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Researchers say the federal government’s push to increase production of corn-derived ethanol as a gasoline additive since 2007 has expanded our national carbon footprint and contributed to other problems.

Has ethanol lived up to its promise?

Friday, September 19, 2014

Dear EarthTalk: I thought that putting ethanol in our gas tanks was going help fight climate change, but lately I’ve heard reports to the contrary. Can you enlighten? — Bill B., Hershey, Pennsylvania Ethanol and similar “biofuels” made from corn and other crops seem like a good idea given their potential for reducing our carbon outputs as well as our …

Scots appear to reject independence

Friday, September 19, 2014

EDINBURGH, Scotland — Voters in Scotland turned out in unprecedented numbers for an independence referendum and with most votes counted Friday, results suggested a strong wish to keep Scotland’s 307-year union with England. With 26 of 32 regional electoral centers reporting, the No side had about 54 percent of the vote to about …

Senate majority OKs aid for Syrian rebels

Thursday, September 18, 2014

WASHINGTON — In the heat of an election campaign, Congress cleared the way for the U.S. military to train and equip Syrian rebels for a war against Islamic State militants Thursday night, reluctant ratification of a new strategy that President Barack Obama outlined scarcely a week ago. The 78-22 Senate vote sent Obama …

Hurricane Odile slams Baja California

Monday, September 15, 2014

CABO SAN LUCAS, Mexico — Hurricane Odile blazed a trail of destruction through Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula on Monday that leveled everything from ramshackle homes to luxury hotels and big box stores, leaving entire neighborhoods as disaster zones. …

Kerry says US open to talks with Iran on Islamic State

Monday, September 15, 2014

PARIS — As more than two dozen nations pledged Monday to help Iraq fight the Islamic State militants, the United States said it was open to talking to Iran about a role in resolving the crisis, despite Washington’s …

California wildfire burns 100 homes

Monday, September 15, 2014

WEED, Calif. — A fire driven by fierce winds raced through a small town near the Oregon border on Monday, burning a church to the ground, damaging or destroying 100 homes and prompting evacuation orders for at least …

Keyboardist, Crusaders founder Joe Sample dies at 75

Monday, September 15, 2014

Joe Sample, a soft-spoken keyboard player and composer whose blending of funk, blues, jazz, gospel and the Zydeco music of his childhood lent a distinctive sound to his well-known group, the Crusaders, has died. He was 75. Sample …

Cuomo, Christie mull region’s terror threat

Monday, September 15, 2014

NEW YORK — New York and New Jersey are facing a daunting domestic terror threat fueled by mounting hostilities between the United States and Islamic State extremists, federal and state officials warned Monday. “We would be in a …

Rifle used to ambush Pennsylvania troopers

Monday, September 15, 2014

The gunman who ambushed two Pennsylvania State Police troopers outside their barracks, killing one, used a rifle and might have had formal firearms training through the military or law enforcement, authorities said Monday. Releasing a profile of the …

Two Vietnam soldiers receive Medal of Honor

Monday, September 15, 2014

WASHINGTON — Two Vietnam War soldiers — one still living, one killed in action — received the Medal of Honor in a White House ceremony on Monday, nearly 50 years after they threw themselves into harm’s way to …

700 migrants feared dead in Mediterranean boat wrecks

Monday, September 15, 2014

GENEVA — This year is on track to become the deadliest ever for migrants crossing the Mediterranean Sea after two heavily loaded boats were wrecked in the past week, possibly killing 700 people fleeing Africa for Europe — …

Lawsuit in Petraeus scandal can proceed

Monday, September 15, 2014

WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal judge ruled Monday that a Florida woman can pursue her lawsuit alleging the government invaded her privacy in the scandal over former CIA director David Petraeus. U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson said …

US seeks unity on extremists

Sunday, September 14, 2014

PARIS — Newly outraged by the beheading of yet another Western hostage, diplomats from around the world are in Paris pressing for a coherent global strategy to combat extremists from the Islamic State group — minus two of …