In a draft report (pdf) released today, the Environmental Protection Agency confirmed what many residents of Pavilion, Wyoming have been complaining about for some time now: Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, is responsible for polluting the area's drinking water.
Lawyer and anti-corruption activist Alexei Navalny, left, is taken to court in Moscow on Tuesday. Navalny was detained Monday along with 300 protesters who rallied against what they called vote rigging during Sunday's parliamentary election.
Credit Sergey Ponomarev / AP
Navalny (shown here Nov. 4 during an authorized march on the outskirts of Moscow) first rose to prominence in 2007, when he took his protest against the state oil pipeline monopoly online.
The U.S. climate change envoy Todd Stern delivers a speech on Dec. 8 in Durban, South Africa, during the U.N. Climate Change Conference. The climate talks entered their second week entangled in a thick mesh of issues with no guarantee that negotiators and their ministers will be able to sort them out.
United Nations climate talks, like many negotiations, are a blend of dead seriousness and theater. Today at the talks in Durban, South Africa, an American college student provided a moment of theater by shouting out a short, unauthorized speech during the main session of the talks. Her interruption encapsulated frustration with the pace of the talks in general, and the United States' role in particular.
Foster Smith (left) and his best friend, Mark Ballard (right), met when they were 12 years old. After losing his job, and his ability to make rent, Smith moved into a room in Ballard's College Park, Ga., home.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has for the first time implicated a connection between "fracking" and contamination of ground water. The controversial method of natural gas and oil extraction consists of injecting high-pressure water and chemicals into the ground in order to more easily access the oil and gas. Robert Siegel speaks with NPR's Elizabeth Shogren about the report.
An exterior view of the Office of the National Register for Secret State Information, or ORNISS, which stores confidential information and ensures only authorised people gain access to it, taken in Bucharest on December 8.
Originally published on Thu December 8, 2011 2:59 pm
That the Central Intelligence Agency had a so-called "black site" in Romania was well known. It was known that it was in one of those secret prisons that intelligence officials conducted harsh interrogations with major Al-Qaida operatives, including Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammad.
Today, the result of a joint investigation with German public television, the AP reports it has found the site where Mohammad was held and interrogated. And it's not where you would think it is. The AP reports on the prison in Bucharest known as "Bright Light":
Newt Gingrich once called himself "the most seriously professorial politician since Woodrow Wilson."
But that was 1995, and the "Contract with America" co-author had just helped to propel Republicans into power in the House for the first time in 40 years, and Gingrich himself into the speaker's role. Even the rarely modest Gingrich had reason to gloat.
Just two years later, of course, he had become the first speaker ever punished by the House for ethics violations, and the end was in sight for both his leadership and congressional career.
Calling someone a "rat" is no compliment, but a new study shows that rats actually are empathetic and will altruistically lend a helping paw to a cage mate who is stuck in a trap.
Not only will rats frantically work to free their trapped cage mate; they will do so even when there's a tempting little pile of chocolate chips nearby, the study reveals. Instead of leaving their pal in the trap and selfishly gobbling the candy all by themselves, rats will free their cage mate and share the chocolate.
Christopher Miller samples sediments from an excavation site in South Africa. Archaeologists found layers upon layers of burned bedding material, indicating that the hunter-gatherers who lived here 77,000 years ago stayed for a long time.
Credit Courtesy of Christopher Miller
Leafy green sedge grass grows outside the Sibudu cave along the uThongathi River in South Africa. The sedge was arranged on the ground and covered with river wild quince leaves, which are known to repel insects.
Attorney General Eric Holder testifies before the House Judiciary Committee. He faces tough questions about the Justice Department's "Fast and Furious" gun-control program.
Credit John Moore / Getty Images
Border Patrol agent Michael Wagenen attends a memorial service for slain comrade Brian Terry, who was killed during a shootout near the U.S.-Mexico border last year. His death pushed Congress to investigate "Fast and Furious" when two guns linked to the program were found near Terry's body.
Attorney General Eric Holder got a bruising reception from the Republican-dominated House Judiciary Committee that put the Justice Department on the defensive.
Holder answered questions about the botched gun trafficking operation known as "Fast and Furious" in which federal agents tried to build cases against drug cartels. Instead, they lost track of hundreds of weapons that turned up at crime scenes along the Southwest border.
Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio discusses the latest in the document release on his office's handling of many sexual assault cases over the years in El Mirage, Ariz., during a news conference Monday.
Originally published on Thu December 8, 2011 12:40 pm
Are shoppers getting their money's worth when they choose a salmon filet wearing an eco-sticker?
A study released this week by the University of Victoria's Seafood Ecology Research Group found that most eco-labels on farmed seafood don't reflect better fish farming practices than other products on the market.
Originally published on Thu December 8, 2011 12:15 pm
Nothing ruins a nice cruise or a gluttonous run down the office party buffet like the norovirus.
The obnoxious virus causes the euphemistically-named stomach flu and is one of the most common foodborne illnesses. If you catch it, there's no drug to make you better. You pretty much have to ride out the diarrhea, vomiting and stomach pain for a few days.
Originally published on Thu December 8, 2011 12:16 pm
A vote to move forward on the nomination of former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray to run the new federal consumer protection agency fell seven votes short in the Senate this morning. Republicans banded together to make sure there weren't the 60 votes needed to invoke cloture and move on to a vote on the nomination itself.
A new poll released Wednesday by Time magazine and CNN finds Newt Gingrich staying ahead of Mitt Romney in three out of the four states with January primaries or caucuses.
Gingrich's lead in the key primary states has sparked private discussions among President Obama's advisers about the former House speaker's "realistic chance" of winning the Republican presidential nomination, CBS News reported.