Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 7:16 am
Is the National Security Agency collecting cellphone tracking information on millions of Americans?
After a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing, we still can't be sure. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., has been trying to get intelligence officials to confirm or deny the existence or nonexistence of such a program.
Remember, records of where your cellphone is located give a pretty good idea of where the owners are. Wyden asked NSA Director Keith Alexander about that at Thursday's hearing, and Alexander said, no — not under "the current program."
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid raised the possibility that the Senate might be able to finish its work on the budget bill by the end of the day, sending it to the House sooner rather later. If Republicans went along, that would give the House more time to act to avert a government shutdown next week.
Perhaps predictably, Republicans didn't go along. Sen. Mike Lee of Utah, and Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, in particular.
One thing you can say about the diminutive speckled sea louse: it's always on time.
Scientists studying the tiny crustacean, a marine cousin of the wood-louse, found that it runs not one, but two internal clocks. Not only does the creature have a circadian rhythm, or so called "body clock" like most land-dwelling animals, including humans, but it also has a circatidal clock that follows the 12.4-hour cycle of the tide.
A former encampment. Fresno officials have dismantled three shantytowns.
Credit Kirk Siegler / NPR
Cinnamon, as she's called, serves as the de facto "mayor" of a homeless encampment of an estimated 60 people near Fresno's downtown. It's not a place for children, she says, but overall, as a single woman, she feels safe there.
Any day now, Fresno plans to raze a large homeless encampment that's grown up near downtown. The poor, farm-dependent city in California's Central Valley has one of the highest per capita homeless populations in the country.
In recent weeks, city officials there have dismantled three other sprawling shantytowns. The moves have displaced hundreds of people and sparked controversy.
Underneath Highway 180
Fresno is one of the poorest places in America. One in 4 people here live below the poverty line, and the recession only made things worse.
Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 8:29 pm
Fast-food giant McDonald's has made a commitment to stop marketing sodas as a beverage option in kids' Happy Meals.
Instead, the chain has committed to market and promote only milk, water and juice with the children's meals.
Now, if parents order a Coke or Sprite with their child's Happy Meal, they won't be turned down. But sodas will no longer be marketed or promoted visually in any of McDonald's advertisements or in-store visuals.
An online collection has raised more than $145,000 for a man who stumbled onto a pile of money and turned it over to police.
Glen James' story of a good deed is just one of many making headlines. It may not be exactly brand new, but public interest does seem to be piqued these days by ordinary folks making what are seen as extraordinary ethical decisions.
Some, however, question if airing this kind of "good" news is actually good.