High-profile experts are staging two separate Washington press conferences Tuesday to demand action on public-debt problems. One group is targeting state budget crises; the other, the federal budget mess.
If the ancient Greek philosopher Plato were still alive, he might hold a third press conference to declare: "It's hopeless. I told you so. Democracy will always degenerate into chaos because people will vote for their immediate self interests, not the long-term good."
The story of how Chris Truitt went from being a tissue industry insider to an industry skeptic starts with a family tragedy.
In 1999, his 2-year-old daughter, Alyssa, died of a sudden health complication. Truitt and his wife, Holly, donated their daughter's organs and tissue, which saved the life of another young girl, Kaylin Arrowood.
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney continued Tuesday to push back on calls to release more years of tax returns and defended keeping investments in offshore accounts — both issues that have been dogging his run for the White House.
Windblown villages of mud houses surround the huge Bagram Airfield north of Kabul. These poor villagers make a living in ways that can also kill them: They graze their animals or forage for scrap metal — often on a NATO firing range.
The East River Range dates to the 1980s, when the Soviet army occupied Afghanistan. It's full of mines, grenades and other ordnance that should have detonated during training exercises over the years. It sprawls along a mountainside and grazing areas. It's poorly marked, and only small sections are clearly identified by signs and concrete barriers.
Originally published on Tue July 17, 2012 12:32 pm
The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory has produced a record-breaking laser beam at its National Ignition Facility. The lab's system of 192 beams produced more than 500 trillion watts and 1.85 megajoules of laser light onto a 2-millimeter in diameter target.
In April, the Vatican announced that three American bishops (one archbishop and two bishops) would be sent to oversee the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, a member organization founded in 1956 that represents 80 percent of Catholic sisters in the United States, to get them to conform with the teachings of the Church.
Republicans on the House Appropriations Committee have inserted into a broad appropriations bill language that would block funding for a Labor Department effort to reduce the occurrence of black lung, the disease that afflicts coal miners exposed to excessive mine dust.
The bill covers appropriations for Fiscal Year 2013 for the Departments of Labor, Education and Health and Human Services. Tucked away deep inside the measure is this language:
Any woman who has bought health insurance on her own probably didn't find herself humming the old show tune, "I Enjoy Being a Girl." That's because more than 90 percent of individual plans charge women higher premiums than men for the same coverage, a practice known as gender rating.
Originally published on Tue July 17, 2012 12:10 pm
"The U.S. economy has continued to recover, but economic activity appears to have decelerated somewhat during the first half of this year," Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke tells Congress this morning in testimony prepared for his semiannual report on economic conditions and monetary policy.
"Police at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport say they still do not know how needles got into turkey sandwiches on Delta Air Lines flights from Amsterdam to the United States, but are investigating," The Associated Press reports.
Good morning. I'm Renée Montagne. The mayor of Talkeetna, Alaska is celebrating his 15th year on the job. No worries about term limits for this mayor. Stubbs, so named because he's missing half a tail, is as popular as the day he was elected. Townspeople voted for him as a write-in candidate even though he's a cat out of disappointment with the human candidates and Stubbs has been mayor ever since - honorary mayor.
Separate mass shootings at opposite ends of North America have left dozens wounded and at least two people dead.
Late Monday evening in Toronto, two people were killed and at least 19 others wounded in a shooting that "Police Chief Bill Blair called the worst in the city's history," The Globe and Mail writes. It adds that:
"The Pentagon is building a missile-defense radar station at a secret site in Qatar and organizing its biggest-ever minesweeping exercises in the Persian Gulf, as preparations accelerate for a possible flare-up with Iran, according to U.S. officials."
Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep. Salem, Oregon police say a man turned off his TV using a different kind of remote - he was playing with a gun. He aimed the laser scope at the TV and pulled the trigger and discovered the gun was loaded. Nobody was hurt but neighbors called police about the bullet that came through their wall.
This next story takes on some new scientific research involving wily rodents, rodents that run around through the rainforest stealing mercilessly from one another. That doesn't sound very nice, but they're actually providing a service for the forest that may once have been provided by wooly mammoths.
NPR's Richard Harris could not resist telling a story with such an intriguing cast of characters.
Let's take a moment to remember mystery writer Donald Sobol who died last week in Miami. He was a man who wrote his mysteries short. In the 1950s, he succeeded with syndicated column, "Two-Minute Mysteries."
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But Sobol is most remembered for his "Encyclopedia Brown" kids' books, books that Don Weisberg knew well as both a publisher and a reader. Weisberg is currently the president of the children' book division of Penguin Books.
This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.
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And I'm Steve Inskeep. Start with a city centuries old, mix in contests that trace their origins back millennia, then add in record numbers of arrivals at London's Heathrow Airport, including athletes who in some cases felt like they'd spent centuries on the bus stuck in traffic on the way into town.
The London Olympics are days away, along with some complications, as NPR's Philip Reeves reports.
And in Silicon Valley, the buzz is the latest hire by Yahoo. Marissa Mayer is the new CEO. Yahoo lured the 37-year-old away from Google, were she was one of that company's most prominent executives. She studied computer science at Stanford, was hired on as employee number 20 at Google, and as NPR's Steve Henn reports, she is something of a rock star in the tech world.
STEVE HENN, BYLINE: For years the rap on Yahoo has been: this company lacks focus.
Once again, a push by Democrats to force outside campaign spending groups to reveal their big hidden donors has been stymied. Last night for the second time, Senate Republicans closed ranks and blocked legislation on what's known as the Disclose Act. And as it happens, that legislation would've affected groups that are a key source of spending this year, favoring Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney. NPR's David Welna explains.
And we're here next about a new educational partnership with Silicon Valley. It's what the University of Virginia. You may recall last month, UVA's board of governors fired and then rehired President Teresa Sullivan. One reason some board members say they called for her ouster in the first place was that she had not moved quickly enough to expand the university's online courses. That has prompted new initiative being announced today, as NPR's Claudio Sanchez reports.