National

5:26am

Mon March 24, 2014
Around the Nation

25 Years After Spill, Alaska Town Struggles Back From 'Dead Zone'

Originally published on Mon March 24, 2014 10:25 am

Orca Inlet, Cordova's fishing harbor, on a blustery day this month. Commercial fishing is the small Alaskan town's primary industry.
Marisa Peñaloza NPR

On March 24, 1989, the tanker Exxon Valdez struck a reef in Prince William Sound, Alaska, spilling 11 million gallons of crude oil into the pristine water. At the time, it was the single biggest spill in U.S. history. In a series of stories, NPR is examining the lasting social and economic impacts of the disaster, as well as the policy, regulation and scientific research that came out of it.

It's a blustery, snowy March day when Michelle Hahn O'Leary offers a tour of Cordova, Alaska, situated on the eastern shore of Prince William Sound.

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7:37am

Sat March 22, 2014
Around the Nation

Commuters Ditch Cars For Public Transit In Record Numbers

Originally published on Mon March 24, 2014 11:38 am

On a typical weekday, riders make a total of about 300,000 trips on the Chicago Metra commuter line.
M. Spencer Green AP

During the morning rush at Chicago's Union Station, commuter trains pull in, the doors open and a crush of people, newspapers and coffee cups in hand, pour off like a flood.

Financial analyst Nader Kouklan says he makes the trip from the suburbs to Chicago's downtown every day.

"It's easier and just a faster way to get to work, rather than having to deal with the traffic of the morning commute," Kouklan says.

Law student Amalia Romano rides Chicago's Metra line, too.

"I take it because I don't want to pay $16 to park every day," Romano explains.

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11:14am

Fri March 21, 2014
Wildfires

Forest Service Bolsters Tanker Fleet Ahead Of Wildfire Season

A C-130 air tanker drops chemical fire retardant below Pilot Peak at the Rim Fire in California, 2013.
USDA Flickr - Creative Commons

They’ll be more air power available to fight wildfires in 2014 than in recent years. The National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Idaho says up to 17 “exclusive use” air tankers will be placed strategically across the country, ready to deploy when fires erupt.

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4:25am

Fri March 21, 2014
All Tech Considered

When Robots Can Kill, It's Unclear Who Will Be To Blame

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 12:42 pm

The TALON MAARS (Modular Advanced Armed Robotic System) can be transformed from a weaponized robot to one with an arm and gripper by changing out its modules.
PRNewsFoto/Foster-Miller Inc.

The fast-advancing field of robotics is opening up serious questions about the military-based motivations behind some of the coolest tricks our machines can now be programmed to perform.

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5:27pm

Thu March 20, 2014
National

Gallup: Americans Put The Environment Over Economic Growth Again

Gallup

In 2009, when the Great Recession took hold of the United States, Americans reversed a long-running trend in polling: For the first time since Gallup first asked the question in the 1980s, more Americans said they favored economic growth over protecting the environment.

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