India turned 65 on Wednesday, and amid the great pomp and ceremony of National Day celebrations, the prime minister announced plans for a mission to Mars. India plans to send a research satellite to the Red Planet in November next year — at a cost of $82 million. Critics say the money would be better spent on the nation's creaky infrastructure, and connecting the 400 million Indians who are not on the national electricity grid.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
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And I'm Melissa Block. This presidential campaign season features not only battles between candidates, but fights over how the voting process should work. Today in Pennsylvania, a judge refused to block the state's new voter ID law from going into effect before the election. The law requires voters to show identification at the polls.
As we hear from NPR's Pam Fessler, opponents of the law say they will appeal.
Iranians walk through the main bazaar in Tehran in January. Sanctions by the EU and U.S., plus political woes related to the Syrian uprising, have created the most serious crisis faced by Tehran since the 1980s.
Credit UPI /Landov
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (left) greets Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem in the presidential palace in Tehran on July 29, in this official handout photo. The war in Syria threatens Iran's only ally in the Arab world.
Iran appears to be facing a crisis more serious than anything it has experienced since its war with Iraq in the 1980s.
Diplomatically, President Bashar Assad's regime is under threat from the widening war in Syria, Iran's sole ally in the Arab world. Domestically, the European oil embargo and U.S. banking sanctions are undermining the Iranian economy, bringing inflation, food shortages and unemployment.
Iran is trying to maintain a defiant posture, without much success.
Maybe it's because there are so few of them, but there is something special about a Scandinavian summer night. And there is no better place to spend one than at Copenhagen's Tivoli Gardens amusement park.
Long before there was Disney, there was Tivoli, the second-oldest amusement park in the world. (The oldest, Dyrehavsbakken, or Deer Park Hill, is also in Denmark.) For nearly 170 years, people have been enjoying the magic of a summer night here.
GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney's choice of Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin as his running mate may help energize support from conservative voters who like his tough approach to overhauling the federal budget.
But there's a risk that Ryan may turn off an important voting bloc: senior citizens.
It's been a record hot summer in many cities across the nation. Phoenix is no exception. This Sonoran Desert metropolis already records more days over 100 degrees than any other major U.S. city. Now, climate models predict Phoenix will soon get even hotter.
A hotter future may mean a more volatile environment — and along with it, natural disasters, greater pressure on infrastructure, and an increased physical toll on city residents.