Originally published on Fri August 5, 2011 8:35 am
Salt is a delicious devil ingrained in our diets, with implications for taste and health. Cutting back on salt is a challenge, even for the youngest eaters, it turns out, because processed foods contain so much of the stuff.
A day after U.S. markets posted their worst losses since the financial crisis, world markets followed suit. As we explained, yesterday, two big things were on the minds of investors as the big sell-off took place: Worry about a U.S. economy that experts say can swing back into recession and worry that the European debt crisis is spreading to Italy and Spain.
NASA's space shuttle may be down for the count, but robotic planetary missions are up, up and away. Before the end of this year, three new solar system probes are due to launch.
Juno To Jupiter
Why Jupiter? Well it's big. "It's the largest of all the planets. In fact, it's got more material in it than all the rest of the solar system combined," says Scott Bolton, a planetary scientist at the Southwest Research Institute and principal investigator for the Juno mission.
Residents of Joplin, Mo., have worked overtime to move debris and make a fresh start after one of the most destructive tornadoes demolished a third of the city in May. Still, many cling to what to outsiders might look like battered junk in order to keep memories of the event from slipping away.
Just after the storm, for example, Randy Brown walked away from his splintered home pushing a trashcan full of whatever he could salvage, possibly for a shrine.
Scientists have discovered features on Mars that could be signs of running water. If that's true, it would be big news for scientists looking for signs of life on Mars. After all, practically everywhere on Earth where there's running water, there's also life.
NPR's Richard Harris has the story.
RICHARD HARRIS: First off, we already know that Mars has water on it, lots of water. But Phil Christensen, a long-term Mars watcher from Arizona State University, says that knowledge isn't all that exciting to biologists.
Congress and the Obama administration found a way out of the stalemate that forced a partial shutdown of the Federal Aviation Administration. The temporary fix means a return to work for thousands of FAA workers and contractors idled by the shutdown. But the underlying issues that prevented agreement on a multi-year FAA bill remain unresolved.
San Diego city leaders who want to eliminate pensions for most new city employees are trying to get a measure on next year's municipal ballot. Such measures require thousands of voters to sign a petition saying they want to vote on the matter. But a labor-backed group is fighting the effort with a radio ad that links signing the petition to the possibility of identity theft.
Italy is the latest country to be in the cross hairs of investors alarmed by Europe's growing debt crisis. In many ways, Italy's financial situation is quite healthy. But it is being harmed by severe debt problems in neighboring countries and by the inability of European policymakers to act forcefully and in unison.
It's the end of a turbulent week that started with the U.S. government narrowly averting a failure to pay its bills. A market selloff that began some days before has continued all week. The Dow lost 512 points Thursday alone. European stock markets were down Friday. Asian markets fell, too.
Residents of the Syrian city of Hama are bracing for another day of shelling and shooting as the regime continues its military crackdown on the first Friday of Ramadan. Hama residents say they're trapped in their houses, often without electricity or water.
It didn't take very long for James "Jay" McKnight to know that the teenage girl watching him sing with his buddies on a Brooklyn street corner more than 50 years ago would one day become his wife.
McKnight was almost 19. The girl, Andrea, was 14. "I looked at a friend of mine who I was singing with, and I said, 'I'm going to marry her,' " Jay says. "You know what he told me? 'You're going to jail. She's too young.' "
One day when Andrea was by herself, Jay approached her and in a deep voice meant to impress, he asked her how she was doing.
Dog lovers in China and elsewhere can sleep easier tonight, after officials in Jiangmen withdrew a proposed ban on dogs in the city. The near-total ban, which would have resulted in thousands of dogs being either killed or transported to rural areas, was prompted by fears of rabies in the city of 3.8 million.
There are myriad reasons why it's hard to follow a healthy diet in this day and age, and the formidable obesity epidemic in this country is a testament to the fact that too many of us simply can't do it.
An unlikely story has emerged from the world of the NFL, which until recently exported only tales of internecine warfare among millionaires. But first: If you're a football fan — but love to hate the Pittsburgh Steelers — you may want to just click away now. Because what happened recently may diminish your ability to despise the Steel Curtain.
The day before Steelers secondary coach Ray Horton left to become the Arizona Cardinals' defensive coordinator, he stopped by the team complex for some final farewells.
Spiders and snakes don't bother me much. But scorpions? Get them away!
If you haven't spent time in the Southwest, you might be surprised to learn how common the creatures are there. And Arizona bark scorpions, in particular, can really do some damage, especially to kids.
When these scorpions sting, they inject a potent neurotoxin, which can be life-threatening for young children and infants. Severe reactions to the stings are seen in more than 200 children each year in Arizona.
Stock markets plummeted Thursday amid growing worries about the U.S. economy and Europe's mounting debt problems. In late-afternoon trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was down nearly 500 points, or 4 percent, and other indexes saw similar drops.
The U.S. economy barely grew in the first half of the year. And economists aren't expecting good news about jobs from the Labor Department on Friday.
These indicators and more are raising questions about whether the United States is headed for a double-dip recession
Congress has reached a bipartisan compromise to end the two-week partial shutdown of the Federal Aviation Administration that has idled 74,000 federal employees and construction workers and cost the government about $30 million a day in uncollected airline ticket taxes, the Senate Democratic leader said Thursday.
The deal would allow the Senate to approve a House bill extending the FAA's operating authority through mid-September, including a provision that eliminates $16.5 million in air service subsidies to 13 rural communities. A vote on the bill is expected Friday.
The sight of Hosni Mubarak bedridden and caged in a Cairo courtroom as his trial opened this week was perhaps an unbelievable moment for Egyptians who lived for decades under the former president and his feared secret police.
For others around the world, the images of Mubarak, his sons and other co-defendants held behind interlocking steel mesh have been shocking.
Defendant's cages like the one that housed the 83-year-old former leader may not be common outside Egypt, but they're still in use in parts of the Middle East, Latin America and Eastern Europe.
"Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says there is bipartisan compromise to end the partial shutdown of the Federal Aviation Administration that has left 74,000 transportation and construction workers idled," writes the AP.
The AP adds that Reid did not specify details in his statement, but other officials say the Senate could approve a House bill as soon as Friday.
This story is still developing. We'll update as we hear more.
The stock market is finishing its worst day since the financial crisis.
The Dow Jones industrial average plunged more than 500 points Thursday. Investors are concerned that the U.S. economy will enter another recession and that Europe's debt problems are not closed to being solved.
Major stock indexes fell more than 4 percent.
The Dow is closing with a loss of 513 points, or 4.3 percent, to 11,384.
The S&P 500 is down 60, or 4.8 percent, to 1,200. The Nasdaq is down 137, or 5.1 percent, to 2,556.
Earlier this week, the online gossip site Gawker reported that Newt Gingrich — a candidate for the GOP presidential nomination — may have paid to get most of the 1.3 million followers of his Twitter account.
Gingrich's campaign has denied the accusation. But on Twitter, numbers are essential — the more you have the better.
Ticks may be most notorious for spreading Lyme disease, but the tiny arachnids pass around plenty of other nasty diseases. Now they've got a new sickening hitchhiker to boast about — a just-discovered species of the ehrlichia bacterium that's making people ill in the Upper Midwest.
Is Budweiser puttin' on the Ritz? The self-crowned King of Beers will soon be sold in a newly designed can — one whose graphics are dominated by a bow tie. And the can's new look was created by a London-based design firm.