NPR News

Goats and Soda
4:52 pm
Mon March 23, 2015

You're Just A Blob In Layers Of Plastic

It's not the real deal. This Ebola Treatment Unit was set up for a TED talk in Vancouver so people could get a sense of what the units are like, and what it's like to put on the protective suit.
Nina Gregory

At his TED Talk in Vancouver last week, Bill Gates posed the idea that, "If anything kills over 10 million people in the next few decades, it's most likely to be a highly infectious virus, rather than a war. Not missiles, but microbes." He noted how the Ebola crisis in West Africa, which has taken about 10,000 lives, revealed serious problems in our global health care system. It's not that the systems didn't work well enough, he said. "We didn't have a system at all." He called the response "a global failure."

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Author Interviews
4:46 pm
Mon March 23, 2015

'Cheated' Out Of An Education: Book Replays UNC's Student-Athlete Scandal

UNC basketball fans storm the court after a win over Duke in 2014.
Grant Halverson Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 24, 2015 8:47 am

March Madness is college basketball's annual shining moment, and few schools have shone as bright or as long as the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. The Tar Heels have been in 18 Final Fours and won the national championship five times, most recently in 2009.

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The Two-Way
4:10 pm
Mon March 23, 2015

Does This Strong Dollar Make U.S. Look Too Fat For Foreign Investors?

President Obama speaks at the SelectUSA Investment Summit, hosted by the Commerce Department on Monday, at National Harbor, Md.
Cliff Owen AP

Originally published on Tue March 24, 2015 11:51 am

The U.S. economic expansion has been gaining so quickly that foreign investors are paying attention. Many want to open factories and offices that could swell their profits while creating jobs for Americans.

But U.S. growth also has pushed up the value of the dollar, which has surged about 14 percent over the past year relative to other currencies. That makes it more difficult for foreigners to spend their money in the U.S. The dilemma is not lost on the White House.

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All Tech Considered
3:48 pm
Mon March 23, 2015

Now Algorithms Are Deciding Whom To Hire, Based On Voice

Ilana Kohn Ikon Images/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 25, 2015 12:47 pm

If you're trying out for a job in sales, the person who judges your pitch may not be a person — it could be a computer.

Job recruitment is the newest frontier in automated labor, where algorithms are choosing who's the right fit to sell fast food or handle angry cable customers, by sizing up the human candidates' voices.

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It's All Politics
3:48 pm
Mon March 23, 2015

Justices Debate Place Of Offensive Language On License Plates

R. James George Jr., attorney for Sons of Confederate Veterans, meets with reporters outside the Supreme Court Monday.
Molly Riley AP

Originally published on Mon March 23, 2015 4:58 pm

Nazis, jihadis, racial slurs and even "Mighty Fine Burgers" all made cameo appearances at the U.S. Supreme Court Monday as the justices tackled a case of great interest to America's auto-loving public. The question before the court: When, if ever, can the state veto the message on a specialty license plate?

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Law
3:48 pm
Mon March 23, 2015

Prosecutor Apologizes For Putting Innocent Man On Death Row

Originally published on Mon March 23, 2015 4:58 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

It's All Politics
3:17 pm
Mon March 23, 2015

Obama Chief Of Staff: Israel's 50-Year 'Occupation' Must End

"An occupation that has lasted for almost 50 years must end," White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough told the annual J Street conference
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon March 23, 2015 5:22 pm

Through his chief of staff, President Obama is strongly countering rhetoric from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on a two-state, Israeli-Palestinian solution.

"An occupation that has lasted for almost 50 years must end, and the Palestinian people must have the right to live in and govern themselves in their own sovereign state," Denis McDonough, President Obama's chief of staff, said Monday at the annual conference of J Street, a left-leaning pro-Israel group.

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It's All Politics
2:29 pm
Mon March 23, 2015

Supreme Court Declines To Hear Challenge To Strict Wisconsin Voter ID Law

"This is just one more development in the ongoing debate about voter identification, but it is by no means the last word," the ACLU's Dale Ho said.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Tue March 24, 2015 1:52 pm

The U.S. Supreme Court's decision Monday not to hear a case involving the constitutionality of Wisconsin's strict voter ID requirement shifts attention now to voter identification laws working their way through the courts in Texas and North Carolina.

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The Salt
2:27 pm
Mon March 23, 2015

Even Neil DeGrasse Tyson Is Now Munching On Bugs

Neil deGrasse Tyson with a Cambodian cricket rumaki canape, wrapped in bacon. "I have come to surmise, in the culinary universe, that anytime someone feels compelled to wrap something in bacon, it probably doesn't taste very good," he said skeptically before taking a bite.
Carole Zimmer for NPR

Originally published on Mon March 23, 2015 3:03 pm

More than 1,000 guests in gowns and tuxedos crowded into a two-story hall on Saturday night at the American Museum of Natural History in New York.

Standing among a pack of well-preserved African elephants, they sampled the delicacies offered by waiters wending their way through the throngs. They had come for the annual dinner of the Explorers Club — and the cocktail-hour fare certainly required an adventurous palate: All of it was made of insects.

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NPR Ed
2:19 pm
Mon March 23, 2015

In Congress, New Attention To Student-Privacy Fears

LA Johnson/NPR

Originally published on Tue March 24, 2015 8:30 am

Several efforts in Washington are converging on the sensitive question of how best to safeguard the information software programs are gathering on students.

A proposed Student Digital Privacy and Parental Rights Act of 2015 is circulating in draft form. It has bipartisan sponsorship from Democratic Rep. Jared S. Polis of Colorado and Republican Rep. Luke Messer of Indiana.

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Shots - Health News
2:07 pm
Mon March 23, 2015

Stats Split On Progress Against Cancer

Find other stories in the Living Cancer series at WNYC.org.
WNYC

Originally published on Tue March 24, 2015 6:33 am

When someone asks whether we're winning the war on cancer, the discussion often veers into the world of numbers. And, depending on which numbers you're looking at, the answer can either be yes or no.

Let's start with the no.

The number of cancer deaths in this country is on the rise. It climbed 4 percent between 2000 and 2011, the latest year in official statistics. More than 577,000 people died of cancer in 2011. That's almost a quarter of all deaths. Those aren't just personal tragedies – the figure represents a growing burden on America.

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Shots - Health News
2:02 pm
Mon March 23, 2015

Why The War On Cancer Hasn't Been Won

Vidhya Nagarajan for NPR

Originally published on Tue March 24, 2015 10:26 am

When President Richard Nixon declared a war on cancer in 1971, there were high hopes that scientists were close enough to understanding the underlying causes that many cures were within reach.

We obviously haven't won the war.

In fact, a prominent cancer biologist argues that the conceptual framework for understanding cancer has come full circle over the past 40 years.

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NPR Story
1:02 pm
Mon March 23, 2015

U.S. Skaters Aim For Gold At Worlds

Ashley Wagner of USA performs her routine in the exhibition during ISU World Figure Skating Championships at Saitama Super Arena on March 30, 2014 in Saitama, Japan. She finished 7th. (Atsushi Tomura/Getty Images)

The World Figure Skating Championships begin this week in Shanghai, China.

American skaters like Ashley Wagner, Gracie Gold, Polina Edmunds, Jason Brown and Josh Farris may stand a chance at getting on the podium, but they are not favored to win gold.

It’s been eight seasons since an American woman won a singles medal at the world or Olympic level, and four for the men.

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NPR Story
1:02 pm
Mon March 23, 2015

Redesigned PSAT Shifts Preparation Efforts For High School Students

Students taking the PSAT in the fall of 2015 will see a newly designed test. (Sam UL/Flickr Creative Commons)

It’s that time of year: the high school class of 2015 is now receiving college decision letters.

At the same time, current high school freshmen and sophomores will face a revised version of the preliminary SAT or PSAT in the fall of 2015.

The PSAT is an important step before taking the actual SAT but the announced changes may change the way students go about preparing.

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NPR Story
1:02 pm
Mon March 23, 2015

China's Top Weather Official Warns Of Climate Change Risks

A man wears a mask amid heavy smog on the Bund in Shanghai on November 12, 2014. (AFP/Getty Images)

China’s top weather official is warning people about the potential impact of climate change.

China’s Xinhua news agency reports that Zheng Guoguang, chief of China’s Meteorological Administration, said climate change could reduce crop yields and lead to “ecological degradation.”

The statements are considered rare, even though China is the world’s largest source of carbon dioxide emissions.

“As the world warms, risks of climate change and climate disasters to China could become more grave,” Zheng said.

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The Two-Way
12:19 pm
Mon March 23, 2015

Israel's Netanyahu Apologizes For Remarks On Arab Voters

Originally published on Mon March 23, 2015 12:52 pm

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has apologized to his country's Arab citizens for his comments ahead of last week's elections, saying he did not intend to offend them when he said Israel's Arabs were voting "in droves" to unseat his government.

"I know the things I said a few days ago hurt some of Israel's citizens and hurt Israel's Arabs. I had no intention to do that. I apologize for it," he said at a meeting with representatives of Israel's minority communities.

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The Two-Way
11:43 am
Mon March 23, 2015

Justice Dept. Faults Philly Police For Poor Training On Deadly Force Policy

Originally published on Mon March 23, 2015 12:33 pm

Philadelphia police officers "do not receive regular, consistent training on the department's deadly force policy," the Justice Department said today in a review of the city's 394 officer-involved shootings between 2007 and 2014.

The department also said: "PPD recruit training is not conducted in a systematic and modular fashion. As a result, some recruit classes receive firearms training close to the end of the academy, whereas others receive it early on."

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Shots - Health News
11:18 am
Mon March 23, 2015

If You're Going To Die Soon, Do You Really Need Statins?

iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon March 23, 2015 2:30 pm

It's easy to get put on statins, and it can be surprisingly hard to get off them. That's true even for people who are terminally ill and might have bigger concerns than reducing their cardiovascular risk.

People approaching the end of life who did stop statins were not more likely to have a heart attack or stroke than those who kept taking the drugs, according to researchers who tested the idea.

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Goats and Soda
11:07 am
Mon March 23, 2015

You Think Your City Is Full Of Trash? Ha!

Even Oscar the Grouch might be put off by the growing heaps of trash in the center of Kathmandu.
Donatella Lorch

Originally published on Mon March 23, 2015 4:51 pm

They don't call it Trashmandu for nothing.

In Nepal's capital city of Kathmandu, garbage is pretty much everywhere. It's stuffed in plastic bags and dropped in drainage ditches. It's piled high in empty lots, on the roadside and on the edges of the city's sewage-filled rivers.

It is thrown out of bus windows and off rooftops into neighbors' yards.

It's hard to believe Kathmandu could get any worse. But this month, it did.

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The Two-Way
10:22 am
Mon March 23, 2015

Singapore Mourns Founding Leader Lee Kuan Yew

A woman lights candles in memory of Lee Kuan Yew at a community center in Singapore. Lee, Singapore's first premier, died Monday at the age of 91.
Wallace Woon EPA /Landov

Originally published on Mon March 23, 2015 11:28 am

Lee Kuan Yew, the founding father of Singapore who transformed the sleepy British colony into a commercial powerhouse, is being mourned today in his country and beyond.

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The Two-Way
9:18 am
Mon March 23, 2015

Yemen Descends Into Chaos As Foreign Minister Seeks Help From Neighbors

Anti-Houthi protesters demonstrate in Yemen's southwestern city of Taiz on Monday.
Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Mon March 23, 2015 11:12 am

Britain reportedly has withdrawn its remaining special forces from Yemen, days after a similar U.S. move, in response to the worsening security that the U.N. envoy for Yemen described as the "edge of civil war."

The reported development comes as Yemeni Foreign Minister Riyadh Yaseen called on his Arab neighbors to intervene militarily to stop the inroads made by Shiite Houthi fighters in the predominantly Sunni Muslim country.

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It's All Politics
9:13 am
Mon March 23, 2015

Ted Cruz Makes It Official

Ted Cruz speaks at Liberty University Monday.
Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 24, 2015 8:38 am

And they're off.

After a midnight tweet, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz tied together the American Revolution, nostalgia for a better time, and an appeal to social conservatives in his official kickoff speech at Liberty University in Virginia.

"God's blessing has been on America from the beginning of this nation, and I believe God isn't done with America yet," Cruz said at the Christian evangelical university founded by preacher Jerry Falwell. "I believe in you; I believe in the power of millions of courageous conservatives to reignite the power of America.

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It's All Politics
9:03 am
Mon March 23, 2015

Is Ted Cruz Allowed To Run Since He Was Born In Canada?

Canadian athletes hold up the national flag during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Sen. Ted Cruz was born in Calgary, and some question his eligibility to run for president in the U.S.
Darron Cummings AP

Originally published on Mon March 23, 2015 1:45 pm

There will be a question from some about Texas Sen. Ted Cruz's eligibility to run for president.

That's because even though Cruz grew up in Texas, he was born in Canada. (He renounced his Canadian citizenship in 2013.)

Democrats are sure to remind voters of Cruz's Canadian birth since some on the right have questioned where President Obama was born. The president is a native of Hawaii.

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The Two-Way
7:38 am
Mon March 23, 2015

Paris Bans Some Cars For A Day To Battle Smog

A photo taken on Feb. 12 shows the Eiffel Tower in Paris through thick smog.
Patrick Kovarik AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon March 23, 2015 12:05 pm

Paris has banned cars with license plates ending in even numbers from its roads today to reduce smog that last week briefly made the City of Lights among the world's most polluted places.

NPR's Eleanor Beardsley, who is reporting on the story for our Newscast unit, says the Paris Metro and other public transportation are free for the next few days to encourage people to use them. The ban on cars doesn't extend to electric, hybrid or emergency vehicles.

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The Two-Way
6:46 am
Mon March 23, 2015

Media Dissect Sen. Ted Cruz's Presidential Prospects

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, arrives Sunday for a walk-through for his Monday speech at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., in which he is expected to formally launch his campaign for president.
Andrew Harnik AP

Originally published on Tue March 24, 2015 8:34 am

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, announced his bid for the presidency with a tweet early Monday morning, becoming the first major Republican to declare that he is running.

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Around the Nation
5:11 am
Mon March 23, 2015

Wisconsin Men's Basketball Team Tests NCAA Stenographer

Originally published on Mon March 23, 2015 6:03 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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Animals
5:04 am
Mon March 23, 2015

Phoenix Zoo Misidentifies Gender Of Andean Bear

Originally published on Mon March 23, 2015 6:03 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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It's All Politics
5:03 am
Mon March 23, 2015

What You Need To Know About Ted Cruz

Sen. Ted Cruz speaks at the International Association of Firefighters forum in Washington, D.C., earlier this month.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Mon March 23, 2015 5:58 am

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz announced his bid for president early Monday. The Republican has been making the rounds with other 2016 hopefuls, so it's hardly a surprise, but he's the first major one to make it official. And if the early campaign trail is any indication of how the race will play out, Cruz, 44, will be exactly who he's always been. He's relatively new to public office, having been elected to the Senate in 2012. But he has made his career — and attracted support from the right's base along the way — as a staunch defender of conservative values.

Here's what you need to know:

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The Two-Way
4:51 am
Mon March 23, 2015

Police Suspend Investigation Of U.Va. Rape Claims Made In 'Rolling Stone'

The Phi Kappa Psi house at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville was at the center of rape allegations contained in the Rolling Stone story. The magazine acknowledged that its reporting had been flawed, and the campus ban on the fraternity was subsequently lifted.
Steve Helber AP

Originally published on Mon March 23, 2015 1:31 pm

Update at 2:25 p.m. ET. Investigation Suspended:

The police department in Charlottesville, Va., says it has suspended its investigation into allegations of a brutal gang rape at the University of Virginia in 2012.

The allegations came to national prominence after Rolling Stone published a cover story on the case.

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It's All Politics
3:03 am
Mon March 23, 2015

5 Reasons Cruz Announced His Candidacy Early

Sen. Ted Cruz needs buzz, money and to be taken seriously. He hopes he can accomplish that by getting in early.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Mon March 23, 2015 7:48 am

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz has apparently had enough of the fig leaf most presidential candidates wear as their unofficial spring costume the year before the election actually happens.

That is a bold stroke, but entirely in keeping with the go-for-broke style the junior senator from Texas has exhibited since first challenging the Republican establishment's candidate for the Senate in 2012.

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