The polar vortex chilled the U.S. so much, even a polar bear had to stay inside at Chicago's Lincoln Park Zoo. In Brazil, it's been sizzling, so zookeepers in Rio brought in icy treats to help the animals beat the heat that reached 120 degrees. Primates cooled off with mango popsicles. The big cats got icy blocks of meat, and the zoo's brown bear chowed down on frozen grapes while lounging in his pool.
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Workers at Boeing were in a difficult spot last week. Their employer offered a new contract cutting back retirement and health benefits. It came with what looked like a threat. The company said it might have to move important operations out of Washington State and hire new workers. Union members approved the contract, barely, and Boeing is staying put.
Journalist Hedricks Smith written about the decline of the middle-class. In an op-ed for the Los Angeles Times, he says Boeing just contributed to that.
During the Great Depression, President Franklin D. Roosevelt put hundreds of thousands of Americans to work in National Parks and forests in the Civilian Conservation Corps. President Obama's Secretary of the Interior wants to bring back that spirit, to create jobs and a new generation of conservationists.
But as NPR's Elizabeth Shogren reports, it's not the easiest thing to do in tight budget times.