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The Two-Way
12:13 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

'Unknowable' If CIA Methods Elicited Useful Information, Agency's Chief Says

CIA Director John Brennan
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Fri December 12, 2014 5:57 am

CIA Director John Brennan defended his agency's actions after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and said while it is "unknowable" whether the CIA's interrogation techniques against terrorism suspects provided useful information, the agency did not mislead the Bush White House about its activities.

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The Two-Way
10:21 am
Thu December 11, 2014

'Pineapple Express' Brings Winds, Rain To Northern California

A weather map showing a rain forecast for the next seven days.
NOAA

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 11:58 am

Power outages, canceled ferry services, flight delays: Those are some of the effects of one of the windiest and rainiest storms in recent years to make its way across Northern California.

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The Two-Way
9:14 am
Thu December 11, 2014

Fidel Castro Awarded China's Confucius Peace Prize

Fidel Castro, seen here in July, was awarded the Confucius Peace Prize, China's version of the Nobel Prize. He was not on hand to receive the award at a ceremony in Beijing on Tuesday.
Alex Castro AP

Former Cuban leader Fidel Castro has been awarded the Confucius Peace Prize, China's version of the Nobel Prize.

The Global Times, an official newspaper, said Castro, 88, was selected for the prize because he did not use force while dealing with international disputes, especially against the U.S. The newspaper also reported that Castro had made important contributions to eliminating nuclear weapons upon his retirement from the presidency in 2008.

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Shots - Health News
8:54 am
Thu December 11, 2014

Does Snoring Leave Tots More Vulnerable To Childhood Obesity?

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 5:36 am

A solid night's sleep does more than recharge a growing brain — it may also help keep a growing body lean.

Breathing problems or a chronic lack of sleep early in life may double the risk that a child will be obese by age 15, according to research published Thursday in The Journal of Pediatrics.

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Goats and Soda
8:47 am
Thu December 11, 2014

Wilbur Goes To Work: New, Very First-Class Video On Village Life

Wilbur Sargunaraj introduces us a barber in his father's home village in India.
Wilbur Sargunaraj for NPR

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 12:18 pm

Last week, Wilbur Sargunaraj took NPR by storm with not one, but two video premieres. The YouTube star was taking pump baths, drinking Goli soda and — to the dismay of some readers — dunking a chicken in water.

If you missed that wild ride, no worries. Wilbur is back!

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Monkey See
7:51 am
Thu December 11, 2014

A Prediction For How Serial Is Going To End

Serial producers Sarah Koenig (left) and Dana Chivvis in the recording studio.
Elise Bergeron Courtesy of Serial

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 3:06 pm

As The Conversation About Serial reaches a fever pitch in certain circles, those of us behind Code Switch and Monkey See have been talking quite a bit about the show. Here's the first part of our exchange, from Code Switch editor Matt Thompson:

Hi Linda, Kat and Gene,

I think we're still far enough away from the conclusion of Serial (ostensibly next Thursday) that predicting its ending is both brave and foolhardy, so let me lay it on you.

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The Two-Way
6:49 am
Thu December 11, 2014

Dick Cheney On Senate Torture Investigation: 'The Report Is Full Of Crap'

Former Vice President Dick Cheney.
Cliff Owen AP

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 10:53 am

"The report is full of crap."

That's what former Vice President Dick Cheney told Fox News in an interview about a Senate investigation that found the Central Intelligence Agency used brutal techniques to interrogate terrorism suspects and then misled lawmakers, the White House and Congress about what they were doing.

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The Two-Way
5:54 am
Thu December 11, 2014

U.S. Says It Has Closed Its Final Detention Center In Afghanistan

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 9:05 am

The United States says that with the closing of its detention center at Bagram, it is no longer holding any prisoners in Afghanistan.

As Reuters puts it, the announcement was made late Wednesday and marks the end of a controversial chapter in U.S. history.

NBC News reports the U.S. gave up custody of its two final prisoners:

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Shots - Health News
5:37 am
Thu December 11, 2014

Debunking Vaccine Myths Can Have An Unintended Effect

Would it help you to know that your worries about the flu shot are unfounded? Perhaps not.
Darron Cummings AP

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 5:35 am

Remember back in October when I debunked 32 myths about the flu vaccine here?

Research published since then suggests my efforts might have been in vain, at least in part.

The post might have changed some minds, but it seems unlikely to have led legions of people to race to get vaccinated.

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The Two-Way
4:42 am
Thu December 11, 2014

In Hong Kong, Police Clear Final 'Occupy' Protest Site

Hong Kong police arrest lawmaker and pro-democracy activist Leung Kwok-Hung during a sit-in Thursday as police clear the main protest site in the Admiralty district.
Alex Ogle AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 9:02 am

After months of acts of civil disobedience that at some points paralyzed Hong Kong, police cleared the final encampment of what's come to be known as the Umbrella Revolution.

Demonstrators had gathered on the streets of Hong Kong for two months. The protest site at Admiralty was, symbolically, the most important because it was closest to the government offices. In the end, it was also the last one standing.

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Latin America
3:15 am
Thu December 11, 2014

Walk In The Steps, If Not In The Image, Of A Communist Hero

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 6:13 am

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

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Strange News
3:15 am
Thu December 11, 2014

For The Sophisticated Souse, Fabric Infused With A Whiff Of Whiskey

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 6:13 am

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

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Politics
3:04 am
Thu December 11, 2014

Congressional Plan To Fund Military Comes With A Side Of 'Land Grab'

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 6:13 am

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

National Security
2:55 am
Thu December 11, 2014

ISIS Used Predatory Tools And Tactics To Convince U.S. Teens To Join

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 8:19 am

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

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Race
2:55 am
Thu December 11, 2014

First The Protest, Then The Storm: Bay Area's 5 Straight Nights Of Clashes

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 11:45 am

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

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Asia
2:55 am
Thu December 11, 2014

Police Finish Dismantling Hong Kong Protest Sites

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 7:14 pm

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

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NPR Story
2:55 am
Thu December 11, 2014

Pension Deal In Spending Bill Will Cut Benefits Before Safety Net Fails

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 6:13 am

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

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National Security
2:55 am
Thu December 11, 2014

Talking Point Or Proof Of Value: CIA Tactics And The 'Second Wave' Plot

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 12:15 pm

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

The Two-Way
7:26 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

A Toilet No More: NBA Team Changes Arena Plan After Jokes Swirl In

A rendering of the planned Golden State Warriors arena drew ridicule from people who said it resembled a toilet.
Golden State Warriors

The Golden State Warriors have revised their new arena's design, after critics said that from overhead, at least, the building looked just like a toilet with the seat and lid down.

In the latest change in a high-profile move from Oakland to a spot near the Golden Gate Bridge, the Warriors released images of a new design today.

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The Two-Way
6:17 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

Gun Rights Outweigh Gun Control In New Pew Survey

More than half of American women now say owning a gun protects people from becoming victims of crime, according to Pew. Here, a woman carries a rifle at a gun rights rally at the Utah State Capitol last year.
George Frey Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 10:36 am

For the first time in at least 20 years, significantly more Americans say it's more important to protect the right to own guns than to control gun ownership, according to the Pew Research Center.

The survey found that more than half of Americans (52 percent) sided with gun rights compared with the 46 percent who favored gun control.

The findings represent the continuation of a shift that was only briefly interrupted by the Newtown, Conn., school shootings in 2012.

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The Salt
4:39 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

More Drinking, Less Buzz: Session Beers Gain Fans

Chris Lohring founded Notch Brewing in 2010. The company's lineup includes a Czech pilsner, a Belgian saison and an India pale ale. All of the brews are session beers — meaning their alcohol by volume, or A.B.V., is less than 5 percent.
Courtesy of Notch Brewing

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 4:33 pm

Tailgating, camping trips and wedding receptions are just some of the occasions when many Americans down a few beers in one sitting. For those who prefer high-alcohol microbrews and other craft beers, that can lead to trouble.

But a growing trend is offering another option: Session beers emphasize craft-beer taste with alcohol as low as or lower than big-brand light beers.

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The Two-Way
4:07 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

Stocks Are Battered As Oil Hits Another 5-Year Low

Today was another big day for energy news: Oil prices fell to a new five-year-low, below $61 per barrel on world markets; the U.S. said its supplies of crude oil increased last week; and OPEC said it expected lower demand next year.

The news prompted a selloff on Wall Street. Jim Paulson, chief investment strategist at Wells Capital Management, tells our NPR's Newscast unit investors fear global economic tumult.

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Around the Nation
4:07 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

Why Police Departments Have A Hard Time Recruiting Blacks

Police wearing riot gear walk toward a man with his hands raised Aug. 11 in Ferguson, Mo. Renewed calls for police departments to hire more minorities have followed the shooting there of a black man by a white police officer.
Jeff Roberson AP

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 4:35 pm

Since the Ferguson, Mo., shooting, there have been renewed calls for police departments to hire more minority officers, but it turns out it's not that simple.

Police in the U.S. are more diverse than they were a generation ago. In the 1980s, 1 in 6 officers belonged to an ethnic or racial minority. Now it's about 1 in 4. The challenge these days is finding enough recruits to keep that trend going.

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Around the Nation
4:07 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

Some Deportees Return To Mexico But Their Stuff Stays In The U.S.

A woman walks toward the international crossing gate in Nogales, Ariz., in March 2013.
Jahi Chikwendiu Washington Post via Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 4:34 pm

Derek Lucas Reyes, 20, went from being undocumented in the U.S. to undocumented in his native Mexico.

He sits at a table after breakfast in a shelter filled with people recently deported from the U.S. to Nogales, Sonora. At his feet is a paper shopping bag the Department of Homeland Security gave him for his belongings. Inside the bag: his deportation paperwork, a toothbrush, toothpaste and some other necessities he got from Mexican aid workers.

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Parallels
4:07 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

Brazil's Tearful President Praises Report On Abuses Of A Dictatorship

Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff begins to cry as she delivers a speech during the final report of the National Truth Commission on Violation of Human Rights during the military dictatorship from 1964-1985 in Brasilia on Wednesday. She is among the thousands who were tortured during that brutal period.
Ed Ferreira/Agencia Estado Xinhua/Landov

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 7:38 am

Brazil's national truth commission on Wednesday delivered a damning report looking at the abuses committed during that country's military dictatorship, which lasted from 1964 to 1985.

The 2,000-page document details for the first time a history of arbitrary detention, torture, executions and disappearances.

Until now, Brazil has sought to bury its difficult past.

President Dilma Rousseff, who was herself tortured during Brazil's dictatorship period, broke down when she addressed the nation Wednesday. She said the report had fulfilled three important objectives.

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Goats and Soda
4:07 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

Boredom On The Border Between Liberia And Guinea

The bright yellow steel truss bridge over St. John's River is the official border crossing between Liberia and Guinea. The Liberian-Guinean border has been closed since the early days of the Ebola outbreak.
John W. Poole NPR

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 7:38 am

They're from the same ethnic group. They speak the same language. And they live on both sides of the Liberia-Guinea divide in the area around Liberia's eastern border city of Ganta, in Nimba County. The families straddle the border, which is not fenced.

"Right over there is the border," says businessman Prince Haward, directing our attention to some rubber farms not too far away. "Those are the rubber farms you find in Guinea."

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The Two-Way
4:05 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

Watch: Navy Ship Uses Energy Weapon In Persian Gulf

A laser weapon system on the USS Ponce, which has been deployed to the Persian Gulf. The Navy released a video showing the system taking target practice.
John F. Williams U.S. Navy

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 8:30 am

It's not Star Wars on the high seas — but the U.S. Navy says it has made a "historic leap" by deploying a laser weapon system for the first time. The Navy released a video showing a LaWS — shorthand for "laser weapon system" — being used by the USS Ponce during target practice in the Persian Gulf.

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The Salt
3:52 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

From Potatoes To Salty Fries In School: Congress Tweaks Food Rules

When it comes to salty french fries or pizza served at lunch, schools may get more time to dial back sodium content, thanks to a provision in the federal spending bill headed for a vote on Capitol Hill.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 9:00 am

The gargantuan budget bill that lawmakers on Capitol Hill are expected to vote on Thursday does more than dole out federal dollars to keep the government running.

It also tweaks federal nutrition rules.

For starters, the bill — aka, the 2015 Omnibus Appropriations Bill — includes a provision that will give school food directors more flexibility when it comes to adopting 100 percent whole grain items, such as pasta and biscuits, in school breakfast and lunch meals.

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National Security
3:05 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

Journalist: 'Torture Report' Shows CIA's Failure To Police Itself

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 7:38 am

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

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National Security
2:57 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

Former Interrogator Says CIA's Techniques Amounted To Torture

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 7:38 am

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

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