NPR News

The Two-Way
2:01 pm
Fri January 30, 2015

NBA Player Flouts A Critic's Guarantee That He Would Be Arrested

Friday, DeMarcus Cousins of the Sacramento Kings reminded sports journalist Clay Travis that his five-year guarantee — that Cousins would be arrested — had expired.
Thearon W. Henderson Getty Images

Today is a great day to be DeMarcus Cousins. Not only did he get to serve a chilly dish of revenge to a sportswriter who dismissed him in 2010; he was also chosen for the NBA's All-Star Game.

This morning, Cousins posted a photo of a 2010 tweet by writer Clay Travis, who wrote, "There is a 100% chance that DeMarcus Cousins is arrested for something in the next five years."

Five years later, Cousins, who now plays for the Sacramento Kings, wrote, "Today's the day!! Let's all show him some love!!"

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The Two-Way
12:44 pm
Fri January 30, 2015

WATCH: Forget Crop Circles, This Farmer Is Making Art With His Cows

A farmer makes art by herding his cows.
YouTube

Originally published on Fri January 30, 2015 1:28 pm

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NPR Story
12:44 pm
Fri January 30, 2015

Rod McKuen, Mega-Selling Poet And Performer, Dies At 81

Rod McKuen performs on November 12, 2005, in Los Angeles, California. (David Livingston/Getty Images)

Rod McKuen, the husky-voiced “King of Kitsch” whose avalanche of music, verse and spoken-word recordings in the 1960s and ’70s overwhelmed critical mockery and made him an Oscar-nominated songwriter and one of the best-selling poets in history, has died. He was 81.

McKuen died Thursday morning at a rehabilitation center in Beverly Hills, California, where he had been treated for pneumonia and had been ill for several weeks and was unable to digest food, his half-brother Edward McKuen Habib said.

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NPR Story
12:44 pm
Fri January 30, 2015

Cowboy Poets Gather At Annual Celebration

The 31st National Cowboy Poetry Gathering is underway in Elko, Nevada. Last year, Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson spoke with an attendee named Gaul Steiger, a cattle rancher who comes from a long line of cowboy poets. We revisit that conversation.

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NPR Story
12:44 pm
Fri January 30, 2015

U.S. Economic Growth Falls Short In Fourth Quarter

The economy has slowly been bouncing back since the recession ended in 2009, but predictions for 2014 fell short of expectations in the final quarter.

The economy grew at a 2.6 percent annual rate in the October to December period. The growth for the year was a moderate 2.4 percent.

Early 2015 predictions by economists say things are looking up. Mike Regan, editor for Bloomberg News speaks with Here & Now’s Lisa Mullins about last year’s GDP and the year ahead.

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Remembrances
12:29 pm
Fri January 30, 2015

Fresh Air Remembers Long-Time New York TV And Radio Personality Joe Franklin

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

Transcript

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "THE JOE FRANKLIN SHOW")

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Author Interviews
12:29 pm
Fri January 30, 2015

Are We Having Fun Yet? New Book Explores The Paradox Of Parenting

Kids can be magical and maddening. The title of Jennifer Senior's book — All Joy and No Fun — contrasts the strains of day-to-day parenting with the transcendent experience of raising a child.

Originally broadcast Feb. 4, 2014.

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

Transcript

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The Two-Way
11:32 am
Fri January 30, 2015

Kerry Fined $50 For Not Shoveling Sidewalk Outside Boston Home

Secretary of State John Kerry greets new Saudi King Salman in Riyadh on Tuesday. the city of Boston fined Kerry $50 on Thursday for failing to clear his sidewalk after this week's massive snowstorm.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Secretary of State John Kerry was in Saudi Arabia this week with President Obama meeting that country's new king. So, when the massive snowstorm hit the Northeast this week, the sidewalk outside his Boston home wasn't cleared. The city, as The Boston Globe puts it, took notice.

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Shots - Health News
11:23 am
Fri January 30, 2015

Obama Wants Funding For Research On More Precise Health Care

Harvard University student Elana Simon introduces President Obama before he spoke at the White House Friday about an initiative to encourage research into more precise medicine.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

You may soon be able to donate your personal data to science. There are plans afoot to find 1 million Americans to volunteer for a new Precision Medicine Initiative that would anonymously link medical records, genetic readouts, details about an individual's gut bacteria, lifestyle information and maybe even data from your Fitbit.

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Code Switch
11:18 am
Fri January 30, 2015

What Research Says About The Consequences Of PC Culture

One of the most popular arguments against political correctness is that it stifles speech, but a Cornell study found that it boosted creativity in mixed-gender groups.
Tamir Kalifa AP

Originally published on Fri January 30, 2015 1:32 pm

By now, you've surely seen Jonathan Chait's sprawling takedown of what he describes as a dangerous resurgence of political correctness in the 21st century. In his telling, a "PC culture" that flourished on college campuses in the '90s is back, stronger than ever thanks to Twitter and social media, and it's been crippling political discourse — and maybe even democracy itself.

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The Two-Way
10:36 am
Fri January 30, 2015

Jeremy The Koala, Rescued From Australian Brush Fire, Goes Home

Jeremy the Koala.
BBC Weather

Originally published on Fri January 30, 2015 2:27 pm

Jeremy the koala — who became a social-media sensation after a photo went viral showing him recuperating from injuries sustained in an Australian wildfire — is being released back into the wild.

The three-year-old male koala, nicknamed after his rescuer, was removed from the Adelaide Hills in South Australia after a massive brush fire swept through the area. His paws had been burned and he was badly in need of treatment.

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The Two-Way
10:05 am
Fri January 30, 2015

Bomb Attack On Shiite Mosque In Pakistan Leaves At Least 55 Dead

Pakistani protesters in Karachi condemn a bombing at a Shiite mosque in Shikarpur on Friday.
Fareed Khan AP

Originally published on Fri January 30, 2015 1:33 pm

At least 55 people are dead and dozens injured after a blast ripped through a mosque in southern Pakistan where worshipers had gathered for Friday prayers.

Jundullah, a Sunni militant group with links to the Pakistani Taliban, claimed responsibility for the attack on the mosque in Shikarpur, Sindh province.

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Shots - Health News
9:42 am
Fri January 30, 2015

Experiments With Coordinating Medical Care Deliver Mixed Results

Medical homes are a simple, compelling idea: Give primary-care doctors resources to reduce preventable medical crises for diabetics, asthmatics and others with chronic illness, and it will reduce hospital visits, improve lives and save money.

But it's not so easy in practice.

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Shots - Health News
9:22 am
Fri January 30, 2015

Diabetes Technology Inches Closer To An Artificial Pancreas

The Dexcom Share device is designed to help parents monitor a child's glucose levels remotely.
Dexcom, Inc.

Originally published on Fri January 30, 2015 11:58 am

Every person who uses insulin to manage diabetes wants what they don't have — a replacement for their malfunctioning pancreas. And though the technology isn't yet to the point of creating an artificial pancreas, it's getting a lot closer.

Just last week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved a mobile app-based system that can monitor a person's sugar levels remotely. Parents can monitor a child's sugar while she or he is in school, for example, providing greater peace of mind.

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The Two-Way
8:51 am
Fri January 30, 2015

Balloonists Crossing Pacific Set Distance Record

In this photo provided by the Two Eagles balloon team, Troy Bradley of New Mexico and Leonid Tiukhtyaev of Russia set off from Saga, Japan.
Troy Bradley AP

Originally published on Fri January 30, 2015 9:36 am

Two balloonists have unofficially left a distance record in their wake as they head east over the Pacific Ocean. They lifted off from Japan, and now they're getting ready for a landing on Saturday somewhere on Mexico's Baja peninsula.

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The Two-Way
8:04 am
Fri January 30, 2015

Jailed Saudi Blogger Granted Another Reprieve From Flogging; Reason Unclear

Originally published on Fri January 30, 2015 1:55 pm

Saudi authorities have once again canceled the scheduled flogging of blogger Raif Badawi, who is being punished for insulting Islam, according to Amnesty International, the human rights group that has been closely following the case.

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The Two-Way
7:55 am
Fri January 30, 2015

Boston Marathon Winner Rita Jeptoo Banned 2 Years For Doping

Rita Jeptoo of Kenya crosses the finish line to win the Women's Elite division of the 118th Boston Marathon on April 21.
Timothy Clary AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 30, 2015 10:42 am

One of the marathon world's brightest stars has been banned for two years, after testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug.

Athletics Kenya, the body that governs running in the country, said Rita Jeptoo tested positive for erythropoietin, or EPO, which stimulates the production of red blood cells.

Jeptoo has won the Boston Marathon three times and she won her second Chicago Marathon in October.

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The Two-Way
7:26 am
Fri January 30, 2015

China Cracks Down On University Textbooks Promoting 'Western Values'

A Chinese paramilitary police stands in front a portrait of late Chinese leader Mao Zedong outside the Forbidden city, Beijing, China, in November.
Aaron Favila AP

Originally published on Fri January 30, 2015 8:12 am

China's education minister has told universities to stop using textbooks that promote Western values in a move seen as part of a larger ideological crackdown, reports NPR's Frank Langfitt from Shanghai.

At an educational forum, Yuan Guiren said universities should also forbid criticism of China's leaders and the country's political system, according to the Xinhua News Agency.

Frank says the edict comes as the government disrupts virtual private networks, or VPNs, which help people access foreign websites that China's Internet cops have already blocked.

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The Two-Way
6:30 am
Fri January 30, 2015

As Deadline Passes, The Fate Of ISIS Hostages Is Uncertain

As a deadline came and went, the fate of two hostages being held by the Islamic State is uncertain.

As we've reported, Jordan has indicated it was willing to release a convicted terrorist in exchange for the release of a Jordanian prisoner. On Thursday, Jordan demanded proof of life from the Islamic State, which had demanded the exchange take place by sundown on Thursday.

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Around the Nation
5:13 am
Fri January 30, 2015

The Art World Gets In On The Super Bowl Rivalry

Originally published on Fri January 30, 2015 5:46 am

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

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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NPR Ed
5:08 am
Fri January 30, 2015

True Or False? Free And Reduced-Price Lunch = Poor

LA Johnson/NPR

Originally published on Fri January 30, 2015 1:54 pm

In the education world, you see this phrase all the time: "free and reduced-price lunch." What's the percentage at a given school? In a given district or state?

It's not necessarily out of concern about who's getting fed. Instead, it's most often used to talk about concentrations of poverty and how that effects learning.

The phrase refers to students enrolled in the National School Lunch Program — an easily available data point for any school and any district.

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The Two-Way
5:00 am
Fri January 30, 2015

South Africa Grants Parole To Notorious Apartheid-Era Death Squad Leader

Eugene De Kock a former Vlakplaas commander speaks to the judge at a Truth and Reconciliation Commission in 1999. De Kock, the apartheid regime's top assassin, asked the commission for amnesty for over 100 incidents of torture, murder and fraud.
Yoav Lemmer AFP/Getty Images

The South African government has decided to grant parole to a notorious Apartheid-era death squad leader.

As The Guardian reports, Eugene de Kock, who was known as "Prime Evil," was sentenced to two life terms in connection to the killings.

The Guardian adds:

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NPR Story
3:07 am
Fri January 30, 2015

Former Democratic Sen. Jim Webb Explores Presidential Bid

Originally published on Fri January 30, 2015 11:48 am

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

NPR Story
3:07 am
Fri January 30, 2015

Multivitamins: The Case For Taking One A Day

Ideally, we'd all eat super healthful diets. But that's not the world we live in, and multivitamins may help bridge the nutritional gaps.
Jasper White Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 30, 2015 12:23 pm

In an ideal world, we'd all be eating copious amounts of nutrient-dense foods such as fruits and vegetables — and getting all the essential vitamins and nutrients our bodies need for optimal health.

But, as a nation, we're far from that healthful eating ideal.

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It's All Politics
2:26 am
Fri January 30, 2015

4 Reasons Why It's Veto Season At The White House

President Obama has said he will veto the Keystone XL pipeline project, which passed in the Senate on Wednesday. Historically, political scientists say, 90 percent of veto threats are issued behind the scenes, but Obama has issued nine veto threats so far — in public.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 30, 2015 1:45 pm

President Obama is about to get his first veto opportunity of the new Congress. A bill that would approve the Keystone XL pipeline project will be on his desk soon. He has promised to veto it, and that's unusual. In his first six years in office, Obama issued just two vetoes — the fewest of any president going all the way back to James Garfield, and Garfield only served 199 days in office!

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Cities Project
7:37 pm
Thu January 29, 2015

A Pillar Of Atlanta's Community Also Has An Outsize Shoe Collection

Walters Clothing carries styles that go back decades and shoes up to size 18. Its outsize selection has earned the attention of NBA stars and hip-hop artists.
Eboni Lemon New Voices Initiative, AIR

Originally published on Fri January 30, 2015 8:07 am

It takes anchors to keep neighborhoods lively — key restaurants and stores that draw people from far and wide. Walters Clothing in downtown Atlanta is a mom-and-pop shop that has that kind of magnetic attraction.

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The Two-Way
7:07 pm
Thu January 29, 2015

Arrested For Resisting Arrest — Yes, It's Possible

Originally published on Fri January 30, 2015 8:42 am

Earlier this week in a San Francisco courthouse, a deputy public defender named Jami Tillotson challenged police who were trying to take pictures of her client, and the police handcuffed her and took her away. The public defender's office angrily accused the officer of intimidation, but what caught our attention was the reason for her arrest.

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The Two-Way
7:07 pm
Thu January 29, 2015

Car Safety Improves: Study Lists Those With Most, And Least, Driver Deaths

A 2011 Subaru Legacy is among the nine vehicles that were found to have a driver fatality rate of zero in a new report by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
Daniel Acker Landov

Originally published on Fri January 30, 2015 12:54 pm

A record nine car models recorded driver death rates of zero, in a periodic study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The group's focus on 2011 models driven through 2012 also found the overall death rate fell by more than a third from its previous study.

The new study found that when looking at 2011 models through the 2012 calendar year, driver deaths per million registered vehicle years fell to 28; just three years earlier, the driver death rate was 48.

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Shots - Health News
6:01 pm
Thu January 29, 2015

Rise In Measles Cases Marks A 'Wake-Up Call' For U.S.

Aly Hurt/NPR

Originally published on Fri January 30, 2015 11:26 am

After a few cases here and there, measles is making a big push back into the national consciousness.

An outbreak linked to visitors to the Disneyland Resort Theme Parks in Orange County, Calif., has sickened 67 people in California and six other states according to the latest count from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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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 6:33 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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