President Obama is feeling election-year pressure on the pending decision over the Keystone XL pipeline. Republicans say the Canadian project would provide the U.S. with oil and new jobs, but environmentalists want him to block it. They say Alberta's oil sands generate more greenhouse gases than other kinds of oil, and Americans must not become dependent on such a dirty source of energy. But it may already be too late to change that.
Old mattresses are among the worst kinds of household waste: Most recycling companies won't touch them, and landfills would rather not. But a new business in Nashville that started as a college project hopes to move mattress recycling into the mainstream — and employ former convicts in the process.
The communities of far western Kentucky were among the first to feel the effects of methamphetamine production and addiction several years ago. Both meth production and use have spread to most all corners of the commonwealth. The problem can’t always be measured in the number of meth labs in a given area. Lexington police detective Byron Smoot says local investigators typically find only a handful of meth labs in a given year. But, he says Lexington ranks second in the number of pharmacies among Kentucky cities. Smoot says groups of four to five people often come to Fayette County to buy cold remedies with pseudoephedrine, a key ingredient in meth production.
Now that Tim Tebow is out of hearts and minds, and we can actually turn our attention to other things, let us go clear to the other side of the world. There, a short while ago, while preparing for the Australian Open, Serena Williams said: "I don't love tennis today, but ... I've actually never liked sports."
While her confession might have surprised some, I suspect that even more were irritated, actually angered, that an athlete — a great champion! — could utter such blasphemy.
Governor Steve Beshear predicted his next state budget would be bleak. Now, many state agencies are being told to cut another 8.4 percent of their budgets for the next two years. That means some agencies will have taken cuts of up to 38 percent during Beshear's term as governor. The hardest hit are the Labor and Finance cabinets. Universities are cut 6.4 percent, but the KEES program that funds scholarships is fully funded. State police are cut 2.2 percent. But the budget is not all bad. The governor proposes almost $8 million in funding for a substance abuse program in Medicaid for fiscal years 2013 and 2014. The budget also includes $1 million for colon cancer screenings for the uninsured. That will be matched by $1 million in private donations.
There's a controversy brewing in India over an invitation extended to Booker Prize-winning novelist Salman Rushdie by the organizers of the Jaipur Literary Festival.
Rushdie, the author of Midnight's Children, angered Muslims with his 1988 novel Satanic Verses. The novel, which many Muslims say insults the Prophet Muhammad, led to Iran's Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini declaring a fatwa against Rushdie. The writer spent much of the next few years in hiding.
Mark told you earlier that Wikipedia is going black for 24 hours beginning at midnight tonight. While Wikipedia's reason for shutting down is to protest anti-piracy legislation making its way through the United States Congress, another interesting question is going to be what happens to all those web surfers seeking answers to can't-wait questions?