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Lourdes Garcia-Navarro is an NPR international correspondent covering South America for NPR. She is based in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Previously, she served a NPR's correspondent based in Israel, reporting on stories happening throughout the Middle East. She was one of the first reporters to enter Libya after the 2011 Arab Spring uprising began and spent months painting a deep and vivid portrait of a country at war. Often at great personal risk, Garcia-Navarro captured history in the making with stunning insight, courage and humanity.

Middle East
4:21 pm
Thu September 15, 2011

Changing Middle East Leaves Israel Feeling Isolated

Egyptian soldiers guard the badly damaged entrance of the Israeli Embassy in Cairo, Egypt on Sunday. Protesters stormed the embassy, contributing to the worst diplomatic crisis between the two countries since they signed a peace treaty in 1979.
Nasser Nasser AP

Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan would seem to be an unlikely icon for the Palestinians. Yet he is all the rage these days in the Palestinian territories. His picture is everywhere, even in places you would never expect it.

"All your receipts, all your notepads, everything has the picture of Erdogan," says Abdul Rahman Marra, a grocery store owner in the West Bank.

Mara then gestures to the posters of Erdogan on the walls. The Turkish leader stood up to Israel and defended Palestinian rights, Marra says, calling Erdogan the best leader in the Muslim world.

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Shots - Health Blog
4:16 pm
Thu September 15, 2011

First Lady Leans On Darden Restaurants To Shave Calories Off Menus

Menus at Olive Garden and Red Lobster are about to get a health makeover. Darden Restaurants, which owns the brands, is the latest corporation to collaborate with First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! campaign aimed ending childhood obesity.

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Architecture
4:01 pm
Thu September 15, 2011

Who Will Pay To Fix That Bridge In Ohio?

The Brent Spence Bridge (the span on the far right) is one of 1,863 highway bridges determined to be structurally deficient by the Ohio Department of Transportation.
Tana Weingartner WVXU

The gun-metal colored bridge spanning the Ohio River opened almost a half century ago with an 85,000 vehicle per day capacity. Today it carries nearly twice that and is rated functionally obsolete by the National Bridge Inventory.

As part of his jobs creation plan, President Obama will be making a trip to a bridge next week. You may not have heard of it, but the chances are you own a lot of things that have been across it. It's one of the busiest trucking routes in North America.

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As a roving NPR correspondent based in Austin, Texas, John Burnett's beat stretches across the U.S., and, sometimes, around the world. Currently, he is serving as NPR's Religion correspondent.

Around the Nation
3:39 pm
Thu September 15, 2011

Texas Fire Evacuees Return To Find Only Ashes

Jeans hang on a clothesline next to a burned down trailer home in Bastrop, Texas. A wildfire raging for nearly two weeks has blackened 50 square miles and destroyed more than 1,500 homes.
Erich Schlegel AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 15, 2011 8:39 pm

For 17 years, Linda and Roger Ward lived in their two-story dream house in a subdivision in Bastrop County, southeast of Austin, Texas. They loved to sit on their back deck and listen to the wind in the pines.

On the afternoon of Sunday, Sept. 4, everything changed.

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As NPR's correspondent covering campaign finance and lobbying, Peter Overby totes around a business card that reads Power, Money & Influence Correspondent. Some of his lobbyist sources call it the best job title in Washington.

Overby was awarded an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia silver baton for his coverage of the 2000 campaign and the 2001 Senate vote to tighten the rules on campaign finance. The citation said his reporting "set the bar" for the beat.

In 2008, he teamed up with the Center for Investigative Reporting on the Secret Money Project, an extended multimedia investigation of outside-money groups in federal elections.

Rick Perry
3:15 pm
Thu September 15, 2011

Perry Donor's Radioactive Waste Site Deal Scrutinized

A large earth-mover carries PCB-contaminated soil from the Hudson River in New York to a burial pit at Waste Control Specialists near Andrews, Texas, in October 2009.
Betsy Blaney AP

Originally published on Thu September 15, 2011 8:39 pm

Presidential candidate Rick Perry's ties to campaign donors came under more scrutiny this week when he was challenged during Monday's Tea Party debate.

Perry defended taking a contribution from a drug company and then mandating use of the company's new vaccine. "I raised about $30 million, and if you're saying I can be bought for $5,000, I'm offended," he said.

Actually, the drug company, Merck, has given Perry $28,500 overall. But that's still pocket change compared with what Perry's truly big donors have given.

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Shots - Health Blog
3:15 pm
Thu September 15, 2011

Tempest In A Lunch Box: Arsenic Traces In Apple Juice

Fears over arsenic in apple juice are overblown, experts say.
iStockphoto.com

A lot of parents might be worried about what's in their kids' sippy cups if they caught a recent report by TV talk show host Dr. Mehmet Oz about high levels of arsenic in popular brands of apple juice.

But the Food and Drug Administration and medical experts are attacking Oz's report, saying it's inaccurate and needlessly panics parents.

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