In the boom years, Spain spent billions on big infrastructure projects — high-speed railways, roads and gleaming structures like the Niemeyer Center for the arts in Aviles, in the country's north.
Opened in March this year, the dazzling museum has hosted sold-out performances by Kevin Spacey and Woody Allen. But it's slated to close on Dec. 15, after barely nine months of operation, because of regional budget cuts.
A Border Patrol agent looks for footprints from illegal immigrants crossing the U.S.- Mexico border in 2010. Traffickers have begun using immigrants as drug smugglers, recruiting voluntarily and forcibly.
Mexican drug cartels have found a new source of labor to backpack marijuana into the United States: illegal immigrants.
Federal agents, prosecutors, defense attorneys and migrants themselves say that traffickers have begun recruiting undocumented immigrants at the border, both voluntarily and forcibly. Now, U.S. courts along the border have to decide what to do with terrified immigrants who come before them and say, "The cartel made me do it."
Representatives from 191 countries are meeting in Durban, South Africa, this week for United Nations climate change talks. One of the biggest questions is what will become of the Kyoto Protocol — a climate treaty signed in 1997. Key provisions of that expire next year and its future hangs in the balance. Another major question is whether nations can agree to a timeline that would lead to a new treaty that would include the world's biggest greenhouse-gas emitters, including the United States and China. The U.S.
A U.S. marine watches a statue of Saddam Hussein being toppled in Firdaus Square, in downtown Baghdad, on April 9, 2003.
Credit Jay Kopelman
NPR correspondent Anne Garrels interviews an Iraqi soldier and interpreter during the battle of Fallujah in November 2004.
Credit Jerome Delay / AP
Impacts of a U.S. tank shell are seen on the Palestine hotel in Baghdad in 2003. The Palestine hotel took fire after U.S. troops said snipers were shooting at them from the building. At least five journalists were injured.
December marks the beginning of the end of the U.S. war in Iraq.
The withdrawal has already begun as hundreds of U.S. troops are leaving Iraq every day; military vehicles, personnel and weapons are being shipped out of the country, and by Dec. 31, all U.S. troops will be gone after a conflict that started nearly a decade ago.
Originally published on Sat December 3, 2011 2:16 pm
In case you haven't heard yet:
Republican Herman Cain effectively ended his presidential campaign this afternoon, as the toll from allegations about sexual harassment and an affair (all of which he has denied) combined to effectively end his chances at getting the GOP nomination.
Here's how the story is playing:
-- "Campaign Over, Cain Vows To Go With 'Plan B'." (NPR.org)