Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) chairwoman Mary Schapiro is stepping down. She took over the agency in 2009 as it was reeling from criticism over the financial crisis and the Bernard Madoff's Ponzi scheme. Schapiro is credited as a consensus builder who restored some stability to the SEC. She is being replaced by SEC commissioner Elisse Walter.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.
ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
And I'm Robert Siegel.
Syrian Air Force jets launched a failed strike today. Their target, a rebel military headquarters in the northern part of the country. But it's the rebels who've been on the offensive lately, seizing four strategic military bases in just the past week. And today, they claim to have captured a hydroelectric dam on the Euphrates River that supplies electricity to much of the area.
Arab-Kurd skirmishes in southern Iraq late last week injured dozens of people and killed at least one. Now troops from both sides are escalating and tensions are high again. This all comes as Kurdistan president Massoud Barzani battles Iraqi Central government Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. Analysts say Barzani has been emboldened by independent oil contracts, the increasing support of Turkey, and ongoing events in Syria.
A baby hatch that is fixed in a window at Waldfriede Hospital in Berlin. Mothers can bring unwanted babies and leave them anonymously. Baby boxes are a revival of the medieval "foundling wheels," where unwanted infants were left in revolving church doors.
Originally published on Mon November 26, 2012 4:30 pm
For centuries, European mothers who felt they were incapable of caring for a newborn could leave the baby in a "foundling wheel," a rotating crib set up at the entrance to a convent or a place of worship.
Today, there's a debate over the modern version of the practice: the baby box.
At least 11 European countries, as well as Russia and India, now have baby boxes, sometimes known as baby windows or hatches.
Cyber Monday saw a big retail push following a Black Friday that expanded into Thanksgiving Day. The big question now is whether all the early shopping will boost total holiday sales or just push them up earlier on the calendar.
While attention has been focused on Egyptian protests and hostilities between Gaza and Israel, the land between those two stories has been largely ignored. The Sinai Peninsula, while a part of Egypt, exists in a world of its own. Robert Siegel speaks with reporter Nicolas Pelham about his new article in the New York Review of Books about the Sinai and the Bedouin tribes that control it.
Residents of Mutriku, a fishing village on Spain's northern coast, lounge at their local beach, protected from fierce Atlantic waves by a cement breakwater that also houses Europe's first wave energy plant.
Credit Lauren Frayer for NPR
One of the 16 turbines inside the Mutriku breakwater, part of Europe's first wave energy plant.
Waves constantly thrash the fishing village of Mutriku on Spain's northern coast. Records from the 13th century describe the dangerous surf and shipwrecks here. Until recently, water occasionally hurled debris through windows of homes, before the local government built a cement breakwater to shelter the harbor.
Originally published on Tue November 27, 2012 7:49 am
For merchants, the stars are lining up — at least so far.
Online shopping jumped more than 28 percent on Cyber Monday compared with a year ago, according to IBM Benchmark. And the National Retail Federation says Thanksgiving weekend spending shot up to $59.1 billion, nearly 13 percent more than last year's $52 billion.