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Goats and Soda
9:00 am
Thu January 22, 2015

Hello, I Must Be Squatting

You've got to get down — literally — when greeting someone in Northern Ghana.
Kiley Shields for NPR

Originally published on Fri January 23, 2015 10:48 am

I'm trying to sleep on a straw mat in the village in Northern Ghana where I'm a Peace Corps volunteer. It's the best way to keep cool when there's no air-conditioning and nighttime temps are in the 80s.

Lots of people are outside sleeping in the center of the compound where I'm living. They're talking. Their babies are crying. I try to tune them out and am almost at the dream state. Then I hear "aninwula."

That's the evening greeting.

No matter the time of day or night, most Ghanaians would be seriously insulted if you ignored their greeting.

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The Two-Way
8:18 am
Thu January 22, 2015

Patriots Coach Bill Belichick Denies Knowledge Of Deflated Footballs

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, seen here on Jan. 18, says he "had no knowledge" about the controversy over deflated footballs "until Monday morning."
Elise Amendola AP

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 8:30 am

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick says he had "no knowledge" about the controversy surrounding his team and deflated footballs.

"In my entire coaching career, I have never talked to any player or staff member about football air pressure," he said in an opening statement at a news conference today.

Belichick added that he had "no knowledge of this situation until Monday morning."

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The Two-Way
8:17 am
Thu January 22, 2015

ECB Unveils Massive Bond-Buying Stimulus Program For Eurozone

European Central Bank President Mario Draghi today unveiled in Frankfurt, Germany, a massive bond-buying stimulus program to kick-start the region's economy.
Michael Probst AP

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 8:42 am

The European Central Bank has unveiled a massive bond-buying stimulus program to kick-start the region's economy and battle deflation.

"The combined monthly purchases of private and public sector securities will amount to 60 billion euros," ECB President Mario Draghi said today at a news conference in Frankfurt, Germany.

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The Two-Way
7:39 am
Thu January 22, 2015

Newtown, Conn., Council Votes To Raze Sandy Hook Shooter's Home

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 9:52 am

Officials in Newtown, Conn., have voted to demolish the home of Adam Lanza, the gunman who killed 20 first-graders and six educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012.

The Newtown Legislative Council voted 10-0 Wednesday night to approve a proposal to tear down the 3,100-square-foot home where Lanza lived with his mother. The land on which the home stands will be kept as open space for now.

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The Two-Way
6:13 am
Thu January 22, 2015

London Mayor Boris Johnson Settles U.S. Tax Bill Ahead Of Visit

London Mayor Boris Johnson rides a bicycle on Dec. 1 during a city tour in downtown Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Vincent Thian AP

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 11:47 am

Late last year, London Mayor Boris Johnson said he owed money to the IRS — but wasn't going to pay it.

Johnson, who holds dual U.S.-U.K. citizenship by virtue of having been born in New York, owed capital gains tax from the sale of his first house in the U.K. — a sum that is not taxable in the U.K.

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Shots - Health News
5:32 am
Thu January 22, 2015

Hospitals' Medicare Quality Bonuses Get Wiped Out By Penalties

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 2:43 pm

What Medicare gives with one hand, it's taking away with another. Most government quality bonuses to hospitals this year are being wiped out by penalties issued for other shortcomings.

The government is taking performance into account when paying hospitals, one of the biggest changes in Medicare's 50-year-history and one that's required by the Affordable Care Act.

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The Two-Way
5:28 am
Thu January 22, 2015

Yemen's President, Cabinet Resign Amid Political Chaos

Houthi fighters stand guard outside the presidential palace in Sanaa, Yemen, on Thursday.
EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 5:42 pm

Updated at 7:15 p.m. ET

A senior State Department official announces:

"In response to the changing security situation in Yemen, the United States Embassy in Sana'a has further reduced its American personnel working in Yemen. Our Embassy in Sana'a has been on ordered departure since last September.

"While the Embassy remains open and is continuing to operate, we may continue to re-align resources based on the situation on the ground."

Updated at 5 p.m. ET

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Thu January 22, 2015

The Vastness Of Violent Loss In 'See How Small'

Author Scott Blackwood based See How Small on a real incident, a multiple murder at an Austin, Texas, frozen yogurt shop in 1991.
Brian Cox

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 11:57 am

On a chilly autumn night in Austin, Texas, three teenage girls are finishing up their shift at an ice cream shop. Two men walk in, and when they leave, the store is on fire, the three girls still in there, naked, bound with their own underwear, murdered. The slayings and the arson take just minutes, but the families and friends of the girls take years to get over it — or to try to get over it; of course, they never do.

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Around the Nation
4:58 am
Thu January 22, 2015

Pro Golfer Brooke Pancake Signs Deal With Waffle House

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 10:06 am

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

Around the Nation
4:25 am
Thu January 22, 2015

Police Chase Ends In Ohio Prison's Parking Lot

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 10:06 am

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

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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Politics
3:02 am
Thu January 22, 2015

Conservatives Disagree With Obama's Social Spending Proposals

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 10:06 am

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

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And here's one short analysis of Obama's State of the Union speech; he gave Congress a list of ideas that will never pass. The president spoke up for his priorities. Republicans in Congress have theirs. He spoke of middle-class economics.

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Politics
3:00 am
Thu January 22, 2015

Obama Defends His Aggressive Agenda In Boise, Idaho

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 2:00 pm

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

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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Europe
2:59 am
Thu January 22, 2015

'Charlie Hebdo' Gunmen Are Textbook Case Of Radicalization

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 5:57 pm

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

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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NPR Story
2:59 am
Thu January 22, 2015

Anti-Islamization Rally In Germany Draws Counter-Demonstrators

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 10:06 am

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

NPR Story
2:59 am
Thu January 22, 2015

Communities Around Fort Campbell Brace For Word On Budget Cuts

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 10:06 am

Copyright 2015 Nashville Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.wpln.org/.

Around the Nation
2:59 am
Thu January 22, 2015

Measles Outbreak At Disneyland Spreads To Other States

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 11:49 am

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

Back At Base
2:59 am
Thu January 22, 2015

At The Monterey Presidio, City And Army Partner To Reduce Costs

An aerial view from March, 2014, shows the Presidio of Monterey located in Monterey, Calif. The Army base, which is home to the Defense Language Institute, has partnered with the city in an effort to curb costs.
Natela A. Cutter U.S. Army via Flickr

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 10:06 am

NPR — along with seven public radio stations around the country — is chronicling the lives of America's troops where they live. We're calling the project "Back at Base."

At a time when the Department of Defense budget is under pressure, some military bases are re-examining how they operate to find ways to save.

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NPR Ed
1:39 am
Thu January 22, 2015

The Past, Present And Future Of High-Stakes Testing

PublicAffairs Books

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 10:57 am

After a long stretch as the law of the land, annual standardized tests are being put to, well, the test.

This week, the Senate education committee held a hearing on the reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) law and, specifically, on testing. The committee's chairman, Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., has released a draft bill offering a lot more leeway to states in designing their own assessment systems.

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The Two-Way
1:38 am
Thu January 22, 2015

X-Rays Open Secrets Of Ancient Scrolls

The ancient scrolls look and feel more like blocks of charcoal. A new technique gives a peek inside.
Salvatore Laporta AP

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 10:06 am

Researchers in Europe have managed to read from an ancient scroll buried when Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 A.D. The feat is all the more remarkable because the scroll was never opened.

The Vesuvius eruption famously destroyed Pompeii. But it also devastated the nearby town of Herculaneum. A villa there contained a library stacked with papyrus scrolls, and the hot gas and ash preserved them.

Sort of.

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Goats and Soda
1:34 am
Thu January 22, 2015

Police Fire Tear Gas On Kenyan Kids Protecting A Soccer Field

School kids hold up a sign given to them by activists at a demonstration at Langata Primary Road School.
Brian Inganga AP

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 10:06 am

Hundreds of elementary schools were protesting the illegal seizure of their playground by a private developer in Nairobi, Kenya, when police fired tear gas into the crowd.

The incident sparked outrage across the city — and on social media, where Kenyans tweeted with the hashtag #OccupyPlayGround.

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Business
1:34 am
Thu January 22, 2015

Senator 'Astounded' That Nonprofit Hospitals Sue Poorest Patients

Heartland Regional Medical Center in St. Joseph, Mo., is changing its name to Mosaic Life Care. It was the focus of an NPR and ProPublica investigation into its billing practices.
Steve Hebert for ProPublica

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 12:11 pm

NPR and ProPublica have been reporting about nonprofit hospitals that seize the wages of lower-income and working-class patients. Now, Sen. Chuck Grassley, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, says hospitals could be breaking the law by suing these patients and docking their pay. And he wants some answers.

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Cities Project
1:32 am
Thu January 22, 2015

Building Sponge City: Redesigning LA For Long-Term Drought

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 3:44 pm

For thousands of years, city planners have engineered water into submission — think aqueducts.

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The Two-Way
8:19 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

New Tools Let Police See Inside Peoples' Homes

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 10:52 am

Federal agencies and local police are using a new device to look inside homes and buildings, reports USA Today.

The device, called the Range-R, operates like a stud-finder except instead of detecting studs inside a wall, it detects motion beyond the wall, including breathing as far as 50 feet away.

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The Two-Way
8:15 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

GOP-Led House Drops 20-Week Abortion Limit, Will Advance Funding Ban

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 9:00 pm

House lawmakers were set to vote Thursday on a bill that would ban almost all abortions at 20 weeks post-conception, but NPR's Juana Summers reports that they changed their plans late Wednesday as some lawmakers voiced concerns that the bills language went too far.

"Some Republican lawmakers — many of them women — raised objections that the bill's language was too restrictive. They took issue with a provision in the bill that would exempt rape victims from the abortion restrictions, but only if they report the attack to police.

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The Two-Way
7:36 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

Rare And 'Horrific': Frilled Shark Startles Fishermen In Australia

A frilled shark swims in a tank after being found by a fisherman off Japan's coast in 2007. One of the rare creatures was recently caught in Australia, shocking fishermen.
Awashima Marine Park Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 6:23 am

Normally, we wouldn't call something a living fossil. But the name seems tailor-made for the frilled shark, whose roots are traced to 80 million years ago. Its prehistoric origins are obvious in its primitive body; nearly all of the rare animal's closest relatives are long extinct.

In the most recent of those 80 million years, the frilled shark has been scaring the bejeezus out of humans who pull it out of the water to find an animal with rows of needle-like teeth in a gaping mouth at the front of its head.

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The Two-Way
7:22 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

Google Is Said To Be Preparing Its Own Mobile Wireless Service

Google plans to launch a new mobile phone service that it will sell directly to U.S. consumers, according to technology site The Information and other news outlets. Instead of building its own network, Google will reportedly use bandwidth purchased from cellphone carriers Sprint and T-Mobile.

The wireless service could be rolled out as early as this year, adding what could be a disruptive new force to the U.S. mobile market. It would also give Google another way to leverage its Android mobile platform — and to control how those devices operate.

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Around the Nation
5:37 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

California Prisons Aim To Keep Sex Between Inmates Safe, If Illegal

A Los Angeles County Department of Public Health worker shows condoms for weekly distribution to inmates in the Men's Central Jail.
George Lavender

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 6:13 pm

There's an inconspicuous metal box mounted on the wall of the gym at San Francisco County Jail No. 4.

When Kate Monico Klein turns a knob, the machine releases a condom in a small cardboard packet. Machines like this one — dispensing free condoms — are installed in all of the county's male jails.

"We set [the machine] off to the side, so that people would have a minor amount of privacy," explains Monico Klein, director of HIV services for Jail Health, a division of the county's health department.

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The Two-Way
5:23 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

Shouts Of Protest At Supreme Court On 'Citizens United' Anniversary

A demonstrator rallies outside the U.S. Chamber of Commerce against the Supreme Court's decision in favor of Citizens United five years ago. Eight protesters at the Supreme Court were arrested and charged.
Nicholas Kamm AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 2:26 am

Overturned chairs and shouts of protest briefly shattered the formality and calm of the U.S. Supreme Court this morning.

The session had just begun when protesters in the back of the chamber began yelling things like, "One person, one vote," "We are the 99 percent," "Money is not speech," and "Overturn Citizens United." This last was a reference to the Court's 2010 decision, issued on this day five years ago. That decision struck down limits on corporate and union campaign spending, uncorking a flood of campaign cash.

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All Tech Considered
4:20 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

The Battle Over Open-Internet Rules Shifts To Congress

President Obama called on the Federal Communications Commission to implement a strict policy of net neutrality and to oppose content providers in restricting bandwidth to customers.
Michael Bocchieri Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 6:01 pm

In Tuesday night's State of the Union address, President Obama offered a number of ideas for improving the economy. Among them was a nod to the role the Internet plays in economic development.

"I intend to protect a free and open Internet, extend its reach to every classroom, and every community, and help folks build the fastest networks," Obama said.

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The Salt
4:13 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

Why Some GMO Foods Don't Have Genetically Modified DNA

While reporting my story on how foods earn a label certifying them as "non-GMO," I came across a comment that struck me – and it might surprise you, too.

The comment came from Ken Ross, the CEO of Global ID. (He didn't make it into the final story.) Global ID is the parent company of FoodChain ID, one of the companies that traces ingredients to determine whether they contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

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