If you think biologists have a pretty good idea about what lives on the Earth, think again. Scientists say they have just now discovered an entirely new branch on the tree of life. It's made up of mysterious microscopic organisms. They're related to fungus, but they so different you could argue that they deserve their very own kingdom, alongside plants and animals.
This comes as a big surprise. Just a few years ago, Prof. Timothy James and his colleagues sat down and wrote the definitive scientific paper to describe the fungal tree of life.
Ivory Coast's incoming president, Alassane Ouattara, who belatedly took the oath of office May 6, has a tough challenge on his hands: to reconcile and restore peace to his West African nation after a bloody and protracted post-election standoff. Mass graves, evidence of extrajudicial executions, forming a national army, setting up a truth-and-reconciliation commission and kick-starting the economy are just some of the hurdles he faces.
While the U.S., the U.K. and much of Europe brace for spending cuts and austerity, Germany is in the midst of an economic boom.
Germany has emerged from the financial crisis faster and in far better shape than the rest of Europe. The German growth rate almost doubled in the first quarter of 2011; corporate profits have soared, and industrial production is expected to keep growing — at least for the rest of this year.
But as manufacturers add extra shifts, there's a new shortage of skilled workers — and that's led to renewed calls to ease restrictions on immigration.
I've long thought that platinum-selling pop star Kate Bush could do no wrong. Turns out, she disagrees with me.
Bush is best known for her canonized 1985 album Hounds of Love. It's tempting to call that record a turning point in pop: It's as weird as it is catchy, as intelligent as it is danceable. And it's only gotten better with age.
During next week’s primary, as they have done for decades, members of the Democratic Party will choose their candidates and Republicans will do the same. The system is called a ‘closed primary.’ It excludes voters without a party affiliation. It also means voters registered in one party cannot vote in another party’s primary. Now, there’s been discussion in one statewide office race about the pros and cons of opening up the Kentucky primary a bit.
Newt Gingrich, the 67-year-old former Republican House speaker, in an announcement on Twitter, said he intends to run for president of the United States.
No surprise: Gingrich's spokesman two days earlier had already announced that his boss was going to make it official, becoming only the third among a slew of would-be GOP candidates to issue an unqualified "I'm in" statement.
A singular figure, the thrice-married Gingrich has thrilled, disappointed and confounded supporters and critics alike since he left elective politics in 1999.
The White House is standing behind its invitation to hip hop artist Common to perform at an evening of poetry at the executive mansion, despite the firestorm in conservative circles.
The choice of Common, whose legal name is Lonnie Rashid Lynn Jr., to appear along with other artists Wednesday evening has drawn fierce conservative criticism because the Chicago hip hop artist has spit lyrics during his career that, let us say, expressed a certain anger at former President Bush and cops, among others.
The question of whether it was right to celebrate the killing of Osama bin Laden has resulted a great deal of passionate discussion. Our colleague Linton Weeks took on the question hours after impromptu celebrations erupted in front of the White House and near Ground Zero in New York City and NPR's Talk of Nationdedicated a segment to the question, last week.
The Botanical Gardens in New Orleans City Park is a small jewel hidden behind a black iron fence. Statues of flutists and fauns stand beneath dripping Spanish moss, and walkways are lined with flowers in bloom.