Patricia McArdle worked as a Foreign Service officer from 1979-2006. She's been stationed in Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean and Europe. Her experiences in Afghanistan provided inspiration for her first novel, Farishta.
Like many reporters, Foreign Service officers overseas often say they have a novel in their heads that they've been trying to write for years. Patricia McArdle actually wrote hers. A retired Foreign Service officer who has served in Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean and Europe, it was McArdle's final posting in northern Afghanistan that served as her great inspiration.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was blunt this week, saying the ongoing conflict in Yemen won't be over until President Ali Abdullah Saleh accepts the transition plans drawn up by Gulf states.
"President Saleh was given a very good offer that we strongly backed. And, you know, we cannot expect this conflict to end unless President Saleh and his government move out of the way to permit the opposition and civil society to begin a transition to political and economic reform," Clinton said.
The U.S. government is $14.3 trillion in debt. When we first neared the trillion-dollar mark in 1981, President Ronald Reagan said that the height of our debt amounted to a stack of $1,000 bills about 67 miles high. That's somewhere in the thermosphere.
Today, that pile of $1,000 bills would be floating in space, more than 900 miles above the Earth. There aren't any $1,000 bills in circulation anymore, so here's an astronomical analogy about today's debt: If you stack up 14.3 trillion dollar bills, the pile would stretch to the moon and back twice.
"Public prayer will be allowed at a Texas high school graduation after a federal appeals court on Friday reversed a ban won by an agnostic family that claimed ceremony traditions such as invocations are unconstitutional," the AP writes.
Nathan Schram instructs students in the classroom.
Last October, Nathan Schram was giddy with anticipation. He was only a year out of Indiana University and he'd just joined a prestigious program, designed to help classical musicians like himself take on the challenges of building a 21st-century career.
He did it through The Academy, a program of Carnegie Hall, The Juilliard School, and the Weill Music Institute in partnership with the New York City Department of Education