Latin America
7:31 am
Thu September 6, 2012

Guess Who's Chopping Down The Amazon Now?

Loggers discuss the day's plan in a camp called Puesto Viejo, or "old post."
Carlos Villalon for NPR

Originally published on Thu September 6, 2012 5:20 pm

Though Brazil's Amazon has been the focus of environmental groups for decades, the deforestation rate there has fallen dramatically in recent years as clear-cutting of Amazonian jungle in eight other countries has started to rise.

As a result, the 40 percent of Amazonia located in a moon-shaped arc of countries from Bolivia to Colombia to French Guiana faces a more serious threat than the jungle in Brazil. The culprits range from ranching to soybean farming, logging to infrastructure development projects.

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It's All Politics
7:28 am
Thu September 6, 2012

What The Democrats' Do-Over Really Says About Party Platforms

Los Angeles Mayor and Democratic Convention Chairman Antonio Villaraigosa calls for a vote to amend the platform Wednesday at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Thu September 6, 2012 8:17 am

Party platforms are like contracts: No one bothers to read them until something bad happens.

We all know that parties to any agreement should study the fine print in advance, and surely that applies to the national political parties. The delegates really ought to spend some of their time in the host city studying the document they are voting to adopt.

But hey, it's a convention. It's a party. Who wants to sit in their hotel room and read?

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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
7:24 am
Thu September 6, 2012

Do Birds Hold Funerals?

Jessica Merz Flickr

Originally published on Thu September 6, 2012 8:02 am

Here's a journal-paper title that grabbed my eye: Western scrub-jay funerals: cacophonous aggregations in response to dead conspecifics.

OK, there's some jargon included — "cacophonous aggregations" refers to birds called in by other birds' vocalizations, and "conspecifics" just means other individuals of the same species. But it's the "f" word — funeral — that caught my attention.

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The Two-Way
7:22 am
Thu September 6, 2012

New Torture And Rendition Allegations Surface Against The U.S.

Originally published on Thu September 6, 2012 2:16 pm

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Europe
7:17 am
Thu September 6, 2012

European Central Bank Announces Euro Plan

Originally published on Thu September 6, 2012 9:02 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

OK, over in Europe there's been a lot debate on what to do about the troubled currency. And today the European Central Bank announced a new plan to bolster the euro at a meeting in Frankfurt. Bank president Mario Draghi is under immense pressure to prevent the collapse of Europe's monetary union. The bank did not lower interest rates, as some investors hoped, but did unveil steps to ease the eurozone's debt crisis. NPR's Jim Zarroli is in Germany, following the events, and he joins us now. Good morning.

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Environment
7:03 am
Thu September 6, 2012

Dry Lightning Sparks Increased Fire Danger

The weather forecast for Northern and Central California over the next few days has state fire fighters on high alert.
 
CalFIRE’s Daniel Berlant says thunderstorms and strong winds could lead to dry lightning.
 
"When we get lightning-sparked fires, there can be dozens – even sometimes hundreds – of fires spread out through a large area.  That always is a challenge for us, because that means additional resources are needed.” 
 

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The Two-Way
6:57 am
Thu September 6, 2012

Putin Flies With Migrating Cranes, Opines About Group Sex; Seriously

Russian President Vladimir Putin, dressed to ... lead wild cranes as they migrate.
Alexey Druzhinin/pool AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 6, 2012 10:50 am

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Shots - Health Blog
6:54 am
Thu September 6, 2012

Detergent Packs Lead To Injuries Overseas, Too

A label warns parents to keep Tide laundry detergent packets away from small children.
Pat Sullivan AP

Scottish doctors report treating five children for injuries after swallowing liquid detergent capsules during the last year and a half.

The kids, all younger than 2, showed up in the emergency room with similar symptoms: drooling and stridor (breathing marked by a whistling sound caused by a narrowed airway). Most were treated with steroids and the placement of tubes to help the kids breath.

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Energy
6:52 am
Thu September 6, 2012

Solar Sets Records for Power Production in California

The operator of California’s power grid says a single-day record amount of energy was harvested from the sun not once, but twice in the past month.  

The California Independent System Operator (Cal ISO)  reports solar production exceeded the one-gigawatt plateau twice in August.  Stephanie McCorkle with Cal ISO says higher production coincides with decreasing costs.

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The Salt
6:50 am
Thu September 6, 2012

Extreme Weather Means Extreme Food Prices Worldwide, Aid Agency Warns

Somali girls line up to receive a hot meal in Mogadishu last year after the worst drought in the Horn of Africa in decades, compounded by war, put millions in danger of starvation.
Roberto Schmmidt AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 1:11 pm

Reducing greenhouse gases and saving the polar bears tend to dominate discussions on climate change. But to the booming world population, one climate change issue may be even more pressing – hunger.

A new report by a leading international relief agency warns that climate change will increase the risk of large spikes in global food prices in the future, and lead to more hungry people in the world. That's because extreme weather like droughts, floods and heat waves are predicted to become much more frequent as the planet heats up.

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