NPR News

Parallels
11:12 am
Wed July 23, 2014

After Two Disasters, Can Malaysia Airlines Still Attract Passengers?

Malaysia Airlines has been struggling even before two of its flights were lost this year. Analysts say the national carrier faces either bankruptcy or privatization.
Mohd Rasfan AFP/Getty Images

The year 2014 is well on its way to being Malaysia Airlines' annus horribilis. Flight 17, shot down last week over eastern Ukraine, is the second Boeing 777 the airline has lost in the last five months, after MH370 disappeared, it's believed, somewhere over the Indian Ocean.

But even before the double calamity, Malaysia's national carrier was struggling to adapt to momentous shifts in Asia's aviation industry.

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The Two-Way
10:43 am
Wed July 23, 2014

FAA Extends Ban On Flights To Tel Aviv For Another 24 Hours

Originally published on Wed July 23, 2014 11:23 am

The Federal Aviation Administration has extended its ban on U.S. flights to and from Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv, Israel.

As we reported, the agency first issued a ban Tuesday after a rocket landed about a mile from the airport. In a statement today, the FAA said:

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Goats and Soda
10:36 am
Wed July 23, 2014

Legalizing Prostitution Would Protect Sex Workers From HIV

Masked Indian sex workers protest alleged police atrocities in Bangalore last year.
Manjunath Kiran AFP/Getty Images

If prostitution were legal around the world, the transmission of HIV among female sex workers would go down by at least a third, according to a paper presented at the International AIDS Conference in Melbourne, Australia.

That would be a huge step forward. "Sex workers face a disproportionately large burden of HIV," the paper notes.

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Economy
10:24 am
Wed July 23, 2014

Part-Time Work, Unpredictable Schedules: What's The Fix?

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

The Salt
10:16 am
Wed July 23, 2014

The Epic 2,200-Mile Tour De France Is Also A Test Of Epic Eating

Spain's Alberto Contador eats a banana in as he rides in the pack during the sixth stage of the Tour de France on July 10, 2014. The cyclists aim to eat up to 350 calories an hour as they ride, and up to 9,000 calories a day.
Laurent Cipriani AP

Originally published on Wed July 23, 2014 11:08 am

The famously grueling cycling race involves about 2,200 miles of furious pedaling, huge mountain climbs and downhill sprints at 50-plus miles per hour. But the Tour de France, now in its final days, is also an epic marathon of eating.

The cyclists now competing in the 101st rendition of the race are burning an average of 700 calories per hour while riding and, to keep their weight up and maintain their health through the three-week event, they must eat 6,000 to 9,000 calories every day.

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Krulwich Wonders...
10:03 am
Wed July 23, 2014

An Animal Makes A $10,000 Deposit, But Not At The Bank

Courtesy of I.M. Chait

It's a highly specialized category to be sure: "Longest." But that's what the auctioneer is selling. According to the catalog of I.M. Chait Gallery, in Beverly Hills, "This truly spectacular specimen is possibly the longest example of coprolite ever to be offered at auction."

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The Two-Way
10:00 am
Wed July 23, 2014

Ukraine Says 2 Military Jets Shot Down Over Rebel-Held Area

Originally published on Wed July 23, 2014 10:02 am

Less than a week after a commercial jetliner was shot down, Ukraine says two of its military planes were downed over a rebel-held area in the eastern part of the country.

Bloomberg reports:

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Shots - Health News
9:44 am
Wed July 23, 2014

States Help New Mothers Get Birth Control Through Medicaid

Intrauterine devices can be used immediately after a woman has given birth to prevent future pregnancies.
iStockphoto

A woman is about to give birth. It will be her second child, and she's not looking to have a third anytime soon. She doesn't want to take birth control pills while she's breast-feeding. And condoms aren't as error-proof as she'd like.

There are a couple of alternatives that are safe, effective and could work for years: an IUD or an implant. She'll need a doctor to get those.

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The Two-Way
9:01 am
Wed July 23, 2014

WATCH: Wreckage Of Costa Concordia Begins Its Final Voyage

The harbor of the Italian island of Giglio, after the wreck of the Costa Concordia was towed away. Italy's once-luxurious cruise liner embarked on its last voyage on Wednesday.
Andreas Solaro AFP/Getty Images

More than two years after the luxury liner Costa Concordia wrecked off the Italian island of Giglio, killing 32 people, its wreckage has finally begun its voyage to a salvage yard in the port of Genoa.

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All Tech Considered
7:34 am
Wed July 23, 2014

A Plan To Untangle Our Digital Lives After We're Gone

A proposed law might determine what happens to our online accounts when we die. But the tech industry warns the measure could threaten the privacy of the deceased.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed July 23, 2014 8:42 am

Ancient peoples sent their dead to the grave with their prized possessions — precious stones, gilded weapons and terracotta armies. But unlike these treasures, our digital property won't get buried with us. Our archived Facebook messages, old email chains and even Tinder exchanges will hover untouched in the online cloud when we die.

Or maybe not.

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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 houses in Gaza City minutes after they were hit in an Israeli strike on Wednesday.
Khalil Hamra AP

Originally published on Wed July 23, 2014 11:06 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, Deputy National Security 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.

Asked if this means the U.S. has endorsed Israel's demand that Hamas give up its weapons, Blinken said:

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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

Flowers lay on the tarmac as a ground Hercules transport aircraft of the Royal Netherlands Air Force, carrying bodies from downed Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, prepared to take off Wednesday in Kharkiv, Ukraine.
Sergey Bobok AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 23, 2014 9:17 am

(This post was last updated at 10:37 a.m.)

In its first national day of mourning in more than half a century, the Netherlands came to a standstill Wednesday as the remains of some of the victims who died when Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 was downed over eastern Ukraine came home.

Two military planes landed in Eindhoven. King Willem Alexander, Queen Maxima and Prime Minister Mark Rutte, along with some family members of the dead, waited on the tarmac on a bright, clear day.

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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

Originally published on Wed July 23, 2014 9:07 am

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 rises 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 9:46 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, the secretary of state 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 Rages, West Bank Palestinians Can Only Watch

Palestinian Imad Abudayyah and his son, Ghassan, speak to relatives in the Gaza Strip via Skype from Ramallah in the West Bank. Israeli restrictions make it extremely difficult to travel between the two territories. West Bank Palestinians have largely been bystanders in the current round of fighting.
Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson NPR

Originally published on Wed July 23, 2014 11:09 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 relatives in the Gaza Strip. Abudayyah says Skype is the only way they can see the family members they have left behind.

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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 5:51 am

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

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.

Music
2:45 am
Wed July 23, 2014

Jenny Lewis Stands Out With 'Voyager'

Originally published on Wed July 23, 2014 8:56 am

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

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

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 9:31 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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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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The Two-Way
6:13 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

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

Originally published on Wed July 23, 2014 9:40 am

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 Co. 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 Wed July 23, 2014 10:06 am

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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