High school senior Jared Lyons (center), shown here with his parents, Kim and Bob, worries how he'll afford to achieve his dream of becoming a doctor. The economy, he says, "can't get any worse than it is now."
Coming after Gen X and Gen Y, the next generation of young people have been called "Gen Wrong Place, Wrong Time." With unemployment and college costs both sky-high and the housing market in collapse, young people today are facing extraordinary economic uncertainty.
Perhaps nowhere is that more clear than in a small town like East Millinocket, Maine.
On November 28th, elections were held in the Democratic Republic of Congo. They were only the second democratic polls in the nation's turbulent half-century of independence, and even before voters went to the polls there were signs that all was not well.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
Violence marred the run-up to the actual voting day, so polling was extended in some areas up to three days. Opposition candidates said the election itself was tainted.
The public corruption saga of former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich is nearing an end. Earlier this year, he was found guilty of 18 counts of corruption, including trying to sell the U.S. Senate seat once held by President Obama. Today, a federal judge begins a hearing to determine Blagojevich's sentence. NPR's Cheryl Corley reports.
This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer.
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And I'm Steve Inskeep. Good morning.
Let's talk, now, about the reported settlement in last year's deadly coal mine disaster in West Virginia. Details are expected later this morning, but NPR and other news organizations have confirmed some elements of a $200 million settlement that involves civil and criminal penalties levied against the owner of the Upper Big Branch mine.
A pretty bumblebee you're thinking, but that is actually a very rare bee called Cockrell's Bumblebee and this past August scientists rediscovered it. The last time it was seen in the wild was 55 years ago.
NPR's Chris Joyce filed this report for our Newscast unit:
Originally published on Mon December 5, 2011 5:40 pm
Protesters headed to the streets and snipers opened fire in Taiz, Yemen today. As The New York Times puts it, the clashes "threatened a day-old cease-fire agreement" and threw into question whether a power transfer agreed to by Yemen's president in November would mean much for the country.
This artist's conception illustrates Kepler-22b, a planet known to comfortably circle in the habitable zone of a sun-like star. It is the first planet that NASA's Kepler mission has confirmed to orbit in a star's habitable zone — the region around a star where liquid water, a requirement for life on Earth, could persist.
Scientists have discovered a planet not too much bigger than Earth that's circling a distant star that's much like our own Sun. What's more, this planet is in the so-called "Goldilocks zone" around that star — a region that's not too hot and not too cold. That's the kind of place that could be home to liquid water and maybe even life.
The planet, known as Kepler-22b, is the first near-Earth-sized planet to be found smack dab in the middle of the habitable zone of a twin to our Sun.
A little-noticed trial in Maryland could affect how many dirty tricks voters will see in the upcoming elections — things like anonymous fliers or phone calls telling people to vote on the wrong day, or in the wrong precinct, or that they can't vote at all if they have an outstanding parking ticket.
The tactics are often illegal, but it's rare for anyone to get caught, let alone end up in court.
Alexander Gardner photographed President Abraham Lincoln in Washington, D.C., on the eve of his second inauguration. It was the last portrait taken of Lincoln before his assassination in April 1865 and it appears on the cover of <em>The Atlantic</em>'s commemorative Civil War issue.
Credit Alexander Gardner / National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Nathaniel Hawthorne's ambivalence toward slavery put the writer at odds with much of New England's literary community, including the editors of <em>The Atlantic.</em>
Credit Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze / National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution. Gift of the A.W. Mellon Educational and Charitable Trust
During an 1863 medical exam at a Union camp, an escaped slave known only as Gordon was found to have horrific scarring on his back, the result of whippings he had received from his former overseer.
Credit National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Today it is widely understood that slavery is a stain on American history — indelible and regrettable. But on the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the Civil War, a new issue of The Atlantic magazine reaches back to a time when this matter wasn't yet settled, and monumental questions were still up in the air: Would slavery continue? Would America remain united?
Originally published on Wed December 7, 2011 9:49 am
Hidden in the soil of Illinois and Iowa, a new generation of insect larvae appears to be munching happily on the roots of genetically engineered corn, according to scientists. It's bad news for corn farmers, who paid extra money for this line of corn, counting on the power of its inserted genes to kill those pests. It's also bad news for the biotech company Monsanto, which inserted the larvae-killing gene in the first place.
When businessman Herman Cain left the Republican presidential race over the weekend, he said he would endorse one of his former rivals.
One likely recipient of that endorsement: Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. Like Cain before him, Gingrich is trying to establish himself as the conservative alternative to former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. And Cain and Gingrich share a long history of mutual admiration.
In the past two weeks, Russia's president has once again slammed the U.S. for its missile defense plans in Europe. President Dmitry Medvedev told his nation Russia would aim its missiles at U.S. missile interceptors when they are deployed in Europe. He also said Russia might even pull out of the new START agreement, which limits both sides' strategic nuclear warhead deployments. We've heard these complaints and threats before from Moscow. Nevertheless, the tone of the Medvedev's remarks was quite sharp.
Congress returned to Washington Monday with a pile of unfinished business, and no clarity on a path to getting it done. At the top of the congressional to-do list this week is extending a payroll tax holiday that meant about $1,000 in extra take-home pay for the typical family this year. It is set to expire at the end of the month.
Congressional leaders from both parties say the payroll tax cut is a must-pass measure. It's just not entirely clear how it's going to happen.
Soul music lost one of its great voices last week. Singer Howard Tate died Friday after a battle with cancer at the age of 72. Tate had made his name with a string of classic records including "Get It While You Can," before sliding into obscurity and addiction. But Tate got sober, found religion and he enjoyed a successful encore career over the past decade.
Tate's first turn at the music business came in 1966, when the single "Ain't Nobody Home" hit the R&B charts.
Originally published on Mon December 5, 2011 2:21 pm
We don't usually share local crime stories, but two of them stuck out today. And one of them provides some hope. We'll start with the sad one:
Fox 8 Cleveland reports that a burglar has "ruined" Christmas for a Painesville, Ohio family. The burglar allegedly broke into the home, took their TV, an Xbox, a laptop and worst of all perhaps, then took all the newly-bought presents underneath the Christmas tree:
Pakistani students protest the cross-border NATO air strike on Pakistani troops, in a march at the U.S. consulate in Karachi, Dec. 2. Pakistan said it could not attend the Bonn conference on Afghanistan unless its security was ensured.
A Russian woman votes Sunday at a mobile ballot box in the western village of Shelomets. Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's United Russia party received around half the vote and will control the next parliament, but its majority was significantly reduced.
Credit Viktor Drachev / AFP/Getty Images
Prime Minister Vladimir Putin visits the headquarters of his United Russia party on Sunday. Though his party did not do as well as it has previously, Putin is still an overwhelming favorite in the presidential election in March.
After 12 years with his authority virtually unchallenged, Vladimir Putin now appears to be facing an electorate that's showing signs of weariness with his rule.
Putin still seems to have a lock on another presidential term as the country prepares for that election in March. Nevertheless, his party – United Russia – received a clear rebuke in parliamentary elections held Sunday.
Envoys from dozens of countries and international organizations meet in Bonn, Germany, hoping to chart a path to peace for Afghanistan. But the conference has been marred by the absence of Pakistan, furious over NATO airstrikes that left two dozen of its soldiers dead last week.