In 1957, Joel Healy witnessed one of the largest nuclear tests ever conducted on U.S. soil.
Healy was in the U.S. Army, stationed in the Nevada desert north of Las Vegas at Camp Desert Rock. He was 17 years old and a private first class at the time.
Healy drove dump trucks, moved materials, and built structures, like houses, that would be destroyed by the explosions so the Army could study the effects of a nuclear blast. He also helped build the towers where many of the bombs were detonated.
The economic news has been nothing but grim lately: weak expansion, sluggish consumer spending and unemployment holding steady at just over 9 percent.
Overseas, the picture isn't any rosier, with Greece expected to default on its debts — possibly followed by Portugal and Ireland — and the International Monetary Fund predicting a global economic slowdown.
So is the U.S. heading for a double-dip recession? Or are we there already? And what can we do about it?
This past week was an eventful one for the Republican 2012 presidential hopeful field. Former House speaker Newt Gingrich and Congressman Ron Paul announced that they would run, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee announced he wouldn't, and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney tried to tackle his health care dilemma. NPR's Mara Liasson brings us up to date on the 2012 candidates for the Republican presidential nomination.
At least six protesters were killed Friday in Syria. The protest movement there is two months old now, despite the most deadly government crackdown in the region since the Arab uprisings began. The United Nations says at least 850 people have been killed and thousands have been detained since the protests began. Host Scott Simon gets the latest from NPR's Kelly McEvers, who is monitoring the situation from Beirut, Lebanon.
The demonstrations against repressive regimes throughout the Middle East have become known as the Arab Spring. While it has meant more political freedoms for some, it has meant prison, torture and death for many others. Host Scott Simon talks with Rami Khouri, editor-at-large of the Beirut newspaper Daily Star, about where the movement is headed.