NPR News

This Bird Can Remain Airborne For 10 Months Straight

12 minutes ago

Scientists have long suspected that the common swift remains airborne for extraordinary amounts of time during its annual migration.

Now, a team of scientists in Sweden have proved that these birds fly for tremendously long periods of time. They affixed data loggers onto a total of 19 of the master fliers in 2013 and 2014, and recaptured the birds months or years later. Researchers found that the birds can spend almost their entire 10-month non-breeding period on the wing.

The federal government, filled with creaky computer systems that are a poor match for the cybersecurity threats that agencies face from an array of hackers, criminals and foreign governments, is hoping for a multibillion-dollar capital infusion to modernize its IT infrastructure.

Police Reportedly Arrest Dakota Pipeline Protesters

32 minutes ago

A police operation is underway in North Dakota to remove protesters from land owned by pipeline company Energy Transfer Partners.

The Associated Press reports several people have been arrested.

As the host of the Peabody Award-winning series Parts Unknown, Anthony Bourdain has visited conflict zones like Beirut, Congo, Gaza and Libya — places his CNN colleagues routinely cover. But Bourdain is clear that he doesn't want to be mistaken for a journalist.

Vine Withers, Reminding Us That Nothing Is Forever

2 hours ago

Twitter shocked the Internet Thursday with a farewell to Vine: "In the coming months we'll be discontinuing the mobile app."

We could have seen it coming. The six-second looped-video site hasn't gotten much love from Twitter, which is grappling with self-reflection: another quarter of losses, layoffs of 9 percent of the staff, constant rumors of a potential sale.

A new report by the World Wildlife Fund warns that global wildlife populations are in steep decline worldwide.

It's been a brutal forest fire season in California. But there's actually a greater threat to California's trees — the state's record-setting drought. The lack of water has killed at least 60 million trees in the past four years.

Scientists are struggling to understand which trees are most vulnerable to drought and how to keep the survivors alive. To that end, they're sending human climbers and flying drones into the treetops, in a novel biological experiment.

"It's the consumers' information. How it is used should be the consumers' choice." So said FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler as the commission adopted rules requiring Internet service providers such as Comcast and Verizon to get customers' permission before selling the data they collect to marketers.

The vote was 3-2 along party lines.

Poorly managed projects. Questionable spending. Dubious claims of success.

That's how an NPR report last year described recovery efforts in Haiti from international humanitarian groups after the earthquake in 2010. That's why NGOs — nongovernmental organizations — helping out in the wake of Hurricane Matthew know they need to get it right this time.

Call it a win for the Walloons.

The Belgian government says it has broken a deadlock over a major trade agreement between the European Union and Canada, known as the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement. The deal had been held up in the final days by Wallonia, a tiny French-speaking enclave in the small country of Belgium.