A couple months ago, Jake Featheringill and his wife got robbed.
It wasn't serious. No one was home at the time, and no one got hurt. But for Featheringill, it was just the latest in a string of bad luck.
"We made a decision," he says. "We decided to pick up and move in about three days. Packed all our stuff up in storage. Drove 24 straight hours on I-29, and made it to Williston with no place to live."
That's Williston, ND. Population — until just a few years ago — 12,000. Jake was born there, but moved away when he was a kid. He hadn't been back since.
NASA's GRAIL mission to study the moon launches aboard a Delta II rocket at Kennedy Space Center on Sept. 10.
Weird things jump out at me in press releases.
Take the press kit NASA prepared for the GRAIL mission. GRAIL consists of two nearly identical spacecraft that are on their way to the moon. Once there, they will make a precise map of the moon's gravitational field. Such a map will help scientists refine their theories about how the moon formed and what the interior is made of.
Six months ago, Michel Martelly was "Sweet Mickey" — a pop star known for his bald head and big parties. Now, he's the president of Haiti. He spent the last week in New York, mingling with world leaders and wooing new investors. Weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz speaks with President Martelly about his new job, and where billions of relief dollars have gone in the earthquake-stricken nation.
A 1971 artist's sketch released by the FBI shows the skyjacker known as "Dan Cooper" and "D.B. Cooper." The sketch was made from the recollections of passengers and crew of a Northwest Orient Airlines jet he hijacked between Portland, Ore., and Seattle.
Credit Ethan Palmer /
Geoffrey Gray has written for the Village Voice, The New York Times and New York Magazine.
America's only unsolved airline hijacking happened the day before Thanksgiving in 1971. A man boarded a flight to Seattle wearing a dark sports jacket, a clip-on tie and horn-rimmed sunglasses. He took a seat in row 18E, at the very back of the Boeing 727. Almost immediately, he ordered a drink and lit a cigarette.
As the plane began to take off, he passed a note to the flight attendant that read, "Miss, I have a bomb here. I want you to sit by me."
The AP is reporting that Diana Nyad, the 62-year-old endurance swimmer, has given up her attempt to swim from Cuba to Florida. The cause? Painful man o' war stings, which medics warned her could be life-threatening. CNN says:
Nyad was pulled out of the water shortly after 11 a.m. following injuries sustained Saturday evening and strong cross-currents that were pushing her off course, her team Captain Mark Sollinger said. The 62-year-old swam more than 67 nautical miles — about two-thirds of the distance.
Saudi King Abdullah said Sunday women in his country will be allowed to vote for the first time ever in nationwide elections scheduled four years from now.
The king in a televised speech to his advisory council said women will be able to run as candidates and cast ballots in the next municipal elections scheduled for 2015. He also pledged to appoint women to his advisory council.
The Palestinian push for statehood recognition has sparked fears of new violence in the West Bank. Neither Palestinians nor Israelis appear content with the security provided by their own governments, and "Neighborhood Security Watch" groups have been formed by both groups. While settlers are trained by the Israeli Defense Forces, Palestinians are forming teams to monitor, document and detain settlers they believe will seek out attacks. Sheera Frenkel reports.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry's campaign speeches often note that he's from Paint Creek, Texas, a place in the flat, dusty, west-central part of the state that's so small it's barely on the map. NPR National Political Correspondent Don Gonyea headed there this week, and along the way watched Perry's old high school play a football game.
Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander, a seasoned dealmaker in the Senate, announced his intention to step down from a key leadership role this week. It's prompted a question going around Washington: Are the best deal-brokers giving up? If so, what does that mean for the future of political compromise? Host Audie Cornish speaks with Rutgers University Political Science Professor Ross Baker, former Republican Utah Sen. Bob Bennett and former Democratic North Dakota Sen. Byron Dorgan.
Syria's government is quashing protest online as well as in the streets. Host Audie Cornish talks to NPR's Deb Amos in Beirut to expand on what the success of the Syrian Electronic Army means for the momentum of the opposition protests and the state of play inside Syria.
Three years ago this month, chaos ruled in financial markets.
Huge financial companies, such as Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch and AIG were stumbling, and government officials were scrambling to prevent a global financial meltdown. They threw together bailouts and pushed weak companies to merge with stronger ones.
The central bankers, Treasury officials and lawmakers eventually did manage to reassure investors enough to restore order in the financial system. However, the aftershocks of the crisis are still being felt today.
When President Obama addressed the U.N. General Assembly in New York, he held up the example of South Sudan as the right way to join the world body — through a peace process and an independence vote.
"One year ago, when we met here in New York, the prospect of a successful referendum in South Sudan was in doubt," he said, "but the international community overcame old divisions to support the agreement that had been negotiated to give South Sudan self-determination."
After a patient told neurosurgeon Lee Buono to thank the teacher who inspired him, he called up Al Siedlecki.
As a middle-school student in the '80s, Lee Buono stayed after school one day to remove the brain and spinal cord from a frog. He did such a good job that his science teacher told him he might be a neurosurgeon someday.
That's exactly what Buono did.
Years later, a patient with a tumor came to see Buono. The growth was benign, but interfered with the patient's speech. "He can get some words out," Buono recalls, "but it's almost unintelligible. It's almost like someone's sewing your mouth closed."
Al Siedlecki (left) and Lee Buono speak at the launch of StoryCorps' National Teachers Initiative at the White House.
You may have already heard of StoryCorps, the American oral history project on NPR. Two people sit down in a studio and talk, telling stories about their lives, and the people at StoryCorps record and archive the conversation.
StoryCorps is honing in on lessons about learning with a new project for the academic year, called the National Teachers Initiative. It'll feature conversations with teachers across the country — teachers talking to each other, students interviewing the teachers who changed their lives, and more.
A group of semi-nomadic Irish known as the Irish travellers face eviction from Dale Farm, land they've lived on outside London for a decade.
A group of semi-nomadic Irish known as Irish travellers has been ordered to leave the former scrap yard east of London where they've been living.
The local government has been trying to evict most of the group since it started living on the land 10 years ago, an eviction that has long been delayed due to legal wrangling. But on Monday, a judge will finally rule on the plea of the travellers to remain on land that's been their home for a decade.
Supporters of Syrian President Bashar Assad carry a giant flag with his image on it during a pro-regime protest in Damascus, Syria, in August. Pro-government forces are now taking their message to a new arena: cyberspace.
Struggling to put down a rebellion now in its seventh month, the Syrian government has turned the Internet into another battleground.
Sophisticated Web surveillance of the anti-government movement has led to arrests, while pro-government hackers use the Internet to attack activists and their cause. It appears to be part of a coordinated campaign by the embattled government.
Syria's leadership insists there is no uprising in the country. Syria's official news media reports that the unrest is a fabrication, part of an international plot.
Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain speaks before Florida's straw poll at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando on Saturday. Cain won the straw poll with 37 percent of the vote.
Former Godfather's Pizza CEO Herman Cain pulled off an upset Saturday in the Florida straw poll: He took 37 percent of the 2,657 votes cast, easily beating Texas Gov. Rick Perry and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.
Perry came in second with 15 percent of the vote; and Romney took third, with 14 percent.
The economic news has been nothing but grim lately: weak expansion, sluggish consumer spending and unemployment holding steady at just over 9 percent.
Overseas, the picture isn't any rosier, with Greece expected to default on its debts — possibly followed by Portugal and Ireland — and the International Monetary Fund predicting a global economic slowdown.
So is the U.S. heading for a double-dip recession? Or are we there already? And what can we do about it?
Another government shutdown could be looming, the state of Georgia goes ahead with the controversial execution of Troy Davis and overseas, Vladimir Putin announces he's taking another run at the Russian presidency. Weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz and the Atlantic's James Fallows get behind the headlines of the week's biggest news.
Two years ago, the Obama Administration secretly authorized the sale of 55 deep-penetrating bombs — or bunker busters — to Israel. That's according to an investigation by Newsweek magazine. The bombs could potentially be used in Israeli attack on Iranian nuclear sites. Weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz talks with Eli Lake, the reporter who broke the story.
Troy Davis was executed in Georgia on Wednesday night. He'd been convicted of killing an off-duty police officer 22 years ago in Savannah. Amnesty International's Laura Moye talks with weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz about the campaign she led that transformed Davis from a nameless convict on death row to a household name.
Short story writers, your time is short! The deadline for this round of our contest Three Minute Fiction is Sunday at 11:59 p.m. Eastern time. The rules set by this round's judge, writer Danielle Evans, are simple: One character must come to town and, one character must leave town. And remember, your story can't longer than 600 words. Enter here.
World stock markets tumbled this week amid fears about Europe's debt crisis, and the subject dominated the discussions at the fall meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund held this weekend.
Europe's sovereign debt problems, including the growing possibility of a default by Greece, have been festering now for more than a year. Investors in the financial markets are questioning the will and capacity of European governments to solve the problem. In the seminars and salons surrounding the meetings, financial heavyweights sounded the alarm.
Ivy's new album is All Hours. Left to right: Adam Schlesinger, Dominique Durand, Andy Chase.
In 1989, Dominique Durand left her home in Paris to live in New York. Her goal was simple: to learn English. But fate took over, and five years later she became the frontwoman for the indie pop band Ivy.
SCOTT SIMON, host: Baseball is a money game. Year after year, the teams with the biggest payrolls - the Yankees, the Red Sox, now the Phillies, make the playoffs. I know that doesn't explain how the Chicago Cubs have the third highest payroll and finish last. But the teams with the smallest payrolls often see their biggest stars just go off to the richest teams. In the new film, "Moneyball," the Oakland A's general manager portrayed by Brad Pitt, puts it to his scouts.