Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) are replacing boots on the ground in some wars. Commercially, UAVs are being used for things like crop-dusting and flood mapping. Experts discuss advances in drone technology and how to address legal and privacy concerns that stem from their use.
As it circles Earth, NASA's Interstellar Boundary Explorer hunts for particles streaming in from beyond the solar system. It has intercepted hydrogen, helium, neon and oxygen atoms. IBEX principal investigator Dave McComas discusses how the abundance of those atoms hints at the Milky Way's composition.
This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. What grosses you out, the sight of maggots squirming on a rotten piece of meat? How about a cockroach running around your spice cabinet when you turn the lights on at night? How about eating strange organ meat like sweetbreads, pancreas. Maybe just a doorknob is enough to give you the chills, touched by so many hands, or a toilet seat touched by - well, you know, there must be so many germs, right.
NASA's iconic images of Earth from space date back to the late 1960s--with snapshots taken by Apollo astronauts. The modern "blue marble" images are captured by machines and they're not photos. They're datasets collected by instruments aboard satellites and then translated into imagery on the ground.
NPR's Business News starts with a reversal from the Komen Foundation. The Susan G. Komen For The Cure Foundation has just announced that it will not pull its funding for Planned Parenthood after all. The breast cancer charity endured a massive backlash when it announced, earlier this week, it would no longer give Planned Parenthood money for breast cancer screening. NPR's Julie Rovner joins us to explain the turnaround. And Julie, what exactly did the Komen Foundation say this morning?
Saying officials have undertaken yet another campaign of "bullying and harassment" of its Persian service staff, the BBC called on the Iranian government to "repudiate the action of its officials."
In a blog post, the BBC's Director General Mark Thompson also called on the international community to "put maximum pressure on Iran to desist in this campaign of intimidation, persistent censorship and a disturbing abuse of power."
Human Rights Watch has a harrowing report out today about what it says is the targeting of children by Syria's government forces.
"Children have not been spared the horror of Syria's crackdown," Lois Whitman, children's rights director at Human Rights Watch, said in a statement. "Syrian security forces have killed, arrested and tortured children in their homes, their schools or on the streets. In many cases, security forces have targeted children just as they have targeted adults."
Nevada has the lowest high school graduation rate in the country. But now a multi-million dollar federal grant is helping one district turn its schools around. Host Michel Martin speaks with a principal who spent last Saturday knocking on the doors of students who dropped out, encouraging them to come back to school.
The brutal recession has wracked Nevada, where soaring unemployment and foreclosure numbers tell the story of the state's misery. But its importance as a swing state in the 2012 presidential contest has only been enhanced in the four years since it went for Democrat Barack Obama.
"We will continue to fund existing grants, including those of Planned Parenthood, and preserve their eligibility to apply for future grants, while maintaining the ability of our affiliates to make funding decisions that meet the needs of their communities."
Originally published on Tue February 7, 2012 4:37 pm
After days of controversy, the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation has said it will continue funding for Planned Parenthood.
Earlier this week, the foundation moved to discontinue funding of breast cancer screening by Planned Parenthood. The Associated Press reported the change came because of a new Komen policy forbidding grants to organizations under official investigation.
Rick Hall and Billy Sherrill were a couple of Alabama boys in their teens when they started writing songs. At first, the only place they had to record was in a room in the back of the Trailways bus station in Florence, Ala. But one of the songs they recorded there, "Sweet and Innocent," became a small local hit, and a guy named Tom Stafford read about it in the local paper. He built a recording studio above City Drugs in Florence and went into business with the two young men. It didn't last long: Sherrill was hugely ambitious and was soon off to Nashville.
Fans lucky enough to toast a Giants or a Patriots Super Bowl win in Indianapolis this weekend will need to stock up early on their champagne supplies. Indiana is one of just two states that ban the sale of beer, wine and liquor at stores statewide on Sundays.
Josh Hamilton of the Texas Rangers, one of baseball's biggest stars and someone who has been battling addiction demons for the last decade, was spotted drinking alcohol at a Dallas bar on Monday, the local Morning News has reported.
Originally published on Fri February 3, 2012 8:41 am
The nation's unemployment rate dipped to 8.3 percent in January from 8.5 percent the month before as private employers added 257,000 jobs to their payrolls, the Bureau of Labor Statistics just reported. Overall, after a small drop at government agencies, employment grew by 243,000.
We'll add more from the report momentarily.
Update at 9:40 a.m. ET. White House, Republican Reactions:
Originally published on Fri February 3, 2012 7:23 am
The news from Egypt is grim again today:
-- "At least two people have been shot and killed in the Egyptian city of Suez, as police used live rounds to hold back crowds during a protest over security forces' failure to prevent a deadly football riot," al-Jazeera reports. And it adds that "one person was killed in Cairo just feet away from the Interior Ministry, as police in Cairo set off salvos of tear gas and fired birdshot."
Saying he is "completely puzzled by the notion that there was something immoral that went on here," the man at the top of the agency that regulates Freddie Mac has explained why he believes the taxpayer-owned mortgage company did nothing wrong when one of its arms, as NPR and ProPublica have reported, "placed multibillion-dollar bets against American homeowners being able to refinance to cheaper mortgages."
"We have our own threats to impose at the right time" and "I have no fear of saying that we will back and help any nation or group that wants to confront and fight against the Zionist regime (Israel)," Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said today after reports surfaced that Israel could soon mount air strikes on Iran's nuclear facilities.
Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. OK, there's the graffiti artist who will make millions because he opted for stock over cash for painting murals at Facebook's offices. Then there's the contractor in Oshkosh who took Facebook stock for work on the home of Marianne Oleson. She claims she'd acquired the stock because her daughter knew Facebook's founder. But the stock is fake. Oleson is accused of fraud, and the contractor, not in for millions, but out thousands. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
Police have apprehended a man accused of stealing five tons of ice from a glacier in Chile. The Guardian reports police nabbed him with the illicit ice in his refrigerated truck. They believe he planned to sell it as designer ice cubes to the trendy bars of Santiago.
Poet Wislawa Szymborska of Poland died this week at the age of 88. Renee Montagne talks to Lawrence Weschler about her death. He covered Poland in the 1980s and '90s as a staff writer for The New Yorker. And Weschler has written about her in his books including his latest Uncanny Valley.