President Obama travels to Texas on Thursday for the second time in as many weeks. He will talk about job training and economic opportunity, but he may have a political opportunity on his mind as well.
Obama lost Texas by more than 1 million votes last year. But Democrats believe their fortunes in the Lone Star State may soon change, thanks to demographics and a new organizational push.
Anne-Marie Slaughter had been the director of policy planning for the State Department for two years — commuting from Princeton, N.J., where her family lived, to Washington, D.C., where the job was — when she realized something had to give.
"It was a fabulous job, but at the end of two years I simply had to recognize that I needed to be at home," Slaughter tells Morning Edition's Renee Montagne. Moreover, she adds, "I wanted to be at home, and there was no way to do that and to do the kind of job that Secretary Clinton needed me to do."
In the 1970s, Salman Rushdie was an unknown writer living in London. He decided to return to the country of his birth and rough it across India on what he describes as "extraordinarily long 15-hour bus rides with chickens vomiting on our feet."
That trip inspired Midnight's Children, the Booker Prize-winning novel that many consider Rushdie's literary masterpiece. Now, more than 30 years after it was published, Midnight's Children arrives on the big screen in a glittering film adaptation from Oscar-nominated director Deepa Mehta.
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.
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.
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.
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."