File under "one of the oddest jobs ever": professional mourner. China's funeral rituals date back 2,000 years to the Han dynasty, but were banned during the Cultural Revolution as superstition. Now these funeral rituals have become an income source to a select few who stage funeral extravaganzas, marrying ancient Chinese traditions with modern entertainment.
So many people have the wrong idea about pasta salad — that staple of the summertime picnic season. It's a complete dish (often with starch, vegetable and protein all together), it's happy to hang out in your basket for several leisurely hours without complaint and it doesn't require much more than a fork to enjoy al fresco. Far too often, though, it's just done wrong.
With just days remaining before Google pulls the plug on its Reader RSS feed service, reality is sinking in. And the market for free or low-cost replacements is growing, as Digg has rolled out its new reader in the past week. Other companies report a burst of new customers after Google's announcement that it would discontinue its RSS system on July 1.
It didn't take long after the news broke about the Supreme Court's 5-to-4 decision tossing out a key piece of the Voting Rights Act for the fears of voting advocates, or the hopes of VRA critics, to be realized.
Originally published on Wed June 26, 2013 11:45 am
New observations of a fairly well-studied star have revealed a system with at least six planets, three of which are in the star's habitable zone. This is the first time that three such planets have been spotted orbiting in this zone in the same system.
All this week, we are remembering our favorite moments from the 21-year-run of Talk of the Nation. With so many driveway moment-inducing interviews, hours of live breaking news, segments with familiar voices, and insights from audience members, it's hard to know where to start. So we asked a few of those who worked on Talk of the Nation over the years to share a story or two.
You're listening to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News.
Calm has been restored in southern Lebanon for now. Clashes between the army and followers of a radical Sunni cleric have left dozens dead over the past two days. It's been called the most violent spillover from the conflict in Syria to a neighboring country. And now, a manhunt is under way for that cleric, Ahmed al-Assir.
NPR's Kelly McEvers traveled from Beirut to the scene of the violence today in Sidon, also known as Saida in Arabic.
Today in the Afghan capital, Kabul, there was a coordinated assault on the diplomatic green zone. Men in at least two vehicles bluffed their way into a secure area before detonating bombs and getting into a firefight with government security forces. Three security guards were killed, as well as all of the attackers.
A two-way dialogue is important in any conversation, especially when you are discussing compelling issues. Over the past two decades, Talk of the Nation has been part of public radio's national conversation with listeners, gathering perspectives and insights into the latest headlines and developments in science, education, religion and the arts.
The West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Warning Center said the source of the wave is "complex and under review," but they believe it was caused by a strong storm and perhaps even the "the slumping at the continental shelf east of New Jersey."
The albums that made the first half of our year came at us from every direction (often, more than one at a time). We've collected our favorites into a handy little list that we're happy to share with you today.
On May 13, 1985, after a long standoff, Philadelphia municipal authorities dropped a bomb on a residential row house. The Osage Avenue home was the headquarters of the African-American radical group MOVE, which had confronted police on many occasions since the group's founding in 1972.
The resulting fire killed 11 people — including five children and the group's leader, John Africa — destroyed 61 homes, and tore apart a community.
Russian President Vladimir Putin appeared to rebuff the United States when he said NSA leaker Edward Snowden was in Moscow but is a "free person" who is "entitled to buy a ticket and fly to wherever he wants."
Snowden, Putin said, is in the transit zone of Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport and has neither crossed the Russian border nor "committed any crime" on Russian soil.
German officials say they've uncovered a radical Islamist plot to use remote-controlled model airplanes packed with explosives to carry out terrorist attacks in Germany.
Police carried out nine predawn raids in southern and eastern Germany as well as Belgium in search of evidence of what prosecutors allege was a plan for a "serious, state-threatening act of violence." There were no arrests.
While a few states in the U.S. are debating mandatory labels for genetically modified foods, some African nations are considering a bigger question: Should farmers be allowed to plant genetically modified crops at all?
The question carries extra weight in countries like Uganda, where most people are farmers who depend on their own crops for food.