Novelist Jess Walter's most recent novel is Beautiful Ruins.
At dawn, the sun curls across the lake's placid surface like a twist of lemon on a gin martini. Easing into my kayak on this glacier-cut, 12,000-year-old lake, I feel as I always do on its water: alone in the world.
People gather outside the Supreme Court on June 28, the morning the health care ruling was announced. Lawyers say they're still teasing out the consequences for other key areas of the law — including civil rights.
There's been lots of talk about how the Supreme Court's landmark decision to uphold the health care law could affect the federal Medicaid program and President Obama's political standing. But days after the historic ruling, lawyers say they're still teasing out the consequences for other key areas of the law — including civil rights.
At first blush, it might seem odd that a case about the Affordable Care Act would send civil rights experts scrambling back to their law books.
Some of the 26 children of Saleh Qaid Toayman, who was killed with one of his sons in an airstrike on Oct. 14, 2011. The family says the eldest son, Azzedine, has joined an al-Qaida-affiliated group to avenge the father's death. The group's black banner hangs in the family's home. The family says the militant group gives them a monthly stipend.
Credit Kelly McEvers / NPR
Azzedine Saleh Qaid, 15, witnessed the killing of his father and brother in an airstrike last Oct. 14. Azzedine says he now wants revenge against America for the deaths.
Credit Courtesy of Ziad Al-Mehwari
A May 15 airstrike targeting militants devastated this section of Jaar, in southern Yemen. Officials reported that two militants and eight civilians were killed in this particular strike. But residents told NPR that no militants were killed and 17 to 26 civilians died. This area was under the control of al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula and an allied group until last month.
The destruction is total. In Jaar, a town in southern Yemen, an entire block has been reduced to rubble by what residents say was a powerful airstrike on May 15.
For the first time in more than a year, the sites of the escalating U.S. air war in southern Yemen are becoming accessible, as militants linked to al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula have withdrawn from the area. This retreat follows the sustained American air campaign and an offensive by the Yemeni government forces on the ground.
This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.
ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
And I'm Robert Siegel. Demand is up in the car industry. That's great news for U.S. automakers. They're on track to have their best year since 2008 and it's a success that President Obama is seizing on as he campaigns across northern Ohio today. The president began a two-day bus tour that will also take him into western Pennsylvania.
There's a stretch of beach in the small Jamaican fishing village of Treasure Beach where booths sell poetry books right alongside jerk chicken, and local villagers mix with international literati. On a weekend in late May, some 2,000 people sit entranced as author and poet Fred D'Aguiar reads them his work from a bamboo lectern.
Holley Mangold successfully completes the 145 kilogram "clean and jerk" lift at the trials for the U.S. Olympic women's weightlifting team in March. Mangold came to weightlifting after trying her hand at several other sports.
Credit Skip Peterson / AP
Holley Mangold played football for 12 years in her hometown of Kettering, Ohio — including with her high school varsity team.
Near the back of the North YMCA in Columbus, Ohio, several men and women line up on a row of beat-up platforms. They take turns practicing the two lifts that make up Olympic weightlifting; the "Snatch," and the "Clean and Jerk."
The goal? To hoist large amounts of weight from the floor into an overhead position.
Among the lifters here is 5-foot-8 inch, 350-pound Holley Mangold. She is the epitome of power, in appearance, attitude and athletic ability.
The African nation of Kenya is attempting to get more than 1 million men between the ages of 15 and 49 circumcised by the end of 2013. If successful, this could be a groundbreaking effort in the fight to curb the spread of HIV.
Around the time I turned 12, I figured out exactly what I wanted to be when I grew up: an alcoholic.
I didn't actually know what it meant to be an alcoholic, but I knew that one day, I would drink copious amounts and dash around the streets of Paris, preferably in the company of bullfighters, bankrupts, impotent newspaper correspondents, and morbidly depressed, exotically beautiful divorcees.
Feng Jianmei and her husband could not pay $6,000 in fines for violating China's one-child policy. In June, when she was seven months pregnant, local officials abducted her and forced her to have an abortion, her family says. The case has provoked widespread outrage.
Credit Peter Parks / AFP/Getty Images
People wait to have their blood pressure checked in Shanghai in April. China's one-child policy is more than just a human rights issue; demographers warn that the low birth rate will result in a shortage of workers to drive the economy.
Credit Peter Parks / AFP/Getty Images
A mother and child walk in Shanghai. China's one-child policy has been in place since 1979. There's now a debate about whether the policy should be eased or dropped.
Credit Mark Ralston / AFP/Getty Images
Young and old exercise at the Temple of Heaven park in Beijing in October. Experts say China's health care costs will be difficult to fund due to the population imbalance.
Credit Frank Langfitt / NPR
Zhang Yanyun paints buildings in east China's Jiangsu province. He has three kids, but wishes he only had one because raising a child in China has become so expensive.
Credit Liu Jin / AFP/Getty Images
A mother feeds her child in Beijing, Oct. 24, 2011. Experts say many Chinese do not want to have additional children, regardless of official policy.
Deng Jiyuan and Feng Jianmei, a couple from northwest China's Shaanxi province, have a 6-year-old daughter. Under China's complicated birth calculus, they were barred from having another child. But they tried anyway.
"We planned this pregnancy because our parents are old, they want us to have another child," Deng, 30, explained by cellphone last month from his home in Shaanxi.
That decision led to a sequence of events that has ignited a firestorm and renewed debate over the country's one-child policy.
Susan Underwood prices fireworks, while her husband Michael (left) and Clint Simmons pace themselves with a snack and TV last month at their tent along Highway 416 in Sevier County, Tenn. Over in Middle Tennessee, the drought has led city leaders to ban fireworks this year.
Freddie Bowers and his dad, Larry, have sold fireworks in LaVergne, Tenn., for a lifetime. But, the sparklers are off limits this year since the region has had the hottest streak in recorded history and several small fires in the area have been blamed on fireworks.
For people in the fireworks business, Christmas usually comes in July. Only this year, three-quarters of the country are experiencing some level of drought and from the Mountain West to the Southeast, cities are temporarily banning fireworks.