As a journalist, Lauren Frayer came to Pamplona to see if Spain's dismal economy would dampen the spirit of the country's biggest summertime festival, the running of the bulls. But there was another reason, too.
In some of the dirtiest places on Earth, author and environmentalist Andrew Blackwell found something worth looking at. His book, Visit Sunny Chernobyl, tours the deforestation of the Amazon, the oil sand mines in Canada and the world's most polluted city, located in China.
The French Revolution conjures up memories of Marie Antoinette and the guillotine and angry peasant uprisings, but middle-class vegetarians may have also played an important role in the politics of the day.
On July 12, 1962, AT&T's satellite Telstar 1 became the first commercial spacecraft to beam television images from the United States to Europe. But the satellite soon began to malfunction. Cold War radioactivity scrambled its instruments. Host Scott Simon talks to engineer Walter Brown, who helped build the satellite.
Last January, an apparent act of maritime bravado went terribly wrong a few yards from the shore of a Tuscan island. The mega-cruise ship Costa Concordia still lies on its side off the shore, a massive reminder of a tragedy that's altering the island's economy and environment.
There was more gloomy news for the eurozone this week. Italy's debt rating was lowered, people in Spain took to the streets and Germany's highest court heard arguments against measures central to efforts to contain the crisis. Host Scott Simon talks with NPR's Eric Westervelt about the week's financial news.
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