For the last 18 years, the Essence Music Festival has been the go-to event for African-Americans, especially African-American women. For three days in New Orleans, hundreds of thousands show up for R&B and gospel concerts and panels on politics, financial planning and parenting.
If it's a party, as creator George Wein describes it, it's a party with a purpose.
"New Orleans is a party city and they party," Wein says. "People party here. If you go to the hotels — 40-floor hotels — [there's] like 40 floors of parties."
A screen grab from the video of a public execution reportedly carried out last month in Afghanistan. The victim is sitting with her back to the executioner, who is at left.
Credit Agence France Presse
Earlier today, we published and distributed a story by Ahmad Shafi recounting his experience witnessing a public execution in Kabul in 1998. Since the story was published, it has come to our attention that portions of the piece were copied from a story by Jason Burke, published by the London Review of Books in March 2001. We have removed Shafi's story from our website.
Workers clean inside the Egyptian parliament in Cairo on Monday.
Credit Mohammed Asad / AP
Today there were two big developments in Egypt:
First, Egypt's high court reaffirmed that its decision to dissolve parliament was final and binding. Over the weekend, the newly-elected President Mohammed Morsi had called parliament back into session defying the court's earlier decision.
Reporting from Cairo, Kimberly Adams told our Newscast unit that this sets up a "political showdown."
Martin Cooper holds a Motorola DynaTAC, a 1973 prototype of the first hand-held cellular telephone, in San Francisco in 2003. Cooper made the world's first public call from a cellphone in 1973.
Credit Eric Risberg / AP
They called it "the brick." And Martin Cooper says it really did look like one: 8 inches high, an inch and a half wide, 4 inches deep, and weighing 2 1/2 pounds.
In other words, the world's first hand-held cellphone, the Motorola DynaTAC, weighed the equivalent of about eight iPhones. (Try jamming that into a pocket.)
"The battery life was only 20 minutes," says Cooper, a former vice president at Motorola who has been called the "father of the cellphone." "But that was not a problem because you couldn't hold that heavy thing up for more than 20 minutes."
Texas is saying no to key parts of the federal health care law. Today, Governor Rick Perry said Texas will not create a state exchange for people to buy health insurance and will not expand Medicaid. In a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Governor Perry called both provisions a power grab, brazen intrusions into the sovereignty of our state.
New York Mets pitcher R.A. Dickey delivers his signature pitch, with its unusual grip, against the Arizona Diamondbacks on May 6. He's the only knuckleballer in the major leagues, and the pitch has earned him a 12-1 record so far this season.
Soft to the touch, silk may also help preserve vaccines and drugs someday.
Credit Fiorenzo Omenetto / Tufts University
Silk is in neckties, scarves and some fancy underwear and pajamas. Before too long, it might just help keep people from getting sick with measles or polio.
Vaccines play an important role in health, but can be tricky to transport to the far corners of the world. Many vaccines and some other drugs require constant refrigeration — from the factories where they're made to the places where they're ultimately injected into people.