NPR News

The Two-Way
5:13 am
Fri December 12, 2014

'Pineapple Express' Pounds West Coast, Causing Floods, Power Outages

Mark Kunze of San Bruno pushes his stalled vehicle out of a flooded intersection Thursday in South San Francisco.
Alex Washburn AP

Originally published on Fri December 12, 2014 11:09 am

The "Pineapple Express" is being blamed for two deaths in Oregon this morning, as it continues to dump wind and rain across the drought-stricken region.

The Associated Press reports that from Oregon all the way to Southern California, residents battled with power outages, flooded roads and mudslides.

The news service adds:

"Avalanches of mud and debris blocked part of the Pacific Coast Highway in Ventura County early Friday, National Weather Service specialist Stuart Seto said.

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Strange News
5:02 am
Fri December 12, 2014

When Big Brother Is An Evil, Jewelry-Obsessed Necromancer

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

Digital Life
3:18 am
Fri December 12, 2014

British Runner Leaps Feet-First Into Marriage

Originally published on Fri December 12, 2014 5:02 am

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

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Parallels
3:01 am
Fri December 12, 2014

Kabul Postcard: A Neighborhood In Transition

Afghan laborers work on a road project in Kabul. The city has undertaken a huge project to fix its roads and sewers.
Daniel Berehulak Getty Images

Originally published on Sat December 13, 2014 3:11 pm

As I've been reflecting on the past 2 1/2 years that I've spent in Kabul, it's struck me how much has and hasn't changed. People continue to flood into the city, further straining its infrastructure and services.

But my neighborhood has seen mostly positive changes since I moved to it in 2012.

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Race
3:01 am
Fri December 12, 2014

Even Under Obama, Black Activist Says Every Inch Of Progress Is A Fight

Originally published on Fri December 12, 2014 5:02 am

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Politics
3:01 am
Fri December 12, 2014

House's Budget Bill Debate Unveiled Democratic Rifts, GOP Ambitions

Originally published on Fri December 12, 2014 12:43 pm

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

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U.S.
3:01 am
Fri December 12, 2014

Born In The U.S. But Turned Back At The Border, Time After Time

Maria Isabel de la Paz, a U.S. citizen, was twice turned away when trying to enter the U.S. legally. When she attempted an illegal crossing, her case was decided by a Border Patrol agent, not an immigration judge.
John Burnett NPR

Originally published on Fri December 12, 2014 1:35 pm

Maria Isabel de la Paz is a 30-year-old Houstonian who works at a Chick-fil-A. She holds the distinction of being a U.S. citizen who was prevented for a dozen years from entering the United States.

Her case is at the heart of what immigrant advocates say is wrong with U.S. immigration enforcement — that deportations are increasingly being handled by federal agents at the border, rather than in immigration court. The practice is not necessarily illegal, but critics say it is fundamentally unfair.

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National Security
1:49 am
Fri December 12, 2014

When Americans Head To Syria, How Much Of A Threat Do They Pose?

Ana and John Conley, parents of defendant Shannon Conley, exit the U.S. Federal Courthouse in Denver following their daughter's plea hearing on Sept. 10. Shannon Conley, 19, pleaded guilty on a charge that she intended to wage jihad.
Brennan Linsley AP

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 4:34 pm

Shannon Maureen Conley was just 19, barely out of high school and a convert to Islam, when she fell in love with a Tunisian man who said he was an Islamic State fighter in Syria. And, according to a criminal complaint, she wanted to leave her Denver suburb and join him.

Over the course of five months, the FBI talked to Conley nine times, trying to persuade her not to go to Syria.

But it didn't work. According to a local news report, her father tipped off the FBI after he found her one-way ticket from Denver to Turkey.

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The Two-Way
4:49 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

After Nut Rumpus, Macadamia Sales Rocket

The aftermath of a Korean Air executive's rage over how a steward presented macadamia nuts in her airline's first-class cabin has had an immediate side effect: sales of the nuts have risen sharply in South Korea.

From The Wall Street Journal:

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Shots - Health News
4:39 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

Birds Of A Feather Aren't Necessarily Related

The updated avian tree shows how many different kinds of birds evolved quickly after a mass extinction 66 million years ago.
AAAS/Carla Schaffer

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 3:25 pm

What do a pigeon and a flamingo have in common? Quite a bit, according to a reordering of the evolutionary tree of birds.

One of a series of studies published Thursday in Science is the latest step toward understanding the origins of the roughly 10,000 bird species that populate our planet.

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The Salt
4:35 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

Kalettes, Broccoflower And Other Eye-Popping Vegetables For 2015

Broccoflower was originally grown in Holland and hit the U.S. market in 1989. It's remained a relatively specialty item since then, but culinary experts say it may soon become more widely available.
Brand X Pictures Getty Images

Originally published on Fri December 12, 2014 4:22 pm

Does a cross between Brussels sprouts and kale sound like your vegetable dream come true? Maybe so, if you're someone who's crazy for cruciferous vegetables and all the fiber and nutrients they pack in.

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The Two-Way
4:12 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

Officer Buys Eggs For Woman Caught Shoplifting To Feed Family

Officer William Stacy with Helen Johnson after donated food was delivered to her. Stacy bought a carton of eggs for Johnson when she was caught stealing eggs from a store in Tarrant, Ala. Johnson says the act of kindness changed her life.
Joe Songer AL.COM /Landov

A 47-year-old woman was caught stealing eggs in Tarrant, Ala., over the weekend. But instead of arresting Helen Johnson, police officer William Stacy bought her a carton of eggs in exchange for a promise never to shoplift again.

That wasn't the end of it. The story garnered so much attention, that offers of donations of money, food and clothes poured in from around the world.

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Goats and Soda
3:11 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

You Don't Want To Monkey Around With Monkey Malaria

In Southeast Asia, the battle against malaria is growing even more complicated. And it's all because of monkeys, who carry a form of malaria that until a few years ago wasn't a problem for people.

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Shots - Health News
3:10 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

Football Players Drill Without Helmets To Curb Concussions

Making and taking a hit chest to chest, instead of skull to skull, is easier to remember if you're not wearing a helmet, say University of New Hampshire Wildcat football players.
Jack Rodolico New Hampshire Public Radio

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 5:49 pm

The University of New Hampshire Wildcats are heading into a do-or-die quarterfinal football game this week against the University of Tennessee, Chattanooga.

And whether they win or not, there's one thing you can say about the Wildcats: They are likely the only football team in America trying to reduce concussions by practicing without helmets.

Football has a concussion problem, from the National Football League down to Pee-Wee teams. And there are lots of efforts out there to fix it.

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The Salt
3:06 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

Why The White House Wants To Go After Seafood Pirates

A crab pot full of snow crabs, fished out of the Bering Sea.
Josh Thomas Courtesy of WWF

Originally published on Sun December 14, 2014 8:02 pm

Americans eat more seafood than just about anyone else. Most of it is imported from abroad. And a lot of it — perhaps 25 percent of wild-caught seafood imports, according to fisheries experts — is illegally caught.

The White House is now drafting recommendations on what to do about that. Fisheries experts say they hope the administration will devote more resources to fight seafood piracy.

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The Two-Way
2:38 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

Staffers Walk Out Of Congress In Protest Over Brown And Garner Cases

Black congressional staffers hold their hands up as they pose for a group photo during a walkout on on the steps of the U.S. Capitol Thursday, in a protest over the Eric Garner and Michael Brown cases.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 4:15 pm

Dozens of congressional staff members walked out of the Capitol at 3:30 p.m. ET Thursday, in a show of support for protesters angered by recent grand jury decisions not to indict police officers in the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner.

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Shots - Health News
2:35 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

U.Va. Looks At Ways To Curb Drinking At Its Frat Houses

The University of Virginia is trying to crack down on excessive and underage drinking at fraternities.
Jay Paul Getty Images

Originally published on Fri December 12, 2014 11:58 am

The University of Virginia is renegotiating its contract with fraternities, which were suspended after a Rolling Stone article described a frat house gang rape. Even though that article has been called into question, U.Va.

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Politics
2:35 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

Black Congressional Staffers Stage Walk Out Over Grand Jury Decisions

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 4:39 pm

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

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Law
2:35 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

Justice Department Numbers Paint Different Picture Of Sexual Assault

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 4:39 pm

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All Tech Considered
2:34 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

Weekly Innovation: A Smart Power Outlet That Can't Shock You

Normal outlets are always live at 120 volts, but the Brio Safe uses embedded sensors to accurately identify a plug before delivering a current.
Brio

Originally published on Fri December 12, 2014 12:21 pm

If you're a parent, you know the aggravation that comes with baby-proofing an entire house. Probably one of your biggest fears is that your child might stick her finger or a foreign object into an electrical outlet.

More than 30,000 non-fatal shock accidents occur annually, according to the Electrical Safety Foundation International, and each day, nearly seven children are treated in a hospital due to injuries from tampering with an outlet.

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The Two-Way
2:31 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

Kentucky Says Noah's Ark Theme Park Won't Get Tax Breaks

This July 7, 2011, photo shows plans for a proposed religious theme park called Ark Encounter, at the Ark Encounter headquarters in Hebron, Ky. Kentucky says that the project is ineligible for tax incentives
Dylan Lovan AP

A Christian group in Kentucky that is building a Noah's Ark theme park says it will legally challenge the state's decision to withdraw its offer of tax breaks for the project.

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Shots - Health News
2:00 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

Unexpected Joint Pain Seen In Test Of Experimental Ebola Vaccine

A shipment of experimental Ebola vaccine is opened at a hospital in Geneva.
Mathilde Missioneiro AP

Two potential Ebola vaccines are currently being tested in people, to see if they're safe and to figure out the best dose.

Both trials have encountered some of the typical travails of vaccine research.

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The Two-Way
1:37 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

Study: Just 20 Percent Of Female Campus Sexual Assault Victims Go To Police

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 3:52 pm

Young women who are sexually assaulted are vastly unlikely to report those crimes to police, according to a newly released Justice Department report.

Even more striking, women ages 18 to 24 who are in college or trade school are less likely to report such incidents than those who aren't in school, despite the increasing number of sexual assault advocates and counselors on campus in recent years.

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The Two-Way
1:35 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

Greenpeace Apologizes For Stunt At Peru's Sacred Nazca Lines

Greenpeace activists stand next to massive cloth letters next to the hummingbird geoglyph at Peru's sacred Nazca lines. The Peruvian government is pursuing criminal charges against the activists.
Rodrigo Abd AP

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 11:12 am

Greenpeace has apologized to the people of Peru after activists entered a highly restricted area to leave a message on ancient, sacred desert land.

Activists placed giant, yellow letters spelling out, "Time for change! The future is renewable. Greenpeace," near markings in the earth known as the Nazca lines.

Reuters reports that:

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The Two-Way
1:09 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

'Cromnibus' Spending Bill Passes, Just Hours Before Deadline

The U.S. Capitol is seen at dusk Thursday. The House approved a massive spending bill just hours before a midnight deadline to fund the federal government.
Shawn Thew EPA/Landov

Originally published on Fri December 12, 2014 6:08 am

Post updated at 9:38 p.m. ET.

A massive federal spending bill finally won the House's approval Thursday night, less than three hours before a midnight deadline that threatened a federal shutdown. The measure's fate had been in doubt after it narrowly survived a rules vote earlier in the day. The final tally was 219-206.

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NPR Story
1:09 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

CIA Chief: Results Of Harsh Interrogation Unknown

Did the CIA’s harsh interrogation of terrorism suspects yield crucial information that could not have been obtained another way? CIA chief John Brennan says the answer cannot be known.

The Senate torture report this week asserted that none of the CIA’s techniques used against captives provided critical, life-saving intelligence. Brennan told a news conference that valuable intelligence did come from the interrogations.

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NPR Story
12:26 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

‘Water Stories’: A Conversation In Paint And Sound

"Spill" by Anne Neely, part of the "Water Stories" exhibit at Boston's Museum of Science. (Courtesy of Ann Neely)

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 11:56 am

Nationally acclaimed artist Anne Neely has produced an exhibit exploring the phenomena of water — not only how hit relates to nature, but also to memory and imagination.

Her paintings, currently on display at Boston’s Museum of Science, explore the beauty of water, but also raise a cautionary flag about issues that threaten the world’s water, including pollution and climate change.

The exhibit is accompanied by an audio composition by sound artist Halsey Burgund, whose water-themed compositions play throughout the gallery.

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NPR Story
12:26 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

'Birdman' Tops Golden Globes With 7 Nominations

“Birdman” squawked loudest in the Golden Globes nominations, flying away with a leading seven nods including best picture in the comedy or musical category.

In nominations for the 72 annual Golden Globes announced Thursday morning by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, “Boyhood” and “The Imitation Game” trailed with five nods apiece. Those two films led a best drama category that also included “Foxcatcher,” “Selma” and “The Theory of Everything.”

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The Two-Way
12:25 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

Postcard From Mexico: Mother Clings To Hope That Students Are Still Alive

Natividad de la Cruz Bartolo shows a picture of her son, Emiliano, one of 43 university students who went missing months ago.
Carrie Kahn NPR

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 2:01 pm

The parents of 43 students who went missing more than two months ago in Mexico say they don't believe the government's account of what happened to their loved ones and they will continue to protest and demand justice.

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Music
12:21 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

Three Jazz Box Sets For Stocking Stuffers

Fresh Air jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews three box sets featuring memorable pianists: the Chick Corea Trio's Trilogy, Herbie Hancock's Warner Bros. Years (1969-1972), and The Rosemary Clooney CBS Radio Recordings 1955-1961.

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

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