Chuck Taylor All Stars are common on the streets of Shanghai. Xuan Zhihui, 62, a retiree from a state-owned factory, wears her daughter's hand-me-down sneakers, which are 15 years old. She says they're really comfortable.
Credit Frank Langfitt / NPR
My Tee in Shanghai carries loads of limited edition Chuck Taylors from cities in Japan and New York. Owner Kenny Lee considers some of them museum pieces and has refused to sell them despite offers of up to $3,000.
Stroll along a street in downtown Shanghai for very long, and you're likely to run into someone wearing Converse Chuck Taylor All Stars. One recent afternoon, Xu Jing was heading back from lunch to her job at an ad company in a pair of raspberry-colored Chuck Taylors.
"They have a young image, upbeat and outdoorsy, sporty," said Xu, 27, explaining the appeal. "Young people with an artistic sense prefer Converse."
Xu was accompanied by Chen Xiaolei, a co-worker who owns three pairs of Chuck Taylor high-tops.
Turn on the news on any given day, and you're likely to hear about the Dow Jones industrial average. It is the most frequently checked, and cited, proxy of U.S. economic health. But a lot of people — maybe most — don't even know what it is. It's just the stock prices of 30 big companies, summed up and roughly averaged. That's it.
And what does the daily movement of this number have to do with the lives of most Americans? Not much.
In December, Freddie Mac CEO Charles Haldeman (from left), FHFA acting Director Edward DeMarco and Fannie Mae CEO Michael Williams testified on Capitol Hill about the Federal Housing Finance Agency's performance.
Members of the Egyptian military stand guard as officials raid the offices of a nongovernmental organization in Cairo. Egyptian investigating judges referred international NGO workers to trial for allegedly being involved in banned activities and illegally receiving foreign funds, security officials said.
Credit Courtesy of the National Democratic Institute
A voter checks a sample ballot outside a polling station during the second round of municipal elections in Egypt. The National Democratic Institute says it has helped mobilize volunteers and make parties aware of citizens' needs in Egypt without promoting a particular ideology.
American lawmakers are furious about a mounting diplomatic crisis in Egypt, where dozens of nongovernmental workers, including 19 Americans, could face trial.
The United States says Egypt needs to let pro-democracy groups continue their work to help the country's transition, but Egypt accuses them of operating illegally.
The work of democracy promotion groups has raised suspicions in many countries, but Lorne Craner, who runs the International Republican Institute, says he has never seen anything like what's going on now in Egypt.
You didn't have to look hard to see this one coming.
Catholics and GOP candidates have attacked the Obama administration's plans to require most employers — including religious hospitals and schools — to provide coverage of prescription contraceptives. Now the debate is moving to Capitol Hill.
Fresh off his hat trick in Minnesota, Colorado and Missouri, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum campaigned in Texas on Wednesday, speaking to a group of pastors at Bella Donna Chapel in the town of McKinney.
Forty miles north of Dallas, where black prairie dirt meets the fresh poured concrete of suburbia, this is Rick Santorum country.
This satellite image provided by DigitalGlobe, taken in 2010, shows the Yongbyon nuclear complex in North Korea. The Institute for Science and International Security monitors satellite images for updates to nuclear facilities.
Credit Brendan Smialowski / Getty Images
New START negotiator Rose Gottemoeller speaks to reporters in 2010 in Washington, D.C. The acting undersecretary of state for arms control is looking into ways social media tools can help regulate nuclear weapons.
Credit DigitalGlobe / AP
This satellite image of Sudan was made available by the Satellite Sentinel Project in 2011. It appears to be a mass grave, offering the first aerial photographs from a conflict zone that outside observers can't access.
Here are two things you don't often hear mentioned in the same sentence: social media and nuclear weapons.
Rose Gottemoeller, acting undersecretary of state for arms control, quickly links those two unlikely partners in conversation. She's behind a campaign to discover how new communications tools can help rid the world of some of the dangers of nuclear weapons.
Crowdsourcing Nuclear Problems
Gottemoeller is an avid user of Twitter, and it made her wonder how Twitter and other methods of crowdsourcing a problem can help her in her work.
Liang Sicheng, known as the father of modern Chinese architecture, lobbied Mao Zedong to preserve ancient buildings in Beijing. Despite efforts to have his former courtyard home in Beijing preserved as a cultural relic, it was recently demolished.
Credit Louisa Lim / NPR
Yan Lianke is one of China's most famous authors, known for his absurdist stories about sensitive subjects. He moved into a new house in 2008, and a year later was told it would be knocked down to make way for development.
Credit Anonymous / AP
Children play in a traditional residential district in Beijing that is undergoing demolition, in April 2011. Despite public protest, historic and new homes are being destroyed all over the city to make way for development.
Down a quiet Beijing alleyway on a recent day, as the winter wind whistles, two men stand guard over a pile of bricks hidden behind a corrugated iron fence.
The pile of rubble was once the home of the man known as the father of modern Chinese architecture, Liang Sicheng. The Orwellian reason for its demolition? "For maintenance," according to a Xinhua news agency report, citing the developer, Fuheng Real Estate company.