After weeks of fruitless talks, House Speaker John Boehner has thrown in the towel in the contentious fight over the federal deficit and the nation's debt limit. In a statement issued last night, Boehner said he would back down from Republican demands for $4 trillion dollars in cuts to reduce the nation's deficit in exchange for raising the debt ceiling. Guest host Linda Wertheimer talks to NPR's Mara Liasson about the weekend effort to reach an agreement and the problems it will cause in both parties.
Fierce fighting in the western mountains of Libya has turned at least half a dozen villages into ghost towns. Some have been emptied by Moammar Gadhafi's forces, others have faced rebel retribution for being perceived as loyalists. NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro reports.
The Syrian government is hoping to launch a national dialogue Sunday to chart a path of reforms and bring an end to some four months of anti-government protests. But the meeting's credibility is on the line. Opposition to the meeting comes from street protesters and from Syria's traditional opposition figures. They are boycotting the meeting. Guest host Linda Wertheimer gets an update on the talks from NPR's Deborah Amos.
Drawing comics is sometimes considered a simple, easy thing to do. But a group of Michigan cartoonists think the art form is sophisticated. They think comics can be an educational and valuable tool for kids, especially those who are struggling. Michigan Radio's Kyle Norris reports.
There are millions of Americans still out of work and many of them are collecting unemployment benefits. New numbers show the economy only created 18,000 jobs nationwide in June and the national unemployment rate ticked up again.
Arizona has chosen not to accept federally subsidized extended benefits, and 20,000 people there have been cut off since mid-June. Many others are about to lose their unemployment benefits.
Since 2009, Lynn Broshears has been unemployed and looking for work. Now, the 67-year-old is bumping up against the 79-week unemployment limit.
The number of migrants from Central America and Mexico who are trying to cross illegally into the United States has dropped dramatically over the last few years, in part because the trip has become incredibly dangerous. NPR's Jason Beaubien recently traveled along much of the migrant trail in Mexico. He sent this reporter's notebook.
More than so many other kinds of music, jazz takes its tradition seriously. There's about 100 years' worth, and most of it has been passed down in sound: by playing with, listening to and studying with the masters. So it makes sense that jazz musicians feel such visceral connections to their ancestors, whether spiritual, intellectual, educational, inspirational, aspirational or even just marketable.
Cherries are finally ready for harvest in the northwestern United States. A cold spring means that this is the latest cherry season anyone can remember.
One of the largest fruit orchards in the world is located in the hot, dry and dusty desert country of southeastern Washington. At the Broetje orchards, cherry trees create an emerald canopy. It's 4,400 lush acres on a bend in the Columbia River.
A voice for peace in Latin America was silenced today in Guatemala.
Argentine singer, songwriter and novelist Facundo Cabral was shot and killed in Guatemala City early this morning. He had just finished a concert in the nation's capital and was headed to the airport by car. Eyewitnesses say he was ambushed en route by three vehicles and gunned down on the nearly empty highway. According to the witnesses, the attackers fled on a road leading to the Guatemalan border with El Salvador.
On Friday, the city of Los Angeles will be closing one of its main freeways, Interstate 405, for 53 hours, from Friday night to Monday morning.
It's part of a billion-dollar widening project that Los Angeles hopes will ease chronic traffic jams on the 405, but many residents, fearing the worst, are already dubbing it "Carmageddon."
For decades, urban areas across the country have been adding lanes and building roads in an effort to fight congestion, but a recent study by the University of Toronto says that these tactics aren't actually all that effective.