Making a point about government spending, Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky presented taxpayers from his state with a symbolic $500,000 "oversized check." Paul, who is the son of presidential candidate Ron Paul, said his office had saved more than 16 percent of its allotted operating budget last year, so he was giving it back to the Treasury.
In many ways, the Detroit Auto Show has become a kind of consumer electronics show for cars, where you're just as likely to see the rollout of a new app or entertainment system as the introduction of next year's models.
"The growth in mechanical changes [has] now become incremental, whereas the growth in the consumer electronics industry seems to be taking place at a rate that is almost unprecedented," says Thomas Tetzlaff, a spokesman for Volkswagen Canada.
The power of the pardon can redress an overly harsh sentence or a wrongful conviction. It can also prove to be a political landmine.
Exhibit A: Outgoing Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour's sweeping 11th-hour orders granting clemency to more than 200 people, ranging from convicted murderers to the brother of NFL great Brett Favre, who had his record cleared in connection with a 1997 conviction on manslaughter charges.
Relying on social media, Russian activists are attempting to organize more mass rallies against the Russian government. Here, protesters staged a huge rally in Moscow on Dec. 24, 2011, alleging vote rigging in parliamentary polls.
Russia's largest anti-government demonstrations since the Soviet breakup of 1991 are being organized and driven by a force that didn't exist two decades ago — social media.
In recent years, protests have been relatively rare, and Russians who got their news from state-run television essentially saw one narrative — one that relentlessly extolled the virtues of the country's leaders, particularly Vladimir Putin.
The United States announced Friday that it will exchange ambassadors with Myanmar, also known as Burma, partly in response to the release of hundreds of political prisoners there. This is the latest development in what appears to be a dramatic turnaround for the repressive government in that Southeast Asian nation. President Obama calls the prisoner release "a substantial step forward for democratic reform." Currently, the U.S. Embassy is headed by a charge d'affaires rather than an ambassador.
Apple has halted store sales of its iPhone 4S in China after fights erupted outside its flagship outlet in Beijing.
As NPR's Frank Langfitt reports, scalpers and angry would-be customers marked the phone's Chinese launch.
FRANK LANGFITT, BYLINE: At the Apple store in Beijing's Sanlitun shopping district, scalpers scuffled overnight causing the store to keep its door shut. Some in the crowd responded by hurling eggs at the windows.
Originally published on Fri January 13, 2012 1:35 pm
Barely a day has gone by without Newt Gingrich complaining about the inaccuracy of ads run against him by a superPAC supporting Mitt Romney.
So now that an anti-Mitt Romney film purchased by a superPAC supporting Gingrich has been criticized for numerous inaccuracies, Gingrich has asked that the film's creators and the funders paying for ads using film snippets edit out the falsehoods or take the ads and film down entirely.
A cardiologist says former Democratic presidential candidate and senator John Edwards has a life-threatening condition that will require surgery next month, a judge in Greensboro, N.C., announced today.