Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 3:32 pm
I bought Francisco Lima his first taste of freedom in decades.
It was 2004, and Brazil was starting to confront one of its most distressing problems: slavery. I was in northern Pará state, in the Amazon, observing a special police unit that raided slaveholding farms and firms and liberated workers like the 74-year-old Lima.
Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 1:51 pm
In his yearly report (pdf) to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, the country's spy chief says one of the top threats facing the United States is the unauthorized leak of classified information.
In his threat assessment report, James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, listed "insider threats," alongside cyber attacks and terrorism.
On Jan. 9, people in and around Charleston, W.Va., began showing up at hospitals: They had nausea, eye infections and some were vomiting. It was later discovered that around 10,000 gallons of toxic chemicals had leaked into the Elk River, just upstream from a water treatment plant that serves 300,000 people. Citizens were told not to drink or bathe in the water, and while some people are now using water from their taps, many still don't trust it or the information coming from public officials.
Back in 1958, a young biologist at Cornell University made a stunning discovery.
He took a single cell from a carrot and then mixed it with some coconut milk. Days went by and the cell started dividing. Little roots formed. Stems started growing. Eventually, a whole new carrot plant rose up from the single cell.
Imagine if you could perform a similar feat with animal cells, even human cells.
But the recently rediscovered "first Porsche in the world" — dubbed the P1 — was a technological marvel for its time. It "included a compact electric drive weighing 286 pounds," writes the automotive news site Jalopnik, and could chug along at 22 mph.
Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 1:44 pm
Steve Beshear couldn't help but chuckle during the State of the Union speech when President Obama said, "Kentucky's not the most liberal part of the country."
Obama was singling out his fellow Democrat for being the rare Southern governor who has fully implemented the Affordable Care Act, expanding Medicaid and running a state health insurance exchange that launched far more smoothly than the federal model.
Attica Locke writes the kind of rooted-in-truth crime story that satisfies both your intellect and your need to have the hair on your neck stand up.
With only her second novel under her belt, she's won praise from other thriller writers like James Ellroy and George Pelecanos. And she just received another high honor: She was awarded the Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence, which honors outstanding work by rising African-American writers, for her book The Cutting Season.
Locke was a screenwriter, but early in her career she encountered obstacles.
Education was another of the issues the president touched on last night. Over the past few months, we've been talking a lot about the STEM fields - that's science, technology, engineering and math. We've been placing a particular focus on the shortage of blacks in tech because blacks make up just 5 percent of America's scientists and engineers, that according to a study by the National Science Foundation.