On a momentous Thursday, it's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
And I'm Renee Montagne.
We're expecting Defense Secretary Leon Panetta to make an announcement today. From now on, women will formally be allowed to serve in ground combat.
INSKEEP: To sense just how dramatic this change is, consider how many other milestones the military passed before reaching this one. The move for women comes 65 years after the Armed Forces ended racial segregation.
The French-led operation in Mali, which is intended to drive back Islamist militants, appears to be gaining momentum. The U.S. and European powers are helping airlift French forces into the Sahara nation, and African soldiers from around the region are arriving to lend a hand.
In the past week, French airstrikes and ground troops have helped government forces retake the strategic town of Diabaly in central Mali — the first major victory in the fight to reclaim the north.
Staying in the tech world now, later today Microsoft releases its earnings for the final quarter of 2012. And no matter what the computer software giant announces, it won't mask the fact that last year was a brutal one for the personal computer industry.
Dell - one of the largest computer makers on the planet - is in talks to be taken over by a private equity firm. PC sales are declining globally.
And as NPR's Steve Henn reports, some see a technological shift in the works that could undermine the empire built by Microsoft.
OK. Let's turn to a rivalry between siblings. Today's last word in business is Harbowl - or Harbaugh Bowl.
An Indiana man tried to trademark those two phrases last year, according to ESPN.com.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
Roy Fox figured the Harbaugh brothers - both NFL coaches - might someday meet in the Super Bowl. This year it is happening. Jim Harbaugh's San Francisco 49ers face John Harbaugh's Baltimore Ravens a week from Sunday.
MONTAGNE: But the gray wolf is the ancestor of all domesticated dogs, including that Jack Russell terrier we just heard. Just how wolves came to live with people isn't really known. But as NPR's Veronique LaCapra reports, a new study suggests that food may have played a role.
VERONIQUE LACAPRA, BYLINE: Most dogs will eat just about anything.
There's still more to learn about the risks of smoking and the benefits of quitting.
Studies in this week's New England Journal of Medicine show that the risk for women has been under-appreciated for decades. New data also quantify the surprising payoffs of smoking cessation — especially under the age of 40.
A week has passed since the terrorist attack on a natural gas facility in Algeria, but risk analysts and security experts are still undecided about the incident's likely impact in the energy world.
The price of oil, a good indicator of anxiety in the energy market, went up modestly right after the attack, but then it stabilized. No energy company has suspended operations in Algeria, nor has any company announced it will hold off on future investments in North Africa, a key source of oil and gas supplies.
Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 10:19 am
English critic Samuel Johnson once said of William Shakespeare "that his drama is the mirror of life." Now the Bard's words have been translated into life's most basic language. British scientists have stored all 154 of Shakespeare's sonnets on tiny stretches of DNA.
It all started with two men in a pub. Ewan Birney and Nick Goldman, both scientists from the European Bioinformatics Institute, were drinking beer and discussing a problem.
At 72, the prince of R&B has reverted to childhood. Aaron Neville has a new album called My True Story, and it's a collection of the songs he sang growing up in the projects of New Orleans in the 1950s and '60s, back when doo-wop was king.
"I've been into every doo-wop there is," Neville says. "I think I went to the university of doo-wop-ology."