NPR News

Shots - Health News
10:00 am
Mon December 15, 2014

Prolific Prescribers Of Controlled Substances Face Medicare Scrutiny

Number of providers by state who wrote at least 3,000 prescriptions for Schedule 2 controlled substances in 2012 in Medicare Part D.
ProPublica/NPR

Originally published on Tue December 16, 2014 5:31 am

Despite a national crackdown on prescription drug abuse, doctors churned out an ever-larger number of prescriptions for the most-potent controlled substances to Medicare patients, new data show.

In addition, ProPublica found, the most prolific prescribers of such drugs as oxycodone, fentanyl, morphine and Ritalin often have worrisome records.

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U.S.
8:23 am
Mon December 15, 2014

Is Ted Cruz Running For President ... In 2008?

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, talks with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington on Friday, as the Senate considered a spending bill.
Lauren Victoria Burke AP

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 11:37 am

Yes, we know the 2008 presidential election is years in the past and will not come around again. The question is, does Sen. Ted Cruz know this?

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Code Switch
7:37 am
Mon December 15, 2014

'Half Asian'? 'Half White'? No — 'Hapa'

What you find when you search for "hapa" images on Flickr — "Limited Time"!
istolethetv Flickr

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 9:55 am

She was tall and freckled, with long, dark hair — and we stood out in the same way. As I leaned in to say hi, she yelled over the din, "You're hapa, aren't you?" It was the last word I expected to hear in D.C., but I welcomed the refreshing respite from the constant and inevitable question: "What are you?"

What am I? This is what they're really asking here: What is the particular racial mix that created you? Because YOU don't fit into a single box in my mind, and that confuses me.

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The Two-Way
6:12 am
Mon December 15, 2014

Rare Northern White Rhino Dies At San Diego Zoo

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 10:58 am

One of six northern white rhinos left in the world died at the San Diego Zoo on Sunday.

Angalifu was thought to be 44 years old. He came to the park from Sudan in 1990 and had been treated for a range of age-related ailments.

U-T San Diego reports:

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Latin America
5:16 am
Mon December 15, 2014

Haiti's President Searches For Next Prime Minister

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

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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The Two-Way
4:42 am
Mon December 15, 2014

WATCH: Local Coverage Of Australian Hostage Siege

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 12:38 pm

A gunman was holding an unknown number of hostages at a downtown chocolate cafe in Sydney. Early on Tuesday morning, Australian time, police moved in and said the siege was over.

We're following the news here. Below is a feed of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's news coverage. ABC is the country's national public broadcaster:

The Two-Way
4:38 am
Mon December 15, 2014

3 People, Including Gunman, Killed In Sydney Cafe Siege

A hostage runs to armed tactical response police officers for safety after she escaped from a cafe under siege at Martin Place in the central business district of Sydney, Australia, on Monday.
Rob Griffith AP

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 1:13 pm

(Last updated at 1:48 p.m. ET.)

Just as the siege entered its second day, police stormed a chocolate shop in downtown Sydney, ending a more than 12-hour hostage standoff that began during morning rush hour.

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Europe
4:15 am
Mon December 15, 2014

Element Of Marriage Proposal Damages Building

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 5:16 am

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

Europe
3:58 am
Mon December 15, 2014

Hallucinogenic Mushrooms Found At Buckingham Palace

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 5:16 am

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

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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Research News
3:01 am
Mon December 15, 2014

Why Some Scientific Collaborations Are More Beneficial Than Others

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 5:16 am

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

NPR Story
3:01 am
Mon December 15, 2014

Congress Wraps Up Spending Measure Before Holiday Recess

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 5:16 am

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

World
1:31 am
Mon December 15, 2014

Around-The-World Trek Hits Obstacles Both Natural And Man-Made

North into the Caucasus, into cold gunmetal skies. Eastern Turkey.
Paul Salopek National Geographic

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 6:02 am

Journalist Paul Salopek is on a seven-year trek around the world, retracing early humans' first great migration, out of Africa.

We first spoke to him two years ago, when he was in Ethiopia, at the very beginning of his odyssey. Since then, we've reached him in Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Cyprus. Eventually, he plans to walk 21,000 miles in total — and make it all the way to Tierra del Fuego in South America.

On this last leg of his trip, he has faced all manner of obstacles — both natural and man-made.

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Around the Nation
1:26 am
Mon December 15, 2014

When Grandma's House Is Home: The Rise Of Grandfamilies

The number of grandparents living with their grandchildren is up sharply.
Stephanie Wunderlich Getty Images/Ikon Images

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 8:42 am

In a shift driven partly by culture and largely by the economy, the number of grandparents living with their grandchildren is up sharply. According to recent U.S. census data, such families have increased by about a third over the past generation.

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The Salt
1:25 am
Mon December 15, 2014

Congress To Nutritionists: Don't Talk About The Environment

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 12:34 pm

A government-appointed group of top nutrition experts, assigned to lay the scientific groundwork for a new version of the nation's dietary guidelines, decided earlier this year to collect data on the environmental implication of different food choices.

Congress now has slapped them down.

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Shots - Health News
1:24 am
Mon December 15, 2014

To Stop Teen Drinking Parties, Fine The Parents

Maria Fabrizio for NPR

Originally published on Tue December 16, 2014 2:53 pm

When it comes to teenage drinking, the typical venue is a party — where some teens play drinking games and binge. It may surprise you to learn that the majority of parents are aware that alcohol is flowing at these events.

On any given weekend, some teenagers receive three to four text messages about parties, says Bettina Friese, a public health researcher at the Prevention Research Center in Oakland, Calif.

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The Two-Way
7:34 pm
Sun December 14, 2014

Hostages Held In Cafe In Sydney, Australia

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 3:03 am

Update at 1:33 a.m. ET

An undisclosed number of hostages are being held at a chocolate shop and cafe in Sydney, Australia. Reuters is reporting that police say they've made contact with the gunman and that TV footage showed three then two more people running from the scene. The number of hostages is said to be "not as high as 30," according to New South Wales Deputy Police Commissioner Catherine Burn.

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Around the Nation
3:57 pm
Sun December 14, 2014

LA's Unclaimed Dead Receive Prayers, And A Final Resting Place

County employees, media and mourners gather for the ceremony honoring the 1,489 people whose unclaimed remains are being buried in the LA County Cemetery this year.
Arun Rath NPR

Every year since 1896, Los Angeles County has held a somber ceremony for the men, women and children who die there, but whose bodies are never claimed.

Some of those buried are unidentified; they are buried as Jane and John Does.

Many others have been identified, but for a variety of reasons, family and friends never picked up their cremated remains.

This year, in an interfaith ceremony on Dec. 9, the county buried the ashes of 1,489 people in a mass grave in the County Cemetery in LA's Boyle Heights.

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Education
3:54 pm
Sun December 14, 2014

Two Years Later, Still Learning From Sandy Hook

Relatives of victims of gun violence attend a press conference honoring the second anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings in Washington, D.C. on Dec. 10, 2014.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 10:57 am

It's been two years since a gunman killed his mother at home and then opened fire at the Sandy Hook Elementary School, killing 20 first-graders, six educators and himself. People in Connecticut are still hashing out just how parents and educators should handle children like Adam Lanza.

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Animals
3:53 pm
Sun December 14, 2014

More Than Just Cute, Sea Otters Are Superheroes Of The Marsh

This sea otter, about to eat a crab in the Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve, is cute, sure. But more importantly, it's indirectly combating some harmful effects of agricultural runoff and protecting the underwater ecosystem.
Rob Eby AP

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 9:28 am

On the roof of the Monterey Bay Aquarium in Monterey, Calif., in a large plastic tank, a sea otter mother named Abby floats with her adopted pup, known as 671.

For up to nine months, Abby will raise her little adoptee, and when 671 is ready, she will be released into a protected inland salt marsh called Elkhorn Slough, just off Monterey Bay.

That's where 671 will set to work to preserve the estuary, says Tim Tinker, who tracks otters for the U.S. Geological Survey.

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Middle East
3:06 pm
Sun December 14, 2014

Exiting Afghanistan, And What We Leave Behind

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

Around the Nation
3:06 pm
Sun December 14, 2014

Taking On Racial Profiling With Data

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 6:25 pm

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

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

One year ago, social psychologist Philip Atiba Goff started an unprecedented project to create a national database on racial profiling.

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Around the Nation
3:06 pm
Sun December 14, 2014

At Dodgers Stadium, Marines Put Boots On The Ground

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

Goats and Soda
3:03 pm
Sun December 14, 2014

He Just Flew In From South Africa To Join 'The Daily Show'

Jon Stewart welcomes Trevor Noah, South Africa's top comic, to the roster of Daily Show regulars.
youtube

South African comedian Trevor Noah's debut as a correspondent for The Daily Show generated quite a buzz as he poked fun at Americans' fear of Ebola, the misconception that Africa is nothing but AIDS, huts and starving children, and police brutality in the U.S.

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The Two-Way
1:11 pm
Sun December 14, 2014

Cheney On Harsh Interrogation: 'I'd Do It Again In A Minute'

Former Vice President Dick Cheney speaks at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) in Washington, in September. Cheney has been highly critical of the bipartisan Senate report
Cliff Owen AP

Originally published on Sun December 14, 2014 1:51 pm

Former Vice President Dick Cheney is standing by his spirited defense of harsh interrogation techniques used against terrorist suspects during the George W. Bush administration.

Given another chance to authorize such methods, Cheney declared on NBC's Meet the Press today: "I'd do it again in a minute."

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The Two-Way
12:11 pm
Sun December 14, 2014

Turkey Launches Crackdown On Government Critics

Ekrem Dumanli, editor-in-chief of Zaman, salutes cheering supporters as he is detained outside his office in Istanbul, on Sunday. Dumanli was one of two dozen people, including many journalists, detained in what is being described as a purge against anti-government figures.
AP

Originally published on Sun December 14, 2014 1:08 pm

Turkey arrested at least two dozen journalists, television producers and police today, including the editor of the country's best-selling daily, amid what is being described by many as a purge against opponents of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Those arrested are known to have close ties to self-exiled Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen, who is living in the U.S., from where he has continued his fierce criticism of the president.

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The Two-Way
10:59 am
Sun December 14, 2014

Prince George's Christmas Snapshots

One of three Christmas images showing Prince George in a courtyard at Kensington Palace, central London.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge PA Photos/Landov

Originally published on Sun December 14, 2014 1:09 pm

The British royal family's newest member, Prince George, has some new photos to mark the Christmas season.

As The Guardian explains, the photos, released by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, were taken during a shoot last month in a courtyard at Kensington Palace by his uncle Harry's private secretary, Ed Lane Fox, whose background includes freelance photography.

Prince George is third in line to the throne.

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NPR Ed
10:03 am
Sun December 14, 2014

A For-Profit College Tries The Charter School Market

ITT Technical Institute's Early College Academy campus in Troy, MI.
Nicole Elam/ITT Technical Institute

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 9:14 am

Starting this past spring, parents in Indianapolis; Troy, Mich.; Jacksonville and Tampa, Fla.; and Houston, Texas, heard about a new option for their children's last two years of high school.

In each city, a charter school called Early Career Academy planned to offer students the chance to earn associate degrees, either in network systems administration or software development, alongside their high school diplomas. Students were offered laptops to work on and ebooks to use. All for free.

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The Two-Way
9:55 am
Sun December 14, 2014

Haiti's Prime Minister To Step Down

Anti-government protesters carry the body of a demonstrator who was shot to death during clashes with the National Police in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on Saturday. Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe says he will step down in response to protesters' demands.
Dieu Nalio Chery AP

Originally published on Sun December 14, 2014 1:11 pm

Haiti's Prime Minster Laurent Lamothe has bowed to pressure from anti-government protesters pushing for long-delayed elections and calling for his ouster, saying he will step down.

"I am leaving the post of prime minister this evening with a feeling of accomplishment," Lamothe announced in Port-au-Prince, the capital of the impoverished Caribbean nation.

The prime minister said he leaves office after accomplishing the "remarkable work" of the government.

"We put this country on a dynamic of deep and real change for the benefit of the population," he said.

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The Two-Way
9:22 am
Sun December 14, 2014

Geminid Meteor Showers Light Up Both Hemispheres

The Geminid meteor shower above Skopje, Macedonia, on Saturday.
Robert AtanasovskiI AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun December 14, 2014 9:24 am

The annual Geminid meteor shower dazzled Earthlings around the world late Saturday and early Sunday.

Pieces of gravel and dust from a "rock comet" called 3200 Phaethon shot across the sky and lit up discussion boards from NASA.gov to Twitter — for those who could tear their eyes away long enough to type.

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The Two-Way
8:36 am
Sun December 14, 2014

Prosecutor Releases More Documents Related To Ferguson Shooting

St. Louis County Prosecutor Robert McCulloch announces the grand jury's decision not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the Aug. 9 shooting of Michael Brown, on Nov. 24.
Cristina Fletes-Boutte AP

Originally published on Sun December 14, 2014 1:13 pm

St. Louis County Prosecutor Robert McCulloch made public nearly two dozen additional documents related to the investigation of police officer Darren Wilson, who fatally shot an unarmed black man last summer.

It was the second time in a week he had released more documents related to the Nov. 24 grand jury decision not to indict Wilson for the fatal August shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo.

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