From washed-away roads in North Carolina to historic bridges flooded out in Vermont, Hurricane Irene took its toll up and down the Eastern Seaboard.
But the East is not the only region to suffer from natural disasters this year. There was a string of deadly tornadoes in the South this spring, floods along the Mississippi and in the Upper Midwest, and last May's devastating tornado in Joplin, Mo.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's George Mathis may have started a panic earlier today, when he wrote the headline "Farmville is burning." But he quickly clarified that this was an actual, not a virtual, fire:
Before you rush off to rescue your Facebook plantation, know that this Farmville is an unincorporated area in Gordon County, located in northwest Georgia.
Three weeks after a conviction for child sexual abuse, polygamist leader Warren Jeffs remains in critical but stable condition in a Texas hospital.
Jeffs, 55, was rushed from prison Sunday night to a hospital in Tyler, Tx. Officials there refuse to discuss Jeffs' condition but a spokeswoman for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) says Jeffs was hospitalized after a three-day fast.
In Vermont, Tropical Storm Irene will not be remembered as overhyped. The flash floods its pounding rains created have proved historic. Scott Whittier of the National Weather Service told Vermont Public Radio they will compared the floods of 1973 and the "monumental flood" of 1927.
In Colombia, a major scandal involving the country's intelligence service is unfolding. Colombia's chief prosecutor says the spy service bugged the Supreme Court, intercepted the phones of its justices and followed their every move.
Prosecutors also say the illegal surveillance was directed from the offices of former President Alvaro Uribe, who in his eight years in power was Washington's closest ally in Latin America.
The dissident artist Ai Weiwei has struggled with the Chinese government for years. Earlier this year, the conflict came to a head, when Ai was detained by the government for about 80 days. He was let go under the condition that he would not talk to the press.
Pamela Landry didn't get any storm-surge damage during Hurricane Katrina, but the wrath of the storm's wind proved furious. She lives far away from the ocean in Picayune, Miss., in Pearl River County, about 45 miles from New Orleans and from Gulfport.
Like many low-income residents in Mississippi, Landry lived in a 1960s mobile home when the hurricane hit on Aug. 29, 2005. Katrina was not kind to her trailer, and her county got little help from the state.
When it comes to last year's Affordable Care Act, there's not much people agree on. Except, says Kaiser Family Foundation President and CEO Drew Altman, this one thing: "It really does help the uninsured; 32 million uninsured people will get coverage."
Irene knocked out power to millions and threatened transportation systems up and down the east coast. The restoration of most subway and bus lines in New York City helped avoid the commuting nightmare that some had feared, but the storm will leave many without power for days.
Hurricane Irene caused havoc for many rail lines, forcing crews to face a maze of downed trees and branches on the tracks and restoring power to some lines.
As part of the traditional celebration of the end of Ramadan, Afghan President Hamid Karzai has pardoned prisoners from Kabul's juvenile detention center. This time it was two dozen youths who had been arrested for planned or attempted suicide bomb attacks, and many were under the age of 12.
Karzai presented the captured suicide bombers on national television — the youngest only 8 years old.
Japan is about to get a new prime minster — the sixth in five years.
As early as Tuesday, Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda could formally get the job.
He all but captured the post Monday when he won the leadership race of the ruling Democratic Party of Japan. The challenges he faces will be huge. They include helping Japan recover from last spring's devastating nuclear and natural disasters and winning over a skeptical public.
The World Athletics Championships have been roiled by controversy. Two days in a row elite runners have been disqualified and medals have been awarded by default.
Today, Cuban hurdler Dayron Robles was stripped of his gold medal in the 110 meter hurdles after he seemingly reached for China's Liu Xiang with his right hand. Robles was disqualified after China launched a complaint. The gold went to the United States' Jason Richardson who finished 13.16 seconds.
Six years ago Monday, Hurricane Katrina blew up the U.S. Gulf Coast, killed more than 1,800 people and left hundreds of thousands homeless. The story of the coast's recovery varies from place to place.
For some, life is back to normal. Along the Mississippi coast, thousands affected by Katrina still live in battered houses. They've been trapped by a technicality. Their homes were damaged by wind gusts rather than Katrina's storm surge.
In Biloxi, railroad tracks separate some of the neighborhoods that got the most help from those who got little or no aid.
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram brings a bit of curious news this morning: A Tarrant County juror was sentenced to two days of community service after he pleaded guilty to four counts of contempt of court.
Note: Wilhelm Furtwangler's last name is typically spelled with an umlaut over the 'a' character. The npr website does not support characters with umlauts over characters. A variation of Furtwangler's name without the umlaut is spelled Furtwaengler.
Wilhelm Furtwaengler's name may be hard for Americans to pronounce, but the reason this great conductor isn't so well-remembered here is that he chose to remain in Germany during WWII, though he was never a member of the Nazi Party, and was exonerated by a postwar tribunal.
Algeria's state news agency is reporting that the government there says members of Moammar Gadhafi's family are now in that country, The Associated Press and other news outlets say.
It's thought that they include the ousted Libyan leader's wife, two sons and a daughter. NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro, who is in Tripoli, says it's also being reported that some of Gadhafi's grandchildren may also be in the group.
Alan Krueger, who President Obama today nominated to lead the White House Council of Economic Advisers, favors "the idea of having a new jobs tax credit" as one way to get the labor market moving again, he told Bloomberg radio last month.
"If companies increase their payroll by an employee, they could get a $5,000 tax cut to offset their additional hiring costs," Krueger said.
The search for Yvonne, the six-year-old cow that dashed to freedom just before she was to be transported to a slaughterhouse in southern Germany, has been called off. The cow has become a star, drawing international attention to Zangberg, the Bavarian commune where she made her escape.
Originally published on Mon August 29, 2011 11:46 am
The International Space Station may have to fly solo this fall. All of the astronauts, NASA said today, might have to leave the station in late November if Russian spacecrafts can't make trips to the station.
The AP reports:
If Russian Soyuz rockets remain grounded beyond mid-November, there will be no way to launch new crews before the current residents are supposed to leave.
A Russian supply ship was destroyed during liftoff last week. The rocket is similar to what's used to launch astronauts.
Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) said before Hurricane Irene rolled over the mid-Atlantic and up through New England that the Federal Emergency Management Agency does more harm than good because "all they do is come in and tell you what to do and [what you] can't do" and add billions of dollars to the federal deficit.
Plus, he added, the agency did not perform well after Hurricane Katrina pummeled New Orleans' levees six years ago — devastating that city.
Wisconsin politics — which hasn't been pretty of late — has made its way into a local Labor Day parade. The organizers of the Wausau Labor Day parade announced they would not let Republican lawmakers take part in the Sept. 5 display. The parade is organized by 30 local unions.
Whatever you think about the merits of boxing as a sport for adults, pediatricians say children have no place in the ring.
Citing the risk of injuries, including concussions, the American Academy of Pediatrics and its Canadian counterpart, the Canadian Paedeatric Society, have come out in opposition to boxing as a sport for children and adolescents.
Pediatricians should strongly discourage parents from letting their kids box and suggest sports "that do not encourage intentional head injuries," says a new policy statement from the two national groups for pediatricians.
Among the many photos and videos taken by people up and down the East during and after Hurricane Irene passed through are three clips taken Sunday in Mount Holly, Vt., as local firefighters rescued a couple from their vehicle.
WPTZ-TV of Plattsburgh, N.Y., has them posted here. It says they were taken by "u local contributor Melody Bothers Katrobos."