We're taking a break from the serious news for a bit of baby news: Hip-hop has a new princess. Blue Ivy Carter, the daughter of Jay-Z and Beyoncé Knowles, who are arguably the genre's king and queen.
Now, that was one of the worst kept secrets, since friends and family were tweeting about the birth over the weekend. But, as the AP reports, the couple's reps "repeatedly declined requests for comment."
The Obama administration just announced a 20-year federal ban "on new mining claims affecting a million acres near the Grand Canyon, an area known to be rich in high-grade uranium ore reserves," as The Associated Press writes.
And "in doing so," the wire service adds, "the administration brushed off pressure from congressional Republicans and mining industry figures who wanted a policy change."
The magazine said that pastry chef Roland Mesnier, who worked at the White House for 26 years beginning with the Carter administration, said when President Bill Clinton came into the White House in 1993 he had a "scary" appetite. "He could eat five or six pork chops."
Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan is facing a tumultuous backlash over his decision to scrap fuel subsidies. Reporting from Accra in Ghana, NPR's Ofeibea Quist-Arcton reports that major protests and a massive strike are putting pressure on him to reverse course. Nigeria is Africa's largest oil producer.
Ofeibea filed this report for our Newscast unit:
"Nigeria's capital, Abuja, and the commercial capital, Lagos, have come to a virtual standstill with similar reports of thousands joining the demonstrations in other parts of the country.
Operation Migration uses ultralight planes to guide whooping cranes in migration from Wisconsin to their winter home in Florida. But a Federal Aviation Administration investigation has grounded a flock of whooping cranes and an ultralight guiding plane.
The Obama administration has laid out billions in cuts to the U.S. military over the next decade. Some say the cuts will weaken the armed forces, while others argue it's time to reconsider the type of military presence the U.S. should maintain. NPR's Tom Bowman describes the proposed cuts and their potential implications for future military operations.
Politicians often reveal personal stories on the campaign trail. But those revelations often draw criticism from opponents. New York Times columnist Ross Douthat says politicians can and should contest the critiques, but that many have lost the right to complain about them.
Approximately 40 percent of U.S. voters identify as independents, giving them considerable clout with political candidates. Chicago Tribune columnist Clarence Page and George W. Bush campaign strategist Daron Shaw discuss who makes up the independent electorate, and if its influence is sometimes overstated.
On Tuesday night, New Hampshire voters could catapult Mitt Romney securely onto the path of the Republican nomination, or they could undercut the air of inevitability surrounding his campaign.
The former Massachusetts governor is clearly expecting the catapult. One indication? On Monday morning, the candidate changed his rhetoric to reposition himself even more squarely as a general election candidate.