Owens Lake — which dried up after losing its water source, the Owens River, to Los Angeles — is known to be a source of air pollution. The city of L.A. is in court over obligations to control dust pollution at the lake.
Credit Kirk Siegler / NPR
Owens Valley and the Sierra Nevada, the high desert environment that is drier today because of a century worth of water diversions to Los Angeles, some 200 miles away.
It's been almost 100 years since William Mulholland stood atop an aqueduct along the Owens River and said, "There it is, take it." He was referring to a diversion channel that started piping water to Los Angeles from 200 miles away. That water allowed L.A. to become the metropolis it is today.
But it also meant that the Owens River no longer flowed into the massive Owens Lake, which quickly dried up and became one of the biggest environmental disasters in the nation.
Lillian Cahn, co-founder of Coach Leatherwear Co., died March 4 at the age of 89. Cahn was the force behind today's high-end leather handbags.
Back in the 1960s, she and her husband, Miles Cahn, were running a leather goods business in Manhattan. They produced men's wallets and billfolds but wanted to expand.
"My wife had a great sense of style, and she made the suggestions that we men maybe were a little thoughtless about," Miles Cahn says with a laugh. "Among her many suggestions was: 'Why don't we make pocketbooks?' I like to tell people I scoffed at the suggestion."
After the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, President George W. Bush often made a provocative claim: He argued that the U.S. was fighting a war without a typical battlefield. In effect, he said, this war is everywhere.
"Our enemies make no distinction based on borders," he said in a 2007 speech in Michigan. "They view the world as a giant battlefield and will strike wherever they can."
When she got out of college and moved to New York, Elizabeth Cline liked to shop at vintage-clothing stores. They were the kinds of places tucked away on side streets in Manhattan and Brooklyn, where a lot of hunting and a little luck might reward you with a great, inexpensive cocktail dress that no one else had.
Then she discovered the world of "fast fashion" — chains like Forever 21, H&M and Zara — and it redefined her whole notion of bargain shopping.
Bernie Green is a supervisor with the Department of Defense's Military Working Dog Breeding Program. Experts say dogs can suffer from PTSD-like conditions that can affect their military capabilities later on.
Credit Ryan Loyd / KSTX
Tech. Sgt. Joe Null kneels with Layka, a combat dog who lost her legs overseas. She was given an award for animals that serve heroically in combat.
For years, PTSD — or post-traumatic stress disorder — has been an issue for military members returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.
But humans aren't the only ones with problems. Military dogs returning from war zones are also showing signs of PTSD. And there's evidence that these canines need some extra tender loving care after their tours of duty.
An Afghan policeman stands guard near the scene of a suicide attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, Feb. 27
Credit Musadeq Sadeq / AP
The U.S. military is increasingly focused on helping the Afghan government and security forces become self-sufficient. Here, U.S. Army 1st Lt. Phillip Baki visits with an Afghan police officer, Abdul Karim, at a checkpoint overlooking the Dahla Dam in the southern province of Kandahar.
Credit Sean Carberry / NPR
District government officials in Kandahar province meet to discuss security and governance challenges as NATO troops draw down.
The NATO campaign is now in a new phase. After years of fighting the Taliban and bolstering anemic local governance, NATO troops are handing those responsibilities over to the Afghans. NPR's Sean Carberry recently embedded with U.S. troops in the southern province of Kandahar as they worked on this new mission.
The fertile Arghandab Valley in Kandahar province is considered one of Afghanistan's breadbaskets. For years it was also a valley of death for NATO troops.
Kirk Bloodsworth was the first person in the U.S. to be exonerated by DNA evidence after receiving the death sentence. Convicted in 1985 of the rape and murder of a young girl, he was released in 1993.
Credit Mladen Antonov / AFP/Getty Images
Witness to Innocence exoneree members (from left) Ray Krone, Albert Burrell, Kirk Bloodsworth, Gary Drinkard, Randy Steidl, Ronald Keine, Delbert Tibbs and Derrick Jamison
Maryland is about to become the 18th state to abolish the death penalty.
A bill has passed the state Senate and is expected to pass the House of Delegates easily with the governor's ardent support. The strongest advocate to end the death penalty in Maryland is Kirk Bloodsworth, who was convicted of murder in that state in 1985 and was the first person in the U.S. to be sentenced to death row then exonerated by DNA evidence.
The Last Five Years originally ran off-Broadway in 2002. Cited as one of Time magazine's "Ten Best of 2001," it won Drama Desk awards for Best Music and Best Lyrics.
There are only two characters in the musical, Jamie and Cathy. Jamie is a young novelist and Cathy is a struggling actress. Told in reverse chronological order, the drama shows what happens when an artistic couple's romance fizzles out.
Christa and Cara Parravani were identical twins. When they were 28, Cara died of a drug overdose, and Christa spiraled into depression.
In her new book, Her: A Memoir, Christa explores their bond of sisterhood, which went beyond blood into the elliptical world of twinhood.
Both were artists, one a writer and the other a photographer. Both married young. Both lived through a hardscrabble childhood with a troubled mother. But Cara's path diverged after she was attacked and raped at age 24.
"There are some who can live without wild things, and some who cannot. These essays are the delights and dilemmas of one who cannot. Like winds and sunsets, wild things were taken for granted until progress began to do away with them. Now, we face the question whether a still higher 'standard of living' is worth its cost in things natural, wild and free." — A Sand County Almanac
A Sand County Almanac, a collection of essays and observations, was written decades ago by Aldo Leopold, the father of the American conservation movement.