Interior Secretary Ken Salazar speaks at the dedication for the Southwest's first urban wildlife refuge on the southern edge of Albuquerque, N.M., on Sept. 27, 2012. Salazar has announced that he'll leave his post in late March and return to Colorado.
The Department of the Interior is huge — more than 70,000 employees manage a half-billion acres of public land, mostly in the West. The department does everything from operate national parks to administer Native American social programs and manage wild horses.
Vegetation like the kind growing here at Michigan State University's Kellogg Biological Station could one day be used to feed small biofuel refineries spread throughout the Midwest.
This map shows the potential biomass collection within 10 states. Each circle represents an area of about 7,800 square miles, which could produce about 23 million gallons of ethanol per year. A gigagram, or Gg, is about 1,100 tons.
Millions of acres of marginal farmland in the Midwest — land that isn't in good enough condition to grow crops — could be used to produce liquid fuels made from plant material, according to a study in Nature. And those biofuels could, in theory, provide about 25 percent of the advanced biofuels required by a 2007 federal law.
But there are many ifs and buts about this study — and, in fact, about the future of advanced biofuels.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
And I'm Robert Siegel.
In Afghanistan today, Taliban militants staged a brazen attack in the heart of Kabul. Their target was the headquarters of the National Directorate of Security or NDS - it's Afghanistan's equivalent of the FBI.
As NPR's Sean Carberry reports, the attack began with a suicide bombing, then five militants tried to storm the compound.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:
And I'm Audie Cornish.
Algerian Islamists attacked an oil and gas field at dawn this morning in the desert on the border with Libya. They claim to have taken nearly 200 people hostage. In addition to Algerians, they claim to hold seven Americans, as well as French, British and Japanese citizens.
NPR's Eleanor Beardsley in Paris reports the hostage-taking appears to be the first act of retaliation for France's actions in Mali.
Lucas Codognolla, 22, receives his license after qualifying for it under President Obama's federal immigration policy, which allows some young immigrants who are in the country illegally to stay in the U.S. for at least two years.
Lucas Codognolla's hands shake as he waits in line at the Bridgeport, Conn., DMV for his turn to take the road test.
"I don't know if it's nerves or the excitement, you know?" he says.
The 22-year-old's family emigrated from Brazil when was just 9. When he turned 16 and wanted to get his driver's license, his parents sat him down and told him the truth: He was in the country illegally.
Initially, he lied to his friends about why he couldn't drive, he says. But then, as he got older, driving simply became necessary.
Originally published on Thu January 17, 2013 6:41 am
JPMorgan Chase reports that its profits were up 53 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012 — but CEO Jamie Dimon's pay will be cut in half, after the bank lost billions of dollars on risky bets made in its London office. The incident tarnished the reputation of Dimon, who had successfully steered his bank through the recent financial crisis.
"This past year has been a bruising one for Dimon," as NPR's Steve Henn reports for our Newscast unit:
State Senator Jeff Klein (L-R), Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, Lieutenant Governor Robert Duffy and Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins congratulate New York Governor Andrew Cuomo after he signed the New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act on Tuesday.
Originally published on Wed January 16, 2013 4:31 pm
President Obama's historic plunge Wednesday into the politics and realities of gun control in America has mobilized advocates on both sides of the issue.
But though his major proposals, from banning assault rifles to more stringent background checks and ammunition limits, are being rolled out in the shadow of the school massacre in Newtown, Conn., their Capitol Hill prospects remain highly uncertain given long-standing resistance to such efforts.
In anticipation of Inauguration Day, NPR photographer Becky Lettenberger and producer Justine Kenin visited 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. to ask Americans: "What do you want President Obama to remember in his second term?"
This video shows some of the answers we received outside the White House. But that was just the start of a project that we're calling "Dear Mr. President."
Originally published on Thu January 17, 2013 6:41 am
What began as a company's suspicion that its infrastructure was being hacked turned into a case of a worker outsourcing his own job to a Chinese consulting firm, according to reports that cite an investigation by Verizon's security team. The man was earning a six-figure salary.
Originally published on Thu January 17, 2013 4:12 pm
Zach Sayne was 25 when he died earlier this month at the place that had been his home for 15 years — a children's nursing home in Alabama.
But that was too far away, 200 miles too far, for his mother in Georgia. Nola Sayne was trying to bring him back, closer to her home. The story of why she couldn't reveals the bureaucratic traps, underfunding and lack of choices that plague state Medicaid programs.
Two high-profile cabinet nominations go before the Senate soon. Senator John Kerry is expected to face little opposition to become the next secretary of state. Former Senator Chuck Hagel may have more problems. But as mentioned earlier, his nomination as secretary of defense is also expected to win approval.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Rockefeller won't run again, Treasury kills the trillion dollar coin, and the president calls on Congress to pony up. It's Wednesday and time for a...
Originally published on Wed January 16, 2013 2:29 pm
A month after the mass shooting in Newtown, Conn., President Barack Obama announced his proposals for gun control policies during a White House ceremony. He issued 23 executive orders on gun control and urged Congress to pass laws that would tighten requirements on gun sales and assault weapons.
Originally published on Wed January 16, 2013 3:48 pm
How evil is sugar? That's long been a hard question for researchers to answer. Most of the studies about sugar's health effects to date have been too small, too short-term, or too poorly designed to nail it one way or another.
Originally published on Wed January 16, 2013 3:09 pm
At a White House event with children who wrote him letters after the Dec. 14 school shooting in Newtown, Conn., President Obama today said the nation cannot wait any longer to do what can be done to reduce gun violence.
Originally published on Wed January 16, 2013 12:09 pm
Political insiders, celebrities and Washingtonians are busy preparing for President Obama's inaugural events, which are just days away. Native Americans are getting in on the action by hosting their own inaugural ball. Host Michel Martin talks with the organizers about this unique event.
Vice President Joe Biden and President Barack Obama are touting new proposals aimed at curbing gun violence. Host Michel Martin learns more from Paul Barrett, author of 'Glock: The Rise of America's Gun' and Craig Whitney, author of 'Living With Guns, A Liberal's Case for the 2nd Amendment.'
Lawmakers in New York are getting tough on guns. They passed a new law expanding the state's ban on assault weapons. It's also meant to keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill. Host Michel Martin speaks to Thomas Kaplan of The New York Times about the legislation.
Starting a small business hasn't been easy lately. People are now turning to their peers for funding after being denied credit from big banks. But that has its own set of risks and rewards. Host Michel Martin explores the future of small business in 2013.
In December, the actor Dustin Hoffman sat in a box seat at the Kennedy Center as his old friend, Robert De Niro, saluted him at a celebration marking one of the highest accolades for an artist in the United States: a Kennedy Center Honor.