In 1962, President John Kennedy (center) and Vice President Lyndon Johnson visited Dr. Wernher von Braun (left), who designed the Saturn rocket in Huntsville, Ala.
Credit Debbie Elliott / NPR
This model of the Saturn V rocket adorns Huntsville's skyline. The city's early role in the race to the moon propelled it to a high-tech center for space, aviation and defense jobs.
Credit Debbie Elliott / NPR
Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle says the city is "the only place in the world that still has expertise about going into deep space."
Credit Debbie Elliott / NPR
Huntsville space engineer Greg Allison says that since the Constellation human spaceflight program was canceled, his office is like a ghost town.
Credit Courtesy of the Chamber of Commerce of Huntsville/Madison County
Huntsville's Cummings Research Park is home to 285 companies specializing in software design, engineering, aerospace and defense, computers and electronics and biotechnology. In the background is the Saturn V rocket model at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center.
Driving into Huntsville, Ala., it's clear what this city is all about: A giant Saturn V rocket looms ahead in the skyline. This is the city that made the Saturn rockets that took the Apollo astronauts to the moon.
Mississippi voters on Tuesday rejected an amendment to their state constitution that would have declared that life begins at fertilization.
The result was somewhat unexpected: As recently as a few weeks ago, the so-called personhood amendment was considered almost certain to pass. Voters in Colorado have twice rejected similar amendments to declare that life begins legally at fertilization, in 2008 and 2010. But Mississippi, with its far more conservative bent, was considered much friendlier territory.
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
And I'm Renee Montagne. Good morning. We're at the point of the election cycle sometimes called the off-off year. Not many offices were up for grabs but yesterday, some high-profile measures were on state ballots.
Employees load bags onto a Boeing 737-800 running on algae-based biofuel in Houston. Continental (owned by United Continental Holdings Inc.) flew the nation's first passenger jet powered by biofuels on Monday.
This week, two U.S. airlines will be flying passengers on flights powered by biofuels for the first time. On Monday a Continental flight from Houston to Chicago used a biofuel blend made in part from algae, and Wednesday Alaska Airlines is set to fly passengers using a fuel made in part from cooking oil.
If all goes well, more airlines may start to use alternative jet fuels. But the shift is not without its challenges.
In Pakistan, several high-profile kidnappings reveal the cunning of the captors and confusion among police.
American aid expert Warren Weinstein was seized from his home in Lahore in mid-August. Two weeks later, publishing scion Shahbaz Taseer was snatched from his Mercedes at gunpoint, also in an upscale neighborhood of the Punjab capital.
The trail is leading investigators to Pakistan's militant-dominated tribal areas. North Waziristan, on the lawless Pakistan-Afghanistan border, is now believed to be a destination of choice for militant kidnappers.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad unveils a sample of the third generation centrifuge for uranium enrichment during a ceremony in Tehran on April 9, 2010. Iran says its nuclear ambitions are peaceful.
The International Atomic Energy Agency released its much-anticipated report on Iran's nuclear program, but failed to conclude definitively that the Islamic republic is engaged in a full-scale weapons program.
Still, the U.N. nuclear watchdog's report raised some serious questions about what Iran is really doing in connection with nuclear weapons.
The man accused of orchestrating the bombing of the USS Cole in Yemen in 2000 will be arraigned Wednesday at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base. He is the first Guantanamo detainee to have his case tried under the Obama administration's revamped rules for military commissions, and he could be put to death if he is found guilty.
This abandoned village outside the city of Zintan was populated by pro-Gadhafi families from the Mushashya, a nomadic tribe from southern Libya. Fighters from Zintan, which rebelled against Gadhafi forces, are hoping they won't come back.
Credit Sean Carberry / NPR
A sign in the abandoned village near Zintan reads, "Mushashya: Gadhafi dogs."
In Libya's Nafusa mountains southwest of Tripoli, the sight of abandoned villages and idle fighters hanging onto their weapons gives bleak testament to the fact that not everyone in the country is ready for the violence that overthrew former dictator Moammar Gadhafi to end.
In one windswept mountain village outside the city of Zintan, the only sound is the lonely clatter of a door against the gate of an abandoned house. Burned-out cars and a foam mattress soaked from the rain litter the street; most of the houses look as if they've been looted.
Updated at 2:52 p.m. ET: Wal-Mart issued a statement Wednesday saying its request for partners to provide primary care services was "overwritten and incorrect." The firm is "not building a national, integrated low-cost primary health care platform," according to the statement by Dr. John Agwunobi, a senior vice president for health and wellness at the retailer.
Florida players (from left) Taurean Green, Corey Brewer, Walter Hodge, Joakim Noah and Marreese Speights hold up the Southeastern Conference sign after defeating Arkansas in the SEC basketball tournament championship game at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta in 2007.
OK, here's the idea: Greece leaves the EU and jumps to the SEC.
Bingo! With all the television and bowl money it would get, Greece would be solvent again, and the Southeastern Conference would get that big Athens TV market.
You see, everybody talks about how colleges are all switching conferences, but essentially, they all just want to jump to the SEC or whatever best emulates the SEC. It's the Solid South of college football. Once, the South used to control Congress. Now, y'all: the gridiron.