Among those on the sanctions list is an oligarch dubbed Darth Vader by the Russian press. To talk more about him and others targeted for U.S. sanctions, I'm joined here in the studio by David Kramer. He's the president of Freedom House, a pro-democracy watchdog group, and he was part of an independent taskforce of Russia experts that sent to the White House a suggest list of sanction targets. David, thanks for coming in.
The new economic sanctions ordered by the Treasury Department today targets 17 Russian companies, along with seven government officials, some with close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin. The individuals include the chairman and a board member of Russia's largest state-owned oil company. European governments are expected to add their own financial penalties, but so far, there's little sign the Russian leader is yielding to the pressure. NPR's Scott Horsley reports.
Water supplies in California are tight with the state's severe drought and that's putting a spotlight on hydraulic fracturing or fracking. The controversial oil and gas extraction technique uses freshwater, which can mean millions of gallons for each fracking site.
Lauren Sommer of member station KQED reports from California's Central Valley, where tensions between oil and agriculture are on the rise.
The Department of Homeland Security is warning Americans to stop using the Web browser Internet Explorer because it has a bug that could allow hackers to install malicious software without the user knowing it.
Originally published on Tue April 29, 2014 8:22 am
The euphoria over Lupita Nyong'o's appearance on People's "50 Most Beautiful" list was still swirling on the Interwebs when word came, a mere four days later, that Time's "100 Most Influential" issue was on newsstands. Staring out at us was Beyoncé Knowles Carter, dressed in what appears to be a white two-piece bathing suit with a see-through cover-up.
Originally published on Mon April 28, 2014 2:35 pm
Poutine, if you don't know, is a Canadian dish made up of French fries topped with cheese curds and gravy. And if you don't know, you really haven't been living your life to its fullest. Seriously, what have you been doing? Go get some poutine. Then come back and read about this poutine burger — an open-face hamburger topped with poutine — we ate from Spritzburger in Chicago. We'll wait. We have to. We can't move.
Originally published on Mon April 28, 2014 2:49 pm
A 2-week-old boy born to a Pakistani couple visiting India is being denied permission to return home with his parents because he lacks the proper travel documentation.
The story begins with Mai Fatima, her husband, Mir Muhammad Mahar, and their two children. The couple, from Ghotki, Pakistan, were expecting a third child when they went to Basanpir, India, 2 1/2 months ago to visit Mai Fatima's father.
But her father died during their visit; she subsequently gave birth to a boy on April 14.
Originally published on Mon April 28, 2014 3:21 pm
Low to the dusty ground, by a reed-fringed river and a lush date palm orchard, is the farmhouse where Iraq's prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, grew up.
The place is Junaja, one of hundreds of poor, Shiite Muslim farming towns in southern Iraq. Donkey carts jog alongside battered buses. No monument, no ostentation honors Maliki. The only new thing in town is the mosque.