There is increasing awareness of cities as a defining trait of humanity and their importance to our health, economy and the environment. Here, some basic nuts and bolts about cities and the people who live, drive, work and play in them
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There apparently isn't a unified Republican message on whether President Obama has introduced a big new tax through the Affordable Care Act.
Eric Fehrnstrom, a top aide to Mitt Romney, said Monday that the Republican presidential candidate's position is that the penalty under the new law — the one for people who can afford to buy health insurance, but don't — is not a tax.
The Supreme Court last week upheld the health care law's individual mandate on the grounds that it is a permissible tax, in a 5-4 opinion authored by Chief Justice John Roberts.
Afghanistan produces about half the power it currently uses and imports the other half from neighboring countries. But that total still doesn't meet the country's demands. This photo shows Kabul at night in January.
Credit Bay Ismoyo / AFP/Getty Images
Only about one-third of Afghans have access to a reliable power supply.
Credit Sean Carberry / NPR
The Omid Plastic Making Factory in Kabul manufactures plastic bags. Even though the industrial park where it's located was supposed to guarantee full power, the factory often relies on a generator. "There is no industrial power for us. We are using the same power as normal people," says factory manager Abdul Qadida Sozai.
Credit Sean Carberry / NPR
This welding shop in Kabul relies on a generator because the city power supply isn't reliable or powerful enough for the equipment.
Afghanistan desperately needs to jump-start its economy if it hopes to stand on its own after NATO's drawdown in 2014. But there's a major constraint for a country trying to build a modern economy: electricity shortages.
Afghanistan ranks among the countries with the lowest electricity production per capita in the world. Despite billions of dollars in projects over the past decade, at best one-third of the population has access to regular power.
An interesting technological case has emerged from the Occupy Wall Street protests of last fall. At issue is whether prosectors can simply subpoena the tweets of Malcom Harris, one of about 700 protesters arrested last year while walking on the Brooklyn Bridge.
Manhattan Criminal Court Judge Matthew A. Sciarrino Jr. had already ruled on this once before saying Harris had no jurisdiction to challenge the subpoena because his tweets belonged to Twitter.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. And topic A in this city remains the Supreme Court decision on health care handed down on Thursday. President Obama claims validation of his signature legislative achievement. Republicans, including presidential candidate Mitt Romney, vow to repeal it.