National Security
6:15 am
Mon May 21, 2012

NATO Reconfirms Afghan War Will End Responsibly

NATO commanders say the mantra of the Afghan alliance has been "in together, out together." That means keeping combat forces in the country through 2014 — even though some member countries like France plan to bring their troops home sooner.

Business
6:11 am
Mon May 21, 2012

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Mon May 21, 2012 7:11 am

The chairman of Nasdaq issued a public apology after a glitch delayed the start of Facebook trading Friday. And over the weekend, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg married his longtime girlfriend.

Space
6:11 am
Mon May 21, 2012

Skywatchers Enjoy 'Ring Of Fire' Eclipse

Originally published on Mon May 21, 2012 6:51 am

Astronomy buffs in the western U.S. were treated to an eclipse known as the Ring of Fire over the weekend. Technically, it's an annular solar eclipse, during which time the moon passes between the earth and sun. The moon blocks out much of the sun's light and casts a giant shadow on the earth.

NPR Story
6:00 am
Mon May 21, 2012

Why TV Shows Call It Quits Before They're Told To End

Originally published on Mon May 21, 2012 6:27 am

The TV show House is airing its final episode Monday night on FOX, Desperate Housewives on ABC ended last week and NBC has announced that 30 Rock will have its final episodes this fall. TV and media critic Eric Deggans of the Tampa Bay Times explains why choosing to end a show, rather than getting canceled, presents a creative opportunity for the producers.

Environment
5:30 am
Mon May 21, 2012

Energy Efficiency Programs Hang in the Political Balance

RGGI seeks to curb CO2 emissions from power plants.
Flikr Creative Commons / Jim.Richmond

Republican are working at finding common language on a bill that would weaken or repeal the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, or RGGI. They will have to agree on a version that will get enough votes to overcome a governor’s veto.

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Shots - Health Blog
5:08 am
Mon May 21, 2012

Your Stories Of Being Sick Inside The U.S. Health Care System

Douglas Harlow Brown, 80, of East Lansing, Mich., watches birds inside a medical rehab facility.
Brittney Lohmiller for NPR

Originally published on Mon May 21, 2012 10:42 pm

To get a feeling for what being sick in America is really like, and to help us understand the findings of our poll with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health, NPR did a call-out on Facebook. We asked people to share their experiences of the health care system, and within 24 hours, we were flooded with close to 1,000 responses.

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It's All Politics
4:02 am
Mon May 21, 2012

Sophomoric? Members Of Congress Talk Like 10th Graders, Analysis Shows

Congress, shown gathered for President Obama's State of the Union in January, is speaking at about a grade level lower now than in 2005, according to the Sunlight Foundation.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon May 21, 2012 3:30 pm

Members of Congress are often criticized for what they do — or rather, what they don't do.

But what about what they say and, more specifically, how they say it? It turns out that the sophistication of congressional speech-making is on the decline, according to the open government group the Sunlight Foundation. Since 2005, the average grade level at which members of Congress speak has fallen by almost a full grade.

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Nancy Pearl is a regular commentator about books on NPR's Morning Edition and NPR affiliate stations KUOW in Seattle and KWGS in Tulsa.

The New York Times calls her “the talk of librarian circles.” Readers can’t get enough of her recommendations while bookstores and libraries offer standing room only whenever she visits. Since the release of the best-selling Book Lust in 2003 and the Librarian Action Figure modeled in her likeness, Nancy Pearl has become a rock star among readers and the tastemaker people turn to when deciding what to read next.

Middle East
3:01 am
Mon May 21, 2012

Change Comes To Saudi Arabia, In Slow Motion

In the Saudi capital Riyadh, two women stroll into a cosmetics shop in a luxury mall. The desire for greater personal freedoms has prompted Saudi rulers to relax some restrictions.
Chuck Holmes NPR

Originally published on Mon May 21, 2012 9:13 am

The shock waves of the Arab Spring continue to reshape countries like Egypt and Syria. But the kingdom of Saudi Arabia remains largely unaffected. King Abdullah and the Saudi ruling family are in firm control of the country's massive oil wealth and Islam's two holiest sites — Mecca and Medina.

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Asia
2:59 am
Mon May 21, 2012

Mineral-Rich Mongolia Rapidly Becoming 'Minegolia'

The mine at Oyu Tolgoi, Turquoise Hill in Mongolian, will be one of the world's largest copper mines in about five years. An employee holds up a small sample of the oxidized copper that gave the mine its name.
John W. Poole NPR

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 10:47 am

Mongolia, the land of Genghis Khan and nomadic herders, is in the midst of a remarkable transition. Rich in coal, gold and copper, this country of fewer than 3 million people in Central Asia is riding a mineral boom that is expected to more than double its GDP within a decade. The rapid changes simultaneously excite and unnerve many Mongolians, who hope mining can help pull many out of poverty, but worry it will ravage the environment and further erode the nation's distinctive, nomadic identity.

First of four parts

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