Far more than half of Americans pay some form of federal, state and local taxes. But one thing all parties seem to agree on is that the proportion of people not paying federal income taxes has grown larger in recent years.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
Less talked about is that policies backed both by Democrats and Republicans, combined with an aging population and a high unemployment rate, have fueled that growth.
NPR's David Welna has this brief history of federal taxes.
Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 5:03 am
A Harvard researcher says a "new gospel" written on a fragment of papyrus shows some early Christians believed Jesus had a wife. The fragment — which scholars believe was written in the fourth century — is creating a sensation among New Testament experts.
Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 7:04 am
The most expensive work of art ever sold at auction is going on public display at New York's Museum of Modern Art. For six months starting in late October, museum-goers can stare into the abyss suggested by Munch's iconic image of a screaming man beneath a swirling orange sky.
Congress is set to make a brief appearance in Washington this week, then recess until after Election Day. That means a farm bill is likely to be left undone, just one of the many items on lawmakers' "to-do" lists that won't happen anytime soon.
A U.S. Predator drone flies through the night sky over Kandahar Air Field in Afghanistan. Drone strikes ordered by the Obama administration have killed more than a dozen al-Qaida leaders around the world.
Drone strikes ordered by the Obama administration have killed more than a dozen al-Qaida leaders around the world, in places ranging from Afghanistan to Somalia. In speeches and public appearances, U.S. officials say those attacks are legal and essential to protect the nation's security.
But when civil liberties groups asked for more information about targeted killing, the CIA told them it's a secret.
On Thursday, they'll square off in front of a federal appeals court in Washington.
The second season is about to start for the Showtime series Homeland, a show whose cast and crew are up for numerous honors at the Emmy Awards Sept. 23.
One of them is Claire Danes, who plays a CIA agent who's become obsessed with the idea that an American hero — a Marine returned home after years of captivity in Iraq — has secretly become an operative for al-Qaida. Danes spoke to NPR's Steve Inskeep about preparing for the part, finding the character's body language and being "a big fat ham."
Dr. James Watson looks at a reproduction of the structure of DNA, which he helped discover, in this 1962 photograph. Decades later, Watson was one of the first people to have his entire genome sequenced.
Credit Mondadori / Mondadori via Getty Images
Watson, now 84, says sequencing helped explain his past sensitivity to certain drugs. But he didn't want to know everything his sequenced genome revealed about his health future.
When scientists were looking for the first person to test a new, superfast way of deciphering someone's entire genetic blueprint, they turned to James Watson – the guy who shared a Nobel Prize for discovering the structure of DNA.
"They had to sequence someone, so they got me," he says.