Pentagon Expected To Cut Half A Trillion In New Budget
The federal budget was released Monday. In it, the Pentagon is expected to cut $259 billion from what it had planned to spend over the next five years. NPR's Tom Bowman talks with Melissa Block about where the cuts will hit in 2013.
Natural Gas Boom Energizing The Chemical Industry
Chemical companies are the latest beneficiaries of natural gas drilling booms across the country, especially near the Marcellus Shale region in the Northeast. The ethane-rich gas there is providing a cheap resource, prompting chemical companies to build new plants, expand existing ones and even reopen shuttered facilities.
Iran's 'National Internet' Would Block Most Sites
Social media websites like Facebook and Twitter played an important role during last year's uprisings in the Middle East. Now Iranian officials are increasing their control on what its citizens can post, upload and read on the Internet. Robert Siegel talks to Washington Post reporter Thomas Erdbrink for more.
Braille Under Siege As Blind Turn To Smartphones
The nearly 200-year-old writing system may be meeting its match. Smartphones and screen-reading software are making Braille less and less necessary. Today, the National Federation for the Blind predicts that only one in 10 blind people can actually read it.
Igudesman And Joo: 'I Will Survive'
Finding inspiration from such classical comedic forefathers as Victor Borge and P.D.Q. Bach, violinist Aleksey Igudesman and pianist Hyung-ki Joo relish overturning traditional attitudes toward classical music. Watch their performance in NPR's studio.
'Shopping Mall Schools' Help Struggling Students
Some students just don't do well in high school — many struggle with bad grades or have discipline problems, and others choose to drop out. But there's also an alternative that some students are taking advantage of: A few school districts are opening up specialized schools inside shopping malls.
Book Review: 'Contents May Have Shifted'
Pam Houston's new novel "Contents May Have Shifted" reads like a travelogue, with its central character searching for understanding across the globe. It's worth traveling along with according to reviewer Alan Cheuse, a writing professor at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va.
Mendocino Snuffing Medical Marijuana Experiment
The federal government is cracking down on California's medical marijuana industry. On Tuesday, the county that's gone the furthest in embracing the pot economy is expected to throw in the towel. Mendocino County in California plans to shut down its program that issued permits to pot growers.
What Retirement? Seniors Are Getting Back To Work
By 75, many imagine they'll be retired, but the number of working seniors is actually on the rise — and so is the senior unemployment rate. When people ask Ella Washington, 83, why she wants to go back to work, she answers with a question: "Why sit at home?"