There is increasing awareness of cities as a defining trait of humanity and their importance to our health, economy and the environment. Here, some basic nuts and bolts about cities and the people who live, drive, work and play in them
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There apparently isn't a unified Republican message on whether President Obama has introduced a big new tax through the Affordable Care Act.
Eric Fehrnstrom, a top aide to Mitt Romney, said Monday that the Republican presidential candidate's position is that the penalty under the new law — the one for people who can afford to buy health insurance, but don't — is not a tax.
The Supreme Court last week upheld the health care law's individual mandate on the grounds that it is a permissible tax, in a 5-4 opinion authored by Chief Justice John Roberts.
Afghanistan produces about half the power it currently uses and imports the other half from neighboring countries. But that total still doesn't meet the country's demands. This photo shows Kabul at night in January.
Credit Bay Ismoyo / AFP/Getty Images
Only about one-third of Afghans have access to a reliable power supply.
Credit Sean Carberry / NPR
The Omid Plastic Making Factory in Kabul manufactures plastic bags. Even though the industrial park where it's located was supposed to guarantee full power, the factory often relies on a generator. "There is no industrial power for us. We are using the same power as normal people," says factory manager Abdul Qadida Sozai.
Credit Sean Carberry / NPR
This welding shop in Kabul relies on a generator because the city power supply isn't reliable or powerful enough for the equipment.
Afghanistan desperately needs to jump-start its economy if it hopes to stand on its own after NATO's drawdown in 2014. But there's a major constraint for a country trying to build a modern economy: electricity shortages.
Afghanistan ranks among the countries with the lowest electricity production per capita in the world. Despite billions of dollars in projects over the past decade, at best one-third of the population has access to regular power.
An interesting technological case has emerged from the Occupy Wall Street protests of last fall. At issue is whether prosectors can simply subpoena the tweets of Malcom Harris, one of about 700 protesters arrested last year while walking on the Brooklyn Bridge.
Manhattan Criminal Court Judge Matthew A. Sciarrino Jr. had already ruled on this once before saying Harris had no jurisdiction to challenge the subpoena because his tweets belonged to Twitter.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. And topic A in this city remains the Supreme Court decision on health care handed down on Thursday. President Obama claims validation of his signature legislative achievement. Republicans, including presidential candidate Mitt Romney, vow to repeal it.
On assignment in southern Afghanistan in 2009, Washington Post correspondent Rajiv Chandrasekaran waded through chest-high water with U.S. Marines, through canals originally dug by Americans 60 years ago. There, he discovered a massive Cold War project to transform the Helmand River Valley through electrification and modern agriculture in an area once known as "Little America."
Twelve years after it was voted out of office, the PRI, Mexico's Institutional Revolutionary Party, reclaimed the presidency in yesterday's election. PRI candidate Enrique Pena Nieto won 38 percent of the vote. He promised new style and new substance for a party long accused of corruption, deals with drug lords, and authoritarian rule. In a pre-election op-ed for the Dallas Morning News, Jesus Velasco asked whether the U.S. can trust Mexico's new administration.
Members of the Williamsburg Volunteer Fire Department were unable to find fuel at a station in Crawley, W.Va. Elsewhere, people waited in line for hours for the chance to fill up.
Credit Alan Greenblatt / NPR
Trucking company owner Tod Moss, who lives in the town of Beckley, drove 40 miles to Crawley to bring a few gallons of gas to his employees. "You could get beat up and killed for 5 gallons of gas," he says.
Credit Alan Greenblatt / NPR
The weekend storms tore up a tree across the street from the West Virginia DOT division facility in Crawley.
People who show up at the Shell station in Crawley, W.Va., hoping to find ice, water or a working bathroom are out of luck. With no power to work the pumps, there's no hope of buying gas, either.
Still, a steady stream of customers arrived at the station Sunday evening, picking up snack cakes and 12-packs of Bud Light. A couple of women left the food store with little kids in tow holding Gatorade and Cheetos, which seems like a suitable supper when the food in your home freezer has started to go bad.
The U.S. Supreme Court justices (first row, from left) Clarence Thomas, Antonin Scalia, Chief Justice John Roberts, Anthony Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, (back row) Sonia Sotomayor, Stephen Breyer, Samuel Alito and Elena Kagan.
It was much rumored as soon as the 5-4 decision that upheld President Obama's signature health care law was announced.
Chief Justice John Roberts had sided with the liberal wing of the court and he had done so after initially voting in favor of striking down the individual mandate, the part of the law the required every American to obtain health care.
The U.S. Supreme Court justices (first row, from left) Clarence Thomas, Antonin Scalia, Chief Justice John Roberts, Anthony Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, (back row) Sonia Sotomayor, Stephen Breyer, Samuel Alito and Elena Kagan — pose at the Supreme Court in 2010.
An eventful term of the U.S. Supreme Court ended Thursday with the landmark 5-4 ruling affirming the legality of the Affordable Care Act. Much attention has focused on the pivotal role of Chief Justice John Roberts in the case — and whether some elements of his opinion in the health care ruling will have a conservative influence on future cases.
Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying and his wife, Regina, shake hands with supporters Sunday during a flag-raising ceremony to mark the 15th anniversary of Hong Kong's handover to China. Leung was sworn in as Hong Kong's third leader amid growing discontent with China's rule over the Asian financial center.
Credit Hong Kong Information Services Department / AFP/Getty Images
New Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying visits a Welfare Advancement Association on Monday, a day after taking office. Leung vowed he would "humbly" listen to the public, but some critics branded him a lame duck after the restive city's biggest protest in nearly a decade.
Credit Wally Santana / AP
A protester hits a picture of a wolf representing Leung Chun-ying during a pro-democracy protest march in Hong Kong on Sunday, the anniversary of the island's handover to China. There is rising public discontent over widening inequality and a lack of full democracy in the southern Chinese financial center.
It's a pretty bad first day at work when hundreds of thousands of people march through the streets calling for your resignation. That's what happened Sunday to Hong Kong's new leader, Leung Chun-ying, who was appointed by Beijing. The huge turnout presents new problems for China amid its own difficult power transition.
The Age of Miracles is literary fiction, but it spins out the same kind of "what if?" disaster plot that distinguishes many a classic sci-fi movie. Too bad the title The Day the Earth Stood Still was already taken, because it really would have been the perfect title for Thompson's novel.
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, Leo Manzano came from behind to win the 1500 meters track and field national championship last night and with it he booked his place on the U.S. Olympic team. We'll hear how Manzano went from living in a Mexican village with no running water to running for the red, white and blue.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. We're continuing our conversation with a roundtable of doctors, checking in with them about their thoughts about the Affordable Care Act in the wake of the Supreme Court decision to uphold most of the provisions of the act.
In this handout photo provided by the USATF, Jeneba Tarmoh (bottom, lane 1) and Allyson Felix cross the finish line at exactly the same time in the women's 100 meter dash final during Day Two of the 2012 U.S. Olympic Track & Field Team Trials at Hayward Field on June 23 in Eugene, Ore. It's their torsos, not head, hands, feet or arms, that matter.
"Mexico's old guard sailed back into power after a 12-year hiatus Sunday," The Associated Press writes, "as the official preliminary vote count handed a victory to Enrique Pena Nieto, whose party was long accused of ruling the country through corruption and patronage."
For about 2.7 million people across mid-Atlantic and west to Ohio it's Day 3 without power.
Friday's "land hurricane" — technically known as a derecho — may be long gone, but it is certainly not forgotten. Crews, many brought in from states well outside the affected region, continue to work on restoring power. But utilities are warning it could be next weekend before everyone is back on the grid.
Good morning. I'm Linda Wertheimer. Hot Wheels and their twisty plastic tracks have long been a source of small scale thrills. But on Saturday, daredevils Tanner Foust and Greg Tracy went behind the miniature. They raced two rally cars around a 66-foot tall version of a Hot Wheels loop-de-loop racetrack. Seven times gravity was the hardest part. The only thing broken was a world record. Don't try this at home. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.
Another mystery that has long eluded many is the case of the missing aviatrix. Amelia Earhart disappeared on this day 75 years ago. She was attempting to become the first woman to circumnavigate the globe in an airplane when she vanished somewhere in the South Pacific. Her disappearance has stoked speculation ever since.
A runoff race on Monday between Jeneba Tarmoh and Allyson Felix will determine who will be the third member of the U.S. Women's track team to compete in the 100 meters at the Olympic Games in London later this month.