NPR News

The Two-Way
7:11 am
Thu April 17, 2014

Ukraine Crisis: Diplomats Meet, Putin Admits Russia's Role In Crimea

Armed men wearing military fatigues gathered on armored personnel carriers Wednesday in the eastern Ukrainian city of Slovyansk, where they and other pro-Russia gunmen took control of some key locations.
Genya Savilov AFP/Getty Images

As Secretary of State John Kerry and foreign ministers from Ukraine, Russia and the European Union were gathering Thursday in Geneva to see if they can find a diplomatic solution to the crisis in Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin was publicly acknowledging for the first time that his military played a part in Crimea's breakaway from the rest of Ukraine.

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The Two-Way
6:38 am
Thu April 17, 2014

Jobless Claims Stay Near 7-Year Low

There were 304,000 first-time claims filed for unemployment insurance last week, up just 2,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 302,000, the Employment and Training Administration said Thursday.

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The Two-Way
5:59 am
Thu April 17, 2014

Putin Tells Snowden That Russia Doesn't Do Mass Surveillance

Russian President Vladimir Putin as he answered questions on national TV Thursday in Moscow.
Alexey Nikolsky/RIO Novosti/Kremlin pool EPA/Landov

Originally published on Thu April 17, 2014 6:31 am

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Planet Money
5:41 am
Thu April 17, 2014

To Increase Productivity, UPS Monitors Drivers' Every Move

Elise Amendola AP

Originally published on Thu April 17, 2014 6:33 am

The American workforce might want to pay attention to all those brown trucks full of cardboard boxes. UPS is using technology in ways that may soon be common throughout the economy.

On the surface, UPS trucks look the same as they did more than 20 years ago, when Bill Earle started driving for the company in rural Pennsylvania.

But underneath the surface, Earle says, the job has changed a lot. The thing you sign your name on when the UPS guy gives you a package used to be a piece of paper. Now it's a computer that tells Earle everything he needs to know.

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The Two-Way
5:03 am
Thu April 17, 2014

No Sign Yet Of Hundreds Missing After South Korean Ferry Disaster

Holding out hope, fearing the worst: A man looks out from the shore in Jindo, South Korea, toward where a passenger ferry sank Wednesday and nearly 300 people are still missing.
Kim Kyung-Hoon Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu April 17, 2014 6:00 am

  • On 'Morning Edition': NPR's Anthony Kuhn reports about the South Korean ferry disaster
This post will be updated as news comes in.

A second day of dangerous efforts to reach any survivors has ended with still no sign of the nearly 300 people — most of them high school students — believed to be trapped aboard a South Korean ferry that has capsized in the Yellow Sea.

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Europe
4:30 am
Thu April 17, 2014

Salon Uses Image Of North Korea's Leader To Promote Discount

Originally published on Thu April 17, 2014 4:43 am

The sign with a picture of Jim Jong-un offered 15 percent off all men's cuts through April. Two officials from the North Korean embassy arrived at the London salon and ordered the sign be taken down.

Around the Nation
4:09 am
Thu April 17, 2014

Lost Sea Lion Pup Found In California Almond Orchard

Originally published on Thu April 17, 2014 4:43 am

The pup was discovered 100 miles from the ocean. It mostly likely swam up the San Joaquin River, hopped out and couldn't find its way back.

Race
3:31 am
Thu April 17, 2014

Probe: Gains Of Integration Eroded, Especially In The South

In 1954, the Supreme Court outlawed segregation. David Greene talks to ProPublica's Nikole Hannah-Jones about her story in The Atlantic. She examines the failure of school desegregation.

NPR Story
3:07 am
Thu April 17, 2014

Spring Breakers Who Want Snow And Thrills Ski Tuckerman's Ravine

Originally published on Thu April 17, 2014 4:43 am

On a clear weekend day, as many as 3,000 people will make the three-mile trek up the side of New Hampshire's Mount Washington to the snowfields, defying steep terrain and the threat of avalanches.

NPR Story
3:07 am
Thu April 17, 2014

Pay It Forward Proposal Could Help Students Afford College

Originally published on Thu April 17, 2014 4:43 am

A new idea is making the rounds in education circles. Under the plan, states would allow students to go to college for free then they would pay back a percentage of their salaries after they graduate.

The Salt
1:30 am
Thu April 17, 2014

Plant Breeders Release First 'Open Source Seeds'

Backers of the new Open Source Seed Initiative will pass out 29 new varieties of 14 different crops, including broccoli, carrots and kale, on Thursday.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Thu April 17, 2014 5:36 am

A group of scientists and food activists is launching a campaign Thursday to change the rules that govern seeds. They're releasing 29 new varieties of crops under a new "open source pledge" that's intended to safeguard the ability of farmers, gardeners and plant breeders to share those seeds freely.

It's inspired by the example of open source software, which is freely available for anyone to use but cannot legally be converted into anyone's proprietary product.

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Shots - Health News
1:29 am
Thu April 17, 2014

Polio Hits Equatorial Guinea, Threatens Central Africa

A child receives a polio vaccine Sunday in Kano, Nigeria. The country is the primary source of the virus in Africa but appears to be making progress against the disease; the current outbreak in Cameroon that has spread to Equatorial Guinea came by way of Chad, not Nigeria.
Sunday Alamba AP

Originally published on Thu April 17, 2014 5:41 am

Health officials are worried.

After being free of polio for nearly 15 years, Equatorial Guinea has reported two cases of the disease.

The children paralyzed are in two distant parts of the country. So the virus may have spread widely across the small nation.

The outbreak is dangerous, in part, because Equatorial Guinea has the worst polio vaccination rate in the world: 39 percent. Even Somalia, teetering on the brink of anarchy, vaccinates 47 percent of its children.

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Parallels
1:28 am
Thu April 17, 2014

Meet The Sisters Saving Spanish Horses From Slaughter

Virginia Solera Garcia helps runs the CYD Santa Maria shelter with her sister, Concordia Márquez, adopting horses that might otherwise end up in the food supply.
Jorge Guerrero AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 17, 2014 6:55 am

It's been four years since Spain's construction-fueled economy collapsed, leaving 57 percent of young Spaniards out of work. Noisy protesters occupy Madrid's streets every weekend, demanding jobs and an end to punishing austerity.

But there is another, voiceless victim of the country's economic crash: Spanish horses.

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Business
1:27 am
Thu April 17, 2014

When Divorce Leads To A Happily Ever After For A Small Business

Rhonda Sanderson and her ex-husband, John Amato III, shown here in 2010, helped make a business thrive after they divorced.
Courtesy of Rhonda Sanderson

Originally published on Thu April 17, 2014 7:03 am

Married couples in America co-own 3.7 million small businesses, according to the Census Bureau, and the arrangement can be fruitful when both marriage and business are going well. But what happens when it doesn't? Most of the time, when the love dies, the business relationship ends, too.

But that's not always the case.

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The Salt
1:25 am
Thu April 17, 2014

Sichuan Pepper's Buzz May Reveal Secrets Of The Nervous System

It's the Sichuan peppercorn in dishes like spicy ma po tofu that makes your mouth buzz. Researchers wanted to know if that buzz is connected to the tingling you feel when your foot falls asleep.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu April 17, 2014 6:19 am

The Sichuan peppercorn is known to give some Chinese dishes a pleasant tingling feeling.

What's not so pleasant is that pins-and-needles feeling we get when our foot falls asleep — or when people who suffer from paresthesia experience constant tingling in their limbs.

Diana Bautista, a neuroscientist at the University of California, Berkeley, wondered: Could these sensations be connected?

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Around the Nation
11:56 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

John Edwards Resumes Career As Trial Attorney

John Edwards leaves a federal courthouse during his trial on charges of campaign corruption in 2012.
Chuck Burton AP

Former U.S. senator and Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards has returned to a North Carolina courtroom to help represent a 4-year-old Virginia boy in a medical malpractice case.

Edwards is one of three attorneys representing the parents and guardians of a boy with brain damage and physical injuries they say occurred in December 2009.

At that time, the boy was an infant in the care of Pitt County Memorial Hospital in Greenville, N.C., and an emergency room doctor.

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Shots - Health News
5:01 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

Free Drug Samples Prompt Skin Doctors To Prescribe Costlier Meds

What you're prescribed may depend on what samples your doctor gets from drug companies.
Steve Cole iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed April 16, 2014 7:17 pm

Every "free" sample comes with a price.

Dermatologists who accept free tubes and bottles of brand-name drugs are likelier to prescribe expensive medications for acne than doctors who are prohibited from taking samples, a study reports Wednesday.

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Africa
4:16 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

Rescuers Deliver Most, But Not All, Nigerian Schoolgirls To Safety

Originally published on Wed April 16, 2014 6:20 pm

According to the Nigerian military, all but eight of the girls kidnapped from a Nigerian boarding school have been rescued. As many as 100 girls had been abducted by militants earlier in the week.

World
4:16 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

Israel's Ultra-Orthodox Put Faith In Unorthodox Dating Service

Unlike many young women in her ultra-Orthodox Jewish community, Yael Mizrachi drives and has two university degrees. She's also having a difficult time finding a spouse.
Emily Harris NPR

Originally published on Wed April 16, 2014 6:20 pm

Yael Mizrachi, a 33-year-old Israeli woman, has been to many matchmakers.

"Too many," she says, rolling her wide dark eyes and tossing her shoulder-length hair.

Matchmakers are the traditional way to find a mate in the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community to which Mizrachi belongs. But she is not entirely traditional.

"I identify myself as a modern ultra-Orthodox," Mizrachi says.

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It's All Politics
3:49 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

Bloomberg Seeks To Alter Gun Debate With $50 Million, And Moms

Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced Wednesday that he plans to spend $50 million this year on field operations to support candidates in favor of gun safety laws.
Seth Wenig AP

Originally published on Wed April 16, 2014 4:54 pm

Billionaire Michael Bloomberg's plan to invest $50 million in what he describes as a mom-driven grass-roots effort to support pro-gun-safety candidates grabbed headlines Wednesday, and energized gun control activists.

The commitment, the former New York City mayor says, aims to beat back the profound political influence of the National Rifle Association in 15 targeted states — to "make them afraid of us," he told NBC's Today show.

"This is what the American public wants," Bloomberg said, referring to his group's intended focus on gun-purchase background checks.

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Law
3:45 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

Justice's 'Peacemaker' Unit Focuses On Transgender Rights

Diego Sanchez, the first openly transgender person to work as a legislative staffer on Capitol Hill, helped to develop a new Justice Department program that trains law enforcement to be more sensitive to the needs of transgender people.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Wed April 16, 2014 6:20 pm

A groundbreaking survey reports that nearly 2 out of 3 transgender people say they've been victims of physical assault. Most of those crimes are never reported to police. This year, the Justice Department wants to change that by training law enforcement to be more sensitive to the needs of trans people in their communities.

Deputy Attorney General Jim Cole says its new training program is motivated by a simple yet powerful idea.

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The Salt
3:19 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

On Your Mark, Get Set, Grow: A Guide To Speedy Vegetables

Cherry Belle radishes grow superfast.
John Trainor Flickr

Originally published on Thu April 17, 2014 6:32 am

Yes, it is true that gardening requires patience.

But face it, we live in an impatient world. And gardeners everywhere were depressed by the brutal and endless winter. (True story: The polar vortex killed my fall kale crop!)

So we are understandably eager to get sowing. And to see results by ... well, if not next Thursday, then maybe mid-May?

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Europe
2:41 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

Entering Talks In Geneva, U.S. Hopes For A Ukraine Breakthrough

Originally published on Wed April 16, 2014 6:20 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

Tomorrow, Secretary of State John Kerry is due to meet in Geneva with his counterparts from Russia, Ukraine and the European Union. It's hoped the multilateral talks will produce a diplomatic breakthrough on the crisis in Ukraine. Analysts say that without that, the U.S. and its Western allies have few other options for dealing with Russia's aggression there.

NPR's Jackie Northam reports.

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Education
2:41 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

The New SAT: Less Vocabulary, More Linear Equations

SAT preparation books on a bookstore shelf in New York City. The College Board has announced changes in the college entrance exam.
Mario Tama Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 16, 2014 6:20 pm

The standardized test that's been giving America's college-bound teenagers nightmares since the 1920s is getting a makeover.

On Wednesday, the College Board offered new details on changes to its SAT. Among the biggest shifts: Gone are the days of memorizing obscure vocabulary words. Though if you're in high school and set to take the SAT next year, don't burn those vocabulary flashcards just yet. The changes don't kick in until spring 2016.

Why the changes?

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News
2:41 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

Ukrainian Tanks Roll In — But Above Them Russian Flags Fly

Originally published on Wed April 16, 2014 6:20 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish. We begin this hour with the latest from eastern Ukraine. The Ukrainian military is continuing an operation to oust pro-Russian militants from occupied government buildings, but today, it experienced a setback. Ukraine's defense department confirms that some of its armored personnel carriers began flying the Russian flag. NPR's Ari Shapiro went to investigate.

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Technology
2:41 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

Man Reaches For The Sun For A Solution To Pakistan's Gas Crisis

Pakistani motorists wait in line at a refueling station in the outskirts of Islamabad on Jan. 20, 2013. Waits of up to four hours have become a way of life since Pakistan decided to switch to compressed natural gas about a decade ago.
Farooq Naeem AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 16, 2014 6:20 pm

Spring has crept up to the foothills of the Himalayas and, in Islamabad, Pakistan's purpose-built capital, the air is full of the scent of roses and the yelling of birds.

Yet, even in this most stately of South Asian cities, it is impossible to escape the realities of an unstable nation that has yet to figure out how to meet some of the basic needs of its 200 million or so citizens.

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The Two-Way
2:41 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

New Fossil Takes A Bite Out Of Theory That Sharks Barely Evolved

This mako shark looks like its ancient ancestors, but it's probably evolved to be even more terrifying.
Sam Cahir Barcroft Media/Landov

Originally published on Wed April 16, 2014 6:20 pm

Sharks have looked more or less the same for hundreds of millions of years. But a newly discovered fossil suggests that under the hood, a modern shark is very different from its ancient ancestors.

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Middle East
2:41 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

Iranian U.N. Ambassador's Past Makes Fodder For Diplomatic Dust-up

Originally published on Wed April 16, 2014 6:20 pm

The U.S. has denied a visa to Hamid Aboutalebi, Iran's choice as ambassador to the United Nations, which is based in New York. Aboutalebi is an experienced diplomat, but his past involvement as a translator during the 1979 takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran is problematic. Iran has complained to the world body, and a special committee is set to review the issue next week. Bloomberg reporter Sangwon Yoon explains the diplomatic controversy and how it may play out.

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Business
2:41 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

Legal Moves Might Mean Fiscal Relief, And More PR Troubles, For GM

Originally published on Wed April 16, 2014 6:20 pm

General Motors is signaling its plans to ask a bankruptcy judge for protection from lawsuits related to a defective switch recall. As Michigan Radio's Tracy Samilton reports, the action could further complicate its current public relations crisis.

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

Transcript

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Asia
2:41 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

South Korea Ferry Disaster Sets Rescuers, And Fears, In Motion

Originally published on Wed April 16, 2014 6:20 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Tragedy in South Korea today. Hundreds are missing after a ferry sank off the country's southern coast. At least six people are confirmed dead so far, but there is fear that the death toll will rise dramatically. Passengers who were rescued said they believe many more were trapped below deck.

We're joined now by Jason Strother. He's a journalist based in Seoul.

And, Jason, first can you tell us about what happened here? Where was this ferry headed and who was on board?

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