The digital currency Bitcoin is becoming more prevalent, both for benign purchases and as a way for criminals to conduct illicit transactions. Bitcoins have been used on underground websites to facilitate sales of narcotics and child pornography. But even those most concerned about criminal activity agree that the emerging digital currency has arrived and can have beneficial uses.
A public disagreement over same-sex marriage has escalated between the daughters of former Vice President Dick Cheney. Liz Cheney, a Republican Senate candidate, says she supports the traditional definition of marriage. Her sister Mary Cheney, a married lesbian, says Liz is on the wrong side of history.
Secretary of State John Kerry has been urging Congress to hold off a new sanctions on Iran to see how diplomacy plays out. But many lawmakers are skeptical and cite concerns from Israel that the deal under consideration isn't worth easing up on sanctions yet. Kerry's spokesperson dismissed an Israeli official's account of the proposed deal as "inaccurate, exaggerated and not based on reality." And the secretary himself reportedly told senators behind closed doors that they should disregard the Israeli reports about the deal. Kerry's also been more vocal lately about Israeli settlement building in the West Bank as his other priority, Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, falter.
In most of Canada, residents are stuck with elected officials who refuse to resign amidst serious scandal. But in the U.S., it's considerably easier to toss out wayward politicians. Just look at the growing number of recall elections, particularly involving local officials, in recent years.
A national poll released Monday shows many registered voters were reminded of the importance of national parks during the federal government shutdown. Congress did get more of a bruising on perceived responsibility for the park closures, but the president wasn't left unscathed either.
The White House has been fighting to prevent the disastrous rollout of the health care law from defining President Obama's second term. This week, diplomats from the U.S. and other countries are going to meet for a second round of negotiations on Iran's nuclear program, and a breakthrough there could shape history's view of this president.
Oregon as a local food movement hub? That's obvious. Less so is the fact that one in five state residents rely on food stamps. That's one of the surprising facts that stand out in an interactive map that tracks how cuts that went into effect on Nov. 1 are affecting the country.
The president had a tumultuous week, admitting his administration "fumbled" the roll-out of his health care law, and extending a one-year extension for insurance policies that would have been canceled under the new law. Host Rachel Martin talks with NPR political correspondent Mara Liasson about President Obama's insecure footing.
"Those whose jobs often involve great emotional stress develop an amazing stoic power to defer emotion — a power that momentarily eluded me," Walter Cronkite said about his announcement of President Kennedy's assassination. Listen to his recollections and three other compelling pieces from the NPR archives.