President Obama is set to hold a news conference at the White House on Friday at 3 p.m. ET — his first such formal give-and-take with the press corps since "NSA leaker" Edward Snowden starting spilling secrets about National Security Agency surveillance programs in June.
So we should expect questions about Snowden, spying and civil liberties, as well as strained relations with Russia, the economy and other subjects.
A couple of nights ago I had just closed my book, turned off my light, and was drifting off to sleep when my cellphone started to shriek. I shot awake and groped for the phone. My sleep-befuddled brain was greeted with this message: "Boulevard, CA Amber Alert update." Then there was a license plate number, and a make and model of the car.
Groggily, I Google this town — Boulevard, Calif. — and discovered it was 541 miles away from my house. That's more than the distance between Washington, D.C., and Detroit. I was mystified. Why was I getting this?
Astronaut Sally Ride has served as a role model for many young women as the first American woman in space. That's one of the reasons why she's one of the 16 recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
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Ride is being honored posthumously - she died last year at the age of 61. The White House in a statement said: Sally Ride stood up for racial and gender equality in the classroom and taught students that there are no limits to what they can accomplish.
Major League baseball, this week, sanctioned a number of players, including New York Yankee Alex Rodriguez. They're accused of receiving performance enhancing drugs from a Miami clinic called Biogenesis.
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And according to ESPN and other organizations, that clinic also saw high school athletes. Parents have told the sports network they don't know why their children were listed in the clinics records. The lawyer for the owner of Biogenesis declined to comment to ESPN and has not returned calls from NPR.
And just preserving some semblance of order is the big challenge in neighboring Libya. That country's long-time dictator, Muammar Gaddafi was toppled from power two years ago and now the future of Libya as even a functioning state is in question. There has been increased lawlessness in that country. The militias that ousted Muammar Gaddafi are fighting with each other. A thousand inmates escaped in a prison break and there are assassinations of activists and police.
A police officer patrols the rooftop of a school at the Rocinha slum in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Sept. 20, 2012, where a "pacification" anti-crime effort was underway. Rio police are now going to attempt a similar pacification in another huge slum, Mare.
Credit Silvia Izquierdo / AP
The Mare shantytown in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, is one of the city's densest neighborhoods.
Beth Glover was a juror on the trial of former Goldman Sachs trader Fabrice Tourre. When the lawyers were discussing the mortgages tied to the securities at the center of the case, Glover realized that, for all intents and purposes, they were talking about her mortgage.
"When they were looking at the subprime mortgage groupings, I think I would have been in one of those," Glover told me. "I didn't have as great as FICO score at that time."
Colorful covers of menus from the Royal Hawaiian Hotel (left) and the Monarch Room Royal Hawaiian Hotel.
Credit New York Public Library
This vintage 1935 menu from the Royal Hawaiian Hotel lists flounder and red snapper, two local fish that an ecologist says have faded from Hawaiian menus over time.
Credit Kyle Van Houtan / NOAA
Ecologist Kyle Van Houtan in the field with a wild hawksbill sea turtle. Van Houtan began reading old Hawaiian menus in search of information about the turtles but instead saw changes in fish consumption.
In the early to mid-1900s, the islands of Hawaii were a far-away, exotic destination. People who managed to get there often kept mementos of that journey including kitschy menus from Hawaiian fine dining restaurants and hotels like like Trader Vic's and Prince Kuhio's.
Now these old menus are serving a purpose beyond colorful relics from the past. Kyle Van Houtan, an ecologist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, says he's found a scientific purpose for the menus.
How do you fix a neighborhood? What do you do about crime and drugs and the once-lovely old houses that are falling down? The answer in Paducah, Ky., was to turn it into a special place for artists to live, work and sell.
Paducah, already home to the National Quilt Museum, is far west on the edge of Kentucky, on the Ohio River. Lowertown, so-named for being downriver from downtown Paducah, was once quite elegant — 25 square blocks. But in time it became a difficult place to admire.