Originally published on Fri April 27, 2012 5:40 am
There was more bad news for Europe's attempt to rebuild its economy: Standard & Poor announced Thursday that it was downgrading Spain's long-term sovereign credit rating by two notches – from "A" to "BBB+." The agency also lowered Spain's short-term sovereign credit rating to "A-2" from "A-1," and said the outlook on the long-term rating is negative.
In Iowa, President Obama's re-election campaign is already in gear, with staff and volunteers on the ground.
The Obama campaign hopes its head start over the campaign of Republican Mitt Romney — who until recently had been focused on fending off GOP opponents — will make the difference in November in this swing state.
The Obama campaign headquarters in Des Moines is a former Blockbuster Video store, where this week a couple of dozen 20-somethings tapped away at laptops, painted signs by hand and worked the phones.
I know it's strange to be thinking about October right now, but whenever I write, in a way that's always where I am. Growing up in Connecticut, it always held a special place in my heart — "a rare month for boys," as Ray Bradbury begins Something Wicked This Way Comes.
Originally published on Thu April 26, 2012 7:21 pm
The United States has never won an Olympic medal in table tennis. China has long dominated the sport, winning almost every medal since 1992. That's not likely to change at this year's Summer Olympics in London, but a group of young American women may be on their way to competing at the sport's highest levels.
Ariel Hsing, 16, already has the attributes of a fine table tennis player — quick hands, perfect balance and strong lungs. While she plays, she'll often shout "Sa!" — a meaningless word — to help relieve stress, something she's been dealing with a lot lately.
North Carolina is the only Southern state without a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. But that could change next month.
On May 8, voters will decide whether to change the state constitution to ban same-sex marriage, as well as civil unions and domestic partnerships. Leading Republican lawmakers think it's one of the most important issues facing voters.
But some conservatives worry that the measure goes too far.
Energy ministers from around the world met in London this week and got a scolding. The International Energy Agency warned the ministers that they are falling way behind in their efforts to wean the world from dirty sources of energy. Nations are nowhere near being on track to avert significant climate change in the coming decades.
It turns out that right now, just about everything is conspiring to make it harder to clean up the world's energy supply.
This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.
ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
And I'm Robert Siegel. In the Netherlands today, a U.N.-backed international court convicted former Liberian President Charles Taylor of war crimes and crimes against humanity. The court found that he had provided sustained and significant support to rebels in neighboring Sierra Leone during that country's brutal 11-year civil war. The counts against Taylor included aiding and abetting murder, rape and enlistment of child soldiers.
Dale Miller spends his days on the streets of downtown Denver selling a newspaper called The Homeless Voice. He's been having some health problems, but he can't afford to see a doctor on the $10 to $15 a day he makes selling papers.
A local charity clinic called the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless recently helped him get a CT scan at no cost to him. Miller fully understands, though, that someone has to pay for his care.