NPR News

Business
2:21 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Blockbuster Trades Are Changing The Face Of Pharmaceuticals

Pharmaceutical companies are suddenly trading entire divisions the way sports teams swap players. Glaxo, Novartis and Ely Lily are all involved in a complicated deal announced Tuesday, and so far this year, five deals exceeding $2 billion have been announced. What's driving the deal-making?

Law
2:21 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Under Calif. Law With Teeth, Big-Time Lawsuits Hit Small Businesses

Some California lawyers and litigants have created a cottage industry around the Americans with Disabilities Act. Some plaintiffs file hundreds of complaints a year, collecting a living off small businesses that aren't compliant with the ADA. Small business advocates and community leaders say they focus on minority businesses because they make for easier targets.

Technology
2:21 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

New Browser Plug-in Would Literally Annihilate This Headline

Mike Lazer-Walker created a free browser plug-in called Literally, which replaces the word "literally" with "figuratively" in all online text. As the website explains, that's literally all it does.

Monkey See
2:21 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

On Television, More Transgender Characters Come Into Focus

Laverne Cox plays Sophia on Netflix's Orange Is The New Black, one of several current shows exploring the lives of transgender characters.
Paul Schiraldi Netflix

Over the past year or so, I've looked at how TV's expanding universe represents gays and lesbians and working women. This piece about transgender representation feels like an important part of the same project.

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Economy
2:21 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Big-Time Home Sales Stoke Hope For Northeast Housing Market

Realtors are seeing reasons for optimism in the housing market. As Kaomi Goetz of WSHU reports, one historic home sale suggests the high end of the market is booming again — in Connecticut, at least.

Latin America
2:21 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Chile Wildfire Litters Questions In The Ash Of Burned-Out Homes

In Chile, a fire that started in the hills above Valparaiso continues to burn. The blaze has killed 15 people and destroyed 2,500 homes in the area that surrounds Valparaiso. Reporter Alexandra Hall looks at some of those affected.

Europe
2:21 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Moscow Answers Ukrainian Offensive With Warning Of Its Own

Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov said his country would respond if its citizens or interests came under attack in Ukraine. At the same time, the interim Ukrainian government has called for a new offensive on pro-Russia militants holed up in government buildings across eastern Ukraine. Western diplomats are scrambling to find a way to de-escalate the crisis.

Africa
2:21 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Slaughter In South Sudan Raises Fears Of Future Violence

Prompted by calls for violence on the radio, South Sudanese rebels have slaughtered hundreds of civilians. As Donatella Rovera of Amnesty International explains, details are just starting to emerge.

News
2:21 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Palestinian Talks Could Heal Leadership Divide And Anger Israelis

Palestinian leaders say they're close to a deal that would end the seven-year division between Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, and the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank. Questions remain about whether the deal would hold up, as well as what it might mean for ongoing efforts to forge a deal between Palestinians and Israelis.

News
2:21 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Obama Administration Opens Review Of Its Deportation Policy

The Obama administration is reviewing its deportation policies in an effort to conduct enforcement more humanely, according to the White House. As part of the effort, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson is listening to recommendations from a range of groups.

News
2:21 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Obama Raises Curtain On 4-Country East Asia Trip

President Obama is visiting East Asia, stopping in Japan and three other countries. The trip aims to assure U.S. allies that they're not forgotten, even as China gets more bullish with its neighbors.

Law
2:21 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Justice Dept. Opens Door To Freedom For Some Nonviolent Offenders

The Justice Department is considering clemency for thousands of people who are incarcerated on nonviolent drug charges and who have also served at least 10 years of their sentences.

The Salt
2:14 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Slowly And Sweetly, Vietnam's Chocolate Industry Grows

Vincent Mourou, co-founder of Vietnam's first artisan chocolate maker Marou, inspects cacao beans at a farmer's garden in Go Cong Tay district.
Hoang Dinh Nam AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 2:51 pm

When you think about Vietnamese food, you might think of savory beef noodle soup, or endless fields of rice paddies. But chocolate?

As the world's demand for chocolate grows, Vietnam is making a bid to become one of the world's newest high quality suppliers.

Samuel Maruta and Vincent Mourou are two players in the country's small but growing cocoa industry. They founded Marou, an artisan chocolate company, three years ago in Ho Chi Minh City.

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It's All Politics
1:27 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Pennsylvania Congresswoman Goes All In For Obamacare

Rep. Allyson Schwartz is flanked by Katie McGinty, former state environmental protection secretary, and Tom Wolf, a businessman, at a forum for Pennsylvania Democratic candidates for governor.
Jacqueline Larma AP

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 3:01 pm

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Parallels
1:04 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

2,000 Buses Of Visitors: Rome Braces For Canonization Crowds

Tourists walk past a poster of Pope John Paul II on April 13 in Rome.
Gregorio Brogia AP

The day after Easter, St. Peter's Square was packed.

Caramba Camarra, a Gambian volunteer with Opera Romana Pelligrinaggi, the Vatican-run pilgrimage agency, said he had never seen so many people lined up to visit the basilica.

"It's amazing! The line curves like a serpent, filling the whole square," he said. "It looks like the crowds at Mecca."

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The Two-Way
12:50 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Georgia Law OKs Guns In Schools, Churches

Andrea Teichner protests Georgia's new gun law at a rally at Atlanta's Central Presbyterian Church, on Wednesday.
David Goldman AP

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 2:07 pm

Georgians will now be able to carry firearms in such places as schools, bars, churches and government buildings under a sweeping new law signed by the governor on Wednesday.

The Safe Carry Protection Act, also known to critics as the "guns everywhere bill," was signed by Gov. Nathan Deal, who said it will allow "people who follow the rules [to] protect themselves and their families from people who don't follow the rules.

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Music Reviews
12:44 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

For Jessica Lea Mayfield, Sometimes Sanity Is The Better Option

Jessica Lea Mayfield.
LeAnn Mueller Courtesy of the artist.

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The Two-Way
12:35 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

In Lawsuit, American Muslims Claim FBI Used No-Fly List To Bully Them

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 1:29 pm

Four American Muslims are suing the FBI alleging that the law enforcement agency bullied them using the no-fly list.

According to a lawsuit filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, the men claim they were put on the list after refusing to become agents for the FBI.

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The Two-Way
12:17 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Judge OKs WikiLeaker Manning's Name Change To 'Chelsea'

The soldier formerly known as Bradley Manning was dressed as a woman in this 2010 photograph.
U.S. Army handout Reuters/Landov

The ex-Army intelligence analyst responsible for the biggest leak of classified material in U.S. history is now officially known as Chelsea Elizabeth Manning.

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Parallels
11:34 am
Wed April 23, 2014

China And Beyond: NPR's Frank Langfitt Answers Redditors' Questions

Frank Langfitt is NPR's international correspondent based in Shanghai.
Wright Bryan NPR

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 1:30 pm

From his home base in Shanghai, Frank Langfitt keeps track of a wide swath of North and East Asia. He's recently back from Myanmar, where he went for (mostly) fun.

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The Two-Way
11:14 am
Wed April 23, 2014

After Bitter Split, Palestinian Factions Pledge To Reconcile

Palestinians march Wednesday in Gaza City in support of an attempt to reconcile the two main factions. Those factions, Hamas and the Palestine Liberation Organization, have been bitterly divided since 2007. They hope to form a unity government within five weeks.
Said Khatib AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 2:05 pm

Seven years after a violent split, the two main Palestinian factions said Wednesday that they are attempting to reconcile and form a national unity government within five weeks.

The Palestine Liberation Organization and Hamas have tried several times to resolve their feud, but those efforts quickly unraveled.

So will this attempt fare any better?

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Krulwich Wonders...
10:33 am
Wed April 23, 2014

Music That Burns, Literally

Veritasium/YouTube

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 2:28 pm

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The Two-Way
10:25 am
Wed April 23, 2014

Obama Assures Japan Of U.S. Security Commitment

President Obama and Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe depart Sukiyabashi Jiro sushi restaurant in Tokyo, on Wednesday. Obama met with Abe on the first stop of a four-nation visit to Asia.
Carolyn Kaster AP

President Obama, at the start of a four-stop trip to Asia, sought to reassure Japan that the U.S. is on its side in a dispute with China over the tiny Senkaku islands chain, which has led to bluster and naval jockeying between the two countries in recent years.

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The Salt
10:23 am
Wed April 23, 2014

Bake Bread Like A Pioneer In Appalachia ... With No Yeast

Salt rising bread is a yeastless Appalachian soul food.
Susan Brown and Jenny Bardwell

Growing up in West Virginia in the 1960s and '70s, Susan Brown would have a slice of salt rising bread, toasted, for Saturday morning breakfast. Her grandmother baked the bread with the mysterious and misleading name.

There's little or no salt in the recipe. No yeast, either. The bread rises because of bacteria in the potatoes or cornmeal and the flour that goes into the starter.

The taste is as distinctive as the recipe. Salt rising bread is dense and white, with a fine crumb and cheese-like flavor.

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It's All Politics
10:21 am
Wed April 23, 2014

A Path Out Of Prison For Low-Level, Nonviolent Drug Offenders

The new guidelines are part of the Obama administration's effort to address long mandatory minimum sentences. Antwain Black (left) was released early after sentencing laws were first eased in 2010.
Seth Perlman AP

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 1:44 pm

Thousands of nonviolent drug offenders serving time in federal prison could be eligible to apply for early release under new clemency guidelines announced Wednesday by the Justice Department.

Details of the initiative, which would give President Obama more options under which he could grant clemency to drug offenders serving long prison sentences, were announced by Deputy Attorney General James Cole.

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The Protojournalist
9:13 am
Wed April 23, 2014

The Joys Of Spoiling

Game of Thrones: spoiler magnet.
Courtesy of HBO

In the age of the Internet, the act of spoiling is easier than ever before. Through live tweeting and message boards and comment sections, the information is out there and spreads quickly.

But why do some people enjoy revealing certain information about stories – surprises and finales and more – before others have had the opportunity to experience?

We could tell you what we think now. But that would spoil the rest of this story.

Spoliation Nation

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The Two-Way
9:13 am
Wed April 23, 2014

7 Weeks Before World Cup, Rio Is Rocked By Riot

An officer from Brazilian Police Special Forces took aim Tuesday during the violent protest that broke out in one of Rio de Janeiro's slums. People there blame police for a young man's death, and say authorities are clamping down too hard in advance of this June's World Cup soccer tournament and the 2016 Summer Olympics, both of which will be held in Brazil.
Christophe Simon AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 10:12 am

"A Rio de Janeiro slum erupted in violence late Tuesday following the killing of a popular local figure, with angry residents setting fires and showering homemade explosives and glass bottles onto a busy avenue in the city's main tourist zone," The Associated Press writes.

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The Two-Way
8:08 am
Wed April 23, 2014

Government Will Try To Persuade Sherpas To Stay On Everest

The sun shines on the peak of Mount Everest in this October 2011 photo. On Friday, an avalanche swept away 16 Sherpas.
Kevin Frayer AP

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

The news from high up the world's tallest mountain continues to be confusing, with some reports implying that a boycott by Sherpas means there will be no climbs to the summit this year and others indicating that there will still be attempts to reach the top.

Based on what we can glean from various news accounts, it appears that some expeditions have indeed canceled their climbs. But it also seems that at least some of the estimated 400 Sherpas on the mountain may be willing to continue on — meaning there will be summit attempts in coming weeks.

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The Two-Way
7:04 am
Wed April 23, 2014

Death Toll Rises, Hopes Fade At Site Of Korean Ferry Disaster

As the sun set Wednesday in Jindo, South Korea, a woman kept watch on the waters where the Sewol ferry sank. It's feared the death toll will reach 300.
Nicolas Asfouri AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 9:52 am

The already slim hope that anyone might still be alive aboard the South Korean ferry that sunk a week ago was all but extinguished Wednesday with the news that divers have found no air pockets in key areas of the ship.

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The Two-Way
5:42 am
Wed April 23, 2014

Stowaway Teen May Have Been Trying To Reunite With His Mom

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 9:09 am

The latest word about the teenager who survived a ride Sunday from California to Hawaii in the frigid wheel well of a jet is that he may have hoped to eventually get to Somalia to be with his mother.

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