To feed China's insatiable demand for coal, U.S. companies are trying to sell and ship the lucrative commodity to the Asian market from new West Coast ports. Above, the cooling towers of a coal-fired power plant are seen on the outskirts of Beijing.
Credit Robert Nickelsberg / Getty Images
A 133-car coal train is loaded at the Buckskin Coal Mine in Gillete, Wyo. Each car carries 120 tons of coal. New terminals in Washington state could eventually be destinations for coal, which is currently used for power in St. Louis, Detroit, Chicago and the eastern U.S.
This is the second of two reports on plans to export U.S. coal to China.
Coal producers in Wyoming and Montana are hoping new export terminals will be built in Washington state so they can ramp up their sales to China. Activists are trying to stop those ports, in part because they're concerned about global warming. But a thriving export market could also drive up the price of coal here in the United States, and that has climate implications as well.
European leaders met through the night in Brussels and finally emerged Thursday with a debt deal they say is wide-ranging. They're hopeful it will guide the continent out of the widening debt crisis that started with Greece. But it's unclear whether they have the political will and economic flexibility to implement it.
The 12-member supercommittee charged with finding at least $1.2 trillion in budget cuts next month met publicly for the first time in six weeks Wednesday — and agreed on little more than the fact that time is indeed growing short for them to approve a deal. Co-chairman Patty Murray, D-Wash., said a lot of hard work has been done to find common ground and agree on a balanced, bipartisan plan for deficit reduction. But, she added, "We're not there yet."
Protestors in Oakland, California gathered again in front of City Hall. Oakland's Occupy Wall Street last night was much more peaceful than the night before, when police used tear gas and non-lethal bullets to disperse the crowd. The confrontation left one protester hospitalized and it left allegations of excessive police force under investigation. NPR's Carrie Kahn reports.
(SOUNDBITE OF CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
CARRIE KAHN, BYLINE: Protesters by the hundreds streamed into Oakland's downtown city hall plaza.
It's been a week of mixed messaging from two of the campaigns on the presidential trail: that of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and current Texas Gov. Rick Perry.
Romney revived accusations that he's a flip-flopper when he waded into a battle over a ballot proposal in Ohio. Perry created his own distraction by revisiting questions about President Obama's place of birth.
As the Occupy Wall Street movement got going, a Tumblr blog emerged that strived to tell the story of the so-called 99 percent. The idea was simple: Americans would jot their stories down on a piece of paper and hold it up in front of a camera. The site has collected hundreds of pictures since it launched in early September. Most of them are serious but quite a few of them are funny.
NATO's role in Libya was crucial to the rebellion that toppled Moammar Gadhafi, but that assistance came at a cost, according to some Libyans.
Mohammed Abueishi lives in the Souq al-Juma neighborhood of Tripoli, near an apartment building on a quiet residential street that was hit by a NATO airstrike a little after 1 a.m. on June 19.
"I was sleeping and suddenly there was an enormous blast and all the doors and the windows burst open. There was a huge amount of dust in the house," he said. "I stumbled out to find my uncle's house destroyed."
When the people who make Necco Wafers changed their recipe to use natural flavors and colors in 2009, they thought they were doing their customers a favor. But then those customers told the New England Confectionery Company — loudly, and repeatedly — that they preferred artificially enhanced candy.
"Our normal mail volume probably went up twenty-fold" after the change, says Necco Vice President of Research and Quality Jeff Green says. "Some positive, and some negative. But a lot of negative."
Time for our home video feature, where NPR movie critic Bob Mondello suggests something for those who like to pop their own popcorn and pop in a video. For this Halloween week, Bob suggests sending a shiver up your spine with some classics from: Alfred Hitchcock: The Essentials Collection.
"Los Mata Zetas," or the "Zeta Killers," described themselves in a recent video as a paramilitary group that will go after members of the Zeta drug cartel. The Mexican government, however, has described it as a rival drug cartel that is just seeking to eliminate competition from the Zetas.
Credit Yuri Cortez / AFP/Getty Images
A Mexican soldier takes position near the Regional Hospital of Veracruz earlier this month. The armed forces patrol the streets of the port city in an attempt to combat rising drug violence.
In the latest twist to Mexico's drug wars, a new group has vowed to launch a paramilitary offensive against a leading drug cartel in Veracruz, a city that has become a flash point in the violence.
Over the past month, more than 100 bodies have been strewn around the city, which is one of Mexico's largest and oldest ports. The violence prompted Mexican President Felipe Calderon to declare that Veracruz has been "left in the hands of the Zetas," one of the most brutal criminal organizations in the country.
Science is an expensive endeavor. Labs in the U.S. can easily spend millions of dollars each year on equipment, chemicals and supplies alone. But for scientists in the developing world, these costs are often prohibitive. That's where a clever idea has made all the difference.
In a Harvard Medical School corridor on a rainy Saturday afternoon, a handful of graduate students are emptying boxes of scientific equipment into the hallway to take inventory: microcentrifuge tubes, radiation counters, micropipetters, Erlenmeyer flasks.
Indian children light fireworks in New Delhi for Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights. The festival marks the victory of good over evil and commemorates the time when Hindu God Lord Rama achieved victory over Ravana and returned to his kingdom Ayodhya after 14 years in exile.
Police crackdowns in Atlanta and Oakland, Calif., to disperse protests affiliated with the Occupy Wall Street movement could mark a turning point in the tactics of both the demonstrators and the authorities dealing with them, experts say.
Oakland police equipped with riot gear fired tear gas and, according to demonstrators, used rubber bullets and flash grenades on Tuesday to clear Frank Ogawa Park in front of City Hall. In Atlanta, helicopters circled over a small city park just after midnight Wednesday as officers moved in to arrest about 50 protesters.
Opening statements are set to begin Thursday in Boston at the trial of Tarek Mehanna, a 29-year-old American charged in U.S. District Court with conspiracy and providing material support to al-Qaida, as well as planning to attend training camps abroad and making false statements to authorities. He faces a possible life sentence if convicted.
Bloomberg dug through quite a bit of government data to answer a question that's been talked about quite a bit over the past few months: Has President Obama ushered in an era of costly business regulation? Republicans have made the claim regularly. Former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney, a Republican presidential candidate, said, "President Obama has vastly expanded the regulatory reach of government."
Originally published on Mon October 31, 2011 4:46 pm
Kudos to the SF Weekly for their fascinating in-depth cover story last week on bug eating. The City by the Bay has become a "hotbed of insect cuisine," David Gordon, an entomophagist (bug eater) and author of The Eat-A-Bug Cookbook, tells the alternative weekly.
The drive to test healthy people for common cancers rests on the idea that finding malignancies early can trigger life-saving treatment. But the evidence that some of the tests will actually reduce mortality is sometimes lacking or is less than clear cut for the people who'll get tested.
A new report from the Congressional Budget Office shows that the top 1 percent of earners more than doubled their share of the nation's income in the past three decades. Melissa Block talks to NPR's Scott Horsley about the findings.
Last month, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee raised almost double what its Republican counterpart took in despite that the GOP holds the majority in the House. One group of Republicans that seems to be having a tough go of it is that huge class of freshman Republicans who took 2010 by storm.
Amid a relentless and bloody crackdown on protesters by Yemen's government, hundreds of women took to the streets today and set fire to veils traditionally worn by them. As the AP reports, this was not a protest about women's rights, instead "the act of women burning their clothing is a symbolic Bedouin tribal gesture signifying an appeal for help to tribesmen, in this case to stop the attacks on the protesters."
Here's a picture that will remind the rest of the country that winter will soon be upon us:
That picture was taken this morning and posted to Flickr by Pam Morris in Denver, Colo. As she says, the season's first snow is about a week late. The Weather Channel says some parts of Colorado could see up to eight inches of snow and it follows days of record heat.
Originally published on Wed October 26, 2011 4:15 pm
Update at 3:35 p.m. ET: MLB.com has posted the news that Game 6 of the World Series, which was scheduled for tonight in St. Louis, has been postponed to Thursday at 8:05 p.m. ET because of rainy weather.
That means Game 7, if one is needed, would be played on Friday (weather permitting).
The American League's Texas Rangers lead the National League's St. Louis Cardinals, 3 games to 2.