Originally published on Fri December 12, 2014 5:29 pm
We've been hearing all week about a report released by the Senate Intelligence Committee. It detailed brutal interrogation techniques used by the CIA after Sept 11. Among the questions it raised are whether these techniques are legal, effective and morally acceptable.
For our seriesThis Week's Must Read, author Laila Lalami grapples with these questions by turning to literature.
Originally published on Sun December 14, 2014 1:37 pm
Updated at 5:00 p.m. ET
A shooter wounded two boys and a girl outside a high school in Portland, Ore., in what police said may be a gang-related assault.
The incident occurred near Rosemary Anderson High School. The Oregonian reports that a 17-year-old was shot in the back and another person, a female, was shot in the chest. The newspaper did not give specifics on the third victim.
Rep. John Dingell, the longest-serving member of Congress in history, was admitted to a hospital in Washington, D.C., as a precaution Friday, one day after casting the final vote in his nearly 60 years in Congress.
The Michigan Democrat's office didn't give details on Dingell's condition, other than to say he was under observation and "resting comfortably." Dingell visited a doctor's office earlier this week, after he fell down and bruised his hip.
As the CIA and Senate Intelligence Committee clash over whether so-called enhanced interrogation techniques are considered torture, another question arises: Have depictions of torture on TV and film helped convince us that it works?
Consider this warning that recently greeted viewers of ABC's political soap opera, Scandal:
"The following drama contains adult content. Viewer discretion is advised."
Originally published on Fri December 12, 2014 3:49 pm
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says it has found the remains of a 19th century passenger steamer that sank near the present-day Golden Gate Bridge at the entrance to San Francisco Bay, killing 128 people, mostly immigrants from China and Japan.
Inbound from Hong Kong, the City of Rio de Janeiro, which came to be known as the "Titanic of the Golden Gate," went down in dense fog after hitting submerged rocks early on the morning of Feb. 22, 1901.
Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 5:20 am
Misunderstandings about whether some types of job-based coverage disqualify consumers from signing up for subsidized insurance through the health law's marketplaces may lead some people to buy skimpier employer plans instead.
In recent weeks, some of the people called assisters, who help shoppers find coverage, say consumers are being told by employers that their bare-bones plans meet the minimum requirements under the law. That kind of insurance would cover preventive benefits, for instance, but might leave out prescription drugs and emergency care.
Originally published on Sat December 13, 2014 9:10 am
Farm workers in America have long been among the nation's poorest paid and most abused workers. But conditions have been improving for Florida tomato pickers, and those advances may soon reach other farm fields, according to the annual report released Thursday by the Fair Food Standards Council, or FFSC, a labor oversight group based in Sarasota, Fla.
Originally published on Fri December 12, 2014 1:50 pm
The Great Recession has widened the wealth gap among white, black and Hispanic Americans, with median net worth in white households increasing to 13 times that for African-Americans, a new Pew Research Center study shows.
The study also shows that from 2007 to 2013, the wealth of white households has grown to 10 times that of Hispanic households.
Originally published on Fri December 12, 2014 3:07 pm
A smartphone app will soon serve as an official driver's license for many Iowans.
"We are really moving forward on this," Paul Trombino, director of the state's Department of Transportation, told Gov. Terry Brandstad during an agency budget hearing this week. "The way things are going, we may be the first in the nation."
Originally published on Fri December 12, 2014 4:11 pm
If you look at it one way, these are the best of times for organic egg and milk producers. They can barely keep up with demand. Prices for their products are high. Profits are rolling in. Operations are expanding.
But that expansion is provoking suspicion, name-calling, and even clandestine investigations within the organic "community" because some organic advocates believe that some of these megafarms are not truly organic.
Originally published on Fri December 12, 2014 1:34 pm
Before Mickey Mouse, there was Oswald the Lucky Rabbit.
Only 25 seconds of Empty Socks, a Walt Disney cartoon featuring Oswald, was thought to exist. But archivists at Norway's National Library conducting an inventory at the library's vault in Mo i Rana, in the Arctic Circle, found an almost complete version of the film.
Originally published on Fri December 12, 2014 1:34 pm
The airspace over London has been severely restricted because of a "computer failure," Eurocontrol, the European flight safety body, said on Friday.
NPR's Ari Shapiro tells us many flights are expected to be grounded for more than three hours.
"The U.K.'s National Air Traffic Control Center experienced a mid-afternoon power failure," Ari reports. "That forced Heathrow and other airports in the London area to stop all air traffic in and out. Heathrow is Europe's busiest airport, so this will have ripples all across the continent."
Originally published on Fri December 12, 2014 11:44 am
Plagued by controversy and sharp drops in attendance and stock prices, SeaWorld has announced that CEO Jim Atchison will step aside.
U-T San Diego reports that the amusement park also plans on cutting an unspecified number of jobs. Atchison, according to the newspaper, will receive a $2.4 million payout and become vice chairman of the board.
Chairman David F. D'Alessandro will take on the job of chief executive officer while a permanent replacement is sought.
Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 10:16 am
The trillions of microbes that live in our guts and on our skin have the power to affect our health in big ways — from stomach disorders and autoimmune diseases to acne and mood. The secret life of what scientists call our microbiota has remained largely obscured, however, because many of the organisms in the gut can't be grown in a lab.
Originally published on Fri December 12, 2014 11:14 am
Three-time Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Michel du Cille died Thursday while on assignment in Liberia for The Washington Post. The newspaper says du Cille collapsed while walking on foot from a village in Liberia's Bong County. He was taken to a hospital but died of an apparent heart attack.
Originally published on Fri December 12, 2014 12:37 pm
U.N. talks on global warming are wrapping up in Peru, but a divide between rich and poor countries and how to divvy up targets to reduce greenhouse gases is a key sticking point that has remained unresolved.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has acknowledged that the issue is "hard fought and ... complex," but he says it is crucial that the targets be agreed on before next year's summit in Paris. The talks in Peru end today.