International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde announced Friday that the IMF had raised $430 billion, surpassing its stated goal.
International Monetary Fund officials and members of the G-20 nations announced Friday that member countries have pledged $430 billion to add to the Fund's crisis-fighting arsenal.
The Fund's managing director Christine Lagarde came into the annual World Bank-IMF spring meetings in Washington, D.C., with a goal of raising $400 billion from member states. She was clearly happy and relieved as she announced a number larger than that.
Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors, and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:
Pictured here on April 13, 2011, Barataria Bay — part of Louisiana's Barataria Basin — was one of the hardest hit areas in the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion. Today, obvious signs of the spill have faded, but communities are still reeling from its effects.
Credit Debbie Elliott / NPR
Orange Beach, Ala., Environmental Manager Phillip West holds a tar ball that has washed onto the area's sugar-white sand beaches. He says the clumps of weathered oil come in when the surf is rough — an indication that two years later, there's still oil lingering offshore.
Credit Debbie Elliott / NPR
Two years later, this Bay Jimmy island is part of 200 miles of Louisiana shoreline still fouled by the BP oil spill. A layer of oil has hardened along the coast, creating a thick layer of asphalt-like tar that's choking the edge of the marsh and accelerating an already alarming rate of coastal erosion.
It's been two years since the Deepwater Horizon exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, killing 11 rig workers and unleashing the worst oil spill in U.S. history. The oil has long stopped flowing and BP spent billions of dollars to clean up oiled beaches and waterways, but the disaster isn't necessarily over.
Oil fouled some 1,100 miles of Gulf Coast shoreline, but today, in most spots, you can't see obvious signs of the spill. In Orange Beach, Ala., the clear emerald waters of the Gulf roll onto sugar-white sand beaches.
In the early 1990s, The Education of Little Tree became a publishing phenomenon. It told the story of an orphan growing up and learning the wisdom of his Native American ancestors, Cherokee Texan author Forrest Carter's purported autobiography.
This week, music is bringing Americans and Russians together in a way that policy discussions never can. And don't call that a cliche in front of the music director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
If U.S. relations with Russia have hit a sticky patch over Syria and other issues lately, that didn't stop the Chicago Symphony from thrilling a Russian audience this past Wednesday night, just as it did on its last visit — to the then-Soviet Union in 1990.
Girls perform a traditional dance while celebrating Thingyan, Myanmar's new year water festival, in Yangon, on April 15. The new year has brought new hope as the country undergoes rapid political change.
Credit Michael Sullivan for NPR
Par Par Lay, a member of the Moustache Brothers vaudeville troupe whose show includes biting political satire, performs recently in Mandalay, in northern Myanmar. Par Par Lay, who had been imprisoned, says he is not yet convinced the reforms are real.
Credit Soe Than Win / AFP/Getty Images
A supporter cheers on Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar opposition leader, as she visits her constituency during new year festivities in Kawhmu outside Yangon on April 17.
In Myanmar, there are signs in the most unlikely places that people are starting to believe recent political reforms are for real, and aren't just a trick.
Take a recent performance of the Moustache Brothers vaudeville troupe in the northern city of Mandalay.
The troupe performs in the family home — it's not allowed to perform in public. Its biting political satire, aimed at the generals and their cronies, has made the troupe a favorite of Western tourists and diplomats.
If the rule of threes holds, it's a strange time to be a U.S. governor. From bears in bird feeders to snoozing to Springsteen, Melissa Block recounts a trio of oddball things governors from Vermont, North Dakota and New Jersey have had to deal with in the last week or so.
Republicans and Democrats don't agree about much on Capitol Hill these days, but there is one bill gaining bipartisan support. It's legislation that would punish human rights violators in Russia by naming them and denying them visas to the U.S. But the Obama administration is not on board yet. U.S. diplomats worry it could complicate relations at a time when the U.S. needs Russia's support most.
Gorillas are fine with being herbivores, like this one at a Seattle zoo. But humans evolved as omnivores. Is diet destiny?
If diet is destiny, then modern humans should thank our ancestors for their ability to eat just about anything.
Two new studies peek into the distant past to try to figure out just how big a role food played in human evolution. One says that eating meat made it possible for early human mothers to wean babies earlier and have more children.
Chickens were killed in Hong Kong last December in an effort to halt the spread of the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu.
A Dutch virologist is considering his full range of legal options if his government refuses to lift the restrictions it has put on his controversial bird flu research, and matters could quickly come to a head after a meeting next Monday that will be attended by U. S. observers.
Originally published on Wed June 20, 2012 10:58 am
Credit Hörður Sveinsson / Courtesy of the artist
Of Monsters And Men are an Icelandic folk-rock band.
Of Monsters and Men is an Icelandic sextet specializing in catchy folk-pop. The group came together in 2009 when singer Nanna Bryndís Hilmarsdóttir began recruiting backups for her acoustic solo act. In 2010, Of Monsters and Men gained national fame when it won an annual Icelandic battle of the bands; since then, the buzz has only grown.
There's another bit of tragic news to report today: 43 people are dead after a truck crashed into a passenger bus in eastern Mexico today. Authorities told the AFP that the incident happened after a trailer came loose and hit a bus carrying agricultural workers headed to work.
Jean-Luc Melenchon, the Left Front presidential candidate, draws huge crowds, rivaling those of mainstream candidates Nicolas Sarkozy and Francois Hollande. Here, he delivers a speech during a campaign meeting on April 1 in Grigny, outside Paris.
Credit Thomas Samson / AFP/Getty Images
French presidential candidate Jean-Luc Melenchon gives a speech at the Bastille square in Paris on March 18.
Credit Yoan Valat / EPA/Landov
An estimated 100,000 Melanchon supporters gathered to hear the candidate speak at a rally at Paris' Bastille monument last month.
Originally published on Mon April 23, 2012 10:16 am
Credit Paul Gilham / Getty Images
A competitor stops for a cigarette after he broke down during the Enduropale race at Le Touquet Beach on February 22, 2009 in Le Touquet, France.
Smoking is bad. Quitting smoking is hard. But exercising can make quitting easier, and make sliding back into smoking less likely.
That's the word from a big new study, which tracked the health and habits of 434,190 people in Taiwan from 1996 to 2008. Smokers who got just 15 minutes of exercise a day were 55 percent more likely to quit than were people who weren't active at all. And those active smokers were 43 percent less likely to relapse when they did quit.