Fifty years ago today, on May 25, 1961, John F. Kennedy gave his historic speech challenging the United States to put a man on the moon and bring him safely back to Earth before the end of the decade. This speech initiated NASA's Apollo program, and Kennedy's goal was realized with the Apollo 11 moon landing on July 20, 1969. Above, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin unfurling the American flag. (Flickr/NASA Goddard Photo and Video)
Tokyo Electric Power Co. President Masataka Shimiz resigned Friday after numerous allegations that the utility has poorly handled the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant crisis since Japan's March earthquake. His resignation is announced on the same day the company announced a $15.3 billion net loss in the last fiscal year as a result of the nuclear disaster that released radioactive isotopes and caused thousands of Japan's residents to evacuate. (Flickr/Abode of Chaos)
Late Tuesday, the U.S. Navy reversed its earlier decision to allow same-sex marriages on military bases in states where same-sex unions are legal, should the "don't ask, don't tell" policy be repealed later this year. Supporters of the reversal argued that training Navy chaplains to perform such ceremonies would be a violation of the1996 Defense of Marriage Act. The Navy said its lawyers wanted more time to make a thorough review of the legal decision. Above, flags commemorate the thousands of men and women discharged from the military since the enactment of "don't ask, don't tell." (Flickr/dbking)
In Fort Campbell, Kentucky, today, President Obama will meet with the U.S. Navy SEALs that were directly involved in the killing of Osama bin Laden . The president will use this time to personally thank and congratulate elite SEAL Team 6 and allow them to relay details of Operation Neptune Spear. Above is a group of Navy SEALs practicing close-quarters combat at a simulated home. (Flickr/AN HONORABLE GERMAN)
DAYS HOURS MINS SECS The debt ceiling fight is shaping up to be the political fight of the year. The Republican party is holding us hostage! Our creditors will abandon us! We'll get a bad rating from Standard & Poor's! Whatever that means. Wait, what does this stuff mean? Following is the Prospect's humble attempt to answer your basic questions about the debt-ceiling fight. What is this clock counting down to? The clock counts down to the day when we'll reach our debt ceiling unless we vote to raise it. Lots of folks seem to agree this will happen about May 16. What is national debt? In order to keep the government functioning, the Treasury Department borrows money by selling Treasury bills, notes, bonds, and saving bonds to the public. The public includes individuals, corporations, state or local governments, and foreign governments. The national debt is the amount that the United States government holds in these liabilities -- it is literally the amount that the U.S. government...