Today on All Things Considered, Alisha Niehaus of the Girl Scouts of America talks to host Guy Raz about a big update: for the first time in a quarter-century, they've updated the badges that Scouts can earn.
It started when Shawnee County District Attorney Chad Taylor announced that a 10 percent budget cut would force him to end his office's prosecution of misdemeanor cases, almost half of which last year were domestic battery cases.
American banks have, for years, been accustomed to making risky bets — not only on behalf of clients but also with their own money. But many are now protesting, and preparing for, a new measure in the works that would reign in what's called proprietary trading: The Volcker Rule. Robert Siegel talks with Ben Protess of the New York Times about a new rule intended to reign in this behavior on the part of banks.
The Nigerian man charged with trying to blow up an airliner on Christmas Day in 2009 pleaded guilty today. Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab had tried to detonate a bomb hidden in his underwear. Tuesday, on the first day of trial, the government presented its case, including details of what happened on the flight that day. Then Wednesday, Abdulmutallab abruptly pleaded guilty to all eight counts against him. NPR's counter-terrorism correspondent Dina Temple-Raston talks to Robert Siegel.
A day after announcing they had uncovered an Iranian terror plot — the Obama administration is moving quickly to try to drum up more international pressure on the Iranian regime. But some Iran watchers are raising doubts about the US storyline — and wonder if the US can get the sort of diplomatic mileage it wants out of this case.
Frank Kameny, a pioneer in the gay rights movement, died Tuesday at 86. In 1957, Kameny was fired from his job as an astronomer for the U.S. government because he was homosexual. He fought his dismissal in court for years and in the 1960s, began picketing outside the White House, calling for equal rights for gays and lesbians. In 2009, the government issued him a formal apology for his firing.
Taiwan might be known to most Americans for its export economy, but it's also been importing musical styles — from avant garde jazz to hip-hop. I first learned about Taiwan's thriving music scene from Joshua Samuel Brown. He's a travel writer who authored the last two editions of Lonely Planet: Taiwan.
Scientists have used DNA lurking inside the teeth of medieval Black Death victims to figure out the entire genetic code of the deadly bacterium that swept across Europe more than 600 years ago, killing an estimated half of the population.
The researchers didn't find any genetic feature that could explain why the plague was so virulent, according to a report just published in the journal Nature.
A tiny portion of a secret cable released last month by WikiLeaks is just now making its way to the United States. In the Sept. 2009 cable, U.S. Ambassador to Japan John Roos tells the Obama administration that Japan doesn't think it's a good idea for President Obama to visit Hiroshima or to apologize for using an atomic bomb on two Japanese cities during World War II.
The contents of the cable were reported back in September by The Japan Times and ABC News picked it up, today.