And we briefly note the passing of one of the world's great opera singers: German baritone Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau died today. He was 86. From his first recital in Berlin in 1947 until his retirement in 1992, Fischer-Dieskau is in demand at opera houses and concert halls the world over. He was especially known for his interpretations of Schubert songs, like this one from the song cycle "Winterreise" or "Winter Journey."
Back in 1969, when Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on the moon, there were no guarantees. There were no guarantees that they'd make it there and there were no guarantees that they could make it back home.
President Richard Nixon and his speech writer William Safire knew that. So, imagining a situation in which the American astronauts were doomed in an alien land, Safire drew up a plan to mark their inevitable demise in a dignified way.
It was almost one year ago that the space shuttle Atlantis rose into the sky on a pillar of flame for the last time. The shuttle program ended forever with that mission. American astronauts were left to hitch rides on Russian space capsules, and American kids were left with no tangible direction forward for their dreams of a high-tech, space-happy future.
Tomorrow morning, the unmanned Falcon 9 rocket is scheduled to lift off from Cape Canaveral so that supplies can reach the space station.
It's a good time to brew beer in America. According to beer expert Julia Herz, U.S. brewing isn't just on the upswing, it's on top. "We're now the No. 1 destination for beer, based on diversity and amount of beers," she says.
But if you want to see the strength of America's beer industry, you may want to look past beverage giants like Anheuser-Busch and MillerCoors. According to the Brewers Association, nearly 2,000 American brewers operated during 2011 — the most since the 1880s.
Egypt's grand mufti, Ali Gomaa (center, with scarf), visits the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem in April. The Dome of the Rock, which is part of the same compound, is shown behind him. Many Muslims have boycotted the site because Israel claims sovereignty. But Palestinian religious figures now say they welcome such visits, a move that has sparked controversy.
For decades, Muslims around the world have been unofficially boycotting Islam's third holiest site, the Al-Aqsa mosque Jerusalem.
Many Muslims believe that visiting legitimizes Israel's claim to the site, which also sits atop the holiest place in Judaism. The Palestinians, meanwhile, are seeking a state with a capital in east Jerusalem, where the mosque is located.
But Palestinian religious authorities at Al-Aqsa and Palestinian officials are now calling on Muslims to visit the shrine, a change that is creating controversy within the Palestinian community.
If you're eligible to vote but aren't registered yet, watch out. They're coming to get you!
Campaigns, political parties and interest groups are all mounting massive voter registration campaigns this year to influence the outcome of the November elections.
The target is the millions of Americans — the Pew Center on the States estimates that number is 51 million — who are eligible to vote but not registered. The belief is that even a relative few of these voters could swing the election results.
Hispanic residents walk by a law office in Union City, N.J., specializing in immigration in March. Union City is one of the state's largest cities, and has a Hispanic population of more than 80 percent.
The U.S. Supreme Court's expected ruling in June on Arizona's immigration law will set the blueprint for states where many officials say they face a crisis in trying to crack down on rising numbers of illegal residents.
Yet population changes and various research indicate that the great flow primarily of Latino illegal immigrants, which lasted at least two decades, ended several years ago.
For years, Cushing, Okla., has been on the receiving end of a 500-mile pipeline funneling oil from the Gulf of Mexico to the American heartland.
Starting this weekend, that pipeline will start moving crude in the other direction. That flow reversal could soon have implications at gas pumps around the country.
"For 40 years, crude oil flowed north," says Philip Verleger, a visiting fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. "Today, oil flows south. It's as if we turned the world upside down."
The movie Battleship, based on the popular board game, opens today in the U.S. In most respects, it's a typical popcorn picture — the kind of effects-laden action movie that audiences often turn into a summer blockbuster.
And while it may not be any good, it is undeniably ours — American from the water up: a Universal Studios picture about an alien invasion, crammed with special effects from Industrial Light and Magic and set largely on American warships.
Don't worry if you missed out on Facebook's initial public offering. Chances are, if you own shares in a broad-based index fund, you'll be holding onto some Facebook soon enough.
Facebook is such a huge offering -– with an initial market capitalization of more than $100 billion, it instantly becomes one of the 25 largest "cap" stocks — that it could have a distorting effect on some funds, at least in the short term.
Amr Moussa, a prominent figure during the rule of former President Hosni Mubarak, is the front-runner as Egyptians prepare to vote for president next week. He is shown here during a campaign event on the outskirts of Cairo on Wednesday.
Credit Khaled Desouki / AFP/Getty Images
Among the candidates in Egypt's presidential election is Mohammed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood. Here, his young supporters campaign for him on the outskirts of Cairo on Thursday.
When it comes to hepatitis C, things that happened to baby boomers back in the day can make all the difference.
One in 30 baby boomers is infected with virus, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And most of them don't know it. So, the CDC is moving ahead with a proposal that all baby boomers (born between 1945 and 1965) get a blood test to check for the virus.
The current guidelines call for testing when someone has known risk factors.
The president of Malawi vowed to overturn her country's ban on homosexual acts.
The BBC reports that President Joyce Banda made the vow in her first address to Parliament.
"Some laws which were duly passed by the August house... will be repealed as a matter of urgency... these include the provisions regarding indecent practices and unnatural acts," Banda said according to the BBC.
Following the release of what his campaign called his first ad of the general election, Romney participated in a "tele-town hall" with supporters in the swing states where the ad is running: Virginia, North Carolina, Ohio, and Iowa.
Mark Zuckerberg is, among many other things, the highest-profile taxpayer on the planet today.
After today's Facebook IPO, Zuckerberg will owe nearly $200 million in California state taxes alone. That's "among the largest tax liabilities that a single individual has ever paid at a given point in time," says Jason Sisney of the California State Budget Legislative Analyst's Office.
Zuckerberg's profits will be taxed at a 10% rate in California. That's a much higher rate than in many other states.