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It's All Politics
11:20 am
Thu March 26, 2015

Skinny Jeans, Expanded Waistlines, And A Washington 'Fix'

Congress tries every year to plug a loophole that would otherwise result in a 21 percent cut in Medicare doctors' pay. But it doesn't exactly always tighten its belt in the process.
Key Wilde Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 1:07 pm

Every year about this time, after a Washington winter of inactivity, I notice my pants have grown a little tighter. Years ago, I resolved to address this by cutting back on burritos and beer.

But the (ever more abundant) flesh is weak. And burritos are soooo tasty. So instead, every spring I simply let out my waistband a bit, while promising to redouble my dieting efforts next year. I call this, "The belt fix."

Sound familiar?

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The Two-Way
10:27 am
Thu March 26, 2015

Richard III, Whose Remains Were Found Under A Parking Lot, Reburied

The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby waits at the entrance to Leicester cathedral where the re-interment ceremony of Richard III was held Thursday.
Michael Dunlea Barcroft Media /Landov

Richard III, the last English king to die in battle and who famously, in literature, offered his kingdom for a horse, was finally given a burial fit for a king — some 530 years after he was killed.

Hundreds lined up to watch the last Plantagenet king laid to rest at Leicester Cathedral in England.

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Code Switch
10:00 am
Thu March 26, 2015

Some Messy History Behind A Fight Over A Restaurant Called 'Chop Chop Chinaman'

The logo of Chop Chop Chinaman restaurant sits on a window outside the dinning area Thursday in Chicago.
Armando L. Sanchez Chicago Tribune/TNS/Landov

Over in Chicago, a restaurant called Chop Chop Chinaman has been getting a lot of heat for its name. In February, Chicago-area resident Jeannie Harrell was arrested for scrawling "F*** this hate crime s***. It's 2015" in lipstick on the restaurant's window, right next to the shop's decal sticker of a rickshaw and a man wearing a triangular hat.

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NPR History Dept.
9:48 am
Thu March 26, 2015

Board Games That Bored Gamers

istockphoto

Gaming is a way of life for Americans of all ages.

We play games on Facebook, on our phones, on phantasmagorical home systems. We play on fields and courts and dining room tables. Contemporary culture mavens speak of the gamification of education and the workplace and our day-to-day communications.

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The Two-Way
9:42 am
Thu March 26, 2015

Pilots Downing Their Planes Is Unusual, But Not Unprecedented

Rev. Msgr. Vincent Puma comforts Cindy Heck, daughter-in-law of EgyptAir Flight 990 victims Donald Heck and Bea Jeanne Heck, in a photo from 2000.
John Freidah AP

Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 10:37 am

Investigators have concluded that the crash of a German airliner earlier this week that killed all 150 aboard was a deliberate act by the co-pilot, and that there is "nothing to suggest a terrorist attack."

Even so, Marseille prosecutor Brice Robin, speaking at a news conference in Paris today, refused to characterize the actions as suicide.

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The Salt
9:22 am
Thu March 26, 2015

How Snobbery Helped Take The Spice Out Of European Cooking

A 16th-century woodcut shows the interior of a kitchen. In medieval Europe, cooks combined contrasting flavors and spices in much the same way that Indian cooking still does today.
Paul Lacroix Wikimedia

My father usually starts off his curries by roasting a blend of cinnamon, cardamom, coriander, anise, cumin and bay leaves. Then he incorporates the onions, garlic and ginger — and then tomatoes and chilies and a touch of cream.

The north Indian cuisine I grew up eating is about melding together distinct, disparate flavors and building up layer upon layer of spice and seasoning. Much of European cuisine, by contrast, is about combining complementary flavors — think potatoes with leeks, or scallops with white wine.

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Shots - Health News
8:31 am
Thu March 26, 2015

High-Deductible Health Plans Cut Costs, At Least For Now

Got a high-deductible health plan? The kind that doesn't pay most medical bills until they exceed several thousand dollars? You're a foot soldier who's been drafted in the war against high health costs.

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The Two-Way
8:23 am
Thu March 26, 2015

Details Emerge About Germanwings Co-Pilot Andreas Lubitz

German policemen stand outside a house believed to belong to Andreas Lubitz in Montabaur, Germany, on Thursday. Lubitz, the co-pilot on the Germanwings plane that crashed Tuesday, is suspected of deliberately crashing a the jet into the French Alps.
Ralph Orlowski Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 10:35 am

Andreas Lubitz "wanted to see his dream of flying fulfilled," says the flying club of the co-pilot who appears to have deliberately crashed Germanwings Flight 4U 9525 into the French Alps on Tuesday, killing 150 people.

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Goats and Soda
7:52 am
Thu March 26, 2015

What's Up With Parents Who Don't Vaccinate Their Children?

Two drops of polio vaccine are administered to a child in a Nigerian health clinic.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 11:19 am

A decade ago in Nigeria, rumors spread that polio vaccines were surreptitious sterilization efforts. That led to a boycott of the vaccine in 2003 and a resurgence in the poliovirus three years later.

The story points up a key point about vaccines. Confidence is critical.

A new study of more than 20,000 people in five countries looks as why people aren't confident in vaccines. The reasons vary, from a belief the vaccine isn't safe to a bad experience with a previous vaccination.

And the results can be devastating.

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News
7:17 am
Thu March 26, 2015

French Prosecutor Points Toward Co-Pilot's Actions In Jet's Crash

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

NPR Ed
6:48 am
Thu March 26, 2015

Are Women's Colleges Doomed? What Sweet Briar's Demise Tells Us

Students in the Powell Reading Room at Sweet Briar College, circa 1950.
Rebecca Thomson Flikr Creative Commons

Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 7:21 am

Sweet Briar College in Virginia will close its doors in May, after 114 years of teaching women at its scenic campus in western Virginia.

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Asia
6:46 am
Thu March 26, 2015

A Reporter Chauffeurs A Chinese Couple 500 Miles To Their Rural Wedding

Frank Langfitt/NPR

That's me (with scarf) in what's becoming my natural element, driving Chinese people around Shanghai and beyond for a series called "Streets of Shanghai." Usually, I offer free rides around the city so I can meet different kinds of people and get a sense of real life in China, where things move so fast a generation can be measured in five years.

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The Two-Way
6:46 am
Thu March 26, 2015

Former Illinois Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. Released From Prison

In this Aug. 14, 2013 file photo, former Illinois Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. and his wife, Sandra, arrive at federal court in Washington to learn their fates when a federal judge sentences the one-time power couple for misusing $750,000 in campaign money.
Susan Walsh AP

Former Illinois Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. has stepped out of a federal prison in Alabama and now goes to a halfway house to complete a 2013 sentence for spending hundreds of thousands in campaign money on personal items.

WLS in Chicago reports: "The Jackson entourage, consisting of his father, Reverend Jesse Jackson; his wife, Sandi Jackson; and the former congressman's two children, arrived at Maxwell Air Force Base around 4:15 a.m. Thursday."

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Around the Nation
5:44 am
Thu March 26, 2015

The Get-Well Gift That Keeps On Giving

Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 7:17 am

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

The Two-Way
5:33 am
Thu March 26, 2015

Co-Pilot Showed 'Willingness To Destroy Aircraft,' Prosecutor Says

An image from AFP TV video taken Tuesday shows smoke billowing from scattered debris of the Germanwings Airbus A320 at the crash site in the French Alps above the town of Seyne-les-Alpes, France.
Denis Bois AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 1:20 pm

Updated at 3:15 p.m. ET

The co-pilot of Germanwings Flight 4U 9525 appears to have deliberately crashed the plane carrying 150 people into the French Alps after the pilot had left the cockpit, Marseille prosecutor Brice Robin said at a news conference Thursday.

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Around the Nation
5:32 am
Thu March 26, 2015

'Most Interesting Man In The World' Violates Carpool Lane

Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 7:17 am

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

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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The Two-Way
4:55 am
Thu March 26, 2015

Saudis Target Houthi Positions In Yemen

People search for survivors under the rubble of houses destroyed by Saudi airstrikes near Sanaa Airport, Yemen, on Thursday.
Hani Mohammed AP

Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 8:47 am

Saudi Arabian warplanes pounded Houthi rebels overnight in an effort to stop their advance on southern Yemen. The Saudis and nine other allies launched airstrikes Wednesday after the Shiite militants captured airstrips around the southern port city of Aden, and fired on the residence of President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi.

The embattled president had fled the palace ahead of the rebel advance; it's unclear where he is.

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NPR Story
3:07 am
Thu March 26, 2015

Migrants Try To Enter Europe Through Spanish Territory In Africa

Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 7:17 am

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

NPR Story
3:07 am
Thu March 26, 2015

South African Mercenaries Play Crucial Role In Fight Against Boko Haram

Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 7:17 am

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

NPR Story
3:07 am
Thu March 26, 2015

Ex-OU Student Apologizes For Racist Chant On Fraternity Bus

Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 7:17 am

Copyright 2015 KGOU-FM. To see more, visit http://www.kgou.org.

Shots - Health News
1:52 am
Thu March 26, 2015

Why Doctors Are Trying A Skin Cancer Drug To Treat A Brain Tumor

MaryAnn Anselmo has started to sing again after recovering from brain surgery and having successful treatment with a drug that targeted a mutation in her tumor cells.
Dave Gershgorn/WNYC

Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 7:17 am

MaryAnn Anselmo feared for the worst when she was diagnosed with a brain tumor called a glioblastoma in late 2013.

"You start doing research on that type of tumor, and you're saying, 'Oh my God, you're history.' It's like a death sentence," says, Anselmo, now 59.

Only for her it wasn't.

Anselmo's successful treatment shows how precision medicine — tailoring therapy to each patient's genetic needs — is beginning to transform cancer care.

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Goats and Soda
1:50 am
Thu March 26, 2015

Don't Torpedo The Dam, Full Speed Ahead For Ethiopia's Nile Project

The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam is under construction near Assosa, Ethiopia. When it's completed, the dam will have be able to produce 6,000 megawatts of electricity, making it the biggest hydroelectric power station in Africa.
Elias Asmare AP

Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 8:06 am

I once met a popular spoken word poet in Ethiopia who was asked by a government official to write a poem about the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. (He politely explained that he didn't do poetry about infrastructure.) But it's not surprising that Ethiopia would like to inscribe this dam into the Ethiopian epic.

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It's All Politics
1:48 am
Thu March 26, 2015

Is Capitol Hill Ready To Rest Its Near-Annual 'Doc Fix' Exercise?

If Reps. Nancy Pelosi and John Boehner win and their plan becomes law, it would kill what's known on Capitol Hill as the "doc fix."
David McNew Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 10:11 am

Updated at 12:10 p.m. E.T.

Doctors who treat Medicare patients will face a huge cut, 21 percent, if Congress doesn't act by the end of the month. This isn't a new problem. While Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill agree that the formula that pays doctors who treat Medicare patients has long been broken, over the years they've been unable to pass more than temporary patches.

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The Two-Way
8:42 pm
Wed March 25, 2015

Midwest Town Braces For More Steel Layoffs

U.S. Steel's Granite City Works in 2011.
David Schaper NPR

Originally published on Wed March 25, 2015 11:40 pm

U.S. Steel will be shutting down a steel mill in southern Illinois, laying off more than 2000 workers. The company says in a statement that it will consolidate its North American flat-rolled operations and temporarily close its Granite City Works plant, which is across the Mississippi River from St. Louis.

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Law
6:00 pm
Wed March 25, 2015

California Attorney General Moves To Stop Anti-Gay Ballot Proposal

NPR's Robert Siegel talks to Vikram Amar, a law professor at the University of California, Davis, about the attorney general's move to halt a proposed initiative that would allow gays and lesbians to be "put to death by bullets to the head."

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

Transcript

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Animals
4:04 pm
Wed March 25, 2015

'Super-Termite' Could Be Even More Destructive Than Parent Species

The male Asian subterranean termite (brown abdomen) and the female Formosan subterranean termite (orange abdomen) are surrounded by their hybrid offspring (eggs, larvae, workers, soldiers) in an eight-month-old colony.
Thomas Chouvenc University of Florida

Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 6:40 am

Termites are among the world's most destructive pests, causing more than a billion dollars in damage each year in the U.S. alone. Scientists in Florida have tracked the development of a new hybrid species of termite — one whose colonies grow twice as fast as the parent species.

Researchers say the new "super-termite" is even more destructive than other species and may carry a significant economic cost.

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The Salt
3:37 pm
Wed March 25, 2015

Heinz And Kraft: Before They Were Food Giants, They Were Men

Henry J. Heinz
Library of Congress

Originally published on Wed March 25, 2015 6:00 pm

Heinz and Kraft.

When we hear those names we think ketchup and Velveeta, right?

But before they were products and companies that will merge to become a giant with $28 billion in revenue, Heinz and Kraft were men.

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National Security
3:22 pm
Wed March 25, 2015

U.S. Military Charges Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl With Desertion

Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 5:43 am

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

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Bowe Bergdahl was charged today by the U.S. military. He's the U.S. Army sergeant who was captured in Afghanistan and held by the Taliban for nearly five years. Here's Army Colonel Daniel King announcing the charges.

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Law
3:08 pm
Wed March 25, 2015

Calif. Lawyer's Ballot Proposal Calls Referendum System Into Question

Originally published on Wed March 25, 2015 6:00 pm

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

It's All Politics
3:03 pm
Wed March 25, 2015

Can Republicans Get Ahead In The 2016 Digital Race?

Former Gov. Jeb Bush, a 2016 hopeful, takes a selfie with an Iowa supporter earlier this month.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 10:44 am

Just after midnight Monday, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz scooped his own big announcement by about 10 hours. Ahead of a planned speech, he posted the news of his presidential bid on Twitter.

"I'm running for President and I hope to earn your support!" he tweeted.

The tweet, which included a 30-second video, was retweeted more than 3,000 times in 30 minutes. Cruz's announcement generated 5.7 million interactions (likes, posts, comments and shares) Monday on Facebook. And during his planned speech at Liberty University, his staff live tweeted lines from the speech on his account.

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