The streets of Madrid are sizzling in the summer. The sun bears down on everything — including the solar panels dotting houses, offices and even parking meters. Solar energy makes sense in Spain, and it's attracted people like Juan Casanovas.
Casanovas says he first became interested in the solar industry in 2003 "because it's a democratic way to generate electricity." He says people can become self-sufficient in energy.
Let's go back to the beginning — all the way to Adam and Eve, and to the question: Did they exist, and did all of humanity descend from that single pair?
According to the Bible (Genesis 2:7), this is how humanity began: "The Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul." God then called the man Adam, and later created Eve from Adam's rib.
U.S. stock benchmarks took another big hit Monday, in the first day of trading since America's credit was downgraded by Standard and Poor's rating agency late Friday. The Dow Jones Industrial index closed below the 11,000 mark for the first time since late 2010, ending the day at 10,811.
The Standard and Poor's 500 Index, meant to reflect the U.S. domestic economy, sank by 6.7 percent Monday. According to Bloomberg, all 500 of the stocks in the index declined on the same day — something that hadn't happened since at least 1996.
The Obama administration is giving school districts a waiver from some mandates of the No Child Left Behind education law.
The law requires schools to reach higher goals each year, and by 2014, it demands that every student be graded proficient in reading and math. The administration, which has repeatedly called on Congress to rewrite the legislation, says the law is overly punitive.
In an announcement on Monday, Education Secretary Arne Duncan opened the door for states to avoid the penalties and deadlines of the current No Child Left Behind Law.
Cars and buildings were burning and stores were looted in areas across London Monday, on the third night of riots and violence in the British capital. "Area is an absolute war zone," pub manager Alan McCabe told the BBC in Croydon.
Prime Minister David Cameron is returning early from his summer vacation to help get the riots under control. He will meet with police and Home Office officials Tuesday, part of his "COBRA" emergency response team. The group takes its name from the Cabinet Office Briefing Room in which it meets.
Even though rising cigarette prices and new restrictions on smoking in public places have helped to make a dent in smoking rates in the U.S., there are still plenty of heavily addicted smokers out there who remain at great risk of developing cancer from their habit.
The political blame game that has followed Standard & Poor's U.S. debt downgrade has been dismally predictable.
Democrats point fingers at the Tea Party wing of the Republican Party. Republicans condemn President Obama for an inability to lead. And S&P has been alternately hailed for calling out Washington's budgeting dysfunction and excoriated for overstepping in its ratings role.
A ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit is being seen as a victory against "patent trolls," companies that acquire intellectual property for the sole purpose of extracting licensing fees or settlements, despite having no intention of using the protected technology or idea themselves.
Science has failed parents, at least when it comes to determining how to toilet-train their children. There's scant data on whether it's better to potty train early or late, or whether it's OK to go diaper-free with "elimination communication," which involves whisking tiny babies off to the potty whenever they pee, which can be two or three times an hour.
Standard & Poor's moved to downgrade housing lenders Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and a handful of insurance companies Monday — all in connection to Friday's credit downgrade of long-term U.S. debt.
There's a lot of speculation about how much these risk downgrades are weighing on stock markets, and whether they will continue to ripple through the economy. But, there are systemic reasons ratings matter less than they have in recent years.
Conventional wisdom says a U.S. downgrade would make Treasuries riskier. It would make yields — or interest rates — rise.
Scientists have long thought that Earth's continents once formed a "supercontinent" called Pangaea. Now they've found evidence that parts of North America and East Antarctica were joined in a supercontinent called Rodinia 1.1 billion years ago — even earlier than Pangaea.
"I can go to the Franklin Mountains in West Texas and stand next to what was once part of Coats Land in Antarctica," said geochemist Staci Loewy, who led the work. "That's so amazing."
A Navy SEAL from Massachusetts is among the 30 Americans who died Saturday when insurgents shot down their helicopter after a battle in Afghanistan. Kevin Houston was one of 22 members from the elite U.S. Navy SEAL Team 6 on board. Some of Houston's classmates gathered over the weekend to remember their friend.
New details are emerging about the downing of a Chinook military helicopter in Afghanistan early Saturday that killed 30 U.S. service members and 8 Afghans. Of the American casualties, 22 were Navy SEALS. The NATO mission in Afghanistan released a statement about the crash Monday.
In the rest of the developed world, the downgrade of United States debt is seen as an important marker in a long process that will likely harm both the world economy and America's reputation as a fiscal steward.
"There's real fear that, given the mounting challenges facing the administration and the stand-off in Congress, this could really weaken U.S. influence and the U.S. role in the world," says Simon Tilford, chief economist at the Centre for European Reform in London. "For most Europeans, that's not a prospect they welcome."
Today, British tabloidThe Daily Mirrorpublished a report that alledged new recordings of Jackie Onassis reveal that she believed President Lyndon B. Johnson had a hand in the assassination of her husband John F. Kennedy.
Syria's President Bashar Assad has removed the country's defense minister and replaced him with the army chief of staff, according to Syria's state-run news agency. The change, one of several in key government posts, comes during Syria's "brutal crackdown on a five-month-old uprising" against Assad, the AP reports.
That crackdown is bringing pressure on Syria and Assad from nearly all quarters. As Eyder reported earlier, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait have now recalled their ambassadors. Here's a quick rundown of other developments:
The White House announced that President Obama will deliver a speech today at 1 p.m. ET.
The AP reports that Obama will likely address the first downgrade of the country's credit rating in history. And the president is also expected to talk about the 30 U.S. troops killed in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan on Saturday.
You can listen to the president live on NPR.org and CSpan will stream video of it. We will live blog it here, too.
Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced that faced with outcry from the sates about the unrealistic requirements of the education law No Child Left Behind, the Obama administration will grant waivers to states.
In an interview with CNBC, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said Standard& Poor's "has shown really terrible judgment and they've handled themselves very poorly," when it downgraded the United States' rating.
"They've shown a stunning lack of knowledge about basic U.S. fiscal budget math. And I think they drew exactly the wrong conclusion from this budget agreement," Geithner added.
At the dawn of Western philosophy and science, some 2,700 years ago, Heraclitus, declared that, "the world bubbles forth." There is, in this fragment of thought, a natural magic, a creativity beyond the entailing laws of modern physics. I believe Heraclitus was right about the evolution of the biosphere and human life. We live beyond entailing law in a natural magic we co-create.
Leslie Savan blogs for The Nation about media and politics.
Right before a break on The Daily Rundown the other day, host Chuck Todd was talking about the debt deal and mentioned "unemployment lines." Then he announced, "Coming up: Did Washington take its eye off the ball of what really matters?"
Diana Nyad attempted it once before. It was 1978 when she was 28, but 42 hours into what's supposed to be a 60-hour swim, her team pulled the plug. Nyad, a world-class endurance swimmer, had been defeated by nature: the water temperature was a tad cool and the wind produced sizable waves.
David Kenner is an associate editor at Foreign Policy.
Something was stirring in the Syrian city of Hama. The Assad regime appeared to be losing control; it had issued vague warnings about an Islamist takeover, but had gone ominously silent for over a week. A government-planned trip to the city was canceled. Syrian officials warned privately that any attempt by intrepid journalists to visit Hama would be "life-threatening."