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Parallels
1:19 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

From Quebec To Kashmir, Separatists Watch Scotland Vote

These supporters of Scottish independence are saying 'yes,' and separatist groups in other parts of the world hope it will give them a boost as they seek to break away.
David Cheskin AP

Scotland's referendum on independence Thursday could resonate far beyond the borders of the United Kingdom. There are many places with separatist movements, like the militias in the eastern Ukraine who have been battling the Ukrainian government this year.

Here's a look at some of the other places with separatists who want to break away from their current rulers, from Canada to Spain to Belgium to India.

Quebec

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The Salt
1:19 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

Want To Learn About The Scientific Method? Go Bake Some Cookies

Chocolate chip cookies can be the gateway to a better understanding of the scientific method.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 1:36 pm

Bethany Brookshire, aka @SciCurious, is a blogger at ScienceNews, where she covers the latest science research and develops creative science outreach projects.

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Shots - Health News
1:13 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

Kids' Perception Of Parents' Favoritism Counts More Than Reality

If a child feels like the odd person out, it could mean more problems in the teenage years, psychologists say.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 1:36 pm

We all know which kid Mom and Dad liked best, and odds are you're thinking it's not you.

But does that really make a difference? It can, researchers say, but not always the way you might think.

Less-favored children are more likely to be using drugs, alcohol and cigarettes as teenagers, according to researchers at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah.

But what matters is not how the parents actually treat the children, but how the kids perceive it.

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All Tech Considered
1:12 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

3.7 Million Comments Later, Here's Where Net Neutrality Stands

Nuala O'Connor, president and CEO of the Center for Democracy and Technology, testifies on net neutrality issues before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Now, we wait.

The window for the public to weigh in on how federal rule makers should treat Internet traffic is over, after a record 3.7 million comments arrived at the FCC. The Sunlight Foundation analyzed the first 800,000 comments to the FCC and found that less than one percent were opposed to net neutrality enforcement.

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Music Articles
12:01 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

As A Lyricist And Novelist, The Mountain Goats' Lead Man Writes About Pain

John Darnielle's first novel, Black Sabbath's Master of Reality, was about a teenage boy in a psychiatric institution who is obsessed with heavy metal.
Lalitree Darnielle Courtesy of Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 1:35 pm

When The Mountain Goats' founder John Darnielle was a teenager, he went through a self-destructive phase.

"Your intelligence doesn't override your desire to destroy yourself," Darnielle tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "I really, really did not want to be in my own skin. I really wanted to get high and stay high."

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Goats and Soda
12:00 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

Who's Giving What: Nonprofits Step Up Anti-Ebola Efforts

Direct Relief has been shipping medical supplies to West Africa.
Courtesy of Direct Relief

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 1:25 pm

"Charities and individual philanthropies have given generously and they can make a big difference," President Obama emphasized yesterday during his announcement of U.S. plans for addressing Ebola.

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The Two-Way
11:50 am
Wed September 17, 2014

Iran's Foreign Minister: U.S. 'Not Serious' About Defeating Islamic State

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif speaks during a recent news conference in Rome. Zarif told NPR that the U.S. has been hesitant and contradictory in its approach to dealing with the self-declared Islamic State.
Fabio Campana EPA/Landov

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 12:56 pm

Iran's foreign minister says the U.S. has been hesitant and contradictory in its approach to combating extremist groups in Iraq and Syria and that President Obama needs a reality check on the subject of defeating the Islamic State insurgency.

Mohammad Javad Zarif, speaking with Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep in an interview to air on NPR, said the United States is "not serious" about defeating the Sunni extremists.

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Shots - Health News
11:16 am
Wed September 17, 2014

Colorado Tries Hard To Convince Teens That Pot Is Bad For You

This human-scale lab rat cage is parked near a skate park in Denver, Colo., to make a point about the lack of science on marijuana.
Richard Feldman Studio/Sukle Advertising and Design

Colorado's new campaign to deter teen marijuana use tries to make the case that weed is bad for your brain.

One TV ad shows a group of teens lighting up inside a dark car as moody music plays in the background. The commercial cites a Duke University study that found a link between regular marijuana use and a lower IQ.

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The Two-Way
11:08 am
Wed September 17, 2014

Obama Rules Out Another Ground War In Iraq

President Obama speaks at U.S. Central Command, at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 12:13 pm

President Obama reiterated that he will not commit U.S. troops to fight another ground war in Iraq, adding that U.S. airstrikes, combined with expertise, would be more effective in defeating the group that calls itself the Islamic State.

"As your commander in chief, I will not commit you and the rest of our armed forces to fighting another ground war in Iraq," Obama said at MacDill Air Force Base in Florida.

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The Salt
10:20 am
Wed September 17, 2014

Mistura Food Fest Gives Peruvian Cuisine A Chance To Shine

Cuy, or guinea pig, one of the traditional dishes from the Andes.
Mollie Bloudoff-Indelicato

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 12:08 pm

Every September, Peruvian restaurants and famous chefs from around the world gather in Lima for a celebration of Peruvian cuisine. The word mistura means "mixture" in Portuguese. And the cuisine served at Mistura, the biggest food festival in Latin America, certainly reflects a fusion of cultural dishes.

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Shots - Health News
10:02 am
Wed September 17, 2014

How Catholic Insurance Companies Outsource Contraceptive Coverage

Contraceptive coverage has long been required by state laws or sought by nonreligious employers the religious health plans serve.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 1:16 pm

Catholic and other religious hospitals and universities have been arguing in federal court for much of the past two years that they shouldn't have to offer or facilitate birth control as part of their employee health plans because it violates their religious beliefs.

But what happens when the insurance company is itself Catholic? It turns out that Catholic health plans have for years been arranging for outside firms to provide contraceptive coverage to their enrollees.

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Parallels
9:55 am
Wed September 17, 2014

For Scotland's 16-Year-Olds, The First Vote Will Be On Independence

Scotland lowered the voting age to 16 for Thursday's referendum on whether to remain part of the United Kingdom or opt for independence. It was widely assumed the teenagers would overwhelmingly vote for independence, but that doesn't appear to be the case.
Scott Heppell AP

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 1:05 pm

It's lunchtime at Drummond Community High School in Edinburgh. The kids are all wearing the uniform of a smart black blazer, white shirt and blue tie. Some 16- and 17-year-olds are here with their cheese sandwiches and their baked potatoes.

They get to cast ballots Thursday in what looks to be a close vote on whether Scotland will become independent or remain part of the United Kingdom.

Here's what some of them are saying:

"Scotland will be a richer country if there's a 'yes' vote" for independence, says Calum Preston. "It's just a fact."

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The Protojournalist
9:17 am
Wed September 17, 2014

Growing Business — Show Us Your Desk Plant

istockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 10:12 am

Post a photo of the plant on your desk in the Comments section below.

That's right: The plant the boss wants you to take home ...

Now you can explain — with some research to back you up — that having greenery in your workspace makes you more productive. And how a ficus near the phone or a lily by the laptop helps grow business.

And maybe your supervisor will make like a plant — and leave.

Rooting Out The Problem

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The Two-Way
8:22 am
Wed September 17, 2014

Bangladesh Court Commutes Islamist Leader's Death Sentence

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 12:03 pm

Bangladesh's Supreme Court has commuted the death sentence of an Islamist leader who was convicted last year by a war crimes tribunal for his role in the 1971 war of independence from Pakistan.

Delwar Hossain Sayedee, now 74, will instead spend the rest of his life in prison, a five-member panel of judges ruled today.

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The Two-Way
8:00 am
Wed September 17, 2014

Wildfire Threatens More Than 1,500 Homes In Northern California

A photo from Sunday shows a wildfire as it approaches the shore of Bass Lake, Calif. Several blazes are being fueled by record drought conditions.
Darvin Atkeson AP

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 11:42 am

Updated at noon ET.

The largest of several wildfires in California, the so-called King Fire in the Sierra Nevada forest east of Sacramento, is threatening 1,600 homes as it continues to spread almost unchecked.

According to the latest information, the King Fire, one of several that California firefighters are battling, has engulfed more than 18,500 acres and is only 5 percent contained.

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NPR Ed
7:14 am
Wed September 17, 2014

These People Can Make Student Loans Disappear

LA Johnson/NPR

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 10:54 am

It was an ordinary Friday. Courtney Brown, 24, of Kalamazoo, Mich., was busy looking for a job. "I've applied all kinds of places," she says. "Wal-Mart, Target, Verizon Wireless."

Then she got a strange letter in the mail. " 'We are writing you with good news,' " she reads to me over the phone. " 'We got rid of some of your Everest College debt. ... No one should be forced to mortgage their future for an education.' "

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The Two-Way
6:38 am
Wed September 17, 2014

Book News: A Q&A With Alison Bechdel, Cartoonist And MacArthur Winner

U.S. cartoonist Alison Bechdel works in her studio at the castle of Civitella Ranieri in central Italy on Sept. 2.
Riccardo De Luca Courtesy of the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 8:46 am

The winners of the MacArthur "Genius Grant" awards were announced Wednesday morning, and include poet Terrance Hayes, playwright Samuel D. Hunter, poet and Arabic translator Khaled Mattawa and cartoonist and memoirist Alison Bechdel. Bechdel is the creator of the cartoon strip Dykes to Watch Out For and author of the graphic memoirs Fun Home and Are You My Mother? Bechdel spoke with NPR by email on Tuesday afternoon.

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The Two-Way
6:32 am
Wed September 17, 2014

Police Hunt For Armed 'Survivalist' In Pa. Trooper Shooting

This undated photo of Eric Frein was released Tuesday by Pennsylvania State Police. Frein, 31, is being sought in connection with last week's killing of a state trooper and the critical wounding of another.
AP

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 10:54 am

Authorities have identified a suspect in last week's shooting death of a state trooper and the wounding of another officer at a police barracks in northeastern Pennsylvania, warning the public to be on the lookout for a heavily armed man described as a "survivalist."

Police have launched a manhunt for the suspect, Eric Frein, 31, of Canadensis, Pa.

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The Two-Way
6:00 am
Wed September 17, 2014

House Poised To Vote On Arming, Training Syrian Rebels

House Speaker John Boehner has expressed cautious support for the White House plan. He and other House GOP leaders are backing a measure to authorize the arming and training of moderate Syrian rebels.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 10:28 am

Updated at 11:30 a.m. ET

President Obama will meet today with military officials at U.S. Central Command in Tampa, Fla., to discuss the fight against the militants calling themselves the Islamic State, as House lawmakers prepare for a vote to authorize training for moderate rebels to oppose the extremist group.

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World
5:19 am
Wed September 17, 2014

Royal Canadian Air Force Tries To Keep Aging Fleet Flying

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 5:46 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

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Europe
5:04 am
Wed September 17, 2014

Police Try To Nab Thief Who Steals Flowers From Graves

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 5:46 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Wed September 17, 2014

'Broken Monsters' Hits Horror Out Of The Park

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 12:58 pm

The world has become hard to shock. It's not because evil is a new thing — that's been around since the beginning of time, and it definitely wasn't created by movies, video games and every other popular scapegoat for the decline of society. But it's undeniable that we've all become a little inured to things that might have been considered unspeakably horrifying 50 years ago.

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NPR Story
4:25 am
Wed September 17, 2014

Netropolitan: Facebook For Rich People

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 5:46 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR Story
4:25 am
Wed September 17, 2014

Sen. Kaine's Bill Would Limit Obama's Options Against ISIS

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 5:46 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Business
3:10 am
Wed September 17, 2014

United Airlines Offers Buyout Packages To Flight Attendants

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 5:46 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR Story
3:02 am
Wed September 17, 2014

Congressional Panels Chastise NHTSA Over GM Ignition Problems

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 5:46 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

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NPR Story
3:02 am
Wed September 17, 2014

Gaza's Fate Rests On Whether Hamas And Fatah Can Co-Exist

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 5:46 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

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NPR Story
3:02 am
Wed September 17, 2014

Congress Thrust Into Election-Year Debate Over ISIS Plan

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, left, and Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, defend the president's strategy before the Senate Armed Services Committee.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 5:46 am

With just days to go until Congress is expected to go home until November, the House and Senate are moving quickly to pass legislation that would authorize the Obama administration's strategy to fight the so-called Islamic State group. The election year debate over the president's request is showing divisions that go beyond party lines.

There are Republicans like Rep. Chris Gibson of New York, who says he can't support a plan with language drafted by members of his own party. Gibson says right now, there's no political partner in Syria to broker an agreement with.

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Sweetness And Light
2:19 am
Wed September 17, 2014

Is The NFL Too Big To Fail?

The NFL has had a lot of bad press lately. But it doesn't seem to have any impact on sponsors or fans.
AJ Mast AP

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 7:27 am

There has been a crowded docket in our preeminent sport. Let's take just three cases. The defendants: the NFL, Roger Goodell and football itself.

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Parallels
2:17 am
Wed September 17, 2014

Not Every Afghan Institution Is Efficient; This One Is

An Afghan firefighter emerges from the smoke from a fire in a Kabul clothing market in 2012. The fire department is remarkably professional in a city where few institutions function.
Mohammad Ismail Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 8:19 am

There are certain sounds you don't ever want to hear in life — in Afghanistan or elsewhere. One is the sound of sirens and a fire truck pulling up outside your house.

But, when flames are roaring out of your garage and are lapping at the side of the house, the sirens are a welcome sound of hope.

It must have started, we think, when our aging generator caught fire. The flames don't even flinch at the spray of our household fire extinguishers.

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