The Northern Mariana Islands are about 4,000 miles west of Hawaii. They look like the kind of tropical islands you see in the movies with bright blue water and white sand beaches.
The people who live on the islands are American. The Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands is a U.S. territory. And just like a lot of U.S. states, the commonwealth has a pension plan for its government employees.
The final round of the 2012 National Geographic Bee takes place Thursday, with students between the fourth and eighth grades testing their knowledge of countries, canals and lava lakes. Of the 54 contestants who came to the National Geographic Society in Washington, D.C., for the bee, only 10 remain.
Olympic officials meeting in Quebec City have reached a tentative agreement in a persistent revenue-sharing dispute responsible, in part, for keeping the Olympics out of the United States for at least 20 years.
The dispute centers on the American share of Olympic revenues. Since 1984, The United States Olympic Committee (USOC) has received the biggest portion of the billions of Olympic dollars paid by corporate sponsors and American television networks. And the rest of the Olympic world has resented it.
Polls have closed on a historic day in Egypt: For many it was the first time they had a say in who their leader will be. Hosni Mubarak, who ruled the country for 29 years, was ousted last year. And before him, for another 30 or so years, Egyptian presidents have run unopposed.
Kimberly Adams was at the polls in Cairo today for NPR. She filed this report for our Newscast unit:
"Many waited in line for hours to choose the replacement for President Hosni Mubarak, who was booted from office during the Arab Spring.
Shares of Facebook on Wednesday made up a little of the ground they've lost since the company's troubled stock offering last week. But the company and its lead underwriter, Morgan Stanley, still face a lot of legal problems.
Some of the investors who bought shares of the company filed a lawsuit alleging that the two companies concealed information about Facebook's expected performance.
Almost every record you know that was a 1960s radio hit had a secret weapon — a crew of L.A. backing musicians known as "The Wrecking Crew." This group, which included the likes of Glen Campbell, Hal Blaine and Carol Kaye, helped artists ranging from the Partridge Family to the Beach Boys make great-sounding albums.
Officials in Beijing have ruled that public restrooms in the Chinese capital can have no more than two flies in them at one time, the BBC reports.
New rules issued Monday by the Beijing Municipal Commission of City Administration and Environment also regulate ads within the bathrooms and state that no more than two pieces of trash can be left uncollected for more than a half-hour.
The rules apply to bathrooms in tourist spots such as parks, railway stations, supermarkets and malls.
CNN host Piers Morgan has been dragged into the U.K.'s hacking scandal once again.
This time, the host of the BBC's Newsnight told a media ethics inquiry that Morgan had showed him how to hack into a cell phone's voice mail.
SkyTV reports that Jeremy Paxman remembered a lunch from September 2002 for two reasons: First because Morgan seemed to imply that he had heard a conversation between another TV presenter Ulrika Jonsson and England football manager Sven-Goran Eriksson.