NPR News

The Two-Way
6:27 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

Man Convicted In 2010 Oregon Bomb Plot Sentenced To 30 Years

Mohamed Osman Mohamud, then 19, is shown after his arrest on Nov. 26, 2010, in Portland, Ore. Mohamud was convicted of planning to detonate a bomb during a Christmas tree-lighting ceremony.
Getty Images

A federal judge in Portland sentenced 23-year-old Mohamed Osman Mohamud to serve 30 years in prison, on Wednesday, over a 2010 plot to bomb a holiday tree-lighting ceremony.

The AP reports:

"Prosecutors had sought a 40-year term for Mohamed Mohamud, 23, in the 2010 plot that actually was an FBI sting. But U.S. District Court Judge Garr King said Mohamud's youth and remorse for his actions helped lower his sentence.

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The Two-Way
5:28 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

One Picture, Of 35,000 Walrus, Shows One Effect Of Global Warming

In this aerial photo taken on Sept. 27, 2014, and provided by NOAA, some 35,000 walrus gather on shore near Point Lay, Alaska.
Corey Accardo AP

This stunning picture is making the rounds on the Internet today:

It was released by NOAA's Aerial Surveys of Arctic Marine Mammals and shows an estimated 35,000 walrus "hauling out" on an Alaskan beach.

This is not normally how you would find them. The animals would normally be spread out on the sea ice, but, as you see in the picture, this year the ice has all melted.

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Shots - Health News
4:40 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

On The Alert For Ebola, Texas Hospital Still Missed First Case

Traffic moves past Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, where a patient showed up with symptoms that were later confirmed to be Ebola.
Mike Stone Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 1, 2014 5:29 pm

Hospitals have been on the lookout for the Ebola virus in the United States, and Texas Health Presbyterian in Dallas was no exception. A nurse there did ask about the travel history of the patient who later turned out to be infected with the virus. But some members of the medical team didn't hear that the man had recently been in West Africa. So he was initially sent home — even though he was experiencing symptoms of Ebola, and that meant he was contagious.

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Parallels
4:14 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

Movement Against Female Genital Mutilation Gains Spotlight In U.K.

British Prime Minister David Cameron speaks with campaigners against female genital mutilation at the Girl Summit in London in July.
Oli Scarff Getty Images

In Washington Thursday, a group of experts from across the government will hold its first meeting to address the practice known as female genital mutilation. This is one issue where the U.K. is far ahead of the United States.

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Law
4:14 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

Michael Dunn Found Guilty In 'Loud Music' Killing

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

Shots - Health News
4:14 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

Obamacare's First Year: How'd It Go?

In New Jersey in March, Dianna Lopez of the Center for Family Services (right) speaks with Betsy Cruz, of Camden, N.J., about health insurance coverage during an Affordable Care Act information session.
Lori M. Nichols South Jersey Times/Landov

Exactly one year ago, the Obamacare insurance exchanges stumbled into existence. Consumers struggled to sign up for its online marketplace — and the Obama administration was pummeled. Eventually, HealthCare.gov's problems were mostly fixed, and two weeks ago, the administration announced 7.3 million people have bought insurance through it so far this year.

So, was the health exchanges' first year a success — or something less?

Ask President Obama, and he says you measure the Affordable Care Act's success this way:

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Science
4:14 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

When Can A Big Storm Or Drought Be Blamed On Climate Change?

Melbourne visitors and residents took to the waters of Australia's St. Kilda Beach in January 2013 to escape a fierce heat wave.
Scott Barbour Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 1, 2014 6:52 pm

Nowadays, when there's a killer heat wave or serious drought somewhere, people wonder: Is this climate change at work? It's a question scientists have struggled with for years. And now there's a new field of research that's providing some answers. It's called "attribution science" — a set of principles that allow scientists to determine when it's a change in climate that's altering weather events ... and when it isn't.

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The Two-Way
3:33 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

Michael Dunn Found Guilty In Florida 'Loud Music' Shooting

Michael Dunn, center, looks back at his parents after a jury found him guilty in his retrial.
Bob.Mack AP

Michael Dunn, a 47-year-old Florida man, has been found guilty of first-degree murder in the shooting death of a teenager in the parking lot of a gas station.

This case dates back to 2012. Dunn shot and killed 17-year-old Jordan Davis after arguing over the volume of the music Davis was playing in his car. As we reported earlier this year, a jury was hung on the murder charge against Dunn and prosecutors decided to retry him.

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It's All Politics
3:29 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

The White House Could Be Made A Fortress, But Should It?

Visitors take photos in front of the White House.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

It turns out the Secret Service isn't too good at protecting the White House, and maybe one reason is that we don't want it to be.

Secret Service agents are famously willing to sacrifice their own lives to protect the president and his family. They are also trained to take the lives of others in defense of their protectees.

But are they equally prepared to do either of those things for the White House itself? Should it be policy for the armed agents around 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue to use deadly force whether the president or his family is present or not?

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All Tech Considered
3:15 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

Facebook Apologizes For Name Policy That Affected LGBT Community

San Francisco City Supervisor David Campos (right) walks with drag queen Sister Roma to a news conference on Sept. 17 about a Facebook policy that requires people to use their "real" names on their profiles. The site said Wednesday it will modify how the policy is enforced.
Eric Risberg AP

Facebook has apologized for a policy that drew criticism from LGBT groups after it led to the deactivation of dozens of accounts belonging to drag queens. While the policy itself will stay in place, Facebook says, it will be changing how the rule is enforced.

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Shots - Health News
3:08 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

Long-Term Birth Control Works Best For Teens, Pediatricians Say

"Always remember to use protection" is a fairly straightforward message for sexually active teens. But young women have a lot of options when it comes to the types of protection they can choose to use.

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Music Reviews
2:41 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

Dionne Warwick, Reduced To An Essence

The new tribute album Dionne Dionne is a collaboration between singer Dionne Farris (known for her work with Arrested Development) and guitarist Charlie Hunter.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed October 1, 2014 5:29 pm

In title and concept, the new tribute album Dionne Dionne is a great gimmick. But if you've followed the career of Dionne Farris, having her record an entire album of Dionne Warwick covers isn't an obvious move, names aside. It's an idea that took root some 20 years ago: Farris met guitarist Charlie Hunter while the two were on tour as members of hip-hop groups, she with Arrested Development and he with The Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy.

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Shots - Health News
2:37 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

Proton Center Closure Doesn't Slow New Construction

Construction is continuing at the Maryland Proton Treatment Center in downtown Baltimore. It's one of three such centers under development in the Washington, D.C., region.
Jenny Gold, KHN

Originally published on Wed October 1, 2014 4:14 pm

Proton beam radiation therapy has been touted as the next big thing in cancer care. The idea, enthusiasts say, is that doctors can deliver higher, more focused doses of radiation than they can in traditional therapy, with a lower risk of side effects. The massive machines, housed in facilities the size of football fields, have been sprouting up across the country for a decade.

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Asia
2:37 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

Hong Kong Protests Offer A Revelation To Mainland Chinese

Pro-democracy protesters chant slogans as they gather next to the central government offices in Hong Kong on Wednesday.
Alex Ogle AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 1, 2014 4:14 pm

The government of China has described the protests that have gripped Hong Kong for the past five days as illegal and chaotic. Any mention of the demonstrations is quickly erased from the Internet. At the same time, many mainland Chinese, in the territory for business or tourism, are observing the protests with interest and often amazement.

It's not hard to pick out the mainlanders in the crowd. They're usually the ones speaking Mandarin, instead of the dialect most Hong Kong residents speak: Cantonese.

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Animals
2:37 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

2 New Breeds Allowed To Compete At Westminster Dog Show

Originally published on Wed October 1, 2014 4:14 pm

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

The Two-Way
1:42 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

Amid Scandal, Secret Service Director Julia Pierson Resigns

Secret Service Director Julia Pierson testifies before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee about the White House perimeter breach during a hearing on Tuesday. Pierson stepped down from her position on Wednesday.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 1, 2014 3:17 pm

After a series of embarrassing incidents that called into question the efficacy of the Secret Service, Julia Pierson, the service's director, has resigned.

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said Pierson offered her resignation today and he accepted it.

"I salute her 30 years of distinguished service to the Secret Service and the Nation," Johnson said in a statement.

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The Two-Way
1:11 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

Hospital Official: Ebola Patient's Travel Not Relayed To Doctors

Originally published on Wed October 1, 2014 4:28 pm

An official from the Texas hospital where the first U.S. Ebola patient is being treated says a nurse using a checklist for the disease learned that he had traveled from West Africa, but that the information was "not communicated" to doctors making the diagnosis.

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Shots - Health News
1:09 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

Experimental Drug Jams Ebola Gene To Fight The Virus

A man stands above a new Ebola treatment center in Monrovia, Liberia. Health workers in Liberia, the hardest-hit nation, have turned people away from treatment units because of shortages of beds and staff.
Pascal Guyot AFP/Getty Images

Plans are afoot to test drugs to treat Ebola in West Africa — and those studies could have far-reaching benefits far beyond this rapidly expanding epidemic.

That's because some of the drugs are based on nascent technologies that can be used to treat other infectious diseases — and even inherited ailments, such as Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

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The Two-Way
12:47 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

Alleged White House Intruder Pleads Not Guilty

This 2009 photo provided by Jerry Murphy shows Omar Gonzalez, who was married to Murphy's mother, Samantha, until they divorced in 2012. Authorities have identified Gonzalez as the man who got into the White House after scaling a fence on Sept. 19.
AP

Omar Gonzalez, who was indicted on three charges stemming from allegations that he scaled a fence and then ran into the White House carrying a knife, pleaded not guilty in a federal court house on Wednesday.

NPR's Brian Naylor reports:

"Omar Gonzalez will remain in custody. The next hearing is scheduled for October 21.

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Krulwich Wonders...
10:42 am
Wed October 1, 2014

Is That A Lark I Hear? A Nightingale? Surprise! It's A Bat

Quoctrung Bui NPR

Originally published on Wed October 1, 2014 4:28 pm

Bats produce "pings" or "clicks," right? They make these high-pitched sounds, too high for us to hear, but when their cries ricochet off distant objects, the echoes tell them there's a house over there, a tree in front of them, a moth flying over on the left. And so they "see" by echolocation. That's their thing. They are famously good at it.

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The Two-Way
10:32 am
Wed October 1, 2014

One System, Two Media: How China, Hong Kong Are Covering The Protests

People read newspapers placed along a street blocked by protesters outside the government headquarters building in Hong Kong on Wednesday. While Hong Kong media are covering the protests closely, media in mainland China have been mostly quiet.
Carlos Barria Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed October 1, 2014 11:40 am

Hong Kong media are providing wall-to-wall coverage of the protests calling for the resignation of Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, but in mainland China there has been little to no mention of the unrest.

The contrast is an illustration of the "one country, two systems" policy that has been in place since the former British colony reverted to Chinese rule in 1997.

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The Two-Way
9:43 am
Wed October 1, 2014

The Message On Ebola: Don't Panic

Dr. Edward Goodman, epidemiologist at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas, where the unnamed Ebola patient was first admitted, at a news conference on Tuesday.
LM Otero AP

Originally published on Wed October 1, 2014 11:17 am

Following word of the first case of Ebola diagnosed in the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as major news organizations have weighed in. While the development is a concern, the basic message seems to be this: Don't panic.

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Shots - Health News
9:03 am
Wed October 1, 2014

5 Things We Learned From New Database Of Payments To Doctors

ProPublica

Originally published on Wed October 1, 2014 12:05 pm

The federal government unveiled data Tuesday detailing 4.4 million payments made to doctors and teaching hospitals by pharmaceutical and medical device companies.

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The Two-Way
7:01 am
Wed October 1, 2014

Death Toll From Japanese Volcano Rises

Japan Self-Defense Force (JSDF) soldiers and firefighters conduct rescue operations near the peak of Mount Ontake on Wednesday.
KYODO Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed October 1, 2014 10:50 am

Updated at 12:50 p.m. ET

The number of dead from a volcanic eruption in Japan has climbed to nearly 50 after more victims were recovered from Mt. Ontake, which unexpectedly spewed toxic gas last week as people hiked near the 10,000-foot summit.

The Japan Times says:

"Precarious conditions at the summit have made the search an on-off effort, and other bodies may still be undiscovered.

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The Two-Way
6:16 am
Wed October 1, 2014

ISIS Militants Reportedly Behead Kurds In Northern Syria

Originally published on Wed October 1, 2014 10:34 am

A human rights group reports that Islamic State militants in a Kurdish area of northern Syria have beheaded seven men and three women as part of an apparent campaign to quell resistance to the group.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the 10 people, including four Syrian rebels, were detained and then beheaded on Tuesday, about 8 miles west of the city of Kobani, a Kurdish town near the Turkish border that has been under siege from the Islamist group for weeks.

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The Two-Way
5:37 am
Wed October 1, 2014

Hong Kong Protesters Vow To Step Up Pro-Democracy Campaign

Protesters shout slogans outside a flag-raising ceremony that Hong Kong's embattled leader, Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, attended in Hong Kong on Wednesday.
Vincent Yu AP

Originally published on Wed October 1, 2014 10:50 am

A deadline set by Hong Kong's pro-democracy demonstrators for the territory's leader to step down has passed without his resignation, triggering a new phase to the protests that have brought parts of the Asian financial hub to a standstill.

Protesters, who took to the streets by the tens of thousands last week to demand the open election of Hong Kong's next leader, heckled the territory's Beijing-appointed chief executive, Leung Chun-ying, during a flag-raising ceremony to mark China's National Day.

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Around the Nation
5:30 am
Wed October 1, 2014

Kansas City PD Requests Lull In Calls, Royals In Wild-Card Game

Originally published on Wed October 1, 2014 6:01 am

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

Around the Nation
5:30 am
Wed October 1, 2014

Inmate Escapes From Jail Without Anyone Noticing

Originally published on Wed October 1, 2014 6:01 am

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

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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Politics
3:10 am
Wed October 1, 2014

Secret Talks And Back Channels Pervaded U.S. Relationship With Cuba

Cuban Premier Fidel Castro addressed the United Nations General Assembly in September 1960 in New York. A new book details secret negotiations between the U.S. and Cuba dating back to President Kennedy's administration.
AP

Originally published on Wed October 1, 2014 6:34 am

For five decades, the official U.S. policy on Cuba was one of silence. But the real U.S. relationship with Havana involved secret negotiations that started with President Kennedy in 1963, even after his embargo against the island nation, say the authors of the new book Back Channel to Cuba. In fact, nearly every U.S. administration for the past 50 years has engaged in some sort of dialogue with the Cuban government, they say.

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Politics
2:58 am
Wed October 1, 2014

In New York's North Country, The Republican Party's New Poster Candidate

Republican congressional candidate Elise Stefanik, 30, says her generation "can't just complain about the problems — we have to help solve them as well, because we're ultimately inheriting them."
Mike Groll AP

Originally published on Wed October 1, 2014 11:11 am

If the Republican Party were to hang up a wanted sign for the new face of the party, the kind of person they need to help them connect with voters they've had a hard time reaching, Elise Stefanik may just be the person they'd find. She describes herself as a "big tent Republican," and House Speaker John Boehner recently held a fundraiser for her.

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