South Korea's President Lee Myung-bak waves as he arrives for a working dinner at the G20 summit in Cannes, southern France, Nov. 3. At home, Lee faces mounting criticism over the free trade deal with the U.S. as well as North Korea policy and the economy.
Credit Michel Euler / AP
South Korean protesters shout slogans during a rally against a free trade agreement between South Korea and the United States near the U.S. Embassy in Seoul, South Korea, Oct. 11.
Credit Ahn Young-joon / AP
Presidents Obama and Lee embrace after touring and speaking at the General Motors Orion Assembly Plant in Orion Township, Mich., Oct. 14.
A free trade agreement with the U.S. more than four years in the making is causing a big political headache for South Korean President Lee Myung-bak.
On Tuesday, he was scheduled to visit lawmakers in Parliament to try to persuade them to ratify the deal, a step he has never taken before over a single specific issue. Lee is also under pressure in the polls, and facing criticism over his North Korea policy.
These days it can feel like the country is unsteady — politically, economically. In a search for the way forward, scholars and politicians often turn to their fundamental beliefs. NPR is taking a look at some of the most influential philosophers whose ideas molded the present and could shape the future. You might not know all their names, but you're certainly familiar with their ideas. They are woven into the fabric of our society.
Our friends over at Food & Think, a Smithsonian blog, had a nice little post not long ago about one of Pierre-Auguste Renoir's best loved paintings of a Paris café. "Luncheon of the Boating Party" is a jolly scene of men and women flirting and chatting over lunch. But if you look closely, it's hard to tell just what they're eating.
Phillips Collection Chief Curator Eliza Rathbone tells Food & Think:
The Supreme Court said Monday it will review President Obama's health care overhaul, setting up an election year legal showdown.
In an apparent effort to be as comprehensive as possible, the court certified four questions for review. First, and most important: Did Congress exceed its constitutional authority in requiring virtually all Americans to have basic health care coverage?
Weapons and paraphernalia from gangs are displayed during a news conference in 2006. Authorities in Fairfax, Va., have brought five prostitution cases in the past year against gangs. One member of the MS-13 gang was recently sentenced to life in prison for sex trafficking.
The MS-13 gang got its start among immigrants from El Salvador in the 1980s. Since then, the gang has built operations in 42 states, mostly out West and in the Northeastern United States, where members typically deal in drugs and weapons.
But in Fairfax County, Va., one of the wealthiest places in the country, authorities have brought five cases in the past year that focus on gang members who have pushed women, sometimes very young women, into prostitution.
For the first time, the Department of Transportation has fined an airline for keeping passengers cooped up in a plane while it lounges on the tarmac for hours. Today, DOT announced it fined American Eagle, a regional affiliate of American Airlines, $900,000 for 15 planes that sat on a Chicago O'Hare International Airport runway for more than three hours.
A woman rides down a Manhattan street on a bicycle in New York City. Like many major metropolitan areas, New York has witnessed a surge in bicycle use and plans to launch a bike-share plan by next summer.
Credit Spencer Platt / Getty Images
A man rides down a Manhattan street on a bicycle in New York City.
Italy's new premier-designate economist Mario Monti meets with journalists at the Quirinale Presidential Palace after talks with Italian President Giorgio Napolitano in Rome on Sunday. Monti told reporters that he will carry out the task "with a great sense of responsibility and service toward this nation."
In a country where politicians shield themselves behind dark-tinted windows in sleek limousines, Roman paparazzi are having a field day with Italy's new premier-designate, Mario Monti, who actually walks down the street, without bodyguards.
But the longest sound bite reporters are likely to get from him is: "Isn't it a splendid day?"
Monti was chosen to replace the flamboyant Silvio Berlusconi, who was forced to step down over the country's worsening eurozone crisis.
King Abdullah of Jordan put more pressure on Syria's embattled President Bashar Assad to step down.
"I believe, if I were in his shoes, I would step down," King Abdullah told the BBC. "If Bashar has the interest of his country, he would step down, but he would also create an ability to reach out and start a new phase of Syrian political life."