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The Two-Way
5:25 am
Wed August 5, 2015

Two Trains Derail In India, Killing At Least 24; Floodwaters Blamed

Two passenger trains lay next to each other in India after they derailed Tuesday night. The accident is being blamed on flash floods on a bridge outside the town of Harda in Madhya Pradesh state.
AFP/Getty Images

In a span of minutes, two passenger trains traveling in opposite directions derailed in central India Tuesday night, sending them into the mud along a riverbank. At least 24 people died; officials say that tracks near the river had been flooded by monsoon rains.

Images from the scene show the trains' cars and engines resting at odd angles near the bridge, with the tracks lying twisted and curved in the mud. More than 300 people survived the crashes, according to multiple reports.

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Wed August 5, 2015

Six Friends, A Pile of Cash And A Game With Deadly Consequences

Courtesy of Picador

I don't want to say a single thing about this book β€” about Black Chalk, the debut novel from Christopher Yates, who writes like he has 30 books behind him; like he's been doing this so long that lit games and deviltry come to him as natural as breathing.

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Television
4:17 am
Wed August 5, 2015

Love Is Dead: Ms. Piggy And Kermit Call It Quits

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Strange News
4:17 am
Wed August 5, 2015

Villainous Scheme Makes Dozens A Few Minutes Late

Originally published on Wed August 5, 2015 6:07 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Shots - Health News
4:08 am
Wed August 5, 2015

Untangling The Many Deductibles Of Health Insurance

Originally published on Wed August 5, 2015 6:08 am

Sure, there's a deductible with your health insurance. But then what's the hospital deductible? Your insurer may have multiple deductibles, and it pays to know which apply when. These questions and answers tackle deductibles, whether an ex-spouse has to pay for an adult child's insurance, and balance billing.

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Around the Nation
3:17 am
Wed August 5, 2015

DNA Testing Identifies Another Victim Of Brutal Florida Reform School

Originally published on Wed August 5, 2015 5:40 am

Copyright 2015 WUSF-FM. To see more, visit http://www.wusf.usf.edu/.

Asia
3:17 am
Wed August 5, 2015

In Peaceful Sri Lanka, Army Holds Thousands Of Acres Seized In Civil War

Originally published on Wed August 5, 2015 4:17 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Around the Nation
3:17 am
Wed August 5, 2015

Making Mountains Out Of Trail Markers? Cairns Spark Debate In Southwest

A cairn marks a trail in Arches National Park in Utah. Some build the piles as a meditative exercise, but their proliferation has infuriated some other nature lovers.
Larry Clouse CSM/Landov

Originally published on Wed August 5, 2015 6:08 am

When people go hiking these days, all kinds of gadgets can help guide their way. But historically, humans used something a lot more low-tech: A pile of rocks.

It's technically called a cairn and it has marked trails for millennia, but in recent years, these stones have become steeped in controversy.

To Beth Dinet, stacking stones provides "an overwhelming sense of peace, and connecting with onenness."

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Sweetness And Light
3:17 am
Wed August 5, 2015

Bryce Harper Or Mike Trout: Are These Two Too Good?

Los Angeles Angels Mike Trout (left) and Washington Nationals Bryce Harper during warmups before the start of their baseball game in April 2014 in Washington.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Wed August 5, 2015 4:17 am

Because college football and basketball are so prominent, when the best players move up to the pros they're already well known.

However, baseball's different.

How many of you pretty good sports fans can tell me who won the baseball College World Series just a few weeks ago? Same with the players. Even the stars drafted highest are anonymous except to the real cognocenti. And even then, whereas invariably the can't-miss prospects in other sports don't miss, hardly ever miss, in baseball nobody ever says: can't miss. Fact is, the ones who miss too often are the scouts.

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Sports
3:17 am
Wed August 5, 2015

WHIP The Competition: Stat-Heads Run Minor League Team, Lead It To First

Originally published on Wed August 5, 2015 6:04 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Parallels
3:17 am
Wed August 5, 2015

An 'Island Tax' Could Harm One Bright Spot In Greek Economy

Petros Hatzigeorgiou, whose family has been making wine for more than 150 years, at his winery outside the village of Atsiki, Lemnos. He says islanders can weather the tax by working harder. "That's how we can fight it, no matter how much it hurts," he says. "By showing them we can survive despite it."
Joanna Kakissis NPR

Originally published on Wed August 5, 2015 5:44 am

For years, hotels, shops and restaurants on the far-flung Greek islands kept costs low thanks to a big tax break. And tourism has been one bright spot in Greece's barely functioning economy.

The Greek islands are still enjoying record numbers of tourists this summer.
But now the country's creditors are demanding those islands raise their taxes to the same level as everywhere else in Greece.

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NPR Ed
3:17 am
Wed August 5, 2015

The New, New Framework For AP U.S. History

Protesters join hands in Charleston, S.C. after nine black parishioners were gunned down during a church Bible study on Sunday, June 17.
David Goldman AP

Originally published on Wed August 5, 2015 5:03 am

The College Board has just released the latest curriculum framework for its Advanced Placement U.S. history course, and it appears to have satisfied many of the old framework's critics.

The re-write comes after anger over its 2014 framework sent the College Board, which administers the AP exam, back to the drawing board.

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Parallels
3:17 am
Wed August 5, 2015

Need Fake Friends For Your Wedding? In S. Korea, You Can Hire Them

A stage production or a Korean wedding? It can be hard to tell.
Elise Hu NPR

Originally published on Wed August 5, 2015 4:17 am

Weddings and baby showers are real life milestones to spend with your actual loved ones. True, but in South Korea, a cottage industry exists to help real people find fake friends to fill seats at such life rituals.

At a recent wedding in June, Kim Seyeon showed up as a guest even though she is a total stranger to the bride and groom. She makes about $20 per wedding she attends as a pretend friend.

"When it's the peak wedding season in Korea, sometimes I do two or three acts a day, every weekend," Kim says.

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Parallels
2:04 am
Wed August 5, 2015

A Syrian Refugee School: Nearly 2,000 Students, 5 Shifts, 3 Languages

Girls plays basketball at a school for some 2,000 Syrian refugees in Reyhanli, in southern Turkey. The schools, which depends on private donations, is struggling to remain open. The students attend in five separate shifts throughout the day.
Deborah Amos NPR

Originally published on Wed August 5, 2015 4:17 am

It's the summer session at the Al Salam School in Reyhanli, a town in southern Turkey, just across the border from Syria. A group of girls are practicing their shots on the outdoor basketball court. A class of 8-year-olds is busy with English language drills. The computer lab is open.

Many of these Syrian refugees live in desperate conditions, but for a few hours a day there is the familiar world of school.

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Business
2:04 am
Wed August 5, 2015

Looking Up: Amusement Parks May Have A Record-Breaking Year

Cedar Fair, the parent company of Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio, reported record revenues for the first half of 2015.
Jason Margolis NPR

Originally published on Wed August 5, 2015 5:40 am

If you're looking for a way to gauge the health of the U.S. economy this summer, consider regional amusement parks β€” parks that you can drive to within a few hours. Some 260 million people spend about $10 billion annually at regional theme parks, and this year is shaping up to be a record-breaker.

To understand what's driving those numbers, there are few better people to spend a day at a park with than Martin Lewison.

"As of today, I've been on 1,306 different roller coasters," Lewison says.

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The Two-Way
4:56 pm
Tue August 4, 2015

One Of The World's Most Famous Free Divers Is Missing Near Ibiza

Free diver Natalia Molchanova of Russia has been missing since Aug. 3.
Jacques Munch Stringer/Getty

Originally published on Tue August 4, 2015 6:31 pm

One of the world's most prominent free divers is missing off the coast of an island called Formentera, near Ibiza, Spain. Natalia Molchanova of Russia was on a recreational dive on Sunday when she was separated from companions, according to AIDA, the worldwide federation for free diving. The organization calls her the most accomplished and most famous female free diver in the world.

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Animals
4:25 pm
Tue August 4, 2015

At This Summer Camp, Some Of The Best Friends Are Marine Mammals

Campers at the Pacific Marine Mammal Center in Laguna Beach, Calif., learn how to care for sick and injured marine mammals β€” from cleaning an animal covered with oil to rescuing a stranded baby sea lion. Stuffed toy seals are stand-ins.
Gloria Hillard for NPR

Originally published on Tue August 4, 2015 8:49 pm

Summer camp typically brings to mind s'mores, campfires and the beach, but for some kids in Southern California, it's all about marine mammals. Day camp at the Pacific Marine Mammal Center in Laguna Beach teaches children to care for the sick and stranded baby sea lions and elephant seals. (Check out the center's live poolside webcam.)

"It's sad that they have to come in, but it's good that they're coming in to get rehabilitated," says camper Jameson Ibe, 11.

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It's All Politics
4:10 pm
Tue August 4, 2015

Who's In, Who's Out: Selection Day For The GOP Presidential Debate

Republican presidential candidates, from left, Lindsey Graham, Ben Carson, John Kasich, Chris Christie, Bobby Jindal, Jeb Bush, Scott Walker and Rick Santorum speak among themselves after a forum Monday, Aug. 3, 2015, in Manchester, N.H.
Jim Cole AP

Originally published on Tue August 4, 2015 8:07 pm

This post was updated at 7:15 p.m.

The final polls are in and the stage is set for Thursday night's first Republican presidential debate.

Those who made the cut, according to Fox News: businessman Donald Trump, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, neurosurgeon Ben Carson, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Ohio Gov. John Kasich.

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The Salt
3:51 pm
Tue August 4, 2015

Judge Strikes Down Idaho 'Ag-Gag' Law, Raising Questions For Other States

Laws in Montana, Utah, North Dakota, Missouri, Kansas, Iowa and North Carolina have also made it illegal for activists to smuggle cameras into industrial animal operations.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue August 4, 2015 6:25 pm

Idaho's so-called "ag-gag" law, which outlawed undercover investigations of farming operations, is no more. A judge in the federal District Court for Idaho decided Monday that it was unconstitutional, citing First Amendment protections for free speech.

But what about the handful of other states with similar laws on the books?

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Business
3:39 pm
Tue August 4, 2015

The Soy Car Seat: Are Companies Doing Enough For The Environment?

A worker at Ford's assembly plant in Wayne, Mich., installs back seats made from soy-based foam in a Ford C-Max.
Jason Margolis NPR

Originally published on Tue August 4, 2015 6:02 pm

It's earnings season on Wall Street, and investors are again looking to quarterly reports to gauge the health of companies. Some environmentalists are looking to so-called "sustainability reports" β€” how companies are improving their ecological footprints. But not all environmentalists are putting so much stock in these reports.

Andrew Hoffman, at the University of Michigan, breaks environmentalists into two colors, or rather shades of a color. First, the perspective of the "dark greens":

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The Two-Way
2:49 pm
Tue August 4, 2015

Metropolitan Opera To Drop Use Of Blackface-Style Makeup In 'Otello'

Tenor Placido Domingo performs the title role in a 1994 performance of Verdi's Otello at the Metropolitan Opera in New York.
Johan Elbers The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue August 4, 2015 4:08 pm

The Metropolitan Opera is poised to make a big change.

When the fall production of Verdi's Otello opens next month, its lead character will not be wearing the traditional blackface-style makeup.

The Met tells NPR by email that its upcoming production of Otello will be the first without dark makeup since the company first produced the opera in 1891.

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Around the Nation
2:47 pm
Tue August 4, 2015

Why 'Pep' The Prison Dog Got Such A Bum Rap

Pep is featured in the Dec. 26, 1925 issue of the Boston Daily Globe. But Gov. Pinchot's wife, Cornelia, later set the tall tale straight in an interview with The New York Times.
The Boston Evening Globe / Courtesy of Boston Public Library

A 1925 article in The Boston Daily Globe featured a photo of a dog at a radio microphone for a special remote broadcast from a Pennsylvania prison.

He looks like a friendly, dark-haired Labrador. Two prison officers on either side have a hand on his back.

The caption says: This is Pep, "the pet dog Gov. Pinchot of Pennsylvania sentenced to Eastern State Penitentiary for life."

"He had killed the Governor's wife's cat," or so the story went, says Annie Anderson, the historic site researcher at Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia β€” now a museum.

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Around the Nation
2:29 pm
Tue August 4, 2015

Doctor Who Crusaded For Coal Miners' Health Dies At 87

Donald Rasmussen advises a coal miner who qualified for Federal Black Lung Compensation at his West Virginia clinic in 2006.
Courtesy of Earl Dotter

Originally published on Tue August 4, 2015 6:02 pm

The nation's coal miners have lost an advocate β€” a pulmonologist who helped create a national movement in the 1960's that focused national attention on the deadly coal miners' disease known as black lung.

Dr. Donald Rasmussen died July 23 at age 87 in Beckley, W.V., where he spent close to 50 years assessing, studying and treating coal miners β€” more than 40,000 of them, by his account. His work documenting the occurrence of black lung helped trigger a statewide miners strike in West Virginia in 1969.

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Sports
2:29 pm
Tue August 4, 2015

Swimmer Katie Ledecky Breaks Her Own Record, Again

Originally published on Tue August 4, 2015 6:02 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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Around the Nation
2:29 pm
Tue August 4, 2015

Urban Shootings Are On The Rise, But Officials Fail To Pinpoint A Cause

Originally published on Tue August 4, 2015 6:02 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

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Health
2:29 pm
Tue August 4, 2015

Grandparents Step In When Parents Get Hooked On Opiates

Originally published on Tue August 4, 2015 6:02 pm

Copyright 2015 WFCR-FM. To see more, visit http://www.nepr.net/.

Transcript

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Around the Nation
2:29 pm
Tue August 4, 2015

In LA, Vets Become Homeless Faster Than The VA Can House Them

Originally published on Tue August 4, 2015 6:02 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

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Around the Nation
2:29 pm
Tue August 4, 2015

'All You Can Do Is Pray': Wildfire Rages In Northern California

Originally published on Tue August 4, 2015 9:40 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Predictions of a catastrophic wildfire season are turning out to be right. There are nearly two-dozen large fires burning in California fed by shrubs and trees that are bone-dry from years of drought.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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Around the Nation
2:29 pm
Tue August 4, 2015

Drought Drives California Fires To Unprecedented Speeds

Originally published on Tue August 4, 2015 9:41 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And we turn now to Mark Ghilarducci. He's director of the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services, and he joins us from the State Emergency Operations Center just outside Sacramento.

Welcome to the program.

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Energy
2:29 pm
Tue August 4, 2015

When Relying On The Sun, Energy Storage Remains Out Of Reach

Jim and Lyn Schneider installed solar panels and batteries because bringing grid power to their house in central Wyoming was going to cost around $80,000.
Leigh Paterson Wyoming Public Radio

Originally published on Tue August 4, 2015 6:02 pm

The ability to store energy could revolutionize the way we make and use electricity. But for many utility companies and regular folks, energy storage is still way out of reach. It's expensive β€” sometimes more expensive than building out old-fashioned infrastructure like power lines and power plants.

For people like Jim and Lyn Schneider, their decision to invest in battery storage came four years ago when they moved to central Wyoming.

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