Two homeless men lie on mattresses in central Budapest in 2010. Hundreds of people live on the streets in the Hungarian capital; many refuse to stay in night shelters for fear of having their goods stolen.
Credit Karoly Arvai / Reuters/Landov
Gabor Ivanyi is a Methodist pastor and homeless advocate who runs the Danko street shelter.
Credit Eric Westervelt / NPR
Zoltan Szarka is a 27-year-old unemployed construction worker. He grew up in and out of foster care, ending up in Budapest's Danko street homeless shelter after losing his job and apartment.
Hungary's new anti-vagrancy laws — the toughest in Europe — now mean that homeless people sleeping on the street can face police fines or even the possibility of jail time.
Advocacy and human-rights groups are alarmed by the new efforts to crack down on and effectively criminalize homelessness, where the ranks of the needy have increased during the country's dire financial crisis.
Debt, joblessness and poverty are on the rise. The country's bonds have been downgraded to "junk" status, and the nation's currency, the forint, has dropped sharply against the euro.
Spring means cherry, pear and apple blossoms. But in many metropolitan areas, urban foresters ensure those flowering fruit trees don't bear fruit to keep fallen fruit from being trampled into slippery sidewalk jelly.
But a group of fruit fans in the San Francisco Bay Area is secretly grafting fruit-bearing tree limbs onto those fruitless trees.
Often, an artist can be defined by his or her influences. Woody Guthrie's legacy demands instead that he be remembered for the legendary writers he influenced. Guthrie's music inspired musicians from Bob Dylan to Bruce Springsteen, and his career as a Dust Bowl troubadour became representative of more than just American folk music.
For people with dyslexia, problems recognizing words can make life difficult. Children usually aren't diagnosed until elementary school, when it becomes clear they're struggling with reading. But scientists say it could be possible to diagnose and help kids much earlier by identifying problems with visual attention — long before they learn to read.
The city's leaders agreed to a compromise with state officials this week, that may save Detroit from bankruptcy. But Detroit Free Press columnist Rochelle Riley tells host Michel Martin that a lot more work needs to be done to save the struggling city. They're also joined by NPR Senior Business Editor Marilyn Geewax.