With the skyline of Youngstown, Ohio, in the distance, a brine injection well owned by Northstar Disposal Services LLC is seen in Youngstown on Jan. 4. The company has halted operations at the well, which disposes of brine used in gas and oil drilling, after a series of small earthquakes hit the Youngstown area.
Credit Ron Stone / Getty Images
For decades, scientists have known that activities like mining, drilling and building dams can create earthquakes. As early as the 1960s, observers noted that deep-earth gold mining changed the stresses in rocks and caused earthquakes. Above, miners drill into the rock at the Sub Nigel East Gold Mine in Johannesburg in 1961, more than 6,000 feet below ground.
Small earthquakes in Ohio and Arkansas associated with hydraulic fracturing for natural gas have taken many people by surprise. Gas industry executives say there's no hard evidence that their activities are causing these quakes. But some scientists say it's certainly possible; in fact, people have been causing quakes for years.
In the 1960s, geologists realized that gold mines in South Africa had created small earthquakes. Caverns dug into the earth thousands of feet below the surface collapsed. The "pancake" effect caused quakes — in one case a magnitude-5.2 temblor.
For two decades, the Pentagon has maintained that it could fight two wars at the same time. But as the Obama administration releases its new military strategy Thursday, some question whether the Pentagon will abandon that long-held commitment.
An early draft of the Pentagon's new strategy, The New York Times reported, said the military would only be able to win one war and spoil an adversary's efforts in a second war.
Google is "downgrading the search result ranking of the company's own Web browser, Google Chrome, for 60 days," as PC World reports, because some bloggers ending up being paid to mention Chrome during a recent ad campaign.
The story of how 18-year-old Sarah Dawn McKinley shot and killed a man who authorities say was breaking into her house on Saturday has been getting lots of attention because of the 911 phone call she made and the already tragic circumstances surrounding the incident.
McKinley, of Blanchard, Okla., called 911 to say that a man was trying to get inside her mobile home and that she feared for her life and that of her 3-month-old son. She asked the 911 operator if she could shoot him if he got inside.
Originally published on Wed January 4, 2012 4:09 pm
Several former rivals of Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann were quick to applaud the now-suspended campaign run by the only woman to have sought the 2012 Republican presidential nomination.
Jon Huntsman said Bachmann added an "energetic and passionate voice" to the campaign. Mitt Romney called Bachmann a friend with a "titanium spine." And Newt Gingrich extolled Bachmann's "considerable talent" and "great courage."
In the past two games, Pittsburgh safety Ryan Clark has 18 tackles, 14 of them unassisted. But Clark won't be playing when the Steelers face Denver at Mile High Stadium Sunday, due to his sickle cell trait condition.
Originally published on Wed January 4, 2012 4:11 pm
When the Pittsburgh Steelers start the NFL playoffs Sunday with a road game in Denver, they'll do it without free safety Ryan Clark. That's because Clark, who has 100 tackles and the confidence of his coaches, also has sickle cell trait, which can cause severe complications at high altitudes.
People without health insurance don't get enough preventive care — simple but important things like vaccinations and blood tests.
But surely having insurance every now and then is better than none at all, because people can get caught up on their tests when they are covered, right?
That's a widely held view, and one that would be good news to the millions of people who go on and off health insurance each year. Some of them are losing or changing jobs. Others slide on and off Medicaid as they take on temporary work, marry or divorce.
Doris Phua, chief executive of Da Vinci, answers questions during a press conference in Beijing in July, after CCTV accused it of selling fake furniture at high prices. Later, the company said it paid the CCTV reporter more than $150,000 through a public relations company to halt further stories.
Credit STR / AFP/Getty Images
In July 2011, Chinese state-run TV accused the luxury furniture retailer Da Vinci of passing off made-in-China goods as expensive Italian designer items. Now, a new report in a respected Chinese business magazine, Caixin, says the TV report was full of errors, and Da Vinci says it was blackmailed by the TV journalist.
The Da Vinci furniture company showroom in Shanghai looks like a salon in Versailles. The price tag on a gilt-covered, Italian-made grandfather clock: more than $40,000.
So it was big news last summer when China Central Television — the government's flagship network known as CCTV — reported that some of Da Vinci's ornate furniture didn't come from Italy, but from a common factory in South China.
Robert Carter, who was a key member of the legal team that convinced the U.S. Supreme Court to outlaw segregated public schools in 1954's landmark Brown v. the Board of Education decision, died Tuesday. He was 94.
According to The New York Times, "the cause was complications of a stroke, said his son John W. Carter, a justice of the New York Supreme Court in the Bronx."
Indonesia has one of the world's fastest growing economies, and it's already the largest in Southeast Asia. This growth and stability recently earned it a major credit upgrade at a time when Western countries are fearful of downgrades.
Yet this vibrant economy has an Achilles' heel: its crumbling, overwhelmed infrastructure.
The problem becomes painfully apparent this time every year, when the rainy season fills commuters with dread in the capital, Jakarta, and many other cities.
"This order for the mass evacuation of all persons of Japanese descent denies them the right to live," Seattle native Gordon Hirabayashi wrote in 1942. "I consider it my duty to maintain the democratic standards for which this nation lives. Therefore, I must refuse this order of evacuation."
America's big three automakers all experienced double-digit sales growth in 2011, helping the U.S. market continue its rebound from a dismal 2009. With annual reports out today, Chrysler says its sales were up 26 percent, while General Motors and Ford Motor Co. reporting gains of 13 and 11 percent, respectively.
Saying he's there "to make sure we make Mitt Romney the next president of the United States of America," 2008 Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain just returned to New Hampshire to endorse the White House bid of his one-time rival, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.
McCain and Romney fought a hard battle for the GOP nomination n 2008, after which Romney endorsed the Arizona senator.
Originally published on Wed January 4, 2012 1:17 pm
NEAL CONAN, HOST:
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan, in Concord, New Hampshire. But in Iowa, Romney ekes out an eyelash gold. Ron Paul settles for bronze, and a sweet silver for Santorum. It's Wednesday and time for a...
RICK SANTORUM: Game on.
CONAN: Edition of the Political Junkie.
PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN: There you go again.
VICE PRESIDENT WALTER MONDALE: When I hear your new ideas, I'm reminded of that ad: Where's the beef?
SENATOR BARRY GOLDWATER: Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice.
Rep. Michele Bachmann suspended her campaign. Texas Gov. Rick Perry headed home to reassess his bid after Iowa. And while Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum and Rep. Ron Paul carry the momentum into New Hampshire and South Carolina, Newt Gingrich and Jon Huntsman promise to continue their campaigns.
Boeing Co. says it will shut down its Wichita facility, which specializes in maintaining and modifying the company's planes for military or government use. The plant is slated to close by the end of 2013.
The closure could devastate a portion of the local economy, according to The Wichita Eagle:
Charlie Rose may very well be the best interviewer on the planet. If there's something important in the news, chances are he has left his mark on the story — from the events unfolding in North Korea to the modern relevance of Shakespeare.
The American political system — as corny, eclectic, chaotic and screwed up as it is with its straw polls, caucuses, primaries and contested elections — somehow gets the job done time after time.
It's weird, really: In this country that celebrates unity and national spirit, a president is chosen via quirky, jerky state-by-state (sometimes precinct-by-precinct) methods. In this society that seeks perfection, the leader is selected in a painfully imperfect process.
But, to paraphrase the old saw: Our funky form of democracy may just be the least worst way to govern.
Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum finished virtually even in Iowa's caucuses Tuesday, but after Rep. Michele Bachmann's sixth-place finish, she announced Wednesday that she is suspending her campaign. For more on the GOP race and the next contest — Tuesday's New Hampshire primary — Linda Wertheimer talks with NPR's Brian Naylor, who's in the city of Manchester.
A Catholic bishop in California has resigned his post after revealing in December that he has two children.
"The Vatican announced the bishop's resignation Jan. 4 in a one-line statement that cited church law on resignation for illness or other serious reasons," reports the Catholic News Service from Vatican City.
Pope Benedict reportedly accepted the resignation of Gabino Zavala, an auxiliary bishop for the San Gabriel Pastoral Region, in December.
If a heart attack sends you to an American hospital, you'll probably go home after only two or three nights. That's faster than virtually anyplace else in the world.
But your chances of needing to go back into the hospital within the next month are also higher than they are for heart attack patients in 16 other countries. That's the finding from a Duke University-led study in this week's JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association.