Denton, Texas, is considering a ban on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, and a new study links this process of energy extraction with earthquakes. NPR's Arun Rath considers the risks with science writer Abrahm Lustgarten.
It sits in an imposing building just across Lafayette Square from the White House. Yet the Export-Import Bank, which has been offering credit to foreign purchasers of U.S. goods for 80 years, could start shutting down operations within a matter of weeks.
"There's about a 50-50 chance," says Dan Ikenson, who directs a trade policy center at the Cato Institute.
Commercial sperm banks have operated in the U.S. since the early 1970s. Today, women who can afford to use them tend do so without stigma. But banks are no longer the only source for women hoping to get pregnant.
There are informal, unregulated websites popping up where men who are willing to donate their sperm for free can meet women who are hoping to have a baby.
The most established sperm donation website in the U.S., the Known Donor Registry, launched in 2010. Since then, it has grown to more than 16,000 members.
Originally published on Sat July 12, 2014 12:13 pm
Utah's attorney general says he will appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court to block a lower court ruling that same-sex couples must receive benefits following the overturning of the state's gay marriage ban.
In a statement issued late Friday, Attorney General Sean Reyes says the appeal will be filed in the coming weeks, to get "clarity and resolution" on the matter.
Marijuana enthusiasts should still think twice before lighting up in the streets of Brooklyn.
The borough's district attorney announced this week that he'll no longer prosecute most low-level marijuana possession cases. But not all law enforcement officials in New York City are on board. Police Commissioner William Bratton responded to Thompson's decision with a shrug.
"It will not have any impact on our officers and the discretion they have as they go about their business," says Bratton.
Originally published on Sat July 12, 2014 11:28 am
We have a default template for the way we process mass shootings. We scour through every available scrap of the perpetrators' interior lives – Facebook postings, YouTube videos, interviews with former roommates — to try to find out what drove them to kill. The sites of the massacres become a kind of shorthand: Columbine, Sandy Hook, Fort Hood. We conduct protracted, unsatisfying conversations about gun rights, and about mental illness, and about how we have to make sure that they never happen again.