NPR News

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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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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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

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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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.
iStockphoto

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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The Two-Way
9:57 am
Tue August 4, 2015

Your Pill Is Printing: FDA Approves First 3-D-Printed Drug

A product image provided by Aprecia Pharmaceuticals shows Spritam 750 mg (foreground) and 1,000 mg tablets. The 3-D-printed pills have been approved by the FDA.
AP

Originally published on Tue August 4, 2015 11:49 am

In a first, the Food and Drug Administration has given approval to a drug that is produced on a 3-D printer. The pill, produced by Aprecia Pharmaceuticals, treats seizures. It's expected to hit the market in the first quarter of 2016.

NPR's Rob Stein reports for our Newscast unit:

"The drug is called Spritam and is designed to treat seizures in people suffering from epilepsy. It's a new version of a seizure medication that's been on the market for years.

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NPR History Dept.
9:26 am
Tue August 4, 2015

The Strangest Presidential Campaign Ever

Perot speaks at the U.S. Capitol in the spring after the 1992 election.
Maureen Keating via Library of Congress

Originally published on Tue August 4, 2015 11:07 am

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The Two-Way
8:42 am
Tue August 4, 2015

Did Beijing's Olympics Song Lift Parts Of 'Let It Go'?

Fireworks explode behind a skiing sculpture to celebrate Beijing being chosen to host the 2022 Winter Olympics last week.
Jason Lee Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue August 4, 2015 10:02 am

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Goats and Soda
8:14 am
Tue August 4, 2015

In The Fight Against Tsetse Flies, Blue Is The New Black

If you were a tsetse fly, you would be irresistibly attracted to these blue flags.
Courtesy of J.Esterhuizen/LSTM Tsetse Project

Originally published on Tue August 4, 2015 8:33 am

Walk along one of the many streams and rivers in the West Nile region of Uganda, and you'll notice something funny. All along the riverbanks, you'll see small pieces of blue cloth, attached to wooden stakes in the ground. There's one every 50 yards or so.

No, this isn't some half-baked public art project. These dinky contraptions are actually flytraps, designed to lure and kill tsetse flies, whose bites transmit a parasitic disease called sleeping sickness, which, like rabies, drives victims mad before it kills them.

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The Two-Way
6:31 am
Tue August 4, 2015

Circus Tent Collapse Kills 2 During Storm In New Hampshire

Officials are investigating the cause of a tent collapse that killed two people and injured more than a dozen others.
Chris Jensen NHPR

Originally published on Tue August 4, 2015 9:03 am

A man and a girl were killed while watching a traveling circus show Monday evening, after a strong storm dislodged the circus tent's poles and caused a collapse. Officials are now working to find out more about what went wrong at the fairgrounds in Lancaster, N.H.

"We lost two lives — a father and a daughter — at an event that was supposed to be fun," Gov. Maggie Hassan told local TV station WMUR.

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NPR Ed
6:28 am
Tue August 4, 2015

Play Hard, Live Free: Where Wild Play Still Rules

Joseph Straus, 6, rides a zip line at the Berkeley Adventure Playground, where kids can "play wild" in a half-acre park that has a junkyard feel.
David Gilkey/NPR

Originally published on Tue August 4, 2015 8:32 am

Braden Swenson wanders into a semi-rickety wooden shed on his search for gold, treasure and riches.

"Is there any treasure in here?" he asks in the endearing dialect of a 4-year-old. "I've been looking everywhere for them. I can't find any." The proto-pirate toddler conducts a quick search, then wanders away to continue his quest elsewhere.

Not far away, Ethan Lipsie, age 9, clutches a framing hammer and a nine-penny nail. He's ready to hang his freshly painted sign on a wooden "fort" he's been hammering away on. It says, "Ethan, Hudson and William were here."

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Strange News
5:40 am
Tue August 4, 2015

Italian Crime Bosses' Coded Notes Get Them Busted

Originally published on Tue August 4, 2015 6:19 am

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

Strange News
5:40 am
Tue August 4, 2015

Patriots Fan Interrupts Goodell's Vacation With Message In The Sky

Originally published on Tue August 4, 2015 6:19 am

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

The Two-Way
5:12 am
Tue August 4, 2015

Monsoon Flooding Kills Dozens In Myanmar, Prompting Calls For Help

A boy paddles a makeshift raft in flooded Kalay township, in the Sagaing region of Myanmar. Heavy monsoon rains have affected more than 210,000 people in 12 out of Myanmar's 14 states and regions since June.
Ko Thaung Xinhua /Landov

Originally published on Tue August 4, 2015 7:35 am

At least 46 deaths have been blamed on flooding and landslides in Myanmar, where monsoon rains have forced disaster declarations in four regions. More than 1 million acres of farmland have been flooded, the government says.

Myanmar, also known as Burma, is appealing for international aid to help it cope with the flooding. Officials also say that because water has blocked travel between some areas, they don't yet know the full extent of the crisis.

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Parallels
4:42 am
Tue August 4, 2015

Berlin's New Airport: Still In A Holding Pattern

The Willy Brandt Berlin Brandenburg International Airport was supposed to open in 2012, but it has been delayed repeatedly and is now set to open in 2017. The cost overruns and delays have made the airport the butt of frequent jokes.
Sean Gallup Getty Images

Originally published on Tue August 4, 2015 11:35 am

Germany may be Europe's economic giant, but Berlin remains the lone major European capital without a proper airport. The mismanaged, roughly $6 billion project to build one became a national laughing stock that has dragged on for years.

Ground was broken on the airport in 2006 and the opening was delayed just shortly before the planned date in 2012. The airport's managers are now pledging that Germany's third-largest airport will open on the outskirts of Berlin before the end of 2017.

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The Salt
4:42 am
Tue August 4, 2015

How New Jersey Tamed The Wild Blueberry For Global Production

Final inspection of frozen blueberries at the Atlantic Blueberry Co.
Dan Charles NPR

Originally published on Tue August 4, 2015 11:48 am

Nearly every plant that we now depend on for food — from wheat to beans to tomatoes — comes from ancestors that once grew wild on hills and in forests.

In most cases, we don't know who, exactly, tamed those plants. We don't know which inventive farmer, thousands of years ago, first selected seeds and planted them for food.

The blueberry, though, is different. We know exactly who brought it in from the wild, and where.

It happened in the pine barrens of New Jersey.

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Around the Nation
4:42 am
Tue August 4, 2015

The U.S. Declared War On Veteran Homelessness — And It Actually Could Win

Daniel Harmon, a veteran of the wars in both Afghanistan and Iraq, looks out the window of his room at the Hollywood Veterans Center in Los Angeles. The facility provides housing to homeless vets.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Tue August 4, 2015 10:00 am

This is a tale of two cities. In New Orleans, there are signs of hope that veteran homelessness can be solved. But Los Angeles presents a very different picture.

Under the deafening highway noise of the Pontchartrain Expressway in central city New Orleans, Ronald Engberson, 54, beds down for the night. Engberson got out of the Marines in 1979, plagued even back then by problems with drugs and alcohol. He says that's mostly the reason he's been homeless the past 10 years.

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Shots - Health News
3:03 am
Tue August 4, 2015

Is Obamacare's Research Institute Worth The Billions?

PCORI Executive Director Joe Selby says grants to medical societies are needed to get through to busy professionals who "may not answer our phone calls."
Stephen Elliot Courtesy of PCORI

On the ninth floor of a glassy high rise in downtown Washington, partitions are coming down to make more room for workers handing out billions of dollars in Obamacare-funded research awards.

Business has been brisk at the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute or, PCORI, as it is known. The institute was created by Congress under the Affordable Care Act to figure out which medical treatments work best —measures largely AWOL from the nation's health care delivery system.

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It's All Politics
9:10 pm
Mon August 3, 2015

Much Like Speed Dating, Republicans Try Their Best, Short Pitches

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Dr. Ben Carson, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, former CEO Hewlett-Packard Carly Fiorina, U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, former New York Gov. George Pataki, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum (PA), Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker stand on the stage prior to the Voters First Presidential Forum.
Darren McCollester Getty Images

Originally published on Mon August 3, 2015 8:37 pm

The crowded field of GOP presidential hopefuls got their first chance to face-off this week — just not really against each other.

The two-hour long rapid-fire interviews at the "Voters First Forum" in at St. Anselm College in Manchester, N.H., had the feel of a speed-dating session as the 14 Republicans in attendance fired off their talking points in what amounted to abbreviated stump speeches, hoping voters would want a second date.

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The Two-Way
5:18 pm
Mon August 3, 2015

Delta And American Ban Big Game Trophies As Airline Freight

The death of Cecil the lion, lured out of a protected area in Zimbabwe, has led Delta Airlines to stop shipping big-game trophies.
Andy Loveridge AP

Originally published on Tue August 4, 2015 9:06 am

Updated at 1:30am ET

Delta says it will no longer allow freight shipments of big game trophies. The decision follows the killing of a popular lion in Zimbabwe.

The airline said in a statement on Monday that, effective immediately, it "will officially ban shipment of all lion, leopard, elephant, rhinoceros, and buffalo trophies."

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Shots - Health News
3:30 pm
Mon August 3, 2015

Could Your Child's Picky Eating Be A Sign Of Depression?

Originally published on Tue August 4, 2015 8:52 am

One of the frequent trials of parenthood is dealing with a picky eater. About 20 percent of children ages 2 to 6 have such a narrow idea of what they want to eat that it can make mealtime a battleground.

A study published Monday in the journal Pediatrics shows that, in extreme cases, picky eating can be associated with deeper trouble, such as depression or social anxiety.

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NPR Story
3:29 pm
Mon August 3, 2015

From The Eye Of The Hurricane To Near Oblivion: Katrina's Forgotten Town

Ten years ago, Hurricane Katrina made landfall near Pearlington, Miss., a tiny town on the border with Louisiana. A home currently under construction there adheres to new FEMA standards for elevation.
David Schaper NPR

Originally published on Tue August 4, 2015 8:52 am

When Hurricane Katrina slammed into the Gulf Coast 10 years ago, the eye of the storm made landfall near a tiny speck of a town at the mouth of the Pearl River on the Louisiana border with Mississippi.

To say Katrina — one of the deadliest and costliest hurricanes in U.S. history — nearly wiped Pearlington, Miss., off the map isn't entirely true. The fact is, Pearlington was so small that it wasn't even on many maps.

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The Salt
3:29 pm
Mon August 3, 2015

Tired Of The Seoul-Sucking Rat Race, Koreans Flock To Farming

Not only did the family trade their urban life for one in a beautiful valley surrounded by mountains and trees, but they also earn $300,000 a year.
Ari Shapiro NPR

Originally published on Tue August 4, 2015 8:52 am

Kim Pil-Gi left his construction job in Seoul, South Korea, three months ago. Now he happily spends his days handling grubs: squirming, writhing, beetle larvae, each one about as thick as a grown man's thumb. He sits at a tray, sorting them by size.

"At the construction company a lot of the time I'd wake up at 6 in the morning and work all night through to the next day," he says. "That was really hard for me."

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Goats and Soda
3:29 pm
Mon August 3, 2015

Hope Or Hype: The Revolution In Africa Will Be Wireless

Babajide Bello of the tech company Andela takes a selfie with AOL's Steve Case after the pair played a pickup game of pingpong.
Courtesy of Andela

Originally published on Tue August 4, 2015 8:52 am

The continent of Africa has long been seen as the place where humanitarian aid and World Bank loans go — to attempt to save lives or to dictate how countries should grow.

Now there's a new movement underway — a technology movement. Young entrepreneurs from the continent are protesting the old ways by launching startups that, they say, will put Africans in the driver's seat. But not everyone agrees that technology is the solution to Africa's problems.

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Sports
3:29 pm
Mon August 3, 2015

Ultimate Frisbee Recognized By Olympic Committee

Originally published on Mon August 3, 2015 3:54 pm

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

Energy
3:29 pm
Mon August 3, 2015

How EPA Rules Would Hit Coal-Heavy West Virginia

Originally published on Mon August 3, 2015 3:54 pm

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

Environment
3:29 pm
Mon August 3, 2015

Obama's Climate Plan Faces Huge Political Challenges

Originally published on Mon August 3, 2015 3:54 pm

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

The Two-Way
3:20 pm
Mon August 3, 2015

New York Attorney General Orders Immediate Halt To Realistic Toy Gun Sales

It is illegal to sell toy guns in New York that look real.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Mon August 3, 2015 4:57 pm

Toy guns that look real should no longer be sold in New York.

NPR's Joel Rose reports that retailers who were selling realistic-looking toy guns have agreed to halt their sales of the product. Wal-Mart, Amazon and other retailers have also agreed to pay $300,000 in fines as part of a settlement announced Monday.

An investigation by the New York attorney general's office found more than 6,000 toy guns that violate New York law were sold in the state in the past three years.

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The Two-Way
3:14 pm
Mon August 3, 2015

California Wildfire Blazes Through 60,000 Acres, Containment Estimated Next Week

The "Rocky Fire" isn't expected to be contained until Aug. 10.
Josh Edelson AFP/Getty Images

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

As wildfires continue to blaze across California, one fire is more expansive in its reach than others. It's called Rocky Fire, and it began last week. It has already burned through at least 60,000 acres.

The Rocky Fire, one of numerous active wildfires in the state, is north of San Francisco, and member station KQED reports it is roughly double the size of the city.

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