A haze of smoke hangs over Athens early Jan. 3. The hazy conditions result from residents' switch to wooden stoves and fireplaces for heating, as many households can no longer afford to buy heating oil.
Credit Petros Giannakouris / AP
Sotiris Sotiriou, 41, and his daughter Sophia, 5, check out the olive-wood kindling in the fireplace that heats their family's home.
In this winter of austerity and Depression-era unemployment, a fog of woodsmoke hangs over the Greek capital on cold nights.
It's coming from the tens of thousands of fireplaces and wood-burning stoves Athenians are using to heat their homes. Most can no longer afford heating oil, the price of which has risen 40 percent since last year. The government also cut a fuel subsidy for low-income families earlier this month.
Earlier this month, we welcomed two new music channels to the public radio family — KUTX in Austin and XPN2: Singer-Songwriter Radio in Philadelphia — so for this installment of Heavy Rotation, we asked them to share their favorite songs of their first two weeks on the planet.
Nashville-based singer Vicki Yohe is breaking the mold of gospel singers with her country-western looks.
She recently stopped by NPR for a performance chat with Tell Me More Host Michel Martin and addressed questions on race, faith and music, including her new album, I'm at Peace: A Praise & Worship Experience.
After performing a few of her popular sings, Yohe took to the 88 keys to show her love for NPR.
First lady Michelle Obama arrives at the Senate carriage entrance for the presidential inauguration ceremonies at the U.S Capitol.
Credit Jonathan Ernst / Reuters/Landov
Malia Obama (left) is wearing a J.Crew coat; her sister, Sasha, wears a coat from American designer Kate Spade.
Credit Win McNamee / Getty Images
The first lady and her daughters arrive for the swearing-in of President Obama at the Capitol.
Credit Kevin Lamarque / Reuters /Landov
Obama and Michelle walk in the inauguration parade near the White House. The first lady chose a coat by designer Thom Browne.
Credit Charles Dharapak / AP
On Sunday, during the official swearing-in ceremony at the White House, the first lady wore a dress and cardigan by Reed Krakoff. <em>Women's Wear Daily</em> reports she wore the same cardigan on Monday.
Credit Doug Mills/Pool / AP
Sasha and Malia Obama clap from the reviewing stand in the nation's capital as they watch the presidential inaugural parade.
Credit Mark Wilson / Getty Images
President Obama greets first lady Michelle Obama on stage during the Commander-In-Chief inaugural ball. Michelle's dress was designed by Jason Wu.
Credit Evan Vucci / AP
Vice President Biden, President Obama and Mrs. Obama pause to pay their respects at the Martin Luther King Jr. statue in the Capitol rotunda as they leave the inaugural luncheon. The first lady wore a cardigan she wore just the day before.
Originally published on Tue January 22, 2013 1:24 pm
Update at 9:05 p.m. ET Michelle Obama's Dress
NBC News is reporting that the first lady is wearing a custom Jason Wu ruby-colored chiffon and velvet gown, Jimmy Choo shoes and a ring by Kimberly McDonald to the Commander in Chief Ball. The White House said that the outfit and accompanying accessories will go to the National Archives at the end of the inaugural events.
The Big Sandy Power Plant, 4 miles north of Louisa, is the biggest industry in Lawrence County. Local residents blame President Obama's environmental policies for the company's plans to close the plant in 2015.
If the voters in Louisa, Ky., had their wish, Mitt Romney would have taken the oath of office Monday. Louisa is in eastern Kentucky, and "coal" was the one-word issue in the election. President Obama is seen as an enemy of coal mining and he got only 27 percent of the vote in the county.
And now comes word that Louisa is going to lose its biggest industry — a power generating plant that's been burning coal since 1962.
For many inauguration attendees without tickets to official viewing areas, there was a historic alternative all the way on the other side of the National Mall at the Lincoln Memorial. Lincoln is often invoked by President Obama and the memorial's role in the civil rights movement also made it a powerful draw on a day that was not only Inauguration Day, but also Martin Luther King, Jr., Day.
Originally published on Mon January 21, 2013 5:23 pm
President Obama dined with lawmakers at the Capitol in the traditional inaugural luncheon on Monday. Within hours, Obama and congressional Republicans will be back at it over the debt ceiling, spending cuts and a possible government shutdown.
For the past few weeks a team of scientists, archaeologists and documentary makers has been digging at Yangon's international airport in Myanmar, also known as Burma. They are searching for a legendary trove of Spitfire fighter planes, said to have been buried in Burma in the waning days of World War II.
Originally published on Mon January 21, 2013 5:35 pm
When you think of Martin Luther King Jr., all sorts of things immediately spring to mind. The climax of the "I Have a Dream" speech. The Montgomery bus boycotts. Maybe some black-and-white images of the man meeting with important people or contemplating weighty matters.
It's about 25 degrees on a clear Saturday morning when Gregg Treinish — executive director of Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation, a nonprofit that puts volunteers to work gathering data for scientists around the world — gathers a small group of outdoor adventurers around him near the Duckabush River in the Olympic National Forest in Washington state.
One of President Obama's gun control proposals appears to have widespread support — universal background checks for gun purchases. Some experts on mental health and gun violence find problems with the current laws, and they say the system doesn't do a very good job of predicting and preventing gun crime.
When you enter Kerley's Hunting and Outfitting in Cupertino, Calif., you're greeted by a taxidermy lion roaring and leaping. There are rows of rifles on the walls, but the owner, Harry Dwyer III, doesn't appear to be as fierce as his mascot.
Originally published on Mon January 21, 2013 8:59 pm
President Obama began his second term with an unapologetically liberal inaugural address, calling on Americans to work together to preserve entitlements, address climate change and extend civil rights.
"Together, we discovered that a free market only thrives when there are rules to ensure competition and fair play," the president said. "Together, we resolved that a great nation must care for the vulnerable and protect its people from life's worst hazards and misfortune."
In the new Fox TV series The Following, Kevin Bacon plays a former FBI agent asked to help apprehend an escaped serial killer he once put behind bars. The show is from Kevin Williamson, who also created the Scream horror-movie franchise.
This is special coverage from NPR News of the presidential inauguration. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. The crowds along the National Mall have dwindled, and President Obama is making his way to the inaugural parade, which then will head down Pennsylvania Avenue to the White House. The theme of this year's inauguration, faith in America's future, an idea that echoed through much of what the president said in an inaugural address that illuminated many of the principles behind the policies he intends to address during his final term.
Originally published on Mon January 21, 2013 2:49 pm
The rapper Lupe Fiasco was escorted off the stage at an unofficial inaugural ball in Washington, last night.
As Politico reports, the Grammy-nominated rapper stayed on the anti-war song "Words I Never Said" for 30 minutes. Video posted by Now This News shows Fiasco dropping lines critical of President Obama, before the lights go off and men in black suits escort him off the stage.