Glaciers in the Alps of Europe pose a scientific mystery. They started melting rapidly back in the 1860s. In a span of about 50 years, some of the biggest glaciers had retreated more than half a mile.
But nobody could explain the glacier's rapid decline. Now, a new study from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory uncovers a possible clue to why the glaciers melted before temperatures started rising: Soot from the Industrial Revolution could have heated up the ice.
All over the country, lawyers who defend poor people in criminal cases have been sharing their stories about painful budget cuts. Some federal public defenders have shut their doors to new clients after big layoffs. And in many states, the public defense system has operated in crisis for years.
But an unprecedented recent court filing from the Justice Department has cheered the typically overburdened attorneys who represent the poor and could have dramatic implications for the representation of indigent defendants.
Asheville, a mountain town in North Carolina, is known for at least two important native sons: writers Thomas Wolfe, whose 1929 novel Look Homeward, Angel eviscerated some locals, and Charles Frazier, whose 1997 civil war novel Cold Mountain is set in the nearby hills. But there is also a little-known story of another writer — F. Scott Fitzgerald — who, along with his wife Zelda, had devastating connections to the town.
Sir Mark Elder conducts a Berlioz/Shakespeare concert Berlioz: Le Corsaire Overture Berlioz: Queen Mab Scherzo; Romeo at the Tomb of the Capulets from Romeo and Juliet Berlioz: Harold in Italy (Lawrence Power, viola) Berlioz: Nuits d'ete (Susan Graham, mezzo-soprano; Pierre Boulez, conductor)
Dave Vesely is busy training his dog, Sharpy. She isn't learning to sit or fetch or even herd sheep; Sharpy is learning to find the nests of western pond turtles.
These turtles are sneaky. After laying their eggs in a small hole, they knead together dirt, leaves and their own urine to plug the opening. Once this mud dries, the nest looks like an unremarkable patch of ground.
Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto says his nation is undergoing a major change — one his country should not fear. Pena Nieto gave an upbeat assessment of his nine-month-old administration in his first State of the Union address on Monday.
Despite his positive review of Mexico's condition, the new president is dealing with chaotic protests in the capital, intractable levels of violence and a less favorable economic outlook than predicted.
He campaigned on the promise of creating a modern and prosperous Mexico. And according to his appraisal, he's done just that.
The coal industry is trying to buff up its image in Texas. Texas is known for oil and gas, but it's also a big coal producer. And mining companies are paying for a boot camp for science teachers that has some educators and parents upset.
Laura Isensee, of member station KUHF in Houston, has more.
Verizon Communications is paying $130 billion to buy part of its wireless unit from the British company Vodafone. It's one of the biggest deals in the history of the telecommunications business and underscores the growing profitability of wireless. Robert Siegel talks to NPR's Jim Zarroli about the deal.