On a chilly grey morning I come across a big, lush patch of nettles in a Pittsburgh park. Leah Lizarondo, the food writer who brought me here, has her hands wrapped in old plastic bread bags.
Those bags are crucial because touching stinging nettles with your bare hands can be pretty unpleasant. "It's like something pricked you, like a little ant bit you, and then it starts being a little painful," said Lizarondo.
General-election battle lines are taking shape between President Obama and likely Republican challenger Mitt Romney.
Romney is sticking with his long-standing attack on the president as someone not up to the huge job of turning around the economy.
But the Obama campaign has recently changed its message: Instead of portraying Romney as a flip-flopping, say-anything politician, it is now arguing that the former Massachusetts governor is a man with extreme positions far outside the American mainstream.
Originally published on Fri April 27, 2012 5:53 pm
The fallout from the Secret Service prostitution scandal in Colombia continues: Now the Secret Service says it is tightening and clarifying its policies for traveling employees.
NPR's Tamara Keith spoke to a Secret Service spokesperson who says the Secret Service leadership detailed the new rules in an internal message regarding personal conduct sent to all employees.
The new policy covers alcohol consumption and what types of businesses employees can patronize, Tamara tells our Newscast unit. "The Agency is also adding additional briefings on standards of conduct."
Today at All Things Considered, we continue a project we're calling NewsPoet. Each month, we bring in a poet to spend time in the newsroom â and at the end of the day, to compose a poem reflecting on the day's stories.
The U.S. economy lost some steam during the first three months of the year. The Commerce Department said Friday that growth slowed to just 2.2 percent, down from 3 percent at the end of last year.
The good news was that the economy continued to grow during the first quarter of the year. But anyone who was waiting for growth to kick into a higher gear was disappointed once again. One reason for that was a slowdown in business investment â companies spent less on new equipment and software even though profits were surprisingly strong.
The surveillance tape shows what looks like a Muslim woman, her face and body hidden by her traditional clothing, robbing a Philadelphia bank. But the robber in the abaya and khimar is actually a man. He's part of a recent crime spree involving perpetrators in Muslim garb.
The worst of the incidents happened in Upper Darby when, Police Superintendent Michael Chitwood says, someone who appeared to be a Muslim woman went into a barbershop.
Attorney General Eric Holder â the first African-American to hold the nation's top law enforcement job â is in the homestretch of his first, and probably last, full term in the post.
And after more than three years on the job, Holder is in an unusually reflective mood. He's thinking about the country's ongoing struggle over civil rights and what he wants to accomplish in his last months of government service.
It's been 20 years since Los Angeles erupted in violence after four LAPD officers were acquitted in the beating of Rodney King. And still, the city is not in agreement on what to call the events â riots, an uprising, a rebellion, or unrest? Melissa Block and Robert Siegel hear some of the options and opinions.