Glaciers in the Alps of Europe pose a scientific mystery. They started melting rapidly back in the 1860s. In a span of about 50 years, some of the biggest glaciers had retreated more than half a mile.
But nobody could explain the glacier's rapid decline. Now, a new study from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory uncovers a possible clue to why the glaciers melted before temperatures started rising: Soot from the Industrial Revolution could have heated up the ice.
All over the country, lawyers who defend poor people in criminal cases have been sharing their stories about painful budget cuts. Some federal public defenders have shut their doors to new clients after big layoffs. And in many states, the public defense system has operated in crisis for years.
But an unprecedented recent court filing from the Justice Department has cheered the typically overburdened attorneys who represent the poor and could have dramatic implications for the representation of indigent defendants.
Asheville, a mountain town in North Carolina, is known for at least two important native sons: writers Thomas Wolfe, whose 1929 novel Look Homeward, Angel eviscerated some locals, and Charles Frazier, whose 1997 civil war novel Cold Mountain is set in the nearby hills. But there is also a little-known story of another writer — F. Scott Fitzgerald — who, along with his wife Zelda, had devastating connections to the town.
Dave Vesely is busy training his dog, Sharpy. She isn't learning to sit or fetch or even herd sheep; Sharpy is learning to find the nests of western pond turtles.
These turtles are sneaky. After laying their eggs in a small hole, they knead together dirt, leaves and their own urine to plug the opening. Once this mud dries, the nest looks like an unremarkable patch of ground.
The coal industry is trying to buff up its image in Texas. Texas is known for oil and gas, but it's also a big coal producer. And mining companies are paying for a boot camp for science teachers that has some educators and parents upset.
Laura Isensee, of member station KUHF in Houston, has more.
For the last in a summer series of grilled food from around the world, we head to Mexico, where a small doughy treat is found everywhere from street corner grills to high-end restaurants. It's called a tlacoyo (pronounced tla-COY-yo) and although it may sound novel, it's an ancient food that's older than Hernan Cortes.
After years of unwavering tenacity, Diana Nyad has completed her quest. At 64 years of age, she became the first person to swim from Cuba to Florida without a protective shark cage. That is more than a hundred miles of water full of sharks, venomous box jellyfish and treacherous currents.
Verizon Communications is paying $130 billion to buy part of its wireless unit from the British company Vodafone. It's one of the biggest deals in the history of the telecommunications business and underscores the growing profitability of wireless. Robert Siegel talks to NPR's Jim Zarroli about the deal.
Originally published on Tue September 3, 2013 10:11 am
A defiant Syrian President Bashar Assad said Monday that the international community has not produced evidence to substantiate claims that his regime used chemical weapons in a deadly attack last month.
In the fall of 1938, radio was huge. That Halloween, Orson Welles scared listeners out of their wits with his War of the Worlds. And on November 10, 1938 — the eve of the holiday that was known then as Armistice Day — the popular singer Kate Smith made history on her radio show. She sang a song that had never been sung before, written by the composer Irving Berlin.