History never repeats itself exactly. But the current escalation in tension and rhetoric between the United States and Iran has revived memories of the Persian Gulf tanker war of the 1980s.
As an offshoot of the war taking place back then between Iran and Iraq, the U.S. offered protection to Kuwaiti ships carrying oil through the Straits of Hormuz. This led to attacks on multiple military and civilian ships. In addition, the U.S. Navy in 1988 shot down an Iranian airliner that was mistaken for a jet fighter.
Advances in genetic testing have improved the prediction, diagnosis and treatment of disease. But having increased information about your genetic makeup can raise some difficult questions and decisions.
Originally published on Tue February 28, 2012 10:37 am
A New York federal court today dismissed a lawsuit against agribusiness giant Monsanto brought by thousands of certified organic farmers. The farmers hoped the suit would protect them against infringing on the company's crop patents in the future.
The Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association and several other growers and organizations do not use Monsanto seeds. But they were betting that the judge would agree that Monsanto should not be allowed to sue them if pollen from the company's patented crops happened to drift into their fields.
After a proposal to build an oil pipeline from Canada to Texas was denied by the Obama administration, TransCanada says it will start building the Oklahoma-to-Texas portion of the Keystone XL pipeline.
If you remember back in January, the administration told TransCanada to reapply for a permit on the 1,700 mile pipeline when it had plans to avoid the environmentally sensitive Sandhills of Nebraska.
The Somali Civil War that began in 1991 destroyed the country's agriculture; that led to widespread starvation and poverty, thousands of people died, warlords took over clans. The United States and other countries tried to help, but all efforts have failed. Now 20 years have gone by. And with piracy and the threat of terrorism from the group al-Shabab becoming a global problem, the British government held a summit last week in London with 55 delegations from Somalia and the international community.
In a 2003 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled to uphold affirmative action and said it expected that in 25 years, "the use of racial preferences will no longer be necessary." The court will hear a case involving race-conscious admissions at the University of Texas in the fall.
And now, The Opinion Page. Jessica Olien has neither a husband nor a child, but she would eventually like to have one without the other - meaning she wants to be a mom, but she does not want to be a wife. She intends when she has a child to raise it on her own, as her mother raised her without a man around. Her piece titled "I Want to be My Child's Only Parent" ran in the online magazine Slate. It was in response to new numbers that show that more than half of the children born to women under 30 are now born to single mothers.
After an engine room fire, the Costa Allegra is adrift in the Indian ocean. The Allegra is owned by Costa Concordia, the same company that owns the cruise ship that ran aground off the coast of Italy and killed 25 people and left seven missing.
The AP reports the Costa Allegra is adrift in the area of the Indian Ocean where Somali pirates have been active.
"Linsanity" is the magical byword of this basketball season. As anyone who is even semi-conscious knows, Jeremy Lin, the NBA's first Taiwanese-American player by way of Harvard, was passed over for college athletic scholarships and ignored in NBA drafts. Then, he landed with the New York Knicks and has since proved to everybody that athletic prejudice against Asians is Lincredibly stupid. Except, as journalist Jim Yardley points out in his new book on basketball fever in China, Chinese players and coaches happen to endorse that prejudice.
On the eve of Tuesday primaries in Michigan and Arizona, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum appeared to be tied in the Great Lakes state though the former Massachusetts governor likely had the momentum and looked to be significantly ahead in the southwestern border state.
There was no shift over the weekend by Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum when he was asked about his comment last year that then-presidential candidate John Kennedy's famous 1960 speech about religion and the separation of church and state makes him want to throw up.
Unlike Ebola, which infects and kills people quickly — and then disappears just as quickly — the HIV epidemic has become so good at killing people in part because it moves so very slowly, says journalist Craig Timberg.
The news from Afghanistan remains grim as protests and attacks continue over the recent burning of some Qurans and other Islamic materials at an airbase controlled by international forces. The violence and unrest has also, The Washington Post writes, "exposed a crippling weakness in the American strategy to wind down the war."
Travelers in Sacramento, Calif., got a surprise when they approached airport security and no one was at the metal detector. Five passengers went on through without any screening. Finally, officials noticed the unattended metal detector and shut down the terminal until the passengers were found and screened.
A man in Washington, Pa., was at home when a burglar broke in. The Observer-Reporter newspaper says the thief pulled a knife. So the homeowner pulled out a ceramic coffee mug and smacked him on the head.
The Artist became the first silent film to triumph at Hollywood's highest honors since the original Oscar ceremony 83 years ago. The film's lead actor, Jean Dujardin, also took home an Academy award for best actor while Michel Hazanavicius, the film's director, also won.
As Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum battle for first place in the Michigan GOP presidential primary, rival Ron Paul is not expected to come in first or second. Paul doesn't really stand a chance at winning the nomination, but he can impact the party's platform
People in Senegal voted over the weekend, an election overshadowed by protests and violence. People managed to keep the actual voting mostly peaceful. Now, it looks like they'll have to vote again. A run-off seems likely in the election that features an 85-year-old president who changed the law in order to seek a third term. NPR's Ofeibea Quist-Arcton reports.
In the Citizens United Case in 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled corporations and unions have a constitutional right to spend unlimited money on political ads. State courts are expected to follow that principle. But in December, Montana's high court refused to go along. It argued Montana's history and demography make it different enough to deserve an exemption from the federal ruling.
Just a few days ago, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was in Tunis, Tunisia, meeting her counterparts from dozens of countries and issuing an ultimatum to Syrian President Bashar Assad to silence his guns and allow in humanitarian aid.
While in Morocco, before flying home to Washington, D.C., Clinton talked to NPR's Michele Kelemen.
Syrian tanks continue to batter homes, and no aid is getting in. So what are allies of the Syrian people to do?
General Motors made a record-breaking profit last year. And to date, taxpayers have recovered close to half the $50 billion federal investment in the company. So the auto bailout worked, right? Wrong, say Republican presidential candidates, who insist the bailout was a huge mistake.