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U.S.
2:21 pm
Tue January 29, 2013

Debate Over Rebuilding Beaches Post-Sandy Creates Waves

Ongoing beach nourishment, like this project in Viriginia Beach, has been the topic of debate. Some people say it's needed to protect beach communities; others decry the costs.
Pam Spaugy U.S. Army

Originally published on Wed January 30, 2013 10:49 am

For a half-century, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has been in the beach business, dredging up new sand as shorelines wash away. Federal disaster aid for Superstorm Sandy could provide billions more for beach rebuilding, and that has revived an old debate: Is this an effective way to protect against storms, or a counterproductive waste of tax dollars?

On a recent blustery day at Virginia Beach, the latest beach nourishment project is in full swing. A bulldozer smooths out pyramids of sand, and on the horizon, a large, black hopper dredge appears with another load.

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It's All Politics
2:08 pm
Tue January 29, 2013

Rubio's Role In Immigration Plan Leaves Even Limbaugh Somewhat Speechless

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., speaks Monday in Washington at a news conference announcing a bipartisan plan to overhaul the nation's immigration laws.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 2:42 pm

Rush Limbaugh has been spending a lot of time calling the new plans for an overhaul of immigration laws little more than "amnesty" for some 11 million undocumented immigrants already in this country. A lot of time, that is, except for the 15 minutes of an extremely deferential interview Tuesday with Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.

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Author Interviews
1:05 pm
Tue January 29, 2013

'The Insurgents': Petraeus And A New Kind Of War

Gen. David Petraeus is the subject of The Insurgents: David Petraeus and the Plot to Change the American Way of War, a new book by Fred Kaplan.
Shah Marai AFP/Getty Images

In a new book, The Insurgents: David Petraeus and the Plot to Change the American Way of War, journalist and author Fred Kaplan tackles the career of David H. Petraeus and follows the four-star general from Bosnia to his commands in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Central to the story are ideas of counterinsurgency. Kaplan says that while counterinsurgency is not a new kind of warfare, it's a kind of war that Americans do not like to fight.

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World Cafe
1:01 pm
Tue January 29, 2013

Aaron Embry On World Cafe

Aaron Embry.
Nikki Embry Courtesy of the artist

If Aaron Embry's name doesn't sound familiar, his previous collaborators will. Embry was recently the touring pianist with Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros and has worked with the likes of Elliott Smith, Willie Nelson and Emmylou Harris.

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The Two-Way
12:44 pm
Tue January 29, 2013

Report: Alex Rodriguez, Melky Cabrera Among Baseball Stars Linked To Doping

Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees during a game in 2012.
Jonathan Daniel Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 1:49 pm

The Miami New Times has a bombshell of a report, today: According to records leaked to the paper, a Miami clinic provided Major-League All Stars with performance enhancing drugs.

The list includes the Yankees' Alex Rodriguez, San Francisco Giants outfielder Melky Cabrera, Texas Rangers' Nelson Cruz and the Nationals' Gio Gonzalez.

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Europe
12:43 pm
Tue January 29, 2013

How A Spanish City Went Boom, Then Bust

Valencia spent more than $1.5 billion to build the City of Arts and Sciences, the museum complex shown here in a photo from summer 2011.
Marie McGrory NPR

Originally published on Mon February 4, 2013 12:29 pm

The Spanish region of Valencia has been called the "California of Spain" for its gorgeous Mediterranean coastline and modern architecture.

But now Valencia epitomizes the worst of Spain's problems. It had the country's most inflated property market and the biggest crash. Its landscape is littered with empty and half-finished buildings. Valencia has also had an unusually high number of politicians indicted for corruption.

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The Two-Way
11:53 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Those 'Hygienic' Toilet Seats At O'Hare May Not Be So Clean

A concourse at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport.
Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

If you have to go while at Chicago's O'Hare Airport, then you need to know this:

"Motorized 'hygienic seats' that a controversial new janitorial contractor installed recently at O'Hare Airport are not very hygienic after all," the Chicago Sun-Times reports.

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The Two-Way
11:45 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Judge Approves BP's Manslaughter Plea In 2010 Gulf Oil Spill

The Deepwater Horizon oil rig burned on April 21, 2010.
U.S. Coast Guard Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 1:03 pm

A federal judge has approved a guilty plea by BP to manslaughter charges in connection with the 2010 Gulf oil spill.

The approved deal includes a record $4 billion in criminal penalties.

Eleven workers on the Deep Water Horizon rig died in the April 2010 explosion. BP pleaded guilty to manslaughter charges for those deaths and to lying to Congress about the amount of the oil spilling out into the Gulf of Mexico.

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The Two-Way
11:35 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Myanmar Lifts Ban On Public Gatherings

Food vendors wait for customers at a ferry pier in Yangon on January 28.
AFP/Getty Images

In another sign that Myanmar continues its march toward democracy, the state-run newspaper reported that the government has lifted a ban on public gatherings of more than five people.

The BBC reports that the law dates back to 1988, "when a military government took power after crushing pro-democracy protests."

The newspaper, the BBC reports, said the law was removed because it violated the constitution, which now guarantees freedom of expression.

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Latin America
11:21 am
Tue January 29, 2013

For Your Next Caribbean Vacation, Haiti ... Maybe?

Mont Joli Hotel looks out over Cap-Haitian in northern Haiti. The owner says he's usually fully booked and plans to double the hotel's capacity. Haiti is trying to expand its tourism infrastructure and tap in to the multibillion-dollar Caribbean travel market.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Mon February 4, 2013 12:29 pm

Haiti used to be a tourist hot spot in the Caribbean. Former U.S. President Bill Clinton regularly recounts how he and Hillary honeymooned in Haiti in 1975. There used to be a hopping Club Med just outside Port-au-Prince, but it closed in the '90s.

Now, the Haitian government is trying to revive some of its former allure, launching an aggressive campaign to market the poorest country in the hemisphere as a vacation hub.

President Michel Martelly says tourism could be a major driver of economic growth and could help lift Haitians out of poverty.

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