President Barack Obama hits the road this week on a three-day bus tour through North Carolina and Virginia. Both states traditionally vote Republican, but Obama won them both in 2008. Host Audie Cornish talks with Rep. David Price, a Democrat from North Carolina, and former congressman Tom Perriello, a Democrat from Virginia, about the political climate and Democratic prospects for the 2012 race.
<p> Highly sensitive cameras were set up outside the Yucca Valley Community Center in California recently to capture images from deep space. One of the brightest supernovas in the last century won't be visible to amateur stargazers within the next week.</p>
Credit Brian Hajek
Supernova 2011fe is bringing out the stargazers. It's one of the brightest supernovas in the last century and it's now visible. It's the kind of event amateur astronomers dream of.
The supernova will last for more than a decade, but it won't stay this bright. Within the next week, the light that took 21 million years to reach earth will fade out of view for amateur astronomers.
Speculators in the agricultural commodities markets are forcing grocery prices to rise too quickly and erratically, according to some top economists marking World Food Day on Sunday.
"Excessive financial speculation is contributing to increasing volatility and record food prices, exacerbating global hunger and poverty," wrote 461 economists, from more than 40 countries, in an open letter.
<p>Mourners surround the hearse carrying the coffin of Kurdish opposition leader Meshaal al-Tammo during his funeral last Sunday in Amuda, in northern Syria. Supporters blamed the Syrian government for his death. </p>
From the outset of the Syrian uprising last spring, Syria's president, Bashar Assad, offered promises of reform. Activists, meanwhile, documented abuses by his security forces, including video footage of shootings against unarmed protesters.
Now, the Assad government appears to be relying exclusively on brutal repression, giving free reign to the security services to crush the revolt, according to analysts inside and outside the country.
New campaign finance reports offer the first detailed look at the haves and the have-nots among the Republican presidential candidates, with just over a year left in the race for the White House.
In the reports released Saturday, two of the top Republican contenders, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Texas Gov. Rick Perry, brought in more than $30 million combined. Meanwhile, businessman Herman Cain, who surged into the top tier of candidates in recent polls, raised significantly less.
<p>Dallas Mavericks shooting guard Jason Terry inside of a cryotherapy chamber at Millennium Ice in Dallas, Texas.</p>
Credit Eric Rauscher
The traditional ice bath isn't so cool anymore. These days, professional athletes are opting for a treatment that sounds more like sci-fi torture: whole-body cryotherapy.
Here's how it works: You stand in a cylindrical chamber for about two and a half minutes. Hyper-cold air is released all around your body, bringing the temperature down to as low as 300 degrees below zero.
ROBERTS: Yeah, just kidding. It's not quite that time yet. We know you want us to pick a winner. You've made that clear on our website and on the Three-Minute Fiction Facebook page. But 3,400 stories were submitted to this round of Three-Minute Fiction, and we won't be rushed. So until we make that final decision, here are a few excerpts to hold you over.
REBECCA ROBERTS, host: July 2nd, 1881 was a beautiful day in Washington, D.C. President James A. Garfield arrived that morning at the Baltimore and Potomac train station on the National Mall eager to get going on a trip to Massachusetts with his sons. He never got on the train. Charles Guiteau, a deranged former lawyer and evangelist who believed Garfield owed him an ambassadorship, stepped out of the shadows and shot the president once in the arm and once in the back. Garfield seemed at first as if he might recover, but then, his doctors got involved.