National News

Cindy Minnix waits for a bus in a flooded street on Oct. 18, 2012, in Miami Beach. A changing climate is making floods related to high tides more frequent, scientists say.

Climate Change Worsens Coastal Flooding From High Tides

A wave of high tides is expected to hit much of the East Coast this week. These special tides — king tides — occur a few times a year when the moon's orbit brings it close to the Earth.

But scientists say that lately, even normal tides throughout the year are pushing water higher up onto land. And that's causing headaches for people who live along coastlines.

As Bob Dylan might have put it, the tides, they are a changin'.

A map showing a good weather across most of the United States.

Some Good News: Near Perfect Weather For Most Of The Country

Here's a lovely mid-week sighting:

That map shows that this afternoon there were no significant weather warnings issued across the Lower 48.

The only issue? A small stream flooding advisory in southern Arizona.

I asked John Hart, the lead forecaster for NOAA's Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma, what someone who focuses on severe weather does on a day like this.

Not taking the bait, he said: "Well, actually, we keep looking at the weather."

He said that they keep looking at areas that could develop into threats.

FBI Director James Comey says new encryption features allow people "to place themselves beyond the law."

Apple Says iOS Encryption Protects Privacy; FBI Raises Crime Fears

The FBI and other law enforcement agencies are up in arms about new technology now available from Apple and soon to be released by Google.

The software encrypts the data on smartphones and other mobile devices so that not even the companies themselves will be able to access the information.

Love Pine Nuts? Then Protect Pine Forests

A colleague accosted me at the coffee machine the other day with an urgent question. "Why are pine nuts so expensive?"

I promised to find out. And I did. But along the way, I discovered something remarkable about pine nuts.

They connect us to a world of remote villages and vast forests, ancient foraging traditions that are facing modern threats.

Pine nuts don't generally come from orchards, or fields, or plantations. They come from pine forests. (And pine nuts are expensive because most of these areas are so remote.)

Sara Pisano (left) and Danilo Spagnoli, just married by Pope Francis, smile during the wedding ceremony in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Sept. 14. Pope Francis married 20 couples on Sunday, including some who already live together or and who already have children, both technically sins in the eyes of the church.

In 'Season Of Mercy,' Will Vatican Rethink Communion For Divorcees?

Some 200 bishops from around the world are gathered at the Vatican for a two-week assembly to discuss issues related to the family, including artificial contraception, premarital sex and ministering gay unions.

But one of the most controversial is a proposal to allow divorced and remarried Catholics to receive Holy Communion — taboo in church doctrine for 2,000 years.

In February, Pope Francis tapped one of his favorite theologians, German Cardinal Walter Kasper, to address a meeting of all the cardinals.

A four-month-old baby Chimpanzee is seen at the National Zoo in Kuala Lumpur in February 2013.

Lawsuit Testing Personhood Of Chimps Gets Its Day At An Appeals Court

A novel legal case exploring the personhood of chimps got its day at an appellate level court today.

If you remember, we told you about how the Nonhuman Rights Project is asking a court to send Tommy, a chimpanzee living in a cage at a trailer dealer in Gloversville, N.Y., to a sanctuary.

A team from Dr. Paul Farmer's Partners In Health nonprofit visited southeast Liberia's Martha Tubman Memorial Hospital in September. The hospital has a new, six-bed isolation unit financed by the U.N.

A Strong Voice From The Ebola Front: Lorenzo Dorr

"Now we're in it."

That's what Liberian health worker Lorenzo Dorr tells me. The first two cases of Ebola have been confirmed in Grand Gedeh County, in Liberia's southeast, where Dorr is based.

<strong>Eat, Drink And Be Scholarly:</strong> The Southern Food and Beverage Museum's new, permanent home in New Orleans is designed to help answer many questions — including how does it taste?

A New Museum To Celebrate Southern Food (And You Can Eat The Exhibits)

The Southern Food and Beverage Museum. Of course. It sounds so inevitable, you might assume it's existed since time immemorial: a museum to celebrate the food and drink of the American South, to enshrine barbecue and grits, showcase the heritage of Louisiana shrimpers and Kentucky bourbon.

But no.

A market area sat empty last month in Freetown, Sierra Leone, as the country's government enforced a three-day lockdown in an attempt to halt the spread of the Ebola virus.

World Bank Says Ebola Could Inflict Enormous Economic Losses

West Africa is a poor region, struggling to improve its economic growth.

It had been succeeding. Last year, Sierra Leone and Liberia ranked second and sixth among countries with the highest growth in gross domestic product in the world.

Thomas Eric Duncan died at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas Wednesday morning. He is the first person to have been diagnosed with Ebola in the United States.

Texas Officials Say They Will Cremate Ebola Patient's Remains

Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person to be diagnosed with Ebola in the United States, died Wednesday morning at Texas Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas. As relatives and friends grieve and plan an evening service for the 42-year-old man, public health officials are putting in action plans to safely manage his remains.

This is critical, given that people who die of Ebola virus infection can harbor the virus after death.

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