NPR News

The Two-Way
1:42 pm
Fri July 31, 2015

Judge Says Virginia Can Refuse To Issue Confederate License Plates

Originally published on Fri July 31, 2015 2:55 pm

Close on the heels of a U.S. Supreme Court decision that granted Texas the right to refuse to issue Confederate-themed license plates, a federal judge has effectively vacated a state injunction in Virginia that kept officials there from similarly blocking such plates.

Judge Jackson L. Kiser will issue a separate written order on whether the 1,700 Confederate license plates that have already been issued can be recalled by the state.

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It's All Politics
1:19 pm
Fri July 31, 2015

Hillary Clinton's Doctor Says She's Healthy Enough To Be President

In a health care statement released Friday, a New York doctor wrote that Hillary Clinton "is in excellent physical condition and fit to serve as President of the United States."
Getty Images

Originally published on Fri July 31, 2015 4:21 pm

The State Department's latest dump of Hillary Clinton's emails may dominate the news cycle in the coming days, but her campaign also released another crucial document on Friday — a clean bill of health for the Democratic front-runner.

The confirmation comes from Lisa Bardack, a New York-based doctor who has been Clinton's physician since 2001. In a letter, she declares Clinton "a healthy-appearing female," saying that Clinton exercises regularly, eats plenty of vegetables and fruits, doesn't smoke, and "drinks alcohol only occasionally."

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NPR Story
12:24 pm
Fri July 31, 2015

GOP 2016 Hopefuls Race To Qualify, Prep For First Debate

Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump greets supporters at a South Carolina campaign rally in Bluffton, S.C., on July 21, 2015. (Stephen B. Morton/AP)

Originally published on Fri July 31, 2015 1:16 pm

This week in presidential politics, Donald Trump stayed out in front of a crowded Republican field. That field also got more crowded.

Former Virginia Governor Jim Gilmore announced his candidacy, the 17th Republican do so. The first Republican debate is coming up next week in Cleveland. Who will be allowed on the main stage?

Meanwhile, Democrat Hillary Clinton outlined an ambitious plan to fight climate change, which critics say is flawed. She also called for the end of the Cuba embargo.

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NPR Story
12:24 pm
Fri July 31, 2015

Puerto Rico Nears Default As Deadline Looms

Originally published on Fri July 31, 2015 11:45 am

Puerto Rico is heading toward a default on Saturday, just weeks after Gov. Alejandro García Padilla in June told investors that the island’s $72 billion in debt was unpayable.

The expected default over the weekend paves the way for a big fight with investors over what will be done with the country’s debt.

Here & Now‘s Jeremy Hobson speaks with Cardiff Garcia of the Financial Times about what’s in store for Puerto Rico’s financial future.

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NPR Story
12:23 pm
Fri July 31, 2015

Social Media Buzz: Killing Of Cecil The Lion Provokes Outrage Online

Originally published on Fri July 31, 2015 12:14 pm

Since it was revealed that Minnesota dentist Walter Palmer shot Cecil the lion, social media has been excoriating Palmer. The web site for his dental practice has been taken down and the hashtag #WalterPalmer is rife with threats and insults.

Here & Now‘s Robin Young takes a look at how the Internet response has been playing out with Julia Turner of Slate – from the targeting of Palmer, to the backlash against targeting Palmer and the debates it has engendered online.

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The Two-Way
12:23 pm
Fri July 31, 2015

Dylann Roof Pleads Not Guilty To Federal Hate Crime Charges

Dylann Roof, 21, charged with murdering nine worshippers at a historic black church in Charleston, S.C., in June, listens during court proceedings earlier this month.
Randall Hill Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri July 31, 2015 2:01 pm

Updated at 4 p.m. ET

A judge entered pleas of not guilty to 33 federal hate crime counts against Dylann Roof, the white suspect accused of gunning down nine parishioners at a black church in Charleston, S.C., last month.

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The Two-Way
11:20 am
Fri July 31, 2015

Marine Version Of F-35 Deemed 'Combat Ready'

A Marine Corps F-35B Joint Strike Fighter does a short takeoff (STOVL) from Patuxent River Naval Air Station, Md., in 2011. Eighteen years after development began, a version of the plane designed for the Marine Corps is expected to be deemed "combat ready."
Cliff Owen AP

Originally published on Fri July 31, 2015 12:15 pm

Updated at 2 p.m. ET

Eighteen years and nearly $400 billion since engineers begin outlining the initial concept, a small squadron of F-35B Lightning IIs has finally been declared ready to fight.

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The Two-Way
11:16 am
Fri July 31, 2015

#NPRReads: Considering The Language Of Wine And What's In A Toddler's Mouth

A piece by conceptual artist Lenka Clayton called "63 Objects Taken from My Son's Mouth."
cupofjo.com

Originally published on Fri July 31, 2015 11:59 am

#NPRreads is a weekly feature on Twitter and on The Two-Way. The premise is simple: Correspondents, editors and producers throughout our newsroom share pieces that have kept them reading. They share tidbits using the #NPRreads hashtag — and on Fridays, we highlight some of the best stories.

This week, we bring you four items.

From NPR producer Sarah Handel:

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Goats and Soda
10:54 am
Fri July 31, 2015

She Owes Her Activism To A Brave Mom, The ADA And Chocolate Cake

Using a digital device that displays Braille characters, Haben Girma talks with President Obama at a White House ceremony marking the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
White House photo/Courtesy of Haben Girma

Originally published on Fri July 31, 2015 1:34 pm

To Haben Girma's grandmother, back in East Africa, it "seemed like magic." Her granddaughter, born deaf and blind, is a graduate of Harvard Law School and works as a civil rights attorney.

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Shots - Health News
10:49 am
Fri July 31, 2015

Toxic Lead Contaminates Some Traditional Ayurvedic Medicines

Originally published on Fri July 31, 2015 4:49 pm

Nisha Saini has been practicing an Indian traditional health form called Ayurveda for more than 16 years. She runs a small alternative health center in Manhattan called New York Ayurveda, where customers can get massages and dietary advice. Over the counter, Saini sells an extensive array of traditional remedies concocted from herbs and spices. But there's one kind of Ayurvedic medicine she doesn't sell.

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It's All Politics
10:43 am
Fri July 31, 2015

Despite High Expectations, Sentencing Reform Proposals Still On Ice

Expectations for movement on justice reform had been high, but sources tell NPR that concrete language on sentencing and criminal justice overhauls is still being hotly debated behind closed doors.
David Goldman AP

Originally published on Fri July 31, 2015 12:20 pm

Advocates and inmates working to overhaul the criminal justice system will have to wait at least a little longer for congressional action.

The Republican leader of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Charles Grassley, said he won't hold a public event on sentencing reform proposals until after the August recess, as language is still being drafted by a bipartisan working group. And in the U.S. House, lawmakers and their aides will spend at least the next five weeks making adjustments to a sweeping bill sponsored by 40 Democrats and Republicans, sources told NPR Friday.

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The Two-Way
9:33 am
Fri July 31, 2015

Arson Attack That Killed Toddler In West Bank Is Called Terrorism

A Palestinian man mourns alongside the body of a one-and-a-half year old boy, Ali Dawabsheh, during his funeral in Duma village near the West Bank city of Nablus on Friday.
Majdi Mohammed AP

Originally published on Fri July 31, 2015 11:07 am

An arson attack in the West Bank that killed an 18-month-old boy was being condemned widely on Friday, but the Palestinian Liberation Organization is putting the blame on the Israeli government.

The attack happened in the early morning hours of Friday when perpetrators firebombed a house in the village of Duma. According to the BBC, the perpetrators left behind some graffiti in Hebrew. On one wall, the Star of David was drawn right next to the word "revenge."

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Parallels
9:05 am
Fri July 31, 2015

Death Of Beloved Lion Heats Up Criticism Of Big Game Hunting

Originally published on Fri July 31, 2015 11:59 am

The killing of Cecil, a Zimbabwean lion, by a dentist from Minnesota has turned an international spotlight on big game hunting. It's a thriving industry, with more than 1,000 organizations worldwide.

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The Two-Way
8:22 am
Fri July 31, 2015

In Report, Justice Accuses St. Louis County Family Court Of Racial Bias

In a scathing 60-page report, the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division says the St. Louis County Family Court has engaged in a pattern or practice of conduct that violates the constitutional rights of children caught up in the juvenile justice system.

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Shots - Health News
8:06 am
Fri July 31, 2015

More Previously Uninsured Californians Got Coverage Under Obamacare

Enrollment counselor Vue Yang (left) reviews health insurance options for Laura San Nicolas (center), accompanied by her daughter, Geena, 17, at Sacramento Covered in Sacramento, Calif., in February.
Rich Pedroncelli AP

Just over two-thirds of Californians who did not have health insurance before the Affordable Care Act went into full effect in 2014 are now covered, according to a survey from the Kaiser Family Foundation.

The newly insured are much less likely to say that paying for health care is a problem, compared to when they were uninsured.

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The Two-Way
7:22 am
Fri July 31, 2015

Tonight, Look For A Rare (But Not Quite Blue) Moon

People are silhouetted against a nearly full moon as they ride an attraction at Worlds of Fun amusement park Thursday in Kansas City, Mo. July 31 marks the second full moon of the month, a rare occurrence that has come to be known as a "blue moon."
Charlie Riedel AP

Originally published on Fri July 31, 2015 10:34 am

Updated at 11 a.m. ET

Get ready for a very rare event tonight — a blue moon.

But don't expect to see a new hue. A blue moon, at least according to the modern definition of the term, has nothing to do with color. It simply means a second full moon in the same calendar month.

As NASA explains in the video above: "Most blue moons appear pale gray and white, just like the moon you've seen on any other night."

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NPR Ed
7:03 am
Fri July 31, 2015

Measuring The Power Of A Prison Education

White House staff walk into the El Reno Federal Correctional Institution in El Reno, Okla.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Fri July 31, 2015 9:15 am

The Obama administration Friday is taking a small step toward expanding adult prisoners' access to federal Pell grants. The money would help pay for college-level classes behind bars.

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Around the Nation
5:24 am
Fri July 31, 2015

Great White Shark Keeps Swimmer From Desired Goal

Originally published on Fri July 31, 2015 9:18 am

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

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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Around the Nation
5:23 am
Fri July 31, 2015

People Who Text While Walking Develop Protective Shuffle

Originally published on Fri July 31, 2015 9:18 am

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

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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The Two-Way
4:42 am
Fri July 31, 2015

Beijing Awarded The 2022 Winter Olympic Games

Beijing's National Stadium, or the Bird's Nest, will be used for the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2022 Winter Games.
Bullit Marquez AP

Originally published on Fri July 31, 2015 8:12 am

Updated at 10 a.m. ET

The International Olympic Committee has awarded Beijing the 2022 Winter Games.

With the selection, the Chinese city will become the first to host both winter and summer games. Beijing hosted the 2008 Summer Games.

With a vote of 44 to 40, Beijing beat out Almaty, the biggest city in Kazakhstan.

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It's All Politics
3:08 am
Fri July 31, 2015

Democratic Candidates Stumble Over Black Lives Matter Movement

Black Lives Matter activists confronted Democratic candidates Martin O'Malley and Bernie Sanders at a Netroots Nation event earlier this month. O'Malley used the phrase "all lives matter" twice, which he later apologized for.
Ross D. Franklin AP

Originally published on Fri July 31, 2015 9:18 am

Members of the Black Lives Matter movement are making sure the presidential candidates don't take their votes or their concerns for granted. The candidates are being confronted with activists who are responding to a string of deaths of African-Americans at the hands of police.

Democrats have traditionally won strong margins with black voters and that is unlikely to change in 2016. But in recent weeks, the Black Lives Matter movement has been a stumbling block for the Democratic candidates.

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Middle East
3:08 am
Fri July 31, 2015

Ex-Mossad Chief Supports Iran Nuclear Deal

Originally published on Fri July 31, 2015 9:18 am

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

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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Movie Reviews
3:08 am
Fri July 31, 2015

Movie Review: 'Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation'

Originally published on Fri July 31, 2015 9:18 am

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

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Another "Mission: Impossible" movie opens today. The franchise has been good to Tom Cruise, raking in more than $2 billion in worldwide box office receipts. So now take five. Here's our critic Kenneth Turan.

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Animals
3:08 am
Fri July 31, 2015

Here's How To Identify Sounds You Hear In Nature

Originally published on Fri July 31, 2015 9:18 am

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

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Thanks to smartphones, you rarely have to strain anymore to remember the name of a song. Start up a phone app. Hold your device by the radio or a restaurant speaker. And the app will usually recognize the song.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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Politics
3:00 am
Fri July 31, 2015

Are Donald Trump's Pockets Deep Enough To Fund His Campaign?

Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump in front of his campaign plane in Laredo, Texas, last week.
LM Otero AP

Originally published on Fri July 31, 2015 9:18 am

In the weeks since Donald Trump launched his self-financed bid for president, the multibillionaire's hard-edged rhetoric has gotten far more attention than the potential impact of his massive wealth.

Trump has several times said his net worth is or exceeds $10 billion, providing all the money he needs to run.

"I don't need anybody's money," he said as he announced his candidacy in June. "I'm using my own money. I'm not using the lobbyists. I'm not using donors. I don't care. I'm really rich."

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Parallels
2:55 am
Fri July 31, 2015

In Cambodia, Rats Are Being Trained To Sniff Out Land Mines And Save Lives

Victoria, a 2-year-old rat, sniffs for TNT, sticking her nose high in the air to indicate she's found some. She works her way down a 10-meter line with a handler on either end, and is able to detect the presence of TNT at a distance of approximately half a yard.
Michael Sullivan for NPR

Originally published on Fri July 31, 2015 9:48 am

It's 5:45 in the morning, and in a training field outside Siem Reap, home of Angkor Wat, Cambodia's demining rats are already hard at work. Their noses are close to the wet grass, darting from side to side, as they try to detect explosives buried just beneath the ground.

Each rat is responsible for clearing a 200-square-meter (239-square-yard) patch of land. Their Cambodian supervisor, Hulsok Heng, says they're good at it.

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The Two-Way
6:18 pm
Thu July 30, 2015

New York Court: Chimps Are Still Property, Not People

Originally published on Fri July 31, 2015 6:51 am

What has thumbs and no habeas corpus entitlement? Chimpanzees. A Manhattan Supreme Court judge ruled Thursday that chimps are still viewed as property, not people, under the law.

The lawsuit was filed by the Nonhuman Rights Project, a group that wanted two research chimps — named Hercules and Leo — out of confinement.

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The Two-Way
4:26 pm
Thu July 30, 2015

Chinese Dissident Artist Ai Weiwei Restricted To 20-Day U.K. Visa

Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei was denied a six-month visa to the U.K.
Johannes Simon Getty Images

Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei says he was denied a six-month visa to the U.K. because British officials said he didn't list a criminal conviction on his application.

Ai applied for the six-month business visa, but was instead restricted to a 20-day travel visa from Sept. 9-29.

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NPR Ed
4:18 pm
Thu July 30, 2015

The Most Popular High School Plays And Musicals

Cast members of Notre Dame Academy's Godspell perform during the fifth annual Minty Awards for high school theater at the St. George Theatre on Staten Island, N.Y.
Kathryn Carse Landov

Originally published on Fri July 31, 2015 7:24 am

True, I never basked in the glow of the high school stage. But I have fond memories of working behind the scenes, as stage crew. Dressed in black, I rushed the bed onstage for Tevye's dream sequence in Fiddler on the Roof.

I've also spoken with many people who weren't involved in theater at all but can still — for some reason — remember the shows their schools performed.

There's just something about the high school stage.

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U.S.
3:59 pm
Thu July 30, 2015

Many Colleges Have Armed Police Squads, But Are They Worth The Risk?

On Wednesday, Hamilton County prosecutor Joe Deters announced murder and manslaughter charges against University of Cincinnati police Officer Ray Tensing for the traffic stop shooting death of motorist Samuel DuBose. During the press conference, Deters said that "being police officers shouldn't be the role of this university."
John Minchillo AP

Originally published on Fri July 31, 2015 7:20 am

American college campuses are increasingly patrolled by armed police officers — and it's a trend that burst into public view Wednesday, when a University of Cincinnati officer was charged with murder in the shooting death of a black motorist during a traffic stop. But this arming of college cops is causing some worries.

When prosecutor Joe Deters announced the indictment of University of Cincinnati Officer Ray Tensing on Wednesday, he had harsh words about the officer's competence, saying he should never have been a cop.

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