If you live in the Northeast, this has been a wacky winter: It has been deathly cold in Eastern Europe, as flowers bloom in New York City and temperatures rise to the high 40s and even 50s.
I went in search of flowers in bloom and was not disappointed. There were bushes of red camellias, and gorgeous yellow flowering Adonis. Kristin Schleiter is the acting director of outdoor gardens at the New York Botanical Garden. She took me to an outdoor test garden.
Kabul's fourth snowstorm in the past month brought children out to play across the city, including those in the Charahi Qambar refugee camp in the western part of the capital.
Many of the children in the camp don't remember any other life outside of this mud-brick shantytown. Most of their parents fled the southern province of Helmand when the war heated up there four years ago.
The dispute over Iran's nuclear program has again rocked oil markets. And Iran is threatening to close the Strait of Hormuz, which is just 34 miles wide yet serves as the passageway for 20 percent of the world's oil.
This is not a new drama. In fact, it was a recurring issue in the 1980s. Still, there's been relatively little activity among Gulf oil producers to find alternative routes to get their oil to market.
The Westminster Kennel Club dog show is under way, and that means dogs are being pampered, brushed and cajoled to walk before the event's judges. First held in 1877, the Westminster show claims to be second only to the Kentucky Derby in terms of continuously held sporting events.
Score one for the pigs. The news that McDonald's will require its U.S. pork suppliers to phase out the use of gestational crates should add a lot more momentum to efforts to end the practice of confining sows while pregnant.
Mitt Romney, self-proclaimed "son of Detroit," appears to be in serious trouble in Michigan, falling behind to rival Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum in new polls.
Despite that, he's standing firm on his position that the Obama administration should have allowed two iconic car companies — GM and Chrysler — to enter the regular corporate bankruptcy process three years ago.
Originally published on Tue February 14, 2012 2:05 pm
A coalition of fans and five U.S. senators are urging the Federal Communications Commission to scrap its so called Sports Blackout Rule. The policy allows the NFL to block local broadcasts of games that don't sell out.
The rule has been in place since 1975, and the Sports Fan Coalition says it is outdated and "fan-unfriendly."
In January, a group of residents in Duluth, Minn., launched an anti-racism effort called the Un-Fair Campaign. They created ads, posters and billboards aimed to raise awareness about racial injustice and asking white people to recognize institutional racism.
The posters have prompted thoughtful discussion in some circles and backlash in others.
The organizers are also planning other events — a series of discussion, speeches and films, around the city.
'Cool' is a word that has come to mean so much more than just a temperature. It can be an attitude, a style or a sound. The word continues to evolve and has a variety of meanings.
In a new collection of essays, Black Cool: One Thousand Streams of Blackness, writers explore the definition of coolness within African-American culture. Writer Rebecca Walker edited the book and compiled a series of essays aimed to build a "periodic table of Black Cool, element by element," to explain the myriad meanings of blackness in the United States today.
A recent study finds that a drug approved by the FDA to treat skin cancer in humans has reversed signs of Alzheimer's in mice and improvements showed up quickly. Neuroscientist Gary Landreth, one of the co-authors of the study, described that on TALK OF THE NATION: SCIENCE FRIDAY last week.
If you believe the Uzbek government, today is not a day for love and friendship. Nope.
It is a day to celebrate the Moghul emperor Babur, who celebrates his birthday on Feb. 14. Now this hasn't always been case in the Central Asian country. The BBC reports that in years past, lovers celebrated Valentine's Day by listening to the songs of Rayhan, "a popular singer whose music mixes Eastern melodies with Western pop."
When your products sell for more than $80 million, selling one of them is a big deal. Selling hundreds of them in one deal means they're probably feeling pretty good over at Boeing right now. The aircraft company has finalized a deal to sell 230 jets to Lion Air of Indonesia, with a total list price of $22.4 billion — a record for Chicago-based Boeing.
The deal, which was first announced in November during President Obama's multi-country tour of Asia, includes 201 737 MAX jets and 29 of Boeing's extended range 737-900ERs.
Four years after Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Tim Weiner published Legacy of Ashes, his detailed history of the CIA, he received a call from a lawyer in Washington, D.C.
"He said, 'I've just gotten my hands on a Freedom of Information Act request that's 26 years old for [FBI Director] J. Edgar Hoover's intelligence files. Would you like them?' " Weiner tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "And after a stunned silence, I said, 'Yes, yes.' "
Republicans rarely meet a tax cut that they don't like. Now that they have found one, they are finding it politically impossible to stop it.
On Tuesday, President Obama called on Congress to extend a 2 percentage point reduction in payroll taxes, which fund Social Security. The cut, enacted last year, is otherwise set to expire at the end of the month.
The current cut means a savings of about $20 a week to a worker who earns $50,000 a year and about $2,000 a year to someone making $100,000.
Some people fill their workshops with sawdust and power tools; Ben Rasmussen built a chocolate factory in his.
Actually, "factory" might be too big a word for the Woodbridge, Va. operation, which Rasmussen says is "absurdly small." But it's a step up from his kitchen, where his Potomac Chocolate – one of the smallest chocolate companies in the U.S. – was born.
Pop super star Whitney Houston's funeral will be held at the Newark, N.J. church where she sang as a little girl. Citing the owner of Whigham Funeral Home in Newark, the AP reports her funeral will take place at the New Hope Baptist Church on Saturday, Feb. 18.
Originally published on Tue February 14, 2012 8:12 am
For the second time in recent weeks, the USS Abraham Lincoln has passed through the Strait of Hormuz. If you remember the strait has been central in the diplomatic rift between Iran and the United States.
Reacting to sanctions imposed by the United States and approved by the European Union, Iran has threatened to close the narrow strait through which about 20 perent of the world's oil exports passes through.
A man thought to be Iranian blew off his legs, when he tried to lob an explosive at police in Bangkok. Shortly before that happened, two other explosions were reported in the commercial district of the city.
The AP reports police found a passport that identified the man as Saeid Moradi from Iran.