It's been a bitterly cold winter in much of the country, but hey, it could be worse: You could have been alive in the 6th century. Starting in 536 A.D., scholars wrote of a cold snap that lasted not days, but years. Journalist Colin Barra speaks with NPR's Jacki Lyden about scientists' quest to determine what caused the epic cold spell.
There were signs of progress at the Syria peace conference Saturday after the government and the opposition agreed to meet in the same room for the first time. Reporter Deborah Amos shares the latest from the talks in Geneva with NPR's Jacki Lyden.
Republican Party leaders gathered in Washington this week for their annual winter meetings. They approved new rules for the 2016 presidential primaries designed to create a more orderly path to the GOP nomination — and, the party hopes, to the White House.
But this week's meeting also provided an opportunity to see how far Republicans have come in an effort begun a year ago to reach out to new voters — especially young people, minorities and women.
Fighting in Syria has internally displaced some 4 million people, and aid has only reached half of them. Humanitarian groups hope the talks in Geneva will allow them to get more aid into the country. NPR's Jacki Lyden speaks with Khaled Erksoussi, the head of operations for the Syrian Arab Red Crescent.
Ever since there have been puddles of water, human beings have gazed at their reflections.
Our need to primp and preen, whether we lived in the Bronze Age or the Space Age, can be seen in a new exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York called Metropolitan Vanities: The History of the Dressing Table.
Curator Jane Adlin offers a show that reminds us that while our vanity may ultimately be in vain, the instinct goes back a long way.
Police arrested a suspect early Saturday in connection with the fatal shooting of a student at South Carolina State University.
A news release issued by police says Justin Bernard Singleton, 19, of Charleston, was arrested in a parking lot of an apartment complex in Orangeburg, where the campus is located and has been charged with murder in the death of Brandon Robinson, 20, who was shot and killed on Friday.
The National Transportation Safety Board is calling for the swift enactment of tough new standards on trains carrying crude oil. And in an unprecedented move, the NTSB made its recommendations jointly with the Transportation Safety Board of Canada.
With the huge increase in oil shipped by train across North America, the agencies warn another major disaster could be looming.
Originally published on Fri January 24, 2014 5:10 pm
A North Texas judge has ordered a Fort Worth hospital to remove life support from a woman who is 22 weeks pregnant. Her family says Marlise Munoz, 33, is brain-dead. She has reportedly not been awake since November, when she was discovered unconscious in her home. Doctors say she had suffered a pulmonary embolism.
At that time, Munoz was 14 weeks pregnant. Since then, a debate has raged about whether she should be kept alive. Many of the questions center on the details of Munoz's condition, and on state laws about terminating the life of a pregnant woman.
Every four years a handful of cities battle to host the big nominating conventions for the major political parties. The competition for 2016 has already begun, with a surprising and aggressive player making a bid for the Republican National Convention: Las Vegas.
Certainly it's a place that knows how to host a big convention, but for the GOP to give Vegas the nod, the party will have to look past the city's well-earned reputation as "Sin City."
Stock prices soared in the past year, but this was a rough week and prices really tumbled today. The Dow lost 318 points, the S&P 500 and the NASDAQ both fell 2.1 percent. This was part of a global sell-off, as investors focus on the growing financial turmoil in the developing world. NPR's Chris Arnold is following this and he joins me now. Chris, the year started off looking like the global economy was more stable. We didn't have a financial crisis unfolding somewhere. So what's going on now?
Although the Affordable Care Act is the law of the land, there are ongoing fights in many states over how to carry it out. One conflict concerns navigators, the insurance counselors who are supposed to help people learn about the law. This week saw two major developments: a federal judge put a strict Missouri law on hold, saying the state didn't have the right to regulate the work of navigators. But in Texas, state officials did just that this week.
Carrie Feibel of member station KUHF in Houston reports on the new rules in Texas.
Originally published on Sat January 25, 2014 4:44 am
One of the biggest earthquakes in U.S. history didn't occur in California. Or Alaska. It happened in the country's midsection some 200 years ago in an area where today seven states straddle the Mississippi River Valley.
And seismologists from the United States Geological Survey believe they've uncovered evidence that the New Madrid Seismic Zone, as the area that spawned the 1811-12 quakes is known, is still alive and kicking.