Federal stimulus money has helped cut the high cost of lithium-ion batteries, but not nearly enough to make electric cars affordable. Now there's an abundance of advanced battery manufacturers and not enough major companies to buy them. Many plants in the United States, South Korean, Japan and China that got government subsidies aren't producing many batteries, if at all. Three years ago Michigan's governor touted the state as the new battery capital of the world. There were five new advanced battery plants in the works, all of which were to get major tax breaks and some federal grants.
Lithium-ion batteries sparked a crisis for Boeing's Dreamliner 787 — but the crisis is not an unprecedented one. Four decades ago, a very similar transition to new battery technology in airplanes yielded similar problems. Audie Cornish describes what happened then — and what lessons might be learned as lithium-ion batteries become the next generation that power planes.
Twelve former members of the Florida A&M marching band are charged in the hazing death of drum major Robert Champion. The charges have now been upgraded to manslaughter. Champion's parents said Tuesday that they are encouraged by the stiffer charges.
With the rise in superbug occurrences at hospitals, Audie Cornish talks with Tara Palmore, deputy hospital epidemiologist and infectious disease physician at the National Institutes of Health, about how healthcare facilities are changing practices to help stem the spread of the drug-resistant bacteria.
Forest elephants in central Africa are being slaughtered in record numbers. The most comprehensive study ever, done over a decade, shows that poaching — mostly for the Asian market for ivory — has put the forest elephant on the brink of extinction. Poaching has overcome laws and treaties to protect the species. The U.S. government and wildlife groups are struggling to slow the killing. A meeting in March of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species will focus on solutions. Audie Cornish talks to Christopher Joyce.
Some Syrians living comfortably in the U.S. are understandably wracked with guilt that they can't do more to help their countrymen. Each has his own way of dealing with the situation. But now that the liberated north is easier to reach, they're starting to come back and many of them visiting parts of the country they've never seen before. We profile a Syrian-American gun enthusiast who's doing his part to arm and train the rebels.
Go on, pick a favorite in this year's NCAA tournament. We dare you. There's more than a dozen legitimate contenders to pick from. And then there's all those potential Cinderella teams. Mike Pesca talks to Audie Cornish about the upcoming NCAA Men's College Basketball tournament, which is as wide open as it has even been.
Twenty years ago, theatrical clowns Bill Irwin and David Shiner collaborated on a Broadway show called Fool Moon — a giddy mixture of slapstick, improv and audience participation that proved such a success that it came back to Broadway for two more runs and toured both the U.S. and Europe. Now Irwin and Shiner have put together a new show called Old Hats, and it's been receiving rave reviews off-Broadway.
Irwin and Shiner's rubber-faced, loose-bodied clowning hasn't gotten easier over two decades.