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Back in the 1990s, historical societies, museums and symphonies across the country began transferring all kinds of information onto what was thought to be a very durable medium: the compact disc.

Now, preservationists are worried that a lot of key information stored on CDs — from sound recordings to public records — is going to disappear. Some of those little silver discs are degrading, and researchers at the Library of Congress are trying to figure out why.

Eric Knapp breaks apart a burned pine cone, looking for seeds — in his line of work this is considered a clue.

"Going into an area after a fire, you almost feel like CSI, you know, sleuthing," Knapp says.

He is standing in a part of the Stanislaus National Forest that was severely burned by the Rim Fire. Knapp, an ecologist with the U.S. Forest Service, is studying how forests recover.

"It's completely dead," he says. "These trees won't be coming back to life."

A lot of the forest was charred like this.

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A preliminary, independent autopsy report has been released in the shooting death of Michael Brown. Requested by the family, the autopsy finds that Brown, an unarmed black teenager, was shot six times by a white police officer in Ferguson, Mo. This news follows the most violent night of protests there since the shooting.

A labor crisis threatening to shut down New York's Metropolitan Opera — the largest opera house in the world — appears to have been averted. Two of the major unions announced a tentative settlement this morning. While agreements with 10 additional unions need to be reached by Tuesday night, this represents a major turning point in a bitter dispute.

Ricky Nussle has a map on his living room wall. He can use it to track the moves he has made for his wife, Amanda Saraf, who is training to be a doctor. The first was from Houston to rural Kirksville, Mo. Then to Phoenix. Next year, they'll move again for her fellowship in Columbus, Ohio.

Those moves represent one way families are navigating the American economy today: With more women in the workplace than in previous generations, it's not difficult to find men who are uprooting their careers and moving for their spouses' professional ambitions.

The Ebola outbreak has been spreading through Liberia with alarming speed — more than 780 cases, with 100 identified over a recent two-day period. Yet for weeks there have been only two places in the country where patients could get medical care, one in the country's rural north and one in the capital, Monrovia.

Doctors Without Borders has now opened a third facility.

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Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit