Nearly 18 months after a disastrous oil spill killed wildlife and endangered the futures of fishermen and resort businesses along the Gulf of Mexico, the federal government announces it will regulate not only the operators of offshore oil rigs, but the contractors who own and work on them, as well.
The shift in enforcement is one of several changes announced in the past 24 hours, as federal regulators seek to ensure the Gulf spill catastrophe does not recur.
Guy Narbonne, a paleontologist at Queen's University in Ontario, inspects a fossil at the Mistaken Point Ecological Reserve in Newfoundland. It is filled with half-a-billion-year-old treasures like this one.
Credit Marc Laflamme for NPR
Look closely. See a horizontal ridge running through the middle of the photo? That's a closeup of a fossil of the oldest and largest multi-cellular creature on Earth.
Sometimes the solution to a new problem is right in front of you – or, in the case of one community in Newfoundland, right under their feet. That's where residents, who partnered with paleontologists, discovered that fossils could serve as engines for tourism — and scientific research — in an area that had hit tough times.
Originally published on Tue October 4, 2011 9:50 am
The trial of the Nigerian man who authorities say tried to set off a bomb hidden in his underwear as a jetliner prepared to land in Detroit on Christmas Day 2009 began with some drama today in Detroit.
Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab declared as jury selection got underway that "Anwar is alive" — a reference to American-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who was killed on Friday by a U.S. drone strike in Yemen.
There's a poignant moment right at the top of Sesame Street's new prime-time special, "Growing Hope Against Hunger." Everybody's gathered for a food drive near Hooper's store when, Lily, a new Muppet developed specifically for the show, reveals to Elmo that "sometimes I go with my family to the food pantry." Elmo is clearly jolted by the news. "Elmo never even has to think about where his next meal is coming from," he says.
Tinkering with success can be a dangerous thing. A redesigned version of the Toyota Camry, America's best-selling car for the past nine years, is going on sale in the U.S.
Toyota recently lost market share and has suffered through bad PR due to recalls, in addition to dealing with the continuing aftereffects of the Japan earthquake. Toyota executives are betting on the new Camry to jump-start the company's future.
One of the hottest stories this morning is word that, as The Associated Press puts it, "mortgage giant Fannie Mae knew about allegations of improper foreclosure practices by law firms in 2003 but did not act to stop them, a government watchdog says."
There's been a deadly bombing today in the capital of Somalia.
"Islamist militants detonated a truck bomb Tuesday in front of the Ministry of Education in Mogadishu, killing at least 70 people, wounding dozens and shattering a relative calm that had prevailed ... for weeks," The Associated Press reports.
Originally published on Tue October 4, 2011 6:06 am
"Ford Motor Co. and the United Auto Workers have come to terms on a new four-year contract that trades annual pay raises for profit sharing and a signing bonus and promises thousands of new jobs building cars and trucks," The Associated Press writes.
On Sunday, former NPR CEO Vivian Schiller tweeted a strong endorsement for the choice of Gary Knell to replace her. In the same 140 characters, however, Schiller characterized continued federal funding of public radio as "untenable."
Schiller has told associates the subsidy allows lawmakers to use NPR unfairly as a political punching bag.
Despite a sluggish economy in the U.S., it's been a really good year for Hyundai. The Korean automaker is on track to sell more cars this year than ever before, and it has seen its share of the U.S. market more than double in the past decade.
At first glance, Hyundai may appear to be resorting to slick marketing gimmicks. For instance, the company will guarantee the price of your car, not now but when you trade it in.
The financial crisis gripping Greece is having a major impact on the country's young people. A two-tier labor market that favors the older generation and draconian austerity measures have triggered a record high jobless rate among those under 35.
And now, the economic upheaval is undermining the traditional family structure and pushing the young to leave their homeland for better prospects.
It turns out that the gender of your dining companions makes a big difference in what you eat and how much you eat. The new research on dining habits — although small — adds a new dimension to the study of risk factors for obesity, and could also shed new light on eating disorders such as anorexia.
Originally published on Sat December 15, 2012 11:54 am
The U.S. House of Representatives is scheduled to vote Tuesday on a temporary measure — passed by the Senate last week — to keep the government funded through mid-November.
"Hopefully, we can certainly avoid any shutdown talk this time," said House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va. "Get it done and continue along our mission to try and change the way spending occurs in this town."
These temporary funding extensions, lasting a few days or a few weeks, are pretty standard in Washington. Called "continuing resolutions," they go all the way back to 1876.
If mold, dust and other culprits are shutting down your nasal passages, you might find it useful to know which U.S. cities' residents have it even worse. It turns out that people living in Oklahoma City, Okla., suffer the most nasal congestion of any metropolitan area in America.
As fears spread that American Airlines may be headed for bankruptcy proceedings, shares in the airline's parent company, AMR Corp., plummeted by 41 percent before closing at $1.98 Monday — a 33 percent drop in its value.
The stock hadn't closed below $2 since 2003, according to the Associated Press.
David Gerbi stands in front of the main synagogue in Tripoli, Libya, on Sunday. An exiled Libyan Jew, he has returned after being away for more than 40 years. He hopes to restore the synagogue and create an atmosphere of tolerance following the ouster of Moammar Gadhafi.
David Gerbi, a Jew whose family fled Libya more than four decades ago, visited Tripoli's old Jewish synagogue on Monday with big plans. He went to pray and to clean up garbage from a building long empty, though still grand with its soaring arches and butter-colored walls.
Gerbi, a 56-year-old psychoanalyst who has lived in Italy, said he had permission for the restoration from the local Muslim cleric and members of the Transitional National Council, the force that ousted Moammar Gadhafi back in August.
But two days into his effort, it came to an abrupt end.
Originally published on Tue October 4, 2011 1:47 am
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie doesn't have to look far for a cautionary tale about the pitfalls of jumping into the presidential contest late, with great expectations, but little vetting beyond the relatively comfortable confines of one's home state.
As Christie continues to deliberate about entering the Republican presidential nomination fray, he has no doubt followed the supremely lousy weeks Texas Gov. Rick Perry has had since he got in, relatively late, with great fanfare, and largely untested on a national stage.
Apple's iPhone may be the most talked about smartphone on the market, but there are far more phones using Google's Android operating system — 40 percent of the U.S. market. Microsoft's Windows for Mobile comes in near the bottom, with around 5 percent.
But Microsoft says Android steps all over its patents.
Protesters shout slogans against the Syrian government in front of the White House in July. A new report from Amnesty International documents more than 30 cases of Syrian activists living overseas whose activities have been monitored and whose families in Syria have been threatened.
Sometimes when parents skip vaccinations for their kids, it's more a matter of delay than total refusal, a new survey finds.
More than 1 in 10 parent parents of young kids follow an alternative schedule of vaccinations that doesn't fit with the recommendations of doctors and public health officials. The results published in Pediatrics come from a national survey conducted online.