Equipment for transporting and housing coal sits idle in Cowen, W.Va. Since the natural gas boom, several mines in Webster County have either slowed or shut down operation, laying off hundreds of workers.
Credit Michael Tomsic/NPR
Rich Lewis worked as a miner for almost two decades before being laid off by Arch Coal. He says he's considering taking a job at another mine, but it's not certain that mine will stay open.
This week, one of the biggest coal mining companies in Central Appalachia, Patriot Coal, filed for bankruptcy protection. Over the past three months, a wave of layoffs has hit coal country hard, and this past month, the share of all U.S. electricity generated from coal hit its lowest level since the 1940s. Our colleague Guy Raz visited Webster County in the middle of West Virginia to find out what's killing King Coal.
Let's turn to another story we've been following in recent weeks: African-Americans and same-sex marriage. When President Obama came out in support of gay marriage, some African-American religious leaders protested. But according to new polling data, African-Americans are no less supportive or, for that matter, opposed to gay marriage than any other group in the country.
And if you're just joining us, you're listening to WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Guy Raz.
In Afghanistan today, the Taliban has launched a string of attacks across the country, including coordinated strikes in the capital, Kabul, that hit near western targets and Afghan government buildings. The Taliban says today's attack marks the beginning of what they call the spring fighting season, the period after the winter thaw when mountain passes and roads become accessible again.
Staying overseas, and to Egypt now, where election officials have stunned voters by banning three of the top contenders running in the country's upcoming presidential elections. Those candidates include Omar Suleiman, the vice president under Hosni Mubarak, the other two, a powerful leader from the Muslim Brotherhood and an ultra-conservative Islamist cleric.
Richard Holbrooke and Katharine Pierce as students in 1961 at Brown University.
Credit Herman Hiller, World Telegram staff photographer / [Public domain] via Wikimedia Commons
Malcolm X, shown here in 1964, spoke at Brown University in 1961 to defend his views. That speech was recently unearthed in the university archives.
Credit Brown University Archives
The front page of the Brown Daily Herald on May 12, 1961, the day after Malcolm X spoke at the university. This was the clipping that Malcolm Burnley found last year in the library archives at the university.
Last semester, Brown senior Malcolm Burnley took a narrative writing course. One of the assignments was to write a fictional story based on something true — and that true event had to be found inside the university archives.
"So I went to the archives and started flipping through dusty compilations of student newspapers, and there was this old black-and-white photo of when Malcolm X came to speak," Burnley says. "There was one short article that corresponded to it, and very little else."