He defied a military dictator, sacked a prime minister, and persistently called generals and intelligence chiefs to account. Now, Iftikhar Chaudhry has retired after a tenure that changed the balance of power in his turbulent nation.
The giant cutter is designed to bore through rock and soil without a problem. But it has hit something that has brought work on a highway tunnel to a stop. Officials say it may take a couple weeks to figure out what's going on. Theories, anyone?
The former Price Is Right host is backing Republican David Jolly in a special election next month for a St. Petersburg-area congressional seat. The 90-year-old tells voters, "When you get to be as young as I am, you call it like you see it."
The world needs new antibiotics because so many of the existing drugs are losing their punch. Some people are already talking about a "post-antibiotic era," when bacteria can defeat all the drugs doctors have at their disposal. Two scientists are crowdfunding a campaign to get everyone digging for new antibiotics.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos made headlines a couple weeks ago when he talked about using drones to deliver packages. It's an idea lot of people dismissed as pie in the sky. But in southwest Ohio, Amazon’s high-flying plans sound like money in the bank.
Right now, the Dayton region is competing with two dozen areas around the country to become a federal testing range for commercial drones. Above the cornfields and strip malls, you’d see tiny helicopters and planes, taking to the skies to do all kinds of things.
Frank Beafore, who runs SelectTech Geospatial, a small high-tech manufacturer in the city of Springfield, lists the possibilities: “Disaster management, power line surveys, telecommunications, television news coverage, making movies, sporting events, environmental monitoring, oil and gas exploration."
Beafore says some uses for unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAVs, could be just a couple years out.
In the company hangar at Springfield Airpark, Beafore shows off a UAV that looks sort of like an insect, with four helicopter blades and four spindly legs. The drone lifts off smoothly from the warehouse floor and passes over our heads, creating a little breeze and hovering in midair like a bird in the wind.
“The economic benefit is really only limited by our imagination,” says Maurice McDonald with the Dayton Development Coalition.
Ohio expects to bring in more than $2 billion from drones by 2025, with people here working to build, test and research them. This area could use the boost -- it’s been battered by the loss of manufacturing jobs.
But there’s a hang-up.
“The FAA really needs to address the procedures and policies associated with flying these systems,” says McDonald.
The trouble is, right now most companies can’t actually fly UAVs because the Federal Aviation Administration hasn’t decided how to regulate them yet. The agency plans to pick six sites to open up air space where companies can test commercial drones, in anticipation of issuing general rules by the end of 2015.
The hope is companies come to places like Springfield for the air space, and then stay for good. But not everyone around here wants commercial drones to rule the skies.
“I don’t like it when machines take over,” says Teresa McKenzie, a Springfield resident. “It would be very weird.”
As UAVs get smaller, and cheaper, many people are worried about privacy, which is one of the reasons the FAA is taking its time on regulations.
“I certainly don’t want ‘em flying over my house,” Beafore says. But he emphasizes surveillance is not what his UAVs are about. The first uses will probably be agricultural, checking crops for mold or standing water.
And what’s a few candid pics of Ohio’s cornfields?
“The corn doesn’t care,” he says.
The FAA decision on where to let drones test their wings could come out as soon as this week, and Ohio's in the running against 23 states including North Dakota, Wyoming, New York and California.
With tickets for the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1 set to be the most expensive in the 112-year history of the event, a Michigan credit union is offering loans to Michigan State University fans who need some extra cash to get to the game in Pasadena, Calif. The Michigan State University Financial Credit Union is offering "Bowl Loans" starting at $1,000 with interest rates as low as 6.8 percent for students and alumni who thought their student loans just weren't enough debt for them.
The 2014 Rose Bowl is the Michigan State Spartans' first appearance since 1988 in what many consider the most storied of college football bowl games, and as such the school's demand for tickets from students and season ticketholders has outstripped its 24,000 allotment of tickets the event gives each team. Combine that with the fact that the game against Stanford is the 100th time the Rose Bowl has been played since 1902, and you get ticket prices averaging $901 with a median $482 per ticket (and rising) through resellers like Stub Hub. (That's a 122 percent increase over the last two years' prices and possibly the most expensive tickets in the event's history.)
With the record demand for tickets, the Michigan State University Financial Credit Union -- owned and operated by the Michigan State University community -- started offering the loans earlier this month. The 6.8 percent interest rate is only available for those whose credit scores qualify for it, but a borrower in good standing could expect to pay $111 on a $2,000 loan over the 18-month repayment period.
For context, round-trip airfare from Michigan to California for two could cost at least $2,000, and those lucky enough to snag tickets through the school would pay $150 plus a $25 processing fee for each ticket.
While the Rose Bowl may be "The Grandaddy of Them All" for college football, the BCS National Championship game between Auburn and Florida State (also happening in Pasadena) is commanding even higher ticket prices at an average of $1,864 per ticket.
The decision to take out a loan to see a football game might seem unusual, or even unwise, but for some, the excitement over the Spartans' first Rose Bowl in 25 years is trumping financial responsibility.