Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez remained in Cuba, where he's receiving treatment for cancer, and was not present for his planned inauguration in Caracas on Thursday. However, thousands of supporters gathered outside the presidential palace to show their backing.
Credit Juan Barreto / AFP/Getty Images
Chavez has been receiving cancer treatment since the middle of 2011. He's shown here at the presidential palace on Sept. 17, 2011, a few months after his treatment began.
Three Latin American presidents turned up, as did foreign diplomats. And thousands of President Hugo Chavez's supporters flooded the streets Thursday outside the presidential palace in Venezuela's capital, Caracas.
But Chavez himself didn't show — he remained in Cuba, incapacitated after his latest round of cancer surgery.
Still, the carefully choreographed show did go on, and Chavez's aides said he remains in charge.
Pakistani police officers and residents gather at the site of a bomb blast that targeted paramilitary soldiers in a commercial area in the city of Quetta, killing 11 people. Later in the day, twin blasts at a snooker club in the city killed at least 80 people.
Originally published on Thu January 10, 2013 5:53 pm
Back-to-back bomb blasts in the Pakistani city of Quetta on Thursday have claimed the lives of at least 80 people.
"The death toll has risen to 81 so far," Mir Zubair Mehmood, a senior police official, said at a news conference. He said 121 people were wounded. His comments were reported by the privately owned Geo TV.
Originally published on Fri January 11, 2013 12:34 pm
A re-elected president who gets to choose a second-term Cabinet has much more knowledge of the kind of team he needs than he did the first time around.
That's one simple way to understand President Obama's decisions as he creates his Cabinet 2.0.
The choices are not those of a president-elect who hasn't moved into the White House, or of a green president who hasn't watched his first international crisis unfold from his leather seat in the White House Situation Room.
Florida and several other states are wrestling with a decision: whether to expand Medicaid.
When the Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act last year, the court said states could opt out of that part of the law. But it's key. It would provide coverage to millions of low-income Americans who currently have no health insurance.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott says he's concerned about how much expanding Medicaid would cost. But others charge the governor is exaggerating.
Originally published on Fri January 11, 2013 1:05 pm
Xiao Liwu made his public debut Thursday at the San Diego Zoo. Fans crowded around the exhibit, their camera lenses extended, hoping to catch a glimpse of the 5-month-old giant panda cub. If they're lucky and actually do see the 16-pound panda (his Chinese name means "Little Gift"), there'll be much oooing and aaahing.
You'd have to be heartless not to agree that pandas, especially the youngest of them, are as cute as all get-out. Right? But why?
Major League baseball will begin random regular-season blood tests for human growth hormone, seen here in an injector pen holding about one week's worth of HGH doses at the clinic of Dr. Mark Molitch of Northwestern University.
Originally published on Fri January 11, 2013 6:47 am
Major League Baseball will expand its effort to fight performance enhancing drugs to include random blood tests for human growth hormone and other substances during the regular season, under the terms of an agreement with the players union that was first reported by
Originally published on Thu January 10, 2013 3:19 pm
Junior Seau, the former NFL linebacker whose suicide last May at age 43 shocked fans and former teammates, suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a neurodegenerative disease associated with repetitive head injuries, according to a study by the National Institutes of Health.
President Obama nominated Jack Lew, his current chief of staff, for Treasury Secretary today. Former cabinet members explain what it takes to put together a good cabinet, and how to get the members to work together.
Originally published on Mon January 14, 2013 5:38 pm
In the heart of the Moroccan oasis and palm grove of Skoura, west of Marrakesh, yellow and reddish dates dangled heavily from branches high above us. It's going to be a good year, a man harvesting dates said, offering me a handful of fresh, still-yellow fruit cut from the tree just moments before.
Deputy provincial governors and district governors selected under a new merit-based program are sworn in Tuesday in Kabul. The development is part of an effort to address rampant corruption in Afghanistan.
Regularly ranked as one of the most corrupt countries in the world, Afghanistan has implemented what for it is a novel new program: selecting provincial and district officials on the basis of their skills, rather than connections.
By all accounts, Afghanistan's corruption is endemic at all levels of government. It's hoped the new effort will begin to curb graft, patronage and nepotism in the country's 34 provinces and roughly 360 districts.
Originally published on Thu January 10, 2013 6:33 pm
There was a shooting incident at a high school in Taft, Calif., this morning. Now that many reports have come in from the scene, it appears that two people were injured and a shooter has been taken into custody.
Daniel Day-Lewis takes on one of America's most famous presidents in Lincoln.
Credit Pete Souza / White House
President Obama is seen during a September meeting at the White House, juxtaposed with the paintings of Abraham Lincoln and George Washington, busts of Martin Luther King Jr. and Abraham Lincoln, and the Emancipation Proclamation.
Lincoln may not be a political film for the ages, but it's certainly a movie that speaks to our own time.
Although the movie centers on the abolition of slavery, Lincoln taps into one of the deepest desires of our historical moment — the desire for politicians in Washington to get their acts together and compromise to succeed in passing major legislation.
Originally published on Thu January 10, 2013 2:33 pm
Living with an overweight parent, child or spouse can be difficult. Loved ones who want to help a family member struggling with obesity may be hesitant to broach the subject for fear of causing shame or making matters worse.
Originally published on Thu January 10, 2013 3:22 pm
The thief who stole Harly and Courtney Forbes' bicycle seemed not to know how important it is to their lives. Because after dashing off with the tandem bike early Monday, the bike was returned Wednesday. Police say the thief was apparently moved to remorse by the pair's story of how they were now without a way of getting around on their own.
And this morning here in Los Angeles the nominations for the 85th Academy Awards were announced. The movie with the most nominations: Steven Spielberg's "Lincoln," with 12 nods.
(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "LINCOLN")
DANIEL DAY-LEWIS: (as Lincoln) Euclid's first common notion is this: Things which are equal to the same thing are equal to each other. That's a rule of mathematical reasoning. It's true because it works.
Less than a decade ago, some young African-American men tried to leave a mark on the political map. Dubbed as 'hip-hop' politicians, a few rose to national prominence, while others faded from view. Host Michel Martin talks with political science professors about the past, present and future of so-called 'hip-hop politicians.'
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Now, we want to return to a story we've visited many times before, especially in the last three years. That's when an earthquake devastated the nation of Haiti. It left tens of thousands of people dead - nobody's really sure how many - and tens of thousands of people displaced.
The Obama administration spent more money on immigration enforcement last year than it did on all other major federal law enforcement agencies combined, according to a new report. Host Michel Martin discusses that budget and unsettled immigration issues with the report's author Doris Meissner.
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Jan. 2. Financial market participants will be keeping a close eye on upcoming deadlines affecting the U.S. debt ceiling, scheduled automatic budget cuts and federal funding.
Originally published on Fri January 11, 2013 3:39 pm
Maybe you were hoping you'd never hear the phrase "fiscal cliff" again after Congress passed legislation Jan. 1 to address that tax-break-expiration deadline.
Three more cliff-type deadlines are fast approaching. They involve: 1) raising the federal debt ceiling 2) modifying automatic, across-the-board spending cuts and 3) funding the government to avert a shutdown.
The deadlines all hit between Valentine's Day and Easter, which means new rounds of chaotic congressional negotiations may start up just after the Jan. 21 presidential inauguration parade ends.
Barges last month crowded an area on the Mississippi River south of St. Louis where barges are stored, loaded and unloaded. Shippers worry that the drought-shrunken river could shut to barge traffic entirely this month.
Credit Alan Greenblatt / NPR
George Foster, president of JB Marine, says he hasn't had to lay off any of his 110 employees but wonders when he'll see enough barge traffic to keep all of his workers busy. Along the affected stretch of the Mississippi River, some 8,000 jobs are thought to be at risk.
Credit Alan Greenblatt / NPR
The offices of JB Marine, a barge cleaning and repair business that is located atop an empty barge just south of St. Louis, now lean at a 30-degree angle because the Mississippi River levels are so low.
Credit Alan Greenblatt / NPR
The river has fallen fast enough that barges have been beached along its banks outside St. Louis.
Credit Alan Greenblatt / NPR
"We're at the mercy of Mother Nature," says Larry Rowe, captain of a JB Marine boat. People along the Mississippi are hoping for significant snowmelt to raise the water levels.
Originally published on Thu January 10, 2013 12:53 pm
The Mississippi River has provided George Foster with a living all his life. Now, with the river dropping to historically low levels, it's threatening to take his business down with it.
Foster's office sits atop an empty barge on the river, just south of St. Louis. His building tilts at a 30-degree angle because the water is so low. Visitors may want to stick out their fingertips for balance walking down his narrow hallway.
Originally published on Thu January 10, 2013 9:20 am
Update at 9:00 a.m. ET:
Lincoln, director Stephen Spielberg's acclaimed look at the 16th president's push for the 13th Amendment that abolished slavery, has been nominated for Oscar awards in 12 categories, it was announced this morning in Hollywood. That's the most for any single film.
Life of Pi is up for 11 awards. Les Miserables and Silver Linings Playbook are up for eight.
You practically can't visit a news site these days without seeing a story about why President Obama should or should not order the Treasury Department to strike a platinum coin "worth" $1 trillion and deposit it with the Federal Reserve.