In Pennsylvania, there's an industrial revolution going on. Battalions of drilling rigs are boring into the earth to extract natural gas from an underground layer of shale called the Marcellus formation.
And as the wells multiply all along the western end of the state, people worry they may be facing another toxic legacy.
The first one came from coal mining. All over the state, you can see bright orange rivers and streams. The aquatic life was killed by acidic runoff from abandoned mines.
As the election year began, conventional wisdom was pretty well set about the outcome of the presidential race. If the economy improved, President Obama would win. If not, he'd be a one-termer.
So what does it mean that many big economic indicators are moving sideways?
"Obama seems to be in that gray area," says Paul Pierson, a political scientist at the University of California, Berkeley. "The numbers are neither so good nor so bad that they give you a definitive answer."
Jurors in Chicago recently reached a verdict in the murder case against William Balfour, the man accused of killing Oscar-winner Jennifer Hudson's mother, brother, and nephew. Host Michel Martin speaks with WBEZ reporter Natalie Moore about the elements of race, class, and violence in Chicago's South Side that came into play in the trial.
The spiraling drug violence is increasingly affecting journalists, in a country considered one of the most dangerous for reporters. Host Michel Martin speaks with Jose de Cordoba of The Wall Street Journal, and Carlos Lauria of the Committee to Protect Journalists. Advisory: This segment may not be comfortable for some listeners.
The numbers are staggering: One-third of Americans are obese; another third are overweight. Some 26 million Americans have Type 2 diabetes. An additional 79 million more are pre-diabetic. Thanks to these figures, the children of today have a good chance of becoming the first generation of Americans to die at younger ages than their parents.
Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Horst Faas, who captured several iconic moments during the Vietnam War, died May 10. He was 79.
Haas was the chief of The Associated Press' Southeast Asia bureau from 1962 to 1974, where he covered the fighting and mentored dozens of young photographers who were sent out across Vietnam to capture images of the war's terror and inhumanity.
While U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Ryan Crocker says there is a path toward relative stability in Afghanistan and away from a return to the kind of civil war that devastated the country in the early 1990s, the difficulties still facing that nation have been underscored by more violence:
-- CNN.com reports that "a bomb exploded inside a shop in the northern Afghanistan province of Faryab on Monday, killing nine people, according to the Afghan Interior Ministry."
A technique called hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, has kicked off an energy boom in the United States. Fracking lets drillers unlock vast reservoirs of natural gas that were previously inaccessible. Over the past decade, about 200,000 gas wells have been drilled across the country.