The planet Venus is seen crossing the sun in June 2004 as photographed through a telescope at Planetarium Urania in Hove, Belgium. The earliest known observation of such a transit was in 1639 by English astronomer Jeremiah Horrocks.
Credit Geert Vanden Wijngaert / AP
This map provided by NASA shows the visibility for Tuesday's transit of Venus. <a href="http://venustransit.nasa.gov/2012/transit/viewing_locations.php">Click here</a> for information on the best viewing times for your location.
Less than 250 years ago, the brightest minds of the Enlightenment were stumped over how far the Earth is from the sun. The transits of the 1760s helped answer that question, providing a virtual yardstick for the universe.
Drummer Mike Reed put together his quartet People, Places and Things to play music by their 1950s forebears. But it makes sense that, after a few years together, they'd also play later pieces, tracking the evolution of Chicago jazz on a new album titled Clean on the Corner. One dividend of their repertory work is that it inspires Reed to write his own tunes in the same spirit, like "The Lady Has a Bomb."
It's more bad news for Facebook today. A poll by Reuters/Ipsos found that most of its users are not swayed by its advertisements.
Four out of five users surveyed said they had never bought a product based on advertising they saw on the network. What's more, the online poll revealed that "34 percent of Facebook users surveyed were spending less time on the website than six months ago, whereas only 20 percent were spending more."
A new expose by The Times-Picayune of New Orleans calls Louisiana the "world's prison capital."
The state imprisons more people per capita than any other state or country in the world, with one out of every 86 adults behind bars. Its rate of incarceration is three times higher than Iran's and 10 times higher than Germany's.
How did Louisiana double its prison population in the past 20 years? And what differentiates it from other states?
Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz grew up in Gary, Ind. — a city that has weathered many economic storms over the past half-century.
Stiglitz went on to study at Amherst College and MIT, where he received a Ph.D. in economics. He later served on and chaired President Clinton's Council of Economic Advisers and became the chief economist at the World Bank. But even as a child, Stiglitz says, he noticed ways in which the markets weren't working.
Protesters in Nice, France, hold banners depicting then-French President Nicolas Sarkozy and President Obama before a November 2011 G-20 summit where global financial issues were discussed. Sarkozy has since lost re-election; some political scientists say economic problems in Europe also could play an unprecedented role in the upcoming U.S. election.
Credit Frederic Nebinger / Getty Images
Volunteers unfurl a banner with the Preamble to the Constitution during a demonstration against the Supreme Court's <em>Citizens United</em> ruling on campaign finance rules at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., Oct. 20, 2010.
Credit Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images
President Obama holds an online meeting from Facebook headquarters in Palo Alto, Calif., April 20, 2011. One political science professor says Obama's digital campaigning skills could make a difference in November.
Starting today, we're trying something different. We've enlisted Marissa Alioto, an intern on NPR's social media desk, to comb through your comments and highlight those that are smart and insightful and can teach us all something. We know there is a wealth of knowledge there. We expect some of them to be opinion, but we hope others just point out something that moves a story forward. With that here is Marissa:
Photos of Air Force moms breast-feeding in uniform recently went viral and sparked debate. The photos were meant to support military moms in breast-feeding. But some critics say the photos are disrespectful to the uniform. Host Michel Martin discusses the issue with active and retired military moms, including one who was featured in the photos.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Coming up, during his long and varied career, Oscar winner Morgan Freeman has played everyone from soldiers to servants, from cowboys to criminals - not to mention the almighty. In a moment, he'll tell us what music he plays for inspiration. That's our feature we call In Your Ear, and it's just ahead.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Coming up, a picture of military moms breastfeeding their children has gone viral and it's raising questions about what's appropriate for women in uniform. We'll speak with one of the women in the picture about why she did it and the reaction to it. That's in just a few minutes. But first, voters are casting ballots in several states today and many political observers will look to the results for clues about the battle for the White House.
Wisconsin votes on recalling its governor Tuesday, and much has already been made of that vote's potential implications beyond the state.
But for now, this historic moment belongs to the 3 million-plus Wisconsinites registered to vote. Most of them are expected to turn out, and those who do will be thinking about the implications for Wisconsin more than the prospects for fallout elsewhere.
Jury selection starts today in the trial of former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, who faces allegations that he sexually abused at least 10 boys over 15 years, sometimes on the school's campus. Sandusky has pleaded innocent.
"A torrential downpour and strong winds prevented emergency crews from returning Tuesday morning to a devastated neighborhood where a commercial airliner crashed, killing all 153 people aboard the plane and an undetermined number of people on the ground," The Associated Press reports from Lagos.
The man described as al-Qaida's "leading propagandist" and the No. 2 leader in that terrorist organization was killed by a U.S. drone strike in Pakistan on Monday, NPR, CNN and The Associated Press say they've been told by "a U.S. official."
That word came around 1:40 p.m. ET.
Our original post. Reports: Drone Strike Targeted Al-Qaida's 'Leading Propagandist'
NPR's business news starts with Disney delving into nutrition.
Today, Disney comes out with nutritional standards for food advertised across its platforms. The company has taken flack for contributing to the obesity epidemic by airing ads for junk food that targets kids.
This move marks a dramatic change, but the company's chairman told The New York Times, quote, "this is not altruistic; this is about smart business." Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.
Maryland resident Ida Christian, 89, began showing symptoms of Alzheimer's disease in 2009. Her daughter, Geneva Hunter, and granddaughter, Yolanda, decided to take a hands-on approach to Ida's care. Ida lives with Geneva, and Yolanda quit her job to become Ida's daytime caregiver.
Credit Kainaz Amaria / NPR
As the number of elderly Americans in need of assisted living grows, many family members are looking at various options for care. The Crescent Ridge Adult Day Health Center in Oxon Hill, Md., serves people with dementia, Alzheimer's and brain injuries.
You might say there's a tectonic shift going on in morning television. TV critic Eric Deggans says that ABC's "Good Morning America" is doing something that seemed unthinkable for more than a decade: it is rocking NBC'S "Today Show" off its ratings pedestal.
ERIC DEGGANS: Even "Today" show co-host Matt Lauer admits it.
MATT LAUER: The show is not where I want it to be right now. The ratings are not where I want them to be right now.
And here's a reminder of how TV is adjusting to the modern world. Trey Parker, a creator of the animated comedy series "South Park," spoke in Los Angeles at the big E-3 video game industry conference yesterday. And Parker poked fun at the ever wired world of digital entertainment.
The massacre in the place known as Houla has kept worldwide attention on the relentless violence in Syria. Western countries and the United Nations blame Syrian government troops and pro-government thugs for killing more than a hundred people, nearly half of them children. NPR's Kelly McEvers made a closer examination of those events and found that's only part of the picture.
Facebook's stock has fallen more than 25 percent since the company went public less than a month ago. What was hyped as the biggest technology IPO in history has quickly become a black eye for both Wall Street banks and Facebook itself.
But that does not necessarily mean that the company will move quickly to appease investors, as NPR's Steve Henn explains.
STEVE HENN, BYLINE: Nelly Sia-Palm(ph) bought $1,000 dollars in Facebook stock on its very first day of trading.