China has indicated that it will stop handing down sentences to its controversial labor camps, which allow detention without trial for up to four years. According to Chinese media, some 160,000 prisoners were held in "re-education centers" at the end of 2008.
Critics of the system greeted the announcement — which was slim on details — with cautious optimism.
Pressure to change the system has been mounting after a number of high-profile cases, including that of Ren Jianyu, who had been a young village official.
Saying they're following the example of last year's Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day, a coalition of "gun rights" activists announced today that they're calling on like-minded Americans to visit gun stores, gun ranges and gun shows on Jan. 19 in a show of unity they're calling "Gun Appreciation Day."
Back in 2009, as Morning Edition reported, some scientists were worried that the small metal cylinder used as the world's standard for what a kilogram should be might be losing weight.
But there were also those who thought the problem might have nothing to do with that carefully sealed away cylinder in Paris — that the real problem might be that the 40 replicas sent around the world are gaining weight.
With elections in Italy just weeks away, polls show leftist parties with a comfortable lead. Yet attention is focused on the battle between the former prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi, and the current prime minister, Mario Monti, an austere technocrat.
Monti's platform calls for continued austerity, budget cutting and labor reforms.
While Berlusconi and Monti are the two big names in next month's race, the expected winner is the leader of the leftist Democratic Party, Pier Luigi Bersani.
Moments after a deadly attack that turned an Aurora, Colo., movie theater into a scene of panic and tragedy, the police officer who found suspect James Holmes at first took him for a fellow police officer, due to the body armor Holmes was wearing.
But he noticed that Holmes was "just standing there" and had no sense of urgency — despite the pandemonium at the theater, as people continued to stream out.
NPR coverage of the Hagel/Brennan nomination announcements
President Obama this afternoon nominated former Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., to be his next defense secretary and counterterrorism adviser John Brennan to lead the Central Intelligence Agency.
In those two, the president said, he has chosen men with experience in the field and who "understand the consequences of decisions we make in this town" on the men and women who serve America around the world,
Originally published on Mon January 7, 2013 1:06 pm
The Kulluk, the Shell oil-drilling rig that washed aground last weekend, is afloat and being towed to shelter on Kodiak Island in the Gulf of Alaska. The craft began its 30-mile trip late Sunday night. Examinations of the vessel have not found any signs of a leak.
Originally published on Mon January 7, 2013 12:49 pm
After nearly a month of health problems that culminated with a stay in a New York City hospital for treatment of a blood clot in a vein between her brain and her skull, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was back in her office Monday morning.
The State Department released a photo of the 65-year-old, soon-to-be-retired Clinton chairing a weekly meeting of assistant secretaries.