There has been a lot of extreme weather in the Northern Hemisphere this year, including the recent torrential rains in Colorado, flooding in Europe, bitter cold in Florida and a heat wave in Alaska. And scientists say all of it is related to some odd behavior by the powerful air currents called the polar jet stream.
Imagine running power lines through a cathedral. That's how archaeologists describe what the Bonneville Power Administration proposes doing in the Columbia River Gorge in Washington state. The federal electricity provider is trying to string a new transmission line near a cave that contains ancient paintings, a site considered sacred by Native Americans.
Premiums in the health insurance exchanges set to open next week will be lower than anticipated, the Obama administration announced Wednesday.
According to a report released by the Department of Health and Human Services, "premiums nationwide will ... be around 16 percent lower than originally expected," and 95 percent of uninsured people live in a state with average premiums that are lower than expected.
All right. Let's talk more about that debate in Congress, which must pass a bill by Sept. 30 to keep the government running or see a partial shutdown. Republicans in the House passed a bill to fund the government but defund Obamacare; and now that bill is in the Senate, where Richard Durbin of Illinois is the Senate majority whip, the No. 2 Democrat in charge of counting votes. Senator, welcome back to the program.
In England, a man went to the store and bought a package of six eggs. He cracked the first one open and found a double yolk. Then he cracked open the second, two yolks in that one as well. It turns out all six eggs were like that. The chances of that happening: about one in a trillion. As unlikely as winning the lottery, the man said, before adding the lottery would be better, obviously. Still, what a way to beat the odds with eggs?
Now, the strike on Nairobi was noteworthy in part because of the group claiming responsibility. As David and Gregory mentioned, al-Shabab is a militant organization from nearby Somalia. Analyst Bronwyn Bruton of the Atlantic Council says a few years ago it would've had little reason to strike outside Somalia's borders. More recently, al-Shabab has been evolving, turned to new purposes by the influence of al-Qaida.
BRONWYN BRUTON: It emerged in 2005 in the wake of international efforts to create a government in Somalia.
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.
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And I'm David Greene. We are going into the fourth day of a siege at a popular mall in Nairobi, Kenya. The Somalia-based al-Shabab militant group has claimed responsibility. At least 62 people have been killed.
We had NPR's Gregory Warner on the line earlier. He told us that the military is still battling terrorists inside the mall, but they claim to have made progress. Do these militants still have any hostages in there?
Scientists and government representatives are meeting in Stockholm this week to produce the latest high-level review of climate change. It's thousands of pages of material, and if it's done right, it should harbor very few surprises.
That's because it's supposed to compile what scientists know — and what they don't — about climate change. And that's left some scientists to wonder whether these intensive reviews are still the best way to go.