Nathan Hoskins knew from an early age that he was gay. But when he was growing up in rural Kentucky, his mother took extreme steps to convince him otherwise.
"When I was in sixth grade, I had met a good friend and he wasn't interested in girls," Hoskins, who's now 33, tells his friend Sally Evans. "One day, he said, 'I have a Valentine's Day card for you.'"
"I asked him for it, and he said it was so special that he mailed it," he says. "And he didn't know he'd done a very terrible thing because at my house only one person got the mail — and that was my mother."
A screen shot from Ethical Oil's OurDecision.ca campaign, which calls on Canadians to write to Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver asking him to ban foreigners and "their local puppet groups" from appearing before ongoing public hearings for a new pipeline project.
Yet another foreign government has accused Americans of meddling in its internal affairs. It says U.S. donors are bankrolling local political activists, and it may be time for a crackdown on the political influence of outsiders.
The oil industry and environmentalists are fighting over the Keystone XL pipeline, and in this election year, President Obama is caught in the middle.
The industry says the pipeline, which would carry oil from Canada to the Gulf Coast, would create jobs. Environmentalists worry it will lead to more pollution. Obama has until next month to make a decision, and that has both sides lobbying heavily.
The U.S. military says it's investigating a video that appears to show Marines desecrating the corpses of Taliban fighters killed in Afghanistan. Regardless of those findings, the outrage in the Islamic world is likely to be severe, as with other disturbing images that have surfaced during U.S. wars in Muslim countries over the past decade.
Originally published on Fri January 13, 2012 2:33 pm
A new study in the journal Health Affairs estimates that a penny-per-ounce tax on soft drinks and other sugary beverages could prevent about 240,000 cases of diabetes per year, and 8,000 strokes and 26,000 premature deaths over a decade (or 2,600 per year).
Yes, death by soda.
So the analysis got me thinking: Our behavior is hard to predict, right? I know mine is.
Scientists are facing a riddle. For two years, researchers at Dauphin Island Sea Lab in Alabama have been studying the diets of Tiger Sharks in the Gulf of Mexico and they found that the sharks not only eat sea creatures, but also make a habit of eating land birds. Yep that's right woodpeckers, catbirds, kingbirds and swallows have all been found in their bellies.
A storefront in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, is brightly painted with a message welcoming President Michel Martelly into power. Two years after a devastating earthquake destroyed much of the Haitian capital, progress is palpable.
Credit Jason Beaubien / NPR
Gerline Rousole, 22, stands next to her son, Savoiu, 7, in Place Pigeon, a displaced-person camp outside the National Palace in Port-Au-Price. Both of Rousole's parents died in the Jan. 12, 2010, earthquake. "If my parents were still alive, I wouldn't be here," she says.
Credit Jason Beaubien / NPR
At the Place Pigeon camp, residents bathe in the streets by pouring water over themselves from a basin.
In Port-au-Prince, a radio blares from speakers in front of a guy selling pirated CDs on Delmas, a main street in the Haitian capital. Women sitting along the side of the road hawk everything from vegetables to cigarettes to pharmaceuticals. Overloaded tap-taps, the pickup trucks that serve as the main form of public transportation here, chug up the hill.
The scene is one that's remarkable for being unremarkable: Though it occurred this week, it could just as easily have been Port-au-Prince two years ago, before a massive earthquake destroyed much of the capital.
Earlier this month, a group Chinese workers at Foxxconn spent two days on the roof of one of the companies factories in central China. As The Telegraph reported, the workers were threatening to commit suicide to protest their working conditions.
Originally published on Thu January 12, 2012 4:23 pm
Earlier this week, we were surprised to learn that food manufacturers increasingly X-ray foods to screen for foreign objects that can break a tooth. That sounds like a good idea.
But the notion of X-rayed food also sparked a lively debate in The Salt's comments section on whether this poses a health threat. After all, we do know that some X-rays can damage DNA in the human body. So what does radiation mean for food?
Originally published on Thu January 12, 2012 3:28 pm
An investigating officer has recommended that Army private Bradley Manning face court-martial on multiple criminal charges related to the downloading of nearly 1 million war logs and secret diplomatic cables. Manning is accused of taking the files and them passing them on to WikiLeaks.
If he does face a court martial and is convicted, he could be sentenced to life in prison.
CORNISH: Earlier this week, we remembered the pianist Alexis Weissenberg, who died Sunday at the age of 82. He was known for the precision of his playing. One critic even called it chillingly scientific. But pianist Kirill Gerstein, who knew him well, told us that Weissenberg was just the opposite.
KIRILL GERSTEIN: I think he was not at all cold, neither as a person nor as a musician. I think there was a burning intensity that you could always sense.
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, known as ICANN, is forging ahead with plans to sell new domain categories despite vocal opposition. The decision raises questions about who should govern the Internet.
This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.
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William Janklow, a former Republican governor and congressman from South Dakota, died today at a Sioux Falls hospice center. He was 72 years old. Janklow announced in November he had an inoperable brain tumor.
An Indian street dweller prepares food on the streets of Kolkata. A growing number of scientists say that reducing black carbon — mostly soot from burning wood, charcoal and dung — would have an immediate and powerful impact on climate.
Politically, climate change is off this year's campaign agenda. Jobs, the economy and social issues are front and center.
But scientists are working as hard as ever to figure out how much the Earth is warming and what to do about it. Some now say it's time for a new strategy, one that gets faster results.
Talk to Durwood Zaelke, for example. Zaelke is a grizzled veteran of the climate wars: He was in Kyoto in 1997 when the world's nations drafted a treaty promising to curb warming, and he has watched that promise fizzle while the planet's temperature continues to rise.
Originally published on Thu January 12, 2012 2:57 pm
The "Battle Over Bain" has become a hot topic at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a key player in politics.
U.S. Chamber of Commerce President Tom Donohue says he is "disappointed" that some GOP presidential candidates are attacking front-runner and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney for his work at Bain Capital in the 1990s.