Should the Afghan government sign a security agreement, the U.S. plans to keep as many as 9,000 American troops in Afghanistan even after the U.S. and NATO's combat mission officially ends late in 2014. But the remaining U.S. troops will almost certainly be outnumbered by civilian contractors.
Scientists have identified special cells in the brain's hippocampus that mimic a trick of some digital cameras. These cells automatically 'tag' the memory of each event in our lives with information about where that event took place — the better to recall, perhaps, where we left our lost keys.
Workers on the "tech surge" to fix the error-riddled website have just days to meet the Obama administration's self-imposed deadline for a functioning site. Public confidence in HealthCare.gov has already taken the kind of hit that may be hard to overcome.
When NPR's Renee Montagne thinks of her longtime producer Jim Wildman, she goes back a few years to their reporting adventures in Afghanistan. The two took five trips there from 2006 to 2011. Wildman will soon leave NPR, and in this National Day of Listening conversation, he says farewell to his friend and colleague.
New York has a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, for natural gas, but the region is still benefiting from the drilling boom next door in Pennsylvania. A new pipeline is bringing gas into New York City, pushing down prices and improving the air quality as buildings convert from oil to gas furnaces.
The baseball season is just getting started in Cuba, the first since Communist authorities lifted a half-century-old ban on players' signing professional contracts in other countries. But fans are confident top players will come back home eventually — and that the island has enough talent to go around.
For a class project, three engineering students at Rice University devised an inexpensive robotic arm to help a teenager with an uncommon bone disease. The work took two years to complete, far longer than the class that was its starting point.
An estimated 300,000 kids born in the U.S. are now living in Mexico because their parents were either deported or went south of the border when jobs in the United States dried up. Schools in border areas aren't equipped to educate these children, who may be Mexican but don't feel Mexican.
The push to get women to breast-feed has been so successful that many mothers who can't do it are looking for other mothers' extra milk. Milk banks that pasteurize and sell donated breast milk have sprung up. Informal online swapping of extra mother's milk has become popular, despite quality concerns.
Right now, there are about a dozen full-time navigators and a few part-timers to help 200,000 Iowans make decisions about health insurance. In the countryside, it's particularly hard to get help to people who want it.