Calls and emails to congressional offices have been close to unanimously negative. The latest polls show solid majorities of Americans opposed. With feelings running so high, many politicians are wary of offering support for military strikes on Syria.
When many states ease eligibility rules for Medicaid in January, the new enrollees are likely to include more men, whites and people in generally good health.
Obama said a proposal to have Syria give up its chemical weapons was a "potentially positive development."
When an especially nasty intestinal bug threatened 86-year-old Billie Iverson, an unusual transplant saved her. The medical solution, still experimental, was to replace her dangerous digestive bacteria with a healthier mix of microbes.
In the 1998 movie "Armageddon," NASA discovers an asteroid on a collision course with Earth. It sends a spaceship armed with Bruce Willis out to greet the threat.
This year, the real NASA announced it wants to grab an asteroid of its own -- but not to save the planet.
“Ultimately our goal is to go to Mars,” says Robert Lightfoot, NASA's associate administrator. “Going to an asteroid is the next real logical step to go do that.”
It may not be as bold as John F. Kennedy’s pledge to put a man on the moon, but President Obama is promoting his own space odyssey: To land astronauts on an asteroid by 2025. Then reach Mars in the following decade.
Under NASA's current plan, a robotic spaceship would travel to a small asteroid and place a bag-like structure around it as the rock hurtles and spins through space. The craft would then drag the asteroid to the moon's orbit, close enough to Earth for astronauts to fly out and visit.
Lightfoot says the goal is test deep-space technologies that NASA would need for a trip to the Red Planet. And, all this on an asteroid about the size of a school bus.
Congress may not buy into the mini-asteroid mission.
“It seems to me, it's not a good use of the taxpayer's dollars,” says Republican Rep. Lamar Smith, chairman of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology. “It doesn't help us get to Mars, and it doesn't really help us learn more about large asteroids that we might want to deflect. So it just doesn't serve any purpose.”
A Senate committee approved the asteroid-capture plan this summer, but Smith's committee stripped it from proposed NASA funding.
“This is an era of budget constraints,” he says. “This is a mission that experts say will cost $2.5 billion, so it may fall from its own weight.”
The actual price tag is a matter of debate. But whatever the bill, private companies might be willing to help NASA out -- if they get what they want. They want to park themselves on asteroids, to mine metals, hydrogen and oxygen. Space companies would use these natural resources to make rocket fuel and spare parts, which could service spaceships on their way, for instance, to Mars.
“It’s an oasis and a gas station in all in one,” says Rick Tumlinson, a founder of Deep Space Industries, a futuristic mining company. The company's website proclaims: “It is time to begin the harvest of space.”
Tumlinson says NASA could offset its asteroid-program costs by partnering with private companies.
“We can not only do it far cheaper,” he says. “We can also begin to create a new economy that develops new resources and new jobs and begins to inject new wealth back here into the world.”
Deep Space Industries and Planetary Resources, another asteroid mining company, are to present their ideas at a NASA workshop later this month. Congress will vote on NASA's 2014 budget later this fall.
America is in the midst of a rye whiskey renaissance. Lovers of the spirit say it's spicier, edgier and less sweet than bourbons. But when scientists look at the flavor signatures of American whiskeys, what matters the most isn't always the grain in the bottle.
Zimmerman's estranged wife called police, saying he threatened her with a gun, punched her dad and destroyed her iPad with a knife.
When Phil Yu started 'Angry Asian Man' in 2001, he had no idea it would become wildly popular and the go-to source on all things Asian-America.
The Pentagon has been focusing on the Syrian military's command-and-control sites, which remain the most likely focus of any U.S. strike. But military planners have begun to add new targets, such as mobile missile launchers, that could require more than cruise missiles — and make the mission more complicated.
Egypt's protests have lessened for now, but the country is still suffering the economic consequences of violence that left hundreds dead following the military's ouster of deposed president Mohamed Morsi. Cairo's streets, usually bustling at all hours, are now empty overnight due to a government-imposed curfew.
One sector feeling the effects of the ongoing state of emergency: transportation. Egypt's railways have been suspended for weeks, meaning passengers are left to find other ways to travel. Some people still show up at Cairo's central train station, surprised to find doors locked and blocked by police. Neither they, nor a customer service representative answering the railway's hotline, have much information for frustrated customers.
“We still don't know when it will open,” said the man answering the Egyptian National Railways (ENR) hotline. “You'll find out from the TV.”
ENR says it's lost more than 10 million dollars due to the suspension, and much of that business is going to microbus drivers. Just outside the train station, there's a hectic depot where drivers of the small minvans shout out their destinations, trying to lure thwarted train passengers.
One woman, who didn't want to give her name, trudged away from the closed station, only to be set upon by drivers offering to take her to her intended destination -- the coastal city of Alexandria.
“It's ok for me to take the bus in these circumstances we are living,” she said. “But before this, I prefer the train.”
The microbus drivers may be getting more customers, but some, like 30-year-old Mohamed Hassan, said they're not really making much more money.
“After the protests, things started to get better,” he said, reclining on one of the three rows of red pleather seats in his white microbus.
“But,” he added, “The influence of the curfew is that passengers are no longer travelling at night.” That means he has less time to make trips, and fewer people are traveling.
That restriction is also affecting businesses. Robert Tashima, Africa Regional Editor for the Oxford Business Group, says about 90 percent of goods in Egypt are shipped by road, many of which are now clogged by checkpoints.
“When you're unable to ship products overnight,” he said, “when you've got highways and motorways and bridges that are blocked, you will obviously have a direct impact in terms of the cost of shipping products and your revenues.”
Botht eh public and the private sectors are feeling the impact of this seizure in the transportation system. One local shipping company told state media here it was losing 50 percent of its revenues each day during the worst of the curfew. Egypt's metro system is also losing money... about $70,000 a day when the curfew is at it strictest.
The government is responding by pushing the curfew back to 11 p.m.-6 a.m., from the original 7 p.m.-6 a.m. in mid-August. The exception is Fridays, a traditional “protest day” here, when people still have to be inside by 7 p.m.
Despite all the short-term losses, Oxford Business Group's Tashima expects things to eventually calm down for businesses.
“While Egypt won't suddenly find itself seeing double-digit growth anytime in the next 24 months,” he said, “Certainly the potential for long-term growth remains fairly unabated.”
The NBA hall of famer asked the world to take him and his basketball diplomacy seriously Rodman also hinted that he would interview the seclusive leader of North Korea.
Consumers are demanding "natural" food dyes, and scientists say the purple sweet potato is the most promising source of pigments to make them. But it may be a while before your red Popsicle is made with this kind of vegetable-based dye.
Women who died of breast cancer were less likely to have had a mammogram in the past two years, researchers found. That was particularly true among younger women. Even though breast cancer is rarer in the young, the tumors can be more aggressive.
Unemployment in some of the Arab Spring countries is among the highest in the world. But governments have their hands tied because any attempt at economic reform will likely hurt the poor.
The World Trade Center is in the news today and it has nothing to do with the anniversary of September 11th that's coming up Wednesday.
Rather, it's about a $10 deal (yes, ten dollars) that happened in 1986. The deal gave the naming rights of the famous building to a nonprofit called World Trade Centers Association. The seller? That would be the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
Today, the WTCA charges $200,000 upfront and an additional $10,000 a year for building owners to use the name. Shawn Boburg writes about it The Record in Bergen County, N.J. He says today, there are more than 300 buildings who pay for the right to call themselves "World Trade Center." (See the map above for reference.)
So how did the Port Authority miss out on hundreds of thousands of dollars every year? Boberg traced the deal back to the 1980s, when Guy Tozzoli, a now-deceased former employee of the Port Authority who oversaw the construction of the Twin Towers, convinced the Port Authority to sell the World Trade Center naming rights to the World Trade Centers Association. Tozzolli went on to be president of the WTCA.
What worked for Tozzoli works well for the building owners who pay thousands of dollars to license the WTC name today. "A lot of building owners, developers, see this as a marketing tool. The advertising on WTCA's website says you can get higher rents, you can get higher occupancy rates if you have the WTC brand."
In a potentially landmark case, judges will decide whether the federal government can enforce rules and laws around broadband as it becomes more central to our culture and economy.
For this week's Sandwich Monday, we try the newest addition to the Burger King menu: a burger topped with french fries. It's the latest stage in the march toward Total Menu Integration.
The Boston Beer Co., which brews Sam Adams, has seen its stock soar. The brewer reported net revenue of $181.3 million in the second quarter of 2013.
Mehta conducted the Bavarian State Orchestra in Srinagar over the weekend. But the audience of mostly VIPs rankled many Kashmiris — and the heavy police presence served as a reminder of the security situation in the restive Indian state.
In southern Louisiana, the coast is moving. The sea is overtaking the land...pretty fast, too. Stronger hurricanes and tropical storms predicted for coming decades will wash away more of it. And while you often hear people invoke the rich cultural heritage as a reason to save the region, there’s a lot of rich oil and gas companies that would like protection, too.
Terrebonne Parish is the setting for "Beasts of the Southern Wild," last year’s Oscar-nominated film about a magical little girl and her swamp community, the Bathtub. The fictional Bathtub people live outside levee protection. As sea levels rise they fight to survive -- and they look it. A ragtag crew of revelers.
Businessman Oneil Marlborough’s family goes back generations here. He couldn’t look more opposite, all resilient good cheer in khakis and a button-down. He’s fighting for his community, in real life. “We see in our lifetime that the water is higher today, under normal conditions, than it was 30 years ago,” he says. Tidal gauges prove it, he says.
Marlborough owns an engineering firm that’s designed much of the flood protection for Terrebonne Parish. The system can open and close, a consideration made specifically for the oil industry. The huge boats that service offshore rigs need to get in and out.
“We got to keep them open, for navigation, because navigation is our jobs," Marlborough says.
He drives me down the spine of road along the Houma Navigation Canal. It’s lined with mom-and-pop boat yards and pipefitters, along with big corporate names like Halliburton. At the end is open water, with a miles-long wall, 12-feet tall, and a wide gate in the middle of it. Wide enough to bring in oil drilling machinery for safe harbor, in the event of a hurricane.
“There’s a 200-foot opening, and there’s a barge that’s on a hinge. It’s 200 feet, by 20 feet deep, by 40 feet wide, so it’s a big heavy piece of metal, but floating in the water it’s easy to move,” he says.
This idea for a floating door to the huge flood gate came from the oil industry, he says. For decades, oil and gas drillers have learned to build things out on the water. Local firms like Marlborough’s have specialized to meet their needs, and met government needs in the process.
"We’ve developed expertise in working in the marsh and the soils we have to deal with," Marlborough says.
That’s exactly the kind of expertise Allison Plyer sees as a new economic driver for Louisiana. She heads the Greater New Orleans Community Data Center.
“We have the opportunity to become the leaders in coastal restoration. And we know there will be market opportunities for that, because the whole coastline of the U.S. is at risk.”
Louisiana experts are already in New York and New Jersey, helping out in the areas affected by Hurricane Sandy. Plyer says now’s the time to develop those skills into an industry, with higher-education programs.
At Delgado Community College in New Orleans, Bettie Abbate directs the horticulture program. She teaches her students to grow all kinds of things…including native marsh plants.
"This doesn’t look like much, looks like a weed you’d have growing in your back yard," she says. "This is a grass. It’s easy to propogate. I could get eight plants from this one one-gallon plant."
She’s taken students from around the country down to Grand Isle, a barrier island off the coast of Louisiana. They brought little plugs of grass to replace what’s washed away in hurricanes.
"We had a trailer full that we brought down there, and we totally replanted that berm. Those berms on the beach in Grand Isle are the first line of defense."
The students were taken by the beauty of the landscape, she says. And they saw what those little grasses that hold the sand together help defend. The cranes of Port Fourchon, where hundreds of supply boats come and go to serve offshore rigs. Eighteen of the nation’s oil supply relies on this port.
"And then they realize the economic importance to the rest of the country. And they’re like 'we get it,' 'we get why we have to do this.'”
On the way home, she said, water lapped at the one road from the island. The oil industry, and government, don’t seem to be counting much on Grand Isle for protection. They’ve spent hundreds of millions to build a highrise bridge to Port Fourchon, high above the old road, and high above the marsh.