California Rep. Xavier Becerra was one of six Democrats chosen to join six Republicans on a panel tasked with finding a way to cut about $1 trillion from the federal deficit.
Credit Kris Connor / Getty Images
As politicians go, California Rep. Xavier Becerra has a relatively low profile considering that he's been in Congress for 18 years. He's the vice chairman of the Democratic Caucus, the former head of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and the first Latino to serve on the powerful Ways and Means Committee.
When the Democrats had the House majority, Nancy Pelosi appointed him to the new post of assistant to the speaker. And earlier this month, she chose him to join the supercommittee tasked with finding a way to cut $1 trillion from the federal deficit.
The Kovac Planetarium is dedicated to Frank's father, Frank Kovac Sr., seen in the inset photo on the sign, who inspired his son to gaze at the stars.
Unlike in most planetariums, the stars aren't projected in the Kovac Planetarium in Monico, Wisc. Instead, they were hand-painted by Frank Kovac, who designed and built it. Visitors sit beneath the globe and a motor rotates the structure around them.
The planetarium is housed in a warehouse structure in Frank Kovac's backyard. This building is one of the few things here that Frank didn't build alone.
Deep in the North Woods of Wisconsin, more than 200 miles north of Milwaukee, sits the world's largest handmade planetarium.
It isn't easy to find. A sign points down a dirt road toward Frank Kovac's backyard, where he built the planetarium over a period of 10 years. His lifelong fascination with the stars turned into a project of cosmic proportions.
As a child, Kovac looked at the sky through his father's small telescope.
The Department of Homeland Security will no longer target people who are in the United States illegally but have done nothing else wrong, under a new policy announced today by the Obama administration.
According to the White House, DHS and the Justice Department will review pending deportation cases on a case-by-case basis, and "clear out" the queue of people deemed to be low priority.
Pink and purple handguns are for sale at Hyatt Gun Shop in Charlotte, N.C. Gun store owners reported a 73 percent increase in female customers in 2009 from the year before — a trend reflected by the growing number of guns made just for women.
Credit Scott Graf / NPR
For years, gun stores were predominantly patronized by men. But these days, shooting ranges and shops selling firearms are seeing more female customers than ever before, and that has them changing the way they do business.
In one brand-new shooting range at Eagle Gun in Concord, N.C., shots from Sharon Skoff's handgun boom behind glass that separates the range from the rest of the shop.
"I just refuse to be a victim if I possibly can in life," Skoff says. "I actually went and got my concealed permit a couple months ago so I can carry."
Healthy fare is becoming more common in school cafeterias.
Kids may claim that Tater Tots are the only edible food in the school cafeteria, but in reality, school lunches are getting more healthful.
Almost all cafeterias now serve fresh fruits and vegetables, according to a survey of school food directors released Thursday. Whole grains are readily accessible in 97 percent of schools, and 89 percent of districts offer salad bars or pre-packaged salads. Gone are the days of full fat milk; virtually all districts offer skim or 1 percent.