Craig and Linda Black sit at a table in the yard of their home in Vacaville, Calif. They are desperately trying to hang on to their home after falling behind on their mortgage payments.
Credit Richard Gonzales / NPR
Robert Frazier of Suisun City, Calif., is seen at home with a prototype of "The Pouch," a sleeping bag attached to a fitted sheet, so that both fit over a mattress. He has a patent, but he doesn't want to take production to China or India.
Much of Mindy Kaling's humor is rooted in something that might seem unfeasible: using logic to explore American culture. But it works — and works well — because Kaling uses a type of circular logic that's all her own. Just consider this recent Tweet: "Can everyone buy my book please? I wanna quit the business and homeschool my kids real weird."
The U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments Tuesday in a case that sounds more like a John Grisham novel than a Supreme Court case.
The issue is whether police investigators have total immunity from being sued for giving false testimony before a grand jury. The case has all the elements of a spooky saga, involving power, influence and money — all used to silence the critics of Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital, the largest hospital in Albany, Ga.
Santa Marta is one of the many slums that dot the hillsides of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Rio, host of the World Cup in 2014 and the Olympics in 2016, is now trying to remake these slums, or favelas, long wracked by poverty and violence.
Credit Silvia Izquierdo / AP
New services and infrastructure for Rio de Janeiro's favelas include cable cars, such as this one in the Complexo de Alemao slum.
Credit Felipe Dana / AP
Police officers of the Peacemaker Police Unit program, UPP, patrol the Morro dos Macacos slum last year. The city has stepped up efforts at community policing in order to rid the favelas of drug traffickers.
On a recent day in Rio de Janeiro, police radios crackle in Providencia, a warren of cinder-block homes and narrow walkways where drugs and violence were once common.
But these days, it's just routine chatter. All is safe in this favela, one of the hundreds of slums built chockablock on the city's steep hills. A Rio advertising company is leading a tour for its employees and representatives of other companies.
Among those who have come is Raoni Lotar, a 30-year-old Carioca — resident of Rio.
Starbucks is teaming up with a network of community-based financial institutions to help create jobs. Beginning Tuesday anyone can make a tax-deductable contribution at a Starbucks store or online to the Create Jobs for USA Fund. The money will go to companies so they can hire or retain American workers.
U.S. Border Patrol vehicles drive from a checkpoint in December 2010, as teams of border officers comb the Arizona desert about 10 miles north of Mexico in search for a suspect in the fatal shooting of U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry in the rugged terrain in Rio Rico, Ariz.
A top political appointee in the Obama Justice Department says he made a "mistake" when he didn't flag questionable tactics used by federal agents in a gun-trafficking case for his superiors last year.
Lanny A. Breuer, assistant attorney general in charge of the criminal division, told NPR he found out in April 2010 that agents at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives had let more than 400 guns connected to suspicious buyers cross the Southwest border during the Bush years, but he didn't tell senior leadership at the Justice Department.
The world's population has just hit 7 billion people and continues to grow. Population experts are concerned about the rise in consumption that will accompany the increase in people. One California home builder, Zeta Communities, designs and builds small, highly energy-efficient homes.
Credit Zeta Communities
At the Zeta Communities factory, modular homes are built in assemblies of floors, walls and ceilings, rather than piece-by-piece. A 1,500 square-foot home can be built in a single day.
Credit Zeta Communities
Some of Zeta's units are as small as 300 square feet. Architect Taeka Takagi designs small spaces with very simple things: "I like to provide a large sink, so that the person who's using it doesn't feel like they're lacking or living smaller and everything is miniaturized."
The planet may not feel any different today, but there are now 7 billion people on it, according to the United Nations.
That number will continue to rise, of course, and global incomes are likely to rise as well. That means more cars and computers, and bigger homes: the kinds of things Americans take for granted. It's that rise in consumption that has population experts worried.
MF Global, the securities firm run by former New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine, was forced to file for bankruptcy protection Monday. The company, at Corzine's urging, made big investments in European sovereign debt. Those bets turned out to be losers. Analysts don't believe MF Global is a harbinger of bad things to come. It was much more exposed to European debt than most U.S. financial companies. Zoe Chace reports for NPR's Planet Money.
Kenya's government launched an incursion into Somalia last month in what it calls a campaign to drive the al-Shabaab militants out of Somalia. The al-Qaida-linked Islamist group responded by warning that Kenyans would "taste fire" for their government's actions.
Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou says he will ask the public to vote in a referendum on last week's European debt deal. His surprise announcement could throw a wrench into the bailout agreement. The bankers holding Greek debt agreed to accept losses on Greek bonds on the assumption that the country would carry out austerity measures. For the latest, Steve Inskeep talks with reporter Joanna Kakissis in Athens.