For decades, when you slid into a booth at a diner or a local coffee shop, the waitress probably arrived with a standard-issue, off-white mug. More than likely that mug came from the Ohio River town of East Liverpool, which calls itself "The Pottery Capital of the Nation."
A lot of that city's pottery business is long gone. Now, one of the few remaining pottery factories in the battered town is pinning its survival on a major corporation.
To step inside American Mug and Stein in East Liverpool is to step into another era.
A Chinese paramilitary guard gestures outside the North Korean Embassy in Beijing on May 17. Tensions between the two countries are rising after unidentified North Koreans hijacked three Chinese fishing boats and demanded ransom, before releasing the vessels and their crew.
Credit Cai Yongjun / Xinhua /Landov
Chinese fishermen — detained for 13 days by North Korea — return to Dalian, in northeast China's Liaoning province, May 21.
New strains are emerging between China and its old ally, North Korea, six months after the death of reclusive North Korean leader Kim Jong Il. The recent North Korean hijacking of Chinese fishing boats has shaken those ties considerably, leading to public pressure on China to stand up to North Korea.
Fishing boats returning to their home port in China don't normally make the news. But they did last month, because three boats — and 28 fishermen — had been detained for almost two weeks in North Korea.
It's the epic quest of campers everywhere: How do you get the perfectly toasted marshmallow? In our inaugural installment of NPR's Summer Science series, we gave some guidance on the first key ingredient: how to build the campfire. (Later this summer, we'll attempt to answer the vexing question of how to stave off brain freeze.)
James Clapper, director of national intelligence, leaves a closed-door joint meeting with the Senate and House Intelligence committees on June 7. Clapper ordered an inquiry into security leaks to be concluded next week.
Last week's assignment of two federal prosecutors to investigate disclosures of national security information might have been the first shot in a new war on leaks. The director of national intelligence is expected soon to announce new measures to fight unauthorized disclosures, and some members of Congress say it could be time for new anti-leaking laws.
The New York Public Library's Rose Reading Room sits atop seven floors of book stacks, all closed to the public. Under a controversial renovation plan, many of those books would be moved to New Jersey.
Credit Margot Adler / NPR
The library's stacks, which are closed to the public, currently hold about 3 million books.