Hindu devotees prayed and washed as they attended the first "Shahi Snan" (grand bath) at the opening of the Kumbh Mela festival today in Allahabad, India.
Credit Kevin Frayer / AP
Naga Sadhus celebrate naked in the water at Sangam.
Credit Roberto Schmidt / AFP/Getty Images
Hindu devotees pray at the Sangam, or confluence, of the Yamuna and Ganges rivers during the Kumbh Mela festival in Allahabad, India, on Monday.
Credit Rajesh Kumar Singh / AP
Hundreds of thousands of Hindu pilgrims led by naked, ash-covered holy men stream into the sacred waters Monday at the start of the world's biggest religious festival.
Credit Roberto Schmidt / AFP/Getty Images
Pilgrims release offerings in the river's current while bathing.
Credit Manish Swarup / AP
Naga Sadhus return after a dip in the holy waters.
Credit Daniel Berehulak / Getty Images
A Hindu holy man, or Naga Sadhu, swings his hair during the royal bath on Makar Sankranti.
Credit Jitendra Prakash / Reuters/Landov
Devotees pray and wash as they attend the first Shahi Snan, or grand bath. Up to 100 million worshippers will gather at the Kumbh Mela over the next 55 days to take a ritual bath in the holy waters, believed to cleanse sins and bestow blessings.
Originally published on Mon January 14, 2013 12:46 pm
Imagine one-third of the entire U.S. population — 100 million or so people — visiting Dallas in the next 55 days.
That gives you a sense of what began today in Allahabad, India, a northern city of about 1.1 million people. Over about the next eight weeks it is expected to host nearly 100 times its population in pilgrims (not all at once, obviously). They're coming for the Hindu festival of Kumbh Mela, which happens every 12 years.
On this fourth day of French military operations aimed at routing Islamist militants in Mali, the al-Qaida-linked rebels are "vowing to drag France into a long and brutal ground war," Reuters reports.
"France has opened the gates of hell for all the French. She has fallen into a trap which is much more dangerous than Iraq, Afghanistan or Somalia," a spokesman for the MUJWA Islamist group told Europe 1 radio, the wire service writes.
If you live in a college town, you might have noticed that campus coffee shops are still buzzing late into the evening.
And that makes sense. New survey data from the NPD group, which tracks trends in what Americans eat and drink, finds that 18- to 24-year-olds are turning to coffee, rather than caffeinated sodas, as their pick-me-up of choice.
Chef and culinary historian Maricel Presilla owns two restaurants and has written many cookbooks. But her newest book, Gran Cocina Latina: The Food of Latin America, is her attempt to give fans a heaping helping of the many cultures she blends into her world.
"It's my whole life," she tells Morning Edition host David Greene. "There are recipes there of my childhood, things that I remember my family, my aunts doing. But also things that I learned as I started to travel Latin America."
Hepatitis C patient Nancy Turner shows Kathleen Coleman, a nurse practitioner, where a forearm rash, a side effect of her treatment, has healed. Turner is one of many patients with hepatitis C experimenting with new drugs to beat back the virus.
A smoldering epidemic already affects an estimated 4 million Americans, most of whom don't know it.
It's hepatitis C, an insidious virus that can hide in the body for two or three decades without causing symptoms — and then wreak havoc with the liver, scarring it so extensively that it can fail. Half of all people waiting for liver transplants have hepatitis C.
Originally published on Sun January 13, 2013 4:27 pm
The head of the National Rifle Association said Sunday that there's little appetite on Capitol Hill for a ban on assault weapons.
"When a president takes all the power of his office, if he's willing to expend political capital, you don't want to make predictions, you don't want to bet your house on the outcome. But I would say that the likelihood is that they are not going to be able to get an assault weapons ban through this Congress," NRA President David Keene said on CNN's State of the Union.
This week, Morning Edition explores the "nones" — Americans who say they don't identify with any religion. Demographers have given them this name because when asked to identify their religion, that's their answer: "none."
Originally published on Sun January 13, 2013 6:24 pm
The Golden Globes have a well-deserved reputation for being both goofy and pretty much meaningless. They've made it into the news the last few years largely by convincing people that Ricky Gervais' Hugh Hefner jokes were dangerous and daring. (They weren't.)
This year, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association has actually done something very promising by lining up Tina Fey and Amy Poehler to host together. Now that — that -- seems like it might be good.
Originally published on Sun January 13, 2013 1:16 pm
An Egyptian court overturned a life sentence against ousted President Hosni Mubarak and ordered a retrial for the former autocrat.
The decision to retry the strongman who was serving a life sentence for failing to stop the killing of protesters came as no surprise. When the judge overseeing the original case made his ruling last June, he criticized the prosecution for failing to produce concrete evidence against the leadership.
Originally published on Mon January 14, 2013 7:39 am
Pulitzer Prize-winning editor and columnist Eugene Patterson died Saturday of complications from prostate cancer, a family spokeswoman tells The Associated Press. He was 89.
Patterson, editor of The Atlanta-Journal Constitution from 1960 to 1968, "helped fellow Southern whites understand the civil rights movement, eloquently reminding the silent majority of its complicity in racist violence," the AP reports.
Originally published on Mon January 14, 2013 8:54 am
He was 14 when he co-authored RSS and later helped found the company that would become the social media website Reddit. Internet activist Aaron Swartz was found dead in his Brooklyn apartment, authorities said Saturday. He was 26.
Update at 7:42 p.m.: Swartz To Be Remembered For 'Technological Virtuosity':
Some of the worst winter weather in decades is making life even more difficult for the residents of the al-Marj refugee camp. Some Syrians who fled violence and shelling say after living in such harsh conditions, they wish they could go back.
Credit Susannah George / NPR
Oula's sons play in her family's tent at the al-Marj refugee camp in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley. A small gas stove in the center of the tent keeps the family warm and boils water for tea.
Originally published on Sat January 12, 2013 3:32 pm
Lebanon has had some of the worst winter weather in decades. First, record rainfalls flooded the low-lying part of the country, then ice and show bent trees and blocked roads. The frigid conditions are making it even harsher for Syrian refugees trying to take shelter from the violence in their home country.
The al-Marj refugee camp sits wedged between snow-covered vineyards, a community center and an unfinished warehouse in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley, just a 10-minute drive from the Syrian border.
It's not clear whether a French intelligence agent is dead or alive after a botched rescue attempt in Somalia on Saturday morning. As the AP reports:
"France says the agent, code-name Denis Allex, was killed in the raid, along with a French commando and 17 Islamist militants. But the militant group al-Shabab, which held Allex for more than three years, says it still has Allex and claims to have captured a French soldier."