Originally published on Tue September 3, 2013 6:11 pm
It's been a long time since the people who lived in rural Xuanping saw their little town, which was flooded by a powerful earthquake in 2008. But thanks to a steep drop in water levels, parts of their village in China's Sichuan Province are visible again, from homes and businesses to its school.
The village's ghostly return began in July, when water levels fell from 712 meters to 703 meters above sea level — a difference of nearly 30 feet, as news site China Daily Asia reported.
Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 3:44 pm
The revered Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki, 72, announced this weekend at the Venice Film Festival that he's retiring from making full-length feature films. (He previously went into "semi-retirement" after directing Princess Mononoke in 1997.)
Boy Scouts attend a Memorial Day event in Los Angeles in May. A bill under consideration by the California Legislature would take away the tax-exempt status of the Boy Scouts of America.
Credit Rich Pedroncelli / AP
California State Sen. Ricardo Lara (left), who wrote the bill revoking the Boy Scouts' tax-exempt status in the state, talks with Sen. Kevin de Leon at the Capitol in Sacramento in May, when the Senate voted 27-9 in favor of the measure.
Beginning next year, the Boy Scouts of America will allow openly gay youth to join as members. But the policy change doesn't go far enough for Democratic lawmakers in California. They're on the verge of passing a bill that would strip tax breaks for the Boy Scouts and any other group that discriminates against gay, lesbian or transgender members.
President Obama pauses after speaking to media in the White House on Tuesday before a meeting with congressional leaders to discuss the situation in Syria. With the president: House Speaker John Boehner (from left), House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and Sen. Dianne Feinstein.
Originally published on Tue September 3, 2013 7:14 pm
President Obama cleared one of the most important hurdles Tuesday in his effort to win support in Congress for taking action against Syria: Both of the top Republican House leaders — Speaker John Boehner of Ohio and Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia — said they would support such a resolution.
Known as the "Carpet Capital of the World," Dalton, Ga., has struggled and lost 17,000 manufacturing jobs over the past decade.
But now, Engineered Floors is investing $450 million in two new manufacturing facilities and a distribution center in the area. The Dalton expansion is part of a resurgence in manufacturing in Georgia and it reflects an optimistic outlook for manufacturing across the Southeast.
Labor Day weekend marks the close of the official summer season on the Jersey Shore. But for some towns, it's like the summer never really began. Destruction from Hurricane Sandy last October kept tourists away. Some towns are still struggling to rebuild. Businesses that rely on seasonal visitors for much of their yearly take are wondering if they'll be around next year.
New reports allege that the NSA spied on Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, seen here walking with President Barack Obama in June, when he was a candidate for office. Mexico and Brazil have demanded a response to charges of U.S. spying on their internal affairs.
Originally published on Tue September 3, 2013 3:14 pm
Allegations that U.S. agents spied on Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto when he was a candidate during last year's campaign have led Mexico to summon U.S. Ambassador Anthony Wayne and demanded "a thorough investigation."
Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto says his nation is undergoing a major change — one his country should not fear. Pena Nieto gave an upbeat assessment of his nine-month-old administration in his first State of the Union address on Monday.
Despite his positive review of Mexico's condition, the new president is dealing with chaotic protests in the capital, intractable levels of violence and a less favorable economic outlook than predicted.
He campaigned on the promise of creating a modern and prosperous Mexico. And according to his appraisal, he's done just that.
Tlacoyos can be filled with beans, potatoes, mushrooms or cheese and are often topped with grilled cactus, onions, cilantro, and salsa.
Credit Carrie Kahn for NPR
Isabel Salazar Cabrera says her tlacoyos are the best because of the way she cooks the bean filling. She says her mom was the first to ever sell tlacoyos in Xochimilo, a suburb in southern Mexico City.
For the last in a summer series of grilled food from around the world, we head to Mexico, where a small doughy treat is found everywhere from street corner grills to high-end restaurants. It's called a tlacoyo (pronounced tla-COY-yo) and although it may sound novel, it's an ancient food that's older than Hernan Cortes.
Craig Federighi, senior vice president of software engineering at Apple, discusses features of the new iOS 7 during the keynote address of the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference on June 10 in San Francisco.
At some point in the coming weeks, users of Apple iPhones and iPads will wake up to an alert that there is a new version of the company's mobile operating system, known as iOS, for them to install.
If users follow historical patterns, within a few days of the launch of iOS 7, almost all of them will install the updated software and, just like that, more than 500 million phones and tablets will be made new. Never before has a technology industry launch come close to matching the scale and speed of this switch.
You're walking your dog in a suburb that may or may not exist in this dimension. The dog whines. You ignore him. Anyway, you're too busy looking out for that sexy, evil sorcerer. Suddenly, a gray rabbit appears, and you realize: the world is ending.
A civet cat eats red coffee cherries at a farm in Bondowoso, Indonesia. Civets are actually more closely related to meerkats and mongooses than to cats.
Credit Paula Bronstein / Getty Images
A coffee "bean" is actually the seed of a cherry-sized fruit that grows on the coffee plant. Civets eat the whole fruit. The seed is separated from the pulp in the digestive process.
Credit Paula Bronstein / Getty Images
Capitalizing on the fact that civet coffee can fetch a pretty penny, small producers have started farming it. That is, keeping civets in captivity and feeding them coffee fruits once a day.
Credit AFP/Getty Images
Civet feces are collected and cleaned for the beans, which are naturally fermented during digestion.
Credit Adek Berry / AFP/Getty Images
At a coffee shop in Indonesia, one cup of Kopi Luwak can go for around $9 U.S.
Credit Sonny Tumbelaka / AFP/Getty Images
In captivity, civets don't choose what they eat. "It's unripe and it's robusto," says coffee connoisseur Oliver Strand, dismissing it: "That's of zero interest." Robusto coffee, he explains, is indigenous to Africa, and not what the animal would eat in the wild.
Credit Paula Bronstein / Getty Images
In the wild, the civet "cat" is naturally drawn to the best, ripe fruits on the coffee plant; that's why, effectively, they would produce the best beans, in small batches.
Credit Claire O'Neill / NPR
Much ado about nothing? Left: civet poop coffee beans. Right: a cup of java brewed from the stuff.
Originally published on Thu September 5, 2013 1:25 pm
From gross to gourmet. That pretty much sums up civet poop coffee.
The beans are literally harvested from the feces of the tree-dwelling civet cat in Indonesia. The idea is that a trip through the animal's digestive tract partially ferments the beans and imparts a much-sought-after flavor to the coffee.
Originally published on Wed September 4, 2013 10:40 am
The United Nations' Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says if his inspectors find that chemical weapons were used in Syria, it would represent a "serious violation of international law and an outrageous war crime."
"Our common humanity compels us to ensure that chemical weapons do not become a tool of war or terror in the 21st century," Ban said before departing for a G-20 meeting in Russia. "Any perpetrators must be brought to justice. There should be no impunity."
Would there be a troll under the new Bay Bridge that links San Francisco and Oakland?
That seemingly silly question was being taken pretty seriously by some in California until Monday evening, when the official Twitter page of the San Francisco-Bay Bridge put out the word that, yes, there will be a little fellow under the new span. He'll be there to "protect" travelers.