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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 and Iowa have also made it illegal for activists to smuggle cameras into industrial animal operations.
iStockphoto

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 other 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

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" — 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 — 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 3:58 pm

The nation's coal miners have lost an advocate — 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 — 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 3:31 pm

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

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 3:31 pm

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

Health
2:29 pm
Tue August 4, 2015

Grandparents Step In When Parents Get Hooked On Opiates

Originally published on Tue August 4, 2015 3:31 pm

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

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 3:31 pm

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

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 3:31 pm

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

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

Drought Drives California Fires To Unprecedented Speeds

Originally published on Tue August 4, 2015 3:31 pm

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

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 3:31 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 — 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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Book News & Features
2:29 pm
Tue August 4, 2015

At Some Stores, Readers Can Go Get A Refund For 'Watchman'

Originally published on Tue August 4, 2015 3:31 pm

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

Author Interviews
2:29 pm
Tue August 4, 2015

The Bonds Of Friendship Stay Strong In 'Stranger'

Originally published on Tue August 4, 2015 3:33 pm

Author Rebecca Stead collects ideas before she sits down to write, even from the smallest encounters — like this one:

"The idea came from a girl — she was wearing cat ears, and I said 'nice ears,'" she tells NPR's Melissa Block. "And she said, 'Thanks! I've been wearing them for a year! I don't know why!' And then she ran away."

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Book News & Features
2:29 pm
Tue August 4, 2015

These Books Amp Up The Adrenaline In Summer Reading

Originally published on Tue August 4, 2015 3:31 pm

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

Energy
2:27 pm
Tue August 4, 2015

For Some States, New Emissions Rules Will Force A Power Shift

President Obama's environmental plan won't be so hard for states that have moved to cut emissions. But for others it will be more difficult.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Tue August 4, 2015 3:38 pm

Almost as soon as it was unveiled, opponents were lining up to oppose President Obama's new plan to limit carbon emissions. The new rules would require states to lower their carbon emissions by nearly a third over the next decade and a half.

The rules will deal a big blow to some energy sectors — especially coal. But there are also industries that will benefit from the plan.

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NPR Story
2:00 pm
Tue August 4, 2015

Airlines Take Stand Against Carrying Big-Game Trophies

American is joining other airlines in banning big-game transport. (Curimedia/Flickr)

American Airlines is the latest to ban the transportation of big-game trophies on its flights. The industry is responding to outrage over the killing of Cecil, the popular African lion killed by an American hunter, in Zimbabwe. Delta Airlines announced its ban Monday, while Air France, KLM and Quantas issued bans last week.

Jason Bellini, from The Wall Street Journal, joins Here & Now‘s Jeremy Hobson to discuss.

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NPR Story
2:00 pm
Tue August 4, 2015

Former Virginia Gov. Douglas Wilder On Sitting Governors Running For President

Douglas Wilder, former Virginia governor, pictured in 2008. (Steve Helber/AP)

Four sitting governors are among the candidates currently running for president.

While they’re out on the campaign trail stumping and fundraising, they also have their own states to run.

Here & Now‘s Jeremy Hobson talks with former Virginia Gov. Douglas Wilder about the challenges of doing both things well. Gov. Wilder briefly sought the Democratic presidential nomination in 1991, while he was governor.

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NPR Story
2:00 pm
Tue August 4, 2015

Would Natural Gas Act As A 'Bridge Fuel?'

The Patterson 298 natural gas fueled drilling rig drills on land in the Permian Basin in Mentone, Texas. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

President Obama’s Clean Power Plan, announced yesterday, requires the country to cut power-plant carbon dioxide emissions by about a third by 2030. The plan also requires the country to get more than a quarter of its electricity from renewable resources like solar and wind by 2030, up from 13 percent last year.

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The Salt
1:43 pm
Tue August 4, 2015

How Percy Shelley Stirred His Politics Into His Tea Cup

Joseph Severn's portrait of Percy Bysshe Shelley. The radical 19th century poet practiced the politics of the plate. For Shelley and other liberals of his day, keeping sugar out of tea was a political statement against slavery.
Joseph Severn Wikimedia

Originally published on Tue August 4, 2015 3:39 pm

Born this day 223 years ago, the great Romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley is celebrated for such works as his sublime odes to the skylark and West Wind. But he was also a radical thinker - and his revolutionary politics stormed in his teacup.

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The Two-Way
1:22 pm
Tue August 4, 2015

Family Of Sandra Bland Files Wrongful-Death Lawsuit

Sandra Bland's family announced Tuesday that they have filed a lawsuit in federal court in Houston.
Pat Sullivan AP

The family of Sandra Bland, who was arrested in Prairie View, Texas, and was later found dead in her jail cell, announced Tuesday that they're suing authorities in Texas.

NPR's Wade Goodwyn reported for our Newscast unit that the wrongful-death lawsuit names the Texas state trooper who arrested Bland, the sheriff of Waller County, the Texas Department of Public Safety and two guards at the jail. "Among other things, the lawsuit accuses the state trooper of depriving Bland of her constitutional rights," Wade says.

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Environment
1:06 pm
Tue August 4, 2015

Exploring The 'Wild And Haunting World Of Dolphins'

"Anytime you're in the wild with a beautiful animal you're going to feel good," says Susan Casey, author of Voices in the Ocean: A Journey into the Wild and Haunting World of Dolphins.
Penguin Random House

Originally published on Tue August 4, 2015 2:28 pm

Dolphins tend to strike a deep emotional chord in many people who encounter them. Famous for their intelligence and physical ability, there have been reports that the marine mammals have come to the rescue of humans at sea.

Writer Susan Casey tells Fresh Air's Dave Davies about an instance in which a scientist who was watching dolphins hunt noticed that they suddenly bolted for deeper water. He followed them and found that the dolphins had formed a circle.

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Music Reviews
1:06 pm
Tue August 4, 2015

Daniel Romano's Eccentric 'Countrypolitan' Sound Blends Sincerity And Irony

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

Transcript

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

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Book Reviews
1:06 pm
Tue August 4, 2015

'Dragonfish' Offers A Noir Vision Of An 'American Dream Gone Rancid'

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

Transcript

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

A just-published literary noir called "Dragonfish" puts a new spin on the old formula. Our book critic Maureen Corrigan has fallen hard for this tale of gamblers, dark alleys and dangerous dames. Here's her review.

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It's All Politics
12:50 pm
Tue August 4, 2015

Just How Arbitrary Is Fox's 10-Person GOP Debate Cutoff?

All five of these people are running for president, but it looks like only one will make it into the first Republican debate.
Darren McCollester Getty Images

Welcome to the most exciting fight for tenth place you've ever seen.

It also just might be a meaningless fight.

With the major contenders for the GOP nomination now numbering 17, Fox News will only allow the top 10 candidates into the first GOP debate on Thursday. To determine the participants, Fox will be averaging together five national polls.

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The Two-Way
12:24 pm
Tue August 4, 2015

Sexist Reactions To An Ad Spark #ILookLikeAnEngineer Campaign

Isis Wenger, an engineer at OneLogin, responded to critics and Internet pundits with a hashtag campaign that shows the diversity of tech.
Isis Wenger

Originally published on Tue August 4, 2015 1:38 pm

After being surprised by online responses to her appearance in a recruiting ad, software engineer Isis Wenger wanted to see if there anyone else felt like they didn't fit a "cookie-cutter mold." The response to her #ILookLikeAnEngineer campaign dwarfs those initial reactions.

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Monkey See
12:24 pm
Tue August 4, 2015

A Pig, A Frog And Two Producers: 'The Muppets' Talk About Returning To Prime Time

Kermit the Frog and Gonzo return to television in ABC's The Muppets.
Eric McCandless ABC

Most of the panel discussions that happen at the Television Critics Association press tour currently underway in Beverly Hills have something critical in common: the panelists are humans. (Please hold your jokes about Hollywood. The critics in attendance have made them all.)

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Shots - Health News
12:00 pm
Tue August 4, 2015

Straighten Your Hair Without Frying It? Engineers Are On The Case

It's the heat that straightens the hair. But too much, and hair can be permanently limp, or burned.
iStockphoto

Heated tools like flat irons can make hair waterfall straight. But there's always that worry of burning the hair, or yourself.

That can make hair straightening a miserable process, as Marita Golden wrote in her essay "My Black Hair:"

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Shots - Health News
10:21 am
Tue August 4, 2015

Women, There's A Reason Why You're Shivering In The Office

It may be August, but in the office it feels like January. And there's a mysterious man to blame.
Neil Webb Getty Images/Ikon Images

Originally published on Tue August 4, 2015 2:44 pm

He was probably about 40 years old, 155 pounds, white and wearing a suit. And he's the reason why women are shivering at their desks in air-conditioned buildings.

At some point in the 1930s, someone defined "metabolic equivalents" — how much energy a body requires while sitting, walking and running. Almost a century later, the back-of-the-envelope calculations are considered a standard for many things, including air conditioning.

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The Two-Way
10:16 am
Tue August 4, 2015

Families Of Newtown Massacre Victims Reach $1.5 Million Settlement

A small memorial lined a road near Sandy Hook Elementary School about a month after the Dec. 14, 2012, shootings in Newtown, Conn.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Tue August 4, 2015 12:13 pm

The relatives of 16 victims of the 2012 elementary school massacre in Newtown, Conn., reached a proposed $1.5 million settlement Monday against the estate of the shooter's mother.

According to the Hartford Courant, each family will receive $93,750 apiece from a homeowners insurance policy that Nancy Lanza had on a Newtown home she shared with her son Adam.

The lawsuits were filed by the families of 14 victims who died in the school shooting and two who survived.

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