In Germany, low unemployment and a strong economy translated into a big election victory for Chancellor Angela Merkel and her Conservative political party. This means a third term for the 59-year-old physicist. The win for Merkel was even bigger than predicted by her political party. Merkel's win is all the more impressive as other European leaders have fallen, with voters venting frustration over the continent's financial crisis.
Formula One racing is having its moment on American movie screens. The documentary "Senna" was a hit a few years back, and now "Rush" is in theaters. Los Angeles Times and MORNING EDITION film critic Kenneth Turan has this review.
The International Monetary Fund has played a pivotal role in responding to the global financial crisis. The IMF has almost 200 member countries, and the organization helps to keep their economies growing, or at least stable. Christine LaGarde heads the IMF.
President Obama spoke at a memorial service Sunday for the victims of last week's shooting at the Washington Navy Yard. The president and first lady also met with families of the dead. Twelve people were killed in addition to the gunman, who died in a shootout with police.
Originally published on Mon September 23, 2013 10:35 am
In Nairobi, the military says it has rescued "most" of the remaining people trapped inside the high-end shopping mall. At least 68 people have been killed and 175 injured. The militant group al-Shabab from neighboring Somalia has claimed responsibility.
Earlier this month, Jhumpa Lahiri rejected the idea of immigrant fiction. "I don't know what to make of the term," she toldThe New York Times. "All American fiction could be classified as immigrant fiction."
John Hewitt is a neuroscientist who studies the biology of intelligence. He's also a parent. Over the years, Hewitt has periodically drawn upon his scientific knowledge in making parenting decisions.
"I'm a father of four children myself and I never worried too much about the environments that I was providing for my children because I thought, well, it would all work out in the end anyway — aren't the genes especially powerful?" Hewitt says.
Pregnant women hear a lot about things they should avoid: alcohol, tobacco, chemical exposures, stress. All of those have the potential to affect a developing fetus. And now scientists are beginning to understand why.
One important factor, they say, is something called epigenetics, which involves the mechanisms that turn individual genes on and off in a cell.
Bernard Vallius, who heads the group, says it used to be that people ate a sit-down lunch and dinner with family or friends every day. Now people — especially the young and those who live in cities — eat sandwiches or skip lunch altogether and snack, he says.
Sure, Bob Newhart may have won his first Emmy for guest-starring as Professor Proton on the hugely popular show The Big Bang Theory, about four young scientists at Caltech. But behind the scenes is a real-life professor, David Saltzberg of UCLA.
Saltzberg studies high-energy particle physics and high-energy neutrino astronomy, using radio-detection techniques when he's not working as The Big Bang Theory's science consultant.
Former Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, accompanied by her husband, retired astronaut Mark Kelly, speaks during a news conference in Manchester, N.H., in July. They were there to encourage state political leaders to have courage in the fight to expand background checks on gun purchases.
Originally published on Mon September 23, 2013 4:02 am
Former U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona was honored over the weekend for her service to the public by Scripps College. Giffords' alma mater awarded her the school's highest level of recognition: the Ellen Browning Scripps Medal.
Claudia Felder, 21, was in and out of the U.S. foster care system for nearly 10 years before she found a permanent family. Her difficult story ended happily, but that's not always the case for the 400,000 kids in foster care in America.
Claudia Felder lives in Chino, Calif., with her parents. It's a wholesome scene: nice house, three dogs and a parrot and happy family pictures everywhere.
You'd have no idea that the composed, cheerful, articulate young woman got off to a rough start in life.
Felder spent much of her childhood in foster care, starting when she was 3 years old. She's 21 now, and has been living happily with her adoptive family. But memories of an abusive past still haunt her.
In Germany Sunday, exit polls show that Chancellor Angela Merkel has won a third term, with her political party getting the most votes. But one of the key members in her ruling coalition appears to have been voted out of parliament, leaving it unclear who Merkel will partner with in her next government.
In Nairobi Sunday night, Kenyan government forces appear to be preparing for a major push to end the standoff in the Westgate Mall. The government says it has cornered the gunmen who stormed the mall Saturday. NPR's Gregory Warner tells host Arun Rath at least 68 people have been killed.
Forty-five states have adopted the Common Core State Standards, the first-ever national academic standards for students. But opposition is growing, and some lawmakers are having second thoughts about their states' support.
Meanwhile, proponents of the standards are still struggling to explain the initiative to parents, many of whom say they've never even heard of Common Core.
Every year, the trade magazine Drinks International puts out a list of the top-selling alcohols in the world, and in the category of spirits, there is one brand that more than doubles the sales of its closest competitor every year. Smirnoff, Jack Daniel's and Bacardi don't even come close.
From left, Bob Odenkirk and David Cross co-created the sketch comedy series <em>Mr. Show.</em> They have since played long-running roles on <em>Breaking Bad </em>and <em><em>Arrested Development,</em></em> respectively.
Credit Sharon Alagna / Courtesy of Grand Central Publishing
A Free Syrian Army soldier stands on a Syrian military tank in front of a damaged mosque in the Syrian town of Azaz in September 2012. A different rebel group, an al-Qaida offshoot, took over the town on Wednesday.
Credit Hussein Malla / AP
Syrian refugee children in the Bab al-Salam refugee camp in Azaz in July. Turkey sealed off the border in this area after Islamists took over Azaz.
A small town on the Syrian-Turkish border is playing an outsized role in what has become a war within the war in Syria. Azaz is now a symbol of the dangerous rift between Western-backed rebels under the umbrella of the Free Syrian Army and a radical Islamist groups linked to al-Qaida.
Clashes on Wednesday — the seizure of Azaz by an al-Qaida offshoot — were followed more closely than other battles, in part because Azaz was the gateway town for journalists reporting on Syria.
Jacob Landis has been riding his bike to every Major League Baseball stadium, to raise money to help the needy pay for cochlear implants. His ride ended Saturday night due to a crash — but Landis says he'll still be at the Marlins' stadium next week.
Originally published on Sun September 22, 2013 4:24 pm
Cyclist Jacob Landis, who rode more than 10,000 miles on his bike this year to raise money for cochlear implants, will miss out on the final miles of his ride after being hit by a truck. Landis had planned to ride his bike to every Major League Baseball stadium this season. Despite the crash, he says he'll still go to the final game on his schedule.