The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has for the first time implicated a connection between "fracking" and contamination of ground water. The controversial method of natural gas and oil extraction consists of injecting high-pressure water and chemicals into the ground in order to more easily access the oil and gas. Robert Siegel speaks with NPR's Elizabeth Shogren about the report.
Originally published on Thu December 8, 2011 12:59 pm
That the Central Intelligence Agency had a so-called "black site" in Romania was well known. It was known that it was in one of those secret prisons that intelligence officials conducted harsh interrogations with major Al-Qaida operatives, including Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammad.
Today, the result of a joint investigation with German public television, the AP reports it has found the site where Mohammad was held and interrogated. And it's not where you would think it is. The AP reports on the prison in Bucharest known as "Bright Light":
Newt Gingrich once called himself "the most seriously professorial politician since Woodrow Wilson."
But that was 1995, and the "Contract with America" co-author had just helped to propel Republicans into power in the House for the first time in 40 years, and Gingrich himself into the speaker's role. Even the rarely modest Gingrich had reason to gloat.
Just two years later, of course, he had become the first speaker ever punished by the House for ethics violations, and the end was in sight for both his leadership and congressional career.
Calling someone a "rat" is no compliment, but a new study shows that rats actually are empathetic and will altruistically lend a helping paw to a cage mate who is stuck in a trap.
Not only will rats frantically work to free their trapped cage mate; they will do so even when there's a tempting little pile of chocolate chips nearby, the study reveals. Instead of leaving their pal in the trap and selfishly gobbling the candy all by themselves, rats will free their cage mate and share the chocolate.
Attorney General Eric Holder got a bruising reception from the Republican-dominated House Judiciary Committee that put the Justice Department on the defensive.
Holder answered questions about the botched gun trafficking operation known as "Fast and Furious" in which federal agents tried to build cases against drug cartels. Instead, they lost track of hundreds of weapons that turned up at crime scenes along the Southwest border.
Originally published on Thu December 8, 2011 10:40 am
Are shoppers getting their money's worth when they choose a salmon filet wearing an eco-sticker?
A study released this week by the University of Victoria's Seafood Ecology Research Group found that most eco-labels on farmed seafood don't reflect better fish farming practices than other products on the market.
Careening into your ears like the theme to a bank-heist flick is "Lonely Boy," the first single from El Camino. Except the lyric tucked inside the roaring, curve-hugging melody isn't about anything so action-packed as robbing a bank or making a getaway. Instead, Dan Auerbach sings about stasis: "I got a love that keeps me waiting." And, being the sensible raucous rocker that he is, Auerbach is willing to wait out his love, because he knows in his heart that she's worth it.
Originally published on Thu December 8, 2011 10:15 am
Nothing ruins a nice cruise or a gluttonous run down the office party buffet like the norovirus.
The obnoxious virus causes the euphemistically-named stomach flu and is one of the most common foodborne illnesses. If you catch it, there's no drug to make you better. You pretty much have to ride out the diarrhea, vomiting and stomach pain for a few days.
Originally published on Thu December 8, 2011 10:16 am
A vote to move forward on the nomination of former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray to run the new federal consumer protection agency fell seven votes short in the Senate this morning. Republicans banded together to make sure there weren't the 60 votes needed to invoke cloture and move on to a vote on the nomination itself.
A new poll released Wednesday by Time magazine and CNN finds Newt Gingrich staying ahead of Mitt Romney in three out of the four states with January primaries or caucuses.
Gingrich's lead in the key primary states has sparked private discussions among President Obama's advisers about the former House speaker's "realistic chance" of winning the Republican presidential nomination, CBS News reported.
Originally published on Thu December 8, 2011 6:26 am
It's a widely expected move, but still noteworthy:
"The European Central Bank cut interest rates by a quarter of a point on Thursday to counter the twin threats of recession and deflation in the euro zone, and is expected to unveil fresh measures to help banks hurt by the bloc's debt crisis," Reuters reports.
The lower part of Michigan is shaped like a mitten, which helps people recognize the state on a map. But now nearby Wisconsin has an official website featuring a picture of a mitten, saying Wisconsin is mitten-shaped. That might be true, if the thumb is smashed. Michiganders are furious, and officials accuse Wisconsin of "mitten envy."
Originally published on Thu December 8, 2011 11:11 am
Former New Jersey senator and governor Jon Corzine, who led MF Global as it spectacularly collapsed in a bankruptcy that has left $1.2 billion in client money missing, is due at a House Agriculture Committee hearing this morning to face questions about what happened.
Good morning. I'm Linda Wertheimer with news of a cocktail on a stick. It's coming from an ice cream company - popsicles laced with booze, dreamed up during a night of drinking and eating ice cream, says a spokeswoman. They're trying out margarita and cosmopolitan flavors.
And KPHO-TV in Phoenix says kids can't tell they're spiked by looking at them. That's another reason they'll only be sold at liquor stores. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.
"The Air Force dumped the incinerated partial remains of at least 274 American troops in a Virginia landfill," The Washington Post reports this morning, adding that it's "far more than the military had acknowledged, before halting the secretive practice three years ago, records show."
British mystery writer P.D. James is best known for her creation Adam Dalgliesh — a pensive, private Scotland Yard detective shaped by his own personal tragedy. Dalgliesh populates many of James' stories, but not her latest. In her new book, Death Comes to Pemberley, P.D. James inhabits the world of Jane Austen — specifically, Pride and Prejudice.
"I had this idea at the back of my mind that I'd like to combine my two great enthusiasms," James tells NPR's Linda Wertheimer. "One is for the novels of Jane Austen and the second is for writing detective fiction."
Hood Memorial Hospital, in Amite, La., hasn't been full in at least two decades. Some people say that makes it's a perfect target for efforts to reduce federal spending.
On an average day, fewer than four of the hospital's 25 beds are occupied. Last year, Hood posted a $700,000 loss on its $7.5 million in total operating expenses. One of the few bright spots on Hood's balance sheet: the extra money it receives from the federal government through a program for critical access hospitals — small facilities that receive a higher Medicare reimbursement rate to help keep them afloat.
There are many flashpoints between Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney as they battle for the Republican presidential nomination. Most of them are about character or leadership: Who can beat President Obama? Who's the real conservative?
But Gingrich and Romney do have one big policy difference — and that's on immigration.