About two-thirds of the world's grasslands have turned into desert. Allan Savory has devoted his life to stopping it. He now believes that a surprising factor can protect grasslands and even reclaim degraded land that was once desert.
Originally published on Fri November 15, 2013 2:21 pm
The American public is clearly ticked off. Between the government shutdown, the troubled rollout of the Affordable Care Act, and the pace of the economic recovery, poll after poll reports signs of deep frustration and unrest.
Anger toward politicians and government isn't exactly a new phenomenon. What is unusual, however, is the sheer number of polling records that have been set in recent weeks — both lows and highs.
Laura Lane met Paquita Williams, a New York City subway conductor, when their train was stopped underground for two hours. Generally, Paquita says, most passengers are nice, but "there's times if the train breaks down, people think that's my fault."
Trout fishing is a magnet that draws people from around the world to places like Ovando, Mont. Just ask the owner of Blackfoot Angler and Supplies, Kathy Schoendoerfer.
"Every state in the nation has been through this little shop in Ovando, Montana, population 50," says Schoendoerfer with a mix of pride and perhaps a little fatigue. "And we've also had everybody from Russia, Latvia. We get a lot of Canadians, France, Finland, Brazil, Scotland, Germany, South Africa. We get a lot of business out here. You know, fly-fishing is huge."
The city of Oakland, Calif., is in the middle of a robbery epidemic. In response, some residents in several Oakland neighborhoods are taking matters into their own hands, hiring private security companies to patrol their neighborhoods.
Overall, robberies in Oakland are up 24 percent over the past year, with armed robberies up 45 percent. Since the recession dried up local tax revenues, the Oakland Police Department has been hamstrung by the loss of more than 200 officers and can't respond to all the calls it receives for help.
Emergency aid, including stocks of food, started arriving this week in cyclone-devastated areas of the Philippines; more is on the way.
The first wave of aid — high-energy biscuits designed to keep people alive when food is scarce — arrived via airlift. Huge shiploads of rice will be needed in the weeks and months to come. And exactly how the U.S. donates of that rice is a flashpoint in a long-running debate in Washington, D.C., about food aid.
Originally published on Fri November 15, 2013 9:44 am
It's well known that President Obama is an avid sports fan: he had a basketball court installed at the White House shortly after taking office, fills out his NCAA tournament bracket on ESPN every year and often hits the links on weekends.
So it comes as little surprise that Obama leaned heavily on sports metaphors at his press conference Thursday, where he took responsibility for the problems the administration has experienced rolling out the Affordable Care Act and explained how he plans to fix things.
Remember when President Obama said, "If you like your health plan you can keep it?" Now it's more like, "If you like your health plan you can keep it — for another year, and only if your insurance company says it's OK."
It's not clear whether the administration's proposal to let insurers extend the policies they've been canceling for the past couple of months will solve the president's political problem. But it's sure not going over very well with the insurance industry.