Homer Bell was 54 years old when he killed himself in April in a very public way — he laid down his head in front of a stopped bus in his hometown of Hartford, Conn. It was the last act in a life filled with struggle, as Bell and his family endured his schizophrenia.
At a time when there are calls to strengthen the mental health system, Bell's story shows how hard coping with mental illness can be.
Many businesses that don't offer health insurance to all their employees breathed a sigh of relief earlier this month when they learned they'd have an extra year to comply with the new health care law or face stiff penalties.
If you want to protect rare species, first you have to find them. In the past few years, biologists have developed a powerful new tool to do that. They've discovered that they can often find traces of animal DNA in streams, ponds — even oceans.
The idea took root just five years ago, when biologists in France found they could detect invasive American bullfrogs simply by sampling pond water and looking for an exact genetic match to the frogs' DNA.
President Obama has nominated Caroline Kennedy to serve as the United States' ambassador to Japan.
NPR's Mara Liasson filed this report for our Newscast unit:
"The daughter of President John F. Kennedy and an early and significant supporter of President Obama's, Kennedy is also an attorney and the author of several best-selling books. If confirmed she would fit a tradition for the Japan post — where many other prominent Americans have served. But she would be the first female ambassador to Japan.
Teams of workers are mobilizing in the Gulf of Mexico to try to stem a natural gas leak at an offshore drilling rig that exploded and caught fire Tuesday. The rig off the Louisiana coast has been partially destroyed by the out of control blaze, and firefighting boats are on the scene.
Forty years ago, thousands of Mexican-Americans in Dallas, Texas came together for a protest at city hall. Four days earlier, a white police officer had shot and killed 12-year-old Santos Rodriguez. The death of Rodriguez sparked a riot. Eventually, it later spurred change that led to political representation and more Mexican-Americans on the police force.