Science
4:33 am
Fri June 28, 2013

Tips For Surviving A Mega-Disaster

Patong beach in Phuket, Thailand, was destroyed by the tsunami on Dec. 25, 2004. More than 230,000 people died.
Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 28, 2013 10:39 am

The U.S. is ready for tornadoes, but not tsunamis.

That's the conclusion of a panel of scientists who spoke this week on "mega-disasters" at the American Geophysical Union's science policy meeting in Washington, D.C.

The nation has done a good job preparing for natural disasters like hurricanes and tornadoes, which occur frequently but usually produce limited damage and relatively few casualties, the panelists said. But government officials are just beginning to develop plans for events like a major tsunami or a large asteroid hurtling toward a populated area.

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Environment
4:33 am
Fri June 28, 2013

Put Down Oil Drill, Pick Up The Test Tube: Making Fuel From Yeast

Jay Keasling (left), speaking with Rajit Sapar at the Joint BioEnergy Institute, is pioneering a technique to develop diesel fuel from yeast.
Courtesy of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Originally published on Fri June 28, 2013 10:41 pm

What if we could get our gasoline, diesel fuel and jet fuel from yeast instead of from oil wells? That's not as crazy as it sounds. In fact, it's already happening on a small scale. And there's a vigorous research effort to ramp this up on a massive scale.

One of the more innovative approaches uses a new technology called "synthetic biology." Jay Keasling is one of the leaders in this hot field.

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Africa
4:33 am
Fri June 28, 2013

Obama: Time For A Mutually Beneficial Alliance With Africa

Originally published on Fri June 28, 2013 7:13 am

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

On a Friday, this is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm David Greene.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne. Good morning.

President Obama's trip through Africa is turning out to be political and also personal. The Obama family is visiting three countries in vastly different regions of the continent.

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National Security
4:33 am
Fri June 28, 2013

Defense Officials Indicate NSA Leaks Have Had Consequences

Originally published on Fri June 28, 2013 7:13 am

Washington is still trying to determine how much damage has been done as a result of Edward Snowden's revelations about NSA surveillance. Snowden allegedly encrypted the files he took with him, but some officials fear Chinese or Russian intelligence services gained access to Snowden's computers.

Economy
4:33 am
Fri June 28, 2013

In Phoenix, 'Zombie' Subdivisions Rise From The Dead

Workers frame a home in Gilbert, Ariz., near Phoenix, in July 2012. Developers are buying up half-built and vacated subdivisions amid renewed demand for housing.
Matt York AP

Originally published on Fri June 28, 2013 10:57 am

Developers in Phoenix are scrambling to keep up with another frenzied demand for housing. During the Great Recession, homebuilders in the suburbs abandoned neighborhoods that were only half-built. These so-called zombie subdivisions left a ring of unfinished construction around the city.

But now, the zombies are waking up.

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Planet Money
4:33 am
Fri June 28, 2013

Economists Have A One-Page Solution To Climate Change

CX Matiash AP

Originally published on Fri June 28, 2013 10:45 am

Climate change seems like this complicated problem with a million pieces. But Henry Jacoby, an economist at MIT's business school, says there's really just one thing you need to do to solve the problem: Tax carbon emissions.

"If you let the economists write the legislation," Jacoby says, "it could be quite simple." He says he could fit the whole bill on one page.

Basically, Jacoby would tax fossil fuels in proportion to the amount of carbon they release. That would make coal, oil and natural gas more expensive. That's it; that's the whole plan.

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Business
4:33 am
Fri June 28, 2013

Business News

Originally published on Fri June 28, 2013 7:13 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with new charges against China.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

GREENE: The United States charged a Chinese wind turbine maker, yesterday, with stealing trade secrets from a U.S. company. The Department of Justice says China's Sinovel stole more than $800 million worth of intellectual property from U.S. company AMSC.

AMSC is seeking more than $1 billion in damages. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Business
4:33 am
Fri June 28, 2013

China's Leaders Beginning To Confront Its Economic Problems

Originally published on Fri June 28, 2013 7:13 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And last week was a wild one for China's economy. First, interest rates on the loans that banks give each other spiked. As the banks struggled to get money, stock markets dropped - not only in China - but throughout Asia - and briefly in New York.

Things have calmed down since then. But the crisis showed how China's new leaders are just beginning to confront some fundamental problems in the world's second largest economy.

We're going to NPR's Frank Langfitt in Shanghai to tell us what they're doing.

And good morning.

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Business
4:33 am
Fri June 28, 2013

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Fri June 28, 2013 7:13 am

Anyone who's seen a North Carolina license plate knows the state proudly claims itself as the site of the first airplane flight. But this week, Connecticut said not so fast. The state passed a law declaring it was home to the first flight.

Business
4:33 am
Fri June 28, 2013

Feds Sue Jon Corzine Over MF Global Collapse

Originally published on Fri June 28, 2013 7:13 am

Federal regulators have filed civil charges against former New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine in connection with the failure of his commodities firm, MF Global. The government says Corzine failed to stop the firm from dipping into customer funds during a financial crisis in October 2011.

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