The Central American nation of Panama is booming. Fueled by a multibillion-dollar expansion of the Panama Canal, a thriving banking industry and capital flight from Venezuela, the tiny nation has the highest economic growth rate in the hemisphere.
But even as the government builds a subway system and markets the country as a tropical paradise for multinational corporations, not everyone is sharing in the prosperity.
The space shuttle Discovery is loaded onto the back of a modified 747 at Kennedy Space Center on April 15. The plane will ferry the shuttle to Washington, D.C., on April 17, where it will be permanently installed at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.
On Tuesday morning, space shuttle Discovery will become the first of NASA's three shuttles — plus a shuttle prototype — to travel to its new retirement home.
NASA flew its last shuttle flight in July. Since then, it's been prepping the spaceships to become museum displays. And even though the shuttles are headed to places like Los Angeles and New York rather than the space station, figuring out how to get them there has still been a major undertaking.
First lady Michelle Obama says raising her two daughters in the White House "has been less stressful than I would have imagined." Seen here at the White House in March, the first lady's new project aims to help military veterans and their families.
Originally published on Tue April 17, 2012 11:52 am
First lady Michelle Obama wears many hats in the White House. In addition to being President Obama's closest confidante, she's also a mother whose two daughters are growing up in one of the most public homes in America.
And as first lady, Mrs. Obama has taken on her own signature public issues, as well.
Her Let's Move campaign has brought attention to the growing epidemic of childhood obesity. She has encouraged children to eat right and get plenty of exercise.
President Obama speaks at the San Pedro Claver church in Cartagena, Colombia, on Sunday. An expert on the Secret Service tells NPR that Obama's security was never breached in the incident that led to 11 U.S. Secret Service agents being sent home amid allegations that they hired prostitutes in Cartagena.
In 2010 US Army veteran Jeff Barillaro returned from Iraq with severe PTSD. Since then Barillaro, whose stage name is "Solider Hard," has been rapping about his struggles and performing for troops, veterans, and military families across the US.
Barillaro (center) leaves the armory after a sound check for his evening hip-hop performance. The 35-year-old comes from a military family; he says he has wanted to be a soldier since he was 12 years old. While in Iraq, he led convoys for the Army.
Barillaro comforts Keith Briggs of Louisville, Ky., before the start of the show. Briggs, a fellow veteran who served twice in Iraq and also suffers from PTSD, says he was on the verge of suicide, when he discovered Barillaro's music. Since then, Briggs follows Soldier Hard on tour and chats with him almost daily. "Hopefully, he will play at my wedding," says Briggs.
While other hip-hop and country artists sing about their battles in Iraq or Afghanistan, Barillaro focuses on his battles since returning home, rapping about issues such as sleep deprivation, loss of memory and binge drinking.
Barillaro poses for a photograph with fan Katrina Graves of Louisville, Ky. Graves discovered Barillaro's music while her boyfriend was fighting in Iraq. She says his song "Military Wife" described what she was going through.
In 2010, U.S. Army Sgt. Jeff Barillaro returned from Iraq with severe post-traumatic stress disorder and left the military. Now, using the stage name "Soldier Hard," Barillaro is rapping about his struggles and performing for troops, veterans and military families across the U.S.
Barillaro (center), of Vallejo, Calif., is introduced to a roomful of new recruits at the National Guard Armory in Evansville, Ind. First Sgt. Larry Lightburne (right), who organized a performance by Barillaro at the armory, heard about the rapper through his wife, who found his lyrics comforting while he was stationed in Iraq.
When Jeff Barillaro came home from fighting the war in Iraq, he felt lost, like thousands of veterans do. He didn't have a mission anymore.
But now, through music, he's found one: Under the stage name Soldier Hard, Barillaro raps — about how war has changed troops and their families. Other vets and their family members are now turning to his music, because they say he's speaking to them.
On a recent morning, the National Guard Armory in Evansville, Ind., looks and sounds like any military base in the country.
After playing shows with their parents as children, the members of Haim now work as a serious stand-alone act. The Haim sisters are Danielle, Este and Alana, and their childhood experience of performing live has shaped them into a musical force as young adults. They first hit the L.A. music scene a few years ago — when each of the sisters was pursuing music, mostly in separate contexts — but their relatively recent decision to work together was inevitable.
For its "distinguished ... reporting on significant issues of local concern," reporter Sara Ganim and The Patriot News of Harrisburg, Pa., have won a 2012 Pulitzer Prize for uncovering the so-called Penn State scandal.
Originally published on Mon April 23, 2012 3:46 pm
Want extra salt with that fast-food meal? Then buy it in the United States, where chicken dishes, pizzas, and even salads are loaded with far more salt than in Europe and Australia, according to new research.
The McDonald's Chicken McNuggets in the United States have more than twice as much salt as their sister nuggets in the United Kingdom. That's 1.6 grams of salt for every 100 grams of American nugget, compared with 0.6 grams in the U.K.