"It's a very curious time in high-energy physics," says Michael Peskin, a researcher at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory in California. On the one hand, researchers have just made the most significant discovery in decades: In July of last year, they announced they had found the Higgs particle at a collider in Switzerland. The Higgs is part of the mechanism that gives mass to everything. It is so fundamental that without it, we wouldn't exist.
Jeanne Pincha-Tulley, a Type 1 incident commander, addresses the media in the then-evacuated town of Idyllwild, as the Mountain Fire grows closer. Pincha-Tulley has a reputation for being frank and direct with the media and public. "For the next two days," she said, "the fire is going to put embers right over this town."
A Smokey the Bear sign stands undamaged by the flames that raced by it two days earlier on their way to engulfing 42 square miles of the San Jacinto Mountains in California. The sign sits next to the Esperanza Firefighters Memorial Highway, named after five firefighters who died battling the Esperanza Fire in similar terrain in 2006.
A line of dirty fire engines rumbles off of Southern California's Pine to Palms Highway into an open field, trailing a cloud of brown dust. The drivers' faces are smudged with black soot.
Across the road, helicopters land to fill with water and fuel before whacking their way back up through the smoky sky. The scenic San Jacinto Mountains behind them are bare and black, burnt clean of tree and bush. Puffs of gray smoke rise like faint ghosts.
After an extensive investigation lasting well over a year, NPR's ombudsman has concluded the network's series on South Dakota's efforts to put Native American children in foster care was fundamentally flawed.
The network and the ombudsman, Edward Schumacher-Matos, who is paid to critique NPR's news coverage, have split sharply over his findings.
A trip to Malibu is the perfect getaway during your summer vacation. But good luck finding a place to park. Some Malibu residents place fake "No Parking" signs along the coast to keep tourists off of public beaches. And it's not just a problem in Malibu. A bill in the California Legislature would allow the state's Coastal Commission to start cracking down on the 600 backlogged public access violations along the coast.
Attorney General Eric Holder outlined federal steps to cut long prison sentences for some drug offenders. In a speech before the American Bar Association, Holder said the change is necessary to curb growing incarceration costs and to make the justice system more fair.
A federal judge in New York City ruled that the police department has been violating the civil rights of tens of thousands of minority New Yorkers with its practice of warrantless searches, better known as "stop-and-frisk." It's a rebuke for city officials have defended the tactic as an important crime-fighting tool. Judge Shira Scheindlin is appointing a federal monitor to oversee reforms at the department.
More now on Egypt. Over the past year, we've checked in often with Dr. Abdul Mawgoud Dardery. He is an English professor from Luxor. He got his PhD in Pittsburgh. He is a member of the Muslim Brotherhood who ran for parliament as a candidate of President Morsi's Freedom and Justice Party. He was a moderate in that group and he won a seat from Luxor before the parliamentary elections were thrown out by a court.
He's in Washington this week as a representative of a pro-Democracy, anti-coup group. Welcome to the program once again.
More than 100 years after the eradication of cholera in the island nation of Haiti, the disease has reemerged with a vengeance. A new study out of Yale University traces the outbreak back to an infected Nepalese disaster response team, dispatched by the UN in the aftermath of Haiti's massive 2010 earthquake. Robert Siegel speaks with the study supervisor, Muneer Ahmad.