NPR News

Goats and Soda
9:20 am
Thu July 31, 2014

How Will You Die?

Steve Cutts for NPR

Originally published on Thu July 31, 2014 9:25 am

So let's cut to the chase. Depending on where you live on Earth, cooking dinner, having sex and going to the bathroom are either three of life's many pleasures or they're the riskiest things you you can do.

Why?

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The Two-Way
9:15 am
Thu July 31, 2014

Scientists Say The Moon Is Hiding A Lumpy Middle

The full moon rises above the castle of Somoskoujfalu, northeast of Budapest, Hungary, earlier this month.
Peter Komka AP

What shape is the moon? When it's full, we'd all agree that it looks perfectly round. But careful measurements by a team of scientists have shown that's not the case.

Like many an Earth-bound observer, it turns out that our nearest neighbor in space is hiding a slight bulge around the waist. It's less like a ball and more like a squashed sphere, with a lump on one side.

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The Two-Way
8:29 am
Thu July 31, 2014

Wisconsin Supreme Court Upholds State's Controversial Labor Law

A farmer drives his tractor past the Wisconsin State Capitol during a rally in March of 2011.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Handing Gov. Scott Walker an important election-year victory, the Wisconsin Supreme court on Thursday upheld a controversial labor law championed by the Republican governor.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports the Supreme Court also upheld the state's voter ID law and one providing some benefits to gay couples. The paper adds:

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The Salt
8:01 am
Thu July 31, 2014

How To Order Pizza From A Nuclear Command Bunker

Getting a pizza delivered to a remote nuclear missle base is tricky. Unfortunately, the Air Force won't let you use their helicopters.
Dan Gage/USAF

Originally published on Thu July 31, 2014 9:29 am

I spent months working with the U.S. Air Force to get access to a remote underground nuclear bunker in Nebraska for our radio series on America's missile forces. There was only one question left to answer before I left.

What did I want for lunch?

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The Two-Way
7:54 am
Thu July 31, 2014

20 Million Gallons Later, UCLA Water Main Finally Plugged

Water filled the stairs to a parking structure adjacent to the main entry doors of Pauley Pavilion, home of UCLA basketball, after a 30-inch water main burst on nearby Sunset Boulevard Tuesday.
Matt Hamilton AP

After 30 hours, work crews have finally succeeded in shutting off the last of the water that gushed from a broken water main near the University of California, Los Angeles, campus.

There was so much water that police and fire teams had to rescue people from underground parking garages that became flooded by the estimated 20 million gallons that spewed from the 30-inch pipe.

Albert Rodriguez, a spokesman for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, said the main was completely shut off at 9 p.m. PT on Wednesday, according to The Associated Press.

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The Two-Way
7:10 am
Thu July 31, 2014

Conflict In Gaza: What You Need To Know Today

The Palestinian sister of Mohammed al-Daeri, 25, mourns during his funeral in Gaza City on Thursday.
Mahmud Hams AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 31, 2014 8:41 am

Perhaps signaling a widening of its offensive in Gaza, Israel called up 16,000 reservists on Thursday. That means Israel has activated 86,000 reservists since the conflict started.

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The Two-Way
5:51 am
Thu July 31, 2014

Dutch, Australian Experts Reach MH17 Debris Field In Ukraine

An Ukrainian army soldier stands guard next to the cars of the OSCE mission in Ukraine at a check-point in the village of Debaltseve in eastern Ukraine on Thursday.
Dmitry Lovetsky AP

Originally published on Thu July 31, 2014 6:12 am

The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe has some good news this morning:

Remember, experts from Australia and The Netherlands have been trying to get to the debris field of the downed Malaysia Airlines jet in eastern Ukraine for a week. Every time they attempted a trip, they were thwarted by heavy fighting.

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The Two-Way
5:02 am
Thu July 31, 2014

Argentina's Default: 5 Headlines That Tell The Story

Argentina's Economy Minister Axel Kicillof speaks during a press conference at the Argentina Consulate in New York on Wednesday.
Stan Honda AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 31, 2014 7:45 am

Yesterday in New York, representatives from Argentina and some of its creditors emerged from negotiations to announce that they had failed.

As NPR's Jim Zarroli reports, this meant that the country had fallen into default for a second time in more than 12 years. The repercussions of the default are unpredictable, but it could mean that the country is shut out of the international debt markets, perhaps pushing interest rates and inflation higher.

With that here are five headlines that tell the story of Argentina's default:

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Politics
4:33 am
Thu July 31, 2014

With Congress Set To Adjourn, Border Crisis Remains Unresolved

Originally published on Thu July 31, 2014 6:12 am

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

Middle East
4:33 am
Thu July 31, 2014

Life In Gaza Deteriorates As Water, Power Shortages Intensify

Palestinian children fill plastic bottles and water containers with drinking water from a public tap in Jabalia in the northern Gaza Strip on July 27.
Ashraf Amra APA /Landov

Originally published on Thu July 31, 2014 8:39 am

At a U.N.-run school where she was taking shelter from the fighting, Fulla Abed Rabou washed clothes in an outdoor sink.

City pipes deliver some water. But with thousands of people taking refuge at schools, much more has to be trucked in. Still, there is sometimes not enough, says Merit Hietanen, a U.N. employee managing water deliveries to the schools.

"One of the major issues is the tanks in the actual schools: the capacity is not big enough," she says. "So if we're tankering water, even if we manage to do it twice a day, they will run out."

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Environment
4:33 am
Thu July 31, 2014

Groundwater Is Drying Up Fast Under Western States, Study Finds

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

Strange News
3:55 am
Thu July 31, 2014

Pushing A Brussels Sprout Up A Mountain — For A Cause

Originally published on Thu July 31, 2014 4:33 am

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

Politics
3:36 am
Thu July 31, 2014

In Kansas City, Obama Brushes Off House GOP's Vote To Sue Him

Originally published on Thu July 31, 2014 8:12 am

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

Middle East
3:32 am
Thu July 31, 2014

Why Hamas Is A Bigger Challenge For Israel Now Than In The Past

Originally published on Thu July 31, 2014 4:33 am

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

Shots - Health News
3:12 am
Thu July 31, 2014

What Somebody's Mummy Can Teach You About Heart Disease

Eduard Egarter-Vigl (left) and Albert Zink (right) sample Italy's mummified iceman for genetic analysis in November 2010. Previous research suggests he, too, was predisposed to heart disease.
Samadelli Marco/EURAC

Originally published on Thu July 31, 2014 3:37 am

We think of heart disease as a modern scourge, brought on by our sedentary lifestyles and our affinity for fast food.

But a few years ago, a team of researchers discovered something puzzling — CT scans of Egyptian mummies showed signs of hardened, narrow arteries. Further scans of mummies from other ancient civilizations turned up the same thing.

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NPR Story
3:07 am
Thu July 31, 2014

Fighting Continues To Block Investigators From MH17 Wreckage

Originally published on Thu July 31, 2014 8:54 am

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

NPR Story
3:07 am
Thu July 31, 2014

New Bill Aims To Hold Colleges Accountable For Campus Sex Crimes

Originally published on Thu July 31, 2014 6:12 am

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

The Two-Way
5:50 pm
Wed July 30, 2014

House Approves $16 Billion Plan To Improve Health Care For Vets

The House easily approved a deal to help veterans hammered out by Florida GOP Rep. Jeff Miller (left) and independent Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Wed July 30, 2014 6:42 pm

The House voted Wednesday to approve a bill that would address widespread problems with health care for veterans.

The vote in favor of the $16.3 billion package was 420 to 5.

The problems veterans have had obtaining care has drawn national attention in recent weeks. A White House investigation into problems at Department of Veterans Affairs hospitals found "significant and chronic systemic failures."

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The Two-Way
5:05 pm
Wed July 30, 2014

House Votes To OK Lawsuit Against Obama

Speaker John Boehner makes his way to the House chamber on Wednesday
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Wed July 30, 2014 5:17 pm

The House voted Wednesday to authorize a lawsuit against President Obama, claiming that he has overstepped the limits of his executive authority.

The vote to allow Speaker John Boehner to sue Obama was 225 to 201. Five Republicans voted no, while no Democrats voted in favor of pursuing the lawsuit.

Republicans say that Obama exceeded his constitutional authority by unilaterally deciding to delay the employer mandate for insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

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The Salt
4:33 pm
Wed July 30, 2014

Why Your 'Small-Batch' Whiskey Might Taste A Lot Like The Others

Bulleit is one of 50 different brands a food blogger says is using whiskey from an Indiana factory.
Mike McCune/Flickr

Originally published on Wed July 30, 2014 5:38 pm

It's a good time to be a whiskey maker, and craft whiskeys are all the rage, with names like Bulleit, Redemption, Templeton and George Dickel.

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Economy
4:02 pm
Wed July 30, 2014

Job Worries Linger, But The Economy Is Looking Good

Assembly-line workers at the Chrysler plant in Sterling Heights, Mich. The economy is getting good marks in the latest data, but some worries about the job market continue.
Paul Sancya AP

Originally published on Wed July 30, 2014 4:28 pm

Five years after the Great Recession ended, where are we with this recovery?

On Wednesday, the Commerce Department and the Federal Reserve both answered by saying, in effect:

We're in a sweet spot — growing at a decent rate with good reason for optimism.

Or as the Fed blandly put it, "economic activity will expand at a moderate pace."

President Obama, speaking on the economy in Kansas City, Mo., was more effusive.

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The Two-Way
3:50 pm
Wed July 30, 2014

Amid Confusion, 17 Killed By Shelling At Market In Gaza

An injured man is carried to an ambulance following a strike in Gaza City's Shijaiyah neighborhood on Wednesday.
Adel Hana AP

Originally published on Wed July 30, 2014 4:36 pm

It may have been a tragic case of confusion.

The Israel Defense Forces declared a four-hour humanitarian cease-fire on Wednesday. But the army said it did not apply where soldiers were already engaged and that residents who had evacuated should not return to those areas.

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The Salt
3:44 pm
Wed July 30, 2014

Moldova's Winemakers Seize Upon Region's Geopolitical Moment

A glass is filled with Moldovan wine at a wine fair in Belgium in 2013.
Yves Logghe AP

Originally published on Wed July 30, 2014 5:33 pm

Consider, for a moment, the misfortunes of winemakers in Moldova, a former Soviet republic in southeastern Europe, tucked in between Ukraine and Romania.

Their country is the poorest in Europe, with a per capita GDP about the same as Honduras. They'd love to sell their product — which has gotten approving nods from foreign critics -- in wealthier countries. But most of those customers don't even know that Moldova exists, let alone that its winemaking tradition goes back thousands of years.

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Parallels
3:14 pm
Wed July 30, 2014

Gaza's Network Of Tunnels Is A Major Hole In Israel's Defenses

An Israeli army officer walks near the entrance of a tunnel allegedly used by Palestinian militants for cross-border attacks, at the Israel-Gaza border. A network of tunnels Palestinian militants have dug from Gaza to Israel is taking center stage in the latest war between Hamas and Israel.
Jack Guez AP

Originally published on Thu July 31, 2014 7:24 am

Israeli officials say the country's deadly ground offensive won't end until its soldiers destroy a vast network of Hamas tunnels the militants use to try to attack Jewish communities outside the Gaza Strip.

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Around the Nation
3:04 pm
Wed July 30, 2014

Grocery Chain Workers Want Their CEO Back

Rank-and-file Market Basket employees show support for ousted CEO Arthur T. Demoulas.
Curt Nickisch WBUR

Originally published on Thu July 31, 2014 8:27 am

If your boss was fired, would you walk off the job in protest?

That's what's happening at the New England grocery store chain Market Basket, which has 25,000 employees. Business at Market Basket stores has slowed to a trickle as workers disrupt operations, stage protests and ask shoppers to stay away.

They say CEO Arthur T. Demoulas treats them well, and they want him reinstated.

Outside the Market Basket store in Somerville, Mass., a dozen workers wave protest signs as cars honk in support. Gabriel Pinto, a bagger, says he wants the new top executives gone.

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The Two-Way
2:27 pm
Wed July 30, 2014

Judge Orders Bank Of America To Pay $1.3 Billion Fine

U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara applauded a judge's ruling in a major fraud case.
Richard Drew AP

Originally published on Wed July 30, 2014 3:08 pm

A federal judge has ordered Bank of America to pay a $1.27 billion fine for fraud perpetrated by Countrywide Financial Corp., a mortgage company the bank acquired in 2008.

Last October, a jury held Bank of America liable for bad loans Countrywide sold to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as part of its "Hustle" mortgage-lending program as the housing market soured in 2007 and 2008.

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NPR Story
2:10 pm
Wed July 30, 2014

GDP, Fed And Jobs Report: Economists Watching A Big Week In Money

Construction workers build a commercial complex in Springfield, Ill., July 17, 2014. (Seth Perlman/AP)

Originally published on Wed July 30, 2014 1:43 pm

Today, the U.S. economy surprised economists by growing at a 4 percent annual rate in the second quarter, rebounding after a disappointing winter.

The Federal Reserve Board announced this afternoon that it will be speeding up the tapering of its bond buying, which has been a way to stimulate the economy since the financial crisis. The Fed says interest rates will stay below normal even after employment and inflation reach normal levels.

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NPR Story
2:10 pm
Wed July 30, 2014

Over 200,000 Gazans In U.N. Shelters As Fighting Continues

A displaced Palestinian child takes shelter at the Abu Hussien UN school in the Jabalia refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip after the area was hit earlier in the morning by Israeli shelling on July 30, 2014. Israeli bombardments early on July 30 killed dozens of Palestinians in Gaza, including those at at a UN school, medics said, on day 23 of the Israel-Hamas conflict. (Mahmud Hams/AFP/Getty Images)

Originally published on Wed July 30, 2014 1:43 pm

The fighting continued today in Gaza, with an early morning strike on a United Nations refugee camp, which killed at least 20 Palestinians.

Israel declared a limited humanitarian ceasefire, but excluded areas in which its troops are carrying out operations. Israeli military officials also warned Gazans to stay away from areas they have been told to evacuate.

The U.N. says it is now sheltering over 200,000 Palestinians, and that at least five — possibly as many as seven — of its facilities have been hit by fire since the Israeli ground operation began.

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NPR Story
2:10 pm
Wed July 30, 2014

Older Poor Americans And Their Search For Work

"Workampers" travel across the country in RVs, often performing seasonal work or even working part-time in huge Amazon warehouses. (Curtis Perry/Flickr)

Originally published on Wed July 30, 2014 1:43 pm

More than 7 million Americans age 65 years and older were still working last year. That’s up 60 percent from a decade ago.

A story in Harper’s Magazine opens a window into some of these people. They’re called “workampers” (a contraction of working and camping) and they travel across the country in their RVs, often performing seasonal work, selling fireworks, pumpkins, Christmas trees. They even work part-time in huge Amazon warehouses.

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Can I Just Tell You?
2:09 pm
Wed July 30, 2014

Making Space For People Who Are Out Of the Spotlight

Tell Me More host Michel Martin.
Amy Ta NPR

Originally published on Thu July 31, 2014 7:02 am

A very smart person I know, a long time civil rights activist, told me once that "gratitude is overrated."

Now, I know that sounds harsh, but what I think she meant was that some people, especially, in her view, women, are too often too quick to settle for less than they deserve. She was talking about people who are so conditioned to have nothing, that they are just too happy when they get even a little.

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