6:14am

Wed August 3, 2011
U.S.

Woman Treks The Appalachian In Record 46 Days

People sometimes spend six months hiking the Appalachian trail, but Jennifer Pharr Davis hiked the whole thing in record time: from Maine to Georgia in just under 46 1/2 days, beating the old record by about a day. She walked more than 2,000 miles, about 47 miles per day — and spotted 36 bears.

6:11am

Wed August 3, 2011
Strange News

Jordan's King Funds Star Trek Theme Park

Longtime fan King Abdullah II is putting up $1.5 billion for the Star Trek-themed park, beckoning fellow Trekkies to a place where few have gone before: a town on the Red Sea. It's a new frontier for a king who's actually been on board the starship USS Voyager — during a cameo on the show in the '90s.

5:00am

Wed August 3, 2011
National Security

Pentagon Could See Deep Cuts In Debt Deal

For several GOP lawmakers, the decision on whether to vote for the debt deal hinged on how the prescribed cuts will affect defense spending. In the end, enough Republicans in the House put their concerns about cutting the deficit over their concerns about cutting defense spending.

But no one really knows how much the Pentagon will have to cut as a result of the deal or when.

"We are in uncharted territory here," said David Berteau, an expert on budgetary issues with the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

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5:00am

Wed August 3, 2011
Economy

Debt-Ceiling Deal Does Little For Global Economic Ills

With the fight over the U.S. debt ceiling finally over, investors are free again to focus on all the economic challenges that lie ahead, but they are finding little reason to celebrate. Stock markets around the world fell sharply on Tuesday, skipping the "relief rally" that customarily follows the resolution of a crisis.

In the United States, signs of a serious economic slowdown had been building up, though with attention focused on the debt-ceiling debate, the news had apparently not yet sunk in.

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5:00am

Wed August 3, 2011
Environment

Natural Gas Extraction Creates A Boom For Sand

Originally published on Wed August 3, 2011 1:02 pm

At the top of the bluffs, this backhoe shovels the sand that's been crushed and washed onto a conveyor belt that runs the sand through a drier before it's loaded into a rail car.
Kathleen Masterson for NPR

The rise of fracking as a method for extracting natural gas from shale rock has triggered demand for a key ingredient in the process: silica sand. In parts of the upper Midwest, there's been a rush to mine this increasingly valuable product.

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4:59am

Wed August 3, 2011
Health

Rural Arizona Hospital Prepares For Future Cuts

Jim Dickson, the CEO of Copper Queen Community Hospital in Bisbee, Ariz.
Jenny Gold for NPR

Mayor Jack Porter arrived at the only post office in Bisbee, Ariz., on a red motorcycle. Getting off, he walked with a slight limp, the only lingering effect of a frightening morning last July when he awoke with numbness in his right side and slurred speech.

The paramedics had rushed him to the only emergency room in rural Bisbee at the Copper Queen Community Hospital. There, doctors determined he was having a stroke and gave him tPA, a clot-busting drug that, when administered within a tight timeframe, can minimize a stroke's effects.

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4:59am

Wed August 3, 2011
Environment

NASA's Eyes In The Sky Study Pollution On Earth

The P-3B NASA research aircraft, seen on the tarmac at Baltimore Washington International Airport on June 28, will gather data as it flies spirals over six ground stations in Maryland.
Paul E. Alers NASA

NASA, the agency best known for exploring space, is trying to answer some urgent questions about air pollution right here on Earth.

For much of July, the agency flew research planes between Washington, D.C. and Baltimore as part of a mission known as DISCOVER-AQ. The planes, along with weather balloons and ground stations, were gathering data on how pollutants such as ozone and particulates behave in the atmosphere.

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4:59am

Wed August 3, 2011
Around the Nation

A Fight For Jim Thorpe's Body

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 11:38 am

Native American sports star Jim Thorpe throws the discus at the 1912 Olympics in Stockholm, where he won gold medals in both the pentathlon and decathlon events.
Topical Press Agency Getty Images

More than half a century after the death of sports star Jim Thorpe, his surviving children and a small town in northeastern Pennsylvania are locked in a battle over the Native American athlete's remains.

The two-time Olympic gold medalist, member of the NFL Hall of Fame and former Major League Baseball player was buried in the town of Jim Thorpe, Pa., after he died of a heart attack in 1953.

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4:59am

Wed August 3, 2011
Middle East

Syrian Uprising Expands Despite Absence Of Leaders

In a photo provided to AFP by a third party, Syrians demonstrate after Friday prayers in the central city of Hama on July 22. Syrian security forces killed at least eight civilians as more than 1.2 million protesters swarmed cities to protest against President Bashar al-Assad's rule, activists said.
- AFP/Getty Images

Syria's uprising has been called the YouTube Revolution. The protest videos from cities across the country are a guide to how the movement works.

The banners and the slogans are remarkably similar, from the city of Dera'a in the south, to Hama on the central plain, to the eastern desert town of Deir Ezzor. Even in the capital of Damascus, the chants are the same: "It's time for President Bashar al-Assad to go."

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4:59am

Wed August 3, 2011
Economy

Deal Averts Default, But Doesn't Fix Debt Problems

The National Debt Clock, a billboard-size digital display showing the increasing U.S. debt, is seen in New York City on Monday. Congress passed a bill Tuesday that would raise the nation's debt limit.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

The bill passed Tuesday to raise the nation's debt limit and avoid default includes as much as $2.4 trillion in deficit reduction over the next decade.

"It's an important first step to ensuring that as a nation we live within our means," President Obama said.

The deal was hard-fought, with cuts some say will be painful, but experts say it doesn't come close to fixing the country's debt problems.

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