Alan Cheuse reviews a new book from Ann Beattie. Mrs. Nixon tells the story of an author as she tackles the challenge of writing a biography of former first lady Pat Nixon. Cheuse teaches writing at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va.
Guy Raz speaks with Portland, Ore., Mayor Sam Adams who today ordered the Occupy protesters in his city out of their encampments by 12:01 a.m. Sunday. The move comes after he wrote an open letter to the protesters, saying their living conditions were unsustainable.
Defensive coordinator Tom Bradley held his first press conference Thursday as interim coach of Penn State's football team. Bradley was appointed after the board of trustees abruptly fired coach Joe Paterno on Wednesday night amid a child sex abuse scandal involving one of his former assistant coaches.
ROBERT SIEGEL, host: Fifteen years ago, Congress overwhelmingly approved the Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA. It said, while each state could decide how to define marriage, the federal government would only recognize the legal union of a man and a woman.
Since then, more than 130,000 same-sex couples have legally married in the U.S. and today, a congressional committee passed the very first measure to repeal DOMA. NPR's David Welna reports.
For the first time in 50 years, Cubans can now buy and sell homes. Here, a Cuban woman stands on the balcony of a dilapidated building earlier this month in Havana.
Credit STR / AFP/Getty Images
Antonio Gonzalez repairs the facade of a house in Havana in May. The new law means many property owners are now updating long-neglected buildings. Well-kept single family homes in prime neighborhoods are listed at $100,000 or more.
The U.S. State Department is ordering the developer of a pipeline that would carry oil from western Canada to Texas to reroute it around environmentally sensitive areas of Nebraska.
That means possibly delaying a final U.S. decision until after the 2012 election.
The decision to order Calgary-based TransCanada Corp. to figure out a way around an area that supplies water to eight states will require an environmental review of the new section. That review probably would take at least a year.
Power plants that burn fossil fuels release carbon dioxide as well as a complex soup of chemicals, including nitrogen and sulfur. These chemicals in the air actually help keep global warming in check by reflecting sunlight back into space and by interacting with carbon dioxide. Above, the Bruce Mansfield Power Plant in Shippingport, Pa.
Cleaning up the air, while good for our lungs, could make global warming worse. That conclusion is underscored by a new study, which looks at the pollutants that go up smokestacks along with carbon dioxide.
These pollutants are called aerosols and they include soot as well as compounds of nitrogen and sulfur and other stuff into the air. Natalie Mahowald, a climate researcher at Cornell University, says so far, scientists have mostly tried to understand what those aerosols do while they're actually in the air.
Originally published on Thu November 10, 2011 12:42 pm
On Tuesday, Italy's Parliament cast a vote on a measure to approve the 2010 state finances. But it was no ordinary vote: It laid bare the fact that Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi had lost a majority. That vote would eventually lead to Berlusconi offering his resignation on Wednesday.
In all the news, we missed this interesting picture: