A power pole is bent after severe storms hit the Bemidji, Minn., area on Tuesday, knocking down thousands of trees and causing extensive damage to utility lines. Thousands of customers were left without power.
Credit Monte Draper / AP
As hundreds of thousands swelter without power a week after a violent storm pummeled the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic, energy experts say the future will look even worse if the nation's aging, congested electrical grid isn't upgraded.
In Texas, there is still the drought against which all other droughts are measured: the seven-year dry spell in the 1950s. It was so devastating that agriculture losses exceeded those of the Dust Bowl years, and so momentous that it kicked off the modern era of water planning in Texas.
From 1950 to 1957, the sky dried up and the rain refused to fall. Every day, Texans scanned the pale-blue heavens for rainclouds, but year after year they never came.
In Kabul, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announces that Afghanistan is now a "major non-NATO ally" alongside Afghan President Hamid Karzai.
Credit Sean Carberry for NPR
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made an unannounced visit to Afghanistan this morning, and she brought along some news. The country has officially been designated a "major non-NATO ally" of the U.S., which will facilitate defense and security cooperation between the countries even after the U.S. withdraws combat troops in 2014.
In an emailed press release, the State Department says the status "qualifies a country for certain privileges supporting defense and security cooperation but does not entail any security commitment to that country."
Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors, and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:
Summer Cooking Tips From 'America's Test Kitchen': Jack Bishop and Bridget Lancaster highlight some of their favorite grilling techniques and summer recipes — everything from meats to vegetables to, yes, even desserts.
With President Obama and Mitt Romney making campaign stop in Ohio over the last month, it's clear that the state is once again crucial to the election. But this year more than ever, the political stakes may be higher. On this week's installment of PoliticsOhio, Emily McCord speaks to Ken Bode. He's been a national political correspondent for NBC and PBS, and a columnist with the Indianapolis Star. Bode tells McCord that if the President wins Ohio and other swing states, it's very likely he'll win a second term without the popular vote.
Sarah Polley started acting when she was 4, in her native Canada. She earned critical acclaim for her performance as a teenage girl injured in a school bus crash in Atom Egoyan's film The Sweet Hereafter.
Polley made her debut as a director with the subtle and devastating filmAway from Her — a portrait of a marriage later in life, as the wife (Julie Christie) is pulled away by Alzheimer's disease.
Supporters call it "conversion therapy." Critics call it "praying away the gay." Whatever name you use, it's creating a ruckus in Christian circles about whether a person can change his or her sexual orientation. And now the largest "ex-gay ministry" is rejecting the approach.