12:01am

Wed February 1, 2012
Europe

Grumbling, Excitement Build For London Olympics

The 1948 London Olympics were held when the city, recovering from World War II, was dotted with rubble from Nazi bombardment.
AP

The last time the British did this, they had a king: George VI, the father of Queen Elizabeth, was on the throne.

George was so often tongue-tied, yet he proclaimed open the 1948 London Olympics flawlessly.

It was late July. The sun shone down on London from a cloudless sky. The BBC had acquired the TV broadcasting rights for just $4,000 and made the most of them.

People packed Wembley Stadium, eager to forget the horrors of the second world war.

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12:01am

Wed February 1, 2012
Science

New Silica Rules Languish In Regulatory Black Hole

Originally published on Wed February 1, 2012 7:50 am

Controlling dust from activities like this was on the minds of those in the Department of Labor in the 1930s, as silicosis, a lung disease, was taking a toll on American workers. Above, a worker jackhammers into rock in Lassen National Forest in California in 1934, preparing to shoot explosives.
U.S. Forest Service Oregon State University Libraries

Any job that involves breaking up rock or concrete or brick can potentially expose workers to dangerous silica dust, and last year it looked like the Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration was about to put stricter controls in place to limit this health hazard.

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12:01am

Wed February 1, 2012
Middle East

In Booming Istanbul, A Clash Between Old And New

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 3:43 pm

Rapid building in Istanbul is remaking the city, and activists are seeking to preserve historic places. The Haydarpasa train station, which dates to the 19th century, is closing for renovations. But longtime station workers suspect the city will convert the station into a luxury hotel or other commercial property.
Peter Kenyon NPR

On a frigid January morning, bundled-up travelers step off a ferry and scurry toward the imposing stone walls of the Haydarpasa train station, a 19th century landmark in Istanbul, a city full of history.

The people boarding this morning are nostalgic. They're longtime station employees, taking one of the last train runs to Eskesihir, where the station's first director-general is buried.

They're going, as it were, to give him bad news — that Haydarpasa's 150-year service as a public transportation center may be coming to an end.

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12:01am

Wed February 1, 2012
Around the Nation

Monsanto Accused In Suit Tied To Agent Orange

The town of Nitro has its beginnings in 1917, when the U.S. government created it as a place to locate a munitions plant.
Jeff Brady NPR

For about two decades, ending in 1971, a former Monsanto chemical plant in West Virginia produced the herbicide 2,4,5-T which was used in "Agent Orange" — the defoliant the military sprayed over Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War.

Now, Monsanto faces a class-action lawsuit, filed on behalf of people living where the herbicide was manufactured in Nitro, W.Va.

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12:01am

Wed February 1, 2012
Presidential Race

Romney Leads Gingrich In Money; Obama Bests Both

Originally published on Wed February 1, 2012 10:10 pm

Millions of dollars have been spent on television ads during this campaign cycle.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

As the Republican candidates were rallying their supporters in Florida on Tuesday night, their campaigns were quietly sending disclosure reports to the Federal Election Commission in Washington. The big picture: Mitt Romney had more money than Newt Gingrich. President Obama had more than either of them. And a few of the new superPACs filed donor lists filled with high rollers.

Tuesday's disclosures run only through Dec. 31 but still reveal some essential truths.

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10:16pm

Tue January 31, 2012
Sweetness And Light

Signing Day: Like Christmas For College Sports

Originally published on Thu February 2, 2012 12:03 am

Ahead of signing day, wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham of Springfield, Mo., was the highest-ranking recruit who had yet to announce his college choice. Here, he visits a basketball game at the University of Missouri.
L.G. Patterson AP

Well, here we are starting February, with the single most important day in sports upon us.

No, of course I don't mean a silly little thing like Super Bowl Sunday. But today, the first Wednesday of the second month, is by some sort of — what, pagan lunar calendar? –– officially decreed National Signing Day, when all over America, high school seniors can officially plight their troth to a college football program.

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2:26pm

Tue January 31, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Many In High-Risk Insurance Pools Face Lifetime Coverage Limits

iStockphoto.com

Thanks to the health care overhaul, most people no longer have to worry about getting sick and running out of health insurance coverage.

The law eliminated lifetime limits, which ran in many plans from $1 millon to $2 million.

Unfortunately, though, the change doesn't apply to plans that enroll some of the sickest people: those who buy coverage in so-called high-risk insurance pools because they have medical problems that make them uninsurable in the private market.

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1:58pm

Tue January 31, 2012
The Two-Way

VIDEO: A Bunny That Thinks It's A Sheepdog

Originally published on Tue January 31, 2012 2:01 pm

A rabbit tries to herd a flock of sheep.
YouTube

12:53pm

Tue January 31, 2012
Music Reviews

Leonard Cohen's 'Old Ideas' Inspire Confidence

Leonard Cohen.
Courtesy of the artist

At this point in his life, Leonard Cohen sings with a voice so deep and bottomless, he may as well be singing from underneath the earth. But that doesn't mean it's faint, or murky, or dead. Cohen's cracked baritone enunciates meticulous lyrics that sound searching, restless and jaunty. This has long been Cohen's saving grace: His dry humor juices up his more portentous pronouncements.

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12:50pm

Tue January 31, 2012
The Two-Way

U.S. Intelligence Chief: Iran Is More Willing To Launch Attack On U.S.

From left, FBI Director Robert Mueller, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, and CIA Director David Petraeus take their seats on Capitol Hill in Washington on Tuesday, prior to testifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

As part of his yearly report to the Senate's Select Committee on Intelligence, the United States' intelligence chief said that depending how threatened Iran feels, it may be more willing to launch an attack against the U.S.

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