The Egyptian military is cracking down on pro-democracy activists, particularly those using the Internet to convey their message. The military rulers are also putting out statements to try to turn public sentiment against the activists, who were pivotal in starting the uprising that ousted former leader Hosni Mubarak.
The Soviet Union was at a tipping point two decades ago. Communist party hardliners, determined to stop President Mikhail Gorbachev's moves towards democracy, attempted a coup. The action backfired, and rallied many Russians behind Boris Yelstin.
Libya's opposition leadership declared Monday that the decades-old regime of Moammar Gadhafi is finished, but intense fighting raged in parts of Tripoli as loyalists refused to cede control of the capital.
After six months of often brutal fighting, rebels pushed into Tripoli over the weekend in what many Libyans hope marks the end of Gadhafi's 42-year reign.
Obama issued the statement after conducting a conference call with members of his national security team:
Tonight, the momentum against the Qadhafi regime has reached a tipping point. Tripoli is slipping from the grasp of a tyrant. The Qadhafi regime is showing signs of collapsing. The people of Libya are showing that the universal pursuit of dignity and freedom is far stronger than the iron fist of a dictator.
In a landscape where decent clinics are scarce, the Umrana Mumtaz Healthcare Trust Hospital is a beacon of hope.
And a bustling one: on a sweltering afternoon worried mothers wrapped in traditional white robes and headscarves crowd the hospital's shaded amphitheater clutching their ailing babies. More than 120-thousand patients, mostly women and children, have received free basic health care at this facility since it opened just three years ago.
Last January a Minnesota man's heart stopped beating for an amazing 96 minutes. Emergency room doctors thought he was dead. But first responders who gave CPR on the scene decided not to give up, in part because of technology that allowed them to see their efforts were working.
Shoppers may not have to worry about bulging wallets stuffed with old, crumpled receipts much longer. Retailers have found a solution — e-receipts — though it may come at a price.
Apple has been doing this for years now; Nordstrom and Patagonia have also made the switch. And this summer, Gap Inc., which owns Old Navy and Banana Republic, launched e-receipts at more than 2,600 stores.
Shelley Perelmuter, Gap's vice president of customer relations management, says e-receipts are convenient.
Older people often have difficulty understanding conversation in a crowd. Like everything else, our hearing deteriorates as we age.
There are physiological reasons for this decline: We lose tiny hair cells that pave the way for sound to reach our brains. We lose needed neurons and chemicals in the inner ear, reducing our capacity to hear.
So how can you help stave off that age-related hearing loss? Try embracing music early in life, research suggests.
In today's post 9/11 America, there are 15,000 informants working with the FBI. That's nearly three times as many as there were 25 years ago. Over the years, when there has been a surge in the number of informants the FBI recruits and uses, there's a specific target in the FBI's sights like organized crime or drug trade. The FBI makes no secret of their top priority of today — counter terrorism.
In today's post-9/11 world, the FBI has 15,000 informants working undercover, many of them infiltrating mosques and Muslim communities to set up terrorism stings. The goal? To preempt and prevent — so says the FBI. Guest host Laura Sullivan speaks with Mother Jones writer Trevor Aaronson about his year-long investigation into the FBI's use of informants.
While housing demand sputters among Americans, foreign buyers are flocking here for cheap deals.
For the 12 months ending in March, sales to foreign buyers totaled $82 billion, up from $66 billion in 2010, according to the National Association of Realtors. And while international buyers are unlikely to turn the US housing market around, they are making a big difference in states such as Florida.
Today, thanks to foreign buyers, home sales are so good in Miami that more houses and condos could sell this year than during the boom year of 2005.
It's Ramadan, the month-long holiday when Muslims fast from dawn to dusk as a way to cleanse the soul and reflect on their relationship with God. The faithful usually flock to their local mosques for prayer during the holiday, but last year, the Muslims of Cordova, Tenn., just outside Memphis, didn't have a place to go.
That's when Pastor Steve Stone put an unusual sign outside his church.
"It said, 'Welcome to the neighborhood, Memphis Islamic Center,'" he laughs. "It's been seen all over the world, now."
Rebels continue to push toward the Libyan capital of Tripoli amid rumors Col. Moammar Ghadafi may be preparing to flee the country. Heavy fighting has been reported in Tripoli, and rebel fighters have taken control of towns to the east, west, and south of the city. NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro speaks to guest host Laura Sullivan from the war zone.
Famed hacker Kevin Mitnick was 12 years old when he realized he could talk his way to glory and free bus rides.
Mitnick figured out he could ride for free if he found a way to punch his own transfer. He conned a bus driver into telling him where to buy a punch, dug a packet of blank transfers out of a dumpster, and presto – free rides.
That story appears in Mitnick's new memoir, Ghost in the Wires: My Adventures as the World's Most Wanted Hacker.
Thirty years ago this summer, President Ronald Reagan was at an economic summit in Canada when his French counterpart, Francois Mitterand, pulled him aside to deliver startling news: the French had a mole, a high-level KGB colonel. Could the US make use of him?
Richard Allen was Reagan's National Security Advisor at the time, and he was with the President in Ottawa when Mitterand made his offer.
Residents of Tripoli are fleeing as Libyan rebels move slowly toward the capital city. The battlefront is now about 18 kilometers out of town; there's also heavy, bitter fighting and multiple NATO airstrikes in Zawiyah. Meanwhile, rumors about the fate and location of Moammar Gadhafi and his son are rampant. Guest host John Ydstie gets the latest on the rebel advance from NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro in Libya.
European leaders still haven't come up with a plan that would allow them to put the debt crisis behind them. That kept European markets unsettled this past week, but why was the effect so big in the U.S.? Guest host John Ydstie and NPR Business Correspondent Yuki Noguchi discuss why the fallout has such a big impact on American markets.
Vice President Joe Biden traveled to China this past week to do a little maintenance on the U.S. relationship with that growing economic power. Guest host John Ydstie talks to Nicholas Lardy of the Peterson Institute about the economic relationship between China and the U.S.
We continue our series on roadside monuments with a stop in Governeur, New York, where a roll of Life Savers the size of a car hangs suspended on the town green, placed in honor of a favorite son. Emma Jacobs of member station WRVO reports.
With President Obama on vacation and Congress out of town, Washington, D.C., was relatively quiet this week. That, however, doesn't mean the political buzz has stopped. Guest host John Ydstie talks to Matt Continetti of the Weekly Standard and political consultant Karen Finney about President Obama's bus tour-slash-vacation, and about Gov. Rick Perry's take-no-prisoners speech.
JOHN YDSTIE, host: Another Republican governor made a move on to the national scene this past week. Governor Bob McDonnell of Virginia was named chairman of the Republican Governor's Association. While that role isn't as dramatic as Governor Perry's high-octane campaign, it could influence the race for the Republican presidential nomination. Governor McDonnell joins us now. Good morning, Governor.
Governor BOB MCDONNELL: Hey. Good morning, John. Nice to be on with you.
YDSTIE: Nice to be on with you and congratulations on your new job.
Researchers have found a way for LCD screens to charge using solar power, indoor light and the devices' own backlight. That means in a few years, you may be able to recharge your phone by pointing it toward the sun instead of plugging it into the wall. Guest host John Ydstie talks to the lead UCLA researcher, Yang Yang.
A spry 80-year-old cruises through the thick vegetation of western Borneo, or western Kalimantan, as it's known to Indonesians. Dressed in faded pinstripe slacks and a polo shirt, Layan Lujum carries a large knife in his hand. The chief of the island's Sekendal village is making his morning rounds.
Layan is a member of an indigenous ethnic group called the Dayaks, who once had a reputation as fierce headhunters. As on most mornings, his first job on a recent day is to tend to his rubber trees.
The next few days may tell us a lot about the case against Dominique Strauss-Kahn. The former International Monetary Fund chief is due back in court on Tuesday, and prosecutors in New York are weighing whether to go forward in spite of big questions about the credibility of Strauss-Kahn's accuser.
The man who will make that call is Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. It may be the hardest decision he's faced since taking office 20 months ago.
The Obama administration on Thursday said it would review the deportation cases of 300,000 illegal immigrants.
The policy might make a difference to thousands of undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children because the administration wants to put high priority on removing convicted criminals, and low priority on cases that involve people who pose no security threat.
Heavy two-way gunfire and mortar rounds have been heard in Tripoli, as rebels inch closer to the Libyan capital from the western mountains.
In the west, rebels control the road leading to the border with Tunisia. To the east, they control Misrata and Zlitan. Since taking the city of Gheryan, rebel forces have cut off the road from the south.
"Tripoli is essentially being strangled," says NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro.
Say you own a house in Gainesville, Fla., or St. Paul, Minn. It cost you $172,000 — that's the median sales price of a single family home in the United States. You put 20 percent down when you bought the house, and you're able to make your monthly payments — but just barely. This property is your little slice of the American dream.
Now what if someone tells you the plan is to raise your interest rate, cut your house value and eliminate the tax deduction you get for mortgage interest?
If you think about the challenges facing the men and women running for president, you might think about travel, long hours, endless public scrutiny and complete erosion of privacy. The reward that waits after victory is more pressure: a huge weight of responsibility. It's hard not to wonder who would actually want that job.
The "West Memphis Three" — the men convicted of killing three young boys in West Memphis, Ark. — were freed Friday. Guest host Laura Sullivan talks with James Fallows of The Atlantic about how the odd legal maneuver that led to their freedom and about the week's other big stories.