NPR News

Goats and Soda
5:00 pm
Thu January 29, 2015

Ebola Cases Plummet In West Africa, As Endgame Begins

Ebola cases have steadily declined in Liberia and Sierra Leone over the past several weeks.
World Health Organization

Originally published on Thu January 29, 2015 5:06 pm

The tide may have turned on the Ebola epidemic in West Africa, the World Health Organization said Wednesday.

Last week, only 99 cases were reported. That's the lowest weekly count since June.

Cases have plummeted in the two countries hit hardest by Ebola, Liberia and Sierra Leone. In December, Sierra Leone was reporting more than 500 cases a week. It tallied only 65 last week.

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NPR History Dept.
4:56 pm
Thu January 29, 2015

'Female Husbands' In The 19th Century

Questions of gender identity are nothing new. Way before Transparent and Chaz Bono and countless other popular culture stepping stones to where we are now regarding gender identity, there were accounts of "female husbands."

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Sports
4:16 pm
Thu January 29, 2015

Hawks' Turnaround Lures In Atlanta's Flightly Fans

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Business
4:10 pm
Thu January 29, 2015

Some Businesses Say Immigrant Workers Are Harder To Find

Fieldale Farms in Gainesville, Ga., says it can't keep enough workers to meet demand for its poultry products, despite paying $16 per hour plus benefits.
Jim Zarroli NPR

Originally published on Thu January 29, 2015 4:16 pm

At Fieldale Farms in Gainesville, Ga., workers cut up chicken breasts and feed the parts into machines. The pieces are then marinated, breaded and eventually sold to restaurants.

The work here can be physically demanding. Not a lot of people want to do it — even though the average wage here is $16 per hour plus benefits.

Tom Hensley, the company president, says Fieldale Farms hires just about anyone who can pass a drug test.

"We hire 100 people a week. Because we have 100 people who quit every week, out of 5,000 employees," he says. "We're constantly short."

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Sports
4:10 pm
Thu January 29, 2015

Pro Football Hall Of Fame Tackles Assisted Living Center

Originally published on Thu January 29, 2015 4:16 pm

The newest inductees into the Pro Football Hall of Fame will be picked on Saturday. This happens as the Hall itself is planning a radical change over the next four years — transforming from a museum into a complex of hotels, conference centers and corporate training facilities — what backers envision as the Disney of Pro Football.

But, perhaps the most unusual part of that project is an assisted living center for aging Hall of Fame football players.

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Television
4:10 pm
Thu January 29, 2015

NBC's 'Parenthood' Ends As A Family Drama Built On Small Moments

The stars of Parenthood include, left to right, Erika Christensen Peter Krause, Bonnie Bedelia, Craig T. Nelson, Lauren Graham and Dax Shepard.
NBC Justin Lubin/NBC

Originally published on Thu January 29, 2015 4:39 pm

It happens at least once every episode: A scene in Parenthood carefully crafted to make you cry.

Like the moment when devoted parents Adam and Kristina Braverman try to console their son Max — who has Asperger's syndrome — after a school camping trip goes bad.

"Why do all the other kids hate me?" Max Braverman asks, voice wavering, just before telling his disbelieving parents a classmate relieved himself in his canteen during the trip. "Asperger's is supposed to make me smart. But if I'm smart then why ... why don't I get why they're laughing at me?"

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Religion
3:58 pm
Thu January 29, 2015

Mormon LGBT Announcement Met With Cheers, Skepticism

Originally published on Thu January 29, 2015 4:16 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The Two-Way
3:51 pm
Thu January 29, 2015

Study Finds Court Fees Also Punish The Families Of Those Who Owe

David Silva, who owed about $30,000 in court fines and fees, says that a lot of his financial burden fell on his family and friends.
Courtesy of Emily Dalton

A new report on the growth of court fines and fees that are charged to often-impoverished offenders is focusing on another group that pays: their families.

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The Two-Way
3:44 pm
Thu January 29, 2015

Dartmouth Bans Hard Liquor On Campus

Dartmouth College President Philip Hanlon speaks Thursday to faculty and students about changes planned for the Ivy League school. Dartmouth banned hard liquor on campus and said all students will have to take part in a sexual violence prevention program all four years they are enrolled at the Ivy League school.
Jim Cole AP

Originally published on Thu January 29, 2015 4:34 pm

Dartmouth College is banning hard liquor on campus and will introduce a mandatory four-year sexual violence prevention and education program for students. The steps are part of Dartmouth President Philip Hanlon's plans to reform social life at the Ivy League college.

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Latin America
3:44 pm
Thu January 29, 2015

Prosecutor's Murky Death Could Impact Argentina's Elections

Originally published on Thu January 29, 2015 4:16 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The Two-Way
3:26 pm
Thu January 29, 2015

Scientists, General Public Have Divergent Views On Science, Report Says

Genetically modified rice plants are shown in a lab in 2006. A new report from Pew Research shows a wide gap between perceptions of safety of GM foods between scientists and the general public.
Rich Pedroncelli AP

Originally published on Thu January 29, 2015 4:20 pm

U.S. adults see various science-related topics much differently than do America's top scientists, with the two groups expressing widely divergent views on the safety of genetically modified foods, climate change, human evolution, the use of animals in research and vaccines, according to a new report published by Pew Research Center.

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All Tech Considered
3:16 pm
Thu January 29, 2015

With 'Discover' Feature, Snapchat Bucks Social Trend In News

The Snapchat Discover user interface.
Snapchat

Originally published on Thu January 29, 2015 4:50 pm

When it comes to the news — what its contents are and how it is delivered — who knows best? This conversation has been taking place as newsrooms go digital and social. This week the messaging app Snapchat weighed in, launching a new feature called Discover.

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Goats and Soda
1:42 pm
Thu January 29, 2015

Girls Get Good Grades But Still Need Help. As For Boys ... SOS!

Girl students in Bangkok tend to do better than boys. That's the finding of a new study.
Christophe Archambault AFP/Getty Images

A new study shows that when it comes to the classroom, girls rule.

They outperform boys in math, science and reading in 70 percent of the 70-plus countries and regions surveyed by the Organization for Economic Development Cooperation and Development. Girls do better even in countries that rank low on U.N.'s gender equality index and that tend to discriminate against women politically, economically and socially — like Qatar, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates.

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The Two-Way
1:16 pm
Thu January 29, 2015

British Fighters 'Escort' Russian Bombers Near U.K. Airspace

A photo taken in October and provided by Britain's Royal Air Force shows a Russian "Bear" bomber similar to the one that grazed U.K. airspace on Wednesday.
Robyn Stewart AP

The British government has summoned Russia's ambassador to the United Kingdom, asking him to explain why a pair of nuclear-capable Russian long-range "Bear" bombers had flown alarmingly close to U.K. airspace.

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NPR Story
1:16 pm
Thu January 29, 2015

DJ Sessions: Go Deadhead

Fans attend a Grateful Dead concert at Red Rocks, Colorado, 1987. (Mark L. Knowles/Wikimedia Commons)

Originally published on Thu January 29, 2015 1:18 pm

The Grateful Dead celebrates 50 years since the band’s start this year. For this week’s installment of DJ Sessions, we sit down with a DJ who devotes his entire radio show to the band.

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NPR Story
1:15 pm
Thu January 29, 2015

Tensions Escalating On Israel's Northern Borders

Israeli military vehicles are seen burning in the Shebaa farms an occupied area along the Israeli-Lebanese border near Ghajar village, on January 28, 2015, following a Hezbollah missile attack. A missile attack killed two Israeli soldiers and Israel responded with air and ground strikes on southern Lebanon, where a UN peacekeeper was killed. (Maruf Khatib/AFP/Getty Images)

Originally published on Thu January 29, 2015 1:18 pm

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is blaming Iran for the violent flare ups along the Lebanese and Syrian border areas in the country’s north. Yesterday’s shelling by the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah was the deadliest escalation in that region since 2006, resulting in the deaths of two Israeli soldiers and seven wounded.

Iran has long backed Hezbollah, which declared its attack an act of retaliation for an Israeli airstrike in Syria earlier this month. That attack killed six Hezbollah fighters and an Iranian general.

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NPR Story
1:15 pm
Thu January 29, 2015

Red Fox Sighting In Yosemite Is First In Nearly 100 Years

This red fox, photographed in 2002, was part of a study in Lassen Volcanic National Park. Note the white round plastic tag in the animal’s right ear. (Keith Slausen/USFS/PSW)

Originally published on Thu January 29, 2015 1:18 pm

A Sierra Nevada red fox has been captured on a motion-sensitive camera placed by wildlife biologists in a remote part of Yosemite National Park in California.

It’s the first time in nearly 100 years that the state-protected mammal has been seen in the park. Fewer than 50 are known to exist in North America.

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Religion
12:21 pm
Thu January 29, 2015

Editor Picks Religions For The First Norton Anthology of World Religions

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

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The Two-Way
12:14 pm
Thu January 29, 2015

Gunman Reportedly Kills 3 U.S. Contractors In Attack At Kabul Airport

Originally published on Thu January 29, 2015 1:36 pm

Three Americans who were working as contractors in Afghanistan died in a gunman's attack at the Hamid Karzai International Airport complex Thursday, the Associated Press reports.

The news agency adds:

"It was not immediately clear who did the shooting or whether the shooter was a member of the Afghan security forces.

"The U.S. defense officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the incident was in the early stages of investigation."

In addition to the U.S. casualties, an Afghan citizen also died, the AP says.

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The Two-Way
11:56 am
Thu January 29, 2015

McCain Calls Protesters 'Low-Life Scum' At Senate Hearing

Protesters interrupt the start of a Senate Armed Services hearing on Capitol Hill Thursday, as former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger prepares to testify.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Thu January 29, 2015 12:46 pm

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., lashed out at anti-war demonstrators protesting the presence of former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger at a Senate hearing, calling them "low-life scum."

Kissinger, 91, and other former secretaries of state in both Republican and Democratic administrations, were at the Senate Armed Services Committee, which McCain chairs, for a hearing on global security challenges.

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The Two-Way
11:03 am
Thu January 29, 2015

Treasure Hunter Who Disappeared With Shipwreck Loot Appears In Court

A November 1989 photo of Tommy Thompson holding a $50 pioneer gold piece retrieved from the wreck of the SS Central America. Thompson, who had been on the lam for two years, was arrested on Tuesday.
Lon Horwedel AP

Originally published on Thu January 29, 2015 11:50 am

A treasure hunter, who located a sunken ship with perhaps the greatest loot in history but later disappeared in an alleged attempt to cheat investors and his crew of their cut, has been found. He is scheduled to appear in court next week in Florida, where authorities captured him earlier this week living in a $225-a-night hotel.

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The Two-Way
10:35 am
Thu January 29, 2015

U.S. Classifies Some Basic Statistics About Afghan Security Forces

The American command in Afghanistan has for the first time in six years classified detailed statistics about the Afghan security forces — everything from equipment and training to attrition.

Gen. John Campbell, who is leading the NATO coalition's non-combat mission in Afghanistan, said he now considers all that sensitive operational information that could help the Taliban.

Campbell said he decided to classify details about the Afghan forces because they could be used by insurgent fighters to threaten both Afghan and U.S. forces.

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The Two-Way
10:26 am
Thu January 29, 2015

Portugal To Offer Citizenship To Descendants Of Expelled Jews

A woman walks Wednesday past a monument to the Jews in Lisbon believed to have been killed in a pogrom in 1506. Portugal is following Spain and granting citizenship rights to the descendants of Jews it persecuted 500 years ago.
Francisco Seco AP

Originally published on Thu January 29, 2015 4:21 pm

Portugal's Cabinet approved a law Thursday that would offer citizenship to the descendants of Sephardic Jews who were expelled, burned at the stake or forcibly converted to Christianity 500 years ago.

"I do not want to say this is an historic amendment because I believe that for this matter, there is no possibility to amend what was done," Portuguese Justice Minister Paula Teixeira da Cruz said, according to The Associated Press. "I would say it is the attribution of a right."

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Shots - Health News
9:44 am
Thu January 29, 2015

Cleveland Hospitals Grapple With Readmission Fines

Cleveland Clinic pharmacist Katie Greenlee talks with Morgan Clay about how he should take his prescriptions when he leaves the hospital.
Sarah Jane Tribble WCPN/Ideastream

At the Cleveland Clinic's sprawling main campus, Morgan Clay is being discharged early one Tuesday afternoon.

Clay arrived a couple of weeks earlier suffering from complications related to acute heart failure. He's ready to go home. But before he can leave, clinic pharmacist Katie Greenlee stops by the room.

"What questions can I answer for you about the medicines?" Greenlee asks as she presents a folder of information about more than a dozen prescriptions Clay takes.

"I don't have too many questions," Clay says. "I've been on most of that stuff for a long time."

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The Two-Way
9:41 am
Thu January 29, 2015

At Least 2 Dead, Dozens Injured In Explosion At Mexico City Maternity Hospital

In this video frame grab image taken from Milenio TV via APTN, police look at the scene where a gas tank truck exploded outside a maternity and children's hospital in Mexico City on Thursday.
AP

Originally published on Thu January 29, 2015 1:01 pm

Updated at 2:58 p.m.

Mexico City's mayor says at least two people are dead after a gas tank truck exploded near a maternity and children's hospital in the capital on Thursday.

Earlier, there were conflicting reports about the toll; news reports and officials placed the number of dead at between three and seven.

The dead were identified as a woman and a child.

Television images showed the explosion caused the collapse of a big part of the hospital, the gas truck still smoldering as fighters tried to quell the blaze.

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The Two-Way
8:25 am
Thu January 29, 2015

French Police Question 8-Year-Old Over Alleged Support For Paris Gunmen

Originally published on Thu January 29, 2015 9:11 am

French police questioned Wednesday an 8-year-old boy in the southern city of Nice who allegedly made comments praising the gunmen who staged the deadly attack on the weekly satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

Third-grader Ahmed, whose last name has not been released, refused to observe the minute of silence with his class following the attack on the magazine. He also allegedly expressed solidarity with the brothers who carried out the Jan. 7 attack.

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The Two-Way
8:23 am
Thu January 29, 2015

Sri Lanka Plans Probe Into Alleged Atrocities During Civil War

Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena waves to supporters shortly after his election earlier this month. Sirisena looks to be trying to turn a new page in the island nation, which defeated a protracted insurgency in 2009.
Eranga Jayawardena AP

Originally published on Thu January 29, 2015 8:40 am

In a further sign that Sri Lanka's newly elected president wants to deal with the country's troubled past, a government spokesman said today that a new probe is planned to investigate allegations of human rights abuses during the island's 26-year civil war.

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The Two-Way
7:56 am
Thu January 29, 2015

Jordan Demands Proof Of Life From ISIS Militants

Relatives of Jordanian pilot Lt. Muath al-Kaseasbeh, who was captured by ISIS militants in Syria, protest Tuesday in front of the royal palace in Amman, Jordan. Jordan has suggested it might be willing to hold a prisoner exchange for his release.
Jamal Nasrallah EPA/LANDOV

Originally published on Thu January 29, 2015 9:18 am

Jordan is asking the so-called Islamic State to prove that a pilot the group is holding is still alive.

Mohammed al-Momani, a spokesman for the Jordanian government, said the government is seeking proof of life before it releases Sajida al-Rishawi, an Iraqi woman who was convicted in relation to a deadly attack on a hotel in Amman.

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The Two-Way
7:30 am
Thu January 29, 2015

U.S. Scientist Jailed For Trying To Help Venezuela Build Bombs

Former Los Alamos National Laboratory nuclear physicist Pedro Leonardo Mascheroni was sentenced Wednesday to five years in jail.
Heather Clark AP

Originally published on Thu January 29, 2015 8:52 am

A scientist who worked for the Los Alamos National Laboratory, and who pleaded guilty two years ago to promising to build nuclear weapons for Venezuela, has been sentenced to five years in jail.

Argentina-born Pedro Leonardo Mascheroni, a 79-year-old naturalized U.S. citizen, told undercover FBI agents posing as Venezuelan officials that he could design and supervise the building of 40 nuclear weapons for Caracas, including one targeted on New York City, in exchange for an unspecified amount of money.

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The Two-Way
6:49 am
Thu January 29, 2015

Raúl Castro Demands Return Of Guantánamo Before Normalizing Ties With U.S.

Cuba's President Raul Castro listens during the summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States in San Antonio de Belen, Costa Rica, on Wednesday.
Roberto Carlos Sanchez AP

Originally published on Thu January 29, 2015 9:00 am

Cuban President Raúl Castro seemed to throw some pretty big hurdles in front of efforts to establish normal diplomatic relations with the United States.

In a speech at a summit of Latin American countries, President Raúl Castro said a rapprochement with its northern neighbor would not make sense without three conditions: 1. The lifting of the U.S. embargo on Cuba. 2. The return of the U.S. base at Guantánamo Bay. 3. Compensation for "human and economic damage" the Cuban people have suffered.

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