Mexican federal police man a checkpoint in downtown Juarez, Mexico, on July 13. Despite being hard hit by drug violence, Mexican border cities remain attractive to foreign businesses seeking cheap labor and easy access to the U.S.
Credit Jason Beaubien / NPR
Workers at a maquiladora assembly plant in Juarez, across the border from El Paso, Texas, make mannequins. While other parts of Mexico are moving slowly out of the recent recession, the maquiladoras have been rapidly adding jobs and boosting exports to record levels.
Over the last four years of the Mexican drug war, the country's northern border has become one of the most violent parts of the country. Yet recently that same part of Mexico has been booming economically.
The duty-free maquiladora assembly plants along the border are rapidly adding jobs, and exports to the United States are reaching record levels.
This Olympic Village housing for athletes taking part in the 1996 Centennial Olympics is located on the campus of the Georgia Institute of Technology.
Bringing the 1996 Summer Olympic Games to Atlanta was a long shot. Athens, Greece was the sentimental favorite to host the centennial games, and tension was palpable as IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch made the announcement back on September 18, 1990.
"The International Olympic Committee has awarded the 1996 Olympic Games to the city of ... Atlanta," Samaranch revealed.
Wayne Seybold of Marion, Ind., grew up in a trailer park on the factory side of town. As mayor, he's downsized the city's government and expanded the business community.
Credit Noah Adams / NPR
Wayne and Jennifer Seybold pose for a family portrait with their three sons.
Part 5 of a 6-part series
Let's say you're the mayor. It's your city, it's where you wake up. But are you thinking about Washington each morning, or do you zip out of the house in your mayor's outfit with your smartphone, and see what you can get done yourself?
If you're Wayne Seybold, the mayor of Marion, Ind., it's a bit of both.
The 47-year-old Republican is now in his second term. His city, in north-central Indiana, is home to 30,000 people who've been though a tough economy.
Today, Seattle's Pike Place Market is a bustling tourist spot — where visitors come to buy lattes at the original Starbucks and watch vendors throw fish. But in the late 1970s, the market was a dicier place. And Lowen Clausen — a Seattle cop turned Seattle crime writer — would know.
Credit Thomas Dimson via Flickr
Seattle's Pioneer Square was once home to the city's vice-ridden Skid Row — or as the locals sometimes call it, "Skid Road." It was a neighborhood full of "sailors on leave and tattoo joints and strip joints," says J.B. Dickey, owner of The Seattle Mystery Bookshop.
Credit Martin Kaste / NPR
Lowen Clausen, who majored in English in college, returned to writing during slow police shifts. His Seattle crime novels include First Avenue, Second Watch and Third & Forever.
Seattle would seem the ideal setting for noir crime novels, what with the rain, the port and the gloomy Scandinavians. But it's not as noir as it used to be. J.B. Dickey, owner of the Seattle Mystery Book Shop, says downtown Seattle was once a lot seedier. "It was more about sailors on leave and tattoo joints," he says. "And the Donut Shop!"
The Donut Shop? Tres noir, says Dickey. "People who were here during the '70s remember the Donut Shop as being a very notorious place."
During Washington's heated debate over the debt ceiling, President Obama and others in the administration canceled several campaign fundraisers as work on a compromise dragged on. But Wednesday night, Obama, who turns 50 Thursday, went out raising money at a pair of birthday-themed events in Chicago. The election is a long way off, but the country's long-term financial obligations seem certain to become a prime issue.