This upcoming weekend, a team of German explosive experts and members of the army are scheduled to defuse an unexploded bomb found in the city of Koblenz in Germany. The bomb — with 3,000 pounds of explosives — is a remnant of World War II that emerged in the Rhine River because of low water levels.
As if that wasn't curious enough, authorities ordered half of the city's residents — 45,000 people — to leave, while they get the job done.
Keeping off the pounds is tough at any age. Now seniors are getting a helping hand from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which has announced that it will cover screening and counseling for obesity as a free preventive service for Medicare beneficiaries.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad waves in Pakdasht, southeast of Tehran, Nov. 23. Ahmadinejad on Wednesday said he was surprised at European moves to isolate Tehran's central bank.
Credit Atta Kenare / AFP/Getty Images
Iranians shout slogans during a demonstration outside the British Embassy in Tehran, Nov. 29. New British sanctions against Iran's central bank sparked the recent protests. Now, the U.S. is considering even tougher measures.
Iran has been dealing with economic sanctions for years, but the country could soon face measures tougher than anything it has encountered before: Legislation moving through the U.S. Congress would target the central bank of Iran, with the likely effect of severely limiting Iran's oil exports.
Such sanctions would almost certainly damage Iran's economy. The challenge would be to make sure other countries are not hurt as well, given the fragile state of the global economy and the tight global oil market.
SolarCity has received financing from Bank of America Merrill Lynch to install solar electricity systems on houses on military bases, like one here at Soaring Heights Communities at Davis Monthan Air Force Base outside Tuscon, Ariz.
Credit Lend Lease
Workers install solar panels at the Soaring Heights Communities at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base outside Tucson, Ariz.
We've heard a lot about Solyndra, a solar panel maker that went bankrupt despite lots of federal subsidies. But on Wednesday, a solar installation company and one of the country's biggest banks are announcing a billion-dollar project to put solar systems on the roofs of military housing. And they're doing it without the kind of federal help Solyndra got.
When SolarCity CEO Lyndon Rive came up with a plan to put solar on the rooftops of military housing around the country, he was sure he'd need federal backing to get loans for such a big project.
A new Pennsylvania law could curb municipalities' ability to zone and regulate hydraulic fracturing — or "fracking." And that raises questions about how much say a local government should have over what goes on within its borders.
State lawmakers are grappling with how to update Commonwealth's decades-old Oil and Gas Act to catch up with a natural gas drilling boom.
For the past few years, the travel site Expedia has conducted a survey about the world's vacation habits and like in years past, this year's survey found that the United States is one of the countries that gives its workers fewer vacation days and one of the countries in which workers leave the most number of vacation days unused.
Ken Harbaugh is a former Navy pilot and an NPR commentator.
When I was five, my father made a promise he never intended to keep. He had returned from a long trip, with presents. I got a fossilized shark tooth, and spent the next month asking about fossils.
At some point, my father made the mistake of describing a massive fossil bed somewhere in Germany. I begged him to take me. There were good reasons that could never happen. Dad knew nothing about fossils; Germany was far away; I was five. But I would not be deterred.
The U.S. economy is experiencing its strongest across-the-board growth of the year, as private companies hire more people, some manufacturers expand and the stock market surges on a plan to ease Europe's financial crisis. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 490 points Wednesday, an increase of more than 4 percent.
But analysts say the economy isn't growing robustly enough to lower unemployment, stem government layoffs or revive a housing market that remains extremely weak.
Newt Gingrich traveled across South Carolina this week appearing at a number of town-hall-style meetings where he talked to voters and answered questions — mostly the same questions at every stop. He talked about the improving the economy, creating a new immigration policy, repealing President Obama's health care reform plan and transforming Washington.
This is a pretty heartbreaking story: An 80-year-old man donated a suit to a Goodwill store in western Illinois. The problem is that he didn't realize until it was too late that his $13,000 life savings were in the suit's pocket.
The major central banks of the world moved Wednesday to prevent a banking crisis in Europe. They're providing more liquidity to the European banking system in hopes that big banks there will remain solvent and continue to make loans. The coordinated move by the central banks sent stock markets soaring. But it will not even begin to fix Europe's fundamental economic problems.
Melissa Block and Guy Raz read emails from listeners about a report on Kentucky's Berea College, about Melissa's remembrance of Vermont poet Ruth Stone, and about the other person responsible for that mega-hit earworm "Moves Like Jagger."
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is in Myanmar, also known as Burma, to see if the county's leaders are serious about political reform. Myanmar has long been under international sanctions because of the repressive nature of the military junta that held power until recently. But there are signs that a new civilian government is loosening the military's grip.
GPS monitors can track your every movement. Brain scans can now see lies forming in your brain. And advancements in genetic engineering may soon allow parents to engineer what their children will look and be like.
These new technologies are "challenging our Constitutional categories in really dramatic ways," says George Washington University law professor Jeffrey Rosen. "And what's so striking is that none of the existing amendments give clear answers to the most basic questions we're having today."
The latest numbers from CDC show that only 28 percent of the nation's 1.2 million HIV-infected people are getting effective antiviral treatment; effective treatment rates are lowest among African-American men.
When you buy food that is labeled fair trade, you do so to support farmers who meet certain social and environmental standards. But some companies now disagree about whether a new take on fair trade can really be called "fair."
Leading central banks around the world took coordinated moves Wednesday to provide more liquidity in the global financial system and calm rising fears in Europe over access to credit. As Europe's sovereign debt crisis worsens, bank lending has tightened, and nervous investors are reluctant to make loans to European banks.
Republican voters may have saved the best for last in terms of the latest obstacle they've placed between Mitt Romney and what was supposed to have been his inevitable march to the 2012 Republican presidential nomination — Newt Gingrich.
Essentially written off after his campaign seemingly imploded last summer and because of the manifest personal baggage he brings to a presidential campaign, Gingrich stuck around long enough to have his moment, to catch fire after Herman Cain flamed out.
Police in two of the nation's largest cities moved in overnight to sweep away the camps of Occupy protesters. In Philadelphia, protesters marched through the streets; about 50 were arrested. In Los Angeles, hundreds of police deployed from City Hall and took control of a camp nearby, with more than 200 arrests. Steve Inskeep talks with Frank Stoltze of member station KPCC, who was been watching the developments in L.A.
Now, the Occupy protests have focused on economic issues, which are also motivating a massive strike in Britain today. It is being described as the largest national strike in a generation. It is estimated that as many as 2 million public sector workers may be taking part, the latest in a wave of protests over austerity measures.
NPR's Philip Reeves is covering that story in London. And Philip, where are you?
The Federal Reserve joined other major central banks Wednesday in a coordinated effort to shore up the global financial system. The move comes at a time when credit is becoming tighter, especially in Europe, because of doubts about the health of big banks.
A Democratic state representative in Arizona thinks it's wrong for a Scottsdale gun club to be giving folks, including children, a chance to have their photos taken with Santa Claus while "holding pistols and military-style rifles," The Associated Press says.
State Rep. Steve Farley says "to involve machine guns and Santa in a celebration in the birth of Jesus Christ is the worst kind of heresy I can imagine."