Two is a coincidence. Three is a trend. That's why an Oklahoma City house has been dubbed The Twin House, after a third consecutive couple living there had twins - a boy and a girl each. Current tenants, Brady and Chelsea Smith, said they didn't believe in the twin mojo when they moved in. Then an ultrasound showed she was expecting twins. New father Brady Smith told the Oklahoman, now his friends won't even drive down the block.
It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
And I'm Steve Inskeep.
The city of Timbuktu is free...
UNIDENTIFIED GROUP: Mali, Mali, Mali, Mali...
INSKEEP: ...and residents cheered as French and Malian forces entered the city. Those forces swept aside Islamist rebels who'd controlled the place for months. The Islamists rule included amputations and the destroyed ancient tombs. It ended with the burning of a library housing priceless manuscripts.
An immigration plan announced Monday by a bipartisan group of senators would create a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants already in the country and overhaul legal immigration. It also calls for improved border security and better tracking of individuals in the U.S. on visas. Steve Inskeep talks with one of the senators behind the plan, Republican Jeff Flake from Arizona.
Prices on mail sent through the U.S. Postal Service increased this week — the price of a first-class stamp now costs 46 cents, up a penny. But for small businesses that ship products overseas, like many independent record labels, the costs could be much larger.
Brian Lowit, who has worked at Washington, D.C.'s Dischord Records for 10 years, says that while a postage rate hike is a familiar bump in the road, "I've never seen one this drastic."
The eye of Hurricane Earl in the Atlantic Ocean, seen from a NASA research aircraft on Aug. 30, 2010. This flight through the eyewall caught Earl just as it was intensifying from a Category 2 to a Category 4 hurricane. Researchers collected air samples on this flight from about 30,000 feet over both land and sea and close to 100 different species of bacteria.
Terry Lathem, a graduate student in Georgia Tech's School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, takes notes aboard a NASA DC-8 aircraft gathering samples of microorganisms in the atmosphere.
Microbes are known to be able to thrive in extreme environments, from inside fiery volcanoes to down on the bottom of the ocean. Now scientists have found a surprising number of them living in storm clouds tens of thousands of feet above the Earth. And those airborne microbes could play a role in global climate.
A demonstrator shouts anti-government slogans as he stands in front of the Justice Ministry in the Tunisian capital, Tunis, on Nov. 6, 2012, as part of a demonstration by radical Salafi Muslims protesting against the imprisonment of hundreds of Salafist militants.
The uprisings of the Arab Spring unleashed a new political force in the region — Salafis, ultraconservative Muslims who aspire to a society ruled entirely by a rigid form of Islamic law. Their models are the salaf, or ancestors, referring to the earliest Muslims who lived during the lifetime of the Prophet Muhammad.
The use of security cameras such as these, looking out over Tiananmen Square in Beijing, is on the rise in China. Critics say the government is using them to discourage dissidents.
Credit Frank Langfitt / NPR
Li Tiantian, a human rights lawyer, is under heavy surveillance by Chinese authorities. She says police tried to get her boyfriend to break up with her by showing him photos of other men she had been involved with.
The silken tassel on this skull cap, woven in Aleppo around 1800, recalls a more prosperous and tranquil time in that now-beleaguered Syrian hub.
Credit Courtesy of The Textile Museum
In 1800, when the tapestry cap was made, Aleppo was a major textile center, dotted with workshops where silk was woven and crafted. This 1873 photograph shows a Muslim man and woman from the region.
Credit Ramzi Haidar / AFP/Getty Images
Aleppo, shown in March 2006, is the largest and oldest city in Syria. Now a battleground for rebels and the Syrian government, it was once a prosperous cultural hub.
Credit Courtesy of The Textile Museum
Photographs from a book published by the Ottoman Imperial Commission for the World's Fair in 1873 illustrate Syria's diverse cultures. Here, an Arab woman (left) and a Druze woman (center) stand with another woman; all are from Damascus.
Over the past six months, the headlines from Aleppo, Syria, have been horrifying. As the conflict between rebel forces and the government continues, the city has been overrun by tanks and artillery, and assaulted by shots, explosions and fires.
But Aleppo's present belies a much richer past. It's Syria's largest city, and one of the world's oldest continually inhabited urban areas. Over the centuries, it has served as a major crossroads for trade and commerce.