National News

#MotorCityDrive: Is Detroit's Economic Engine Roaring Back To Life?

For generations of Americans, Detroit was the place where people made things: powerful cars, amazing architecture, beautiful music. But now Detroit is entering a new chapter. After months of often tense and difficult negotiations, Detroit is now formally out of bankruptcy. Millions of dollars of contributions from private foundations and corporations helped the city preserve its acclaimed art collection. A new generation of artists and entrepreneurs, doers and makers is calling Detroit home. So we'd like to ask, what's next? What will drive Detroit's future now?

First-graders take soccer class at the Nandulehe Elementary School in suburban Beijing. The school is one of 20,000 that's launching a national soccer curriculum in the next five years. It's part of a government plan to raise China's soccer skills and eventually, China's leaders hope, host and win a World Cup.

China Kicks Off 'Great Leap Forward' On The Soccer Field

At an elementary school outside the Chinese capital, Beijing, first-graders practice controlling soccer balls under the instruction of American coach Tom Byer.

"When I clap, everybody's going to dribble to the circle, pull it back and go to the right. Go!" he says.

Regular soccer balls would practically come up to the kids' knees, so they practice with miniature ones instead.

But Byer, a native of New York, argues that even at age 6 or 7, the children are already late to the game.

Steaming-hot bagels are scooped out of the water in which they were boiled and dumped onto a stainless steel drain board at a bagel bakery in Queens, New York City, 1963. Traditionally, bagels were boiled, but bakers who use the modern method skip this step.

Chew On This: The Science Of Great NYC Bagels (It's Not The Water)

One of the first life lessons I picked up in college was this: The secret to the shiny crust and chewy bite prized in New York bagels is boiling. Any other way of cooking them, my Brooklyn born-and-raised, freshman-year roommate told me, is simply unacceptable.

Now, many years later, it turns out she was pretty much right. In a new video, the American Chemical Society breaks down the chemistry of what makes New York bagels superior to the also-rans — the disappointing "bagels" you often encounter outside of New York that merely taste like bread with a hole in it.

Police in riot gear stand around an armored vehicle as smoke fills the streets of Ferguson, Mo., in November 2014.

White House Ban On Militarized Gear For Police May Mean Little

When riots erupted last fall on the streets of Ferguson, Mo., police in riot gear fanned out armed with assault rifles and armored vehicles made for the battlefield.

Analysts said at the time it was just another symptom of the continued militarization of local police forces.

Robert Gates, president of the Boy Scouts of America, warned that failure to make changes quickly could spell "the end of us as a national movement."

Head Of Boy Scouts Says Group's Ban On Gay Adults 'Unsustainable'

Robert Gates, the president of the Boy Scouts of America, says the organization must reassess its ban on gay adults, saying, "We must deal with the world as it is, not as we might wish it to be."

Gates, a former CIA director and former defense secretary, warned officials in the organization in Atlanta on Thursday that failure to make changes quickly could spell "the end of us as a national movement."

Village chiefs, residents and government officials take to the streets to celebrate the Chienge district's accomplishment of bringing sanitation to every home.

A Toilet In Every Home: Zambians Celebrate Sanitation Milestone

On a sunny day in the remote Chienge district of Zambia, hundreds gathered for a celebration that was the first of its kind. There was singing, laughing and no shortage of dancing. The village chiefs and government officials came dressed in their finest clothes, while volunteers sported bright green T-shirts that read, "We use a toilet ... do you?"

Hope Barrone-Falk and J.D. Falk on their wedding day in 2009.

Coded Talk About Assisted Suicide Can Leave Families Confused

Physician-assisted suicide is illegal in most states in the U.S. But there are gray areas where doctors can help suffering patients hasten their death. The problem is nobody can talk about it directly.

This can lead to bizarre, veiled conversations between medical professionals and overwhelmed families. Doctors and nurses want to help but also want to avoid prosecution, so they speak carefully, parsing their words. Family members, in the midst of one of the most confusing and emotional times of their lives, are left to interpret euphemisms.

Pakistani human rights activists condemn the killing of the Christian couple for alleged blasphemy during a demonstration in Islamabad, Pakistan, in November.

More Than 100 Charged In Mob Killing Of Christian Couple In Pakistan

Prosecutors in Pakistan's Punjab province have charged 106 people in connection with the gruesome mob killing of a Christian couple who were incinerated in a brick kiln for allegedly desecrating a copy of the Quran.

In November, Sajjad Mesih and his wife, Shama — who was pregnant when the couple in their 20s was killed — were beaten and thrown into the kiln they tended as laborers.

The New York Times described the killings in November:

Fla. Mailman Who Flew Gyrocopter Onto Capitol Lawn Appears In Court

Updated at 3:36 p.m. ET

The Florida mailman who landed a gyrocopter on the lawn of the Capitol last month appeared in court today and pleaded not guilty to all six charges against him.

Douglas Mark Hughes was charged Wednesday and faces up to 9 1/2 years in prison.

NPR's Peter Overby reported on the charges against Hughes:

This fungus among us — baker's yeast, aka <em>Saccharomyces cerevisiae --</em> is useful for more than just making bread.

You And Yeast Have More In Common Than You Might Think

Rip open a little package of baker's yeast from the supermarket, peer inside, and you'll see your distant cousin.

That's because we share a common ancestor with yeast, and a new study in the journal Science suggest that we also share hundreds of genes that haven't really changed in a billion years.

Edward Marcotte, a biologist at the University of Texas at Austin, knew that humans and yeast have thousands of similar genes. But, he wondered, how similar are they?

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