National News

A water maintenance crew works on leaky infrastructure in Skokie, a Chicago suburb. The area loses almost 22 billion gallons of water a year because of ailing infrastructure.

As Infrastructure Crumbles, Trillions Of Gallons Of Water Lost

Imagine Manhattan under almost 300 feet of water. Not water from a hurricane or a tsunami, but purified drinking water — 2.1 trillion gallons of it.

That's the amount of water that researchers estimate is lost each year in this country because of aging and leaky pipes, broken water mains and faulty meters.

Fixing that infrastructure won't be cheap, which is something every water consumer is likely to discover.

Stephen Drimalas stands outside his former home in Staten Island's Ocean Breeze neighborhood. He rebuilt his home after Superstorm Sandy but recently decided to sell it to the state of New York.

After The Waves, Staten Island Homeowner Takes Sandy Buyout

Two years after Superstorm Sandy struck the Northeast, hundreds of Staten Islanders are deciding whether to sell their shorefront homes to New York state, which wants to knock them down and let the empty land act as a buffer to the ocean.

Stephen Drimalas was one Staten Islander faced with this tough decision. He lived in a bungalow not far from the beach in the working-class neighborhood of Ocean Breeze. He barely escaped Sandy's floodwaters with his life.

Elaborately decorated skulls are crafted from pure sugar and given to friends as gifts. The colorful designs represent the vitality of life and individual personality.

Decoding The Food And Drink On A Day Of The Dead Altar

A version of this story was originally published on Nov. 1, 2012.

Sugar skulls, tamales and spirits (the alcoholic kind) — these are things you might find on ofrendas, or altars, built this time of year to entice those who've passed to the other side back for a visit. These altars in homes and around tombstones are for Day of the Dead, or Dia de los Muertos, a tradition on Nov. 1 and 2originating in central Mexico.

Djuna Perkins, a former prosecutor, now conducts sexual assault investigations for colleges and universities. She's had to hire three more staff members this year to keep up with all the work.

To Tackle Sexual Assault Cases, Colleges Enlist Investigators-For-Hire

As colleges continue to scramble under federal pressure to overhaul how they handle cases of sexual assault, the list of schools under investigation for botching cases continues to grow.

That's left some wondering if campuses will ever get it right, or if they might be better off leaving the job to others.

A growing number of campuses already have made the choice to do just that: Rather than try to train their provosts and professors to act like prosecutors, they're outsourcing the job to real ones instead.

Mumadou Traore says the Ivory Coast's French bureaucracy is a "blessing" when it comes to Ebola.

No Ebola, S'il Vous Plait, We're French: The Ivory Coast Mindset

There are all kinds of theories why Ebola hasn't arrived in Ivory Coast, despite the fact that it shares a long and very porous border with two Ebola-afflicted countries, Liberia and Guinea.

Some Ivory Coastians credit a beefed-up border patrol. The religious citizens in this Catholic country thank God. But Mumadou Traore, who works as a field coordinator for CARE International, has a third theory. He credits the legendarily infuriating Ivorian bureacracy.

The headquarters of Monsanto, near St. Louis, Mo. Monsanto is the world's largest seed supplier.

Monsanto Hired This Guy To Help It Win Over Millennials

As I scrolled through tweets about a panel on agricultural entrepreneurs at the SXSW Eco conference earlier this month, one caught my eye. The sender was Vance Crowe, Monsanto's director of millennial engagement.

Corporate America is currently caught up in a torrid infatuation with millennials, who befuddle and torment the companies who want their dollars.

This may seems like a great campus amenity, until you get melanoma.

Campuses Play Host To Tanning Beds, Despite Skin Cancer Risk

The frigid winters left everyone hungry for sun at the college I attended in Chicago. I still remember a friend longing for a tanning studio, preferably just down the hill from the student center. And as it turns out, in a surprising number of college campuses now, that's just the case.

Scientists Implicate More Than 100 Genes In Causing Autism

The hunt to find genes that cause autism has been a long slog, one hampered by a lack of technology and families willing to be tested.

But those efforts are starting to pay off. On Tuesday, researchers at more than 50 laboratories said they had identified more than 100 genes that are mutated in children with autism, dozens more than were known before.

The Orbital Sciences Corporation Antares rocket suffers a catastrophic anomaly moments after launch at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia on Tuesday.

Russian Engines Could Be Focus Of Antares Launch Failure Probe

NPR's Geoff Brumfiel reports that as investigators examine what went wrong with the launch of an unmanned Antares rocket on Tuesday, they'll likely take a hard look at powerful engines originally destined to send cosmonauts to the moon, a project that was scrapped by the USSR more than four decades ago.

Federal Reserve Stays The Course, Ends Most Recent Stimulus Program

When the Great Recession kicked off in 2008, the Federal Reserve announced a stimulus program that bought up bonds by the trillions.

In a symbolic move that underlines the confidence the Fed has in the U.S. economy, today the Federal Open Market Committee said it was staying the course and ending the third round of economic stimulus, known as quantitative easing.

In a statement the FOMC explained:

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