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If you're curious about what people really think about some of the hottest of hot-button food controversies, the Pew Research Center has just the thing for you: a survey of attitudes toward genetic modification, organic food and the importance of eating healthfully. The survey results are published in a 99-page report that can keep you occupied for days. But if you're pressed for time, here are some of the most interesting highlights that caught our eye. 1. A lot of Americans don't care what...

In eastern Tennessee, officials say a wildfire that tore through resort towns in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains earlier this week killed at least 13 people and destroyed nearly 1,000 structures, according to local officials and the state emergency management agency. The confirmed death toll in and around the tourist town of Gatlinburg in Sevier County has climbed steadily since the fire raced into town overnight on Monday. On Friday, search and rescue crews from state law...

A single tornado can cause a lot of damage. But even worse are tornado outbreaks. Just this week, a cluster of at least 18 tornadoes struck the Southeast over two days . Scientists are seeing bigger clusters in recent years, and they're struggling to figure out what's happening. When weather conditions are just right — lots of rising heat and moisture, and vertical wind shear — sometimes you get more than just a tornado. Mathematician Michael Tippett at Columbia University, who tracks these...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Princess Cruises will pay a $40 million fine for "deliberate pollution of the seas and intentional acts to cover it up," according to the Department of Justice, which calls it "the largest-ever criminal penalty involving deliberate vessel pollution." The California-based cruise operator also agreed to plead guilty to seven felony charges over illegal practices on five ships dating back, in at least one case, to 2005. The Justice Department said in a statement that Princess illegally dumped...

Calamari is a favorite on American dinner tables. But while the U.S. has a thriving squid industry, chances are the calamari you are eating made a 12,000-mile round trip before ending up on your dinner plate. That, or it wasn't caught in the U.S. at all. More than 80 percent of U.S. squid landings are exported — most of it to China. The rare percentage of that catch that stays domestically goes to Asian fresh fish markets or is used as bait. Ironically, the lion's share of the squid consumed...

The governor of North Dakota says he has not authorized roadblocks or forcible removal of protesters from the area near the route of the Dakota Access Pipeline. Gov. Jack Dalrymple spoke to reporters in an effort to clarify the implications of an evacuation order he issued earlier this week, which he said had led to "some miscommunication" with local law enforcement. "An emergency evacuation order means we believe there is a threat to your health and safety, and we are advising you to leave...

Millions of years ago, a little beetle lived among beeches and buttercups on a sparely vegetated tundra at the head of a fjord in Antarctica. The beetle was small — less than a centimeter long — and it was brown with the typical six legs and two antennae attached to a body protected by a hard shell. The authors of a new paper announcing its discovery , published in the journal ZooKeys , named it Antarctotrechus balli , or A. balli for short. The first part is a combination of the place the...

An annual study released by the Brazilian government estimates that the rate of deforestation in the Amazon has increased by 29 percent over last year. That's the second year in a row that deforestation in the Amazon quickened; last year, the pace rose by about 24 percent. The estimated deforestation rate, released Tuesday by Brazil's National Institute for Space Research (INPE), is based on satellite imagery. The institute found that from August 2015 to July 2016, the Amazon rainforest was...

Updated at 5:55 p.m. ET In eastern Tennessee, deadly wildfires are still burning and authorities say it's still too dangerous for thousands of people to return to their damaged and destroyed homes and businesses. On Wednesday, authorities in Gatlinburg, Tenn., said the confirmed death toll had grown to seven people, reported The Associated Press. Search and rescue crews from local law enforcement agencies and the National Guard combed through the remains of buildings looking for survivors....

In the current issue of the New York Review of Books , David Kaiser and Lee Wasserman, the president and the director of the Rockefeller Family Fund (RFF), respectively, explain why the organization decided to divest its holdings on fossil fuel companies. Although the divesting decision is broad-ranging, they single out ExxonMobil for its "morally reprehensible conduct." "For over a quarter-century the company tried to deceive policymakers and the public about the realities of climate change,...

President-elect Donald Trump says environmental regulations are stifling the U.S. economy. He has vowed to roll back some of those rules, and he's also taken aim at the international climate agreement signed in Paris last year. Now, environmentalists are getting ready to fight back. Some are soliciting donations by invoking an inevitable legal battle. And environmental attorneys are preparing their defense. Natural Resources Defense Council attorney John Walke says that if Trump tries to roll...

Updated at 5:30 p.m. ET Local officials rushed to get people out of towns as a wildfire raced into Tennessee's Sevier County on Monday evening. At least three people were killed in the blaze, according to The Associated Press , and the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency said Tuesday morning that at least four people were taken to hospitals with burns. More than 14,000 people evacuated from the town of Gatlinburg alone — images posted on Twitter by the Tennessee Highway Patrol showed state...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: There's been a rash of small earthquakes in Oklahoma and Texas in recent years. Scientists say many of these earthquakes are caused by oil and gas operators pumping their wastewater underground. In Texas, a new oil discovery could mean even more drilling wastewater to dispose of. The two states have very different views on how to deal with the quake problem. We're going to hear from two reporters now, one in each...

Copyright 2016 WWNO-FM. To see more, visit WWNO-FM . LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST: It's been just over 100 days since floodwaters rose up to the rooftops in Baton Rouge, La. The so-called 1,000-year flood hit neighborhoods that had never seen such a disaster. But to some flood victims, it was all too familiar - those who moved to Baton Rouge from New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina about a decade ago. In August, Eve Troeh of member station WWNO shared the story of a woman hit by Katrina and this...

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