NPR News

The Salt
3:00 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Edible Packaging? Retailers Not Quite Ready To Ditch The Wrapper

A strawberry vanilla WikiPearl made with Stonyfield frozen yogurt.
Stonyfield and WikiPearl, Inc.

A handful of companies are trying to take an idea straight out of Willy Wonka and turn it into reality: edible packaging. I mean, why dump tons of waste into landfills when the container your food comes in could be a part of the snack?

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Author Interviews
2:42 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

100 Years Ago, 'New Republic' Helped Define Modern Liberalism

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

The Salt
2:42 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Thanks To Nutella, The World Needs More Hazelnuts

Thomas Molnar, a plant biologist at Rutgers University, is breeding new hazelnut varieties that can resist Eastern Filbert Blight.
Dan Charles/NPR

Nutella, that sinfully indulgent chocolate-hazelnut spread, turns 50 this year, and it's come a long way, baby.

There's even a "Nutella bar" in midtown Manhattan, right off Fifth Avenue, tucked inside a grand temple of Italian food called Eataly. There's another Nutella bar at Eataly in Chicago. Here, you can order Nutella on bread, Nutella on a croissant, and Nutella on crepes.

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Shots - Health News
2:42 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

When Patients Set Science's Research Agenda, Who Loses?

Coalitions of patient advocates now help steer research funding toward particular projects.
Lilli Carré for NPR

The federal government has poured more than $3 billion into breast cancer research over the past couple of decades, but the results have been disappointing. The disease remains a stubborn killer of women.

So the National Breast Cancer Coalition is trying something bold: The advocacy group has decided that it's not simply going to lobby for more research dollars. Instead, its leaders are sitting down at the table with scientists studying the disease and telling them how they'd like that money to be spent.

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Around the Nation
2:42 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Calpers Pulls Public Employee Pensions Out Of Hedge Funds

California's public employee pension is divesting its entire $4 billion stake in hedge funds. Calpers says the investment proved to be too complex and not worth the expenses. Many public pensions turned to hedge funds in hopes of boosting returns and gaining protection from market crashes, but most have lagged behind market indexes in recent years.

All Tech Considered
2:42 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

The Kaypro II: An Early Computer With A Writer's Heart

Commentator Andrei Codrescu remembers the first word processor he had — the Kaypro II in the 1980s. Its inventor, Andrew Kay, died Aug. 28, at the age of 95. The Kaypro II weighed in at a mere 26 pounds and was a favorite of early computer aficionados.

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Sports
2:42 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Vikings Allow Adrian Peterson Back Without Suspension

Melissa Block talks with Minneapolis Star Tribune sports columnist Chip Scoggins about how Minnesota is reacting to the Vikings decision to allow running back Adrian Peterson to play after admitting to hitting his 4 year old with a switch.

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

The Two-Way
2:21 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Obama Gives New Details On America's Effort To Fight Ebola

President Obama announced details of his plan Tuesday to help contain the Ebola outbreak that has caused more than 2,400 deaths in West Africa. The strategy reportedly includes sending up to 3,000 military personnel to the region.

Obama spoke at the Atlanta, Ga., headquarters of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Tuesday afternoon.

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Shots - Health News
2:05 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Americans Waistlines Are Expanding, And That's Not Good Fat

If your belt needs to be let out a notch, you're not alone. The average American waistline is growing even though obesity rates haven't grown, too. And excess abdominal fat increases the risk of heart disease, diabetes and stroke.

The collective American waistline grew by an more than inch from 1999-2000 to 2011-2012, according to a study published Tuesday in JAMA, the journal of the American Medical Association.

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Shots - Health News
2:03 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Colleges Brainstorm Ways To Cut Back On Binge Drinking

Frostburg State University police officer Derrick Pirolozzi, right, conducts a "knock and talk" at a house near campus, reminding students of laws on underage drinking and open containers.
Jennifer Ludden NPR

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 2:42 pm

It's early Friday night, and Frostburg State University police officer Derrick Pirolozzi is just starting the late shift. At a white clapboard house he jumps out of his SUV to chat with four students on the front steps.

"S'up guys!" he calls out, assuring them he just wants to chat. All are underage but one, and that one tells Pirolozzi he's got a string of alcohol violations from past years. Pirolozzi banters a bit. He tells them to "call anytime," and reminds them not to walk around the street with open containers.

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Goats and Soda
1:12 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Which Contagious Diseases Are The Deadliest?

Do you know what the deadliest disease is? Hint: It's not Ebola (viral particles seen here in a digitally colorized microscopic image, at top right, along with similar depictions of other contagious diseases)
NPR Composite CDC

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 2:47 pm

No one knows what the death toll in the Ebola epidemic will be. As of Tuesday, nearly 2,500 people have died and nearly 5,000 have caught the virus, the World Health Organization says.

So how does this epidemic compare with the toll taken by other contagious diseases?

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The Two-Way
1:09 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Belgium Agrees To Euthanize Man Convicted Of Murder, Rape

Inmate Frank Van Den Bleeken, seen here in court last autumn, says he wants to die because he sees no progress in the mental problems that were linked to his crimes of murder and rape.
Herman Ricour AP

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 2:14 pm

In a country whose laws don't allow for the death penalty, the case of a Belgian man who sees himself as a threat to society — and wants to die — is putting new focus on Belgium's health care and justice system, as well as its laws allowing euthanasia.

After an appeals court in Brussels approved a deal allowing inmate Frank Van Den Bleeken to die from an assisted suicide, the country's justice minister cleared the way for his transfer to a hospital late Monday.

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NPR Story
12:39 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Sheriff Defends Use Of Military Equipment

The images of combat vehicles rolling in to confront demonstrators in Ferguson, Missouri, after the shooting of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown, provoked national debate over police departments receiving military equipment.

Since 2006, the Pentagon’s Excess Property Program has supplied police departments with almost 80,000 assault rifles, more than 600 armored vehicles, and hundreds of millions of dollars-worth of other equipment.

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NPR Story
12:39 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Trump Plaza Hotel And Casino Closes Its Doors

Ruth Hardrick, a dealer who worked at Trump Plaza Hotel & Casino for 26 years, stands with friend, Anthony Powell, on The Boardwalk, as she answers a question after the casino closed early Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. Trump Plaza is the fourth Atlantic City casino to go belly-up so far this year. (Mel Evans/AP)

After 30 years in business Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey is closing its doors.

This is the fourth hotel in the coastal gambling destination to close this year. Has Atlantic City lost its luster?

Vince Mazzeo, state assemblyman representing New Jersey’s 2nd Legislative District speaks with Herw & Nows Jeremy Hobson about the casino closures.

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NPR Story
12:39 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Detroit's Post-Bankruptcy Blues

Monument to Joe Louis in downtown Detroit. (memories_by_mike/Flickr)

Detroit is one step closer to ending its bankruptcy ordeal after it reached a settlement with one of its remaining creditors.

Syncora Guarantee Inc. has withdrawn its objections to the city’s restructuring plan in return for a deal worth a fraction of the $200 million the company said it was owed.

Still, when Detroit does emerge from bankruptcy it doesn’t mean its revenue problems will be over.

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The Two-Way
12:26 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

BP Lawyers Use Old-School Trick; Judge Not Amused

U.S. District Court Judge Carl Barbier ruled nearly two weeks ago that BP acted recklessly in the 2010 Deepwater Horizon rig accident and oil spill.
Alastair Grant AP

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 12:51 pm

Back in school, did you ever fudge the spacing on a report to meet the teacher's page-length requirement? Lawyers representing oil company BP tried something similar in a recent court filing connected to the company's 2010 drilling rig accident and oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

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The Two-Way
12:02 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Odile Leaves Wreckage In Mexico And Threatens Flooding In U.S.

Cars sit in a flooded street in San Jose del Cabo Monday, after hurricane Odile knocked down trees and power lines in Mexico's Baja California Peninsula.
Ronaldo Schemidt AFP/Getty Images

Hurricane Odile is now a tropical storm, but it's still bringing heavy rainfall and power outages to the Baja Peninsula and surrounding areas. And a second storm could threaten the western coast of Mexico of the U.S. later this week.

Odile is still carrying sustained winds of more than 50 mph — and projecting tropical-storm winds up to 150 miles from its center, according to the National Hurricane Center, which expects the storm to weaken into a tropical depression by early Wednesday.

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Shots - Health News
10:20 am
Tue September 16, 2014

Farewell, Heating Pad: Physical Therapists Say It Doesn't Help

The physical therapist will advise, but you're going to have to do the work.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 12:30 pm

I have fond memories of listening to NPR while lounging at the physical therapist's with a heating pad on my shoulder. Don't do that, the nation's physical therapists' association says.

Heat therapy, electrical stimulation, ultrasound and other "passive physical agents" almost never help, according to a list released Monday by the Choosing Wisely campaign. Instead, they siphon time and money away from what you really want from a physical therapist — an exercise program that will restore strength and mobility.

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The Two-Way
10:02 am
Tue September 16, 2014

Dempsey Says If Needed He Would Recommend Ground Forces In Iraq

Members of the anti-war activist group CodePink interrupt a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing with Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel (left) and Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 12:57 pm

Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told lawmakers today that while the president has ruled out "boots on the ground" as part of a campaign to destroy the Islamic State insurgency in Iraq, he was prepared to recommend a combat role for U.S. advisers or ground troops if the situation warrants.

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Shots - Health News
9:20 am
Tue September 16, 2014

Health Law Tempers States' Insurance Mandates

Is that health service covered?
iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 1:05 pm

For decades, states have set rules for health coverage through mandates. These laws require insurers to cover specific types of medical care or services.

The Affordable Care Act aims to curb this piecemeal approach to coverage by establishing minimum standards for insurance coverage in individual and small group plans nationwide and requiring states to pay for mandates that go beyond them.

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The Salt
9:08 am
Tue September 16, 2014

A Scientist's Journey From Beer To Microbiology To Bourbon-Making

Ian Glomski outside his home in Charlottesville, Va., where hops grow in his garden. He quit an academic career in microbiology to start a liquor distillery.
Richard Harris NPR

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 12:18 pm

If you have been following the various posts about beer on The Salt, you may have noticed a pattern: Many of the folks making beer have a scientific background. There's good reason for that. People don't make beer. Yeast does. Well, OK — it's a partnership.

And sometimes, it's a two-way street between the brewery and the lab.

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Around the Nation
8:38 am
Tue September 16, 2014

Homeless Vets: They're Not Just Single Men Anymore

Alexander Morales, who served in the Army in the 1970s, with his family: wife Roberta; Elvia, 7, Elena, 8, and Elvira, 7 (in front), and Ruben Verdugo, 13, and Aaron D. Huerta, 17 (in back). Morales' family has been going for years to the Stand Down event in San Diego, where veterans receive assistance.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 2:42 pm

Every summer for 27 years, a small tent city has popped up in San Diego. "Stand Down" is a three-day oasis for homeless veterans, with showers, new clothes, hot meals, medical help, legal aid and a booth set up for every housing program in the city.

Increasingly, the event needs ways to keep children entertained.

"They've got the kids zone and everything. My kids live out here very happy. They're looking forward to it from last year," says Alex Morales, who served in the Army in the 1970s.

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The Two-Way
6:40 am
Tue September 16, 2014

Ukraine Approves EU Pact And Temporary Self-Rule For Rebels

Ukrainian lawmakers applaud a televised address by the President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz (on screen) in the Ukrainian Parliament on Tuesday in Kiev. The parliament voted to strengthen trade ties with the EU, but not until 2016.
Sergey Dolzhenko EPA/Landov

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 8:40 am

Ukraine's parliament has granted separatist-held areas temporary self-rule and given militants amnesty in a vote aimed at quelling a months-long insurgency that has threatened to permanently cleave.

The parliamentary move comes in tandem with another to expand economic ties with the European Union beginning in 2016. Last year, former President Viktor Yanukovich rejected a similar pact, leading to his ouster in November.

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The Two-Way
6:34 am
Tue September 16, 2014

U.S. Begins Airstrikes In Support Of Iraqi Ground Forces

Members of Iraqi security forces are seen during a fight with Islamic State militants Sunday on the outskirts of the city of Ramadi.
Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 2:01 pm

The United States has begun its first-ever airstrikes in direct support of Iraqi ground forces, in the opening move of what could be a protracted fight against so-called Islamic State militants in the region.

NPR's Tom Bowman, on Morning Edition, says the airstrikes, south of Baghdad, targeted an Islamic State position after Iraqi soldiers fighting them requested the assistance.

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Asia
5:07 am
Tue September 16, 2014

Chinese City Creates Sidewalk Lane For Smartphone Users

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 5:59 am

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

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Around the Nation
5:01 am
Tue September 16, 2014

Funeral Home Offers Drive-Thru Lane To View Loved One

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 5:59 am

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

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Politics
4:49 am
Tue September 16, 2014

How To Measure Success Against The New Monster In The Middle East?

President Obama addresses the nation from the Cross Hall in the White House on Sept. 10. Obama ordered the United States into a broad military campaign to degrade and ultimately destroy militants in two volatile Middle East nations, authorizing airstrikes inside Syria for the first time, as well as an expansion of strikes in Iraq.
Saul Loeb AP

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 1:06 pm

Over the weekend, White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough was asked on NBC's Meet the Press what victory would look like in the new struggle against Islamist extremists in Iraq.

"Success looks like an ISIL that no longer threatens our friends in the region, that no longer threatens the United States," McDonough said.

Vague as that is, it may be the best answer available at the moment. And that is a problem.

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The Two-Way
4:47 am
Tue September 16, 2014

Suicide Bombing In Kabul Kills 3 NATO Troops

A U.S. soldier stands guard near a damaged vehicle at the site of a suicide attack in Kabul on Tuesday.
Mohammad Ismail Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 2:07 pm

The Taliban has claimed credit for a suicide attack on a military convoy just yards from the U.S. Embassy in Kabul that killed at least three NATO soldiers and wounded nearly 20 other troops and civilians.

NPR's Sean Carberry, reporting from the Afghan capital, says the car bomb was detonated on one of the busiest streets in the city during rush hour.

"It shook the capital and set off alarms at the embassy," he says.

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NPR Story
3:16 am
Tue September 16, 2014

Details Emerge About U.S. Plans To Fight ISIS In Iraq

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 5:59 am

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

NPR Story
3:16 am
Tue September 16, 2014

NFL Proposes Plan To Stop Domestic Violence By Its Players

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 5:59 am

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

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