NPR News

Shots - Health News
12:33 pm
Mon March 16, 2015

Obamacare Cut The Ranks Of The Uninsured By A Third

A total of 16.4 million non-elderly adults have gained health insurance coverage since the Affordable Care Act became law five years ago this month. It's a reduction in the ranks of the uninsured the the Department of Health and Human Services called historic.

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The Two-Way
12:01 pm
Mon March 16, 2015

Ebola Patient Being Treated In Maryland Is In Critical Condition

The status of a patient with Ebola who was recently admitted to a specialized federal facility in Bethesda, Md., has changed from serious to critical condition. The American health care worker, whose identity hasn't been publicly released, was taken to the Clinical Center at the National Institutes of Health last week.

The patient being cared for in Bethesda contracted Ebola while volunteering in Sierra Leone, where the aid worker had been with the group Partners in Health. The person was flown back to the U.S. Thursday, aboard a private jet.

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Music
11:40 am
Mon March 16, 2015

Brandi Carlile's Surging Voice Grounds 'The Firewatcher's Daughter'

Brandi Carlile is a singer-songwriter who has cited influences as various as Elton John, Patsy Cline, and Queen's Freddie Mercury. Carlile has been releasing albums for the past 10 years, and Fresh Air rock critic Ken Tucker says her new one, called The Firewatcher's Daughter, is her best yet.

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Shots - Health News
11:15 am
Mon March 16, 2015

Vaccination Gaps Helped Fuel Disneyland Measles Spread

Disneyland and California Adventure Park seen in late December, soon after measles was contracted by some visitors to Disneyland.
George Frey Landov

Originally published on Tue March 17, 2015 7:56 am

California has been dealing with a big measles outbreak since December, when cases emerged among visitors to Disneyland in Orange County.

Measles spread quickly afterward. As of Friday, the state had confirmed 133 measles cases among residents since December.

Of the people who got sick and for whom the state could determine vaccination status, 57 people hadn't been vaccinated against measles and 20 people had had at least one shot of the vaccine.

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The Two-Way
10:16 am
Mon March 16, 2015

There's Officially An Upside To Boston's Brutal Winter

A waiter shovels snow outside the restaurant he works at in the Chinatown neighborhood of Boston.
Charles Krupa AP

Originally published on Mon March 16, 2015 11:50 am

A brutally cold season that featured buried cars and bizarre warnings, culminated Sunday night as this winter officially became Boston's snowiest ever.

As Dan Guzman of member station WBUR tells our Newscast unit, snow that fell Sunday night pushed the city past the seasonal record set 19 years ago:

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The Two-Way
8:57 am
Mon March 16, 2015

After 'Monster' Storm Hits Vanuatu, Leader Pleads For Aid

Resident Uwen Garae stands in his home damaged by Cyclone Pam in Port Vila, the capital city of the Pacific island nation of Vanuatu, Monday. The storm destroyed homes, smashed boats and washed away roads and bridges as it struck late on Friday and into Saturday.
Pool Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Mon March 16, 2015 5:31 pm

Officials in Vanuatu are still assessing damage from what President Baldwin Lonsdale says was "a monster" — Cyclone Pam, a strong storm that hit the small nation in the South Pacific with winds that damaged or destroyed 90 percent of the buildings in the capital, Lonsdale says.

"This is a very devastating cyclone in Vanuatu. I term it as a monster, a monster," he said. "It's a setback for the government and for the people of Vanuatu. After all the development that has taken place, all this development has been wiped out."

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The Two-Way
7:37 am
Mon March 16, 2015

Russia's Putin: 'Life Would Be Too Dull Without Rumors'

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Kyrgyz counterpart, Almazbek Atambayev, arrive for a meeting Monday at the Constantine Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia.
Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Mon March 16, 2015 10:52 am

Making his first verified public appearance in more than a week, Russian President Vladimir Putin said the conspiracy rumors that were whipped up in his absence were silly. Putin appeared Monday with Kyrgyzstan's president in St. Petersburg, Russia.

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U.S.
4:08 am
Mon March 16, 2015

Once Lost, Internment Camp In Hawaii Now A National Monument

Hawaii's Honouliuli Internment Camp held thousands of prisoners of war and hundreds of Japanese-American citizens during World War II
Courtesy of Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii

Originally published on Wed March 18, 2015 12:39 pm

The Honouliuli internment camp, not far from Hawaii's Pearl Harbor, held as many as 4,000 prisoners during World War II, including hundreds of Japanese-Americans.

In February, President Obama named the location a national monument.

The camp became known by prisoners as "jigokudani," or "Hell's Valley," says Carole Hayashino, the president of the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii.

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Europe
4:08 am
Mon March 16, 2015

After Attacks, Is Europe Still Safe For Jews?

Originally published on Mon March 16, 2015 5:50 am

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

Parallels
1:24 am
Mon March 16, 2015

A Rail Line That Crosses Jerusalem's Divide, But Can't Unite It

Israel's light rail runs through Jewish areas in East Jerusalem, then into Palestinian neighborhoods and on to old Israeli communities in West Jerusalem. On occasion, it has been a target for violence.
Tanya Habjouqa for NPR

Originally published on Mon March 16, 2015 11:43 am

David Felber was out of breath when he met up with us at the Pigsat Ze'ev Light Rail station in East Jerusalem.

"We missed the 8 o'clock train," he panted. He didn't want to miss the 8:05.

The 53-year-old was on his way to work at the Ministry of Education in West Jerusalem.

We stepped on board to glimpse how the battle for land touches so much in this region, including Felber's commute.

Jerusalem's light rail system connects the two halves of a divided city. Israel captured East Jerusalem in the Six-Day War against Arab nations almost half a century ago.

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Shots - Health News
1:08 am
Mon March 16, 2015

A Man's Incomplete Brain Reveals Cerebellum's Role In Thought And Emotion

Jonathan Keleher is one of a handful of people who have lived their entire lives without a cerebellum.
Ellen Webber for NPR

Originally published on Tue March 17, 2015 2:27 pm

Since his birth 33 years ago, Jonathan Keleher has been living without a cerebellum, a structure that usually contains about half the brain's neurons.

This exceedingly rare condition has left Jonathan with a distinctive way of speaking and a walk that is slightly awkward. He also lacks the balance to ride a bicycle.

But all that hasn't kept him from living on his own, holding down an office job and charming pretty much every person he meets.

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National Security
5:31 pm
Sun March 15, 2015

An 'Upstream' Battle As Wikimedia Challenges NSA Surveillance

The lawsuit by Wikimedia and other plaintiffs challenges the National Security Agency's use of upstream surveillance, which collects the content of communications, instead of just the metadata.
Patrick Semansky AP

Originally published on Mon March 16, 2015 5:52 am

Earlier this week, Wikimedia, the parent company of Wikipedia, filed a lawsuit against the National Security Agency, saying that the NSA's use of "upstream" mass surveillance violates the First and Fourth Amendments.

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Around the Nation
3:23 pm
Sun March 15, 2015

Police Dog On Payroll: 'Indiana Bones' Is Woman's Best Friend

Indiana "Indy" Bones reports for duty on a field investigation, in which the dog sniffs to detect human remains for a reopened cold case.
Gloria Hillard NPR

Originally published on Mon March 16, 2015 9:48 am

From bomb and drug-sniffing duties to neighborhood patrol, dogs are widely used in law enforcement. Many agencies rely on volunteer canine teams to assist them with search and rescue operations and criminal investigations.

But the county of Los Angeles has a full-time four-legged detective on its payroll: Indiana Bones, or "Indy."

Karina Peck, an investigator and canine handler with the Los Angeles County coroner's office, is in a truck, rolling over uneven, hard-packed earth that dead-ends in a shallow canyon.

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Health
3:17 pm
Sun March 15, 2015

Amid Rising Concern About Addiction, Universities Focus On Recovery

Students in recovery from substance abuse are finding support on a growing number of college and university campuses, including the University of Texas at Austin.
Ronald Martinez Getty Images

Originally published on Sun March 15, 2015 4:22 pm

In murder mystery novels, when the hero, a private detective or homicide cop, drops by a late-night Alcoholics Anonymous meeting to stave off a sudden craving for a beer or two or 20, it's usually in some dingy church basement or dilapidated storefront on the seedier side of town. There's a pot of burnt coffee and a few stale doughnuts on a back table.

The Center for Students in Recovery at the University of Texas could not be more different.

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World
3:17 pm
Sun March 15, 2015

Nuclear Talks Resume With Iran

Originally published on Sun March 15, 2015 4:22 pm

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

U.S.
3:17 pm
Sun March 15, 2015

Arrest Made In Ferguson Police Shooting

Originally published on Sun March 15, 2015 4:22 pm

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

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

After a three-day manhunt, police in Ferguson, Mo., have arrested a suspect in the shooting that wounded two police officers early on Thursday morning.

(SOUNDBITE OF SPEECH)

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The Two-Way
1:59 pm
Sun March 15, 2015

Massive Protests Against Brazil's President Seek Her Ouster

A family carries posters with "Dilma out and Impeachment Now," written in Portuguese, during a protest Sunday in the capital, Brasilia.
Eraldo Peres AP

The protests against Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff are growing, with some estimates saying 1 million people have turned up across the country calling for her ouster.

NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro, who is reporting on the protests from Rio de Janeiro for our Newscast unit, says placards on Copacabana beach are calling for Rousseff's impeachment.

Protesters are chanting that they want not only Rousseff, but also her Workers Party, or PT, out of office. The party came to power 13 years ago; Rousseff was re-elected four months ago in a close election.

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The Two-Way
12:42 pm
Sun March 15, 2015

Kerry To Resume Talks Over Iran's Nuclear Program

Secretary of State John Kerry is in Switzerland today for more talks with Iran's foreign minister on the Islamic republic's nuclear program. The meeting comes a week after Senate Republicans signed an open letter to Iran suggesting any deal reached would lapse the day President Obama leaves office.

NPR's Peter Kenyon, who is reporting on the talks for our Newscast unit, says:

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The Two-Way
11:56 am
Sun March 15, 2015

Arrest Made In Shooting Of Two Officers In Ferguson, Police Say

Jeffrey Williams, 20, is charged with two counts of first-degree assault in connection with the shooting of two police officers in Ferguson on March 12.
St. Louis County Police Department AP

Originally published on Sun March 15, 2015 6:44 pm

Updated at 3:45 p.m.

The St. Louis County Police Department says an arrest has been made in connection with the shooting of two officers during a protest in Ferguson, Mo., last week.

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The Two-Way
11:18 am
Sun March 15, 2015

'We Have To Negotiate In The End' With Syria's Assad, Kerry Says

Secretary of State John Kerry told CBS News the U.S. is pushing for Syrian President Bashar Assad to seriously discuss a transition strategy to quell the Arab country's four-year civil war.
Brian Snyder AP

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says the U.S. and its allies will have to talk to Syrian President Bashar Assad to bring about a diplomatic solution to the Syrian civil war.

"We have to negotiate in the end," Kerry told CBS' Face the Nation. "And what we're pushing for is to get him to come and do that, and it may require that there be increased pressure on him of various kinds in order to do that.

"We've made it very clear to people that we are looking at increased steps that can help bring about that pressure."

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The Two-Way
9:54 am
Sun March 15, 2015

Robert Durst, Subject Of HBO's 'The Jinx,' Arrested In New Orleans

This booking photo provided by the Orleans Parish Sheriff's Office shows Robert Durst, after his arrest Saturday in New Orleans on an extradition warrant to Los Angeles.
AP

Originally published on Mon March 16, 2015 9:23 am

Updated at 8:00 p.m. ET

At the conclusion of the HBO documentary The Jinx, the filmmakers presented audio of Robert Durst whispering to himself, "What the hell did I do? Killed them all, of course" — an apparent reference to the alleged crimes that have clouded his life in suspicion.

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Around the Nation
8:25 am
Sun March 15, 2015

Instead Of Tickets, N.H. Police Hand Out Good-Deed Coupons

Originally published on Sun March 15, 2015 9:03 am

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

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Police in Farmington, N.H., are issuing tickets all over town. But these are tickets you might not mind getting.

CHIEF JOHN DRURY: They're for a slice of pizza or a small French fry.

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The Two-Way
8:21 am
Sun March 15, 2015

Suicide Bombers Target Sunday Services At 2 Pakistani Churches

Girls mourn a family member killed in a suicide bombing attack near two churches in Lahore, Pakistan, on Sunday.
K.M. Chaudary AP

Originally published on Sun March 15, 2015 2:10 pm

At least 14 people are dead and 70 wounded after blasts targeted two churches in Lahore, Pakistan, during Sunday services.

The churches, one Catholic and the other Protestant, are located near each other in the predominantly Christian Youhanabad area of Lahore.

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The Two-Way
7:19 am
Sun March 15, 2015

Aid Effort Underway As Vanuatu Assesses Storm's Damage

In this March 14, 2015, photo provided by World Vision, debris is strewn around a lone tree in Port Vila, Vanuatu, after Cyclone Pam ripped through the tiny South Pacific archipelago.
AP

Originally published on Sun March 15, 2015 8:28 am

Vanuatu's president made an emotional appeal today for international relief for his Pacific nation as the scale of the destruction wreaked by Cyclone Pam became slowly apparent. The storm, which struck Vanuatu late Friday, destroyed buildings and crops, killed at least 8 people and injured 20.

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Code Switch
7:03 am
Sun March 15, 2015

Univision Race Gaffe Shows Culture Gap

Originally published on Mon March 16, 2015 6:33 am

It happened again. The Spanish-language, Miami-based Univision — the fifth-largest television network in the U.S. — has another racial insensitivity mess to clean up.

On Wednesday, Univision talk show host and fashion commentator Rodner Figueroa said that first lady Michelle Obama looks like an apocalyptic ape.

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NPR Ed
7:03 am
Sun March 15, 2015

Six Things We Learned At South By Southwest EDU

SXSW Edu Logo

Originally published on Mon March 16, 2015 4:58 am

The NPR Ed team is back from Austin, where we connected with hundreds of educators and people excited about education at the annual South By Southwest Edu Conference. As with many conferences, there's just as much to be gained from conversations in the hallways and chance encounters as from the official sessions. Here's what we learned from both.

1) For many teachers, the most important tech tools are free.

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Strange News
6:48 am
Sun March 15, 2015

Haunted Dolls Are A Thing, And They're Not Cheap, Either

Some dolls just don't seem quite right.
Jak Hutchcraft

Originally published on Mon March 16, 2015 10:56 am

Some childhood symbols straddle the line between adorable and terrifying. Like clowns. Or Furbys.

Some dolls fit the category, too, with spooky eyes that seem to move or a porcelain pallor. They're not all Chucky, but some of them just don't seem quite right.

Listener Anne McLaughlin grew up with a cabinet full of dolls — including a pretty dancer doll and a set of wooden nesting dolls. But one, she says, stood out.

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Middle East
5:54 am
Sun March 15, 2015

In Iraq, The Final Battle For Tikrit Is Likely To Be The Hardest

Originally published on Sun March 15, 2015 9:03 am

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

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Europe
5:53 am
Sun March 15, 2015

Portugal Beckons With Back Alleys And Boarded-Up Businesses

Originally published on Sun March 15, 2015 9:03 am

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

Goats and Soda
5:53 am
Sun March 15, 2015

When There's Art On The Bus, You'll Get To Your Stop Sooner

A minibus painted with the Rolling Stones' logo.
Gregory Warner/NPR

Originally published on Sun March 15, 2015 9:03 am

Picture yourself standing at a bus station in Nairobi, Kenya. The unwritten rule is that none of these minibuses (shared taxis, called matatus) will leave until they have enough passengers. That can be around 20 or more people. So every matatu has a tout shouting at top volume — even banging on the side of the bus — to corral more customers.

All of a sudden, what looks like a discotheque on wheels pulls up.

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