The earthquake that struck Japan on March 11 will be remembered primarily for the devastating tsunami it created. The quake itself did remarkably little damage to buildings in most areas, thanks to strict construction codes. But in a few places, particularly around Tokyo, buildings didn't fare as well.
These are places built on land reclaimed from the sea. When the earthquake struck, the soil in these areas acted like a liquid, a phenomenon known as liquefaction.
The tipping point for major change is often tragedy. That may be the case in California at the state psychiatric hospital in Napa, where an employee was killed last October, allegedly by a patient — one of thousands of violent acts committed at the hospital that year.
Donna Gross, a psychiatric technician who had been working at Napa State Hospital for 14 years, was walking on hospital grounds late in the afternoon when she ran into a patient named Jess Massey.
For years, Iraq's oil infrastructure — its pipelines and refineries-- has been a regular target of the armed insurgency.
Attackers detonated bombs in one refinery in February, and explosions breached the pipeline carrying oil from northern Iraq to Turkey in March.
In response, Iraq has created a police force with the special mission of protecting oil and gas facilities. The center for training the Iraqi oil police is known as Camp Dublin: It's a small corner of the American and Iraqi bases around Baghdad's airport.
An oil tanker left a port in eastern Libya on Wednesday with what is believed to be the first crude cargo since violence erupted last month. Renee Montagne talks with Samuel Ciszuk, senior Middle East energy analyst with IHS Global Insight, about what the sale could mean for the opposition.
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is in Washington on Thursday, making the rounds on Capitol Hill in hopes that the U.N. won't fall victim too much to U.S. budget cuts. His trip comes at a time when the U.N. has become more assertive, both in Libya and in the Ivory Coast.
Fifty years ago this May, 13 people boarded a bus in Washington, D.C. The Freedom Riders, as they are called, challenged segregation on buses and in waiting rooms throughout the South. Some of those riders are using their experiences to motivate students today — to show them that the actions of one person can make a difference.
Joan Trumpauer Mulholland stood alongside her fellow Freedom Riders staring at a picture of a black man on a bus who is watching two National Guardsmen.
"There's Dave Dennis," she says, "looking up at the guys with the bayonets."
In Washington, D.C., and at federal agencies across the country, the big question employees are asking on the eve of a possible government shutdown is: Am I essential or not? Workers and agencies that are deemed essential will be kept on the job if a shutdown occurs.
Talks at the White House on Wednesday night did not produce a budget agreement, and a government shutdown is still looming. President Obama, Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Republican House Speaker John Boehner left the meeting saying they will continue to work toward a settlement.