NPR News

The Two-Way
10:36 am
Fri January 30, 2015

Jeremy The Koala, Rescued From Australian Brushfire, Goes Home

Jeremy the koala — who became a social-media sensation after a photo went viral showing him recuperating from injuries sustained in an Australian wildfire –- is being released back into the wild.

The three-year-old male koala, nicknamed after his rescuer, was removed from the Adelaide Hills in South Australia after a massive brushfire swept through the area. His paws had been burned and he was badly in need of treatment.

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The Two-Way
10:05 am
Fri January 30, 2015

Bomb Attack On Shiite Mosque In Pakistan Leaves At Least 49 Dead

Pakistani protesters in Karachi condemn a bombing at a Shiite mosque in Shikarpur on Friday.
Fareed Khan AP

At least 49 people are dead and dozens injured after a blast ripped through a mosque in southern Pakistan where worshippers had gathered for Friday prayers.

Jundullah, a Sunni militant group with links to the Pakistani Taliban, claimed responsibility for the attack on the mosque in Shikarpur, Sindh province.

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Shots - Health News
9:42 am
Fri January 30, 2015

Experiments With Coordinating Medical Care Deliver Mixed Results

Medical homes are a simple, compelling idea: Give primary-care doctors resources to reduce preventable medical crises for diabetics, asthmatics and others with chronic illness, and it will reduce hospital visits, improve lives and save money.

But it's not so easy in practice.

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Shots - Health News
9:22 am
Fri January 30, 2015

Diabetes Technology Inches Closer To An Artificial Pancreas

The Dexcom Share device is designed to help parents monitor a child's glucose levels remotely.
Dexcom, Inc.

Every person who uses insulin to manage diabetes wants what they don't have — a replacement for their malfunctioning pancreas. And though the technology isn't yet to the point of creating an artificial pancreas, it's getting a lot closer.

Just last week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved a mobile app-based system can monitor a person's sugar levels remotely. A parent can monitor a child's sugar while she or he is in school, for example, providing greater peace of mind.

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The Two-Way
8:51 am
Fri January 30, 2015

Balloonists Crossing Pacific Set Distance Record

In this photo provided by the Two Eagles balloon team, Troy Bradley of New Mexico and Leonid Tiukhtyaev of Russia set off from Saga, Japan.
Troy Bradley AP

Originally published on Fri January 30, 2015 9:36 am

Two balloonists have unofficially left a distance record in their wake as they head east over the Pacific Ocean. They lifted off from Japan, and now they're getting ready for a landing on Saturday somewhere on Mexico's Baja peninsula.

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The Two-Way
8:04 am
Fri January 30, 2015

Jailed Saudi Blogger Granted Another Reprieve From Flogging; Reason Unclear

Originally published on Fri January 30, 2015 8:16 am

Saudi authorities have once again canceled the scheduled flogging of blogger Raif Badawi who is being punished for insulting Islam, according to Amnesty International, the human rights group that has been closely following the case.

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The Two-Way
7:55 am
Fri January 30, 2015

Boston Marathon Winner Rita Jeptoo Banned 2 Years For Doping

Rita Jeptoo of Kenya crosses the finish line to win the Women's Elite division of the 118th Boston Marathon on April 21.
Timothy Clary AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 30, 2015 10:42 am

One of the marathon world's brightest stars has been banned for two years, after testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug.

Athletics Kenya, the body that governs running in the country, said Rita Jeptoo tested positive for erythropoietin, or EPO, which stimulates the production of red blood cells.

Jeptoo has won the Boston Marathon three times and she won her second Chicago Marathon in October.

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The Two-Way
7:26 am
Fri January 30, 2015

China Cracks Down On University Textbooks Promoting 'Western Values'

A Chinese paramilitary police stands in front a portrait of late Chinese leader Mao Zedong outside the Forbidden city, Beijing, China, in November.
Aaron Favila AP

Originally published on Fri January 30, 2015 8:12 am

China's education minister has told universities to stop using textbooks that promote Western values in a move seen as part of a larger ideological crackdown, reports NPR's Frank Langfitt from Shanghai.

At an educational forum, Yuan Guiren said universities should also forbid criticism of China's leaders and the country's political system, according to the Xinhua News Agency.

Frank says the edict comes as the government disrupts virtual private networks, or VPNs, which help people access foreign websites that China's Internet cops have already blocked.

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The Two-Way
6:54 am
Fri January 30, 2015

Songwriter, Poet Rod McKuen Dies At 81

Ezio Petersen UPI /Landov

The obituary in The Los Angeles Times describes Rod McKuen as "prolific" and that may well be an understatement considering the many compositions he churned out.

McKuen is credited with more than 200 albums and more than 30 collections of poetry.

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The Two-Way
6:30 am
Fri January 30, 2015

As Deadline Passes, The Fate Of ISIS Hostages Is Uncertain

As a deadline came and went, the fate of two hostages being held by the Islamic State is uncertain.

As we've reported, Jordan has indicated it was willing to release a convicted terrorist in exchange for the release of a Jordanian prisoner. On Thursday, Jordan demanded proof of life from the Islamic State, which had demanded the exchange take place by sundown on Thursday.

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Around the Nation
5:13 am
Fri January 30, 2015

The Art World Gets In On The Super Bowl Rivalry

Originally published on Fri January 30, 2015 5:46 am

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

NPR Ed
5:08 am
Fri January 30, 2015

True Or False? Free And Reduced - Price Lunch = Poor

LA Johnson/NPR

Originally published on Fri January 30, 2015 10:34 am

In the education world, you see this phrase all the time: "free and reduced-price lunch." What's the percentage at a given school? In a given district or state?

It's not necessarily out of concern about who's getting fed. Instead, it's most often used to talk about concentrations of poverty and how that effects learning.

The phrase refers to students enrolled in the National School Lunch Program — an easily available data point for any school and any district.

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The Two-Way
5:00 am
Fri January 30, 2015

South Africa Grants Parole To Notorious Apartheid-Era Death Squad Leader

Eugene De Kock a former Vlakplaas commander speaks to the judge at a Truth and Reconciliation Commission in 1999. De Kock, the apartheid regime's top assassin, asked the commission for amnesty for over 100 incidents of torture, murder and fraud.
Yoav Lemmer AFP/Getty Images

The South African government has decided to grant parole to a notorious Apartheid-era death squad leader.

As The Guardian reports, Eugene de Kock, who was known as "Prime Evil," was sentenced to two life terms in connection to the killings.

The Guardian adds:

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NPR Story
3:07 am
Fri January 30, 2015

Former Democratic Sen. Jim Webb Explores Presidential Bid

Originally published on Fri January 30, 2015 10:41 am

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

NPR Story
3:07 am
Fri January 30, 2015

Multivitamins: The Case For Taking One A Day

Ideally, we'd all eat super healthful diets. But that's not the world we live in, and multivitamins may help bridge the nutritional gaps.
Jasper White Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 30, 2015 11:06 am

In an ideal world, we'd all be eating copious amounts of nutrient-dense foods such as fruits and vegetables — and getting all the essential vitamins and nutrients our bodies need for optimal health.

But, as a nation, we're far from that healthful eating ideal.

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It's All Politics
2:26 am
Fri January 30, 2015

4 Reasons Why It's Veto Season At The White House

President Obama has said he will veto the Keystone XL pipeline project, which passed in the Senate on Wednesday. Historically, political scientists say, 90 percent of veto threats are issued behind the scenes, but Obama has issued nine veto threats so far — in public.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 30, 2015 8:31 am

President Obama is about to get his first veto opportunity of the new Congress. A bill that would approve the Keystone XL pipeline project will be on his desk soon. He has promised to veto it, and that's unusual. In his first six years in office, Obama issued just two vetoes — the fewest of any president going all the way back to James Garfield, and Garfield only served 199 days in office!

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Cities Project
7:37 pm
Thu January 29, 2015

A Pillar Of Atlanta's Community Also Has An Outsize Shoe Collection

Walters Clothing carries styles that go back decades and shoes up to size 18. Its outsize selection has earned the attention of NBA stars and hip-hop artists.
Eboni Lemon New Voices Initiative, AIR

Originally published on Fri January 30, 2015 8:07 am

It takes anchors to keep neighborhoods lively — key restaurants and stores that draw people from far and wide. Walters Clothing in downtown Atlanta is a mom-and-pop shop that has that kind of magnetic attraction.

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The Two-Way
7:07 pm
Thu January 29, 2015

Arrested For Resisting Arrest — Yes, It's Possible

Originally published on Fri January 30, 2015 8:42 am

Earlier this week in a San Francisco courthouse, a deputy public defender named Jami Tillotson challenged police who were trying to take pictures of her client, and the police handcuffed her and took her away. The public defender's office angrily accused the officer of intimidation, but what caught our attention was the reason for her arrest.

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The Two-Way
7:07 pm
Thu January 29, 2015

Car Safety Improves: Study Lists Those With Most, And Least, Driver Deaths

A 2011 Subaru Legacy is among the nine vehicles that were found to have a driver fatality rate of zero in a new report by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
DANIEL ACKER Landov

A record nine car models recorded driver death rates of zero, in a periodic study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The group's focus on 2011 models driven through 2012 also found the overall death rate fell by more than a third from its previous study.

The new study found that when looking at 2011 models through the 2012 calendar year, driver deaths per million registered vehicle years fell to 28; just three years earlier, the driver death rate was 48.

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Shots - Health News
6:01 pm
Thu January 29, 2015

Rise In Measles Cases Marks A 'Wake-Up Call' For U.S.

Aly Hurt/NPR

Originally published on Thu January 29, 2015 6:13 pm

After a few cases here and there, measles is making a big push back into the national consciousness.

An outbreak linked to visitors to the Disneyland Resort Theme Parks in Orange County, Calif., has sickened 67 people in California and six other states according to the latest count from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Goats and Soda
5:00 pm
Thu January 29, 2015

Ebola Cases Plummet In West Africa, As Endgame Begins

Ebola cases have steadily declined in Liberia and Sierra Leone over the past several weeks.
World Health Organization

Originally published on Thu January 29, 2015 6:33 pm

The tide may have turned on the Ebola epidemic in West Africa, the World Health Organization said Wednesday.

Last week, only 99 cases were reported. That's the lowest weekly count since June.

Cases have plummeted in the two countries hit hardest by Ebola, Liberia and Sierra Leone. In December, Sierra Leone was reporting more than 500 cases a week. It tallied only 65 last week.

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NPR History Dept.
4:56 pm
Thu January 29, 2015

'Female Husbands' In The 19th Century

Originally published on Fri January 30, 2015 7:53 am

Questions of gender identity are nothing new. Way before Transparent and Chaz Bono and countless other popular culture stepping stones to where we are now regarding gender identity, there were accounts of "female husbands."

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Business
4:10 pm
Thu January 29, 2015

Some Businesses Say Immigrant Workers Are Harder To Find

Fieldale Farms in Gainesville, Ga., says it can't keep enough workers to meet demand for its poultry products, despite paying $16 per hour plus benefits.
Jim Zarroli NPR

Originally published on Fri January 30, 2015 8:07 am

At Fieldale Farms in Gainesville, Ga., workers cut up chicken breasts and feed the parts into machines. The pieces are then marinated, breaded and eventually sold to restaurants.

The work here can be physically demanding. Not a lot of people want to do it — even though the average wage here is $16 per hour plus benefits.

Tom Hensley, the company president, says Fieldale Farms hires just about anyone who can pass a drug test.

"We hire 100 people a week. Because we have 100 people who quit every week, out of 5,000 employees," he says. "We're constantly short."

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Sports
4:10 pm
Thu January 29, 2015

Pro Football Hall Of Fame Tackles Assisted Living Center

Originally published on Thu January 29, 2015 4:16 pm

The newest inductees into the Pro Football Hall of Fame will be picked on Saturday. This happens as the Hall itself is planning a radical change over the next four years — transforming from a museum into a complex of hotels, conference centers and corporate training facilities — what backers envision as the Disney of Pro Football.

But, perhaps the most unusual part of that project is an assisted living center for aging Hall of Fame football players.

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Religion
3:58 pm
Thu January 29, 2015

Mormon LGBT Announcement Met With Cheers, Skepticism

Originally published on Thu January 29, 2015 4:16 pm

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

The Two-Way
3:51 pm
Thu January 29, 2015

Study Finds Court Fees Also Punish The Families Of Those Who Owe

David Silva, who owed about $30,000 in court fines and fees, says that a lot of his financial burden fell on his family and friends.
Courtesy of Emily Dalton

Originally published on Thu January 29, 2015 5:57 pm

A new report on the growth of court fines and fees that are charged to often-impoverished offenders is focusing on another group that pays: their families.

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The Two-Way
3:44 pm
Thu January 29, 2015

Dartmouth Bans Hard Liquor On Campus

Dartmouth College President Philip Hanlon speaks Thursday to faculty and students about changes planned for the Ivy League school. Dartmouth banned hard liquor on campus and said all students will have to take part in a sexual violence prevention program all four years they are enrolled at the Ivy League school.
Jim Cole AP

Originally published on Thu January 29, 2015 4:34 pm

Dartmouth College is banning hard liquor on campus and will introduce a mandatory four-year sexual violence prevention and education program for students. The steps are part of Dartmouth President Philip Hanlon's plans to reform social life at the Ivy League college.

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Latin America
3:44 pm
Thu January 29, 2015

Prosecutor's Murky Death Could Impact Argentina's Elections

Originally published on Thu January 29, 2015 4:16 pm

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

The Two-Way
3:26 pm
Thu January 29, 2015

Scientists, General Public Have Divergent Views On Science, Report Says

Genetically modified rice plants are shown in a lab in 2006. A new report from Pew Research shows a wide gap between perceptions of safety of GM foods between scientists and the general public.
Rich Pedroncelli AP

Originally published on Thu January 29, 2015 4:20 pm

U.S. adults see various science-related topics much differently than do America's top scientists, with the two groups expressing widely divergent views on the safety of genetically modified foods, climate change, human evolution, the use of animals in research and vaccines, according to a new report published by Pew Research Center.

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Goats and Soda
1:42 pm
Thu January 29, 2015

Girls Get Good Grades But Still Need Help. As For Boys ... SOS!

Girl students in Bangkok tend to do better than boys. That's the finding of a new study.
Christophe Archambault AFP/Getty Images

A new study shows that when it comes to the classroom, girls rule.

They outperform boys in math, science and reading in 70 percent of the 70-plus countries and regions surveyed by the Organization for Economic Development Cooperation and Development. Girls do better even in countries that rank low on U.N.'s gender equality index and that tend to discriminate against women politically, economically and socially — like Qatar, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates.

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