Australia has proposed some of the world's toughest restrictions on cigarette marketing and advertising. And American health officials recently unveiled graphic new warning labels scheduled to appear next year.
It's all part of a growing international effort to get tough on smoking. But in Germany, anti-smoking activists are facing a tough battle even getting basic restrictions enforced.
In Minnesota, the state government has been shut down since Friday. Days of around-the-clock talks failed to produce a deal last week between the Republican-controlled legislature and the Democratic governor. There were no new budget negotiations over the holiday weekend. Frustrated residents lined parade routes and shouted at waving politicians, telling them to "get back to work."
In this country we could see some changes in a government housing program known as Section 8. Critics have complained that this subsidized rent program gives recipients enough money to live in poor, minority neighborhoods, but not enough money to live anywhere else. Now the Department of Housing and Urban Development is rethinking the way it calculates rent payments.
The city of Dallas has been testing these changes and Jeff Cohen from member station WNPR has this report.
Just as pressure on former IMF head Dominique Strauss-Kahn is easing in New York, it is ramping up in Paris. A young novelist, who says Strauss-Kahn tried to rape her during an interview in 2003, is officially bringing charges against him. Strauss-Kahn's lawyers announced he will counter-sue for defamation of character.
A very small number of Americans are now serving in the military — less than 1 percent. Some are looking for direction; others are inspired by a sense of patriotism or by a family member who served in an earlier war. In the series Who Serves, NPR looks at the troops who have made a decision few others have — to fight in America's wars.
The federal government claims the southwest border is more secure than it's ever been. There are more agents and barriers, more choppers, drones, sensors and hi-tech cameras than ever before.
Yet, state officials in Texas maintain the illegal flow of people and drugs is worse than ever — proof, they say, the border is out of control. To back up his rhetoric, Texas Gov. Rick Perry has declared his own war on the traffickers.