NPR News

The Two-Way
7:37 pm
Mon January 26, 2015

'Crippling' Snowfall Predicted As Storm Hits Northeast

People walk past and take pictures of Swiss artist Peter Regli's "Snow Monsters 2015" during a storm in New York City Monday. Areas of New York and neighboring states are expected to get up to 2 feet of snow in a large and dangerous storm.
JASON SZENES EPA /LANDOV

From New Jersey to Maine, residents are under blizzard warnings Monday night, as the National Weather Service warns millions of people face a "high-impact winter storm" that would likely bring "crippling snowfall" and "life-threatening blizzard conditions."

Monday afternoon, governors, mayors, and other officials declared emergencies in the storm's path, and urged people to stay indoors for their own safety. Gov. Charlie Baker issued a travel ban for the state of Massachusetts, starting at midnight. A similar ban was issued in Connecticut.

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It's All Politics
6:21 pm
Mon January 26, 2015

The CBO's Good News, Bad News Economic Report

Congressional Budget Office Director Douglas W. Elmendorf holds a briefing for reporters on the CBO's updated budget and economic outlook on Monday on Capitol Hill.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Mon January 26, 2015 5:58 pm

The federal deficit is on track to its lowest level as a percentage of the economy since 2007, and the economy is stronger than expected.

That's the good news from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office's new economic outlook released Monday. "Economic activity will expand at a solid pace in 2015 and over the next few years — reducing the amount of underused resources, or 'slack,' in the economy," the report said.

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The Two-Way
6:20 pm
Mon January 26, 2015

Argentina's President Dissolves Intelligence Agency, Citing Prosecutor's Death

Argentina's President Cristina Fernandez unveiled her plan to replace her country's intelligence service with a new agency. She delivered a televised speech while seated in a wheelchair in Buenos Aires.
Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Mon January 26, 2015 6:18 pm

One week after an Argentine prosecutor was found dead on the eve of his testimony about an alleged government cover-up of a terrorist attack, President Cristina Fernandez has announced the dissolution of her government's intelligence agency.

Fernandez said she plans to shut down the SI, the Secretariat of Intelligence, in favor of a newly created agency, the Federal Intelligence Agency. She said it's time to reform the intelligence service because the existing one "has not served the national interests."

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Latin America
5:45 pm
Mon January 26, 2015

Argentina's President Says She Will Disband Intelligence Agency

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

U.S.
5:14 pm
Mon January 26, 2015

Obama's Arctic Refuge Drill Ban Won't Change Much, For Now

A herd of caribou begins the long trek across the Arctic plains in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
Peter Mather SN/Landov

Originally published on Mon January 26, 2015 5:45 pm

President Obama says he will ask Congress to give wilderness status to protect more than 12 million acres of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The president announced his intention Sunday in a video, describing the area as a pristine habitat with abundant wildlife:

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The Two-Way
5:11 pm
Mon January 26, 2015

Backed By U.S.-Led Coalition, Kurds Take Kobani From ISIS

Kurds in Istanbul wave the flags of the outlawed PKK on Monday after Kurdish fighters backed by U.S.-led airstrikes pushed the Islamic State group out of Kobani, Syria.
AP

Originally published on Mon January 26, 2015 5:53 pm

Kurdish militiamen have wrested control of the Syrian town of Kobani from Islamic State militants, according to activists. Syrian-Kurdish refugees in neighboring Turkey have been celebrating the apparent liberation of their town.

Kobani represents the first instance that the U.S.-led coalition against the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, has openly coordinated with a local fighting force on the ground in Syria. Syrian-Kurdish militiamen bolstered by rebel Free Syrian Army battalions and Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga received airdrops of American weaponry and major air support.

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The Two-Way
4:03 pm
Mon January 26, 2015

Jeffrey Sterling, Former CIA Officer, Is Convicted Of Espionage

Originally published on Mon January 26, 2015 6:28 pm

A former CIA officer who was accused of giving a journalist classified information about U.S. plans to spoil Iran's nuclear program has been convicted of espionage in federal court.

Jeffrey Sterling, 47, was officially fired from the CIA in 2002; he was indicted for espionage in 2011 and now faces the possibility of dozens of years in prison. He'll be sentenced in April.

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Shots - Health News
3:14 pm
Mon January 26, 2015

Medicare Looks To Speed Up Pay For Quality Instead Of Volume

The Obama administration said Monday that it wants to speed up changes to Medicare so that within four years half of its traditional spending will go to doctors, hospitals and other providers that coordinate patient care.

The shift is being made to stress quality and frugality over payment by the procedure, test and visit.

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The Two-Way
2:42 pm
Mon January 26, 2015

An Asteroid Is Passing Very Close To Earth Today. Here's How To See It

Asteroid 2004 BL86 will be visible in parts of the sky tonight. Visibility is expected to peak around 9 p.m. ET, as shown in this NASA graphic.
Sky & Telescope

Originally published on Mon January 26, 2015 3:46 pm

By the time you read this post, asteroid 2004 BL86 will already have come as close to us as it's going to get as it flies by Earth. At about 11:19 a.m. ET today, it was nearly 745,000 miles away from our planet. That's only about three times the distance from the Earth to the moon.

But don't worry, you may still be able to catch a glimpse of the huge hunk of rock tonight.

When and how can I see the asteroid?

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U.S.
2:41 pm
Mon January 26, 2015

Accused Bomber's Lawyers Say Boston Jury Pool Is Too Biased

A memorial at the site of the first explosion in the Boston Marathon bombing. Defense attorneys say too many people in the potential jury pool have some kind of personal connection to the case.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 26, 2015 5:45 pm

The search for jurors in the case of accused Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is taking longer than expected.

Defense attorneys say it's nearly impossible to find open-minded, unbiased jurors around Boston. They're asking yet again for the judge to move the trial somewhere else.

From the beginning, defense attorneys have argued the entire jury pool has been poisoned by what they call "a narrative of guilt" from a "tidal wave" of media coverage. Now, Tsarnaev's lawyers say jurors' own comments on a court questionnaire prove widespread bias.

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Parallels
2:01 pm
Mon January 26, 2015

Syrian Rebels Want To Fight Assad, But Now They'll Face ISIS

Free Syrian Army fighters run behind sandbags in Daraa Al-Mahata, in southern Syria, on Jan. 21. Many moderate rebels joined the uprising to fight against President Bashar Assad, but the U.S. plans to train them to fight the self-proclaimed Islamic State.
Wsam Almokdad Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Mon January 26, 2015 5:45 pm

In the U.S. view, the most serious threat coming from Syria is the self-styled Islamic State, or ISIS. That's why the Pentagon is sending forces to train what it terms moderate Syrian rebel fighters.

But here's the catch. Moderate rebel commanders say it will be hard to explain this mission to their troops, who took up arms with the aim of toppling Syrian President Bashar Assad, not ISIS.

The U.S. plan calls for the Americans and their allies to train and equip about 5,000 Syrian moderates. U.S. troops are heading to Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia for the training.

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Animals
2:01 pm
Mon January 26, 2015

On The Ant Highway, There's Never A Backup

Originally published on Mon January 26, 2015 3:58 pm

A team of Indian physicists has made a mathematical model that purports to explain why ants don't have traffic jams. NPR's Joe Palca explains as part of his series, Joe's Big Idea.

This story originally aired on Morning Edition on January 19, 2015.

Europe
2:01 pm
Mon January 26, 2015

Looking At How Greece's New Government Will Fare In Eurozone

Originally published on Mon January 26, 2015 3:58 pm

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

Europe
2:01 pm
Mon January 26, 2015

Greece's Left-Wing Prime Minister Takes Charge

Originally published on Mon January 26, 2015 3:58 pm

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

The Salt
2:00 pm
Mon January 26, 2015

Sandwich Monday: Girl Scout Cookie Coffeemate

Made with real Girl Scouts!
NPR

Originally published on Mon January 26, 2015 2:15 pm

Used to be, you had to briefly stop eating Girl Scout Cookies while you finished your morning cup of coffee. But no more. Coffeemate is now making Girl Scout Cookie-flavored creamer, so you can now ingest them 24 hours a day, so long as you can find a friend to shove them in your mouth while you sleep. We decided to sample the caramel and coconut version, which is basically a liquid form of Samoas.

Miles: This is better than the Boy Scout Cookie coffee creamer, which tastes like pinewood derby cars.

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NPR Story
1:58 pm
Mon January 26, 2015

Snowy Owls 'Irrupting' In Northern States

A snowy owl is tagged with a transmitter. (Alan Richard)

For a second year in a row, a mass migration of snowy owls from Canada is occurring, and that’s highly unusual. It’s called an irruption and it’s thought to be related to boom and bust cycles of arctic lemmings, the small rodents that snowy owls love to eat.

Author and naturalist Scott Weidensaul is co-founder of Project SNOWstorm, which since last year has been using cellphone technology to track these mysterious and majestic birds.

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NPR Story
1:58 pm
Mon January 26, 2015

'Potentially Historic' Blizzard To Hit Northeast

The snow covered MBTA Griggs St/Long Ave subway stop sits empty on February 9, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. Boston officials have already said the subway will be closed on Tuesday in anticipation of a "potentially historic" storm. ( Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

Across the Northeast, people are gearing up for what forecasters say is likely to be a severe and “potentially historic” blizzard, in which snowfall could be measured in feet.

Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson talks to Peter Judge of the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, about what the state is doing to prepare. Boston officials have already said public transportation will be closed on Tuesday

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NPR Story
1:58 pm
Mon January 26, 2015

Limitations Of Winter Freeze Inspire Maine Chef

Executive Chef David Levi prepares turnips for dinner at Vinland in downtown Portland, Maine. (Peter O'Dowd)

Each year half of the fresh fruit in the United States – and a quarter of the fresh vegetables – are imported from another country. One of the motivations for the local food movement in the U.S.

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The Salt
12:54 pm
Mon January 26, 2015

Tossing Out Food In The Trash? In Seattle, You'll Be Fined For That

Seattle garbage collector Anousone Sadettanh empties a small residential garbage bin into his truck in 2014. It is now illegal to toss out food with the trash in the city. Residents will get warning tags for now; the city will start imposing fines in July.
Elaine Thompson AP

Originally published on Mon January 26, 2015 3:07 pm

In Seattle, wasting food will now earn you a scarlet letter — well, a scarlet tag, to be more accurate.

The bright red tag, posted on a garbage bin, tells everyone who sees it that you've violated a new city law that makes it illegal to put food into trash cans.

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It's All Politics
11:57 am
Mon January 26, 2015

Abortion Vote Shows How Much Democrats' World Has Changed

Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Mich., announces he will vote to pass the health care reform bill after President Obama agreed to sign an executive order reaffirming the ban on the use of federal funds to provide abortions, March 21, 2010.
Alex Brandon AP

This week, Congress returns with House leaders vowing to revisit the anti-abortion bill they pulled off the floor last week. The ban on abortions after 20 weeks was withdrawn when it appeared there weren't enough Republican votes to pass it.

Why did it need quite so many Republican votes? Because the GOP can no longer count on a contingent of Democrats to help out on abortion-related votes.

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The Two-Way
11:39 am
Mon January 26, 2015

U.S. Drone Strikes Target Suspected Al-Qaida Militants In Yemen

Originally published on Mon January 26, 2015 12:38 pm

A U.S. drone strike on suspected al-Qaida militants in Yemen killed at least three people, just days after the U.S.-backed government resigned in the face of an uprising by Shiite Houthi rebels, effectively leaving the country with no government.

The Associated Press reports that the strike, which occurred in the central province of Marib, targeted a vehicle carrying three men near the border with neighboring Shabwa province, an al-Qaida stronghold. The news agency also quoted an al-Qaida member as saying two of the slain fighters were Yemenis, one Saudi. Here's more:

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The Two-Way
10:06 am
Mon January 26, 2015

India's Modi Makes A Name For Himself — Literally — In Meeting With Obama

An up-close shot of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's suit reveals its telltale lettering: his name, in stripes of gold down his jacket.
Prakash Singh AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 26, 2015 1:02 pm

There are many ways in diplomacy to make a name for yourself. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi seems to have taken this message literally.

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Shots - Health News
10:02 am
Mon January 26, 2015

Pediatricians Say Don't Lock Up Teenagers For Using Marijuana

A marijuana bud displayed in Denver. Don't legalize pot, the pediatricians say, but don't lock teenagers up for using it, either.
Seth McConnell The Denver Post/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 26, 2015 12:04 pm

Across the country, efforts to make marijuana more accessible have quickly gained traction. Medical marijuana is now legal in 23 states, and recreational use is also legal in four states and the District of Columbia.

Science, however, hasn't quite caught up. Largely due to its illegal status, there's been very little research done on marijuana's health effects. And researchers don't fully understand how pot affects the developing teenage brain.

This may explain the why the nation's pediatricians have changed their recommendations on marijuana and children.

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NPR Ed
6:03 am
Mon January 26, 2015

Competency-Based Degree Programs On The Rise

LA Johnson/NPR

Originally published on Mon January 26, 2015 12:22 pm

Competency-based education is in vogue — even though most people have never heard of it, and those who have can't always agree on what it is.

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The Two-Way
5:49 am
Mon January 26, 2015

Obama Attends India's Republic Day Celebrations

Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 26, 2015 1:58 pm

President Obama became the first U.S. head of state to attend India's annual Republic Day parade, which marks the day the country adopted its constitution.

NPR's Scott Horsley, who is traveling with Obama, says the parade is "partly a showcase for the country's military might, but there are also floats honoring everything from India's female mountain climbers to its home-grown industrial development."

Julie McCarthy, who is NPR's correspondent in India, says it "was a jaunty occasion despite the rain."

Julie tells our Newscast unit:

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Around the Nation
5:22 am
Mon January 26, 2015

Another Coyote Found Wandering New York City

Originally published on Mon January 26, 2015 6:03 am

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

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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Around the Nation
5:22 am
Mon January 26, 2015

Fallen Prey To Love's Cruel Sting?

Originally published on Mon January 26, 2015 6:03 am

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

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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The Two-Way
5:03 am
Mon January 26, 2015

From New Jersey To Maine, Northeast Braces For Massive Blizzard

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration posted this photo taken Monday of the storm bearing down on the U.S. Northeast.
NOAA

Originally published on Mon January 26, 2015 11:26 am

Update at 12:20 p.m. ET

Nearly 30 million people in the Northeast are bracing for what the National Weather Service is calling a potentially historic blizzard that could bring more than 2 feet of snow today and Tuesday to parts of the region.

Blizzard warnings have been issued all the way from the New Jersey shore to coastal New England from this afternoon through late Tuesday.

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NPR Story
3:04 am
Mon January 26, 2015

Weekend Shelling Kills 30 People In Eastern Ukraine

Originally published on Mon January 26, 2015 5:48 pm

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

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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NPR Story
3:04 am
Mon January 26, 2015

Obama Honored As Chief Guest At India's Republic Day Festivities

Originally published on Mon January 26, 2015 10:57 am

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

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