Who Oversees Homeland Security? Um, Who Doesn't?
A mind-boggling 108 congressional committees and subcommittees have oversight over the Department of Homeland Security. They're a "tremendous source of delay, time and confusion" for the agency, says Rep. Peter King (R-NY). But that's not likely to change -- unless the president and Homeland Security secretary choose to make a big issue of it.
Shrinking Coast, Expanding Oil: Shrimpers Clean Spill
A family of Louisiana shrimpers has seen their coastline disappear over the years, accelerated by the ever-expanding oil industry. Now, the Chauvins are working for BP to clean up the oil spill that has further threatened the family's lifeline.
China's Divided Catholics Seek Reconciliation
China's 12 million Catholics have been bitterly divided for decades. Some belong to Beijing-sanctioned churches, while others worship in "underground" churches loyal to the Vatican. Even though Pope Benedict XVI has urged reconciliation, China's Catholics have struggled to follow his instructions.
Extension Of Unemployment Benefits Clears Hurdle
On Tuesday, the Senate swore in the new short-term senator from West Virginia, Carte Goodwin, giving Democrats the 60 votes they needed to advance the bill to extend unemployment benefits. The bill now heads to the full Senate. Republicans continue to oppose the measure on the grounds that it adds to the deficit.
Amid Downturn, Net Worth Takes A Beating
The long economic downturn has left most Americans feeling poorer. And, in fact, according to Roben Farzad of Bloomberg BusinessWeek, they are. He tells Robert Siegel that per capita net worth has taken a beating, driven down primarily by falling housing prices.
Allies Pledge Support At Kabul Conference
More than 40 foreign ministers from around the world attended a donor's meeting in Afghanistan on Tuesday. The Kabul conference was a success by the most important measure set out by the organizers: There was no disruption by the insurgency that is raging in much of the countryside. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon joined other delegations in demonstrating support for President Hamid Karzai.
Poison Ivy Growing Faster, More Virulent
Lewis Ziska, plant physiologist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture's agricultural research service, says rising carbon dioxide levels and forest disruption are making poison ivy spread faster, grow larger, show up in new places and become more toxic. He tells host Michele Norris what makes the plant uniquely affected and how to treat skin that's been exposed.
A Primer On Mosquito Repellents
Robert Siegel talks to Michael Raupp, an entomology professor at the University of Maryland, about the different types of mosquito repellents on the market, and which ones work best.
Intelligence Chief Nominee Testifies On Capitol Hill
On Tuesday, a Senate committee heard testimony from James Clapper, President Obama's nominee to become Director of National Intelligence, the top position in the intelligence community. There is a growing sense that the intelligence bureaucracy is unwieldy and that the DNI doesn't have the power to rein it in. Michele Norris talks to NPR's Rachel Martin, who is following the story.