Howard Berkes is a correspondent for the NPR Investigations Unit.

The Two-Way
3:08 pm
Fri September 23, 2011

10 Years Later, Remembering One Of The Nation's Worst Mine Disasters

Ten years ago today, as a horrified America struggled to respond to the September 11 attacks, 13 coal miners died in multiple explosions at the Jim Walter Resources coal mine in Brookwood, Alabama.

The overwhelming and justifiable attention to the thousands of deaths in New York, The Pentagon and Pennsylvania 12 days before kept the Jim Walter mine disaster in the shadows. It was the nation's worst mine disaster in nearly two decades and it involved a methane gas explosion, a familiar danger underground.

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Conflict In Libya
3:05 pm
Fri September 23, 2011

In Libya, Some Just Learning Of Gadhafi's Demise

Libyans flee on foot along the main road heading west, away from Sirte, on Tuesday. Sirte, cut off from the rest of the country, is the last major town controlled by forces loyal to toppled dictator Moammar Gadhafi.
Gaia Anderson AP

In Libya, civilians are fleeing from Sirte, the last major town that is still in the hands of forces loyal to ousted strongman Moammar Gadhafi.

Many say they were cut off from the rest of the country, without electricity and with dwindling food supplies. Some say they knew nothing of the rebel advances in the past month, including the capture of the capital, Tripoli.

They didn't know that they would be emerging into a new country.

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Politics
3:00 pm
Fri September 23, 2011

What Happens If FEMA Runs Out Of Money?

A resident speaks to a Federal Emergency Management Agency agent atop his destroyed house in the devastated town of Hueytown, Ala., on May 1. FEMA will run out of money to help disaster victims by early next week unless Congress acts.
Nicholas Kamm AFP/Getty Images

Congress is at odds over a measure needed to keep the government operating past the end of the month.

While lawmakers have a week to work out their differences before the government faces another partial shutdown, one agency faces a much earlier deadline.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency will run out of money early next week, putting a halt to projects in communities around the country still struggling to recover from this year's spate of hurricanes, tornadoes and wildfires.

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Education
1:45 pm
Fri September 23, 2011

Obama Lets States Opt Out Of 'No Child Left Behind'

Decrying the state of American education, President Obama announced Friday that his administration is allowing states to be exempt from basic elements of the No Child Left Behind law if they meet certain conditions.

States can now apply for waivers so that they won't face federal sanctions under the sweeping Bush-era legislation.

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Research News
1:39 pm
Fri September 23, 2011

New Data Put Cosmic Speed Limit To The Test

A neutrino detector like this one, seen at Los Alamos National Laboratory in 1995, was used to collect data claiming that neutrinos can travel faster than the speed of light.
Fred Rick Time & Life Pictures/Getty Image

A fundamental rule of nature is that nothing travels faster than the speed of light. Now, physicists working in Europe say they may have discovered a sub-atomic particle that breaks that speed limit. But that extraordinary claim is being greeted with a healthy dose of skepticism.

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The Salt
1:23 pm
Fri September 23, 2011

Why Skipping Salt Is So Hard To Do

TooFarNorth Flickr

We all know too much sodium in our diet can be bad for our health. It can lead to high blood pressure, heart disease, strokes and more. The U.S. dietary guidelines made specific recommendations last year for African Americans to reduce their intake. But why is it so hard to cut back?

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Linton Weeks joined NPR in the summer of 2008, as its national correspondent for Digital News. He immediately hit the campaign trail, covering the Democratic and Republican National Conventions; fact-checking the debates; and exploring the candidates, the issues and the electorate.

Weeks is originally from Tennessee, and graduated from Rhodes College in 1976. He was the founding editor of Southern Magazine in 1986. The magazine was bought — and crushed — in 1989 by Time-Warner. In 1990, he was named managing editor of The Washington Post's Sunday magazine. Four years later, he became the first director of the newspaper's website, Washingtonpost.com. From 1995 until 2008, he was a staff writer in the Style section of The Washington Post.

It's All Politics
1:04 pm
Fri September 23, 2011

House, Senate Stalemate Over Spending Bill Days Before Potential Shutdown

Speaker John Boehner didn't provide much reason Friday to hope that efforts to avert a federal government shutdown next week wouldn't go to the 11th hour like all congressional spending negotiations since last November's election.

Asked at a brief availability with journalists in the House Press Gallery if he had talked with Sen. Harry Reid, the Nevada Democrat who sets the Senate's agenda, Boehner said:

"I had a conversation with the Senate majority leader before I came down. There wasn't much progress made."

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Politics
12:59 pm
Fri September 23, 2011

Also-Rans: What Drives The Perennial Candidates?

Socialist candidate for the presidency Norman Thomas parades down Wisconsin Avenue in Milwaukee in 1932, where he made a speech.
AP

Originally published on Fri September 23, 2011 4:11 pm

The perennial presidential candidate: Like the Energizer Bunny, he just keeps going and going. Like Old Man River, he keeps on rolling along. And he is held up as a pure example from the high school civics class in which we were taught that in America anyone can run for president.

He is also, like the majority of people who seek office, an also-ran.

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