Many areas of the country are suffering from "exceptional drought" conditions. That's the most intense level assigned by the federal agency that monitors droughts. Unusually dry conditions are creating ever expanding hardships for farmers and ranchers from New Mexico to Kansas. Oklahoma has been especially hard hit. Kurt Gwartney of member station KGOU reports.
Senators Mark Warner (D-VA) and Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) talk to Steve Inskeep about the bipartisan deficit reduction plan proposed by the "Gang of Six." The White House and Congress are hoping to move on a deficit reduction plan alongside efforts to raise the debt limit. Many lawmakers say they won't vote to raise the debt limit without a plan to reduce the deficit.
Scientists are admitting that a scientific finding that seemed too good to be true was too good to be true. The researchers are retracting a study that claimed you could use genetic tools to predict people's likelihood of living to 100.
Paola Sebastiani and Thomas Perls are both at Boston University. Perls studies centenarians — people who live to be 100 or more. He's not a geneticist, but he is convinced that genes play an important role in how long someone will live, because longevity clearly runs in families. So Perls teamed up with geneticist Sebastiani.
When President Obama's motorcade leaves the White House on Friday, it will be his first public event outside of Washington in three weeks. And even then, he's only going to the D.C. suburb of College Park, Md.
The town hall meeting is likely to focus on the same theme that has captured almost all of the president's attention this month — the debt ceiling. It's just one more tool the White House is trying to use to get a deal.
Gay history is now a requirement in California public schools because of a new state law that says the contributions of gays and lesbians must be included in social studies instruction. Now teachers are figuring out how to incorporate the new material into their classes.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has returned to Cuba to undergo chemotherapy after having a tumor removed in June. He says he is in a "battle for life."
Chavez also faces political challenges — from rivalries in his inner circle to an energized opposition. The great unknown is whether the ailing president will have the stamina to overcome, especially as he faces a tough re-election campaign next year.
For young people who want a career in the arts, a handful of prestigious summer camps are a vital early step. Interlochen, in northern Michigan, is one of them.
Jessye Norman, Josh Groban, Norah Jones and Lorin Maazel all spent summers at Interlochen when they were younger. But with tuition ranging from $3,000 to $10,000, depending on the campers' age and discipline, does it mean that only rich kids get to follow in their footsteps? It turns out that some extra-resourceful young people are paving their own way. I went to camp to meet them.