National / International News
Republicans do not appear to have enough votes to override a presidential veto. It's unlikely to be the last standoff between the GOP and the president on energy issues.
Officer Peter Liang faces multiple counts, including manslaughter, for shooting Akai Gurley, an unarmed 28-year-old black man, during a routine patrol in November.
We look at the fraught relationship between NBC's Brian Williams (who has been suspended without pay for six months) and his predecessor, Tom Brokaw.
Rachel Martin speaks with Stephen Seche, former U.S. Ambassador to Yemen about the decision to close down the U.S. embassy in Sana'a and how that could affect U.S. counterterrorism efforts in Yemen.
Robert Siegel talks to Mustafa Nayyem, who is in Washington, D.C., to receive the Wilson Center Ion Ratiu Award for his reform work in Ukraine.
In a piece for WIRED Magazine, Jordan Golson breaks down the history of the three-wheeled car.
It is taken as gospel that vehicles should have an even number of wheels. Two, four, even six. But that hasn’t kept more than a few people from thinking three was the magic number.
From the very earliest days of motoring, engineers have toyed with three-wheeled automobiles. In fact, the Benz Patent Motorwagen, generally considered the first motorcar, rolled on three wheels. Since then, the idea has come and gone, usually adopted by lovable, slightly eccentric boutique automakers like Morgan Motors or startups like the dearly departed Aptera Motors, although big players like Toyota have played the game too. (For the sake of this discussion, we’ll focus on cars, which we’ll define as having side-by-side seating and at least some semblance of an enclosed body.)
But four wheels work just fine, so why take one away?
“Car companies are always looking to sell something that’s different,” Golson says.
According to Golson, three-wheelers have plenty of setbacks too.
“People typically buy their cars so they can haul around their families and their stuff, and a three-wheeled car doesn’t really do that very well,” he says.
So why were three-wheeled cars like the Reliant Robin so popular in England 30 years ago?
“They were popular because they were taxed as motorcycles,” says Golson. “So they were cheaper to own, and you only had to have a motorcycle license to ride them.”
Three-wheeled cars of old weren’t the safest either.
“You basically have as much protection as you would on a motorcycle, which is to say, none,” Golson says. “It has all the bad parts of a motorcycle, and it has all the bad parts of a car.”
Don't expected a resurgence of the three-wheeled car any time soon. But that doesn’t mean four wheels is the pinnacle of car formats.
“If the car companies can figure out a way to solve a problem that no one else has solved you might see one that’s really popular,” says Golson. “But until they do that, the demand just isn’t there.”
Government prosecutors confirmed in a Guantanamo Bay war court today that an interpreter for one of five alleged co-conspirators in the Sept. 11 attacks had earlier worked for the CIA. But they insisted no federal agency had tried to place the interpreter on the defense team to gather intelligence. Defense lawyers cried foul and asked that all further proceedings be suspended until the issue is resolved.
When Jon Stewart announced on Tuesday that he is leaving the host chair of The Daily Show on Comedy Central later this year, he prompted great dismay among his many fans. The show has influenced a generation of young people — especially liberals and Democrats — and changed how they view both the news and politics.
Chicago's Jackie Robinson West Little League team — that was lauded for their play and sportsmanship, even honored at the White House — has been stripped of their U.S. championship title. On Wednesday, league officials said adult mangers of the team cheated by skirting fair play rules that require all players to live inside the same geographical boundaries.
New dietary advice is on its way. A panel of top experts — appointed by the federal government — is expected to update recommendations on what we should be eating. And one thing on the mind of the panel is dietary cholesterol. Americans have been told for decades to limit cholesterol-rich foods, but advice may be changing.
The leaders of Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France met in Belarus on Wednesday in an effort to stop the war in Ukraine. The negotiation comes amid the heaviest fighting yet in eastern Ukraine, where Russian-backed rebels have been gaining ground in a fierce offensive.
What exactly is happening to nurses' backs when they move and lift patients? NPR's Daniel Zwerdling teamed with scientists for a high-tech look inside his own back as he tried the same maneuvers.
The deployment of troops to build treatment centers and train health workers didn't pan out as planned. But as most of the troops are being withdrawn, it is clear the U.S. still made a difference.
Greece’s new finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis, has bounded onto the political stage not like a finance minister at all. He's more like an action movie star.
With his bald head, athletic build and feisty manner, Varoufakis reminds some of the Bruce Willis of "Die Hard" fame. One German newspaper called Varoufakis “a sex icon, roaring around Athens in his motorbike leathers, radiating the sort of classical masculinity you usually find only in Greek statues.”
Varoufakis may not relish this kind of press. He is a serious academic economist who has held senior university teaching posts in Greece, the United States, the U.K. and Australia. Long before his election last month, he fought a passionate campaign against the deep cuts in public spending that Germany and other European creditor nations imposed on Greece as a condition of the country’s $280 billion bailouts.
As a left-winger, Varoufakis believes in big government. Indeed, he describes himself as a Marxist. But Professor Monojit Chatterji, his doctoral supervisor at the UK’s University of Essex, says we should take that description with a pinch of salt.
“People are scared of him because of this Marxist label that he bandies around,” says Chatterji. “It’s almost done deliberately, in order to say to people: ‘Look here, I am a Marxist but you know I’m really a cuddly toy.’”
In spite of his seriousness, Varoufakis seems not to be averse to game playing. Hardly surprising, his academic specialty is game theory, the study of strategic decision-making. Computer games giant Valve Corp. hired him for his game-theory expertise.
That could now stand him in good stead.
“It’s not a bad background to have when you’re entering a period of intense negotiation,” says James K. Galbraith, a University of Austin professor who is a friend and former colleague.
But Galbraith rejects the claim that Varoufakis is playing the so-called “madman strategy,” making crazy demands and threatening to bring down the euro to extract greater concessions from Greece’s creditors.
“That’s not true," Galbraith says. "There’s absolutely nothing mad or for that matter opaque about the position taken at this stage by the Greek government.”
Galbraith describes Varoufakis as one of the most interesting intellectuals on the planet who has energy, charm, intelligence and magnetism in abundance. Will these qualities be enough to win over Varoufakis’ key adversary in the debt negotiations, German Chancellor Angela Merkel?
Professor Chatterji recalls one of the former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s favorite phrases: “Thatcher used to say: ‘The lady is not for turning.' I think about Merkel one might say: ‘This lady is not for charming.’”