Originally published on Fri September 16, 2011 8:13 am
Giant African Snails, "one of the most damaging land snails in the world," have invaded a southwest Miami subdivision and are now the focus of "a time-consuming expensive counter-attack" by authorities, the Miami Herald reports.
Here's a boo-boo that you just don't expect to happen at a company making prescription medicines — especially a firm called Qualitest Pharmaceuticals.
The Alabama-based maker of generic drugs apparently didn't do enough quality testing. It's recalling a slew of birth control pills because a mistake in the factory put pills in the wrong places inside plastic packages.
Journalist Ron Suskind had already said that his new book about the Obama administration's response to the 2008-2009 financial crisis would reveal "bitter disputes" among the president's economic advisers.
Originally published on Fri September 16, 2011 6:32 am
"A White House official fretted privately that the Obama administration could suffer serious political damage if it gave additional taxpayer support to the beleaguered solar-panel company Solyndra, according to newly released emails," The Washington Post write
Duane Buck, "a black man convicted of a double murder in Texas 16 years ago was at least temporarily spared from lethal injection" on Thursday when the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to "his lawyers' claims that race played an improper role in his sentencing," The Associated Press writes.
The gap in the wealth of white families and what's owned by blacks and Hispanics has widened in recent years. Researchers say it will widen even more unless steps are taken to break what's become a vicious cycle — the rich getting richer and the poor struggling to keep from falling further behind.
The city of San Francisco is taking one step to help even the playing field. Children entering the city's kindergartens are getting their own college savings accounts.
For the first seven years of the Afghanistan war, almost all U.S. and NATO supplies were trucked overland to Afghanistan through parts of Pakistan effectively controlled by the Taliban. Here, smoke and flame rise from a burning NATO supplies oil tanker after armed militants torched the tankers in Mithri, Pakistan, Feb. 7.
Credit A. Majeed / AFP/Getty Images
Trucks and tankers carrying supplies for NATO forces in Afghanistan arrive at the Pakistan's Torkham border crossing point before entering into Afghanistan on Oct. 10, 2010. The U.S. is increasingly relying on alternate routes that bypass Pakistan altogether.
Napoleon declared that "an army marches on its stomach," and Gen. Omar Bradley said, "amateurs talk strategy, professionals talk logistics." Successful military commanders have long recognized that few requirements rank higher in wartime than the need to maintain reliable supply lines.
Nowhere is that adage more relevant than in Afghanistan, a landlocked country flanked by hostile or wary neighbors. The shipment of supplies and equipment to U.S. and allied forces in Afghanistan over the last 10 years has been handicapped by high costs, pilferage, and the threat of ambush.
California is spending more than $7 billion building what it says will be an architectural marvel: the new San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. But the state saved a lot of money sending some of the construction work overseas.
The new eastern span of the Bay Bridge will have a distinctive design to rival its more famous cousin, the Golden Gate Bridge.
Bart Ney, a spokesman for the project, recently stood near the top of a gleaming white tower, more than 500 feet above the San Francisco Bay.
Ice on the Arctic Ocean has melted to its second-lowest level on record, according to researchers in Colorado who track this trend. The summertime melt coincides with a dramatic warming over the past decade, and it's already affecting wildlife in the Arctic Ocean.
The Arctic ice comes and goes with the seasons; typically about half of the wintertime ice melts away by mid-September. After that low point, the ice regrows. In 2007, the amount of ice left in September hit a dramatic low.
The newly formed congressional supercommittee's 12 members are charged with finding more than $1 trillion in budget savings this fall. Their clout could attract more campaign contributions, and lawmakers are demanding greater accountability for the money the panel's members take in.
Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) has a mixed voting record when it comes to campaign finance reform, but he is adamant about making the six Republicans and six Democrats on the deficit-reduction supercommittee more accountable.
A handout picture released by the official website of Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei shows Khamenei listening to a speech by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (back) during a ceremony with other Iranian top officials and foreign ambassadors to mark the Muslim Eid al-Fitr feast in Tehran on Aug. 31, 2011.
Credit Iran's state-run Press TV
A photo released by Iran's state-run Press TV on Feb. 6, 2011, shows U.S. hikers Shane Bauer (left) and Josh Fattal at court in Tehran.
The families of two American hikers imprisoned in Iran received hopeful, and then wrenching news this week. Iran's president announced the two would be released, only to have the judiciary deny it the next day.
As President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad prepares to visit New York for the United Nations General Assembly, the political infighting among Iranian conservatives seems to be intensifying.
A partial shutdown of the Federal Aviation Administration was averted right around 6:30 p.m., EST. That's when the U.S. Senate voted 92-6 in favor of a bill to temporarily extend funding for both the FAA and highway projects.
A 20-year-old girl named Becky from London posted a picture of one the pages of her Moleskine notebook on Tumblr that, as they say, has gone viral and less than a week later is making waves across the Internet.
The latest rhetorical artillery shell to be launched in the trench warfare between Washington Keynesians and supply-siders landed Thursday in the form of House Speaker John Boehner's speech to the Economic Club of Washington.
Something of a rebuttal to President Obama announcement of his jobs plan last week, a John Maynard Keynes-inspired stimulus in everything but name, Boehner didn't have nearly as catchy a hook as the president's "pass this bill."
Originally published on Thu September 15, 2011 4:10 pm
Helle Thorning-Schmidt, of Denmark's center-left opposition, will become Denmark's first female prime minister. The Associated Press reports that the incumbent Lars Loekke Rasmussen conceded defeat with nearly all the votes counted.
"There is no parliamentary support for our government. Tomorrow (Friday) I will go to the queen at 11 o'clock and inform her of the outcome of the election and present the government's resignation," Rasmussen told Danish TV.
Nigeria's government had to step in, today, after a strange rumor started spreading across the country through text messages. The Nigerian Communications Commission issued a statement saying that receiving a call from the number 09141 cannot kill you.
The BBC reports that the text message warned that between seven and 10 people had died because of the phone call. The BBC adds:
This week, Sarah Palin kept the guessing game about her White House intentions alive.
(Still thinking about it, she told her employer, Fox News, and, by the way, the media is not the boss of her timetable.)
She weighed in on the Republican presidential debate.
She took to task her old buddy and White House hopeful, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, for his past support of a program to vaccinate girls against a sexually transmitted and potentially cancer-causing disease.
Egyptian soldiers guard the badly damaged entrance of the Israeli Embassy in Cairo, Egypt on Sunday. Protesters stormed the embassy, contributing to the worst diplomatic crisis between the two countries since they signed a peace treaty in 1979.
Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan would seem to be an unlikely icon for the Palestinians. Yet he is all the rage these days in the Palestinian territories. His picture is everywhere, even in places you would never expect it.
"All your receipts, all your notepads, everything has the picture of Erdogan," says Abdul Rahman Marra, a grocery store owner in the West Bank.
Mara then gestures to the posters of Erdogan on the walls. The Turkish leader stood up to Israel and defended Palestinian rights, Marra says, calling Erdogan the best leader in the Muslim world.
Menus at Olive Garden and Red Lobster are about to get a health makeover. Darden Restaurants, which owns the brands, is the latest corporation to collaborate with First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! campaign aimed ending childhood obesity.
The gun-metal colored bridge spanning the Ohio River opened almost a half century ago with an 85,000 vehicle per day capacity. Today it carries nearly twice that and is rated functionally obsolete by the National Bridge Inventory.
As part of his jobs creation plan, President Obama will be making a trip to a bridge next week. You may not have heard of it, but the chances are you own a lot of things that have been across it. It's one of the busiest trucking routes in North America.
For 17 years, Linda and Roger Ward lived in their two-story dream house in a subdivision in Bastrop County, southeast of Austin, Texas. They loved to sit on their back deck and listen to the wind in the pines.
On the afternoon of Sunday, Sept. 4, everything changed.
A lot of parents might be worried about what's in their kids' sippy cups if they caught a recent report by TV talk show host Dr. Mehmet Oz about high levels of arsenic in popular brands of apple juice.
But the Food and Drug Administration and medical experts are attacking Oz's report, saying it's inaccurate and needlessly panics parents.
A large earth-mover carries PCB-contaminated soil from the Hudson River in New York to a burial pit at Waste Control Specialists near Andrews, Texas, in October 2009.
Credit Tom Fox / Courtesy of Dallas Morning News
Dallas billionaire Harold Simmons, shown here in his office in 2007, has given Texas Gov. Rick Perry roughly $3 million over the past decade.
Credit Win McNamee / Getty Images
Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry's ties to campaign donors have come under more scrutiny since Monday night's debate in Tampa, where he defended taking a contribution from a drug company and then mandating use of the company's new vaccine.
Presidential candidate Rick Perry's ties to campaign donors came under more scrutiny this week when he was challenged during Monday's Tea Party debate.
Perry defended taking a contribution from a drug company and then mandating use of the company's new vaccine. "I raised about $30 million, and if you're saying I can be bought for $5,000, I'm offended," he said.
Actually, the drug company, Merck, has given Perry $28,500 overall. But that's still pocket change compared with what Perry's truly big donors have given.
The economic indicators may all say that the United States is out of recession. But what is it like in the real world?
NPR's Robert Siegel traveled to Chillicothe, Ohio. Robert had visited in the fall of 2008, when the unemployment rate was 8 percent; he travelled there in January of 2010, when it was 12 percent. Today, it's 10.4 percent.
David Keith is a bit fidgety. Maybe that's because venture capitalists have asked to come see his carbon dioxide machine. Maybe it's because the project is running months behind schedule, as experiments so often do. Maybe it's because his critics say it'll never work.
Or maybe it's a taste of excitement, because it seems entirely possible that the trailer-truck-size machine that he's leaning up against is actually going to work.
"It's amazing to see all this talk and paper get turned into hardware," he says. "I really love it."
The pediatricians are on a roll. A federal judge in Florida has issued an injunction blocking a state law that would make doctors think twice before asking patients about guns.
Why would your doctor or your child's doctor want to know if you have guns at home? Well, having one in the house is a health risk. And the doctors want to be able to talk over those risks, and how to mitigate them.