People in China rang in the Year of the Horse overnight with the traditional barrage of fireworks, but Lunar New Year's celebrations in some cities were quieter than usual. After severe pollution choked much of eastern China last year, many people swore off the ancient tradition so they could protect their lungs and the environment.
Originally published on Fri January 31, 2014 2:10 pm
Georgia state troopers finished towing vehicles off Atlanta-area interstates early Friday morning, and three days after ice-covered roads forced thousands of drivers to abandon their cars, traffic is finally flowing freely, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Originally published on Fri January 31, 2014 1:44 pm
Australian authorities have approved a controversial plan to dump dredged sediment in the Great Barrier Reef marine park, potentially upsetting one of the world's most fragile ecosystems.
The massive dredging operation would make way for deep-draft ships to enter the Abbot Point coal port in northern Queensland. About 106 million cubic feet of dredged mud will be dumped within the marine park under the plan, according to The Associated Press.
Originally published on Fri January 31, 2014 3:08 pm
The second best quality Diane Johnson has as a writer is that she's so smart. Her first best quality â and one that's far more rare â is that she credits her audience with being smart, too. Whether she's writing fiction, biography or essays, Johnson lets scenes and conversations speak for themselves, accruing power as they lodge in readers' minds.
Originally published on Fri January 31, 2014 2:24 pm
Not every sports fan is glued to the Super Bowl. Sunday also brings Puppy Bowl X, the 10th iteration of the immensely successful Animal Planet program featuring playful pups and a beleaguered human referee. This year's new element is a fantasy game, in which each viewer may log in to a Facebook account and pick a trio of cuddly canines destined to dominate the dog-on-dog action.
We at PCHH have a long history with awards shows in general and the Grammys in particular, but this year's Grammys were a little different. Yes, Daft Punk took some big prizes, and Lorde took some big prizes, and Taylor Swift really played that piano super-hard, and Kacey Musgraves wore a dress that lit up.
Originally published on Fri January 31, 2014 10:16 am
Yahoo has become the latest target of hackers, with usernames and passwords stolen from some of its estimated 273 million email customers.
"Recently, we identified a coordinated effort to gain unauthorized access to Yahoo Mail accounts," the company said in a blog post Thursday. "Upon discovery, we took immediate action to protect our users, prompting them to reset passwords on impacted accounts."
At the conclusion Friday of the first round of talks between representatives of the Syrian government and the opposition, the United Nations mediator reported that he "observed a little bit of common ground, perhaps more than the two sides themselves realize or recognize."
Diplomat Lakhdar Brahimi told reporters in Geneva that "there have been moments when one side has even acknowledged the concerns and difficulties of the other side," the BBC reports.
Originally published on Fri January 31, 2014 12:15 pm
The nearly six-month-long search for Microsoft's next CEO is nearing an end, and news reports indicate it's likely the technology giant will turn to Satya Nadella, executive vice president of its Cloud and Enterprise group, to lead the company.
The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.
An education report commissioned by UNESCO found "shocking levels of youth illiteracy" around the world. At least 250 million of the 650 million primary school age children globally aren't learning basic skills in reading and math, the report finds.
Originally published on Fri January 31, 2014 7:46 am
As cities in the southern U.S. continue to recover from the ice and snow storm that brought life to a standstill in many places this week, stories are emerging about the incredible things some people did to help out others.
Originally published on Fri January 31, 2014 10:17 am
Henry Waxman's retirement means more than the loss of a legendary legislator on health care, energy and other regulatory issues. It also closes an era that began 40 years ago with the election of the "Watergate babies."
When Waxman departs, there will no longer be a House member who has been serving since that historic class of 75 Democrats was first elected in 1974. One classmate who had been, George Miller of California, announced his retirement several weeks earlier in January.
When we talk about a triple threat we're often talking about a versatile athlete. Think about a basketball player who can score, defend, and rebound. In show biz, B. J. Novak may be that triple threat. He can do standup, act, and write successfully in all cases. He got his start doing standup comedy. That led to a job on the hit comedy series "The Office" where he had a regular part and was one of the writers.
OK, maybe you don't like football and you need a distraction on Sunday. There are food commercials - as we just heard about, or just the food. Maybe you just want to change the channel and watch Puppy Bowl. That's today's last word in business. It's Animal Planet's version of the Super Bowl and its marking its 10-year anniversary.
NPR's Lauren Migaki is directing our program this morning. She also reports and has this preview of this year's big game, which has the traditional kitten halftime show and penguin cheerleaders.
Scientists may have filled in a gap in one the fundamental theories of physics. We've always been told that magnets have two poles, north and south. But theory suggests there should be something called a magnetic monopole, a magnet that has either a north pole or a south pole but not both of them. So far no one has found this elusive magnetic monopole.
Friday is New Year's for the millions of people around the world who celebrate the Lunar New Year. This year is the Year of the Horse.
On Morning Edition, Ying Compestine, a cookbook and children's book author, talks about her favorite dish for the holiday: steamed dumplings infused with green tea. They appear in her most recent book, Cooking with an Asian Accent.
The New Year holidays of Compestine's youth were very austere. She came to the U.S. as a grad student in the 1980s, but she grew up in Maoist China.
State officials in West Virginia say that in most areas, they can no longer detect any of the industrial chemical MCHM that spilled into the water supply recently. They say the water is safe for people to drink and use â including most pregnant women. But other public health specialists say they don't trust these assurances.
"I think there's no way to know what the safe levels of the chemicals are at this point," says Dr. Rahul Gupta, director of the state's largest public health department. He's in charge of protecting 250,000 people whose water was affected by the spill.
Think your commute is bad? Try 580 miles, one-way.
Door to door, that's how far Rory Richardson travels between his home in western Montana and his job on the oil fields near Williston, N.D. Often, he makes the trip on a plane his company charters to shuttle workers between here and the Northwest.
"It's no fun coming over to North Dakota," he says, clutching a duffel bag and a cooler of food as he walks out of Williston's one-room airport and into the biting North Dakota winter.