A South Korean man takes a photo of his baby during a picnic in Seoul, in 2009. After years of promoting family planning, South Korea is seeing unprecedented numbers of women staying single into their 30s — up from a handful a generation ago to 40 percent.
Credit Jung Yeon-Je / AFP/Getty Images
An elderly woman rakes leaves in Kaliningrad, Russia. Since 1992, the number of deaths in the country has outpaced births by nearly 3 to 2.
Originally published on Wed November 2, 2011 2:40 pm
Right now, many people are nervous about the challenges presented by a global population that has reached 7 billion and is still rising. But for a lot of countries, a lack of babies is the bigger worry.
The so-called birth dearth is starting to cause problems across much of Europe and a substantial portion of Asia. With fewer children born, populations in many countries are aging rapidly. Soon, they may also be shrinking.
Government opponents in Syria have not been able to dislodge President Bashar Assad, but they are doing something the country has rarely if ever seen: they are organizing by themselves, outside of government control.
The massive street protests, demanding the end of Assad's regime, have defined the revolt over the past eight months.
But other things are happening as well, far from public view. In one quiet office in Damascus, Ashraf Hamza, 28, is leading a group of men at a session on community organizing.
Instructor Mark Fabro leads an exercise at the Department of Homeland Security's cyberdefense facility at the Idaho National Laboratory in September. Training at the lab is intended to help protect the nation's power, water and chemical plants, electrical grid and other facilities from computer viruses such as Stuxnet.
Credit Mark J. Terrill / AP
Cybersecurity analysts look at a diagram that shows their computer network, which is coming under attack, during a mock exercise at the Idaho National Laboratory in September.
Credit Mark J. Terrill / AP
Marty Edwards, director of the DHS Industrial Control Systems Cyber Emergency Response Team (shown here at the Idaho National Laboratory in September) says the U.S. government's cybersecurity lab had no role in the development of Stuxnet.
Credit Mark J. Terrill / AP
The Stuxnet computer worm reportedly affected several laptops belonging to employees of the Bushehr nuclear power plant (shown here in a photo from August 2010 and released by the International Iran Photo Agency) in Iran, as well as centrifuges at Natanz, the country's most important uranium enrichment facility.
The Stuxnet computer worm, arguably the first and only cybersuperweapon ever deployed, continues to rattle security experts around the world, one year after its existence was made public.
Apparently meant to damage centrifuges at a uranium enrichment facility in Iran, Stuxnet now illustrates the potential complexities and dangers of cyberwar.
Secretly launched in 2009 and uncovered in 2010, it was designed to destroy its target much as a bomb would. Based on the cyberworm's sophistication, the expert consensus is that some government created it.
<p>A sign that reads "recall" hangs on a statue in front of the Wisconsin state Capitol last month in Madison. Labor groups are making an effort to recall Gov. Scott Walker for his controversial union rights law.</p>
A Wisconsin law on union bargaining rights signed by Gov. Scott Walker shows no signs of disappearing.
In February and March, there was a shocking, sometimes strange sight at the Wisconsin capitol: By day, protesters marched shoulder-to-shoulder. By night, they lived in the capitol, sleeping on the building's marble floors.
It began after Walker, a Republican, broke 50 years of Wisconsin precedent, announcing he would not bargain with public employee unions. He said the state was broke and he had nothing to negotiate with. The rest is the stuff of political folklore.
Lawyers for President Obama's Justice Department and Texas Gov. Rick Perry will be squaring off in federal court in Washington on Wednesday.
The state has sued the federal government to try to win court approval for its new legislative maps. There are big stakes: Texas stands to gain four new seats in the U.S. House of Representatives. But minorities in Texas, with a boost from the Justice Department, say the new boundaries amount to a step backward for Latino voting power.
If you want to know just how unhappy Americans are with their two-party government, a group called Americans Elect is ready to tell you.
The nonprofit group has scheduled a press conference in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday in a bid to show the Democratic and Republican establishments that voters want a third choice in presidential candidates.
It's a choice Americans Elect hopes to provide. This might sound like a third political party taking the field, but the group says that's not what it is.
Next week Mississippi voters will decide whether to pass a constitutional amendment that redefines a person. Under the proposal, fertilized human eggs would be considered human beings, which would ban all abortions in the state. But abortion-rights activists say it would also limit contraception and threaten fertility treatments.
Les Riley has worked on the initiative for years, gathering signatures to get it on the ballot. Now, in northwest Mississippi, he's talking to voters and assembling yard signs that urge the passage of Amendment 26.
This week, we're asking what it really means to live in a world with 7 billion people. For some answers, we visit Karachi, Pakistan.
The grandest expression of the world's population growth is in the word "megacity." Dozens of these cities of more than 10 million now ring the globe, like a string of oversized pearls. In a megacity, people and ideas clash: The ancient collides with the modern; secular with religious; global with local. In Karachi, Pakistan, those forces can be seen in the story of a single piece of real estate.
Arizona is one of a handful of states that hands the redistricting to an independent commission, instead of its legislature. At least that's what's supposed to happen. In a stunning move last night, though, the Arizona Senate and its governor ousted the head of the state's independent commission.
NPR's Ted Robbins joins us from our bureau in Tucson to explain. Good morning, Ted.
Embattled Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank McCourt and Major League Baseball reached an agreement late Tuesday to sell the storied franchise. Roger Arrieta of Los Angeles, who started a website calling on billionaire Mark Cuban to "Save the Dodgers," plans a rally at the stadium to celebrate the sale.