In Afghanistan, where most people are illiterate and live in areas without paved roads or regular electricity, a state-of-the-art smart-chip ID card may seem extravagant. But the government believes it can help with everything from census data to voter registration to health care.
The format of the proposed card, however, is fueling debate over ethnicity and identity at a time when anxiety is already high over the drawdown of NATO troops.
When Microsoft introduced Windows 8 last year, the software giant billed the new operating system as one of the most critical releases in its history. The system would bridge the gap between personal computers and the fast-growing mobile world of tablets and smartphones.
But this week, the company sent signals that it might soon alter Windows 8 to address some early criticism of the operating system.
Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep. Twitter came alive with shocking news. The Syrian Electronic Army apparently hacked the feed of the satirical site The Onion. Syrians topped their attacks on AP, "60 Minutes" and NPR. After being victimized, The Onion published tips to avoid being hacked. Move site to a new web address every few minutes.
New Jersey's governor, Chris Christie, was hosting a group of school children in his office when a spider appeared. Christie did not grant it a pardon. Kids laughed and cheered as he gave it the smack-down. Christie joked it's one of the perks of being governor - you can kill critters on your desk without getting into any trouble. Well, not completely true. The animal rights group PETA issued a statement criticizing what they called a thoughtless act.
By the end of next month, nearly $30 million in private contributions may be handed out to hundreds of victims of the Boston Marathon bombing. The administrator of the fund outlined plans last night for who might be eligible and how the money will be divided. But survivors and their families are questioning how a dollar value can be given to their injuries and losses.
Europe is debating whether austerity - with its deep budget cuts and tax hikes - is the right cure for the continent's debt crisis. But in Portugal, one of the first countries bailed out by the European Union, the austerity drive goes on. The government there is struggling to repay its loans, and has announced more steep job and benefit cuts, as the country struggles to avoid what was Greece's fate - a second bailout.
Some other news. For the second time in less than a week, Afghan and Pakistani forces have exchanged fire along their shared border. The countries clashed again yesterday over a gate that Pakistani forces have been building on what Afghans say is their side of the line. The roots of this problem run much deeper.