The American-led fight in Afghanistan is changing. The toughest fighting is shifting from the south — Helmand and Kandahar provinces — to the east. There, high, craggy mountains offer shelter to Taliban fighters.
And it's one group of fighters in particular that American and Afghan forces are battling: a branch of the Taliban known as the Haqqani network.
For years, the outgoing president at the University of Kentucky has urged faculty to launch "start-up" businesses. Lee Todd believes those efforts are paying off. Todd says ‘seed money’ along with commercialization centers where new businesses are nurtured helped set the stage for start ups. Then, he says an angel network of investors has helped fund such firms. As a result, Todd says recent rankings put U-K first in creating start ups among similar schools.
In the witch's brew of gases and particles that make up smog in most cities, nitrogen oxides are a plentiful ingredient. The pollutants also help create ground-level ozone, a nasty irritant for lungs, and bothersome fine particles.
The family of chemicals, called NOx in shorthand, can inflame people's airways and trigger asthma attacks, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Def Jam started paying for Rihanna's recent single, "Man Down," more than a year ago. In March of 2010, the label held a writing camp in L.A. to create the songs for Rihanna's album, Loud.
At a writing camp, a record label hires the best music writers in the country and drops them into the nicest recording studios in town for about two weeks. It's a temporary version of the old music-industry hit factories, where writers and producers cranked out pop songs.
The Japanese automaker Toyota has taken its fair share of hits in the past year and a half: The earthquake and tsunami in Japan as well as last year's recall fiasco have helped erode the company's share of the U.S. car market.
But one place Toyota remains No. 1 is with minority car buyers — Latinos, African-Americans and Asian-Americans continue to buy more Toyotas than any other car brand, domestic or foreign.
Toyota's claim on the minority market has the Rev. Jesse Jackson questioning other car companies' practices.
On March 11, 2011, Japan's northern coast was shaken by the biggest earthquake ever to strike the island in recorded history. With a gigantic tsunami and the nuclear meltdown that followed, 3/11 was the worst disaster to hit the developed world for a hundred years. Confronted with tough questions about its dependence on nuclear power, about the competence of its leaders both in the private and public sectors, about the economy's ability to rebound from a shock, the country has been plunged into crisis.
Wednesday, the White House has unveiled a new counterterrorism strategy that would focus more on drone strikes and special operations and less on large-scale ground conflicts. NPR spoke with two experts in national security — Sean Burke, a vice president and senior fellow for the Center for National Policy and Ken Gude, managing director of the National Security and International Policy Program of the Center for American Progress — to get their thoughts on the strategy.
Hatsune Miku is an anime girl with kiddie-pool sized eyes and flowing teal pigtails. She stars in a new Toyota Corolla commercial aimed at the Asian-American market.
Miku is huge back home in Japan. Originally invented to sell synthesized voice software, the character's featured in a video game, she's released hit pop songs and she sells out live concerts. (If "live" is the right word.)