Craig Allen, left, a research ecologist with the U.S. Geological Survey, and Jorge Castro, a visiting professor of ecology from Spain, survey a plateau ravaged during last year's Las Conchas fire in New Mexico. The megafire burned over 150,000 acres of forest.
Credit David Gilkey / NPR
Jorge Castro looks onto the Cerro Picacho and the St. Peter's Dome trail, adjacent to the Bandelier National Monument in New Mexico. Last year's Las Conchas fire was the third in a string of blazes that devastated the area.
Credit David Gilkey / NPR
University of Arizona professor Tom Swetnam examines tree samples at the Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research in Tucson, Ariz. Swetnam says forests are burning hotter because they are overgrown.
The narrator of Maria Semple's newest book, Where'd You Go, Bernadette, is 15-year-old Bee Fox. She's a nice kid, a good musician and a great student. In fact, she's such a great student that her parents have promised her anything she wants — and she chooses a family trip to Antarctica.
Bain is the private equity firm founded by Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Now what the documents tell us, is up for debate. And it's worth noting that NPR has not independently verified their authenticity.
This week, first lady Michelle Obama was doing something she loves to do, talking about nutrition with kids. She hosted the first state dinner for children, welcoming 54 of them and their parents to the White House.
"This is the hottest ticket at the White House, right here, because of all of you," Obama said to the children, who ranged in age from 8 to 12.
Mitt Romney outlined an energy plan Thursday that would guide his Republican presidency. It focuses heavily on expanding the supply of fossil fuels. The presumptive nominee said the U.S., Mexico and Canada together could reach energy independence by 2020.
But the plan makes no mention of climate change and would end subsidies for cleaner sources of energy, such as wind and solar.
Spc. Ben Purvis (center) helps train Afghan troops on how to use mortars in the eastern province of Kunar in June. The top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, Gen. John Allen, points to several factors in the rise of "insider attacks" on American forces. He says relations between U.S. and Afghan troops are good overall.
Gunmen wearing Afghan police and army uniforms have killed 40 U.S. and NATO troops so far this year, and the top American commander in Afghanistan says there is no single reason — and no simple solution.
Taliban infiltrators, disputes between NATO and Afghan security forces, and even the timing of Ramadan, the Muslim holy month, are all factors, according to Gen. John Allen.
"We think the reasons for these attacks are complex," says Allen, who spoke by video link from Kabul on Thursday. Ten of the American deaths have come in just the past two weeks.
An aerial view of Homestead, Fla., taken on Sept. 7, 1992, two weeks after Hurricane Andrew's 165-mile-per-hour winds took out nearly every building in the city.
Homestead restaurant owner Cesar Berrones says the city's character has changed. Before Andrew, it was more like a small town, and now, "it's all new people," he says. "It's good for business, it's grown, but the old friends have gone. It's different."
Twenty years ago, Homestead, Fla., was in the eye of what was then the worst storm to hit the United States.
Fifteen people died directly from Hurricane Andrew and a few dozen more died from injuries later. Tens of thousands of homes were destroyed. Andrew's 165-mile-per-hour winds took out nearly every building in Homestead, leaving tens of thousands homeless. Families spent hours in lines to get water and ice.
National Guard troops handed out bags of ice but limited how much each family could get.
Freshmen chatter anxiously as they stream out of their dorms for orientation at the University of Colorado in Boulder this week. There's a buzz and energy around campus that you might expect this time of year.
But Deb Coffin, vice chancellor for student affairs, says one thing is different: "It is legal now to bring your concealed carry weapon with you, as long as you're a permit holder and keep it concealed."
Originally published on Mon August 27, 2012 8:58 am
If you're going to take a walk on the wild side and get a tattoo, it could get even wilder than you planned.
Federal and state health investigators have identified five clusters of skin infections linked to tattoos.
Now it's true that infection risks from tattoos are not exactly new or unknown. In fact, tattoo parlors are licensed and regulated in many jurisdictions to minimize the risk of trouble for people getting "inked."
The Federal Trade Commission says that when the marketers of the "Ab Circle Pro" said three minutes a day would suffice to give you rock-hard abs, they were over-hyping their product.
Today, the FTC announced after they filed complaints, the marketers of the fitness contraption have agreed to dole out as much as $25 million in refunds. Consumers who fell for the informercial, which the FTC says aired more that 10,000 times in 2009 and 2010, can request a refund by clicking here.
A member of the team that attacked bin Laden's compound in Pakistan last year has written a book about the raid. The book is being published under a pseudonym. But already there are questions about whether the author violated Pentagon rules by failing to run the book by the military first.