The image, captured by NASA's Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard the Aqua satellite, shows smoke trails stretching out over the Pacific Ocean.
In Little Rock, a judge struck down a prohibition on county clerks' issuing marriage licenses to gay couples. In Boise, a judge temporarily blocked a ruling allowing such marriages.
The U.S. has deployed surveillance aircraft to Nigeria in the search for the more than 250 schoolgirls still missing. Imagery gathered by the aircraft and satellites will be shared with the Nigerian government.
A local elections official has ruled that Rep. John Conyers of Detroit, who's served in the House for nearly 50 years, has failed to collect enough valid signatures to appear on the Democratic primary ballot. He's appealing the decision; if he loses, it could be an ignominious end to a distinguished career.
Hope is fading that any more mine workers will be rescued from a mine in western Turkey, where over 280 miners died after an explosion. NPR's Leila Fadel has been at the mine and offers more details.
The National September 11 Memorial and Museum was officially dedicated Thursday in New York. President Obama and other elected officials joined survivors and victims' families in a poignant ceremony.
Afghanistan has been called the “graveyard of empires.”
It’s a phrase you hear a lot when people talk about our more than a decade of involvement in Afghanistan. And Anand Gopal thinks it’s a bad one.
“There is a sense that whatever happened in Afghanistan was inevitable,” says Gopal, author of the new book "No Good Men Among the Living: America, the Taliban, and the War Through Afghan Eyes". “ But we had many opportunities to get this right.”
Gopal learned the Afghan language Pashto, and traveled the country by motorcycle to research his book. He says that the U.S. made a mistake in funding Afghan warlords to help fight the Taliban.
“A lot of these militia commanders and warlords are not that much better than the Taliban they replaced... That’s creating support for the insurgency and draining resources. Without us paying them, these guys are not going to continue fighting.”
The Afghan economy relies almost entirely on the opium trade and foreign aid. But Gopal says all the U.S. money flowing into the country doesn’t guarantee the government’s survival.
“If you take billions upon billions of dollars and put it into a country that has very little capacity to absorb it, you create corruption on an unforeseen scale. If you talk to Afghans today they’ll say that the last 10 years have been more corrupt than anything they’ve seen in the previous 20 or 30 years of fighting.”
Executives: They get the good offices, the good health plans, the good stock options AND they get to decide whether you keep your job.
But that doesn’t mean life’s easy. "There are actually CEO support groups that have popped up all over the country," says Robert Sutton, Professor of Management Science at the Stanford Engineering School and co-author of "Scaling Up Excellence". Sutton says a lot of CEO’s end up suffering something akin to the Justin Bieber problem: No one around them will tell them if the company’s on the rocks or if all the employees despise them.
"It is exactly the Justin Bieber problem and actually in some ways it's worse," says Sutton. "Everybody around you has every incentive to tell you how wonderful you are and give you no bad news." Sutton says Executives Coaches often come in order to tell CEOs what people actually think of their management style.
Female executives often need help navigating a certain amount of non-acceptance.
"Women are just beginning to step into big roles, so the whole world is watching," says Nancy Koehn, a professor at the Harvard Business School. She says female CEOs often use executive coaches to help them deal with skepticism. "How do women get done what they know they have to get done, when they’re leading people that haven’t necessarily been responsive to a leader or guide who’s female?"
Whatever particular issues they face, CEOs are getting help in greater numbers. Last year, U.S. companies spent more than $1 billion on executive coaching.
Remember when red M&Ms weren't a thing?
It was all thanks to a little misunderstanding back in the day, and a little substance called Red Dye No. 2.
"It was a $10 billion dollar industry. It was used in everything from hot dogs to ice cream cones," says Zachary Crockett, writer at Pricenomics.com.
A Russian study found that this same dye caused tumors in lab rats. Cold War politics being what they were at the time, the FDA refused to acknowledge Russian research, and conducted their own study which, as Crockett puts it, ended up being "an absolute nightmare."
"The lead scientist left midway through, the rats were all mixed up in the lab, it was just wholly inconclusive," he said.
Not wanting to get tangled into the whole mess of Red Dye No. 2--which actually wasn't in red M&Ms in the first place--Mars, M&M's parent company, pulled the red M&Ms anyway to prevent customer confusion. Red was out, and orange was in.Flickr
Nearly a decade later, just in time for Christmas 1985, red was back, thanks in large part to Paul Hethmon, a freshman at the University of Tennessee who started the "Society for the Restoration and the Preservation of the Red M&M."
"He kind of sparked a 'red-olution,' if you will," said Crockett. "All of these people who loved and adored the red M&M back in the '60s and '70s really came out of the woodwork and joined in this cause."
The animated spokescandy--who was once voiced by John Lovitz--has all those people to thank for thrusting him back into the spotlight.
Homeownership rates are depressed for people under 35. Economists say nearly 3 million more young adults are living with their parents, compared with 2007.
Two new drugs for hepatitis C can save lives. They are also wildly expensive, costing $66,000 to $84,000 per person. Insurers face paying billions for treatment, or explicitly rationing vital care.
Reporter Keith O'Brien spent a year following the Edna Karr High School marching band. Being a member is more than just a way to be popular; the band offers students a pathway to college.
A week before graduating from high school, 17-year-old Saira Blair won the GOP primary in a conservative West Virginia district. Even the incumbent she defeated concedes she outworked him.
The accident that has claimed hundreds of lives appears to have causes that are all too familiar to mining experts in the U.S. and around the world.
New Mexico is the nation’s sixth largest oil producer. The industry is creating thousands of jobs in the southeast corner of the state. But all that activity is straining basic services. Housing is limited, classrooms are crowded and roads are more dangerous. Now cities are struggling to catch up.
At Puckett Elementary in Carlsbad, New Mexico a first grade class sang along with their teacher. They gather inside a portable classroom. Schools in Carlsbad are running out of space. Superintendent Gary Perkowski said in the last two years the district has enrolled 200 new students.
"All of a sudden it's going up and going up really quickly and very drastically," Perkowski said.
Carlsbad sits atop the fuel-rich Permian Basin. Dozens of new companies have come here to take advantage of high oil prices. That's attracted a bigger workforce. Crowded classrooms are not the only concern.
"Last year we lost ten teachers that came to Carlsbad, signed contracts...and could not find housing," Perkowski said.
This town of 27,000 people is growing twice as fast as the rest of the state. Teachers are competing with other newcomers looking for a home.
"We had one guy that was trying to live with his family in a motel at a hundred and something dollars a night and that didn't last long," Perkowski said.
Because of the high demand, major hotel chains in Carlsbad charge rates comparable to New York City.
At a popular Mexican restaurant Mayor Dale Janway digger into a plate of green enchiladas. He had just come from the oilfields himself where he works as a safety consultant.
"This is one of the hot spots in the country right now and there are a lot of challenges," he said.
Janway said developers can't build fast enough. New apartments have waiting lists. Workers live in outlying RV parks. But it's not just the oil industry. This region is a major producer of potash, a component in fertilizer. A new mine should start construction this year. The U.S. Department of Energy also runs the country's only permanent nuclear waste facility just outside town.
"Anytime you have growth like we do you have more urgency calls, more fire calls, more police problems," Janway said.
Yet another issue is the traffic. It's especially busy along the 70 miles that separate Carlsbad from the neighboring town of Hobbs. Trucks hauling long cylinder tanks and heavy machinery are non-stop on weekdays mornings.
Ten people have died in traffic accidents this year, a high number in this mostly rural county. Carlsbad native Andrew Perez lost his brother in an accident two years ago.
"My brother worked for an oilfield company, driving trucks and he worked very hard, long hours, didn't get sleep and ended up crashing his truck," Perez said.
His brother left a job in a corrections facility to become a trucker, Perez said. Before that he was Marine who served in Iraq.
"The day he died was the day that he found out he was going to be a father," Perez said.
An investigation by the Associated Press this year found that in some oil-rich states traffic fatalities have quadrupled in the past decade. In Southeast New Mexico, a coalition has formed a task force to address roadside deaths. A state representative is also pushing legislation that would fund highway improvements in oil-producing counties.