In Pennsylvania, there's an industrial revolution going on. Battalions of drilling rigs are boring into the earth to extract natural gas from an underground layer of shale called the Marcellus formation.
And as the wells multiply all along the western end of the state, people worry they may be facing another toxic legacy.
The first one came from coal mining. All over the state, you can see bright orange rivers and streams. The aquatic life was killed by acidic runoff from abandoned mines.
As the election year began, conventional wisdom was pretty well set about the outcome of the presidential race. If the economy improved, President Obama would win. If not, he'd be a one-termer.
So what does it mean that many big economic indicators are moving sideways?
"Obama seems to be in that gray area," says Paul Pierson, a political scientist at the University of California, Berkeley. "The numbers are neither so good nor so bad that they give you a definitive answer."
The spiraling drug violence is increasingly affecting journalists, in a country considered one of the most dangerous for reporters. Host Michel Martin speaks with Jose de Cordoba of The Wall Street Journal, and Carlos Lauria of the Committee to Protect Journalists. Advisory: This segment may not be comfortable for some listeners.
Jurors in Chicago recently reached a verdict in the murder case against William Balfour, the man accused of killing Oscar-winner Jennifer Hudson's mother, brother, and nephew. Host Michel Martin speaks with WBEZ reporter Natalie Moore about the elements of race, class, and violence in Chicago's South Side that came into play in the trial.
The numbers are staggering: One-third of Americans are obese; another third are overweight. Some 26 million Americans have Type 2 diabetes. An additional 79 million more are pre-diabetic. Thanks to these figures, the children of today have a good chance of becoming the first generation of Americans to die at younger ages than their parents.
Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Horst Faas, who captured several iconic moments during the Vietnam War, died May 10. He was 79.
Haas was the chief of The Associated Press' Southeast Asia bureau from 1962 to 1974, where he covered the fighting and mentored dozens of young photographers who were sent out across Vietnam to capture images of the war's terror and inhumanity.
While U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Ryan Crocker says there is a path toward relative stability in Afghanistan and away from a return to the kind of civil war that devastated the country in the early 1990s, the difficulties still facing that nation have been underscored by more violence:
-- CNN.com reports that "a bomb exploded inside a shop in the northern Afghanistan province of Faryab on Monday, killing nine people, according to the Afghan Interior Ministry."
A technique called hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, has kicked off an energy boom in the United States. Fracking lets drillers unlock vast reservoirs of natural gas that were previously inaccessible. Over the past decade, about 200,000 gas wells have been drilled across the country.
When Adam Spiegel rolls down the metal security doors at his Medford, Ore., store, a painting becomes visible. Officials told him to clean the graffiti or be fined. He tells the Mail-Tribune it's not graffiti: it's a mural. Some onlookers think the painting resembles a giant bong.
Sunday's news that Yahoo CEO Scott Thompson was stepping down in the wake of questions about his credibility is being followed this morning with accounts about how this is a victory for an activist hedge fund that's been pushing for changes at the Internet search giant.
When Gac Filipaj fled war-torn Yugoslavia in 1992, he became a refugee in New York. He took a janitor's job at Columbia University because it included free tuition. But he first had to learn English. After a dozen years, he received a bachelor's degree in classics over the weekend.
Three high-ranking executives, including one of the most powerful women on Wall Street, are expected to resign from JPMorgan Chase this week because of their roles in the $2.3 billion loss the bank recently suffered when some risky trades blew up in its face.
The Wall Street Journal, which broke that news, also reports that JPMorgan's losses from the "giant trading blunder" keep growing. It cites "people familiar with the situation," as its sources.
Twenty years ago, few Americans approved of homosexuality or thought gay marriage should be legal. Now, nearly half of all Americans support same-sex marriage, though most Christians are still opposed to it.
Syria's violence has not let up. Over the weekend, Syrian troops continued their campaign against those who opposed the regime of President Bashar al-Assad. Let's talk about this with NPR's Kelly McEvers, who's on the line from Beirut. And Kelly, what's the latest?
Afghanistan's president, Hamid Karzai, travels soon to Chicago. He'll attend a summit of NATO, the North Atlantic Alliance, on whose troops Karzai's government depends. At that summit, NATO countries will be asked to pledge billions of dollars to support Afghanistan's security forces after NATO combat troops withdraw in the year 2014. The U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan will also attend that summit. And as he prepared to leave Kabul, he sat down with our own Renee Montagne.
Philadelphia's school district plans to close a quarter of its school buildings in coming years to eliminate a huge budget hole. But parents and activists don't trust the decision-makers. Many of them suspect the plan is a ruse to force charter schools and privatization on the district.
The economy of Wilmington, Ohio was devastated three years ago when the shipping company DHL left town, taking thousands of jobs with it. City leaders now want to embrace a rapidly growing industry - unmanned aerial vehicles, also known as UAVs. In popular culture, they're somewhat inaccurately called drones. The Federal Aviation Administration recently gave the Air Force permission to test UAVs at the now largely vacant Wilmington Air Park. Here's Ann Thompson of member station WVXU.
NPR's business news starts with a Mother's Day shakeup.
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INSKEEP: Yahoo says its CEO, Scott Thompson, is out, after a shareholder revealed an in accuracy on his resume. Mr. Thompson had claimed that he held two college degrees. In fact, he only had one. Thompson's resignation is a victory for an activist hedge fund that has been pressing for a shakeup in how Yahoo is run.
Facebook is expected to start selling stock to the public this week. The social networking giant is expected to begin trading on the Nasdaq Stock Market on Friday. CEO Mark Zuckerberg will remain the company's biggest shareholder. Steven Levy, of Wired magazine, talks to Morning Edition's David Greene about what that means for the company and potential shareholders.
You know, one of the benefits of starting your own company is that you can pretty much wear whatever you want - up to a point. Our last word in business today is: dress for success.
Just as Steve Jobs was known for his mock-turtleneck, Mark Zuckerberg has become known for his hoodie. Business blogs breathlessly chronicle Zuckerberg's dress decisions and note the fact that he sports the collegiate just-rolled-out-of-bed look, even at important business meetings.
The head of JPMorgan Chase says the trading strategy that cost it $2 billion in a matter of weeks won't really affect the bank's bottom line. But the trade happened during a presidential campaign where the economy and Wall Street are major themes.
Some other news. The oil boom in western North Dakota has sparked one of the largest migrations to a single area in the United States since the Great Depression. Communities that once struggled to keep people at all, are now struggling to absorb all the newcomers as workers from across the country arrive to seek their fortunes in oil.
The conference finals are underway in the National Hockey League playoffs. In the East, the New York Rangers will face the New Jersey Devils Monday. In the West, the Los Angeles Kings have won Game 1 — beating the Phoenix Coyotes 4-2.
Republicans hope to wrest control of the U.S. Senate in November from the majority Democrats, who have twice as many seats to defend this year. One state where the GOP has high hopes is Nebraska, where two-term incumbent Ben Nelson, a Democrat, is retiring. Voters from both parties will select their nominees Tuesday, and the Republican winner is likely to face a familiar face: former Democratic Sen. Bob Kerrey.