NPR News

The Two-Way
7:01 am
Wed July 23, 2014

White House Adviser: Cease-Fire Should Include Demilitarization Of Gaza

Palestinians walk through the rubble of damaged houses minutes after they were hit in an Israeli strike, in Gaza City on Wednesday.
Khalil Hamra AP

Originally published on Wed July 23, 2014 7:21 am

A top White House adviser says any cease-fire agreement between Israel and Palestinians must include the demilitarization of Gaza.

In an interview with NPR's Steve Inskeep, White House adviser Tony Blinken said "that needs to be the end result."

"There has to be some way forward that does not involve Hamas having the ability to continue to rain down rockets on Israeli civilians," Blinken said.

Steve then asked if this means the U.S. endorsed Israel's demand that Hamas give up its weapons.

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The Two-Way
6:00 am
Wed July 23, 2014

Dutch Day Of Mourning, As Remains Of Some MH17 Victims Come Home

A woman lights a candle near flowers and candles placed in honor of three citizens — a mother, her 17-year-old daughter and 13-year-old son — who were among the victims of flight MH17 in Delft, Netherlands on Wednesday.
Phil Nijhuis AP

Originally published on Wed July 23, 2014 6:09 am

When the two military planes land at the Eindhoven airport, The Netherlands will come to a standstill.

King Willem Alexander, Queen Maxima and Prime Minister Mark Rutte will be waiting at the airport along with relatives of the 193 Dutch residents who died after Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was downed over eastern Ukraine.

Almost a week after the tragedy and after a protracted international scramble to remove bodies and evidence from a war-zone in Ukraine, there will be some closure today.

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Shots - Health News
5:58 am
Wed July 23, 2014

Many Kids Who Are Obese Or Overweight Don't Know It

Fun hikes offer health benefits for kids of every shape and size.
Annette Birkenfeld annedde/iStockphoto

Kids can be cruel, especially about weight. So you might think overweight or obese children know all too well that they're heavy — thanks to playground politics. But that's not necessarily so, according to government data covering about 6,100 kids and teens ages 8-15.

About 30 percent "misperceived" their weight status (underweight, normal weight, overweight or obese), according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics. (The CDC bases those categories on body mass index, adjusted for gender and age.)

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The Two-Way
5:11 am
Wed July 23, 2014

Gaza Conflict Day 16: Here's What You Need To Know

Smoke and fire from the explosion of an Israeli strike rise over Gaza City on Tuesday. Israeli airstrikes pummeled a wide range of locations along the coastal area as diplomatic efforts intensified to end the two-week war.
Hatem Moussa AP

Originally published on Wed July 23, 2014 7:02 am

Amid another day of fighting, Secretary of State John Kerry landed in Tel Aviv on Wednesday and began a whirlwind session of shuttle diplomacy.

As NPR's Michele Kelemen, who is traveling with Kerry, tells our Newscast unit, Kerry is "trying to talk to everybody" to see if he can broker a cease-fire and perhaps lay the groundwork for longer-term negotiations over the future of Gaza.

The Israeli offensive against Hamas in the Gaza Strip is now entering its 16th day. Here's what you need to know:

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Health Care
4:10 am
Wed July 23, 2014

Conflicting Obamacare Rulings Set Stage For Supreme Court Face-Off

Two federal appeals courts issued conflicting views of the subsidies available under Obamacare. The problem is the language in one subsection of the 950-page law — boiling down to just three words.

Law
4:10 am
Wed July 23, 2014

How A Chokehold, Aka Neck Restraint, Is Supposed To Work

Originally published on Wed July 23, 2014 5:51 am

After a New York man died during a police takedown, police trainers say properly administered "neck restraint" moves do not result in choking and are safer than alternatives like Tasers.

Middle East
3:30 am
Wed July 23, 2014

As Gaza Fighting Gaza Rages, West Bank Palestinians Can Only Watch

Originally published on Wed July 23, 2014 5:51 am

At least three times a day, Imad Abudayyah, 49, fires up his laptop at the West Bank hotel where he's currently living with his 11-year-old son, Ghassan, to reach out to other family members in the Gaza Strip. Abudayyah says Skype is the only way he can see the relatives they were forced to leave behind.

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Business
3:23 am
Wed July 23, 2014

Atlantic City's Casino Crisis: A Cautionary Tale

Originally published on Wed July 23, 2014 4:10 am

With the announcements of the planned closures of the Showboat and Trump Plaza casinos, the New Jersey town that once had the monopoly on gaming in the northeast is at a crucial turning point.

Health Care
3:23 am
Wed July 23, 2014

What Do The New Obamacare Rulings Mean For People Getting Subsidies?

Originally published on Wed July 23, 2014 4:10 am

The Affordable Care Act was the subject of two conflicting court opinions Tuesday. One upheld the subsidies that help middle- and low-income people afford health insurance; the other rejected them.

Strange News
3:19 am
Wed July 23, 2014

$500,000 Gets You A 170-Foot-Tall Ketchup Bottle In Illinois

Originally published on Wed July 23, 2014 4:10 am

The condiment container towers above the former Brooks Old Original and Tangy Ketchup factory. The company moved out decades ago; now the space is for sale. It doesn't come with a giant side of fries.

National Security
2:45 am
Wed July 23, 2014

The Challenge Of Keeping Tabs On The NSA's Secretive Work

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper (center), accompanied by FBI Director Robert Mueller (left) and CIA Director John Brennan, testifies on Capitol Hill on March 12, 2013. When questioned, Clapper said the NSA did not collect data on Americans. He later acknowledged his response was "clearly erroneous."
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Wed July 23, 2014 5:51 am

Here's a question with no easy answer: How do you hold the nation's spy agencies accountable — when they control the secrets?

Former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden apparently thought the answer was to blow the lid off some of the NSA's highly classified programs. He took documents and shared them with journalists.

But what about Congress? It's supposed to oversee the NSA — and other spy agencies. For the committees charged with that task, it hasn't been easy keeping tabs on the secretive world of federal surveillance.

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Music
2:45 am
Wed July 23, 2014

Jenny Lewis Stands Out With 'Voyager'

Originally published on Wed July 23, 2014 4:10 am

All Songs Considered features "The Voyager," the new album from Jenny Lewis, a singer known for complicated, emotional lyrics and vivid storytelling. It's part of NPR Music's "First Listen" series.

Middle East
2:45 am
Wed July 23, 2014

Airlines Cancel Service To Israel Amid Heightened Aviation Safety Concerns

Originally published on Wed July 23, 2014 5:51 am

A number of major airlines have suspended service to and from Tel Aviv as the fighting between Israel and Hamas in Gaza intensifies. That's leaving passengers to find other arrangements.

National Security
2:45 am
Wed July 23, 2014

U.S. Intelligence Tracking What Happened To Flight MH17

Originally published on Wed July 23, 2014 5:51 am

Senior U.S. intelligence officials say they have proof that a surface-to-air missile was launched when the airliner went down and have ID'd people in a recorded conversation implicating the culprits.

U.S.
2:45 am
Wed July 23, 2014

Obama Adviser: Civilian Toll In Mideast Makes Cease-Fire Critical

Originally published on Wed July 23, 2014 5:51 am

Steve Inskeep speaks with President Obama's Deputy National Security Adviser Tony Blinken about the administration's next moves in Gaza and Ukraine.

Politics
2:45 am
Wed July 23, 2014

Congress And Biden Aim For Job Training That Actually Leads to Jobs

Vice President Joe Biden, accompanied by New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan, greets Enis Sullivan, 101, during his visit to XMA Corp. on March 25 in Manchester, N.H.
Jim Cole AP

Originally published on Wed July 23, 2014 5:51 am

Something pretty remarkable happened Tuesday afternoon in a small windowless auditorium next door to the White House. President Obama signed a new law: the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act.

It streamlines and updates the nation's job training programs and was 11 years overdue. The bill got overwhelming bipartisan support in both the House and Senate.

"Folks in Congress got past their differences; they got a bill to my desk," Obama said at the signing ceremony. "So this is not a win for Democrats or Republicans; it is a win for American workers."

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Politics
2:45 am
Wed July 23, 2014

Long GOP Primary Season Gives Democrats Time To Fill Campaign Coffers

Senate candidate Michelle Nunn of Georgia is one of several Democratic women making strong election bids.
Akili-Casundria Ramsess AP

Originally published on Wed July 23, 2014 5:51 am

Georgia Republicans picked their Senate nominee Tuesday night. Former corporate CEO David Perdue will face Democrat Michelle Nunn in the November general election.

Nunn, the daughter of a popular former senator, is among several Democratic female candidates who are showing strength as the party tries to preserve its Senate majority. She's also considered a real contender to turn the Georgia seat Democratic.

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The Two-Way
6:13 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

Fruit Recall Hits Trader Joe's, Costco, Wal-Mart Stores

Fears of possible listeria contamination have led to a national recall of whole peaches, nectarines and other fruits packed by a California company. No illnesses have been reported, but the Wawona Packing Company has told retailers such as Wal-Mart, Costco and Trader Joe's to pull its products.

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The Two-Way
4:57 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

Flight MH17: U.S. Builds Its Case; Plane Wreckage Reportedly Cut Apart

Pro-Russian rebels move journalists away from Malaysian investigators and monitors from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe Tuesday. Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was allegedly shot down by a missile Thursday; today, U.S. intelligence says it has verified that two rebel leaders spoke by phone about shooting the plane down.
Rob Stothard Getty Images

American analysts say they've verified several pieces of evidence that show pro-Russian separatist rebels shot down Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, according to U.S. intelligence officials who briefed reporters Tuesday.

Here's a quick rundown of the officials' updates on what U.S. investigators have found, from notes taken by NPR's Pentagon reporter Tom Bowman:

  • A U.S. spy satellite detected the launch of a surface-to-air missile in the area just before the plane went down.
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Environment
4:51 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

Maine City Council Votes To Keep Tar Sands Out Of Its Port

The oil tanker HS Electra unloads oil from the North Sea at the Portland Pipe Line facility in South Portland, Maine, in 2013.
John Ewing Portland Press Herald via Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 22, 2014 6:17 pm

South Portland, Maine, is known as the place where Liberty ships were built by tens of thousands of workers during World War II. Now, the city's waterfront is home to an oil terminal and the beginning of a 236-mile-long pipeline.

For more than 70 years, the Portland Montreal Pipeline Corp. has pumped crude oil up through the pipeline, across Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont, to be refined in Montreal.

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It's All Politics
4:36 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

On Immigration, America's Concerns Are Fiery But Fleeting

Police officers separate demonstrators on opposing sides of the immigration debate outside a U.S. Border Patrol station in Murrieta, Calif., on July 4.
Mark J. Terrill AP

Originally published on Tue July 22, 2014 5:28 pm

Americans today are most likely to name immigration the nation's biggest problem, but polling history suggests the alarm may have a limited shelf life.

In a Gallup survey released last week, 17 percent volunteered immigration as America's most pressing issue, narrowly topping concerns that weigh more consistently on the nation's mindset, like jobs and political leadership.

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Risk And Reason
3:39 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

Pop Quiz: 20 Percent Chance Of Rain. Do You Need An Umbrella?

Will it rain or not? How you interpret the forecast could mean the difference between getting soaked or staying safe.
Maria Pavlova iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue July 22, 2014 6:17 pm

This week, All Things Considered is exploring how people interpret probability. What does it mean to us, for example, when a doctor says an operation has a 70 percent chance of success?

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The Two-Way
3:37 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

University Would Study Health Issues In Polluted New York Town

A view of the Tonawanda Coke plant in Tonawanda, N.Y., which was found to have emitted carcinogens at levels many times higher than the state's limit.
John W. Poole NPR

Originally published on Tue July 22, 2014 4:13 pm

Residents of an upstate New York town who've long associated their illnesses with the air they breathe may finally get some answers about the health effects of living next to a toxic polluter.

The town of Tonawanda lies in the shadow of Tonawanda Coke Corp., whose ovens heat coal into material used for the iron and steel industries, and release toxic chemicals into the air.

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Around the Nation
3:23 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

D.C. Washington's Voice Shines On The Diamond In Nation's Capital

Originally published on Tue July 22, 2014 6:17 pm

During a recent visit to a Washington Nationals game, Robert Siegel was struck by the singer of the national anthem — by both his smooth baritone and his curiously apt name: D.C. Washington. So, he invited Washington into the studio for a conversation and a few songs.

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Politics
3:12 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

VA Nominee Steps Before Senate Committee

Originally published on Tue July 22, 2014 6:17 pm

Robert McDonald, President Obama's nominee to run the troubled Department of Veterans Affairs, is appearing before the Senate for his confirmation hearing. He faces the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, which will vote on whether to send his nomination to the Senate floor.

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

Europe
3:12 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

Near Crash Site, Stories Of The Jet Cleave Closely To Russian Version

Originally published on Tue July 22, 2014 6:17 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

U.S. intelligence officials outlined today what they know so far about the downing of the Malaysian Airlines flight in Ukraine. A U.S. spy satellite detected the launch of a surface to air missile from eastern Ukraine at the time the plane went down.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

They were also able to verify the identities of separatist leaders on an intercepted phone call. But U.S. intelligence does not yet know yet who - and this is a quote - "who pulled the trigger."

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The Salt
3:11 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

Glass Or No Glass? That Is The Grill Lid Question

A still from a video showing a glass top grill.
Schott Home Tech/YouTube

We love cooking on our grills, especially in the summertime. Keeping the house cool and avoiding the dish pile up are two major draws – not to mention the flavor of food cooked over fire.

When we saw a glass-topped grill, shining like Cinderella's slipper in a YouTube video posted by commercial glass maker SCHOTT, we were intrigued. But, we wondered, how the heck do you clean it?

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The Two-Way
2:46 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

Tree Planted To Honor Beatle Is Killed By Beetles

A tree planted in Los Angeles to honor former Beatle George Harrison grew to more than 12 feet tall before succumbing to a bark beetle infestation
AP

Originally published on Tue July 22, 2014 4:13 pm

Flowers may grow so incredibly high, as the Beatles once sang, but trees — not so much.

Actually, a pine tree planted in Los Angeles a decade ago to honor former Beatle George Harrison reached a height of 12 feet before succumbing recently.

To an infestation. Of beetles.

"No one I think is in my tree" — a line from the song "Strawberry Fields Forever" — wouldn't seem to apply.

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Law
2:14 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

Obamacare's Split Decisions Spell Law's Possible Return To Supreme Court

Originally published on Tue July 22, 2014 6:17 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Let's talk now about policy ramifications and political reactions to today's court ruling. For that, we're joined by NPR national correspondent Mara Liasson. Hey there, Mara.

MARA LIASSON, BYLINE: Hi Audie.

CORNISH: So we have, in effect, a split decision. Two appeals courts ruling in different ways. What's the political spin so far?

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Law
2:14 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

Obama's Health Care Law Has A Confusing Day In Court

Originally published on Tue July 22, 2014 6:17 pm

Another wild legal ride for Obamacare on Tuesday: Two U.S. Court of Appeals panels issued conflicting decisions on an issue with the potential to gut the health care overhaul.

The two rulings could lead to another U.S. Supreme Court showdown over the controversial law, all because of what one of the law's opponents initially called "a glitch."

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