The Archdiocese of Boston is taking a business approach to its problem of too many parishes, too few priests and not enough parishioners. It plans to merge parishes into clusters and placing them under one pastor. It will eliminate dozens of parish jobs for lay people and take away local control of a church's budget and religious education program. The plan is being met with considerable pushback from priests and parishioners. Monica Brady-Myerov of member station WBUR reports.
Scientists in Hungary and Sweden say they've found an answer to the age-old question of how the zebra got its stripes. It turns out the pattern may have evolved to repel Africa's biting flies. The researchers discovered this by placing models of patterned zebras next to models of their plainer cousins, horses, and measuring how many flies ended up on each one. Host Scott Simon has more.
Nearly two dozen dog sledding teams set out a week ago on a thousand mile race over some of the most remote territory in North America. The mushers have reached the halfway mark in the race. They're now in the Canadian Yukon. And Emily Schwing of member station KUAC has been following the race since its start in Fairbanks, Alaska.
In sports-crazy Argentina, sports journalism schools have cropped up to train aspiring reporters and broadcasters. Here, Argentine national soccer team coach Sergio Batista arrives for a press conference in Cordoba, Argentina, last year.
Credit Silvina Frydlewsky / For NPR
A packed class on a recent night at the Superior School of Sports Journalism in Buenos Aires.
Credit Silvina Frydlewsky / for NPR
Roberto Bermudez, a longtime teacher at the Superior School of Sports Journalism in Buenos Aires, lectures students on the intricacies of covering Argentina's soccer league. There are a dozen or so such schools in Buenos Aires alone.
Scientists can spend years working on problems that at first may seem esoteric and rather pointless. For example, there's a scientist in Arizona who's trying to find a way to measure the age of wild mosquitoes.
As weird as that sounds, the work is important for what it will tell scientists about the natural history of mosquitoes. It also could have major implications for human health.
For sale: 160 acres of rolling hills in California perfect for a vineyard, cattle ranch or communication with outer space.
To understand how Silicon Valley businessman Jeffrey Bullis ended up owning the Jamesburg Earth Station — a former telecommunications center with a 10-story satellite dish — you have to think back to 2004.
The real estate market was booming. Bullis was visiting a friend in Carmel Valley on California's Central Coast, where homes can still sell for millions.
President Obama moved swiftly Friday to quell a politically perilous uproar involving two hot-button issues: birth control and religious institutions.
In January, the Obama administration announced that under its health care law, religiously affiliated institutions such as hospitals and schools would have to include birth control in their employees' health coverage.
All this week, Republicans on Capitol Hill bashed that policy as a violation of religious freedom, and some of the president's fellow Democrats added to the heat.
The White House is trying to mend fences with Catholics and others who were outraged at a new rule governing insurance coverage for birth control.
That policy would have required Catholic hospitals, universities and other institutions to cover birth control in their employees' health insurance. Critics called that an assault on religious freedom.
President Obama announced a change of course Friday, and the White House is hoping to regain religious allies and maintain support from the women who voted for Obama.