Most Americans use electricity, gas or oil to heat and cool their homes. But the small city of Brainerd, Minn., is turning to something a bit less conventional: the sewer.
As it turns out, a sewer — the place where a city's hot showers, dishwashing water and organic matter end up — is a pretty warm place. That heat can generate energy — meaning a city's sewer system can hold tremendous potential for heating and cooling.
It's just that unexpected energy source that Brainerd hopes to exploit.
This week, President Obama signed a law banning synthetic marijuana and other synthetic drugs. Dozens of states and local governments have already tried to outlaw fake marijuana, which has been blamed for hundreds of emergency room visits and a handful of fatalities.
But the bans have proved largely ineffective, and there are fears that the federal law won't be any different.
Synthetic marijuana looks a bit like dried grass clippings. It's readily available on the Internet and in convenience stores and smoke shops, where it's sold as herbal incense or potpourri.
The app simulates a rescue phone call. The app can show a telephone number — a coworker's, your mother's — and a photo of the supposed caller. Although it can't guarantee your date will believe the fake excuse.
President Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney are hitting the campaign trail hard this week. On Tuesday, the president was campaigning in Iowa — the state that helped to launch his White House bid in 2008. He told supporters in Iowa he wants a second term in order to finish what he started.
Across America people are sweltering through extreme heat this year, continuing a long-term trend of rising temperatures. Inevitably, many are wondering if the scorching heat is due to global warming. Scientists are expected to dig into the data and grapple with that in the months to come. They've already taken a stab at a possible connection with last year's extreme weather events, like the blistering drought in Texas. NPR's Richard Harris reports.
Manchester United is the most famous soccer team in the United Kingdom, and one of the world's most popular sports teams. Now its owners are hoping the team's popularity will translate into big bucks. They're planning to sell Manchester United stock on the New York Stock Exchange. Roger Blitz, of the Financial Times, talks to Renee Montagne about the team's IPO.
The ownership of American pro sports got just a little more international. That's our last word in business today.
Pro basketball's Brooklyn Nets, formerly the New Jersey Nets, are owned by a Russian businessman. An Indonesian media owner possesses part of the Philadelphia 76ers. And now, that same Indonesian man is among the new investors in D.C. United, the pro soccer team. His name is Erick Thohir.
The City Council in San Bernardino, Calif., voted Tuesday night to seek Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection, making it the third California city in less than two weeks to make the rare move. The city faces a $45 million budget shortfall.
A U.S. operation in the mountains near Afghanistan last November killed 24 Pakistani soldiers. Pakistan wanted an apology. The U.S. refused. In response, Pakistan shut down supply routes to Afghanistan for NATO convoys.
After intense talks, two border crossings were reopened last week to convoys for the U.S. and NATO forces.
Pakistan's ambassador in Washington, Sherry Rehman, was at the center of the negotiations. Afterward she called it a moment of great opportunity for the two countries.
As one of the world's most popular sports, field hockey produces celebrities in Argentina, the Netherlands and Australia. But the sport is relatively obscure in the United States, where members of the women's national team receive a small monthly stipend and their notoriety comes from outside the country.
Later this month, the group heads to London, where it will try to earn the first American medal in the sport in 28 years.
Sports is more ubiquitous than ever on television. And sports is almost the only thing that's left, live, on TV. NBC Universal is even going to let Americans see the Olympics live this year.
Nevertheless, despite TV's charm, last week as Andy Murray, Great Britain's homeboy, drew closer to making the Wimbledon final, the word was that tickets for actual Centre Court seats would be scalped for up to £32,000 a pair. If you're not hanging around the currency exchange market, that comes to something like $50,000. For two tickets. To a game.
Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. Some forest officials in Minnesota are complaining about deer stands. Deer stands are those small platforms hunters set up in trees to get a better view. In some deer-hunting areas, they've grown into veritable tree houses with stairs, shingled roofs, windows, heaters, lounge chairs, and all on public land. One county land commissioner told the Duluth News Tribune: We're seeing mansions out there. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
It's been a decade since the first permanent International Criminal Court was created. Today, it delivered its first-ever sentence. The Hague-based court ordered a Congolese warlord to serve 14 years in prison. Thomas Lubango was convicted in March of recruiting and using children as soldiers in his militia. During a four-year conflict, Lubango forced children to fight for him, taking up arms and machetes which they used to slaughter Lubango's tribal enemies in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Batman may be able to save Gotham from villians but the rules of physics apply to him. Four British graduate students produced a paper called "Trajectory of a falling Batman." It says Batman could glide off a 500-foot building as he does in the 2005 movie but he'd hit the ground at a life-threatening 50 miles-per-hour.
Over a decade ago, Britton Nicholas Newlife bet with a bookmaker that Roger Federer would win Wimbledon seven times. The bet was for $2,300 and the odds were 66-1. Newlife died three years ago, but he left his betting ticket to the international charity Oxfam. On Sunday, Federer won his seventh Wimbledon title. Oxfam will receive more than $150,000 in winnings.
The latest fundraising numbers are in for the two presidential campaigns, and the amounts are eye-popping. President Obama and the Democratic Party raised $71 million, which is an enormous haul. But it was dwarfed by Mitt Romney and the Republican National Committee, which together raised $106 million in the month of June.
Jennifer Larr has the itch to go abroad. She's 26 years old and has already spent a year studying in France and two years in Rwanda with the Peace Corps, and she is headed to Uganda this summer for an internship. She's also a graduate student, studying international relations at UCLA.
Larr is part of a growing number of 20- and early 30-somethings whose American dream has moved beyond suburban homes and traditional nuclear families, and it's one that now goes even beyond U.S. borders.
In the middle of southern Egypt's windy desert, wheat fields stretch as far as the eye can see on a 24,000-acre farm. It's part of a grandiose project called Toshka that was dreamed up 15 years ago by the government of Hosni Mubarak, Egypt's authoritarian leader who ruled the country for three decades before being ousted last year.
Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. Ronn Matt told the Chicago Tribune that his mother used to frown on his habit of spitting cherry pits. But now he's a champion. Over the weekend in Michigan, Matt managed to unseat two spitting dynasties, families who had won for the last 20 years the International Cherry Pit spitting contest. He won by spitting a pit 69 feet. Impressive but far short of the world record of 93 and a half feet. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.