Friends since college, guitarist and vocalist Israel Nebeker and drummer Ryan Dobrowski are the essence of Portland's Blind Pilot. From the beginning, their minimalist folk-rock sound has revolved around simple melodies, sparse drumming and warm vocals.
In a draft report (pdf) released today, the Environmental Protection Agency confirmed what many residents of Pavilion, Wyoming have been complaining about for some time now: Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, is responsible for polluting the area's drinking water.
Originally published on Thu December 8, 2011 10:08 pm
Lawyer and anti-corruption activist Alexei Navalny, left, is taken to court in Moscow on Tuesday. Navalny was detained Monday along with 300 protesters who rallied against what they called vote rigging during Sunday's parliamentary election.
The U.S. climate change envoy Todd Stern delivers a speech on Dec. 8 in Durban, South Africa, during the U.N. Climate Change Conference. The climate talks entered their second week entangled in a thick mesh of issues with no guarantee that negotiators and their ministers will be able to sort them out.
Credit Stephane De Sakutin / AFP/Getty Images
United Nations climate talks, like many negotiations, are a blend of dead seriousness and theater. Today at the talks in Durban, South Africa, an American college student provided a moment of theater by shouting out a short, unauthorized speech during the main session of the talks. Her interruption encapsulated frustration with the pace of the talks in general, and the United States' role in particular.
Originally published on Fri December 9, 2011 1:28 pm
Foster Smith (left) and his best friend, Mark Ballard (right), met when they were 12 years old. After losing his job, and his ability to make rent, Smith moved into a room in Ballard's College Park, Ga., home.
In August, the fatal police shooting of a young black man in London set off four nights of rioting in many of England's largest cities. Stores were looted, neighborhoods destroyed and more than 4,000 were arrested. A team of researchers tasked with interviewing those who participated in the riots concluded that high tensions between the poor and England's police were largely to blame. Lynn Neary speaks with Paul Lewis of The Guardian newspaper about the findings.
Originally published on Thu December 8, 2011 2:59 pm
An exterior view of the Office of the National Register for Secret State Information, or ORNISS, which stores confidential information and ensures only authorised people gain access to it, taken in Bucharest on December 8.
Credit AFP/Getty Images
That the Central Intelligence Agency had a so-called "black site" in Romania was well known. It was known that it was in one of those secret prisons that intelligence officials conducted harsh interrogations with major Al-Qaida operatives, including Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammad.
Today, the result of a joint investigation with German public television, the AP reports it has found the site where Mohammad was held and interrogated. And it's not where you would think it is. The AP reports on the prison in Bucharest known as "Bright Light":
Newt Gingrich <a href="http://media.npr.org/assets/multimedia/2011/12/gingrich/Feb_12_1994.pdf">used these lecture notes</a> and similar pamphlets as part of the 1994 college course that became central to a later House ethics investigation.
Newt Gingrich once called himself "the most seriously professorial politician since Woodrow Wilson."
But that was 1995, and the "Contract with America" co-author had just helped to propel Republicans into power in the House for the first time in 40 years, and Gingrich himself into the speaker's role. Even the rarely modest Gingrich had reason to gloat.
Just two years later, of course, he had become the first speaker ever punished by the House for ethics violations, and the end was in sight for both his leadership and congressional career.