Moonshine used to be big business in the South, an illegal business that also kept the federal courthouses busy. Now one of those facilities, once on the front lines of the war on homemade booze, is shutting down.
The Johnson J. Hayes Federal Building is in Wilkesboro, N.C., where distilling corn whiskey in backwoods breweries was once the town's main trade. It's one of six federal courthouses closing in the South over the next year or two.
When Han Han blogs, a million Chinese netizens click and read. The popular Chinese blogger, race car driver and literary star has just released a collection of English-language translations of his essays that criticize both Chinese Communist Party policies as well as Chinese society at large.
Not so long ago, many Chinese commentators wrote in a cautious, oblique style designed not to offend the nation's famously humorless leaders — then came the Internet, blogs and a cheeky young man named Han Han.
The voice of China's post-'80s generation, Han is ironic, skeptical and blunt — writing what many young Chinese think but dare not say publicly.
Now 30 years old, Han has boy-band good looks, drives race cars and has 8 million followers on the Chinese equivalent of Twitter.
One of the most bitter congressional races is in the suburbs of Chicago, where controversial freshman Republican Joe Walsh is fighting to keep a seat he was actually drawn out of.
The Tea Party favorite's bombastic rants frequently get him into trouble, even with members of his own party, and Walsh is facing a tough Democratic opponent in Iraq war veteran Tammy Duckworth, who lost both of her legs in combat.
Originally published on Mon March 25, 2013 2:43 pm
Reporting in Afghanistan isn't just challenging because of the security concerns and the complexity of society and the stories here; it's challenging because "facts" are often in the eye of the beholder. Just last week, an incident that seemed to be factual is now an open question: Was there a deadly firefight or not?
There are 11 gubernatorial races this fall, and one of the most competitive is in the swing state of New Hampshire.
There, Republican Ovide Lamontagne and Democrat Maggie Hassanare vying to replace a popular Democrat who opted not to seek a fifth term. Both political parties and outside advocacy groups are pushing hard in a race where neither candidate enjoys a clear edge.
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney places a prayer note during a visit to the Western Wall in Jerusalem in July. Israel is one of the few foreign countries where residents have a clear preference for Romney over President Obama.
Children run after a truck loaded with presents for Eid Al-Adha in a refugee camp near Atma, Idlib province, Syria. A powerful car bomb exploded in Damascus on Friday and scattered fighting broke out in several areas across Syria, quickly dashing any hopes that a holiday cease-fire would hold.
Eid al-Adha is one of the holiest days on the Muslim calendar. The day marks the end of the hajj pilgrimage to Mecca. It's the feast of the sacrifice, when any Muslim who is able should sacrifice an animal and donate the meat to the poor.
There is little to celebrate in Syria's largest city, Aleppo, however. A cease-fire called for the holiday is already crumbling, and in some areas it never took hold.