Two homeless men lie on mattresses in central Budapest in 2010. Hundreds of people live on the streets in the Hungarian capital; many refuse to stay in night shelters for fear of having their goods stolen.
Credit Eric Westervelt / NPR
Gabor Ivanyi is a Methodist pastor and homeless advocate who runs the Danko street shelter.
Credit Eric Westervelt / NPR
Zoltan Szarka is a 27-year-old unemployed construction worker. He grew up in and out of foster care, ending up in Budapest's Danko street homeless shelter after losing his job and apartment.
Hungary's new anti-vagrancy laws — the toughest in Europe — now mean that homeless people sleeping on the street can face police fines or even the possibility of jail time.
Advocacy and human-rights groups are alarmed by the new efforts to crack down on and effectively criminalize homelessness, where the ranks of the needy have increased during the country's dire financial crisis.
Debt, joblessness and poverty are on the rise. The country's bonds have been downgraded to "junk" status, and the nation's currency, the forint, has dropped sharply against the euro.
It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.
In the West African nation of Mali today, northern rebels declared their independence. But that announcement was quickly followed by worldwide condemnation. The United States, France, and some of Mali's neighbors rejected the bid of secession.
NPR's Ofeibea Quist-Arcton has the story from the capital of Mali, Bamako.
Spring means cherry, pear and apple blossoms. But in many metropolitan areas, urban foresters ensure those flowering fruit trees don't bear fruit to keep fallen fruit from being trampled into slippery sidewalk jelly.
But a group of fruit fans in the San Francisco Bay Area is secretly grafting fruit-bearing tree limbs onto those fruitless trees.
When I hear the word "Titanic," I picture a tuxedoed Leonardo DiCaprio, waiting at the bottom of a gilded staircase while the voice of Celine Dion swells in my mind. It's all Edwardian glitz and glamour, decadence and passionate love, the kind best enjoyed in a dark theater with plenty of popcorn. And then I quickly remember that the ship sinks, and that Titanic is more than just an epic film from my youth. On April 15, a century will have passed since the ship plummeted into the icy Atlantic, and it is the tragedy we should remember, not just the mythology surrounding it.
For people with dyslexia, problems recognizing words can make life difficult. Children usually aren't diagnosed until elementary school, when it becomes clear they're struggling with reading. But scientists say it could be possible to diagnose and help kids much earlier by identifying problems with visual attention — long before they learn to read.
Did you know Mayor Michael Bloomberg has an engineering degree and built a ham radio as a child? The mayor talks about his passion for science and how it shapes the way he thinks. He also discusses plans for an applied sciences campus in New York and potential spin-offs from the project.
The first Homo sapiens appeared on the planet some 200,000 years ago. But even though they looked fully human, they didn't act fully human until they began creating symbolic art, some 100,000 years later. Paleoanthropologist Ian Tattersall discusses those human origins in his book Masters of the Planet.