Environment

Today Volkswagen announced a tentative agreement with its 652 franchise dealers in the U.S. The company didn't reveal the price tag but sources tell the Reuter news service the deal is worth $1.2 billion.

According to a statement from the company, Volkswagen has agreed to pay cash to the dealers and "to resolve alleged past, current and future claims of losses in franchise value."

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

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit NPR.

Brian Smith/U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Northeast Region / American Bird Conservancy/Flickr

“Bird-friendly” coffee might sound like coffee brewed and developed for our feathered friends, but it’s actually a certification for what is more commonly referred to as shade grown coffee. It’s coffee grown using agroforestry, which encourages more biodiversity, including a variety of trees, small mammals and birds.

Oil #5: Imagine A World Without Oil

Aug 24, 2016

On today's show, we follow the Planet Money oil to the end of the line.

And we ask: What would the world be like if fossil fuels did not exist? What if you dug down in the ground and there was nothing but dirt and rock.

Oil, coal and natural gas are this incredible store of energy, just sitting there in the ground waiting for us to dig them up. Amazing boon to humanity! But also: Climate change!

Would a world without oil be better? Worse? Or just different?

This is the last of five episodes about buying oil.

Tropical Storm Colin ripped across the Gulf of Mexico in June and hit the coast of southwest Florida with 60-mile-an-hour winds. Before it arrived, a team from the U.S. Geological Survey used a new computer model to predict how far inland the waves would invade. When the storm hit, the USGS sent Joe Long out to film it.

In Maine's North Woods, forests and rivers that used to feed paper mills will now be permanently protected as a national monument — thanks to a donation by the co-founder of Burt's Bees.

President Obama announced the creation of the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument on Wednesday, just one day before the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service.

A magnitude 6.8 earthquake shook central Myanmar around 5 p.m. local time on Wednesday, damaging buildings and sending people running into the streets across the region.

Susan Bence

Although the Great Lakes governors approved Waukesha’s application, a coalition of Great Lakes mayors hopes to stop it.

This week, those who belong to the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative announced that they would challenge the Compact Council’s decision.

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

More than a week after record-breaking rain inundated 20 parishes in southeastern Louisiana, President Obama arrived Tuesday to survey the damage.

The president toured a neighborhood in East Baton Rouge Parish ravaged in the widespread flooding that has claimed more than a dozen lives and damaged some 60,000 homes. Afterward, he thanked first responders, the National Guard and "all the good neighbors" who rescued people as the water rose.

UPDATE - After a long discussion Tuesday evening, the task force did not come to a concensus on whether to rehab or replace the footbridge.  Several groups are keenly interested in the bridge's future,  including the North Point Lighthouse Friends and Lake Park Friends.  The groups plan to review the proposed alternatives with their members.  The task force will consider those perspectives as the final selection is made.

The rain fell for days, sometimes 3 inches or more in a single hour, as streets became rivers and rivers ate up entire neighborhoods in southeast Louisiana.

Between Aug. 11 and Aug. 14, more than 20 inches of rain fell in and around East Baton Rouge, one of the hardest-hit parishes. And in some parishes in the region, as much as 2 feet of rain fell in 48 hours.

The National Weather Service says the likelihood that so much rain would fall in so little time was about one-tenth of 1 percent. A flood this bad should only happen once every thousand years.

The decision to allow Waukesha to divert Lake Michigan water does meet the rigorous standards of the Great Lakes Compact and therefore sets 'a very bad precedent,' according to the Cities Initiative. It is launching a legal challenge, in addition to asking President Obama, Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau and the International Joint Commission to stop the diversion.

Jarob Ortiz

A job of a lifetime began Monday for 33-year-old Jarob Ortiz, a coveted position he never imagined would be his. Ortiz has become the official photographer of the National Park Service, and during its centennial year.

"Each one of those interviews I spent about 7 days leading up to those things studying about 6 hours a night, just making sure I would be as good as I possibly could,” Ortiz says.

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