A new analysis of images taken from one of the first U.S. weather satellites appears to confirm shrinking Arctic sea ice.
To the American flying public, our condolences: This is week one of the sequester hitting the not-so-friendly skies.
Air traffic controllers from JFK to LAX have begun their furloughs, making for long and painful delays, especially flying into and out of the big east coast airports around New York City.
Steve Abraham's been an air traffic controller at New York's Kennedy Airport for 23 years.
"My shift today would have been from 5:30 to 1:3o today," Abraham says, although he wasn't in the tower. Wednesday is his first furlough day.
Abraham was at work Sunday, however, the first day that furloughs for air traffic controllers took effect.
"We had perfect weather, and ran 2 1/2 to 3 hour delays, which are delays would see on a horrible day," Abraham says. Think snowstorm. "It's no fun being the political football."
The White House has signaled it would be open to reviewing a standalone bill to restore the FAA's funding, if Congress puts one forward. But for now, controllers like Abraham are getting used to a 10 percent pay cut.
"It's pretty significant. For me, I guess, the shock is my wife lost her job as of March 15, so it's going to be an interesting summer."
Abraham says the FAA has struggled to keep pace with technological innovation, and it's unlikely that sophisticated systems will replace air traffic controllers in the near future.
"Trying to separate airplanes in a two-dimensional environment, going from the ramp to a runway, everyone want to be number one," he says by way of example. Then picture jets flying at 500 m.p.h. in all three dimensions.
Could automated systems handle it? Abraham says, "I don't think we're there yet."
"I'm black. I'm gay," Nevada State Sen. Kelvin Atkinson said for the first time in public. The Senate went on to approve a first step in repealing a ban on gay marriage in the state.
A building collapse at a garment factory in Bangladesh has left at least 100 people dead and injured about 1,000 more. It's the second disaster at a Bangladeshi garment factory in less than six months.
Again, it looks as if factory owners could be to blame. There were reports that officials knew the building was structurally unsafe, says the BBC's Anbarasan Ethirajan.
"One of the eyewitnesses also told a local daily that they were reporting cracks near the generator room and also in some of the pillars," Ethirajan says. "One of the Ministers have already said, the building probably violated construction codes and they are looking into this case."
It's not clear yet if the factory was producing clothes for Western companies.
Bangladesh is one of the leading exporters of clothing, right behind China. Most of what they produce is sent to the European Union and the United States. Ethirajan recalls the fire that broke out at the Tazreen factory last November where "a trade union activist found labels of various Western retailers" in the rubble.
It seems likely this second disaster "will put pressure on the Bangladeshi factory owners to improve safety standards," Ethirajan says. The country exports $20 billion worth of garments every year.
The people injured and killed in the building's collapse were mostly low paid factory workers.
The minimum wage for this work is between $37 and $40 a month, but factory owners say wages goes up to $60 to $80 once the worker has been established and learns specific skills.
Still, Bangladeshi unions say their workers make the lowest wages for this type of work in the world.
Last year, the Midwest faced a historic drought, one that was especially damaging to farmers and ranchers who waited for rain that would not come. This year, the Midwest has been hit again by extreme weather but instead of drought, it's massive flooding.
We check in from time to time with a rancher in Rolla, Mo., by the name of Ken Lenox. Today, he says, the sun is shining but it was overcast and drizzling earlier. But the best news? "The grass is just doing fantastic."
Lenox detailed the economic damage the drought did to his ranching operation when we talked to him last year. His region has gotten a lot of rain recently but he says he prefers the rain to the drought. "Both of them bring problems but I'd rather have the too much over not enough."
And the cows -- they're doing well. "The calves that I'm going to sell in the first part of June", he says, "they're putting on probably three pounds a day right now. You can practically see them growing."
When was the last time you heard a college student demanding stricter enforcement of the dress code? That’s one of the complaints of a group of students at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y., who walked out of class yesterday.
In the kitchen student, chefs wear the iconic crisp white jacket, kerchief and -- when appropriate -- tall white toque. Students who go on for bachelor’s degrees are expected to wear business casual at all times.
“They’re showing up in UGGs and hoodies and they’re not tucking their shirts in,” says 20-year-old Zachary Hoffman, one of the organizers of the walkout. “They’re wearing shorts sometimes.”
Hoffman says students like that are degrading the value of a CIA degree. Part of the problem, he says, is the rise of celebrity chefs and food-centered television shows.
“I think some of the students come in here thinking they’re going to come out and be the next Anthony Bourdain or the next Cat Cora,” he says.
A more likely reality is a pile of student debt and a tough job market.
The student protestors also worry admissions standards have been lowered. Incoming students used to need six months of experience in a professional kitchen. As of last fall, the school changed the requirement to include so-called “front of the house” experience, like serving or busing tables.
As students’ interests have expanded to include wine and research and development, it made sense to expand the requirement, says CIA provost Mark Erickson.
“It’s really just demonstrating that they understand the rigor that is expected from somebody in our industry,” he says. “That’s satisfied in the front of the house just as it is in the back of the house.”
Erickson admits the dress code could be better enforced and students like Zac Hoffman hope they'll get the chance to wear those chef’s whites once they graduate. When he finishes next January, Hoffman expects to owe more than $100,000 in student loans.
“I want to make sure that that enormous amount of debt is worth what I’m going to get out of the school,” he says.
Wondering what to do with that Vicodin that's gathering dust in the medicine cabinet? The DEA is happy to take it off your hands. That method spares the environment and solves a pesky problem: giving a narcotic like that to anyone other than the person whose name is on the prescription is a felony.
George W. Bush opens his presidential library this week in Dallas, where an interactive game gives visitors a taste of presidential decision-making. From one angle, Decision Points Theater is a cool learning tool. From another, it raises the question: Could an American president benefit from crowdsourcing?