Two states, Oregon and Washington, have legalized physician-assisted suicide through voter-approved ballot initiatives. Massachusetts will become the third if voters approve the so-called Death With Dignity ballot question. The measure would let terminally ill patients with six months or less to live get a lethal prescription. The outcome of that vote could change the landscape for legalized suicide nationwide.
Originally published on Thu October 25, 2012 5:02 pm
No matter who wins the election on Nov. 6, official Washington will have to deal with something called the "fiscal cliff" before the end of the year.
What's coming is a perfect storm of expiring tax cuts, scheduled budget cuts, and various other spending changes scheduled to take place Jan. 1 unless Congress and President Obama (who no matter what will still be president until next Jan. 20) agree on a way to avert them.
These red, orange and green clouds (false color) in Saturn's northern hemisphere indicate the tail end of the massive 2010-2011 storm. Even after visible signs of the storm started to fade, infrared measurements continued to reveal powerful effects at work in Saturn's stratosphere.
But NASA scientists using the Cassini spacecraft have witnessed a rare massive storm on Saturn that was so violent it sent the temperature in the planet's stratosphere soaring to 150 degrees Fahrenheit above normal.
A general view of the Aletsch Glacier on April 21, 2007, near Brig, Switzerland, the largest glacier in the Alps. Unseasonably warm weather with temperatures up to 77 degrees Fahrenheit across Switzerland let snow melt, even at Alpine altitudes.
Neither presidential candidate mentioned climate change during their three debates — in fact, the issue is nearly absent from the entire campaign. That's because the issue poses challenges for each candidate.
An insatiable demand for ivory in Asia is fueling a massive slaughter of elephants across Africa. As NPR's John Burnett reports, one of the worst poaching hot spots is Tanzania. In this story, he visits an ivory poacher's town that sits next to a major game reserve.
The Basque region has a long and rich industrial tradition. Here is a CAF factory in Beasain, Spain.
Credit Lauren Frayer for NPR
The Basque region has a long and rich industrial tradition. CAF is growing by 10 percent a year.
Credit Lauren Frayer for NPR
Train cars are built at the CAF factory in Beasain, Spain. One of the Basque region's most successful companies, CAF, makes trains for Amtrak, the Washington, D.C., metro system and light rails in Sacramento, Pittsburgh and Houston.
For decades, most of the news out of Basque country was horrible. Since the late 1960s, this region in northern Spain has been infamous as home to the ETA separatist group, which killed more than 800 people while fighting for Basque independence from Madrid.
But two years ago, the separatist group declared a final cease-fire and the attacks have stopped. Now the country is becoming known for something else: its booming economy.