NPR News

The Two-Way
10:26 am
Tue July 8, 2014

Senator Asks U.S. To Investigate Possible Cuban Plot Against Him

New Jersey Democrat Robert Menendez, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has asked the Justice Department to investigate a smear campaign against him.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 8, 2014 11:46 am

Did fake accusations that Sen. Robert Menendez had visited underage prostitutes come from Cuba's intelligence agency? That's the question the senator wants the Justice Department to look into.

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The Two-Way
10:01 am
Tue July 8, 2014

Australia Won't Return Sri Lankan Asylum Seekers Without Notice

Sri Lankan asylum seekers who were sent back by Australia cover their faces as they wait to enter a magistrate's court in Galle, Sri Lanka, on Tuesday.
Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue July 8, 2014 11:28 am

Australia has agreed not to return a second boatload of Sri Lankan asylum seekers without first giving 72 hours' notice. The pledge came at a High Court hearing Tuesday, a day after the government acknowledged that it had handed over 41 asylum seekers to Sri Lankan authorities in a transfer at sea.

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The Salt
8:34 am
Tue July 8, 2014

Globe-Trotting GMO Bananas Arrive For Their First Test In Iowa

Ugandan researcher Stephen Buah and Professor James Dale hold bananas bred to be rich in vitamin A at Queensland University of Technology.
Erika Fish Courtesy of Queensland University of Technology

Originally published on Tue July 8, 2014 11:23 am

Somewhere in Iowa, volunteers are earning $900 apiece by providing blood samples after eating bits of a banana kissed with a curious tinge of orange.

It's the first human trial of a banana that's been genetically engineered to contain higher levels of beta carotene, the nutrient that our body converts into vitamin A. Researchers want to confirm that eating the fruit does, in fact, lead to higher vitamin A levels in the volunteers' blood.

The volunteers in Iowa may not realize it, but they're playing a small part in a story that spans the globe.

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The Two-Way
8:10 am
Tue July 8, 2014

Roller Coaster Stops Rolling, Traps Riders High In The Air

Originally published on Tue July 8, 2014 12:59 pm

A tree branch got in the way of the fun for more than 20 riders who were on the Ninja roller coaster at Six Flags Magic Mountain north of Los Angeles Monday, stranding them above the ground for hours before rescue crews freed them.

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The Two-Way
7:59 am
Tue July 8, 2014

U.N. Urges U.S. To Treat Migrants As Refugees

The U.N. is encouraging the U.S., Mexico and other countries to treat migrant children as refugees, on the grounds that they're fleeing danger. Last week, immigration activists demanded that Mexico protect the rights of minors and families crossing its territory, during a protest outside the Mexican Consulate in Los Angeles.
Damian Dovarganes AP

Originally published on Tue July 8, 2014 12:29 pm

People who enter the U.S. and nearby countries illegally from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras should not be forced to return home and should be treated as refugees, a U.N. agency says. The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees says people from those countries are subject to persecution.

From Geneva, Lisa Schlein reports for our Newscast unit:

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The Two-Way
7:07 am
Tue July 8, 2014

Ukraine And Militants Continue A Standoff In Donetsk

People walk under a destroyed railroad bridge over a main road leading into the city of Donetsk in eastern Ukraine Monday. Kiev is calling on pro-Russian militants to disarm before holding peace talks.
Dmitry Lovetsky AP

Originally published on Tue July 8, 2014 7:54 am

Coming off of two victories this weekend, Ukraine is calling for pro-Russian separatists to lay down their arms in Donetsk before taking part in peace talks. Rebels in the city are reportedly preparing to resist Ukraine's forces.

Plans for talks about a cease-fire are now in limbo, as President Petro Poroshenko and the militants also disagree on the location. From the AP:

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The Two-Way
5:59 am
Tue July 8, 2014

The One American On The Field At Today's World Cup Semifinal

Referee Mark Geiger will be the U.S. presence at the World Cup semifinal on Tuesday.
Clive Rose Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 8, 2014 7:35 am

The United States will have a presence at today's semifinal World Cup match between Brazil and Germany. It won't be the U.S. National Team on the field, but American referee Mark Geiger. FIFA selected Geiger to be on the officiating crew of the high-stakes match. It's the first time a U.S. referee has been used this late in a World Cup.

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The Two-Way
5:50 am
Tue July 8, 2014

Powerful Typhoon Whips Japan's Okinawa Islands

A reporter stands next to a wooden house and restaurant that collapsed across a street due to strong winds from Typhoon Neoguri, in Naha city on the island of Okinawa on Tuesday.
Hitoshi Maeshiro EPA/LANDOV

Originally published on Tue July 8, 2014 9:03 am

Bringing winds that gust higher than 100 mph, Typhoon Neoguri is bearing down on the Okinawa island chain in southern Japan. More than 100,000 households are without power, and over a half-million people have reportedly been asked to evacuate.

As it neared the coast, the storm "weakened from its original status as a super typhoon but remained intense," the Japan Times says, "with gusts of more than 250 km per hour (155 mph)."

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The Two-Way
5:01 am
Tue July 8, 2014

Israel Expands Attacks On Gaza As Rockets Target Israeli Cities

Israeli soldiers stand on their tanks near Israel's border with the Gaza Strip on Tuesday. Israeli warplanes pounded Gaza with more than 50 strikes overnight after Hamas militants fired scores of rockets over the border.
Jack Guez AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 8, 2014 3:36 pm

Updates at 5:32 p.m. ET

Israel said Tuesday it is expanding its operations against Hamas "and other terrorist organizations" in the Gaza Strip amid an escalation of violence that saw a barrage of rockets fired from the enclave toward Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and other parts of the country.

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Around the Nation
4:35 am
Tue July 8, 2014

Buddhist Monks Face Jail Time For July 4 Fireworks Display

Originally published on Tue July 8, 2014 7:51 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Research News
3:01 am
Tue July 8, 2014

Some Parole Requirements Could Be Increasing The Crime Rate

Originally published on Tue July 8, 2014 7:51 am

Prisoners who are released invariably make it back to the areas where they came from. Does this have a positive or negative effect on crime? Research triggered by Hurricane Katrina offers insight.

Sports
3:01 am
Tue July 8, 2014

For Brazilians, Game-Day Rituals Lead To Sense Of Community

Originally published on Tue July 8, 2014 7:51 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Brazil faces Germany today in the semi-finals of the World Cup.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Deep into the tournament, Brazilian fans have developed a game day routine.

INSKEEP: So we present to you now, with NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro in Sao Paulo, Brazil's World Cup ritual in four acts.

MONTAGNE: Act one - getting to the game.

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Around the Nation
1:37 am
Tue July 8, 2014

Obama To Ask Congress For $2B To Ease Immigration Crisis

Detainees sleep and watch television in a holding cell where hundreds of mostly Central American immigrant children are being processed at a U.S. Customs facility in Nogales, Texas.
Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 8, 2014 7:51 am

The Obama administration will ask Congress for more than $2 billion Tuesday to address the urgent humanitarian crisis along the U.S. border with Mexico.

In the past nine months, more than 50,000 children and teenagers have crossed that border illegally on their own, most from Central America. By law, the administration can't deport those young people until they have an immigration hearing — a process that can take years.

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Shots - Health News
1:37 am
Tue July 8, 2014

Stress Causes Health Problems, Which Then Cause More Stress

Staci Moritz and her son Aidan, 11, play at a park in their neighborhood in Portland, Ore. Caring for three children and her injured husband exacerbated her health problems.
Beth Nakamura for NPR

Originally published on Wed July 9, 2014 10:38 am

Stress is bad for your health. And bad health causes a lot of stress.

Poor health and disability are common among people who say they suffer from a lot of stress, according to a national poll by NPR, in partnership with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health.

And it's not just those whose own health is poor. Serious illness and injury often impose enormous stress on entire families.

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It's All Politics
6:23 pm
Mon July 7, 2014

In Mississippi, The GOP's Not-So-Civil War Continues

Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran (center) may have scored the equivalent of a winning political touchdown in the Republican primary last month, but Chris McDaniel, who lost, still wants to see the replay.
Rogelio V. Solis AP

It's been 13 days since Sen. Thad Cochran, by most accounts, won Mississippi's Republican primary over Tea Party challenger Chris McDaniel, with African-American Democrats largely providing the 6,800-vote margin of victory out of some 375,000 votes cast.

But as of Monday, McDaniel still hadn't conceded, and your guess is as good as anyone's as to when — or even if — he ever will.

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The Two-Way
4:54 pm
Mon July 7, 2014

Washington State To Start Recreational Pot Sales On Tuesday

Amber McGowan, left, and Krystal Klacsan work Monday at Cannabis City in Seattle, a day before the store is to begin legal pot sales on Tuesday. The store will be for now the only one in Seattle to sell recreational marijuana.
Ted S. Warren AP

Originally published on Mon July 7, 2014 6:46 pm

Legal marijuana sales are set to begin in Washington state as early as Tuesday after authorities began issuing retail licenses to stores.

The state's Liquor Control Board issued Monday the first 24 marijuana retailer licenses, the board said in a statement. The stores can now stock up on marijuana products and begin sales on Tuesday after the mandated 24-hour "quarantine" period.

Here's more from the panel:

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Men In America
3:27 pm
Mon July 7, 2014

Teen Tries To Be The Parent His Own Dad Never Was

Marvin Ramos, now 18, was overwhelmed when his daughter, Hailey, was born. But now he says he's determined to be the best father he can be. "I haven't run away," he says, "and I never want to."
Marvin Ramos Courtesy of WNYC

Originally published on Mon July 7, 2014 6:40 pm

This story is part of All Things Considered's "Men in America" series.

Marvin Ramos found out he was going to be a father when his girlfriend, Stephanie, called him during a basketball game. He says he sat down on a bench and looked up at the sky. He was 16. Stephanie was 19.

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Afghanistan
3:27 pm
Mon July 7, 2014

Afghan Election Numbers Come With A Warning: Results Not Final

Originally published on Mon July 7, 2014 5:56 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel. Today, Afghans are one step closer to knowing who their next president will be. More than three weeks after voters went to the polls, election officials announced that candidate Ashraf Ghani has a wide lead. But Ghani is not out of the woods yet. The election process now enters an appeals phase that is sure to be contentious before the final results are announced on July 24. NPR's Sean Carberry sent this story from Kabul.

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The Two-Way
3:12 pm
Mon July 7, 2014

Bahrain Asks U.S. Diplomat To Leave Over Meeting With Shiite Group

Bahrain's Foreign Ministry has said a top U.S. diplomat "is unwelcome and should immediately leave the country."

Assistant Secretary of State Tom Malinowski oversees democracy, human rights and labor issues. On Sunday, he met with Al Wifaq, a Shiite opposition group. Bahrain's Foreign Ministry said the meeting was "indicative of an approach which discriminates amongst the people of this one nation."

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Politics
2:38 pm
Mon July 7, 2014

In Maine, A Gay Candidate With An Uneven Record On LGBT Rights

Democratic Rep. Mike Michaud speaks at the Pride Parade and Festival in Portland, Maine, on June 21. Michaud, who is openly gay, is running for governor with the backing of national LGBT groups.
Susan Sharon NPR

Originally published on Mon July 7, 2014 5:56 pm

Maine was among the first states to legalize same-sex marriage at the ballot box — and now, LGBT groups are hoping voters there will break new ground by electing the nation's first openly gay governor in November.

But Democratic candidate Mike Michaud only recently came out, and he hasn't always been a gay-rights supporter.

Responding to what he called a "whisper campaign" about his sexual orientation, the six-term congressman did something dramatic last November: He outed himself in a series of newspaper op-eds.

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Middle East
2:36 pm
Mon July 7, 2014

News Of Israeli Arrests Met With Both Resentment And Reflection

Originally published on Mon July 7, 2014 5:56 pm

Israeli authorities arrested six Israelis for the killing of a 16-year-old Palestinian boy. The murder is believed to be an act of revenge for the earlier killing of three Israeli teens in the West Bank. For more details on how this news is playing in Israel, Robert Siegel turns to Ari Shavit, senior correspondent for the Israeli newspaper Haaretz.

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All Tech Considered
2:29 pm
Mon July 7, 2014

We Asked, You Answered: Going To Extremes To Disconnect On Vacation

Our readers wrote in on how they tried to take a vacation from their smartphones.
Christian Wheatley iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon July 7, 2014 5:56 pm

Summer is a great time to take a break from some of the stressors in our lives. For many of us, that stress is brought on by too much screen time and the pressure to stay connected.

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Around the Nation
2:23 pm
Mon July 7, 2014

A Red July 4th Weekend Leaves Dozens Of Casualties In Chicago

Originally published on Mon July 7, 2014 5:56 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

In Chicago, there were many shootings over the July 4 weekend. Police say nine Chicago residents were killed; more than 50 were injured. At least eight people who were shot were shot by police. NPR's Cheryl Corley reports.

CHERYL CORLEY, BYLINE: Chicago police superintendent Garry McCarthy says his department had a plan over the July 4 holiday that included putting hundreds of more officers on the city streets when and where they were needed.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

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Religion
2:19 pm
Mon July 7, 2014

Pope Meets Sex Abuse Victims, Bearing A Plea For Forgiveness

Originally published on Mon July 7, 2014 5:56 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

At the Vatican today Pope Francis had his first meeting with victims of clergy. He vowed to hold bishops accountable for the protection of children. The meeting came nearly 16 months after Francis was elected. Victim support groups said it was long overdue. For more on this NPR's Sylvia Poggioli joins us from Rome. Hello Sylvia.

SYLVIA POGGIOLI, BYLINE: Hello, Robert.

SIEGEL: And I understand the Pope held a Mass with these victims, including a dramatic homily. What did he say?

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Middle East
2:19 pm
Mon July 7, 2014

In Jerusalem, And Caught In A Crossfire Of Thrown Stones

Originally published on Mon July 7, 2014 5:56 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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Latin America
2:19 pm
Mon July 7, 2014

In Brazil, Pacification Paves Way For Baby Steps To Democracy

Two young men play street soccer in the Rio de Janeiro shantytown of Vidigal on May 14.
Marcelo Sayao EPA/Landov

Originally published on Mon July 7, 2014 6:16 pm

As World Cup travelers in Brazil flock to Rio de Janeiro for the tournament's final, many are staying in newly pacified favelas, or low-income neighborhoods.

Among the most popular is Vidigal, which rises up a steep hillside over some of Rio's most scenic beaches and offers some of the city's most beautiful views. A government program to drive crime from the historically violent slum has attracted entrepreneurs and investors and also nurtured a step toward democracy.

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The Two-Way
2:15 pm
Mon July 7, 2014

More Than 50 People Were Shot In Chicago Over The Holiday Weekend

Police investigate the scene of a shooting at 75th Street and Stewart Avenue on Saturday in Chicago. At least 50 people were shot in the city, nine of them fatally, in a wave of violence over the Fourth of July weekend.
E. Jason Wambsgans MCT /Landov

Originally published on Mon July 7, 2014 3:15 pm

At least 50 people were shot in Chicago, 12 of them fatally, in a wave of violence over the long Fourth of July holiday weekend.

The Chicago Tribune called it "the greatest burst of gun violence Chicago has seen this year."

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Shots - Health News
2:07 pm
Mon July 7, 2014

The Secret History Behind The Science Of Stress

Camel marketed smoke breaks at work as time spent relaxing instead of stressing. Camel, 1964.
Stanford University

Originally published on Tue July 8, 2014 1:47 pm

The modern idea of stress began on a rooftop in Canada, with a handful of rats freezing in the winter wind.

This was 1936 and by that point the owner of the rats, an endocrinologist named Hans Selye, had become expert at making rats suffer for science.

"He would subject them to extreme temperatures, make them go hungry for long periods, or make them exercise a lot," the medical historian Mark Jackson says. "Then what he would do is kill the rats and look at their organs."

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NPR Story
1:12 pm
Mon July 7, 2014

Little Library Causes Big Zoning Controversy

Spencer Collins, 9, with his Little Free Library that a neighbor complained was an eyesore and violated the town's zoning ordinances. (Sarah Collins)

Originally published on Tue July 8, 2014 8:02 am

Note: See an update on this story here.

City leaders in Leawood, Kansas tonight will take up 9-year-old Spencer Collins‘ Little Free Library.

The boy had put up a slightly larger than a birdfeeder box containing a free book exchange in his front yard, but a neighbor complained it was an eyesore and “an illegal detached structure” that violated the town’s zoning ordinances.

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NPR Story
1:12 pm
Mon July 7, 2014

Ukrainian Parliamentarian: Ukraine 'A Test' For Europe And Russia

Olga Bielkova, a member of Ukraine’s parliament says, “what is happening between us and Russia right now is a threat to the whole of Europe; Russia is just testing grounds for what it could to do other countries.”

Bielkova told Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson that Ukraine is better prepared to take on pro-Russian separatists, and she thinks that the government will begin winning hearts in Eastern Ukraine where pro-Russian sentiment runs strong.

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