Brothers Charles and David Koch are the subject of the new book Sons of Wichita: How the Koch Brothers Became America's Most Powerful and Private Dynasty. The author, Daniel Schulman, describes the Kochs as having pumped hundreds of millions into remaking the American political landscape, trying to bring their libertarian views into the mainstream.
Even the most restrained plot summary of Francine Prose's latest novel sounds like a teaser for a late night Lifetime TV movie. Here goes: In the Paris of the late 1920s, a butch lesbian race car driver named Lou Villars has her license revoked by the French government for daring to dress as a man in public. Lou goes on to become a performer in a risque review at the Chameleon Club, a smoky nightclub where threadbare artists and thrill-seeking aristocrats mingle in the half-light.
Every year, the U.S. government loses money minting pennies. They cost around twice as much to make as they're worth. And some politicians and economists say we ought to just get rid of them. They want the U.S. to kill the penny, take it out of circulation. If that happens, a small group of people plan to make a bunch of money.
NPR's Zoe Chace has that story from our Planet Money team.
President Obama on Wednesday informed House Speaker John Boehner that 80 U.S. military personnel had been sent to the central African nation of Chad as part of efforts to help locate nearly 300 schoolgirls kidnapped by Islamist militants in Nigeria last month.
Chad borders Nigeria, where members of Boko Haram abducted the girls from the city of Chibok in April.
"These personnel will support the operation of intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance aircraft for missions over northern Nigeria and the surrounding area," the president said in the letter to Boehner.
The prevailing narrative for Tuesday night's GOP primary results was written weeks ago: 2014 will not be another field of dreams for Tea Party insurgents. Wrapping a candidacy in the flag of "Don't Tread on Me" is not the winning tactic it was in many Republican contests two and four years earlier.
Popeye and our parents have been valiantly trying to persuade us to eat our veggies for decades now.
But Americans just don't eat as many fruits and vegetables as we should. And when we do, they're mainly potatoes and tomatoes — in the not-so-nutritious forms of french fries and pizza, according to a report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
In an agreement reminiscent of the early days of the Cold War, Russia has agreed to supply China with hundreds of billions of dollars worth of natural gas via a pipeline from Siberia pipeline to begin pumping in four years.
NPR's Frank Langfitt reports from Shanghai that in 2018, Russia will begin sending 38 billion cubic meters of natural gas to China each year through the pipeline. Over the life of the 30-year contract, 1 trillion cubic meters would be delivered.
What if a single taste of one fruit — in this case, the durian — changed the course of your entire life?
That's what happened to Lindsay Gasik and Rob Culclasure, a young couple who visited an Asian grocery store in Eugene, Ore., in 2009 in search of the football-sized fruit with thick, spiky skin. They were curious to try it after hearing that the durian's pungent smell and custard-like flesh had the power to drive people delirious with craving.
Online marketplace eBay says it was the target of a cyberattack in which hackers accessed a database of its encrypted passwords. The auction site says no financial data were revealed — but it's urging its users to update the passwords on their accounts.
EBay says that it hasn't seen any sign of fraudulent activity since the problem was first detected "about two weeks ago." It also said that it stores financial data and customer records in different places and that accounts of its direct-payment subsidiary, PayPal, were not affected by the data breach.
A bill making it a misdemeanor crime to bully anyone from kindergarten age up to 25 years old failed in Carson, Calif., last night, despite receiving unanimous support when the City Council held an initial vote earlier this month. But in its final vote Tuesday, the council axed the measure, which would have been a first for California.