Each year barn swallows dart and swoop in summer skies to catch insects. But these flashy blue and orange aerialists aren’t on the hunt for only food. As is true with our own species, barn swallows use athletics and appearance to show off to the opposite sex.
With their distinctive forked tails, barn swallows are widespread. On multiple continents they build mud cup nests under bridges and in barns and other human structures. But their choice of mates varies from place to place.
A bit of good news for Colorado. Yesterday, firefighters battling wildfires there got a boost from some much-needed rain.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
The fires and drought conditions in the state prompted a firework ban for this 4th of July holiday. But an exception was made last night in Denver, where a giant crowd gathered to watch fireworks and applaud the efforts of those fighting to contain the fires.
Pakistan and the United States have reached agreement to reopen the strategic land supply routes from Pakistan into Afghanistan. Pakistan closed those routes last November after a U.S. attack left 24 Pakistani soldiers dead. Pakistan had wanted a formal apology from the U.S. but the administration refused because it believed American troops had come under fire first from the Pakistani side. But yesterday, Secretary of State Clinton made comments that finally broke the logjam.
And if our Pie Week isn't enough for you, how about a new pie every day?
EVAN KLEIMAN, BYLINE: I said that I was going to make a pie a day all summer. Everybody's ears pricked up.
MONTAGNE: Evan Kleiman is the host of GOOD FOOD, a program from member station KCRW in Santa Monica.
KLEIMAN: All my producers at the radio station said: You know, you really have to do this now. And I just started. And it was sort of this free-flowing thought process of I would make a pie, and then I would criticize it.
NPR's business news starts with a U.K. interest rate probe.
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WERTHEIMER: The former chief executive of Barclays is testifying before a parliamentary committee in Britain. Bob Diamond, who resigned yesterday, is being asked about the rate-setting scandal at the bank. He told lawmakers in the hearing today that it was an unfortunate series of events. Yesterday, Barclays released documents suggesting a Bank of England official may have pressured Barclays to lower its rates. NPR's Jim Zarroli reports.
Our last word in business today: body of work. That's the legacy left behind by Italian car designer Sergio Pininfarina. He died yesterday in Turin, Italy at age 85. His family's design firm was behind the sleek, elegant bodies that became a hallmark of Ferrari automobiles.
Maybe you won't pay several hundred dollars for a pair of sneakers, but there are a lot of people who will — providing they are the right sneakers. The demand for certain models has spawned a robust market for re-sellers — people who buy up the available supply and re-sell them for a profit.
British physicist Peter Higgs, right, arrives for the opening of a seminar to deliver the latest update in the 50-year bid to explain a riddle of fundamental matter in the search for a particle called the Higgs boson.
An undated handout graphic distributed on July 4, 2012 by the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Geneva shows a representation of traces of traces of a proton-proton collision measured in the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) experience in the search for the Higgs boson.
Two teams of scientists using the Large Hadron Collider at the European Organization for Nuclear Research, or CERN, announced in Geneva this morning that they have detected a new subatomic particle that bears the hallmarks of the elusive and highly sought after Higgs boson. In layman's terms, the Higgs is referred to as the "God Particle" because the field it produces gives atoms their mass. Were it not for the Higgs, the world we know would be completely different — there would be no chemistry, no architecture, no us.