How do you keep a cold city cool during the summer? Mongolia's capital city — , its average temperature at the peak of summer is 72 degrees Fahrenheit — has an idea that sounds adventurous.
During the cold months, the city of Ulan Bator wants to create artificial glaciers that will then melt slowly during summer, absorbing some of the heat and helping to keep the temperatures down. Here's how Wired explains the process in their piece today:
An Asian lizard that likes to come out at night has become a prime target for hunters looking to make a quick ringgit, dong or Philippine peso.
The tokay gecko is reputed to have HIV-fighting properties, though there is no scientific evidence to support that notion. And it's been an ingredient in Asian traditional medicines for lots of other uses, including cancer.
Tonight, the American literary establishment gathers here in New York for the National Book Awards. It's not quite the Oscars, but the honor can change the career of a novelist, historian or poet and vault a book to the top of the best-seller lists. Last year, the fiction award went to a little known author for her novel "Lord of Misrule," which had an initial press run of 2,000 copies. They've had to reprint. Jaimy Gordon joins us in just a moment. We'd like to hear from you too.
The biggest names on the Internet — Google, Facebook, Twitter, AOL and eBay — are banding together to urge Congress to scrap the Stop Online Piracy Act, which they say poses a huge threat to the Internet. The House is set to debate the measure today.
What does a clothing company that sells high-end products with names like Nano Puff know about the fish business?
"It is a big jump," Yvon Chouinard, the storied founder of Patagonia, admits to The Salt. He's talking about the company's new plan to sell fish — salmon jerky to be exact — at his retail shops around the world.
The Occupy Wall Street movement continues to protest policies that have made the top 1 percent of income earners richer, while about 14 million Americans are out of work.
Meanwhile, the Congressional supercommittee only has one week left to come up with a plan that will cut more than $1 trillion from the deficit. Republicans are opposed to raising revenues by raising taxes, even on the wealthiest Americans, who have seen their taxes dramatically cut over the past 14 years.
Originally published on Wed November 16, 2011 2:28 pm
NEAL CONAN, HOST:
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in New York. The Supreme Court puts health care on the docket for the presidential campaign. The supercommittee can't move off the dime, while Cain and Perry suffer forgettable moments.
It's Wednesday and time for a...
GOVERNOR RICK PERRY: I stepped in it.
CONAN: ...edition of the Political Junkie.
PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN: There you go again.
VICE PRESIDENT WALTER MONDALE: When I hear your new ideas, I'm reminded of that ad, where's the beef?
Yesterday, New York City Police evicted hundreds of Occupy Wall Street protesters from privately owned Zuccotti Park in New York, on the orders of Mayor Michael Bloomberg. A judge in New York ruled that the removal was legal and protesters could use the park, but their free speech rights did not extend to putting up tents or staying overnight. Similar evictions in other cities have raised serious questions about the future of the Occupy movement.
I'll admit, it's kind of hokey to be talking about a novel called The Pilgrim right before Thanksgiving. What's even more quaint is the fact that The Pilgrim is one of those straightforward works of historical fiction the likes of which we don't see so much anymore.
Originally published on Wed November 16, 2011 2:12 pm
A truck carrying coal slammed into a overcrowded bus this morning in the Northwest Chinese township of Yulinzi, killing 18 children and two adults. According to China's official news agency Xinhua, 44 other children were injured. Xinhua reports that "a van with nine seats was carrying 64 people."
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is fighting back opponents who want him out of office. If organizers gather more than 500,000 signatures in 60 days, a new election will be held in 2012. Host Michel Martin speaks with Gov. Walker, who defends his record and criticizes the recall effort that began Tuesday.
Everything's big in Texas. Even health insurance mandates, it seems.
The Center for Public Integrity is out with a story about a Texas law that made it mandatory for health insurers to reimburse patients up to $200 for CT scans and ultrasound tests to look for heart trouble.
Originally published on Wed November 16, 2011 2:27 pm
(New top to this post added at 2:20 p.m. ET)
The U.S. Secret Service just confirmed that Oscar Ramiro Ortega-Hernandez has been arrested in connection with the gunshots fired Friday night in Washington — one of which apparently hit a window at the White House.
In a statement sent to reporters, the agency says:
"Syrian activists say that army defectors have attacked an intelligence complex in the Damascus suburbs in what appears to be one of their boldest assaults so far against government security forces," al-Jazeera reports.
The major reason for the dip: "The energy index turned down in October after increasing in each of the three previous months as the gasoline and household energy indexes declined after a series of seasonally adjusted increases."
After yesterday's drama — the move by police to clear lower Manhattan's Zuccotti Park of the Occupy Wall Street protesters who had been camping there for nearly two months — things are much different today.
Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. President Obama has one less thing to worry about, thanks to an Australian insurance company. On his visit down under, he's insured against a crocodile attack. When he gets to the city of Darwin, he'll be presented with a $51,000 policy. Now, it's not the first time locals have instituted extra measures to protect the American president. When Mr. Obama visited India, crews trimmed coconuts off the trees to ensure none fell on his head. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
Originally published on Wed November 16, 2011 8:08 am
In an email to a friend, Mike McQueary says he did speak with Penn State University police after seeing what he says was former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky sexually assaulting a young boy in the team's locker room.
Harrisburg's Patriot-News writes that McQueary, who at the time of the 2002 incident was a graduate assistant with the football team and later became an assistant coach, says in the email that:
Target is scheduled to open at midnight on Black Friday. Target employee Anthony Hardwick of Nebraska started the petition asking the retail chain to open later. He says before working all night, he'd have to miss a Thanksgiving gathering to get enough sleep.
There's one week to go before the so-called supercommittee on Capitol Hill is supposed to come up with a deal that combines at least $1.2 trillion in budget cuts and revenue increases to narrow upcoming deficits over the next decade. If lawmakers don't reach an agreement, that amount of spending cuts are supposed to happen automatically — with about 50 percent coming from defense and 50 percent from domestic spending other than Social Security and Medicare.
And our last word in business today is save the tanooki.
(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)
MONTAGNE: The animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is attacking Nintendo's new video game "Super Mario 3-D Land." In the game, Super Mario sometimes wears the skin of a tanooki, which is a raccoon dog. Steve, you may have to finish...
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
Oh no, come, no, no. It's fine. Come on, it's a raccoon dog. It's a nice animal.
Let's remember a bit of very recent history. Back in August, Congress came close to defaulting on U.S. government debts. Republicans wanted big cuts in spending. They finally got some, but a deal with President Obama pushed more deficit reductions off to the future, to a bipartisan committee which has been meeting this fall, and now has one week left until its deadline to reach a deal.
Republican presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich is rising in the polls, but Rick Perry is back in the spotlight after some proposals he made in Iowa yesterday. The Texas governor wants Congress to take a 50 percent pay cut, as part of a sweeping plan to overhaul the government.
Australia is the latest stop on President Obama's tour of the Pacific Rim countries that the president thinks should be the new focus of U.S. foreign policy. It is already the focus of a competition for influence with China.