Mississippi voters on Tuesday rejected an amendment to their state constitution that would have declared that life begins at fertilization.
The result was somewhat unexpected: As recently as a few weeks ago, the so-called personhood amendment was considered almost certain to pass. Voters in Colorado have twice rejected similar amendments to declare that life begins legally at fertilization, in 2008 and 2010. But Mississippi, with its far more conservative bent, was considered much friendlier territory.
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
And I'm Renee Montagne. Good morning. We're at the point of the election cycle sometimes called the off-off year. Not many offices were up for grabs but yesterday, some high-profile measures were on state ballots.
This week, two U.S. airlines will be flying passengers on flights powered by biofuels for the first time. On Monday a Continental flight from Houston to Chicago used a biofuel blend made in part from algae, and Wednesday Alaska Airlines is set to fly passengers using a fuel made in part from cooking oil.
If all goes well, more airlines may start to use alternative jet fuels. But the shift is not without its challenges.
In Pakistan, several high-profile kidnappings reveal the cunning of the captors and confusion among police.
American aid expert Warren Weinstein was seized from his home in Lahore in mid-August. Two weeks later, publishing scion Shahbaz Taseer was snatched from his Mercedes at gunpoint, also in an upscale neighborhood of the Punjab capital.
The trail is leading investigators to Pakistan's militant-dominated tribal areas. North Waziristan, on the lawless Pakistan-Afghanistan border, is now believed to be a destination of choice for militant kidnappers.
The International Atomic Energy Agency released its much-anticipated report on Iran's nuclear program, but failed to conclude definitively that the Islamic republic is engaged in a full-scale weapons program.
Still, the U.N. nuclear watchdog's report raised some serious questions about what Iran is really doing in connection with nuclear weapons.