The European Union police organization, Europol, uncovered a massive match-fixing scheme that they say presents "a big problem for the integrity of football in Europe."
As the AP reports, the Europol investigation found "more than 380 suspicious matches — including World Cup and European Championship qualifiers and two Champions League games — and found evidence that a Singapore-based crime group is closely involved in match-fixing."
Singer-songwriter Angelique Kidjo was born in Benin, West Africa. Today, she lives in New York City and is widely considered Africa's greatest living diva.
For Kidjo, music provides an outlet for both activism and pleasure. "Those two things are part of my stability," she tells NPR's Michel Martin. "I need that. No human being has endless compassion, you need to replenish yourself, and I know that if I didn't have music, I'd go crazy."
Georgia Kolia, 63, has two adult children, both unemployed. She works as a volunteer distributing loaves of bread at the Agia Zonis Orthodox church soup kitchen for the poor in Athens, Greece, in April 2012.
Credit John Kolesidis / Reuters/Landov
Unpaid for five months, nurse Paraskevi Petropoulou holds her unpaid electricity bill outside the Ministry of Health in Athens during an anti-government protest on Sept. 28, 2012.
Greeks are feeling the squeeze. The social repercussions of three years of austerity measures imposed by international lenders are hitting hard. Thousands of businesses have shut down, unemployment is nearly 27 percent and rising, and the once dependable safety net of welfare benefits is being pulled in.
With further cutbacks and tax hikes about to kick in, Greece's social fabric is being torn apart.
Nowhere are cutbacks more visible and painful than in health care.
Originally published on Mon February 4, 2013 12:38 pm
One of the Twitter hashtags devised by rabid Beyonce fans before last night's Super Bowl halftime show was religious in nature: #praisebeysus. Praise Beysus! This bit of hyperventilating resonated in interesting ways. Strutting into the very center of America's biggest television spectacle, the 31-year-old superstar intended to secure her place in the musical pantheon next to recent Super Bowl-approved legends Madonna, The Who, Bruce Springsteen and Prince.
Originally published on Sat February 16, 2013 7:09 pm
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This is just about the most surprising album in recent memory, and a complete joy. The singer for Roxy Music, Bryan Ferry has also enjoyed a long solo career, both as an interpreter of songs by others — Bob Dylan, The Beach Boys, Sam Cooke, Cole Porter, Lou Reed and many more — and as an extraordinary songwriter who's released 13 solo albums, each with its own strengths.
The Canadian mint stops distributing pennies on Monday. Canada stopped making one-cent coins last year to cut costs, since each penny cost 1.6 cents to make. Most stores will round out change to the nearest five cents.
Originally published on Mon February 4, 2013 10:11 am
We often think of the desert as a place of negation: no water, very little plant and animal life, lots of empty space. But in reality, the desert is very full — undergoing constant physical change, very much inhabited by animals and humans, a complex geography that is imagined many different ways. Corporate interests see mining claims; environmentalists see habitats for endangered species; migrants see a burning plain they must cross to arrive in Canaan; ATV riders see a huge playground; spiritual seekers see God's country.
It now appears that the militants who stormed a gas plant in Algeria last month, resulting in the deaths of dozens of hostages, ultimately wanted to create a giant fireball by blowing up the plant. They just couldn't figure out how. David Greene talks to Adam Nossiter of The New York Times, who recently went to the plant and gathered accounts of some former hostages.
Calls for better equipment and protection for players grew louder in the NFL this year. It follows growing evidence of the damage caused by repeated blows to the head, and some high-profile suicides by former players.
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President Obama is taking his campaign against gun violence to the country, beginning today with a trip to Minneapolis and a visit to that city's police department. Many police organizations favor tougher gun laws. The president leaves behind a new Congress that's getting down to business. And consuming most of lawmakers' time: the budget and the deficit.