House & Senate Races
3:02 am
Wed December 7, 2011

Virginia Senate Race: Familiar Faces, Fresh Pressure

George Allen, a former U.S. senator and Virginia governor, speaks to employees of an auto parts manufacturing plant near Roanoke, Va., on Oct. 5. Allen is trying to recapture the Senate seat he lost in 2006.
Stephanie Klein-Davis AP

Originally published on Wed December 7, 2011 6:36 am

A debate in Richmond, Va., on Wednesday kicks off what promises to be one of the most closely watched and expensive U.S. Senate races in 2012.

The seat in question is being vacated by Democrat Jim Webb, who has chosen not to run for a second term. Running to replace him are two former Virginia governors: Republican George Allen, who held the Senate seat before Webb defeated him in 2006, and Democrat Tim Kaine, who recently served as chairman of the Democratic National Committee.

It's a race likely to revolve around two key issues: President Obama and the economy.

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Middle East
3:02 am
Wed December 7, 2011

On The Run, Under The Radar, With Syria's Rebels

Riad al-Asaad says he's the leader of the Free Syrian Army, a group of Syrian defectors who recently posted this video on the group's Facebook page.
Free Syrian Army AP

In Syria, the clashes between the opposition movement and the government's security forces are starting to look more and more like a civil war. Protests across the country still remain mostly peaceful, but soldiers who have defected are assembling a force called the Free Syrian Army, which has been launching attacks on government targets. NPR's Kelly McEvers recently met up with members of the Free Syrian Army when she crossed from Lebanon into Syria on a secret nighttime excursion.

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Environment
3:01 am
Wed December 7, 2011

Can 'Carbon Ranching' Offset Emissions In Calif.?

Tall grasses in the San Joaquin valley in California suck carbon dioxide out of the air and store it in the soil. It's one option that environmentalists are pursuing for greenhouse gas "offsets" that can be bought and sold in the state.
Christopher Joyce NPR

Second of a two-part series on California's climate policies. Read part 1.

Climate experts are exploring the concept of growing dense fields of weeds to help soak up carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Just over a year from now, California will begin enforcing a set of laws that limit emissions of greenhouse gases from factories, power plants and, eventually, from vehicles.

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Environment
2:00 am
Wed December 7, 2011

At Climate Talks, Resistance From India, China, U.S.

Fundamental disagreements among the nations attending the U.N. climate conference in Durban, South Africa, may stall a possible deal.

Sweetness And Light
8:00 pm
Tue December 6, 2011

For Some Marching Bands, Hazing Means Brutality

The Marching 100, Florida A&M University's band, performs on the field before Super Bowl XLIV, Feb. 7, 2010. The band's director, Julian White, was fired in November after a band member died, allegedly from a hazing incident on a bus.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Every now and then, as a journalist, you want to think that you haven't just done a good "story," but maybe you've actually brought attention to something that can actually do good.

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Regional
6:22 pm
Tue December 6, 2011

NMSU Researchers Study Winter Growing

Las Cruces, NM – In late October and mid-November, for the third year in a row, faculty, students and farm crews started planting rows of Trout's Back lettuce and Bloomsdale spinach from seed in a dozen hoop houses, also known as passive-solar high tunnels.

Six of the structures are located at NMSU's Leyendecker Plant Science Research Center south of Las Cruces and the other six are at NMSU's Sustainable Agriculture Science Center at Alcalde, north of Santa Fe.

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Regional
6:21 pm
Tue December 6, 2011

Professor: Hispanic District Won't Favor Dems

SANTA FE, N.M. – Republicans will keep their political advantage in the 2nd Congressional District under a proposal to make it a Hispanic majority district covering southern and west-central New Mexico, a retired political science professor told a state district court on Tuesday.

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Regional
4:23 pm
Tue December 6, 2011

NMSU Las Cruces Study Finds Old Tires Can Become New Roads

Las Cruces – A new study by the New Mexico State University (NMSU) Civil Engineering Department finds roadways paved with asphalt concrete containing crumb rubber (produced from recycled tires), perform as well as or better than roads paved with conventional paving materials.

Those results could lead to a substantial win-win for the Land of Enchantment, by not only improving the state's roads, but also finding a viable beneficial use for the hundreds of thousands of scrap tires that are illegally dumped throughout the State.

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Shots - Health Blog
3:55 pm
Tue December 6, 2011

Snakebite Threat Gets Short Shrift

Snake handler Subhendu Malllik holds up an Indian baby cobra hatchling after it emerged from an egg on the outskirts of Bhubaneswar, India, in June. The venomous snake is indigenous to South Asia.
Asit Kumar AFP/Getty Images

If you're poor and living in the Indian countryside, there's a life-threatening problem that can slither right into your life — a poisonous snake.

Snakebites in India are thought to have killed nearly 46,000 people alone in 2005. But the toll in India (the unfortunate leader of the snakebitten pack), Bangladesh and other countries that have lots of people and lots of poisonous snakes in close proximity hasn't been fully appreciated.

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