break up a college house party. Most of the partygoers were African-American students from the University of Southern California.
USC senior Nate Howard organized the party that was shut down by the police. At a protest on campus Monday he condemned the response.
"Seventy-plus officers?" he said. "What else was going on at that time in the community that you needed to be at a party of students getting ready to graduate?"
During World War II, the Nazis plundered tens of thousands of works of art from the private collections of European Jews, many living in France. About 75 percent of the artwork that came back to France from Germany at the end of the war has been returned to their rightful owners.
But there are still approximately 2,000 art objects that remain unclaimed. The French government has now begun one of its most extensive efforts ever to find the heirs and return the art.
Natalie Maines doesn't hesitate to make audacious moves, and wresting away "Mother" — Roger Waters' hymn to oppressive maternal authority figures from Pink Floyd — is the biggest one on her first solo album. Maines takes the "Mother" from Pink Floyd's The Wall and deconstructs it, emotional brick by emotional brick.
Today marks the beginning of the pullback of thousands of militant PKK fighters from Turkey back to Kurdish-controlled northern Iraq. It's an important milestone in a delicate effort to end nearly three decades of bloodshed that have killed an estimated 35,000 people since 1984.