The summer tourism season is what keeps Branson, Missouri thriving. Last year, Branson's live music venues helped draw more than seven million visitors. And so when a tornado tore through the city's popular strip this past February, Branson's future seemed uncertain. As Missy Shelton of member station KSMU reports, city leaders are working hard to let people know that Branson is open for business.
U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta hands out coins to members of the crew as he visits USNS Richard E. Byrd in Cam Ranh Bay, Vietnam, on Sunday. Panetta toured the former U.S. air and naval base in the bay, becoming the most senior American official to go there since the war ended.
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is trying to send a message during a weeklong trip to the Asia-Pacific region: The U.S. is back.
Panetta continues Monday to Vietnam, where he's hoping to build stronger defense ties. The trip began Sunday with a historic return to a key crossroads of the Vietnam War: Cam Ranh Bay.
Panetta boarded a little ferry boat Sunday in the beautiful natural harbor north of Ho Chi Minh City. On board, he asked about his destination: the USNS Richard E. Byrd, a big supply ship docked on the other side of the bay.
Since the revolution last year, Tunisians have had greater freedom to express their opinions on political and social issues. But the rise of Islamist groups has made religion a more sensitive topic. Here, two men chat at a cafe in the capital Tunis.
A Tunisian journalist holds a TV frame as part of a protest in Tunis against actions taken against the media. Since last year's revolution, Tunisians have been able to speak more freely about politics and social issues. But with the rise of Islamist groups, religion has become a more sensitive topic.
Nabil Karoui, the director of the private Tunisian TV channel Nessma, had his offices and home attacked after his channel broadcast a film that angered Islamists. Karoui, shown here leaving a courthouse in Tunis, lost a case for "violating morals."
Over the next couple weeks, NPR Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep will be taking a Revolutionary Road Trip across North Africa to see how the countries that staged revolutions last year are remaking themselves as they write new social rules, rebuild their economies and establish new political systems. Steve and his team will be traveling some 2,000 miles from Tunisia's ancient city of Carthage, across the deserts of Libya and on to Egypt's megacity of Cairo.
Cathy Yamauchi has been waiting since Thanksgiving to hear from her mortgage lender regarding a short sale of her home in Ramsey, Minn. She is planning to move to a townhome, but is mostly living out of boxes while waiting on the short sale.
Banks are often accused of dragging their feet when a homeowner wants to sell for less than the balance on the mortgage. A lot of those "short sales" might be better dubbed "really long and drawn out" sales. New federal guidelines, though, could now push lenders to approve short sales faster.
Like a lot of people with autism, Jeff Hudale has a brain that's really good at some things.
"I have an unusual aptitude for numbers, namely math computations," he says.
Hudale can do triple-digit multiplication in his head. That sort of ability helped him get a degree in engineering at the University of Pittsburgh. But he says his brain struggles with other subjects like literature and philosophy.
"I like working with things that are rather concrete and structured," he says. "Yeah, I like things with some logic and some rules to it."
Summer living is supposed to be easy — school is out, the days are long, the traffic eases. But it's not all inner tubes and lemonade: Summer can throw us some curveballs, too. How can I avoid sunburn? What can I do to stave off that brain freeze? Why do my s'mores always burn?
Fear not; NPR is here to help. As part of our new Summer Science series, we'll turn to science to tackle these vexing questions, starting with how to build the perfect campfire.
Voters in Wisconsin will decide Tuesday whether or not to recall Republican Gov. Scott Walker. It's been one of the most expensive statewide races in American history, and the stakes in that election could have national implications, for unions, for deficit hawks, for businesses, even for President Obama's re-election.
The vote over whether to recall Walker is so important, it's drawn millions in outside money and some of the biggest political stars in the country. Now millions of dollars are flowing in, too.
Crowds swelled into the thousands, with revelers in hats, flags, leggings and rain ponchos adorned with the Union flag mixing with burger and cotton-candy vendors along the 7-mile route along the Thames.
The queen's grandson Prince William and his wife, the Duchess of Cambridge — he in his Royal Air Force uniform, she in a red Alexander McQueen dress — and William's brother, Prince Harry, were among senior royals who joined the queen and her husband, Prince Philip.
Hundreds of thousands of Union Jack-waving spectators formed a red, white and blue wave along London's riverbanks and bridges, cheering the 86-year-old monarch and her armada of motorboats, rowboats and sailboats of all shapes and sizes.
Thousands are crowding the banks of the Thames today to catch a glimpse of Queen Elizabeth leading a flotilla of a thousand boats to mark her 60-year reign.
Her gilded barge is the centerpiece of what organizers are calling the biggest pageant on the river in 350 years. As NPR's Philip Reeves reports from London, a 41-gun salute echoed over the city this morning, launching what will be several days of festivities.