NPR News

Politics
2:21 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

Congress Pulls A Smooth Maneuver To Make Highway Payments

Traffic passes a construction zone at the interchange of U.S. Highway 65 and Interstate 80 on May 30 in Altoona, Iowa.
Charlie Neibergall AP

Originally published on Tue July 15, 2014 9:39 pm

Chances are you've never heard of the budget gimmick known as "pension smoothing." We'll try to explain.

1. What is pension smoothing?

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Middle East
2:21 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

With A Deadline Days Away, Iran Nuclear Deal Might Get An Extension

Originally published on Tue July 15, 2014 5:23 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

After two days of nuclear talks with his Iranian counterpart, Secretary of State John Kerry is returning to Washington. Sunday is the deadline for a deal to limit Iran's nuclear program in exchange for lifting economic sanctions. NPR's Peter Kenyon reports from Vienna that the talks could be extended.

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Middle East
2:21 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

A Brief Lull Shatters In Gaza, As Cease-Fire Falls Apart

Originally published on Tue July 15, 2014 5:23 pm

An attempt at a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas has broken down. Hamas rejected the terms of the cease-fire, and Israel renewed its campaign of air strikes on the Gaza Strip.

Economy
2:21 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

Despite Brightening Signs, Fed Is Likely To Stay The Course

Originally published on Tue July 15, 2014 5:23 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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Iraq
2:21 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

A Few New Faces Aren't Likely To Satisfy Iraqi Government's Critics

Originally published on Tue July 15, 2014 5:23 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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It's All Politics
2:14 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

Why Some Politicians Turn Down Free Money

The salary for Duluth, Minn., mayors hadn't been raised for a decade, but last year Don Ness decided 25 percent was too much at once.
Julia Cheng AP

Originally published on Tue July 15, 2014 2:56 pm

All politicians are crooks, right?

Not really. Sometimes, elected officials will surprise you by being genuinely self-sacrificing when it comes to compensation.

Steve Novick, a city commissioner in Portland, Ore., just refused a $7,280 cost-of-living increase. He told The Oregonian accepting the raise "doesn't feel right."

He'll continue to earn $103,522, while his colleagues will pull in $110,802.

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The Two-Way
1:08 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

Two Former State Attorneys General Arrested In Utah

Former Utah attorneys general Mark Shurtleff (left) and John Swallow were taken into custody Tuesday as part of a bribery investigation.
Salt Lake County Sheriff AP

Originally published on Tue July 15, 2014 3:03 pm

Two former Utah state attorneys general were arrested Tuesday. Both face numerous charges, including receiving and soliciting bribes.

Mark Shurtleff served as attorney general for a dozen years before completing his third term at the beginning of 2013. John Swallow was elected to succeed him but resigned in November, less than a year into the job. Both are Republicans.

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Music
1:03 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

The Cowboy That Wasn't A Cowboy Sings

Originally published on Tue July 15, 2014 1:52 pm

Cowboy Jack Clement, who died in 2013 at age 82, was a prolific producer, songwriter, arranger, and talent scout. He brought Jerry Lee Lewis to Sun Records, helped nurture the career of one of the few black country stars, Charley Pride, and worked on important albums for artists as various as Waylon Jennings and U2.

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NPR Story
1:03 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

'Rocks Off': The Stones Keep Rolling

The Rolling Stones members Keith Richards (L) and Mick Jagger perform on stage at San Siro Stadium on July 11, 2006 in Milan, Italy. (Getty Images)

Last summer we celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Rolling Stones.

Now Keith Richards and Mick Jagger and the rest of the band are rocking in their 51st year. The Stones just put the finishing touches on a European tour and they will play shows in Australia and New Zealand in the fall.

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NPR Story
1:03 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

Fighting Between Hamas And Israel Continues

A Palestinian man inspects his destroyed house following an Israeli air strike in Gaza City on July 15, 2014. Israel carried out at least four air strikes against Gaza today, resuming raids after a truce that failed to get off the ground. (Thomas Coex/AFP/Getty Images)

Hope for a ceasefire in the Middle East ended today as Israel resumed airstrikes in Gaza. Palestinian officials say more than 190 people have been killed by Israeli airstrikes so far. At least four Israelis have been seriously injured since the violence flared.

The ceasefire had been brokered by Egypt. The Israeli attacks resumed after Hamas militants continued to fire rockets into Israel.

From Gaza City, the BBC’s Rushdi Abualouf gives Here & Now’s Meghna Chakrabarti a view from the ground.

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NPR Story
1:03 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

Tobacco Merger: Reynolds American To Buy Lorillard

Cigarette brands manufactured by Reynolds Amercian are displayed at a tobacco shop on July 11, 2014 in San Francisco, California. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

The tobacco giant Reynolds American agreed today to buy its rival, Lorillard, bringing together two of the country’s biggest tobacco producers at a weakening time for the industry.

The deal, worth an estimated $27.4 billion, is expected to reshape the tobacco industry amid a longtime decline in smoking among Americans due to smoking bans, health concerns and social stigma.

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The Two-Way
12:06 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

Odin's Beard! Marvel Announces A New Thor — And She's A Woman

The new Thor.
Marvel

Originally published on Tue July 15, 2014 12:47 pm

The Mighty Thor, the Son of Odin, the God of Thunder, the comic book god with the hammer is a woman.

Not quite — but here's the tweet announcing the new Thor:

"No longer is the classic Thunder God able to hold the mighty hammer, Mjölnir, and a brand new female hero will emerge worthy of the name THOR," Marvel said in a statement.

The new Thor will be written by Jason Aaron with art by Russell Dauterman.

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Goats and Soda
12:00 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

Why A Village Leader Ordered The Rape Of A 14-Year-Old In India

Demonstrators in Ahmadabad, India, protest rape and other attacks on women and girls.
Ajit Solanki AP

Originally published on Tue July 15, 2014 1:52 pm

Last week, a young man from a remote village in the eastern Indian state of Jharkhand was accused of sexually assaulting a married woman. To punish him, the village leader reportedly ordered the rape of his 14-year-old sister. The husband of the woman who was allegedly assaulted was told to carry out the rape.

As the woman's husband dragged the girl to a nearby forest, villagers only looked on, her family told The New York Times.

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The Two-Way
11:21 am
Tue July 15, 2014

In Response To Dwindling Applications, Peace Corps Makes Big Changes

In this 2011 photo, more than 100 Peace Corps volunteers are sworn in before heading to villages in southern Cambodia.
Heng Sinith AP

Originally published on Tue July 15, 2014 11:49 am

In a bid to shore up sagging numbers, the Peace Corps on Tuesday announced significant changes to its application process.

Sixty-page forms that used to take more than eight hours to fill out have now been shortened and streamlined and can be completed online in less than an hour, Peace Corps Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet said on NPR's Here and Now.

The number of people who actually complete the application process has fallen by more than a third from its peak in 2009.

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The Two-Way
10:23 am
Tue July 15, 2014

Plan To Make 6 States Out Of California May Head To Ballot

An image from the Six Californias website shows the proposed borders of its plan to slice the state into areas that the plan's backers say would be more manageable.
Six Californias

Originally published on Tue July 15, 2014 11:01 am

Backers of a plan to cut California into six states say they now have enough signatures from supporters to get their proposal on a general-election ballot in the state. The plan would create new states with names like Jefferson, Silicon Valley and South California.

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Movie Interviews
10:20 am
Tue July 15, 2014

In 'Underwater Dreams,' Robotics Team Puts Lens On Immigration Debate

Transcript

JACKI LYDEN, HOST:

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The Two-Way
9:54 am
Tue July 15, 2014

In Worst Attack In Years, 89 Afghans Killed By Suicide Bomber

Afghan doctors assist civilians wounded by a suicide bomber in Paktika province on Tuesday.
Uncredited AP

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 12:37 pm

At least 89 people were killed Tuesday by a suicide bomber in Afghanistan. It was the deadliest attack on civilians in that country for several years.

The attack occurred near a busy market and mosque in Urgun, a town in the eastern province of Paktika. In addition to the dead, 42 people were injured, according to the Defense Ministry.

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The Salt
9:41 am
Tue July 15, 2014

Will Camu Camu Be The Next Amazonian 'It' Fruit?

Camu camu berries grow wild on trees alongside flooded rivers in the Amazon rainforest in Brazil and Peru.
Ronaldo Rosa Courtesy of EMBRAPA

Originally published on Tue July 15, 2014 2:13 pm

Editor's Note: Here at The Salt we get a lot of pitches from companies extolling the virtues of a new "superfood."

Recently, a company called Amazon Origins wrote to us about its supplement made with camu camu berry, "the Amazon's latest superfruit." According to Amazon Origins, World Cup fans were discovering the berry in Brazil and getting hooked. Camu camu, they claimed, would soon dethrone açai — another Amazonian berry that's earned a place in the crowded U.S. health food market.

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Shots - Health News
8:40 am
Tue July 15, 2014

Most Employers See A Benefit In Covering Contraceptives

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 7:32 am

Despite questions raised by the Supreme Court decision in the Hobby Lobby case, women in most health plans will still be able to get their birth control covered with no out-of-pocket expenses.

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Goats and Soda
7:57 am
Tue July 15, 2014

No School, No Handshakes: Reporting On Ebola From Sierra Leone

Ebola precautions are taking hold in Sierra Leone. A man washes with disinfectant before entering a hospital in the capital city of Freetown.
Youssouf Bah AP

Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 3:02 pm

NPR's Jason Beaubien is in Sierra Leone, covering the Ebola outbreak that began in March in Guinea and has spread to neighboring countries. We'll be speaking with him throughout the week about what he's seeing on the ground. Today he's in Kailahun, the largest town in the country's eastern province, with a population of about 18,000, and the epicenter of Sierra Leone's outbreak.

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The Two-Way
7:39 am
Tue July 15, 2014

Kerry Cites Progress In Iran Nuclear Talks But Says Gaps Remain

Originally published on Tue July 15, 2014 10:14 am

Update at 11:59 p.m. ET

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is returning to Washington today to brief President Obama on talks with Iran about its nuclear program, and about the possible need to extend negotiations past a July 20 deadline.

NPR's Peter Kenyon, who is reporting on the talks from Vienna, says that with just five days to go, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif was showing some flexibility with Kerry and the foreign ministers of Britain, France and Germany.

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The Salt
6:48 am
Tue July 15, 2014

Calorie Counting Machine May Make Dieting Easier In The Future

A model of General Electric's automatic calorie counter, fitted over a plate of food.
Courtesy of GE

Originally published on Tue July 15, 2014 10:51 am

Part of losing weight boils down to making tweaks to the simple equation of calories in versus calories out.

Americans spend over $60 billion a year on diet and weight loss products, according to market research, but the weight often comes right back. That may be because it's such a hassle to count calories — tracking everything you order or cook at home.

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Research News
6:03 am
Tue July 15, 2014

Why Smartphone Breaks At Work Aren't Such A Bad Idea

A little bit of this at work might make for more productive employees.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue July 15, 2014 7:00 am

In that cubicle by the water cooler you see him: your employee, on your dime, tilted back in that pricey Herman Miller chair, his personal smartphone in hand. Judging by the furrowed brow, you'd guess it's a hot game of Words With Friends.

Which do you do?

1. Chastise him.
2. Ignore him.
3. Give him a smile and a thumbs-up, and suggest he keep playing.

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Parallels
6:03 am
Tue July 15, 2014

Who Is Smuggling Immigrant Children Across The Border?

Child detainees in a holding cell at a Border Patrol facility in Brownsville, Texas. Some human smugglers who bring children across the Rio Grande make sure to treat their clients well.
Eric Gay AP

Originally published on Tue July 15, 2014 7:00 am

"They call me the Wolf," said the 25-year-old human smuggler sitting in front of me, sipping a Coke and stepping away for frequent cellphone calls.

"Everybody says we're the problem, but it's the reverse. The gringos don't want to get their hands dirty. So I bring them the Mexicans and Central Americans to do the dirty work for them," he says, smiling.

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The Two-Way
5:58 am
Tue July 15, 2014

Moscow Metro Train Derails, Causing Deaths And Many Injuries

An injured man who was on a subway train that derailed Tuesday in Moscow talks on his phone after being treated by paramedics.
Dmitry Serebryakov AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 15, 2014 12:03 pm

This post was updated at 2 p.m. ET.

At least two subway cars jumped off their tracks in a tunnel in Moscow's metro system during morning rush hour today, injuring more than 160 people, some of them severely, and killing at least 21 others, emergency officials say.

The derailment was reportedly due to an electrical problem. Reports of the number of dead and wounded often fluctuate in situations like this; we'll be updating this post as necessary.

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Around the Nation
5:24 am
Tue July 15, 2014

Giant Snails Stopped From Entery The U.S. At LAX

Originally published on Tue July 15, 2014 5:53 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. U.S. Custom inspectors at LA's international airport are trained to watch for anything fishy. But slimy? This month inspectors discovered dozens of live giant African snails. Each weighs about 2 pounds and measures nearly six inches. Packed in picnic baskets, the snails arrived from Nigeria where they're considered a delicacy. Here in California, though, they're considered an invasion - able to eat paint and 500 types of plants. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Around the Nation
5:24 am
Tue July 15, 2014

Vegas Authorities Bust Up World Cup Betting Ring

Originally published on Tue July 15, 2014 5:53 am

The illegal gambling operation is accused of taking millions of dollars in bets on FIFA World Cup soccer games.

Around the Nation
5:24 am
Tue July 15, 2014

Colorful Politician Buddy Cianci Wants To Be Providence Mayor...Again

Former Providence Mayor Buddy Cianci speaks with reporters moments after announcing he will again run for mayor. Cianci, who made the announcement June 24 on WPRO-AM, was mayor for 21 years - longer than anyone else.
Steven Senne AP

Originally published on Tue July 15, 2014 4:35 pm

Buddy Cianci, the man known as Rhode Island's "Rascal King," is attempting another political comeback.

The 73-year-old Cianci served over two decades as mayor of Providence – though his time in office was split up by a felony conviction for assault, another for corruption, and time in federal prison.

Now he wants the people of Providence to elect him as mayor once again.

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The Two-Way
5:12 am
Tue July 15, 2014

After Peace Deal's Failure, Israel To 'Expand And Intensify' Campaign

An Israeli soldier stands on a military vehicle near Gaza early Tuesday, when a cease-fire was meant to take effect. The deal hasn't been embraced by all of Hamas.
Ariel Schalit AP

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 4:26 am

This post was updated at 5:30 p.m. ET.

A day that dawned with hopes for a fragile peace is closing with hostilities between Israel and the Palestinians appearing to intensify.

Early Tuesday, Israel had accepted the terms of a cease-fire proposed by Egypt, but Hamas, which governs the Gaza Strip, continued firing rockets.

A Hamas spokesman complained to NPR's Ari Shapiro that Egypt's current government is hostile to the group and its proposal didn't deal at all with Palestinian demands.

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Middle East
4:20 am
Tue July 15, 2014

Hamas Has Yet To Agree To Cease-Fire Proposal

Originally published on Tue July 15, 2014 5:53 am

Steve Inskeep talks to Ehab El-Ghussain, deputy information minister for the Palestinian government.

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