Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 3:41 am
The U.S. has canceled plans for an Obama-Putin summit because Russia granted temporary asylum to NSA leaker Edward Snowden. But Secretary of State John Kerry and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel will go ahead with plans to meet their counterparts in Washington.
Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 4:43 am
In Missouri, several communities have been ravaged by flooding. Among the hardest hit has been Waynesville. The town of about 5,000 people has been hit by rain storms — including some 7 inches on Tuesday, and another 6 inches Wednesday. Nearby rivers and creeks have overflowed.
Every summer, a village in eastern France celebrates a Gallic chieftain who lost a major battle to Julius Caesar in 52 B.C. Despite that defeat, the mythic Vercingetorix, leader of the Gauls, is a French national hero today.
But Vercingetorix wasn't always remembered with such fanfare: For 2,000 years, he lay nearly forgotten.
By now, you've probably heard of Internet-based ridesharing apps like Uber and Sidecar that let you hail a ride with the touch of a screen. They're often cheaper than taxis and because of that, they're in most major cities and their popularity is booming.
For years, cities and states — bodies that regulate transportation — have struggled to figure out what to do about them. Recently, California took the first steps towards legitimizing them.
In Los Angeles, Lyft is one of the biggest ride-sharing companies.
Every year, the U.S. Congress appropriates more than $1 billion in military aid to Egypt. But that money never gets to Egypt. It goes to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, then to a trust fund at the Treasury and, finally, out to U.S. military contractors that make the tanks and fighter jets that ultimately get sent to Egypt.
The U.S. started sending M1A1 Abrams tanks to Egypt in the late '80s. In all, the U.S. sent more than 1,000 tanks to Egypt since then — valued at some $3.9 billion — which Egypt maintains along with several thousand Soviet-era tanks.
Originally published on Wed August 7, 2013 5:33 pm
Commotion over a pair of movies that haven't even been made proves, if anything, that the Clintons need not lift a finger to inspire a controversy.
That said, the hubbub over a planned CNN documentary and a proposed NBC Entertainment miniseries on Hillary Clinton, the former first lady and secretary of state, does feel somewhat premature. Clinton hasn't said whether she intends to run for president in 2016.
But it's never too early to take a Democratic Party titan down a few pegs, especially one who polls well ahead of all Republican presidential possibilities.
Originally published on Wed August 7, 2013 8:59 pm
Two military veterans are the latest women making allegations against San Diego Mayor Bob Filner.
Eldonna Fernandez, a retired master sergeant from the Air Force, and Gerri Tindley, an Army veteran, said Filner made unwanted advances back when Filner was serving his 10th term as a U.S. congressman in 2012. What's more, they told CNN in an interview, he did so knowing the two women had said they were raped while in the military.
The Environmental Protection Agency is proposing to let oil companies continue to dump polluted wastewater on the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming. This includes chemicals that companies add to the wells during hydraulic fracturing, an engineering practice that makes wells produce more oil.
On a recent morning, Patty Stonesifer sat cross-legged on the floor of a day care classroom, laughing as pre-schoolers clambered into a fire truck made out of a cardboard carton.
This is a far cry from Stonesifer's old life. She made her fortune in the tech world, where she rose through the ranks at Microsoft to become its highest-ranking female executive.
Later, she became the founding CEO of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation — the largest philanthropic organization in the world, with huge, global goals and an endowment of $34 billion when she left in 2008.
The house of kidnapper and rapist Ariel Castro, the man who was sentenced to life in prison plus 1,000 years last week, has been razed. Michelle Knight, one of the three women for whom the house became a prison for nearly a decade, was on hand for the demolition Wednesday.
Originally published on Wed August 7, 2013 2:40 pm
To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the civil rights' movement March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, President Obama will deliver remarks from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, the White House said today.
It was on those same steps that 50 years ago on August 28, that Martin Luther King delivered his iconic "I Have A Dream" speech.
Originally published on Fri August 9, 2013 10:44 am
Why buy 1 pound of hamburger meat from a local farmer when you can buy 5 pounds — plus another 20 pounds of stew meat, steaks and roast — for as little as half the price of what it all goes for at the market?
The widow of a man who died fighting a wildfire this summer as part of a "hotshots" team based in Prescott, Ariz., says her attempts to be paid her late husband's lifetime benefits have been denied. The city's explanation is that Andrew Ashcraft, 29, was a seasonal employee, Juliann Ashcraft said Wednesday.
The ongoing immigration debate in Congress often spotlights the job market for people living in the U.S. illegally. Not long ago, that market included one of the country's top organic herb farms — until an immigration bust forced the business, based in Washington state, to clean up its payroll.
Ted Andrews, owner of HerbCo International, says he's learned some tough lessons during the transition to a legal workforce. Lesson No. 1: "There are events that can destroy a business in the snap of a finger," he says. "This was one of them."
Originally published on Wed August 7, 2013 2:30 pm
Earlier today, diplomatic relations between the United States and Russia suffered a substantial blow, when President Obama pulled out a of planned bilateral meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in September.
Wijbren Landman, biologist and press officer at the Emmen Zoo, on why baboons sometimes act so sad.
When the keepers at the Netherlands' Emmen Zoo opened the night enclosure for 112 baboons on July 29, they expected the animals would be, as usual, eager to get inside.
After all, the baboons knew there was food for them in there.
Instead, biologist and zoo press officer Wijbren Landman tells All Things Considered the baboons didn't want to budge. "It took us about an hour to get them inside," he says. That night, the baboons didn't eat.
Temperatures Wednesday in Shanghai hit an all-time high: 105.4 degrees, according to officials here. It was the hottest day in 140 years, since the government began keeping records.
The Chinese megacity is in the midst of its hottest summer ever.
Usually bustling streets are near empty at noon and thousands have gone to hospitals for relief. To get a feel for how people are handling the heat wave, I waded into a public pool in the city's Hankou district. By early afternoon, the temperature was 98 degrees in the shade, according to the thermometer I brought along.
Russia's immigration issues would be familiar to Americans: Millions of impoverished migrants have come and found low-wage jobs. Some are in Russia illegally and are exploited by their employers. And a growing number of Russians fear this influx of migrants, many of whom are Muslim, is changing the face of the country.
At 3:30 on a recent morning, the train from Dushanbe, Tajikistan, pulls into Moscow after a four-day journey. The passengers hauling their bags out onto the damp, ill-lit platform are mostly men. Russian police eye the new arrivals with suspicion.