Originally published on Tue October 30, 2012 6:17 am
Hurricane Sandy may be grinding closer to the East Coast with 90 mph winds and torrential rains, but the most devastating aspect is likely to be storm surge.
Simply put, storm surge is wind-driven water that is forced against the shore, piling up in low-lying areas where it can cause dangerous flooding. A number of factors can make storm surge worse: a massive storm with high winds headed straight for a region full of shallow coastal bays and inlets.
Sandy seems to have them all, says Chris Landsea, science and operations officer at the National Hurricane Center.
Originally published on Mon October 29, 2012 3:12 pm
Economists will need many days — maybe weeks or months — to assess the financial harm being done by Hurricane Sandy. But whatever the final figure, it will be huge, well into the tens of billions of dollars.
More than 60 million Americans are feeling the impact of the weather monster slamming New York, New Jersey, Maryland, the District of Columbia, Virginia, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and many other states. The howling mix of wind, rain and snow is causing massive direct losses, i.e., the destruction of private homes, stores, boats and cars.
When smoking is banned in bars and workplaces, the number of people who suffer heart attacks and die drops within months, according to two new studies.
They found benefits not only in saving lives, but in lowering the cost of medical care for heart attacks, stroke and other smoking-related illnesses. It's the best evidence yet demonstrating big, swift health improvements when secondhand smoke is banished.
As the presidential campaign has unfolded, the candidates have traded polemics about wealth, class warfare, dependency and the role of government.
And while it may be uncomfortable to admit, some Americans are simply more financially successful than others. But why do some achieve wealth, while others struggle? And what do we think explains our prosperity — or lack thereof?
The rest of the government may have been shut down for the hurricane, but not the U.S. Supreme Court.
The justices were in court Monday to consider a challenge to the 2008 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, known as FISA. The new law broadly expanded the government's ability to conduct large-scale monitoring of international phone calls and emails to and from people in the United States.
Originally published on Mon October 29, 2012 5:58 pm
Wherever you look these days, it seems labels that strive to send a message about our food are on the table. In California, there's a vote coming up on whether genetically modified foods should be labeled. A few weeks ago, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission updated its guidelines for "green" labeling.
Originally published on Mon October 29, 2012 12:35 pm
Hurricane Sandy is bearing down on the East Coast of the U.S., bringing sustained wind, heavy rain, and flooding that's forcing roads, bridges and mass transit systems to close from New York City to Washington. We're following the storm's progress and its impacts here on The Two-Way .
Originally published on Mon October 29, 2012 1:57 pm
As Hurricane Sandy continues its slow progress toward the East Coast, thoughts of voting aren't uppermost in most people's minds. Nevertheless, state and local officials are scrambling to accommodate early voters as best they can.
Depending on how the storm ultimately plays out, Sandy isn't expected to have much effect on the outcome of the presidential race. Most of the states in its path are not considered competitive.
Originally published on Mon October 29, 2012 11:24 am
Update at 1:16 p.m. ET. Not Taken During Sandy:
The Old Guard reports on Twitter that the photograph we posted of soldiers standing guard over the the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was taken in September. It was not taken during Sandy, as the First Army Division East, said in its Facebook page.
Here is one taken today, according to the Old Guard:
Our Original Post Continues:
This is perhaps one of the more stunning pictures we've come across today:
We're always looking for new angles on health news. And now we're trying a new angle on Shots: a podcast.
This is an experiment, so I should ask for your informed consent. Are you prepared for some unorthodox audio from an ink-stained wretch still working on the transition to online journalism from print? If so, click away.
Here are a few reasons government forecasters at the National Hurricane Center and emergency management officials are so concerned about Sandy:
1. Sandy is one of the largest hurricanes ever to strike the U.S. Sandy's winds cover an area of more than 1,000 miles in diameter. That's enormous by hurricane standards. So instead of affecting an area a couple of hundred miles across, Sandy will cut a huge swath. That means many millions of people are probably going to be exposed to high winds, heavy rains, and, for those on the coast, powerful storm surge.
China is about to get new leaders for the first time in a decade, and it comes at a sensitive moment for the world's most populous nation. Economic growth, which surged for decades, has slowed. Demands for political reform have increased and the Communist Party has been hit by scandal. In a series of stories this week, NPR is examining the multiple challenges facing China. In our first story, Louisa Lim looks at how the Chinese view the Communist Party in the place where it took shape.
The frail 79-year-old in a pale brown shirt with close-cropped hair sitting at a fast-food restaurant table looks absolutely unremarkable. But Bao Tong has a lightness in his eyes, a confidence that speaks of a man whose conscience is clear, a man with nothing to fear.
"I have become my own person," he says. "When I was a Communist Party member, I had to follow party discipline. When they threw me out of the party, my brain was set free."
Originally published on Mon October 29, 2012 10:48 am
Before you brave the rain, wind and inevitable lines at the already depleted grocery store today in the Mid-Atlantic region, take a deep breath.
If you're a moderately good grocery shopper, you probably already have the food you need on hand to make it through the next few days if (when) we lose power because of Hurricane Sandy. (If not, best to find a shelter near you.) But you do need to take extra precautions that what you're preparing is safe.
"Personal income increased $48.1 billion, or 0.4 percent," in September from August, the Bureau of Economic Analysis says, while "personal consumption expenditures" — consumer spending — rose 0.8 percent.
Originally published on Mon October 29, 2012 9:04 am
It is autumn, and where I live the leaves are peaking; there is a riot of them everywhere, narrow ones, broad ones, droopy ones, crunchy ones. Leaves come in so many shapes, hues, textures — the closer you look, the more differences you see. Botanists have names for every leaf type, and clumped together, says writer Robert Dunn, they sound like free verse poetry ...
Originally published on Tue October 30, 2012 9:18 am
As Hurricane Sandy drenches much of the Mid-Atlantic and moves northwest, we're updating with the latest news about a storm that forecasters say will be historic in size and intensity and how it is affecting millions of Americans:
Coyotes have moved into the Boston suburb of Belmont, Mass. The Boston Globe says they've lost their fear of humans because people feed them. So, Belmont is training volunteers for coyote hazing. Their job is to harass coyotes — shouting at them, throwing objects their way, even squirting them with water hoses.
Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep. Key West, Florida has seen its share of hurricanes. But as Sandy passed well to the east, residents of the island completed their annual Fantasy Fest. The theme was A-Conch-Alypse, you know, the apocalypse but with conch shells. A parade included floats with alien invaders and a post-apocalyptic zombie ghost town. One float featured a zombie presidential election with advocates for zombie care and a candidate named Eaton D. Brains. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
A new study released by the World Economic Forum ranks northern European nations at the top when it comes to the size of their gender gap. But one area where the gap is huge is in the percentage of women on company boards; it's less than 15 percent EU-wide. Controversy over what should be done about that — and by whom — is more divisive than ever.
Now, the effects of this powerful storm have forced President Obama and his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, to alter their campaign schedules. The president has cancelled a rally that was scheduled in Florida. We're also told of a rally that's been cancelled in Wisconsin.
Cokie Roberts spoke with us earlier on this program. She's been following the effects, the potential effects of this storm on the campaign.
One issue that has received little attention in this year's presidential race is the war in Afghanistan. But according to Thomas E. Ricks, we should be paying attention — specifically to those in charge of the military there, because they can make the difference between long, expensive wars and decisive victories. That's the lesson Ricks explores in his latest book, The Generals.