National News

Urban farmers turning a vacant lot into a garden plot in San Francisco's Hayes Valley.

Tax Breaks May Turn San Francisco's Vacant Lots Into Urban Farms

In San Francisco, there's a new program aimed at property owners who can resist the temptations of the sky-high real estate development market and turn their vacant lots into agricultural oases instead.

Many sustainability advocates have applauded the creation of the tax incentive, announced in August. But critics say there is no room in San Francisco to devote space to corn, beans and kale when homes cost millions and rent is at least $2,000 per bedroom in desirable areas.

Mountains of "little blue pills" and their chemical kin have transformed the way many people think about sex and aging.

Love And Sex In The Time Of Viagra — 16 Years On

The lives of older men have changed in a significant way since 1998, or at least their sex lives have changed. That's the year Viagra was introduced. Cialis and Levitra followed a few years later.

The once taboo subject of erectile dysfunction is now inescapable for anyone who watches TV. Late-night comedians continually mine the topic. By 2002, Jay Leno had told 944 Viagra jokes, according to the Wall Street Journal. We couldn't independently verify that number. Actually, we didn't try.

Michael Brown's parents Lesley McSpadden (left) and Michael Brown Sr. (right) flank attorney Anthony Gray as he speaks at a news conference held Tuesday, one month after Michael Brown was shot and killed in Ferguson, Mo.

One Month Later: Michael Brown's Family Calls For Arrest

The family of Michael Brown issued a new call for the police officer who shot and killed the 18-year-old to be arrested Tuesday. Supporters of the family held a news conference in Ferguson, Mo., where Officer Darren Wilson had a fatal confrontation with the unarmed Brown one month ago today.

From St. Louis Public Radio, Emanuele Berry reports:

Senate Minority Leader Republican Mitch McConnell has reportedly been talking privately about what he'd do as majority leader.

In An Era Of Gridlock, Does Controlling The Senate Really Matter?

Republicans are increasingly confident that when this year's midterm elections are over, they will control both houses of Congress. But in this period of polarization and gridlock, what difference would it make?

This midterm election doesn't seem to be about anything in particular other than whether you like President Obama or not. There's no overarching issue, no clashing national agendas. Instead, it's just a series of very expensive, brutally negative races for Congress.

Ray Rice has been cut from the Baltimore Ravens and indefinitely suspended from the NFL following an assault on his then-fiancee, Janay Palmer.

The Video, The Tabloid Site And The NFL's Unwanted Reckoning

The NFL built its fortunes on a series of ever-expanding TV contracts worth billions of dollars showing hundreds of games to tens of millions of fans. Now a tabloid news shop has brought all conversation about the NFL to a standstill by posting a silent video lasting less than four minutes.

Randen Patterson left a research career in physiology at U.C. Davis when funding got too tight. He now owns a grocery store in Guinda, Calif.

When Scientists Give Up

Ian Glomski thought he was going to make a difference in the fight to protect people from deadly anthrax germs. He had done everything right — attended one top university, landed an assistant professorship at another.

But Glomski ran head-on into an unpleasant reality: These days, the scramble for money to conduct research has become stultifying.

So, he's giving up on science.

"The State of the Birds" 2014 report found that red knots (above) and other shorebirds are among the most threatened groups in the U.S. More than half of U.S. shorebird species are on the report's Watch List — species that are currently endangered or at risk.

U.S. Gets Middling Marks On 2014 'State Of Birds' Report Card

All is not well with the nation's birds. The most comprehensive study ever of birds in America is out today, and it says many populations are in steep decline, even as others are doing well.

The report, called "The State of the Birds," comes from the federal government, universities and conservation groups — 23 organizations that have spent years examining bird populations, as well as habitats where the various species live.

Alieu P. Manor, 18, survived Ebola. He gazes into the room of his cousin, Varlee Kanneh, who was not so lucky.

In Liberia's Hard-Hit Lofa County, Ebola Continues To Take A Toll

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa has hurt Liberia more than any other country. And within Liberia, no town has been hit harder than the primarily Muslim farming town of Barkedu, in Lofa County in the far north. Despite a population of just 8,000, the small, dusty town accounts for a large percentage of the country's more than 1,000 Ebola deaths to date. The virus has swept away entire families — children, women and men.

A video about the Apple Watch is shown during an Apple special event in Cupertino, Calif.

The Apple Watch Is Here And Another Tech Hype Cycle Commences

Apple's big new product will live on your wrist. It's called the Apple Watch, in a notable move away from "i"-branded products, and it will be available in early 2015, starting at $349. It comes in two sizes and packed with all sorts of futuristic features, like being able to pay for products or wave open a hotel room with it. And send your heartbeat with it (not that I know what the use case is for that is unless you're a newborn).

"It's the next chapter in Apple's story," Apple CEO Tim Cook said at the watch's unveiling.

Helen Down holds her 14-month-old daughter, Amelia, for an MMR shot in Swansea, England, in April 2013. The vaccination was in response to a measles outbreak.

Get The Measles, Get Ready To Be Out For Two Weeks

Measles is often lumped in with flu and chickenpox as mild childhood illnesses. But people who got measles during outbreaks in the United Kingdom say they were pretty darned sick, missing two weeks of school or work on average.

A bout of the measles lasted 14 days on average, according to a study by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and Public Health England. That added up to having to take 10 days off work or school. More than a third of people needed someone to stay home to take care of them, too.

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