At the Wright–Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio, some Ph.D. candidates are working on micro air vehicles, or tiny flying machines that are remotely piloted.
The micro machines are often "bio-inspired" — study a bird or an insect and then build one.
"If you close your eyes and think of a fat pigeon, that's about the biggest size that we want to use." says Leslie Perkins, who worked with the micro program at the Air Force Research Laboratory. She says the smallest would be about the size of a dragonfly.
Former Senator Bill Frist just came back from a fact finding-finding mission to the border of Kenya and Somalia. He and Jill Biden, the vice president's wife, visited the Dadaab camp, which was designed for 90,000 but its population of Somalian refugees has swollen to 430,000.
Only 13 percent of the American public approves of how Congress is doing its job, according to a new Gallup poll. The low-water mark ties the all-time low set this past December, when Americans grew tired of the lame-duck Congress.
Downtown Seattle is one earthquake away from a transportation catastrophe. The city's last big quake in 2001 seriously weakened an elevated highway called the Alaskan Way Viaduct, and engineers say another good shake could bring the double-decker structure down. Although the city has been living with the threat for 10 years, residents and politicians still can't agree what to do about it.
The end of high school and the beginning of college is a momentous time for any teenager — a time of shifting identities and evolving family relationships. Now imagine going through all of that in a country other than your own. Mandy Lu, 19, did just that. Here are her reflections on the two worlds she straddles — as a college student in Greensboro, N.C., and as the daughter of migrant workers from northeastern China.
A couple months ago, I went back to China for the first time since before I started college in the U.S. It was my first trip home in two years.
Originally published on Wed August 24, 2011 8:56 am
Texas Gov. Rick Perry only officially entered the race for the Republican presidential nomination Saturday and already by Tuesday he was raising plenty of eyebrows with his warning that he would consider it an act of treason if Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke took further extraordinary steps to boost the sagging economy.
A U.S. drone missile strike has reportedly killed at least four suspected militants and wounded two others in Miramshah, Pakistan, the main city in the tribal area of North Waziristan, according to Pakistani officials. The United States does not normally confirm its drone strikes.
From Islamabad, Julie McCarthy filed this report for our Newscast unit:
According to the office of the political agent, the drone missiles struck a house and a nearby parked car in Miramshah as residents were beginning the pre-dawn Ramadan fast.
With the sovereign debt crisis deepening, the leaders of France and Germany announced that they would seek a "true European economic government" made up of all the heads of state of eurozone countries but led by European Union President Herman Van Rompuy.
The AP reports that French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who met in France after a turbulent week in the world markets, also want the 17 nations to make a balanced budget part of their constitutions.
Seven months after it fired 800 employees, Evergreen Solar is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy relief. The company, which has received tens of millions of dollars in grants and incentives from the state of Massachusetts, will also face calls to return at least some of that money.
In the language of failed businesses, those calls are termed a "clawback" effort.
Despite media reports that food aid for Somalians is being stolen, a bipartisan congressional committee is calling for more U.S. dollars to be sent to the African country. Guest host Tony Cox speaks with members of the House Subcommittee on African and Global Health: Rep. Christopher Smith (R-N.J.) and Rep. Donald Payne (D-N.J.).
In a trickle-down effect, about $360 million spent by the United States on combat support and reconstruction contracts in Afghanistan ended up in enemy hands. As the AP reports, the U.S. military said the money was handed down by contractors to "the Taliban, criminals and local power brokers with ties to both."
After the Sept. 11 attacks, America responded immediately with a militarized strategy to defeat al-Qaida. But it quickly became clear to analysts in the Pentagon that using warfare alone couldn't counter the terrorist group. In 2005, a group of eclectic analysts at Central Command began looking for a broader, more holistic strategy they could use to target al-Qaida and Osama bin Laden.
Our colleague over at NPR's foreign desk, Corey Flintoff, filed this radio piece for today's Morning Edition on a rich tradition in India of making and chewing spice and nut packets wrapped in betel leaves called paan. It turns out that paan is being threatened by an influx of cheaper commercially prepared packets containing tobacco.
The Libyan opposition is the closest it's ever been to Tripoli since the civil war began six months ago. According to multiple news outlets, the rebels have slowly worked their way around the city and are now in a position to cut off supplies to Muammar Gaddafi's regime.
That news was paired with the apparent defection of Nassr al-Mabroul Abdullah, Libya's head of public security as well as news that Gaddafi's army fired its first scud missile.
A letter made public today by Britain's House of Commons puts into question just how much top brass at News of the World knew about illegal phone hacking practices. The letter, written by Clive Goodman, a former News of the World royal correspondent convicted of phone hacking, says the "practice was widely discussed in the daily editorial conference, until explicit reference to it was banned by the Editor."
"An Australian man was arrested in Oldham County [Ky.] on Monday in connection with a fake bomb that authorities said was placed around the neck of a teenager halfway around the world as part of an alleged extortion plot," the Louisville Courier-Journal reports.
Four years ago, Russian researchers made a bold, if unseen, move. From a submarine, deep beneath the icy waters of the North Pole, they planted a Russian flag on the ocean floor.
Russia has the world's longest Arctic border, which stretches more than 10,000 miles. And for Russia, that 2007 research mission was only the beginning of a major drive to claim ownership of vast portions of the Arctic, as well as the oil and gas deposits that are beneath.
As the country continues to dig out of the recession, many small businesses are still having trouble getting back on their feet. That's in part because most banks severely tightened lending to small firms.
In Milwaukee, Wis., one entrepreneur was turned down for credit by four banks and says the experience has actually helped her become a better business person.
The heat and humidity are relentless in Jones Island, a peninsula just south of downtown Milwaukee.
For centuries, Indians have chewed betel leaves, or paan, regardless of caste or economic lines. It's been the daily chew of everyone from the poorest farmer and rickshaw puller to the richest maharaja and gold merchant.
A plump little bundle of flavor, paan consists of various spices and sweeteners, spread on a betel leaf and folded into a neat packet.
But the leaf and the traditional ritual of preparing it are rapidly giving way to an even more dangerous habit: chewing tobacco.
Boston's Logan Airport will become the first in the nation this week to require every single traveler to go through a quick interview with security officials trying to spot suspicious behavior.
Until now, the so-called behavioral profiling — used successfully in Israel — has been used only sporadically in U.S. airports. As the system expands, so are questions about how behavioral profiling works, and how effective it might be in the U.S.
Unlike the usual security pat-down, the profiling process is what you might call a "chat-down."
The shutdown of mobile phone service in Bay Area subway stations has got constitutional experts hitting the law books.
Authorities for Bay Area Rapid Transit, or BART, blocked wireless signals in certain stations on August 11 in an attempt to prevent protests opposing the July 3 shooting death of Charles Blair Hill by BART police. Police say Hill came at them with a knife.