Originally published on Fri August 22, 2014 1:02 pm
Faulting the U.S. approach to dealing with hostage situations, Michael Foley says more could have been done to free his brother, American journalist James Foley, who was beheaded by extremist group the Islamic State after being held captive since 2012.
Originally published on Fri August 22, 2014 2:25 pm
Update at 2:20 p.m. ET
A Chinese fighter jet conducted what is being describing as a "dangerous intercept" of a U.S. Navy P-8 Poseidon in international waters off the island of Hainan in the South China Sea earlier this week, the Pentagon confirms.
Originally published on Fri August 22, 2014 2:40 pm
Airport health screeners in hazmat suits and armed with gun thermometers are becoming a familiar sight in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, where the Ebola epidemic continues to spiral out of control. Passengers boarding aircraft are checked for fever. If cleared, they receive a stamped leaflet declaring them fit for travel.
The precautions are similar to steps taken during previous outbreaks of contagious diseases, including Middle East respiratory syndrome and deadly bird flus.
Originally published on Fri August 22, 2014 1:27 pm
Chances are you haven't considered the tail of the cow that made the milk that goes into your Nestle Crunch bar or the cheese in your (Nestle-made) Lean Cuisine frozen dinner.
But as animal welfare groups report, many dairy cows have their tails partially amputated, or docked, to help keep their udders clean. Not only is docking painful, but it also pretty much disables the cow's personal fly switch, making it more susceptible to fly attacks.
Originally published on Fri August 22, 2014 2:18 pm
Air pollution is clogging the skies of our planet. Now one scientist thinks Earth may be just one of many polluted worlds โ and that searching for extraterrestrial smog may actually be a good way to search for alien intelligence.
"People refer to 'little green men,' but ETs that are detected by this method should not be labeled as green," says Avi Loeb, an astronomer at Harvard University.
The idea of finding alien polluters may be a bit of a long shot, but Loeb says it's possible.
Originally published on Fri August 22, 2014 11:52 am
Cyclists may soon have a convenient way to discourage bike thieves, thanks to new designs that use parts of the bikes themselves as locks. Two projects โ one based in Chile, another in Seattle โ are promising to provide peace of mind without the fuss of carrying a separate lock.
Originally published on Fri August 22, 2014 10:46 am
Attention Venezuelan shoppers: Please proceed to the supermarket checkout for fingerprinting.
That could be a reality if a plan announced earlier this week by the country's president, Nicolas Maduro, goes into effect.
The purpose? Combating shortages caused by rampant smuggling of subsidized food in Venezuela across the border into neighboring Colombia. Maduro says the system would stop people from buying too much of a single item.
Originally published on Sat August 23, 2014 12:18 pm
A teenage boy should not die from gunshot wounds to his legs.
But that was the fate of 15-year-old Shakie Kamara.
This week, people in the neighborhood of West Point were angry that they'd been quarantined โ a government step to prevent the spread of Ebola to other parts of Monrovia, the capital city of Liberia. On Wednesday, crowds of protesters tried to get past the checkpoints.
Originally published on Fri August 22, 2014 11:48 am
The question of who owns a striking image taken by a crested black macaque may be closer to being settled, as the U.S. Copyright Office says the photo can't be copyrighted โ by the person who owns the camera or by any other entity โ because it wasn't taken by a human.
Originally published on Fri August 22, 2014 2:27 pm
Updated at 3:25 p.m. ET
One day after an Israeli airstrike killed three of its senior military leaders, Hamas says it has executed more than a dozen people in the Gaza Strip, after concluding that they had been spying for Israel.
A four-year-old Israeli boy was also reportedly killed in a mortar attack near the Gaza border.
From Jerusalem, NPR's Jackie Northam reports:
"Hamas confirmed that there were two separate rounds of executions in Gaza for people suspected of collaborating with Israel.
Originally published on Fri August 22, 2014 3:59 pm
Update at 5:00 p.m. ET
After being halted at the border for more than a week, a Russian aid convoy is rumbling into eastern Ukraine without permission, prompting Kiev to label the move a "direct invasion" of sovereign territory.
Karoun Demirjian, reporting for NPR from Moscow, says 150 Russian trucks arrived in the rebel-held city of Luhansk on Friday.
The Pentagon didn't give enough notice to Congress and misused nearly $1 million when it swapped Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl for five senior Taliban members, the Government Accountability Office says. The nonpartisan agency's findings led Defense officials to say they had to act quickly to free Bergdahl, who had been held for five years.
GAO investigators looked into the incident at the request of several Republican senators, including Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and members of the Appropriations Committee.
This is a big political year in Iowa. A U.S. Senate seat is up for grabs, and the Republican Party has opened 11 field offices statewide. But there's also a new team working the state โ the Virginia-based group Americans for Prosperity.
Along with other nonprofit groups affiliated with libertarian billionaires David and Charles Koch, AFP is campaigning against the Iowa Democrats' Senate candidate, Rep. Bruce Braley.
It looks a lot like what a political party would do.
There was nobody at the QuikTrip on Thursday โ that's the gas station and convenience store that burned down on the first night of violent protests in Ferguson, Mo. It was once a focal point for protesters.
On Thursday, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon ordered his state's National Guard to start withdrawing, a sign of the calm that has finally descended on the city racked by protests ever since police shot and killed an unarmed 18-year-old African-American man named Michael Brown.
Originally published on Thu August 21, 2014 6:32 pm
An eye exam may be the ticket to a longer life, researchers say, because good vision is essential for being able to shop, manage money and live independently. And maintaining independence in turn leads to a longer life.
Researchers have known for years that people who have vision problems as they get older are more likely to die sooner than those who still see well. But they weren't sure why that was so.