STEVE INSKEEP, host: It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.
DAVID GREENE, host: And I'm David Greene. Greece's government hopes to approve a new property tax in parliament today. There is wide opposition to the measure from a Greek public that's already feeling the pain from austerity measures. The government says the new tax is a must to prove that the country deserves more international bailout money to prop up the Greek economy. NPR's Sylvia Poggioli joins us on the line from Athens.
The British newspaper arm of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. is in negotiations to pay several million dollars to settle the claims of the family of a slain girl whose mobile voice mail messages were hacked by a private investigator for one of its tabloids. Murdoch would personally pay more than $1.5 million to charity as part of the deal.
But that's only the latest fallout for News Corp. in the phone hacking and bribery scandal there.
According to a new poll by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health, life in retirement is better or the same as it was before, but it is worse for a substantial minority in key areas, including health and finances.
Americans pride themselves on being optimistic. But Robert Blendon, of the Harvard School of Public Health, says that may not be such a good thing when it comes to planning for retirement. For many Americans, it is proving harder than they imagined, according to a a new poll by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health.
It looks like the government will be funded until Nov. 18. According to multiple news reports, Senate leaders announced they have come to an agreement that will likely avoid a partial shutdown of the government.
The Dead Sea Scrolls are 2,000 years old and very sensitive to direct light. At the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, where they are housed, the scrolls are rotated every few months to minimize the damage. As Bloomberg explains it, the Great Isaiah Scroll, which is the most ancient biblical manuscript on Earth, is so sensitive that only a copy of it is on display.
Imagine you're trekking through the concrete jungle of just about any Southeast Asian city. The first thing you notice is the smorgasbord of smells, some enticing, others downright rank. Amid the urban odor-rama, one sweet herbal fragrance stands out. It's lemongrass. And it's just about everywhere.
A man readies a cow for the International Highland Cattle Show in Glasgow, Scotland. Researchers say genetics and the amount of time animals and humans spend together can affect how viruses spread between species.
Earlier this year we heard about a curious case of leprosy that jumped from armadillos to humans. We also know that a certain nefarious flu came to us via water fowl, and HIV likely affected chimpanzees before humans.
U.S. Army Sgt. Don Stolle launches a Raven surveillance drone from Achin, Afghanistan, on Aug. 30. The drones have been widely used in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq, and now the military plans to employ them in other areas as it tracks suspected terrorists.
The Obama administration is expanding its controversial drone program to the Horn of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula.
The Washington Post first reported last week that the administration was setting up secret bases for the unmanned aircraft all over the region. U.S. officials say the drone surveillance will allow them to keep watch on terrorists in Yemen and Somalia. The question is whether the program will eventually go a step further and include armed drones to kill terrorists before they strike.
Over the weekend, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia announced that women will get the right to vote and to run in municipal elections, but not until 2015. And King Abdullah said women will be appointed to the Shura Council, which advises the monarchy. This in a country where women still don't have the right to drive.
Last week, an archivist in Arkansas was sifting though boxes of papers from President Bill Clinton's gubernatorial years when he came across a surprise — a piece of the moon. The moon rock had been missing for about 30 years, and it was just one of about 180 moon rocks that are currently at-large. Melissa Block talks with retired senior special agent for NASA Joseph Gutheinz about the other missing rocks.
Afghans carry the coffin of Afghanistan High Peace Council head and former President Burhanuddin Rabbani during his burial ceremony in Kabul, Sept. 23. A suicide bomber assassinated Rabbani on Sept. 20, which further complicates the thorny issue of negotiating with the Taliban.
Credit Shah Marai / AFP/Getty Images
Ethnic Tajik warloard Rabbani (shown here in January) was considered a bitter enemy of the Taliban and other Pashtun factions. His selection to the High Peace Council a year ago surprised many people.
Afghanistan buried a former president last week, but there is concern in Kabul that something else may have been buried as well: the peace process. In nearly two years since the U.S. opened the prospect of negotiations with the Taliban, progress has been hard to discern.
The assassination of Burhanuddin Rabbani, who was also the head of Afghanistan's High Peace Council, may have quashed any negotiations that were under way. It also may have given new strength to those who never supported the idea of talking with the Taliban.
Bill James was working at a Kansas cannery when he came up with an idea that would transform baseball. The movie Moneyball tells the story of that idea and how the Oakland Athletics ran with it. James talks about the film and how his idea changed baseball.
According to a new survey, 31 percent of voters said they had not watched live TV in the past week. Young voters, according to the poll, are much less likely to watch TV in real time — or even on a TV.
If you watched the Emmy Awards recently, you may have seen an ad inviting viewers to "fight" for President Obama's jobs plan.
"The next election is 14 months away," Obama says in the ad. "And the people who sent us here, they don't have the luxury of waiting 14 months."
Although the election is more than a year away, it's not keeping political commercials off of our TV screens. Yet, according to a new survey, the audience for those ads is shrinking.
Nobel Peace Prize laureate Wangari Maathai in 2009.
Wangari Maathai, the first African woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize, has died of cancer in a Nairobi hospital. She was 71. Maathai, of Kenya, became a Nobel laureate in 2004 for her work promoting environmental stewardship, empowering women and peaceful resistance to violence.
Originally published on Mon September 26, 2011 2:20 pm
Credit Ashwini Bhatia / AP
Exile Tibetan monks hold a candle light vigil in Dharmsala, India, as they react to news reports of self-immolation by two Tibetan monks at the Kirti Monastery in Sichuan province's Aba prefectuture, China.
Right after they waved the banned Tibetan flag and said "long live the Dalai Lama," two Tibetan monks set themselves on fire to protest the Chinese government's strict control of their religion.
Workers clear the wreckage of a July 23 high-speed-train collision in Wenzhou in eastern China's Zhejiang province. The crash killed 40 people and raised questions about the safety of the country's high-speed-rail network, which the Chinese government has held up as an example of its technological prowess and with which it had hoped to attract overseas buyers.
Credit Louisa Lim / NPR
On a recent high-speed rail journey, the train was clearly breaking the 300 kilometer (186 mile) per hour speed limit, according to the speed indicator within the train carriage.
Credit Louisa Lim / NPR
Many residents at the Double Phoenix housing complex believe proper safety procedures weren't followed, when the high-speed-rail track was built above their heads. It's still not clear which buildings will be demolished and when, since some residents are refusing to accept the compensation offered.
Credit Louisa Lim / NPR
Sun Miankou didn't know the high-speed rail would pass overhead until they began building the pillars outside her apartment. "Of course I'm scared," she says, but she's also angry. "Two generations of my family worked to afford the apartment, and now the high-speed rail has been built right on top."
China's high-speed trains were supposed to be a gleaming testament to the country's progress and modernity. Instead, a recent crash that killed 40 people has come to symbolize much that's wrong with China's warp-speed development. In particular, a "Great Leap Forward" mentality toward development is clashing with questions of safety.
The notion that fatal accidents are the price of progress seems to have trickled down to some of the passengers on a recent high-speed train journey between Beijing and Nanjing, many of whom characterized the accident as "normal."
A demonstrator holds up a sign in front of the New York Stock Exchange in New York City. Hundreds of activists affiliated with the "Occupy Wall Street" demonstrations have begun living in a park in the Financial District near Wall Street.
For more than a week, a group of protesters have been encamped at New York City's Zuccotti Park. They're part of a protest they've termed "Occupy Wall Street." While the group was intent on making a point about what they say is Wall Street's "greed and corruption," much of the media focus has been about the scattered nature of the movement.
Republican students at the University of California, Berkeley, say they're being satirical. The school's student senate says they're being discriminatory and others on campus say they're being offensive.
Wilco, from left: Mikael Jorgensen, Glenn Kotche, Patrick Sansone, Jeff Tweedy, John Stirratt, Nels Cline.
Usually, the whispers start after rock groups have been around for a while, as die-hard fans begin to worry about their beloved band getting stale. Despite its incredibly long run, Wilco has escaped that fate, and managed to stay fresh since 1994. It just released its eighth studio album in 17 years, and the first issued on Wilco's own dBpm Records label. The Whole Love represents a new peak for the critically acclaimed sextet.
The Obama Administration has dramatically ramped up its use of drones as military and foreign policy tools. But many other countries want drones of their own, and advances in technology will soon allow for smaller, more powerful and cheaper models.
Crime reporter Rhonda Cook watched the Troy Davis execution, just one of dozens she has witnessed. The media are the eyes of the public, she says, and have a responsibility to report it if something goes wrong.
Wangari Maathai, the first African woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize, died of cancer Sunday at the age of 71. Maathai inspired a generation of women and founded Kenya's Green Belt Movement, which targets deforestation, poverty and the status of women.
High school is tough for almost every kid. But for new immigrants and refugees, it can be even harder to navigate American teen life. In The New Kids, Brooke Hauser chronicles the lives of students enrolled in Brooklyn's International High School.
President Obama recently announced big changes to the Bush-era education law. Steve Perry, principal of Capital Preparatory Magnet School in Hartford, Connecticut, says the law is still a good idea, and it made his teachers pay attention to all students. Author Peg Tyre says the law focused the nation on the achievement gap but turned many schools into "test prep factories." Both speak with guest host Jacki Lyden.