Mates of State's members are literally mates: Kori Gardner and Jason Hammel have been a duo since 1996, married since 2001, and parents on tour since 2004. Their basic concept is two strong voices, Gardner's slightly predominant, over her keyboards and Hammel's drums. Over the years, the band has expanded its instrumental range and brought in guests for sonic color. But nothing in the pair's catalog anticipated "Palomino," the opening track from the new Mountaintops.
In Alaska's picturesque Bristol Bay region, developers are looking to build an enormous copper and gold mine. They promise the effort will be carried out in an environmentally responsible way — and provide area jobs. But fisherman, conservationists and native groups have joined efforts to thwart the mine, fearing it will pollute area fish and wildlife. Melissa Block talks about the battle for Bristol Bay with reporter Daysha Eaton of member station KDLG in Dillingham, Alaska.
With a nighttime liftoff from a launch pad on the edge of the Gobi Desert, China today put its unmanned Tiangong-1 ("Heavenly Palace-1") module into orbit and started a decade-long project aimed at constructing its own space station.
The module will "conduct surveys of Chinese farmland using special cameras, along with experiments involving growing crystals in zero gravity," The Associated Press says. Then, in coming years:
In Saudi Arabia, where King Abdullah has the only vote that really counts, elections are still a novelty.
Municipal elections on Thursday marked just the third ballot in the kingdom's history. Only men could vote in polls to fill half the seats on some 300 municipal councils. The other half are appointed by the government.
Even before the polls closed, Saudi officials declared the election a success. But turnout appeared low at many voting stations, including in the capital, Riyadh.
Bank of America is next year going to start charging most holders of its debit cards $5 a month if they use them to make purchases. It's the biggest sign so far of how new bank regulations are going to mean big changes for the millions of customers who have come to rely on cards that are tied to their checking accounts — and don't rack up potentially huge interest bills.