NPR News

Goats and Soda
2:15 am
Wed September 17, 2014

Will Obama's Plan Bring The Ebola Outbreak Under Control?

President Obama meets with Emory University doctors and health care workers during his visit Tuesday to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 9:32 am

It is the biggest anti-Ebola effort yet.

After months of calls by aid workers for the global community to do something about the escalating crisis, President Obama has announced plans for a massive international intervention.

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National Security
2:14 am
Wed September 17, 2014

Keeping Watch On America's Vertical Borders

Agents at the Air and Marine Operations Center at an Air Force Reserve base in Riverside, Calif., track 20,000 to 25,000 flights a day for suspicious activity.
Master Sgt. Julie Avey AMOC

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 5:50 pm

Inside a cluster of nondescript buildings on a military base in Southern California, the big radar room at the Air and Marine Operations Center looks vaguely like NASA Mission Control.

Thirty-two federal agents sit at Dell PCs, each one watching a different region of the country, monitoring private planes that might be carrying drugs or terrorists.

They don't find many. But they watch everything larger than an eagle that moves in U.S. airspace.

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Shots - Health News
2:11 am
Wed September 17, 2014

Top Scientists Suggest A Few Fixes For Medical Funding Crisis

Dr. Harold Varmus, a Nobel Prize winner, cancer biologist and director of the National Cancer Institute.
Manuel Balce Ceneta AP

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 9:53 am

Many U.S. scientists had hoped to ride out the steady decline in federal funding for biomedical research, but it's continuing on a downward trend with no end in sight. So leaders of the science establishment are now trying to figure out how to fix this broken system.

It's a familiar problem. Biomedical science has a long history of funding ups and downs, and, in the past, the system has always righted itself with the passage of time and plumper budgets.

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The Two-Way
1:06 am
Wed September 17, 2014

Vikings Now Say Adrian Peterson Is Banned From Team Activities

Andy Clayton-King AP

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 9:55 am

Updated at 7:15 a.m. ET:

The Minnesota Vikings announced early Wednesday morning that they had placed running back Adrian Peterson on the exempt/commissioner's permission list.

The change to Peterson's status "will require that Adrian remain away from all team activities while allowing him to take care of his personal situation until the legal proceedings are resolved," according to a statement issued by the team.

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The Two-Way
4:03 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Boeing And SpaceX Win $6.8 Billion In NASA Contracts

In an image provided by NASA, astronaut Randy Bresnik prepares to enter Boeing's CST-100 spacecraft for an evaluation at the company's Houston Product Support Center. NASA awarded Boeing with a $4.2 billion contract Tuesday.
AP

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 5:29 pm

NASA has chosen Boeing and SpaceX to build the vehicles that will transport its astronauts to the International Space Station, putting the two American companies on a course to take over a job that NASA has recently relied upon Russia to perform: carrying out manned space flights.

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden says vehicles from the two companies are expected to be ready for service by 2017.

Announcing its decision Tuesday, the space agency included these details:

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Politics
3:33 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Rep. Gowdy To Lead New Benghazi Committee In First Public Hearing

Gowdy questions a witness during a May 2013 House committee hearing on Benghazi.
Cliff Owen AP

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 5:21 pm

The Sept. 11 attacks two years ago on an outpost in Benghazi, Libya, will get a fresh look by House lawmakers Wednesday. The attacks took the lives of four Americans including a U.S. ambassador.

It will be the first public hearing since Speaker John Boehner announced the formation of the Select Committee on Benghazi and named Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., the chairman in May.

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Economy
3:33 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

A 'Circle' Of Support Helps Families Stay Out Of Poverty

Cara Russo of Gettysburg, Pa., here with 9-year-old Shayla, one of her two daughters, has found success in a program geared to help struggling families navigate past some of the day-to-day obstacles that keep many poor.
Pam Fessler NPR

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 5:14 pm

Go around the country and you'll hear lots of frustration about just how difficult it is to get out of poverty — and more importantly, how to stay out. The official U.S. poverty rate may have gone down to 14.5 percent in 2013 according to new numbers out Tuesday, but still more than 45 million were poor.

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Goats and Soda
3:32 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Dr. Kent Brantly: Ebola Survivor Gives Testimony On The Hill

Dr. Kent Brantly was medical director at Monrovia's only Ebola treatment center when he fell ill with the disease in July. He survived after being evacuated and treated in the United States.
Courtesy of Samaritan's Purse

Dr. Kent Brantly, a U.S. medical missionary who contracted Ebola in July while working as a doctor in Liberia and survived the deadly disease after treatment at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, appeared at a joint Senate hearing today examining the Ebola outbreak.

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Goats and Soda
3:13 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

More Birthdays For Kids Under 5 Around The World

Jung Ha-yoon, 2, and other children in Seoul, South Korea, enjoy playing around (and in) ceramic jars. The country's infant mortality rate dropped 91 percent between 1972 and 2012.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 6:12 pm

In 2013, 6.3 million children under the age of 5 died. That's a tragic statistic — yet it represents a 49 percent drop from 1990, according to data released Tuesday by the United Nations.

Dr. Mickey Chopra, the head of UNICEF's global health programs, spoke with us about the encouraging trend — and what still needs to be done in parts of the world where children's lives are threatened by unsanitary water, disease and malnutrition.

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The Salt
3:00 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Edible Packaging? Retailers Not Quite Ready To Ditch The Wrapper

A strawberry vanilla WikiPearl made with Stonyfield frozen yogurt.
Stonyfield and WikiPearl, Inc.

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 4:48 am

A handful of companies are trying to take an idea straight out of Willy Wonka and turn it into reality: edible packaging. I mean, why dump tons of waste into landfills when the container your food comes in could be a part of the snack?

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The Salt
2:42 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Thanks To Nutella, The World Needs More Hazelnuts

Hazelnuts, in all their glory.
Ingrid Taylar/Flickr

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 4:48 am

Nutella, that sinfully indulgent chocolate-hazelnut spread, turns 50 this year, and it's come a long way, baby.

There's even a "Nutella bar" in midtown Manhattan, right off Fifth Avenue, tucked inside a grand temple of Italian food called Eataly. There's another Nutella bar at Eataly in Chicago. Here, you can order Nutella on bread, Nutella on a croissant, Nutella on crepes.

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Shots - Health News
2:42 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Breast Cancer Patients Seek More Control Over Research Agenda

Coalitions of patient advocates now help steer research funding toward particular projects.
Lilli Carré for NPR

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 11:08 am

The federal government has poured more than $3 billion into breast cancer research over the past couple of decades, but the results have been disappointing. The disease remains a stubborn killer of women.

So the National Breast Cancer Coalition is trying something bold: The advocacy group has decided that it's not simply going to lobby for more research dollars. Instead, its leaders are sitting down at the table with scientists studying the disease and telling them how they'd like that money to be spent.

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All Tech Considered
2:42 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

The Kaypro II: An Early Computer With A Writer's Heart

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 4:45 pm

Commentator Andrei Codrescu remembers the first word processor he had — the Kaypro II in the 1980s. Its inventor, Andrew Kay, died Aug. 28, at the age of 95. The Kaypro II weighed in at a mere 26 pounds and was a favorite of early computer aficionados.

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Sports
2:42 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Vikings Allow Adrian Peterson Back Without Suspension

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 3:33 pm

Melissa Block talks with Minneapolis Star Tribune sports columnist Chip Scoggins about how Minnesota is reacting to the Vikings decision to allow running back Adrian Peterson to play after admitting to hitting his 4 year old with a switch.

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

The Two-Way
2:21 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Obama Gives New Details On America's Effort To Fight Ebola

President Obama spoke Tuesday about the U.S. plan to fight the Ebola epidemic in West Africa, speaking at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The White House plan reportedly includes deploying 3,000 U.S. military personnel and training health care providers in Liberia.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 3:51 pm

President Obama announced details of his plan Tuesday to help contain the Ebola outbreak that has caused more than 2,400 deaths in West Africa. The strategy reportedly includes sending up to 3,000 military personnel to the region.

Obama spoke at the Atlanta headquarters of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday afternoon.

Update at 4:18 p.m. ET: 'It Doesn't Have To Be This Way'

The president describes "a major increase in our response." Some details:

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Shots - Health News
2:05 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Americans' Waistlines Are Expanding, And That's Not Good Fat

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 11:31 am

If your belt needs to be let out a notch, you're not alone. The average American waistline is growing even though obesity rates haven't grown. And excess abdominal fat increases the risk of heart disease, diabetes and stroke.

The collective American waistline grew by more than an inch from 1999-2000 to 2011-2012, according to a study published Tuesday in JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Shots - Health News
2:03 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Colleges Brainstorm Ways To Cut Back On Binge Drinking

Frostburg State University police officer Derrick Pirolozzi conducts a "knock and talk" at a house near campus, reminding students of laws on underage drinking and open containers.
Jennifer Ludden NPR

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 11:48 am

It's early Friday night, and Frostburg State University police officer Derrick Pirolozzi is just starting the late shift. At a white clapboard house, he jumps out of his SUV to chat with four students on the front steps.

"S'up guys!" he calls out, assuring them he just wants to chat. All are underage but one, and that one tells Pirolozzi he has a string of alcohol violations from past years. Pirolozzi banters a bit. He tells them to "call anytime," and reminds them not to walk around the street with open containers.

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Goats and Soda
1:12 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Which Contagious Diseases Are The Deadliest?

Do you know what the deadliest disease is? Hint: It's not Ebola (viral particles seen here in a digitally colorized microscopic image, at top right, along with similar depictions of other contagious diseases)
NPR Composite CDC

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 2:47 pm

No one knows what the death toll in the Ebola epidemic will be. As of Tuesday, nearly 2,500 people have died and nearly 5,000 have caught the virus, the World Health Organization says.

So how does this epidemic compare with the toll taken by other contagious diseases?

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The Two-Way
1:09 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Belgium Agrees To Euthanize Man Convicted Of Murder, Rape

Inmate Frank Van Den Bleeken, seen here in court last autumn, says he wants to die because he sees no progress in the mental problems that were linked to his crimes of murder and rape.
Herman Ricour AP

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 2:14 pm

In a country whose laws don't allow for the death penalty, the case of a Belgian man who sees himself as a threat to society — and wants to die — is putting new focus on Belgium's health care and justice system, as well as its laws allowing euthanasia.

After an appeals court in Brussels approved a deal allowing inmate Frank Van Den Bleeken to die from an assisted suicide, the country's justice minister cleared the way for his transfer to a hospital late Monday.

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NPR Story
12:39 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Trump Plaza Hotel And Casino Closes Its Doors

Ruth Hardrick, a dealer who worked at Trump Plaza Hotel & Casino for 26 years, stands with friend, Anthony Powell, on The Boardwalk, as she answers a question after the casino closed early Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. Trump Plaza is the fourth Atlantic City casino to go belly-up so far this year. (Mel Evans/AP)

After 30 years in business Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey is closing its doors.

This is the fourth hotel in the coastal gambling destination to close this year. Has Atlantic City lost its luster?

Vince Mazzeo, state assemblyman representing New Jersey’s 2nd Legislative District speaks with Herw & Nows Jeremy Hobson about the casino closures.

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NPR Story
12:39 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Detroit's Post-Bankruptcy Blues

Monument to Joe Louis in downtown Detroit. (memories_by_mike/Flickr)

Detroit is one step closer to ending its bankruptcy ordeal after it reached a settlement with one of its remaining creditors.

Syncora Guarantee Inc. has withdrawn its objections to the city’s restructuring plan in return for a deal worth a fraction of the $200 million the company said it was owed.

Still, when Detroit does emerge from bankruptcy it doesn’t mean its revenue problems will be over.

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NPR Story
12:39 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Sheriff Defends Use Of Military Equipment

The images of combat vehicles rolling in to confront demonstrators in Ferguson, Missouri, after the shooting of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown, provoked national debate over police departments receiving military equipment.

Since 2006, the Pentagon’s Excess Property Program has supplied police departments with almost 80,000 assault rifles, more than 600 armored vehicles, and hundreds of millions of dollars-worth of other equipment.

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The Two-Way
12:26 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

BP Lawyers Use Old-School Trick; Judge Not Amused

U.S. District Court Judge Carl Barbier ruled nearly two weeks ago that BP acted recklessly in the 2010 Deepwater Horizon rig accident and oil spill.
Alastair Grant AP

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 11:04 pm

Back in school, did you ever fudge the spacing on a report to meet the teacher's page-length requirement? Lawyers representing oil company BP tried something similar in a recent court filing connected to the company's 2010 drilling rig accident and oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

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The Two-Way
12:02 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Odile Leaves Wreckage In Mexico And Threatens Flooding In U.S.

Cars sit in a flooded street in San Jose del Cabo Monday, after Hurricane Odile knocked down trees and power lines in Mexico's Baja California peninsula.
Ronaldo Schemidt AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 5:48 pm

Hurricane Odile is now a tropical storm, but it's still bringing heavy rainfall and power outages to the Baja Peninsula and surrounding areas. And a second storm could threaten the western coast of Mexico and the U.S. later this week.

Odile is still carrying sustained winds of more than 50 mph — and projecting tropical storm winds up to 150 miles from its center, according to the National Hurricane Center, which expects the storm to weaken into a tropical depression by early Wednesday.

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Shots - Health News
10:20 am
Tue September 16, 2014

Farewell, Heating Pad: Physical Therapists Say It Doesn't Help

The physical therapist will advise, but you're going to have to do the work.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 6:56 am

I have fond memories of listening to NPR while lounging at the physical therapist's with a heating pad on my shoulder. Don't do that, the nation's physical therapists' association says.

Heat therapy, electrical stimulation, ultrasound and other "passive physical agents" almost never help, according to a list released Monday by the Choosing Wisely campaign. Instead, they siphon time and money away from what you really want from a physical therapist — an exercise program that will restore strength and mobility.

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The Two-Way
10:02 am
Tue September 16, 2014

Dempsey Says If Needed He Would Recommend Ground Forces In Iraq

Members of the anti-war activist group CodePink interrupt a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing with Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel (left) and Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 12:57 pm

Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told lawmakers today that while the president has ruled out "boots on the ground" as part of a campaign to destroy the Islamic State insurgency in Iraq, he was prepared to recommend a combat role for U.S. advisers or ground troops if the situation warrants.

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Shots - Health News
9:20 am
Tue September 16, 2014

Health Law Tempers States' Insurance Mandates

Is that health service covered?
iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 1:05 pm

For decades, states have set rules for health coverage through mandates. These laws require insurers to cover specific types of medical care or services.

The Affordable Care Act aims to curb this piecemeal approach to coverage by establishing minimum standards for insurance coverage in individual and small group plans nationwide and requiring states to pay for mandates that go beyond them.

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The Salt
9:08 am
Tue September 16, 2014

A Scientist's Journey From Beer To Microbiology To Bourbon-Making

Ian Glomski outside his home in Charlottesville, Va., where hops grow in his garden. He quit an academic career in microbiology to start a liquor distillery.
Richard Harris NPR

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 12:18 pm

If you have been following the various posts about beer on The Salt, you may have noticed a pattern: Many of the folks making beer have a scientific background. There's good reason for that. People don't make beer. Yeast does. Well, OK — it's a partnership.

And sometimes, it's a two-way street between the brewery and the lab.

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Around the Nation
8:38 am
Tue September 16, 2014

Homeless Vets: They're Not Just Single Men Anymore

Alexander Morales, who served in the Army in the 1970s, with his family: wife Roberta; Elvia, 7, Elena, 8, and Elvira, 7 (in front), and Ruben Verdugo, 13, and Aaron D. Huerta, 17 (in back). Morales' family has been going for years to the Stand Down event in San Diego, where veterans receive assistance.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 3:33 pm

Every summer for 27 years, a small tent city has popped up in San Diego. "Stand Down" is a three-day oasis for homeless veterans, with showers, new clothes, hot meals, medical help, legal aid and a booth set up for every housing program in the city.

Increasingly, the event needs ways to keep children entertained.

"They've got the kids zone and everything. My kids live out here very happy. They're looking forward to it from last year," says Alex Morales, who served in the Army in the 1970s.

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The Two-Way
6:40 am
Tue September 16, 2014

Ukraine Approves EU Pact And Temporary Self-Rule For Rebels

Ukrainian lawmakers applaud a televised address by the President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz (on screen) in the Ukrainian parliament on Tuesday in Kiev. The parliament voted to strengthen trade ties with the EU, but not until 2016.
Sergey Dolzhenko EPA/Landov

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 3:23 pm

Ukraine's parliament has granted separatist-held areas temporary self-rule and given militants amnesty in a vote aimed at quelling a months-long insurgency that has threatened to permanently cleave.

The parliamentary move comes in tandem with another to expand economic ties with the European Union beginning in 2016. Last year, former President Viktor Yanukovych rejected a similar pact, leading to his ouster in November.

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