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Research News
3:38 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Bird, Plane, Bacteria? Microbes Thrive In Storm Clouds

The eye of Hurricane Earl in the Atlantic Ocean, seen from a NASA research aircraft on Aug. 30, 2010. This flight through the eyewall caught Earl just as it was intensifying from a Category 2 to a Category 4 hurricane. Researchers collected air samples on this flight from about 30,000 feet over both land and sea and close to 100 different species of bacteria.
Jane Peterson NASA

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 8:36 am

Microbes are known to be able to thrive in extreme environments, from inside fiery volcanoes to down on the bottom of the ocean. Now scientists have found a surprising number of them living in storm clouds tens of thousands of feet above the Earth. And those airborne microbes could play a role in global climate.

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Poetry
3:36 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Rare Robert Frost Collection Surfaces 50 Years After His Death

American poet Robert Frost, shown here in 1955, died on Jan. 29, 1963. Now, 50 years after his death, a rare collection of letters, audio and photographs sheds new light on his religious beliefs.
AP

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 8:36 am

Tuesday marks the 50th anniversary of the death of the poet Robert Frost, famous for such poems as "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" and "The Road Not Taken." Fans of Frost's works have another reason to pay special attention to his legacy this week: Jonathan Reichert, professor emeritus at the State University of New York at Buffalo, has just donated a rare collection of Frost materials to the university.

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Africa
3:32 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Tunisia's Salafis: 'A Danger' Or Preachers Of God's Law?

A demonstrator shouts anti-government slogans as he stands in front of the Justice Ministry in the Tunisian capital, Tunis, on Nov. 6, 2012, as part of a demonstration by radical Salafi Muslims protesting against the imprisonment of hundreds of Salafist militants.
Amine Landoulsi AP

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 8:36 am

The uprisings of the Arab Spring unleashed a new political force in the region — Salafis, ultraconservative Muslims who aspire to a society ruled entirely by a rigid form of Islamic law. Their models are the salaf, or ancestors, referring to the earliest Muslims who lived during the lifetime of the Prophet Muhammad.

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Asia
3:30 am
Tue January 29, 2013

In China, Beware: A Camera May Be Watching You

The use of security cameras such as these, looking out over Tiananmen Square in Beijing, is on the rise in China. Critics say the government is using them to discourage dissidents.
Ed Jones AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 8:16 pm

The first of two reports

China is becoming a surveillance state. In recent years, the government has installed more than 20 million cameras across a country where a decade ago there weren't many.

Today, in Chinese cities, cameras are everywhere: on highways, in public parks, on balconies, in elevators, in taxis, even in the stands at sporting events.

Officials say the cameras help combat crime and maintain "social stability" — a euphemism for shutting up critics.

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It's All Politics
6:24 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

On Climate Change, Americans May Trust Politics Above Preachers

Pope Benedict XVI leads prayers on Nov. 27, 2011, in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican. The leader of the world's Roman Catholic Church called for a "responsible, credible and united response" to the problem of climate change. But in the U.S. at least, studies show the view even of religious Americans on climate change is much more likely to be shaped by their politics than their faith.
Vincenzo Pinto AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 7:27 pm

When President Obama during his inauguration speech made a case for tackling human-driven climate change, it felt like deja vu for many in the environmental community — including members of religious groups who have long looked to him for action.

After all, Obama made a similar pledge during his first inauguration address in 2009, and left-leaning and progressive faith-based organizations were among activist groups that pushed for quick congressional action on major climate legislation.

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The Two-Way
5:37 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

Watchdog Says Treasury OK'd Excessive Executive Pay At Bailed-Out Firms

A man walks by an American International Group (AIG) building in 2009.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 5:43 pm

The special watchdog overseeing the Troubled Asset Relief Program says the United States Treasury failed to rein in executive pay at companies that received a government bailout.

The AP reports, for example, that the Treasury approved all 18 requests for raises it received from executives at AIG, General Motors and Ally Financial.

The AP adds:

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It's All Politics
5:33 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

In New Immigration Plan, A Fraught Phrase is Mostly Sidelined

Crowd members seek help applying for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program at the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles last August.
Jonathan Alcorn Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 6:27 pm

Here's one thing that was hard to find in the "Gang of Eight's" Senate proposal to overhaul the country's immigration system: the term "illegal immigrant."

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Environment
5:09 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

The Silver Lining In Drought: 5 Upsides To Rain-Free Weather

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 6:23 pm

Drought is mostly seen as a bad thing — and for good reason. It dries up crops, destroys landscaping and stops ships from moving. But even the lack of rain clouds has a bright side.

Good For Grapes

Last summer it seemed like all Midwestern farmers were upset over the lack of rain. But not all of them were; those growing grapes were embracing the drought.

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Around the Nation
5:09 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

New Gold Rush Has Little Luster For Some In The Golden State

Miner Steve Ator cleans a drill bit inside the Lincoln Project Mine, in Sutter Creek, Calif.
Lauren Sommer KQED

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 6:23 pm

Gold mines are reopening in California, some dating all the way back to the Gold Rush. Soaring gold prices are drawing mining companies back into the Sierra Nevada foothills. But some communities fear the effect on local environments.

Dan Boitano, a fifth-generation miner, has been working as a tour guide in the Golden State's historic gold country. His family has been around since the Gold Rush.

Up until a few years ago, he was still guiding tours for visitors.

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Around the Nation
4:49 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

Unbridled Kentuckians Decide It's Time For A Kick-Ass New Slogan

Whit Hiler (left) and Griffin VanMeter are spearheading the campaign to change Kentucky's slogan from Unbridled Spirit to Kentucky Kicks Ass.
KentuckyForKentucky

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 6:23 pm

Kentucky is known for horse racing, bourbon and college basketball. And if a couple of creative advertising professionals have any say in the matter, the Bluegrass State will be world renowned for something else.

They want the state to replace its current slogan, Unbridled Spirit, with a new one — Kentucky Kicks Ass.

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