NPR News

The Two-Way
2:46 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

Tree Planted To Honor Beatle Killed By Beetles

Flowers may grow so incredibly high, as the Beatles once sang, but trees — not so much.

Actually, a pine tree planted in Los Angeles a decade ago to honor former Beatle George Harrison reached a height of 12 feet, before succumbing recently.

To an infestation. Of beetles.

"No one I think is in my tree" — a line from the song "Strawberry Fields Forever" — wouldn't seem to apply.

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Economy
2:39 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

Inflation Came In Low Again, But Are There Bubbles?

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen testifies before the Senate Banking Committee on July 15. She said the Fed is likely to keep interest rates low "for a considerable period" since inflation remains so tame.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Want to borrow money for a car or a home this fall?

Oddly enough, the interest rates available months from now for big-ticket items may be determined by the prices you pay today for everyday consumer goods. When store prices are rising rapidly, policymakers start pushing interest rates higher, too.

But for the moment, at least, inflation appears mild enough to keep interest rates low for a long while.

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Law
2:14 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

Obamacare's Split Decisions Spell Law's Possible Return To Supreme Court

Two different U.S. appeals courts issued opposing verdicts on the Affordable Care Act, one striking down a crucial component of the law while another upheld the same component. NPR's Mara Liasson unravels the political consequences of the conflicting decisions.

Law
2:14 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

Obama's Health Care Law Has A Confusing Day In Court

The Affordable Care Act received conflicting rulings in federal courts Tuesday. One U.S. appeals court tossed out an IRS regulation governing subsidies, while another three-judge panel issued unanimous verdict saying just the opposite.

Middle East
2:14 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

In Cairo, First Steps Taken On Gnarled Path To Gaza Cease-Fire

Secretary of State John Kerry has finished his first full day in Cairo, where he's trying to help forge a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

Middle East
2:14 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

As Rockets Encroach, Israel's Main Airport Sees Canceled U.S. Flights

U.S. airlines have canceled flights to Israel after reports of Hamas rockets landing near Ben Gurion International Airport outside Tel Aviv.

Law
2:14 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

Newark Police Placed Under Federal Microscope For Rampant Misconduct

After a lengthy investigation, the U.S. Justice Department has found that the Newark Police Department, the largest in New Jersey, has frequently violated residents' civil rights and engaged in unreasonable use of force. Sarah Gonzalez of WNYC reports that the department will be placed under federal oversight.

Africa
2:14 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

Amid CAR's Bloodshed, Thousands Dead And Little Help For The Living

Sectarian violence erupted between Muslims and Christians in the Central African Republic just over a year ago. According to Sylvain Groulx of Doctors Without Borders, the conflict's casualty count is staggering: One in three families there have lost at least one family member.

Middle East
2:14 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

In A Crowded Gaza, A Growing Sense That Nowhere Is Safe

Two weeks into the conflict in the Gaza Strip, more than 600 Palestinians — mostly civilians — and 29 Israelis have been killed. Two recent Israeli strikes, on a school and a hospital, reflect the scope of Israel's offensive.

Recipes
2:14 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

A Spicy Take On An Old Standby: This Ketchup's Ripe For Return

When life gives you tomatoes, make ketchup. With those fruits of the vine in high season, All Things Considered reaches into the archives for an heirloom tomato ketchup recipe, which produces a spicy sauce you'll likely not to find anywhere else.

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

Europe
2:14 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

The Polish Case For Tougher Russia Sanctions

In the wake of the Malaysian airliner's downing, many Europeans are now calling for tougher sanctions against Russia. Among them is Radek Sikorski, Poland's foreign minister, who explains to Robert Siegel why the West should ratchet up sanctions.

NPR Story
2:13 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

Remains Of Clovis Boy Reburied In Montana

During a special ceremony, scientists and representatives of six tribes reburied a 12,600-year-old Clovis child in a patch of sagebrush on Saturday June, 28, 2014, close to the site where he was accidentally unearthed almost 50 years ago. (Shawn Raecke/Livingston Enterprise)

Earlier this year, Here & Now told the story of the so-called “Clovis boy,” a young boy buried in what is now Montana, more than 12,000 years ago. His remains were discovered there in 1968 and eventually his DNA was analyzed, showing the boy was part of the Clovis culture, which existed in North America about 13,000 years ago.

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NPR Story
2:13 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

Hong Kong Debates Independence From China

A child holds up a banner during a pro-democracy rally seeking greater democracy in Hong Kong on July 1, 2014, as frustration grows over the influence of Beijing on the city. (Dale De La Rey/AFP/Getty)

There have been huge protests in the former British colony Hong Kong recently. Hundreds of thousands took to the streets to demand that Beijing honor China’s commitment to Hong Kong’s political and judicial independence.

As the BBC’s Juliana Liu reports, there is deep anxiety in Hong Kong that China has no intention of allowing people on the island to choose their next leader, but there are also protestors on the other side, with leanings more toward China.

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NPR Story
2:13 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

Next iPhone To Offer Bigger Screen, But Will It Fit In Your Pocket?

Apple will manufacture iPhones with larger displays for its next model. (Photo Giddy/Flickr)

Apple is placing its bets on iPhones with bigger screens, and a whole lot of them. The company is asking suppliers to make between 70 and 80 million of the new models with 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch screens by December 30, according to the Wall Street Journal. This is larger than the current models with 4-inch displays.

Apple had stuck with its smaller displays even as rival smartphone companies rolled out bigger screens and customers sought larger models. Now, Apple will join their ranks.

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U.S.
2:06 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

Deal In Detroit Could Signal Cuts To Pensions Elsewhere

Retirees Mike Shane (left) and William Davis protest near the federal courthouse in Detroit on July 3. Workers and retirees approved pension cuts in Detroit's bankruptcy by a landslide, the city reported Monday.
Paul Sancya AP

It used to be that if you were a public employee, you knew your pension benefits could not be touched.

That's no longer the case.

Pensions have been under political attack in recent years, with some politicians arguing they can't afford to fund generous retirements at the same time they're cutting services. Numerous states and cities have trimmed the type of pension plans they're offering employees — mostly new employees.

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Goats and Soda
1:56 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

Don't Pop That Bubble Wrap! Scientists Turn Trash Into Test Tubes

Clear and clean, bubble wrap is well-suited to serve as an array of tiny test tubes. Here a dye solution is injected into the bubbles to measure the hemoglobin concentration in blood.
American Chemical Society

Originally published on Tue July 22, 2014 3:13 pm

Hate to burst your bubble, glass lab gear. But plastic bubble wrap also works pretty well at running science experiments.

Scientists at Harvard University have figured out a way to use these petite pouches as an inexpensive alternate to glass test tubes and culture dishes. They even ran glucose tests on artificial urine and anemia tests on blood, all with the samples sitting inside bubble wrap.

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NPR Ed
1:38 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

Charters, Money And Test Scores

Putting charter school research under a microscope.
Flickr

Originally published on Tue July 22, 2014 2:15 pm

The University of Arkansas today released what it calls a "first ever" study exploring the relationship between charter school funding and student achievement.Here at NPR Ed we get a lot of press releases for studies related to education--on everything from

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Remembrances
1:34 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

Fresh Air Remembers Actress And Singer Elaine Stritch

The Broadway star used to describe herself as a Catholic, diabetic, alcoholic. She died July 17 at the age of 89. In 1999, she talked with Terry Gross when she was starring in a revival of Sail Away.

Shots - Health News
1:19 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

As High School Lacrosse Surges In Popularity, So Does Injury Focus

Walt Whitman High School's Caroline Schweitzer runs through a host of Severna Park High School defenders during a semifinal game in Maryland's Class 4A/3A lacrosse tournament in May.
Toni L. Sandys The Washington Post/Getty Images

Sometimes called the fastest game on two feet, lacrosse is also one of the fastest-growing sports in the U.S.

Between 2008 and 2012, kids' participation in lacrosse climbed 158 percent to a little more than three-quarters of a million, according to a survey conducted by the Sports & Fitness Industry Association/Physical Activity Council. At the same time participation in baseball, basketball, football and soccer has either stagnated or declined.

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Goats and Soda
1:17 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

Rumor Patrol: No, A Snake In A Bag Did Not Cause Ebola

Eerie protective suits and shiny body bags have fueled rumors about the origins of Ebola. Here, a burial team removes the body of a person suspected to have died from the virus in the village of Pendembu, Sierra Leone.
Tommy Trenchard for NPR

Originally published on Tue July 22, 2014 3:04 pm

"A lady had a snake in a bag. When somebody opened the bag, that made the lady die."

That's the beginning of a story that Temba Morris often hears about the origins of Ebola. Morris runs a government health clinic in a remote village near Sierra Leone's border with Guinea. According to the story, somebody else then looked inside the bag.

"And the one who opened the bag also died," is what Morris hears next. The snake escaped into the Sierra Leone bush.

So there you have it: Ebola is an evil snake that will kill you if you look at it.

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The Two-Way
1:12 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

Montana Judge Is Publicly Censured Over 30-Day Sentence For Rape

Montana District Judge G. Todd Baugh was publicly censured by the state Supreme Court on Tuesday. The judge apologized for remarks he made about a rape victim last year.
Matt Brown AP

Originally published on Tue July 22, 2014 2:00 pm

Less than a year after his lenient jail sentence for an admitted rapist stirred outrage, a Montana judge was publicly reprimanded today. In giving a former high school teacher only a 30-day jail sentence, District Judge G. Todd Baugh said the man's victim, a student, seemed older than her age, 14.

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Shots - Health News
12:40 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

How A Tiny Fly's Ears Could Help You Hear Better

If you were a cricket, this little fly would make you very nervous.
Courtesy of Louisiana State Arthropod Museum

Ormia ochracea is not a very likeable creature, even by fly standards.

This parasitic fly likes to leave its larvae on the backs of crickets. The larvae burrow inside the cricket and then proceed to eat the cricket alive.

But humans who have struggled with hearing loss might soon be thankful for one at least small part of this fly – its ears.

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Krulwich Wonders...
11:55 am
Tue July 22, 2014

What's Better Than A Total Eclipse Of The Sun? Check This

NASA/JPL-Caltech

Originally published on Tue July 22, 2014 12:54 pm

Any eclipse is worth seeing. A total eclipse — where the moon completely blots out the sun, where day turns to night, where solar flares ring the moon's shadow like a crown of flame — that's the eclipse everybody wants to see, the alpha eclipse that eclipses all the other eclipses. Everybody knows this (me included), until I saw this ...

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Health Care
11:13 am
Tue July 22, 2014

Federal Court Throws Out Health Care Subsidies In 36 States

Originally published on Tue July 22, 2014 11:38 am

Julie Rovner of Kaiser Health News explains a federal appeals court ruling Tuesday that overturns subsidies provided to low- and middle-income people in states that use the federal health exchanges.

Shots - Health News
10:31 am
Tue July 22, 2014

Appeals Court Strikes Down Subsidies In Federal Health Exchange

Originally published on Tue July 22, 2014 11:37 am

A three-judge panel at the U.S. Appeals Court for the D.C. Circuit threw the fate of an important part of the Affordable Care Act into doubt Tuesday.

In a 2-1 decision, the court ruled that the Internal Revenue Service lacked the authority to allow subsidies to be provided in exchanges not run by the states. The ruling could put at immediate risk the millions of people who bought insurance in the 36 states where these online insurance marketplaces are run by the federal government.

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News
10:07 am
Tue July 22, 2014

For Pregnant Women, New Guidelines Aim To Reduce Workplace Discrimination

Originally published on Tue July 22, 2014 12:02 pm

More than 35 years after the Pregnancy Discrimination Act was passed by Congress, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has updated their guidelines. Host Michel Martin learns more.

Technology
10:07 am
Tue July 22, 2014

Tweeting From A Conflict Zone: Does It Help Or Hurt News Reporting?

As Gaza, Ukraine and Syria trend on Twitter, has social media changed the way conflicts are covered? Host Michel Martin finds out from reporter Anne Barnard and Peter Bouckaert of Human Rights Watch.

The Two-Way
8:22 am
Tue July 22, 2014

U.K. Orders New Inquiry Into Ex-KGB Spy Litvinenko's Death

Marina Litvinenko, the widow of former Russian intelligence officer Alexander Litvinenko, says she is "relieved and delighted" with the U.K. government's decision to open a public inquiry into the former KGB agent's death in 2006 by radiation poisoning.
Matt Dunham AP

Originally published on Tue July 22, 2014 2:12 pm

Britain has ordered a public inquiry into the death in 2006 of former KGB spy Alexander Litvinenko by radiation poisoning.

In a statement to Parliament today, Home Secretary Theresa May said the independent Home Office inquiry will be headed by Robert Owen, a senior judge who is the coroner in the inquest into Litvinenko's death. She said the inquiry would, among other things, identify "where responsibility for the death lies."

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Goats and Soda
7:34 am
Tue July 22, 2014

The Immigrant Kids Have Health Issues — But Not The Ones You'd Think

Two young girls, part of the wave of unaccompanied children who've illegally entered the U.S., watch a soccer match at the Customs and Border Protection Nogales Placement Center in Arizona.
Ross D. Franklin AP

Originally published on Tue July 22, 2014 12:43 pm

Close to 60,000 children have crossed illegally into the U.S. since last October. They've sparked a crisis. But is it a humanitarian crisis or a public health one?

The children carry "swine flu, dengue fever, Ebola virus, and tuberculosis," and can spread the diseases to the U.S., wrote Rep. Phil Gingrey, R-Ga., a retired obstetrician-gynecologist, in a July 7 letter to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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The Two-Way
6:25 am
Tue July 22, 2014

Gaza Conflict Day 15: Here's What You Need To Know

A relative bursts into tears in front of the bodies of seven members of the Kelani family, killed overnight by an Israeli strike in Gaza City.
Lefteris Pitarakis AP

Originally published on Tue July 22, 2014 11:33 am

As Israel's offensive against Hamas entered its 15th day, Secretary of State John Kerry was in Cairo pressing for a truce modeled after the 2012 cease-fire.

Still, the violence continued unabated with the death toll on both sides rising: More than 500 Palestinians and 25 Israeli soldiers and two Israeli civilians have been killed.

With that here's what you need to know:

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