A controversial technique for producing oil and natural gas called hydraulic fracturing — or fracking — has led to drilling booms from Texas to Pennsylvania in recent years. But there are concerns that it may be polluting drinking water.
As policymakers in Washington discuss how to make fracking safer, there is concern that fracking itself has become a distraction.
In the U.S., pretty much all of the oil and gas that was easy to get to is gone. Fracking makes it possible to extract petroleum from hard-to-reach places — say, a mile underground in dense layers of shale.
The debt-ceiling battle between President Obama and the Republican leadership has dominated Washington this week and become a hot topic among GOP presidential hopefuls on the campaign trail. While they are unified in their criticism of the White House, there are differences among the candidates over what kind of deal – if any — should be struck.
Meeting with voters at a coffeehouse in Des Moines, Iowa, Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) said it's an easy call.
An Afghan holds a bouquet of poppies near the city of Kandahar, Afghanistan.
Credit Majid Saeedi / Getty Images
In case you missed it, June 26 was the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking. Afghanistan, the world's largest provider of opium poppy, did mark the occasion — with a bonfire.
Standing near an 11-ton mountain of seized opium, hashish and alcohol on the outskirts of Kabul, Gen. Baz Mohammad Ahmadi welcomed officials to the drug-burning ceremony.
Ahmadi, the country's deputy minister for counternarcotics, appealed for a strong international effort against narcotrafficking. He also asked for more cooperation from his own government on the issue.
As huge numbers of foreclosed homes continue to work their way through the real estate pipeline, another problem is blossoming — mold.
In most homes, as residents go in and out and the seasons change, natural ventilation sucks moisture up to the attic and out through the roof. It's called the "stack effect." And in many parts of the country, it's driven by air conditioning in the summer and heat in the winter.
But no one is going in or out of most foreclosed homes — regardless of climate, and the effects can be devastating.
Rory McIlroy poses with his prize after winning the 2011 U.S. Open. Now, the pressure is on him to perform well in the British Open.
Credit David Cannon / Getty Images
Precocity is always in vogue in sports. Or anyway, the media love to cuddle up with precocity, to present us the next great thing. A new phenom can't merely be promising. No, he obviously must be the best there ever was.
And here comes Rory McIlroy now, winner of exactly three professional tournaments, a prefabricated legend, already being carried off to golf heaven.
Methuselah, a giant tortoise whose life began in the Galapagos Islands 130 years ago, has died in Rapid City, S.D. Since 1954, the huge animal has been a star attraction at Reptile Gardens, where officials estimate that he posed for photographs with tens of thousands of visitors, many of them children.
Methuselah began his life in 1881. Here's a sampling of what else was going on that year:
James Garfield became president.
Billy the Kid escaped from jail and was killed by Pat Garrett in New Mexico.
Senate Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell and other GOP Senate leaders speak to journalists on Tuesday.
Credit Alex Wong / Getty Images
In a proposal that appears to be mostly about finding a way to raise the debt ceiling while protecting his fellow congressional Republicans from having to vote to do so, Sen. Mitch McConnell has suggested a way in which Congress could effectively give President Obama the power to raise the debt ceiling.
But it would also seem meant to potentially put Obama on the defensive by having him take the political heat for raising the debt ceiling. Repeated polls have found a majority of Americans opposed to a higher debt ceiling.