There are millions of killers loose in California, and eucalyptus trees are their victims. Entomologist Timothy Paine has been studying the insects killing California's menthol-scented trees for two decades — and he's noticed a suspicious pattern.
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Entomologist Timothy Paine
Credit Louis Vandenberg / KUCR
Entomologist Timothy Paine holds a longhorned borer. The borer was one of the early killers of California's eucalyptus trees.
Credit Zoe Corbyn / Zoe Corbyn
Timothy Paine points out a eucalyptus tree killed by an onslaught of longhorned borers. The beetles bore deep into the tree and feed on the wood.
Long before the era of post-Sept. 11 security precautions in the U.S., an unknown person or group of people may have begun carrying out a series of bioterrorism attacks in California.
The target? Menthol-scented eucalyptus trees.
Before you wonder why you hadn't heard of this, it's because the story isn't necessarily true. It's a hypothesis, a theory promoted by a noted California entomologist and eucalyptus expert named Timothy Paine.
If his theory is correct, then somebody out there wants those trees dead.
Ted Engelmann, left, helps Yamilet Ortega, 3, second from left, and Kimberly Hernandez, 7, light candles, Saturday at a memorial near the movie theater in Aurora, Colo., where a gunman killed 12 people and wounded dozens of others Friday.
President Obama is in Aurora, Colo., on Sunday, meeting with the families of the victims of the deadly theater shootings that killed 12 people and injured 58 more. He'll also attend a memorial service and meet briefly with local officials.
Outside the movie theater where Friday's rampage occurred, there's a makeshift memorial at the edge of a hot and dusty lot. There are hundreds of candles and flowers, American flags and signs memorializing the victims.
"It's a sad time, very sad time," said William Cloud, a local professor, who came by to pay his respects.
Theweekends on All Things Considered series Movies I've Seen a Million Times features filmmakers, actors, writers and directors talking about the movies that they never get tired of watching.
For actor Donald Faison, whose credits include Clueless, Remember the Titans, the TV shows Scrubs and The Exes, the movie he could watch a million times is Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back. "I want to say I saw it at the movie theaters 30 times," Faison says.
Oliver Stone's latest film, Savages, opened in theaters earlier this month. The movie centers on two young marijuana growers, Ben and Chon, who live and deal in California, alongside their girlfriend O — short for Ophelia. They find themselves thrust into a world of violence and murder when a Mexican drug cartel comes after their business. The film is based on the book by crime writer Don Winslow, who also co-wrote the screenplay.
We are all used to judicial nomination fights, but what has been remarkable in the Obama administration has been the molasses-like confirmation process for noncontroversial nominees, especially federal district court nominees.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer.
The statue of Joe Paterno no longer stands outside Penn State Football Stadium.
(SOUNDBITE OF MOTOR RUNNING)
WERTHEIMER: The university announced early this morning that it would take the monument down in the wake of an investigative report that found the late coach had concealed sex abuse claims against one of his assistants, Jerry Sandusky.
More bad news for Penn State: The NCAA says it will issue sanctions Monday against the school over the child sex abuse scandal involving Jerry Sandusky.
The announcement came the same day the school removed the famed statue of legendary football coach Joe Paterno from outside the Penn State football stadium. Our colleague Eyder Peralta has written more about that move.
"I wish I was taller," was Elaine's caption in the 1998 episode of <em>Seinfeld</em>. Can it get funnier than that? You can try over on <a href="http://contest.newyorker.com/CaptionContest.aspx?affiliate=ny-caption">The New Yorker's Caption Contest</a> page.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer. President Obama will go to Aurora, Colorado later today to visit the victims of Friday's movie theater shooting. Local and federal authorities spent Saturday using explosives and robots to disarm a series of booby traps they found in 24-year-old suspect James Holmes' apartment. Aurora police chief Dan Oates talked about how Holmes may have acquired those devices.