National

10:34pm

Tue January 29, 2013
U.S.

Debate Over Rebuilding Beaches Post-Sandy Creates Waves

Originally published on Wed January 30, 2013 10:49 am

Ongoing beach nourishment, like this project in Viriginia Beach, has been the topic of debate. Some people say it's needed to protect beach communities; others decry the costs.
Pam Spaugy U.S. Army

For a half-century, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has been in the beach business, dredging up new sand as shorelines wash away. Federal disaster aid for Superstorm Sandy could provide billions more for beach rebuilding, and that has revived an old debate: Is this an effective way to protect against storms, or a counterproductive waste of tax dollars?

On a recent blustery day at Virginia Beach, the latest beach nourishment project is in full swing. A bulldozer smooths out pyramids of sand, and on the horizon, a large, black hopper dredge appears with another load.

Read more

5:43pm

Tue January 29, 2013
Around the Nation

Drought Causes Ripple Effect Along Mighty Mississippi River

Originally published on Wed January 30, 2013 6:30 pm

International ships call at the busy Port of New Orleans. It's a major shipping convergence point on the Mississippi River. Ships come upriver from the Gulf of Mexico with imports from abroad, and barges come downriver, bringing U.S. goods for export.
Debbie Elliott NPR

The persistent drought is raising questions about how the Mississippi River is managed — both upstream and down.

While cargo traffic upriver has gotten lots of attention, the drought is creating a different set of problems downriver at the mouth of the Mississippi, where saltwater has encroached.

An old-fashioned staff river gauge behind the New Orleans district office of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers shows the Mississippi is running just shy of 6 feet above sea level at the river bend.

Read more

4:03pm

Tue January 29, 2013
The Two-Way

Ancient Manuscripts In Timbuktu Reduced To Ashes

Originally published on Thu January 31, 2013 4:49 am

Men recover burnt ancient manuscripts at the Ahmed Baba Institute in Timbuktu on Tuesday.
Eric Feferberg AFP/Getty Images

Update at 6:45 a.m. ET, Jan. 31: New reports from Timbuktu indicate that "most manuscripts were saved."

Our original post:

These photos from Timbuktu, Mali, on Tuesday confirmed what many had feared: Ancient books and texts at a famed library were torched by Islamic radicals before they fled.

Read more
Tags: 

3:46pm

Tue January 29, 2013
The Two-Way

VIDEO: Could It Be? American Claims To Have Surfed 100-Foot Wave

Garrett McNamara surfs a huge wave in Nararé, Portugal.
Francisco Salvador via Twitter

3:36pm

Tue January 29, 2013
The Two-Way

Stefan Kudelski, Who Made Sound Recording Portable, Dies

Originally published on Wed January 30, 2013 4:42 am

Stefan Kudelski poses with the Ampex-Nagra VPR-5 portable recorder in an undated photograph. The devices were used to record the 1986 FIFA World Cup in Mexico.
Courtesy of the Kudelski Group

While few outside the film and radio industries may recognize the name Stefan Kudelski, his Nagra recorder — meaning "will record" in Kudelski's native Polish — transformed the world of sound recording for radio, television and film.

Kudelski, inventor of the first portable professional sound recorder, died Saturday in Switzerland at the age of 84, according to a statement from the Kudelski Group.

Read more

Pages