Earlier this week, 32-year-old nuclear scientist Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan was killed by a bomb blast on his way to work in Tehran, Iran.
The attack, carried out with a magnetic bomb placed on Roshan's car by a man on a motorcycle, was like something out of a spy novel. In Iran, however, it's very much a reality. Assassins have targeted five Iranian nuclear scientists in the past two years; four of the attacks have succeeded.
When we talk of inquisition it is usually prefaced with a definite article — as in, The Inquisition. But, as Vanity Fair editor Cullen Murphy points out in his new book, God's Jury, the Inquisition wasn't a single event but rather a decentralized, centuries-long process.
Murphy says the "inquisitorial impulse" is alive and well today — despite its humble origins with the Cathars in France, where it was initially designed to deal with Christian heretics.
The captain of the Italian cruise ship which ran aground off the coast of Tuscany last night has been arrested on suspicion of involuntary manslaughter. The majority of the ship's 4,000 passengers reached land by lifeboat, but three people are confirmed dead. About 30 are reportedly injured and some 50 are still unaccounted for. It is still unclear what caused the ship to come so close to the rocky shore.
One upon a time, the largest glass telescope mirror was 100 inches in diameter. Today, scientists are casting a mirror 27 feet in diameter that will be part of one of the most powerful telescopes on Earth. NPR's Joe Palca speaks with weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz from the mirror laboratory, located under the football stadium at the University of Arizona.