The trial of seven Italian scientists began this week. They are charged with manslaughter for failing to adequately warn the residents of L'Aquila, Italy, about the risk of an earthquake in 2009. Host Scott Simon speaks with Rick Aster, president of the Seismological Society of America, about the trial.
It decides nothing, and may be totally meaningless, but like many other political events, the Florida straw poll gets a lot of attention from candidates and the media. This year, the poll is expected to draw 3,500 party activists to take part in Orlando, where NPR's Greg Allen reports from the Conservative Political Action Conference.
Tens of thousands of Palestinians across the occupied West Bank took to the streets Friday night to celebrate their formal bid for statehood at the United Nations. Watching on large television screens set up in city squares, Palestinians reacted with joy at the uncharacteristically impassioned speech given by Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas. From Ramallah, NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro talks with host Scott Simon.
The UN Security Council now has before it an application from the Palestinians to join the United Nations as a full member. The U.S. is promising to veto the bid as diplomats try to revive Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, but as NPR's Michele Kelemen reports, the parties sound very far apart.
The once-rare possibility of a federal government shutdown has reared its head again, this time over House Republicans' desire to offset spending for disaster relief with money for other unrelated projects.
A clean-car loan program has become a key battleground. The House spending bill would take $1.5 billion from the program for disaster relief. Democrats say that would be a huge mistake.
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen, right, and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta testify before the Senate Armed Services Committee on September 22. The Pentagon is tasked with cutting $450 billion from its budget in the next 10 years.
Credit Karen Bleier / AFP/Getty Images
The congressional super committee has two months to come up with a way to slash more than a trillion dollars from the federal deficit, or risk deeper cuts that would be triggered automatically. Everything is on the table in the debate — including defense spending.
The Pentagon is on a mission to prevent the defense budget from taking the brunt of the cuts, and the threat of losing funding has both the military branches and the defense industry fighting back.
A pensioner shops in Athens' central market on May 12. The rapidly aging population in Europe will increasingly strain national budgets across the continent, where more retirees will be depending on fewer workers.
Credit Filippo Monteforte / AFP/Getty Images
"Old Europe" is getting old, and fast.
The share of seniors in the population of Western European countries is growing rapidly, due to a combination of increased longevity and low fertility rates.
That fact is having two major effects on many economies within the European Union. Over the short term, many nations are struggling to pay for generous health coverage and pensions.
Researchers made quite a find this week in Utah: a new species of raptor dinosaur. The ancient creature, a meat-eater, was small and fast, with talon-like toes.
"These animals were incredibly fast, incredibly intelligent and some of them wielded very significant claws and sharp teeth," Dr. Lindsay Zanno of the New University of Wisconsin tells NPR's Scott Simon. Zanno led the dig team that made the discovery.
The Arizona Diamondbacks, the Milwaukee Brewers and the Texas Rangers all won division titles Friday night. But in New England, the Boston Red Sox have been falling like leaves from a mighty oak in the race for the American League wild card spot. Host Scott Simon talks sports with sports commentator Howard Bryant about this story and more.
Emily McCord speaks to Jo Ingles from Ohio Public Radio in the week's installment of PoliticsOhio. Ingles discusses the changes made this week to the map and how now it will be harder to put it up for a referendum. But she says Democrats who are upset about the new map are still weighing their options.