NPR News

The Two-Way
12:25 pm
Tue April 21, 2015

DEA Chief Expected To Step Down Amid Scandal

With her agency embroiled in scandal, Michele Leonhart, the chief of the Drug Enforcement Agency, is expected to step down as soon as today, a US official familiar with the matter tells NPR's Carrie Johnson.

In recent weeks, Leonhart came under fire from lawmakers after an Inspector General report found that some DEA agents had "sex parties" in Colombia with prostitutes paid for by drug cartels.

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The Two-Way
12:07 pm
Tue April 21, 2015

Iowa Farm To Kill 5 Million Chickens In Effort To Contain Avian Flu

A farm in Iowa is going to euthanize more than five million chickens in response to an outbreak of bird flu.
CHARLIE NEIBERGALL ASSOCIATED PRESS

A farm in Iowa is going to destroy more than five million of its chickens in an attempt to curb the spread of the highly infectious avian flu.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture confirmed the H5N2 avian influenza outbreak Monday, adding that the agency says that there is little chance that humans could become infected. According to the department's press release:

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The Two-Way
11:42 am
Tue April 21, 2015

In Pakistan Visit, China's President Announces $45B In Investment

Chinese President Xi Jinping has ended a visit to Pakistan after signing $45 billion worth of investment agreements in the South Asian nation.

NPR's Philip Reeves tells our Newscast unit Xi's visit is being seen as a "game changer." Here's more from him:

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The Two-Way
11:25 am
Tue April 21, 2015

What A Bleeping Day: Reds Manager Takes Media To Task

Cincinnati Reds manager Bryan Price, seen here during a home game, has apologized for the language he used in a long tirade.
Joe Robbins Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 21, 2015 1:13 pm

More than 80 profanities in under six minutes. That's the statistic baseball writers are talking about today, after Cincinnati Reds manager Bryan Price aired his frustrations with both the media and his team's struggles Monday.

Price took vehement exception to journalists' attempts to report on the Reds' personnel moves and the status of All-Star catcher Devin Mesoraco, who had at that point missed six consecutive games.

Before Monday's game, Price said Mesoraco wouldn't be available. Then he was asked, again, about the slugger's status.

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The Salt
10:56 am
Tue April 21, 2015

Tea, Tao and Tourists: China's Mount Hua Is Three-Part Harmony

You can get a cup of tea at Cuiyun Palace on the west peak of Mount Hua.
Courtesy of James Guo

Originally published on Tue April 21, 2015 12:57 pm

Imagine yourself clinging to a cliff face with nothing but uneven, worn wooden planks and chains to keep you from plummeting 7,000 feet to your untimely demise. Don't worry: You can rent a little red safety harness for $5. No one will make you wear it, though.

Oh, and you will probably encounter someone coming the other way, in which case you will have to maneuver around your neighbor as if playing a deadly game of Twister. Someone has to go on the outside, so I hope you're good at not blinking first.

You wouldn't do this for all the tea in China, you say?

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Goats and Soda
10:23 am
Tue April 21, 2015

How Modern Life Depletes Our Gut Microbes

Compared with Americans' digestive tracts, Yanomamis' teem with life, like a lush, tropical rain forest.
Maria Fabrizio for NPR

Originally published on Tue April 21, 2015 1:03 pm

Looks like many of us don't have the right stomach for a paleodiet. Literally.

Two studies give us a glimpse into our ancestors' microbiome — you know, those trillions of bacteria that live in the human gut.

And the take-home message of the studies is clear: Western diets and modern-day hygiene have wiped a few dozen species right out of our digestive tracts. One missing microbe helps metabolize carbohydrates. Other bygone bacteria act as prebiotics. And another communicates with our immune system.

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NPR Ed
10:17 am
Tue April 21, 2015

On The High School Diploma: A 'Bilingual' Stamp Of Approval?

LA Johnson/NPR

Originally published on Tue April 21, 2015 10:03 am

In the 1920s, Aurora Orozco crossed over from Mexico to Texas — a child of African descent who spoke not a word of English. She was an uneasy transplant.

Many years later, in an essay published in 1999, she recalled attitudes towards students who were caught speaking Spanish in school: "My teacher, Mrs. White, would make me stay after class. With a red rubber band, she would hit my poor hands until they nearly bled."

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The Two-Way
9:48 am
Tue April 21, 2015

Ex-Auschwitz Guard Says He Was 'Morally Complicit' In Atrocities

Former SS guard Oskar Groening, now 93, enters a car after the first day of his trial in Lueneburg, Germany, on Tuesday. He faces 300,000 counts of accessory to murder, in a case that tests the argument that anyone who served at a Nazi death camp was complicit in what happened there.
Markus Schreiber AP

Originally published on Tue April 21, 2015 10:50 am

A 93-year-old former guard at Auschwitz said his work at the concentration camp made him "morally complicit" in the atrocities committed there, but he told judges at the opening of his trial they "must decide on the question of ... criminal liability."

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Parallels
9:26 am
Tue April 21, 2015

Menaced By War, An Ancient Christian Village In Iraq Returns To Life

Three men water newly planted trees on March 18 in al-Qosh, an ancient Christian village in northern Iraq. The village emptied out last August as Islamic State fighters approached. But the extremists never entered al-Qosh and the village and residents have returned. The men are watering outside a monastery that dates to the 7th century.
Alex Potter for NPR

The ancient Rabban Hermizd Monestary, on a hill overlooking the northern village of al-Qosh, is a testament to the long history of Christians in Iraq. Stone walls leading up the hill are decorated with iconography, and the 7th-century monastery is covered with the ancient Syriac language, still spoken today by the people of al-Qosh.

"Christians have been here in the Ninevah plains for thousands of years. It would be a tragedy if we just disappeared," said Athra Kado, a local Syriac language teacher.

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Shots - Health News
9:06 am
Tue April 21, 2015

Californians Can Now Pay Cash For Health Insurance At 7-Eleven

Originally published on Tue April 21, 2015 10:29 am

The largest publicly run health plan in the nation, L.A. Care, will allow customers who do not have traditional bank accounts to pay their health insurance premiums with cash.

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The Two-Way
8:45 am
Tue April 21, 2015

N.Y. Judge Grants Legal Rights To 2 Research Chimps

Originally published on Tue April 21, 2015 11:24 am

A New York judge has granted two research chimps the writ of habeas corpus — a move that allows them to challenge their detention.

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The Two-Way
8:23 am
Tue April 21, 2015

Captain In Deadly Migrant Boat Sinking Charged With Manslaughter

Mohammed Ali Malek (left) and Mahmud Bikhit (center) were identified by survivors as the captain and a crew member of the vessel that sank in the Mediterranean this weekend. They're seen here shortly before an Italian Coast Guard ship took them to Catania, Sicily.
Alessandro Bianchi Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue April 21, 2015 9:08 am

Italian authorities have arrested the captain and a crew member of the boat that capsized in the Mediterranean Sea over the weekend. The pair are among the boat's 28 survivors; the United Nations says more than 800 would-be migrants died after cramming themselves onto the 66-foot boat.

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Around the Nation
5:34 am
Tue April 21, 2015

Roommates Fight Over: Who Is The Greatest NBA Player Ever?

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

World
5:34 am
Tue April 21, 2015

Isis Booted From List Of Pacific Hurricane Names

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

The Two-Way
4:49 am
Tue April 21, 2015

Egypt's Former President Morsi Sentenced To 20 Years In Prison

Egypt's former President Mohammed Morsi gestures from the defendants' cage during his trial in Cairo on Tuesday. An Egyptian court sentenced the ousted leader to 20 years in prison for abuses of protesters.
Mohamed El-Shahed AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 21, 2015 9:18 am

Less than two years after he was removed from power by the military, an Egyptian court has sentenced former President Mohammed Morsi to 20 years in prison for the arrest and torture of protesters during his tenure.

The charges stem from the months of protests between late 2012 and July 2013, when Morsi was kicked out of office.

Twelve other defendants were also found guilty and received the same sentence as Morsi; they include former Muslim Brotherhood legislator Mohamed al-Beltagi and Essam al-Aryan, the group's former spokesman.

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Goats and Soda
3:07 am
Tue April 21, 2015

Palm Oil Plantations Are Blamed For Many Evils. But Change Is Coming

A forest worker fells palm trees on an illegal palm oil plantation in the province of Aceh, Indonesia.
Anthony Kuhn NPR

Originally published on Tue April 21, 2015 9:35 am

Palm oil is in everything, from pizza dough and chocolate to laundry detergent and lipstick. Nongovernmental organizations blame it for contributing to assorted evils, from global warming to human rights abuses.

But in the past year, this complex global industry has changed, as consumers put pressure on producers to show that they're not destroying forests, killing rare animals, grabbing land or exploiting workers.

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NPR Story
3:07 am
Tue April 21, 2015

Ariz. Sheriff Who's Tough On Illegal Immigration Faces Contempt Hearing

Originally published on Tue April 21, 2015 5:34 am

Copyright 2015 KJZZ-FM. To see more, visit http://kjzz.org/.

NPR Story
3:07 am
Tue April 21, 2015

Immigrants Flee South Africa After Xenophobic Attacks

Originally published on Tue April 21, 2015 5:34 am

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

NPR Story
3:07 am
Tue April 21, 2015

Celebrated Afghan Writer Recalls Kabul Of Decades Ago

Originally published on Tue April 21, 2015 5:34 am

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

Religion
1:58 am
Tue April 21, 2015

Construction Of Giant Telescope In Hawaii Draws Natives' Ire

Native Hawaiians dance in honor of Mauna Kea at the base of Pu'u Huluhulu on the Big Island.
Molly Solomon NPR

Originally published on Tue April 21, 2015 11:50 am

In Hawaii, a battle is going on over the future of a mountaintop. Native Hawaiians say it's sacred ground, while astronomers say it's the best place in the world to build a massive, 18-story telescope.

This is not simply a story of religion versus science. Activists consider the construction of a giant telescope on the island of Hawaii to be a desecration of their sacred land.

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Shots - Health News
1:56 am
Tue April 21, 2015

What's At Stake If Supreme Court Eliminates Your Obamacare Subsidy

Carlton Scott pays $266.99 per month for his subsidized health insurance plan. He worries he and his neighbors would lose their insurance without the subsidy.
Jeff Cohen/WNPR

Originally published on Tue April 21, 2015 12:56 pm

The Affordable Care Act requires all Americans to get health insurance or pay a penalty. To help coax people to buy a health plan, the federal government now subsidizes premiums for millions of Americans.

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Back At Base
1:54 am
Tue April 21, 2015

National Guard Seeks New Mission After War

The Army spent $300 million to upgrade Camp Atterbury and the Muscatatuck Urban Training Center — seen here in this aerial photo from 2012 — for Indiana's National Guard to use to prepare for the wars and Iraq and Afghanistan. But now that troops are coming home, the Guard is looking for new ways to keep the base relevant.
Sgt. Ashley Reed Wikimedia Commons

Originally published on Tue April 21, 2015 5:34 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." This is the first of four reports this week about the National Guard.

The Army spent billions of dollars getting the National Guard ready for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. But now that the money has been spent and troops are coming home, there are questions about the Guard's mission.

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The Two-Way
6:27 pm
Mon April 20, 2015

Norway Becoming First Country To Eliminate FM Radio

Norway is moving on from analog radios in 2017.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue April 21, 2015 7:46 am

Norway is going to eliminate FM radio in less than two years, the country's government announced, becoming the first country in the world to do so.

Norway is planning to transition completely to digital broadcasting in January 2017.

The Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) system offers a number of benefits over FM, said Thorhild Widvey, Norway's minister of culture, in a statement last week.

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The Two-Way
4:46 pm
Mon April 20, 2015

U.S. Navy Sends Aircraft Carrier To Coast Of Yemen

The U.S. Navy has dispatched an aircraft carrier to waters off the coast of Yemen.

As NPR's Jackie Northam reports, the vessels are joining others in the region in an increasing show of force. She filed this report for our Newscast unit:

"The U.S. Navy says it's deploying the USS Theodore Roosevelt and the guided-missile cruiser Normandy to the Gulf of Aden to ensure the vital shipping lanes in the volatile region remain open and safe.

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All Tech Considered
4:29 pm
Mon April 20, 2015

At 50 Years Old, The Challenge To Keep Up With Moore's Law

Intel Corp. co-founder Gordon Moore holds up a silicon wafer at Intel headquarters in Santa Clara, Calif., in 2005. Moore's prediction 50 years ago, called Moore's Law, has been the basis for the digital revolution.
Paul Sakuma AP

Originally published on Tue April 21, 2015 8:31 am

Fifty years ago this week, a chemist in what is now Silicon Valley published a paper that set the groundwork for the digital revolution.

You may never have heard of Moore's law, but it has a lot do with why you will pay about the same price for your next computer, smartphone or tablet, even though it will be faster and have better screen resolution than the last one.

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Shots - Health News
3:35 pm
Mon April 20, 2015

Federal Panel Revisits Contested Recommendation On Mammograms

Originally published on Mon April 20, 2015 5:38 pm

In 2009, I was among the scrum of reporters covering the controversial advice from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force that women in their 40s think twice about regular mammograms. The task force pointed out that the net benefits in younger women were small and said women should weigh the pros and cons of screening before making a decision.

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Media
3:35 pm
Mon April 20, 2015

Small South Carolina Newspaper Takes Home Top Pulitzer Prize

Originally published on Tue April 21, 2015 4:01 am

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

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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World
3:35 pm
Mon April 20, 2015

Mediterranean Migration Crisis Represents Scope Of Smuggling Business

Originally published on Mon April 20, 2015 4:23 pm

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

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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The Two-Way
3:31 pm
Mon April 20, 2015

Argentine Prosecutor Dismisses Accusations Against President

Argentine President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner.
Pool/Landov

An Argentine prosecutor moved on Monday to dismiss accusations leveled against President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner by the late prosecutor Alberto Nisman.

If you remember, right before he was found dead in his home, Nisman was about to tell lawmakers that he wanted to charge Kirchner for allegedly thwarting an investigation into the deadly 1994 bombing of a Jewish center in Buenos Aires.

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The Salt
3:27 pm
Mon April 20, 2015

When Danish Cows See Fresh Spring Pasture, They Jump For Joy

Near the Danish city of Ikast, some 1,500 spectators gathered on Apr. 19 to celebrate what has become something of a national holiday at organic dairy farms around Denmark.
Courtesy of Organic Denmark

Originally published on Tue April 21, 2015 8:01 am

"They're running a little late," chides an elderly gentleman, tapping his watch at 12:02 p.m. He's come to this farm near the Danish city of Ikast, along with about 1,500 others, to celebrate what has become something of a national holiday in Denmark. It's the Sunday in mid-April when thousands of organic dairy cows at 75 farms across the country are released into the green fields of spring. At exactly noon. Eh hem.

Ah, but here they come!

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