Originally published on Mon September 16, 2013 5:58 pm
More than 150 people are now believed to have been sickened by synthetic marijuana in Colorado, which legalized recreational use of real pot last November. Three people may have died.
State and federal investigators are scrambling to identify the exact source of the illnesses. The state health department has named about a dozen illicit products, often sold as "incense," that it believes are responsible for at least some of the illnesses. The stuff goes by names like "Spice," "Crazy Clown" and "Dead Man Walking."
The Government Accountability Office says that the Social Security Administration made about $1.3 billion in payments over two years to about 36,000 people who were believed to be working, while claiming they were disabled.
The GAO arrived at this number by comparing names on the National Directory of New Hires and people on disability insurance.
While $1.3 billion sounds like a whole lot of money, keep in mind that this only represents less than 1 percent of all the disability benefits paid by the agency.
The gelada monkey, found only in the highlands of Ethiopia, is known as the bleeding heart baboon for the splash of red on its chest. Males of the species have a remarkable vocal agility greater than that of any nonhuman primate.
Credit Courtesy of John Allen
Geladas have the largest canine-to-body-size ratio of any mammal. And those fangs are not used for eating.
Credit Gregory Warner / NPR
Geladas live in massive social groups of up to 1,000 monkeys.
A Thai medic checks bodies for forensic identity in Phang Nga province in southern of Thailand on Jan. 11, 2005. Thousands of people were killed in Thailand after a massive tsunami struck on Dec. 26, 2004.
Human DNA is the ultimate fingerprint. A single hair can contain enough information to determine someone's identity — a feature that's been invaluable for identifying the unnamed casualties of natural disasters and war. But forensic scientists who use DNA say the technology isn't always available where it's most needed, like in poor countries, or in war zones like Syria.
A Global Hawk unmanned aircraft comes in for a landing at the Wallops Flight Facility in Wallops Island, Va., on Sept. 7, 2012, after studying Hurricane Leslie. The remotely controlled planes can stay in the air for as long as 28 hours and fly over hurricanes at altitudes of more than 60,000 feet.
A NASA satellite captured this image of Tropical Storm Gabrielle on Sept. 5 as it was approaching Puerto Rico.
For several weeks now, two unmanned spy planes have been flying over the Atlantic on an unusual mission: gathering intelligence about tropical storms and hurricanes.
The two Global Hawk drones are a central part of NASA's five-year HS3 (Hurricane and Severe Storm Sentinel) Mission investigating why certain weather patterns become hurricanes, and why some hurricanes grow into monster storms.
An aerial view taken on Aug. 23 shows the Costa Concordia as it lies on its side next to Giglio Island. The wrecked cruise ship will be rolled off the seabed and onto underwater platforms.
Credit Vincenzo Pinto / AFP/Getty Images
Salvage workers prepare the Costa Concordia cruise ship on Aug. 23 in the waters of the Tuscan island of Giglio. The massive cruise ship has lain partially submerged after a disaster on Jan. 13, 2012, that killed 32 people.
Credit Stefano Rellandini / Reuters/Landov
People sunbathe in front of the capsized Costa Concordia outside Giglio harbor, on Aug. 8. The cost of the salvage operation — one of the biggest in history — could exceed $1 billion.
Evangeline Ordaz (center) stands with teens from Legacy LA who were her script consultants and extras for East Los High. From left: Rebecca Hernandez, Brenda Flores, Ordaz, Wesley Michua, Marlene Arazo.
Evangeline Ordaz is no ordinary Hollywood show runner. When she's not teaching constitutional law or rehabbing historic buildings, she's writing for a racy soap opera about Latino teens in East Los Angeles. East Los High was a big summer success for the TV-on-demand website Hulu, and much of the credit for keeping the show real goes to its multitalented main writer.
Ordaz was born and bred in East Los Angeles — East Los, as it's known. She still lives there, and you can hear the neighborhood cadence in her voice.
"No shark fin, bluefin tuna or black moss will be on the menu at official entertainment functions," the government said. "The items have aroused international and local concern because they are either captured or harvested in ecologically unfriendly or unsustainable ways, or cause other conservation concerns."
It's another week of college football and yet another scandal, this time at Oklahoma State, the subject of a five part investigative story by Sports Illustrated involving athletes taking cash from coaches, sex, and drugs. Sportswriter Stefan Fatsis joins Audie Cornish to talk about that and the ultra-hyped big game between Alabama, the defending national champion and Texas A&M, home of the most polarizing player in college football, quarterback Johnny Manziel.
Originally published on Fri September 13, 2013 1:46 pm
Saying that the goal is to balance its budget in fiscal year 2015, NPR announced late Friday morning that it will soon offer "a voluntary buyout plan across the organization that reduces staffing levels by approximately 10 percent."