At the annual dinner of the Everglades Foundation recently, there was a surprise guest: Florida Gov. Rick Scott. The governor made a brief appearance before the group with some reassuring words.
"We are absolutely focused on making sure the right thing happens for the Everglades," he said.
It's a new focus for the Republican, a businessman who's a relative newcomer both to Florida and to politics. After taking office earlier this year, his statements and actions suggested he saw environmental protection not so much as a goal, but as a problem.
Instant cups of soup — the kind that often come in a Styrofoam cup full of noodles — send children to the hospital every day.
"I don't have them in my house," says Dr. Warren Garner, director of the burn unit at University of Southern California's County Hospital in Los Angeles. "I would say that we see at least two to three patients a week who've been injured by these products."
A big international conference is being held in Bonn, Germany, on Monday to help draw up a roadmap for Afghanistan after combat operations there cease at the end of 2014. But Pakistan — a critical player in the Afghanistan conundrum — has said it's boycotting the conference after NATO troops killed 24 Pakistani soldiers during an attack in late November.
Russia's ruling party fared worse than expected in a parliamentary election yesterday. Incomplete results show the party barely winning a majority. And that is a sharp drop in support for the United Russia Party from the last election, which is seen as a setback for Vladimir Putin, the man who has dominated Russia for more than a decade. It's his party.
To talk about the vote we've called Masha Lippman, an analyst at the Carnegie Moscow Center. She's on the line from there. Welcome back to the program.
The International Monetary Fund used to bail out deadbeat nations in Latin America. Now, in a role reversal, the IMF's new director, Christine Lagarde, is seeking the region's help in containing Europe's worsening debt crisis. Officials in Brazil, now the world's seventh-biggest economy, say they're putting together an IMF loan. And Lagarde says the whole region can provide Europe with lessons on how to manage the economy.
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey take part in a news conference at the Pentagon. The Pentagon has said certain cuts in defense spending would endanger national security, invite aggression and devastate Defense Department operations.
Bean counters at the Pentagon are working long hours to figure out how to cut close to a trillion dollars from the Department of Defense budget over the next 10 years.
Those were the Pentagon's marching orders after the congressional supercommittee failed to come up with a plan to slash the country's deficit. Pentagon officials are looking at cutting weapons programs, troop levels and possibly even some base closures.
If you've shopped at a toy store recently, you know that you can easily spend hundreds of dollars on just a few items. So why not just rent the toys instead? Weekends on All Things Considered guest host Rachel Martin tells us how toy rental websites work.
Military benefits for retirees cost the Pentagon more than $50 billion each year. Few in Washington are publicly in favor of cutting those entitlements, even though former Defense Secretary Robert Gates said the cost was "eating the Defense Department alive." One former Navy commander, Bryan McGrath, tells weekends on All Things Considered guest host Rachel Martin he'd be willing to pay more for his benefits.
At 32, neo-soul singer and multi-instrumentalist Mayer Hawthorne isn't quite old enough to remember the classic days of Motown, but the Michigan native says he did absorb some of the music's aesthetic growing up, thanks to his father.
Pauline Kael, long-time New Yorker film critic, was famous for her scathing, but honest movie reviews. She took digs at many popular films like The Sound of Music and Star Wars with no inhibitions. Yet her enthusiasm for films like Bonnie and Clyde gave some movies a new lease on life.
Impoverished Third World countries often find themselves at the bottom of lists when it comes to infant mortality rates. There is a part of Milwaukee where the infant mortality rate is worse than in parts of rural China. One baby dies for every 59 that make it.
John Schmid reported on this shift in the city's health for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel as a part of its series "Empty Cradles."
My 5-year-old nephew, Ezra, sits between his mother and grandmother on a porch-swing covered in old quilts. An expansive view of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Madison County, N.C., spreads out before them.
The porch used to be a really important part of mountain music. Ezra's mother, Melanie, sings one of the old ballads, just like her ancestors used to do 200 years ago.
The hope is that if Ezra hears the ballads, he'll start to learn them, just as he's learned the names of the trees on his farm, says his grandmother Sheila Kay Adams.
Retired Army captain and Iraqi war veteran Jason Torpy says the chaplains employed by the U.S. military can't relate to people like him. He's an atheist.
He's also the president of a group that's trying to get the armed forces to become more inclusive by hiring atheist chaplains. The Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers wants the military to provide for the estimated 40,000 atheists, agnostics and humanists who serve in U.S. forces.
Iran's armed forces have shot down an unmanned U.S. spy plane that violated Iranian airspace along the country's eastern border, the official IRNA news agency reported Sunday. But a U.S. defense official said there was no indication it was brought down by hostile fire.
An unidentified military official quoted in the report warned of a strong and crushing response to any violations of the country's airspace by American drone aircraft.