This weekend, a 10-mile stretch of heavily trafficked Interstate 405 in Los Angeles will be shut down for two days to demolish part of the Mulholland Drive bridge. Officials and residents are hoping for a repeat performance of a similar closure last year — known as Carmageddon — when much-hyped traffic woes never materialized.
The CIA tells Pakistan in advance about "broad areas" where it intends to take aim at suspected terrorists with drone strikes and interprets the other government's silence and clearing of airspace as "tacit consent," The Wall Street Journal reports this morning.
Saying its sources are "U.S. officials" and "two senior [Obama] administration officials," the Journal adds that:
And let's go next to West Africa, where logging rights to more than 60 percent of Liberia's virgin rainforests have been granted to forestry companies since President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf came to power six years ago. A British advocacy group says the majority of those contracts are unregulated and warns of fraud and mismanagement. The government of Liberia says it is commissioning a full-scale investigation.
People aren't getting much work done in parts of Europe, treading water there. Greek workers called a nationwide strike for today, protesting austerity measures. Last night, there were violent protests in Spain. Demonstrators launched a new movement dubbed Occupy Congress, surrounding the Spanish Parliament with a human chain before clashing with police.
China has just joined an exclusive, global club. They have launched their first aircraft carrier. The Liaoning is a Soviet ship that the Russian navy never actually put into service. To talk with us about the significance of this ship, we're joined from London by naval historian and defense analyst, Paul Beaver.
Can tigers and tourists coexist? The debate is rumbling through India, where the Supreme Court has temporarily banned tourism in core areas of the country's 41 tiger reserves. The unexpected and controversial ruling is aimed at protecting the last of India's 1,700 tigers.
Up until the late 1960s, big game hunters trod the forests of Rajasthan's Ranthambore National Park, part of a sprawling tiger reserve southwest of Delhi. Under the court's recent ban, spotting one of India's big cats — a tiger or the more elusive leopard — inside the park is forbidden.
If you don't think a third party candidate can play a role in a presidential election, just ask George HW Bush about Ross Perot or ask Al Gore about Ralph Nader.
This fall, the Libertarian Party will have a candidate on the ballot in at least 47 states. Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson probably won't be invited to the debates and pollsters don't usually even bother asking about him. But he could influence the outcome of a close election, as NPR Joel Rose reports.
NPR's business news business with some bad news for automakers.
Ford is cutting jobs in Europe. Sales in the European Union are down 12 percent this year; that's what a financial crisis will do for you. Bloomberg reports a few hundred workers, mostly in Germany and the United Kingdom, will be getting the axe. And the pioneering electric car maker Tesla Motors has announced that it is selling five million shares to raise much needed cash.
When you go into a restaurant, you probably give some thought to whether you're ordering a small, regular or large sandwich.
That makes sense.With widening waistlines across the land, many of us want to make a health-conscious choice. But are we really getting a small portion when we order a small sandwich?
Well, that depends.
University of Michigan marketing professor Aradhna Krishna has studied how labels impact how much we eat. In one experiment, she gave people cookies that were labeled either medium or large, and then measured how much they ate.
Nearly 80 years after the deaths of bank robbers Bonnie and Clyde, a few, shall we say, "tools of their trade" are going up for auction. Among them are his Colt .45 and her .38 Special, which could each go for hundreds of thousands of dollars.
When former Texas Ranger Frank Hamer eventually caught up with Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow in 1934, a newsreel announcer declared "the inevitable end: retribution. Here is Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker, who died as they lived: by the gun."
After fighting for power for nearly 50 years, a Colombian rebel group is now opting to negotiate a peace deal with President Juan Manuel Santos' government and bring the country's slow-burning but brutal conflict to an end.
Most of Colombia's 47 million people are supportive of talks, which begin soon in Oslo, Norway, before moving to Havana.
We're all familiar with the many sports terms that have moved into general usage: "par for the course," "slam-dunk," "curveball," "photo finish" and so on.
Curiously, though, every now and then something of the inverse occurs, and we get an expression which is commonly used that has been derived from sport, but never used in sport.
For example, that awful, overdone cliche, "level playing field." Never in my life have I ever heard anyone in sport — that is, somebody actually right there on the level playing field — say, "I'm glad we're playing on a level playing field."
Originally published on Wed September 26, 2012 4:47 am
The U.S. Supreme Court will not halt the execution of Texas death row inmate Cleve Foster, as it did three times in 2011. Foster, 48, has maintained he is innocent in the 2002 shooting death of Nyaneur Pal, 30.
"I didn't do it," Foster told the AP recently from death row. "And if it means I'm going to the gurney and the taking of my life, so be it."
Few places are more exotic in the imagination than Papua New Guinea. The romantic images it conjures up are the stuff of a National Geographic cover story, complete with deadly animals and, of course, cannibals.
But once I stepped off the plane, I entered a land that was wrestling with its past and its present.
The Sepik River basin, deep in the heart of the country, is a popular tourist destination. It's the perfect place for a jungle river tour, with dense greenery, massive birds and stops at tribal villages.
Democrats in Florida think they have a chance in November to take back some congressional seats now held by Republicans. Near the top of the list is the 26th Congressional District near Miami.
It's a largely Hispanic district currently represented by Republican David Rivera. Although just a freshman in Congress, Rivera is a well-known Miami politician. Before being elected to Congress, he served eight years in the Florida Legislature and shared a house with longtime friend Marco Rubio.
There's a new mystery on Broadway — one about the musical Rebecca, based on the Daphne du Maurier novel.
You can't see it yet on the New York stage. In fact, it hasn't even started rehearsals. That's because the production is short $4.5 million after one of its investors died before he could hand over the money.
Originally published on Tue September 25, 2012 3:19 pm
Cooks and servers, scientists and sales reps — those are some of the workers who say they do better after drinking coffee, according to a new study. Nurses, journalists, teachers, and business executives also said they're more effective at work if they have coffee, in a survey commissioned by Dunkin Donuts and CareerBuilder.
About a dozen men prayed recently at Darkei Shalom, a Hasidic Jewish synagogue in the working-class neighborhood of Otradnoye in north Moscow.
Except for the Star of David on its squat tower, the building is as plain and utilitarian as the linoleum on the floor. It sits — along with a Russian Orthodox church and a mosque — on a leafy stretch of land surrounded by towering apartment blocks.
Greece is in the fifth year of a painful recession, and it doesn't look like it's going to end anytime soon. One big problem the country faces is a shortage of strong companies that know how to compete on the world market. And nowhere is this more painfully apparent than in the challenges faced by the country's olive oil business.
Near the mountain city of Potosi in the southern highlands of Bolivia, the cone-shaped peak of Cerro Rico stands as a 15,800-foot monument to the tragedies of Spanish conquest. For centuries, Indian slaves mined the mountain's silver in brutal conditions to bankroll the Spanish empire.
Today, the descendants of those slaves run the mines. But hundreds of years of mining have left the mountain porous and unstable, and experts say it is in danger of collapsing.