More than 20 state governors are taking an unusual step to boost the natural gas vehicle industry. Independent of the federal government, they're asking Detroit carmakers to build them a new kind of car: a midsize sedan that runs on compressed natural gas instead of gasoline.
The governors are hoping to boost demand for natural gas cars with their collective buying power. Combined, the states say they could ultimately buy thousands of CNG vehicles to replace their current vehicle fleets — if those cars were available.
Members of the Free Syrian Army are seen in a neighborhood of Damascus, Syria on June 28. Several huge suicide bombings this year suggest al-Qaida or other extremists are joining the battle against President Bashar Assad's regime.
Late last month, counterterrorism officials discovered a disturbing video on YouTube that showed what appeared to be a faction of the Syrian rebel army standing in front of a fluttering black banner. The mysterious flag — which read "no god but God" in white Arabic cursive — is thought to be a reproduction of the Prophet Muhammad's battle flag. It has also become al-Qaida in Iraq's calling card in Syria.
<strong>Who's The Happiest?</strong> Researchers studied photos of Olympic medalists to learn who is the happiest. Here, bronze medalist Aliya Mustafina of Russia, gold medalist Gabby Douglas of the U.S., and silver medalist Victoria Komova of Russia pose after the <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetorch/2012/08/02/157797366">all-around gymnastics final</a>.
Both athletes were U.S. swimmers, both were dripping wet after finishing an Olympics final, and both had just won medals.
The first said, "It's not my normal specialty. ... We went out there and raced tough – and just came up a little short."
The second had a beaming face. He said, "[I] swam my own race. And knew I had a lane, and had an opportunity, and I went for it. It worked out, you know, it's just awesome that I get to go on the podium tonight. Honestly, I'm really proud of myself!"
As fans around the world are riveted to the 2012 Summer Games in London, one young gymnast already has his sights on 2016.
Albuquerque, N.M., native C.J. Maestas, 20, has been tumbling his entire life. A self-described "hyper" kid who loved to climb on things, C.J. joined his first gymnastics class when he was 18 months old.
"As a little baby, you were always jumping," C.J.'s grandfather Frank Maestas recalls.
South African poet Mbali Vilakazi is also a performer and radio producer based in Cape Town. Vilakazi's poem pays tribute to South African swimmer Natalie du Toit, the first female amputee ever to qualify for the Olympic Games.