For every farmer who is hurting this year during the drought, others are benefiting. Many fields in the South, Northwest and Upper Midwest are producing bountiful corn crops. And because the drought has pushed prices to record highs, farmers who have corn to sell expect a terrific payday.
"The corn has actually really, really taken off all the way through season. It's grown fast. It's been accelerated. The corn looks really good now," says John Scott, whose family farm in Sargeant, Minn., is just bursting with corn.
Scientists in Germany have been able to get enough DNA from a fossilized pinky to produce a high-quality DNA sequence of the pinky's owner.
"It's a really amazing-quality genome," says David Reich of Harvard Medical School in Boston. "It's as good as modern human genome sequences, from a lot of ways of measuring it."
The pinky belonged to a girl who lived tens of thousands of years ago. Scientists aren't sure about the exact age. She is a member of an extinct group of humans called Denisovans. The name comes from Denisova cave in Siberia, where the pinky was found.
The aftermath of a truck bomb in Kandahar, the main city in southern Afghanistan, which wounded the provincial police chief and killed two civilians Monday. Taliban attacks against Afghan officials are up sharply this year.
Credit Mamoon Durani / AP
Afghans bury the mayor of Kandahar, Ghulam Haidar Hamidi, after he was killed in a suicide bombing in July 2011. Afghan officials have extensive security but are still vulnerable to attack.
Almost daily, Taliban assassins target Afghan government officials and community elders with ambushes or bombings. The United Nations says such killings are up more than 50 percent compared to the same period last year.
On Monday, the target was the powerful police chief in southern Afghanistan's Kandahar province. A suicide bomber struck the convoy of Gen. Abdul Raziq, who survived the attack and is at a U.S. military hospital recuperating from burns and other injuries.
The U.S. and other Western countries are often trying to isolate Iran, but this week the country is in the international spotlight as it hosts a summit of 120 nonaligned nations.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Kim-moon decided to go, ignoring the advice of Israel and the U.S. He promised to deliver a tough message, but others are skeptical, arguing that his visit plays into the hands of the Iranians and to U.N. detractors in Washington.
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Encounters between humans and bears have risen in Western states, especially in Wyoming and Colorado. That's due largely to drought. Bears are traveling longer distances for food because the berries they usually eat have dried up.
As we hear from Aspen Public Radio's Marci Krivonen, hungry bears are turning to dumpsters, kitchen cabinets and refrigerators.
Melissa Block speaks with U.S. Paralympian and flag bearer at the Paralympics opening ceremony, Scott Danberg. The competition, which opens tonight in London, will be Danberg's fifth Paralympic Games. Over the years he has participated in multiple events, from power-lifting to javelin.
Italian food expert Julia della Croce suggested Benner try a Tuscan sheep's cheese, or pecorino Toscano, for the filling.
Credit Courtesy of Celina della Croce
Alice Benner didn't have her grandmother's recipe, only a memory of the dish, so she asked our <a href="http://www.npr.org/templates/archives/archive.php?thingId=156685947">Lost Recipes</a> project for help.
NPR listener Alice Benner says her Italian grandmother made ravioli that was "indescribably delicious."
Benner told us that she's tried to re-create the recipe many times. "The dough — the consistency — is totally wrong, usually too thick," she writes.
Benner's grandmother used Romano cheese in the filling — probably from an Italian deli in Chicago — but Benner says when she makes the ravioli, "the Romano cheese I've used never has the same punch. I've all but given up trying to make them."