Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 8:11 am
A ship full of marine scientists is floating over the deepest part of the world: the Pacific Ocean's Mariana Trench. They're sending down probes to study life in one of the most hostile environments on the planet.
This week the researchers are targeting the two deepest spots in the trench β the Sirena Deep and the Challenger Deep β which each extend down about 7 miles beneath the ocean's surface.
Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 11:23 am
It's late afternoon. Most classes at Randolph College are done for the day but students have begun gathering in the lobby of the elegant, century-old main hall.
A student taps on a piano while he and four classmates wait for their philosophy professor. After-hours sessions like these are a key feature of this small, private liberal arts college in Lynchburg, Va.
It markets itself nationally as a "unique, nurturing community of learners," well worth the $45,000 a year in tuition, room and board.
Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 9:23 am
Pennsylvania's fracking boom has led to record-breaking natural gas production, but its neighbor, New York, announced Wednesday it was banning the practice. Industry and environmental groups say New York's decision could be good for Pennsylvania.
New York's ban comes six years after the state placed a temporary moratorium on fracking to study the gas drilling technique. Now, officials question fracking's economic benefits and cite environmental risks.
Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 6:14 am
It took a few hours for some Cubans to realize the magnitude of President Obama's announcement on Wednesday about changes in the relationship between the U.S. and Cuba, according to Cuban blogger Yoani SΓ‘nchez.
Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 5:46 pm
The Secret Service must both change the way it trains agents and hire more of them, according to a panel that reviewed the agency that has endured a string of embarrassing lapses in recent months. The panel says its suggestions are "a road map for reform" under a new director.
Some of those suggestions are inherently practical β such as one that states "the fence around the White House needs to be changed as soon as possible to provide better protection."
Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 5:28 pm
Latin American governments have long viewed Cuba as the region's David facing off against the Goliath of the United States. So from Mexico to Argentina, leaders are endorsing Wednesday's announcement that the two nations intend to normalize relations.
But this could prove awkward for Venezuela, which has been Cuba's closest ally and a fierce critic of Washington.
In public, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro is praising the rapprochement between the U.S. and Cuba.
Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 4:32 pm
It's hard to believe that not only was there no Serial six months ago, there was no Serial three months ago. The hugely popular podcast, a spinoff production of This American Life, didn't even premiere until early October, but since then, it has made its way with great speed into worlds from Sesame Street to Funny Or Die.