A U.S. Predator drone flies through the night sky over Kandahar Air Field in Afghanistan. Drone strikes ordered by the Obama administration have killed more than a dozen al-Qaida leaders around the world.
Drone strikes ordered by the Obama administration have killed more than a dozen al-Qaida leaders around the world, in places ranging from Afghanistan to Somalia. In speeches and public appearances, U.S. officials say those attacks are legal and essential to protect the nation's security.
But when civil liberties groups asked for more information about targeted killing, the CIA told them it's a secret.
On Thursday, they'll square off in front of a federal appeals court in Washington.
Dr. James Watson looks at a reproduction of the structure of DNA, which he helped discover, in this 1962 photograph. Decades later, Watson was one of the first people to have his entire genome sequenced.
Credit Courtesy of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Watson, now 84, says sequencing helped explain his past sensitivity to certain drugs. But he didn't want to know everything his sequenced genome revealed about his health future.
When scientists were looking for the first person to test a new, superfast way of deciphering someone's entire genetic blueprint, they turned to James Watson – the guy who shared a Nobel Prize for discovering the structure of DNA.
"They had to sequence someone, so they got me," he says.
All you have to know about the nonsense of college athletic conferences in America today is that the Big Ten has 12 members, and the Big Twelve has 10. Honestly.
But as badly as athletic conferences flunk arithmetic, they do no better with geography. Next year, for example, San Diego State will be in the Big East. This is like, you never could believe that Vladivostok, way out there, was really in Russia, could you?
Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 10:30 am
An ancient piece of text is reviving an equally ancient debate: Was Jesus Christ married?
Of course, most Christians believe that he wasn't. But today, Harvard Professor of Divinity Karen King presented a scrap of papyrus that dates back to the fourth century. She told a gathering of scholars in Rome that written in Coptic was this surprising sentence: "Jesus said to them, 'My wife...' "
Anytime a candidate calls an unexpected press conference in the evening, you know it's not good news. We look at the latest news and political fall out from the release of Mitt Romney's remarks at a private fundraiser. The comments were made in May and the recording was released by Mother Jones magazine.
Senegalese vendor Cheikh Fall prepares his stall in front of Brooks Brothers on 51st Street, just off the Avenue of the Americas in New York City. Fall runs an association of Senegalese vendors that deals with the city over licensing and regulations.
Credit Art Silverman / NPR
Cheikh Fall sets up his stall. He lives by the motto, "Work like you're never gonna die, and worship like you will die tomorrow."
Careful planning can transform the shape and life of a city. But sometimes, a city's features develop spontaneously — like the immigrant enclaves that grow around certain jobs and trades in urban centers like New York.
Occupational cliches have been a fact of life in the Big Apple for generations. Historically, New Yorkers thought of Jewish tailors, Italian greengrocers or Irish policemen, says Philip Kasinitz, a sociologist with the City University of New York.
Mother Jones magazine is known for its small but passionate following of liberal readers. And right now, it's getting a huge amount of attention. NPR media correspondent David Folkenflik joins us now for more on Mother Jones and how it got this story. Hi there, David.
DAVID FOLKENFLIK, BYLINE: Hey, Audie.
CORNISH: So this video of Mitt Romney was recorded a while back. Some of the clips were living on YouTube months ago. So what did Mother Jones do to acquire the story and get so much attention for it now?
There is a partisan side to the video that is giving Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney headaches. The man who found the video online and then negotiated its full release was James Carter IV, President Jimmy Carter's grandson.
If you haven't heard by now, the video was released by Mother Jones and it shows Romney talking bluntly about 47 percent of the country, whom he says pay no taxes and think themselves "victims."
It all began last year, when the Library of Congress presented Samuel Beckett's Ohio Impromptu alongside a piece of music by composer Dina Koston, which responded to the text. A New York group, the Cygnus Ensemble, played the music, while Washington, D.C., director Joy Zinoman staged the play, for one night only.
Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 7:22 am
I'm a Pepper, You're a Pepper, but clearly, some people are not Peppers.
Dr Pepper's new Facebook ad campaign featuring an ape moving from all-fours, to seeing a soda on a rock, to an upright man, enjoying a Pepper, is apparently red meat to some creationists who are loudly expressing outrage at the idea that humans evolved from soda-discovering apes.
Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 4:42 pm
The question of whether Mitt Romney's presidential campaign will be hurt by his characterization of 47 percent of Americans as people who believe they are victims, entitled to health care, food, housing, "you name it," is fairly settled.
Yes, it will — at least in the short run. Romney's problem? There's not much more campaign left than a short run.
The battle in Syria is being fought by rebel fighters who lack many of the basics typically associated with warfare: helmets, a large supply of ammo, and military planning.
"I was with one fighter who had 11 bullets, and he was, like, roaming as a freelance fighter along the front line trying to pick up a fight somewhere," journalist Ghaith Abdul-Ahad tells Fresh Air contributor Dave Davies.