NPR News

Parallels
12:35 pm
Wed August 27, 2014

It's Not Whisky, But Everyone In Scotland Drinks It By The Bottle

Irn Bru is a hugely popular Scottish soda that may even outsell Coca-Cola in Scotland. It also symbolizes local pride in a place that will vote on whether to break away from the United Kingdom next month.
Courtesy of Irn Bru

For a visitor to Scotland, it can be difficult to understand the local passion for a neon orange soda that locals call "the brew." The drink is Irn Bru, (pronounced "iron brew").

You can find it from McDonald's to corner stores and pubs across Scotland. It is such a powerful force that it may even outsell Coca-Cola here — making it one of the few places on the globe where Coke isn't the leading brand.

"This stuff runs in my blood," says Chris Young, as he walks through downtown Glasgow carrying a bottle.

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Monkey See
12:18 pm
Wed August 27, 2014

Lifetime Promises To Bring Out The 'Strong Black Woman' In White Women

Beauty pro Tracy Balan, fashion maven Tiffiny Dixon, home/sanctuary guru Nikki Chu and soul coach Tanisha Thomas host Girlfriend Intervention, which is a real show, believe it or not.
Richard Knapp Lifetime

Originally published on Wed August 27, 2014 12:51 pm

Lifetime's new show Girlfriend Intervention is not subtle about its message. Its premise is four black women giving a makeover to a white woman on the theory that, as they put it, "Trapped inside of every white girl is a strong black woman ready to bust out."

They don't even have to say "weak white girl" or "lame white girl" or "ugly white girl" or "unfashionable white girl" or "boring white girl," because all those things are, before long, implied.

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Television
11:57 am
Wed August 27, 2014

Aaron Paul On Playing A Meth Dealer On 'Breaking Bad'

Paul won the Emmy for outstanding supporting actor in a drama series for playing student-turned-drug dealer Jesse Pinkman. In 2011, he said his character was supposed to die in the first season.

Originally broadcast Sept. 19, 2011.

Interviews
11:57 am
Wed August 27, 2014

Sarah Silverman Discusses Her Movie 'Jesus Is Magic'

Silverman won the Emmy for best writing for a variety special for her HBO special We Are Miracles. In 2005, she spoke with Fresh Air about her movie based on her acts in New York and Los Angeles.

Originally broadcast Nov. 09, 2005.

The Two-Way
11:57 am
Wed August 27, 2014

As Cease-Fire Takes Hold, Big Question In Gaza Becomes What's Next

An Israeli couple, Noga and Moshiko Siho, kiss after they have their wedding photos taken Wednesday in an army staging area on the Israel-Gaza border, near Kibbutz Yad Mordechai, Israel.
Oded Balilty AP

Originally published on Wed August 27, 2014 12:26 pm

Some semblance of normal life returned to Gaza on Wednesday.

The day after Hamas and Israel accepted an open-ended cease-fire, Palestinians returned to their homes, markets opened and bulldozers began clearing the rubble, while in Israel, the sirens warning of rockets fell silent.

Naturally, Palestinians, Israelis and the world started looking toward the future and began asking a tough question: What's next?

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Goats and Soda
11:19 am
Wed August 27, 2014

Lizards And Worms Should Not Be On The School Lunch Menu

Indian schoolchildren eat their free midday meal.
Narinder Nanu AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed August 27, 2014 12:45 pm

Rice and lentils was the free lunch on Aug. 22 at the Government Model Senior Secondary school in the northern Indian city of Chandigarh.

Teachers took a look at the meal.

They found worms.

Lunch was not served. Seven hundred students reportedly went home hungry after their school day.

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The Two-Way
11:08 am
Wed August 27, 2014

Hate-Crime Convictions In Amish Beard-Cutting Case Thrown Out

Sam Mullet stands in the front yard of his home in Bergholz, Ohio, in 2011. Mullet's conviction for hate crimes for cutting the hair and beards of fellow members of his faith was overturned Wednesday.
Amy Sancetta AP

Originally published on Wed August 27, 2014 11:53 am

An appeals court in Cincinnati has overturned the hate-crime convictions of 16 Amish who cut the beards and hair of their fellow Amish.

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Parallels
10:08 am
Wed August 27, 2014

Iraqi Christian Village: From Sanctuary To Ghost Town In 2 Months

Friar Gabriel Tooma leads a service at the Chaldean Church of the Virgin Mary of the Harvest, in Al-Qoush on June 15. At the time, the Christian village in northern Iraq was taking in those fleeing violence in the nearby city of Mosul. Now the village itself is largely deserted.
AP

Originally published on Wed August 27, 2014 11:26 am

The northern Iraqi village of Al-Qoush was humming with activity — and some jitters — when NPR visited back in June. The Assyrian Christian villagers had opened their schools and homes to Iraqis fleeing the takeover of nearby Mosul by Islamist fighters calling themselves the Islamic State.

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The Two-Way
9:50 am
Wed August 27, 2014

Back Home, Freed American Journalist Says He's 'Overwhelmed By Emotion'

Peter Theo Curtis smiles as he talks with reporters outside his mother's home in Cambridge, Mass., on Wednesday.
Charles Krupa AP

Originally published on Wed August 27, 2014 12:46 pm

American journalist Peter Theo Curtis was back home in Cambridge, Mass., today, after he was released by a militant group in Syria.

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Goats and Soda
9:14 am
Wed August 27, 2014

Rice Bucket Challenge: Put Rice In Bucket, Do Not Pour Over Head

Rice is just as nice as ice when it comes to bucket challenges. Right: Manju Latha Kalanidhi, inventor of the Rice Bucket Challenge, gives grains to a hard-working neighbor.
Courtesy of Manju Latha Kalanidhi

Originally published on Wed August 27, 2014 12:15 pm

There's the Ice Bucket Challenge. And now there's the Rice Bucket Challenge.

More than a million people worldwide have poured buckets of ice water over their heads as part of a fund-raising campaign for ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease.

But when word of the challenge made its way to India, where more than 100 million people lack access to clean drinking water, locals weren't exactly eager to drench themselves with the scarce supply.

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The Two-Way
8:28 am
Wed August 27, 2014

U.N. Says Assad Regime, Islamic State Are Committing War Crimes In Syria

An injured man sits after being treated at a medical center following shelling in the city of Douma, Syria.
Abd Doumany AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed August 27, 2014 9:15 am

A report presented by the United Nations today paints a pretty grim picture of Syria.

It tells the story of a country mired in a ruthless civil war in which all sides are indiscriminately killing and torturing civilians. It presents a laundry list of human rights violations and war crimes undertaken by both the forces of President Bashar Assad and non-state armed groups, such as the Islamic State, that are fighting to topple the regime.

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The Two-Way
7:12 am
Wed August 27, 2014

Fashion Retailer Zara Pulls Kids Shirt Resembling Concentration Camp Uniform

A kids shirt that was for sale on Zara.com.
Zara.com

Originally published on Wed August 27, 2014 9:30 am

The clothing retail giant Zara is apologizing and has pulled a kids' shirt from its stores after hearing complaints that it resembled the uniform worn by prisoners in Nazi concentration camps.

In a tweet, Zara said the shirt was "inspired by the sheriff's stars from the Classic Western films."

Reporting from Spain's Canary Islands, Lauren Frayer tells our Newscast unit that this isn't the first time the Spanish retailer has gotten into trouble. She filed this report:

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The Two-Way
6:01 am
Wed August 27, 2014

French Prosecutors Put IMF's Lagarde Under Investigation

International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Wed August 27, 2014 8:24 am

Christine Lagarde, the head of the International Monetary Fund, says French prosecutors have put her under formal investigation.

The New York Times reports:

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The Salt
5:31 am
Wed August 27, 2014

Science Crowns Mozzarella The King Of Pizza Cheese

Any way you slice it, Americans are obsessed with pizza. One in eight of us are noshing it on any given day, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. And the average American consumes pizza about 39 times a year, according to the NPD Group, a market research firm.

The signature of a great American-style pizza is not the toppings du jour but the cheese: hot, gooey mozzarella, with big, dark splotches of caramelization.

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The Two-Way
4:56 am
Wed August 27, 2014

Both Afghan Candidates Pull Observers From U.N. Audit Of Votes

Afghan election commission worker sorts ballots for an audit.
Rahmat Gul AP

Originally published on Wed August 27, 2014 8:30 am

The Afghan election process was thrown further into disarray on Wednesday, when both candidates pulled their observers from a U.N.-led audit of the country's ballots.

The Associated Press reports that Abdullah Abdullah was the first to withdraw his observer, saying the process was full of fraud. The news service adds:

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Europe
4:32 am
Wed August 27, 2014

Moral To This Story: Don't Lie About Being Kidnapped

Originally published on Wed August 27, 2014 4:59 am

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

Around the Nation
4:22 am
Wed August 27, 2014

Neighbor Tries To Shut Down Lemonade Stand

Originally published on Wed August 27, 2014 4:59 am

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

Research News
3:02 am
Wed August 27, 2014

Parking Behavior May Reflect Economic Drive

Originally published on Wed August 27, 2014 4:59 am

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

NPR Story
3:02 am
Wed August 27, 2014

As Ferguson Protests Wind Down, Residents Want Outrage Channeled

Originally published on Wed August 27, 2014 4:59 am

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

Goats and Soda
2:38 am
Wed August 27, 2014

Why Patients Aren't Coming To Liberia's Redemption Hospital

Redemption Hospital, in Liberia's capital of Monrovia, offers free medical care. Since several health care workers were infected with Ebola, people have been afraid to come.
Tommy Trenchard for NPR

Originally published on Wed August 27, 2014 12:00 pm

Redemption Hospital is a government-run facility in Liberia's capital city of Monrovia.

It offers care to all who come, free of charge.

Only now, patients aren't coming. It's rainy season — and malaria season. Tita Horace, head nurse of the pediatric ward, says her department usually sees 25 patients a day this time of year. Today, there are only five.

The sick are staying away, she explains, because they are afraid. "Some of them are afraid that maybe when they come they will get in contact with [an] Ebola patient. So they don't want to come to the hospital."

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Parallels
1:39 am
Wed August 27, 2014

U.S. Officials Try To Gauge Threat From American Fighters In Syria

American Eric Harroun threatened Bashar Assad on Facebook and YouTube. He spent six weeks fighting with a rebel army, a journey that did not end well for him.
ABC News YouTube

Originally published on Wed August 27, 2014 11:38 am

The heyday of "war tourism" was probably the 1930s, when a host of intellectuals and artists left the U.S. to bear witness to the Spanish Civil War. Ernest Hemingway wrote about it. George Orwell, just to name another, actually fought in it.

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Sweetness And Light
1:33 am
Wed August 27, 2014

Golf May Be Too Polite A Sport For Presidential Politics

Commentator Frank Deford advises the White House press office not to let the president be photographed in a golf cart again.
Steven Senne AP

Originally published on Wed August 27, 2014 6:53 am

There's been much criticism of the president lately, even within his own party, that he's too detached and withdrawn, not combative enough anymore. This can be explained completely with a sports analogy: We elected a basketball president, but then we ended up with a golf president.

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NPR Ed
1:32 am
Wed August 27, 2014

The LA School iPad Scandal: What You Need To Know

Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent John Deasy exchanged multiple emails with executives at Pearson PLC about the potential for working together.
Damian Dovarganes AP

Originally published on Wed August 27, 2014 6:50 am

A massive expansion of classroom technology has come to a grinding halt in Los Angeles.

The LA Unified School District had planned to buy some 700,000 iPads for its students and teachers. The Apple tablets would include learning software built by publishing giant Pearson. But Superintendent John Deasy announced earlier this week he is canceling the contract and restarting the bidding process.

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The Two-Way
6:39 pm
Tue August 26, 2014

American Reportedly Fighting Alongside Extremists In Syria Dies

Originally published on Wed August 27, 2014 7:39 am

A U.S. citizen reportedly fighting alongside a terrorist group in Syria has died, the White House says.

The National Security Council has not said whether Douglas McAuthur McCain was fighting for the group that calls itself the Islamic State (also known as ISIS or ISIL), NPR's Dina Temple-Raston reports. The Islamic State has claimed him, though.

"They actually put out a statement that said that he had died in battle," Temple-Raston tells our Newscast Desk.

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Television
5:17 pm
Tue August 26, 2014

Emmy Awards 2014: Safe Choices In A Time Of Groundbreaking TV

For TV critics, last night's Emmy Awards show was a bit like seeing an old flame promise to treat you better, only to slide right back into the same old disappointing behavior.

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The Salt
4:39 pm
Tue August 26, 2014

Colorado's Pot Brownies Now Come With Instructions

Edibles available at LoDo Wellness Center, a retail marijuana and medical marijuana dispensary and grow facility in downtown Denver.
Matthew Staver Landov

Originally published on Wed August 27, 2014 7:48 am

When Colorado legalized recreational marijuana use earlier this year, it also opened the door for food products infused with the psychoactive ingredient, THC, to anyone over the age of 21. That means bakers and food companies now have to ensure new products aren't contaminated with foodborne pathogens. And they have to make sure they're not falling into the hands of children or are too potent to eat.

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The Salt
3:46 pm
Tue August 26, 2014

High Prices Aren't Scaring Consumers Away From The Meat Counter

Meat is displayed in a case at a grocery store in Miami in July. Pork and beef prices are up more than 11 percent since last summer.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Tue August 26, 2014 6:41 pm

You may have noticed when grilling steaks or hot dogs this summer that they cost more than they did last year. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, pork and beef prices are up more than 11 percent since last summer.

Supply and demand determine price, and the pork supply comes from places like Riley Lewis' hog farm near Forest City, Iowa.

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News
3:37 pm
Tue August 26, 2014

VA's Inspector General Finds Faked Data At Hospitals Across U.S.

Originally published on Tue August 26, 2014 6:07 pm

President Obama addressed the annual convention of the American Legion in North Carolina with a raft of new proposals for vets. The speech comes as the inspector general at the Veterans Affairs Department is releasing a report on the scandal over phony wait times at the Phoenix VA hospital.

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Europe
3:37 pm
Tue August 26, 2014

Kiev Claims Russia Has Sights Set On New Eastern Ukrainian City

Originally published on Tue August 26, 2014 6:07 pm

Ukraine has accused Russia of trying to open a new front in the war between the government and pro-Moscow separatists in eastern Ukraine. Ukraine says its troops are involved in heavy fighting with an armored force that it says entered Ukrainian territory. Kiev has also released video of what it says is a group of captured Russian soldiers. Russia says the soldiers might have crossed the border inadvertently.

Health Care
3:37 pm
Tue August 26, 2014

VA Deputy Secretary On Wait Times: 'We Owe The American People An Apology'

Originally published on Tue August 26, 2014 6:07 pm

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

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

For more on the VA Inspector General's report and the department's response, I am joined now by the Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Sloan Gibson. Welcome to the program.

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