This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish. In the intersection of love and marriage and divorce, there are romantic and economic considerations. This past week, NPR's Jennifer Ludden told us that fewer Americans are getting married; and when they do, they're taking longer to get down the aisle. NPR's Shankar Vedantam is working on the other half of the equation - when things go bad, divorce appears to be less of an option. Jennifer Ludden and Shankar Vedantam join me now. Welcome to the program.
Originally published on Sun December 18, 2011 2:04 pm
A man holds a Christmas 'El Gordo' lottery ticket he is hoping to sell in November in Madrid, Spain. It's a tradition for many people in Spain to buy tickets for the annual lottery, the largest of the year.
Despite the cold and the rain, about 1,000 people stand in line outside a lottery kiosk in Spain. Pawn brokers walk up and down, offering cash for gold.
Among those in the long line is Bartolo Rivas. In this dismal economy, he says he doesn't have a job, but he does have the "help." The "help" is about $520 a month in unemployment, part of which he's spending on lottery tickets.
The "end of days," as soldiers were calling it, started at Contingency Operating Base Adder in southern Iraq. The base was the main staging ground for all U.S. troops exiting the country, and it was the last U.S. base to close.
There were a lot of lasts at COB Adder: the last signing ceremony, formally handing the last base over to the Iraqi government, the last briefing, the last patrol, the last hot meal.
The final convoy from the base left Iraq and crossed the border into Kuwait at dawn Sunday.
Originally published on Sun January 1, 2012 10:53 am
Musicians perform at the inaugural ceremony of the International Center for the Study of Machu Picchu and Inca Culture — a partnership between Yale University and The National University of San Antonio Abad in Cuzco.
High in the Andes Mountains, Peruvians have been lining up to see a collection of antiquities that have finally returned home. The objects from the Inca site of Machu Picchu spent the past 100 years at Yale University in Connecticut, where they were at the center of a long-running international custody battle.
Now, the university is giving back thousands of ceramics, jewelry and human bones from the Peabody Museum in New Haven to the International Center for the Study of Machu Picchu and Inca Culture.
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks during a town hall meeting Saturday in Charleston, S.C. Romney is hoping to gain conservative support following the endorsement of South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley.
Credit Richard Ellis / Getty Images
It was warm and beautiful in the seaside resort of Myrtle Beach, S.C., Saturday, where Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney held his final town hall meeting of the weekend. As he stood surrounded by supporters wearing campaign T-shirts, Romney's mood seemed as sunny as the 65-degree weather outside.
Romney had a lot to be happy about. South Carolina's Tea Party-backed Gov. Nikki Haley had not only endorsed him, she regaled him with glowing tributes at every campaign stop in the multi-city tour.
As the final U.S. troops leave Iraq, they leave behind the largest U.S. Embassy in the world.
There will be about 16,000 people working for the State Department at the embassy in Baghdad and consulates elsewhere in Iraq.
At least 5,000 of those in Iraq will be private security contractors, and there are lots of questions about whether the State Department is ready to run such a big operation in such a volatile country.
U.S. and Iraqi soldiers display "sticky IEDs" — magnetic bombs that militants attach to vehicles — found during a raid at a checkpoint near the Iraq-Iran border.
Credit Peter Kenyon / NPR
Army Sgt. Maj. Todd Burnett spent about three years in Iraq hunting for improvised explosive devices, also knows as IEDs.
"I can remember going out and one week I got blown up three times," Burnett says. He says back then, it wasn't whether you were going to get blown up, it was just a matter of when you were going to get blown up.
Tunisians protest outside the gates to the French embassy in Tunis. The country is where the Arab Spring began when a fruit vendor set himself on fire in protest in front of a government building.
Credit Fethi Belaid / AFP/Getty Images
A year ago, 26-year-old Mohamed Bouazizi was getting ready to sell fruits and vegetables in the rural town of Sidi Bouzid, Tunisia.
Bouazizi was the breadwinner for his widowed mother and six siblings, but he didn't have a permit to sell the goods. When the police asked Bouazizi to hand over his wooden cart, he refused and a policewoman allegedly slapped him.
Angered after being publicly humiliated, Bouazizi marched in front of a government building and set himself on fire.
Just north of downtown Minneapolis stand two cement, skyscraper apartment buildings covered in faded pastel patches. Most of the people who live there are part of the city's large Somali community. Once a month, many of them walk across the street to the small, blue shop that houses Kaah Express, a money-wiring business that links Somalis in Minneapolis to relatives in camps throughout East Africa.
Dessa is a member of the Minneapolis-based hip-hop collective Doomtree. Her newest album is <em>Castor, the Twin</em>.
Credit Kelly Loverud / Courtesy of the artist
Dessa is best known as a member of Doomtree, a hip-hop collective based in Minneapolis. But there's much more singing than rapping on her latest album, Castor, the Twin, which puts a jazzy, melodic spin on some of her previous work.
Dessa says the title refers to the brothers Castor and Pollux from Greek and Roman mythology. Castor, she explains, is the milder of the two.