The West Nile virus is back, and it's looking like it could be particularly bad this year. As as result, federal health officials are warning people to protect themselves against the mosquito-borne infection.
The West Nile virus first showed up in the U.S. in 1999 and quickly spread from coast to coast, raising widespread alarm. Some have argued that red-breasted robins play a key role in the spread of the virus.
Gabby Douglas, the 16-year-old gymnast from Virginia Beach, Va., won another gold medal Thursday. The first was won with her team earlier this week. She was the only member of the team to perform in all four rotations. So, why are some black women obsessed with her hair? Writer Monique Fields has this perspective.
Never mind how she flies like a raven on the balance beam. Or flutters across the floor. Or soars on vault. Or swings on the uneven bars.
For all the glum punditry about our brave new world of connected disconnection, there are endless possibilities for free play — though you'd never know it from the sorry crew of malcontents in 360, an ambitious post-millennial take on Arthur Schnitzler's La Ronde.
Set in a high-tech yet shabby future, the remake of Total Recall is a fully realized piece of production design. But its script, credited to six authors, is more like a preliminary sketch.
Directed by Underworld franchise veteran Len Wiseman, the movie retains some elements of Paul Verhoeven's friskier (and more graphically violent) 1990 original. Yet it also makes lots of changes, notably by downplaying the brain-bending aspects of the scenario in favor of thought-free action. (Also, it never leaves a devastated Earth for Mars.)
Originally published on Fri August 3, 2012 9:49 am
A landmark federal law used to block the adoption of state voter identification cards and other election rules now faces unprecedented legal challenges.
A record five federal lawsuits filed this year challenge the constitutionality of a key provision in the Voting Rights Act. The 1965 statute prevents many state and local governments from enacting new voter ID requirements, redistricting plans and similar proposals on grounds that the changes would disenfranchise minorities.
It was a controversial hearing to begin with. This morning, a House subcommittee was looking into a bill that would make English the official language of the United States and require that government functions like naturalization ceremonies be conducted in English.
Democratic Rep. John Conyers of Michigan was not a fan, so he decided to deliver his opening statement in Spanish.
First he thanked the chairman, then he proceeded to assail the measure.
Originally published on Thu August 9, 2012 4:21 pm
A few days ago, I found myself sitting in a room full of cross-legged yogis with my sweaty hands resting on the sweaty knees of the people beside me, bellowing a mantra in unison over and over again. What united us at that yoga studio was empathy for yoga instructor Michael Joel Hall, who was savagely beaten as he walked home earlier that week with his boyfriend.
South African playwright, actor and director Athol Fugard describes the time Nelson Mandela was released from prison in 1990 as "a period of euphoria that was the most extraordinary experience of my life."
He says he was also convinced he would be the country's "first literary redundancy."
"My life had been defined by the apartheid years," he tells Michel Martin, host of NPR's Tell Me More. "Now we were going into an era of democracy ... and I believed that I didn't really have a function as a useful artist in that anymore."
U.S. employment is stalled, growth is anemic, and the Federal Reserve has decided not to take action for at least another month.
Most economists weren't expecting the Federal Open Markets Committee, which sets the Fed's monetary policy, to announce another round of quantitative easing — a fancy term that basically means the central bank buys bonds to increase the money supply and make borrowing cheaper — at this week's meeting. Still, that's exactly what a number of them think is needed.