Talk in Israel of a military strike on Iranian nuclear facilities has reached a fever pitch. Last week brought the news of an alleged "war plan" leaked to a blogger. This week, a well-informed military correspondent in Jerusalem reported that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is "determined" to attack Iran before the U.S. election.
One night in the late 1960s, Eugene Gagliardi was lying awake in bed trying to figure out how to save his company. He was thinking about the Philly cheesesteak.
Gagliardi ran a family business that sold hamburgers and other meat to restaurant chains in the Philadelphia area. But within the span of a few months, the company had lost several of its biggest customers.
If you vote, you might very well be confused about what the rules will be when you go to cast your ballot this fall. There's been a flood of new laws on things such as voter identification and early voting, and many of them are now being challenged in court.
Some cases could drag on until Nov. 6, Election Day, and beyond. The outcomes will affect voters, and maybe even the results.
This summer's drought is not helping the wildfire situation, and the drought is also deeply harming the nation's agricultural economy. Parched lands extend from California to Indiana, and from Texas to South Dakota, impacting everyone from farmers and ranchers to barge operators and commodity traders.
As NPR's David Schaper reports, some farmers are getting close to calling it quits.
DAVID SCHAPER, BYLINE: Looking over his small, 100-acre farm near South Union, Kentucky, Rich Vernon doesn't like what he sees.
Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 5:14 am
A federal judge has tossed out the conviction of a man running a Texas Hold 'Em game in a Staten Island, New York, warehouse. The judge says federal gambling law should not apply to poker because it's more a game of skill.
This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm David Greene.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
And I'm Steve Inskeep.
Talks with Iran on its controversial nuclear program are set to intensify in the coming days. Tomorrow in Vienna, authorities from the International Atomic Energy Agency meet again with Iranian representatives. They'll discuss some past suspicious nuclear activities. Next week, other talks involving the United States, Europe, Russia and China are set to resume.
Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 5:58 am
Egypt's first democratically elected president is under fire for trying to silence his critics. In the last two weeks, a satellite TV channel was pulled off the air, two journalists were referred to criminal court for defamation and a state newspaper was accused of censoring columns critical of President Mohammed Morsi.
Roger Angel, an astronomer at the University of Arizona, stands in front of his new project: a solar tracker. Angel wants to use the device to harness Arizona's abundant sunlight and turn it into usable energy.
Credit Gary Williams/Stringer / Getty Images North America
Angel uses this rotating furnace at the Steward Observatory Mirror Lab on the University of Arizona campus to make his giant mirrors. The process, called "spin casting," helps form the molten glass into the parabolic shape needed for focusing light.
Credit Joe McNally / Getty Images
Roger Angel's mirror technology is now used in many large telescopes around the world, including this one, the Large Binocular Telescope at the Mount Graham International Observatory in Arizona. Its twin mirrors can produce images 10 times sharper than the Hubble Space Telescope.
Credit Jason Millstein for NPR
Angel does a final inspection on one of his mirrors. The weight of telescope mirrors made the traditional way limits their size. Angel realized he could produce a bigger mirror by creating a mold with a honeycomb pattern, making the mirror lighter.
Angel is working to put another mirror-based concept into action, this time to fight climate change. The solar tracker, seen here, makes electricity by focusing sunlight on photovoltaic cells.
Credit University of Arizona
An illustration of Angel's 2006 idea to reduce the effects of global warming by reflecting the sun's light with massive glass shields in space. It's a last-resort sort of idea, Angel admits.
You may not be familiar with the name Roger Angel, but if there were ever a scientist with a creative streak a mile wide, it would be he.
Angel is an astronomer. He's famous for developing an entirely new way of making really large, incredibly precise telescope mirrors. But his creativity doesn't stop there. He's now turned his attention to solar power, hoping to use the tricks he learned from capturing distant light from stars to do a more cost-efficient job of capturing light from the Sun.