NPR News

Shots - Health Blog
1:36 am
Fri September 21, 2012

Swedes Perform Pioneering Uterine Transplants; Americans Not Far Behind

A surgical team with Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Gothenburg, Sweden, performs the first mother-to-daughter uterine transplant.
Johan Wingborg University of Gothenburg

Originally published on Fri September 21, 2012 7:39 am

A Swedish medical team has transplanted uteruses from two women in their 50s to their daughters. Meanwhile, Shots has learned that an Indiana group is recruiting women willing to undergo womb transplants in this country.

"We could go ahead tomorrow if we found the perfect candidate," Dr. Giuseppe Del Priore told Shots.

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Europe
1:35 am
Fri September 21, 2012

A Stiletto, A Lamppost And The Soul Of Berlin

Berlin's lampposts bristle with fliers and notices, and Berliners read them avidly. For one resident, the lamps were a natural place to turn when she lost a beloved shoe.
Esme Nicholson NPR

Originally published on Fri September 21, 2012 8:09 pm

Something horrible has happened in Berlin.

You won't see it on TV or in the newspaper, but I know about it. So do my neighbors.

That's because there's a lamppost on our street, festooned with a note that reads, "A HORRIBLE ACCIDENT HAS HAPPENED." And naturally, once you see a note like that, you have to find out more.

As it turns out, the note was written by 29-year-old Maira Becke. But before I reveal her calamity, I must first explain the significance of lamp posts here in Berlin.

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It's All Politics
1:34 am
Fri September 21, 2012

You've Got Mail: Campaigns Still Rely On Snail Mail

A collection of political direct-mail pamphlets produced by the Mammen Group.
Lauren Rock NPR

Originally published on Fri September 28, 2012 3:08 pm

For those of you who feel you've had quite enough of the political ads airing every night on your TV screens, well, get ready for another sort of deluge.

In the coming weeks, candidates will bombard your mailboxes with ads. It may seem old-fashioned, but the consultants who devise direct-mail campaigns have become sophisticated about knowing whom to reach and what to say.

"It's almost because of the changing media landscape that direct mail remains relevant," says Anil Mammen, who runs a small direct-mail shop in Washington, D.C.

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StoryCorps
12:16 am
Fri September 21, 2012

College Student Recalls High School Homelessness

John Horan was dean at the charter school where Tierra Jackson was a struggling student. Part of the reason she struggled: Jackson was homeless.
StoryCorps

Originally published on Fri September 21, 2012 4:04 am

When Tierra Jackson was in high school, she was struggling. She kept getting yelled at for being late to school.

What most of her teachers and administrators didn't know was the reason for her tardiness: Jackson was homeless. Her mother was in and out of prison. She and her brother were living with her aunt and cousins. All seven of them shared a single room in one of Chicago's homeless shelters, a long bus ride from her school.

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The Two-Way
4:59 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

Space Shuttle Endeavour Lands In California

Space Shuttle Endeavour sits atop the shuttle aircraft carrier, flies over downtown Austin, Texas early Thursday.
Marco Hanson AP

The Space Shuttle Endeavour landed in the Mojave Desert today. In truth, tomorrow will be the spectacular day, when it flies across the California coast, and across the landmarks of San Francisco and Los Angeles, where it will find its new, permanent home at the California Science Center.

Still, the retired shuttle had a poignant day today, taking off from Houston, flying low through Austin and making a special flyover in Tucson, Arizona in honor of former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, whose husband Mark Kelly was in command during its last mission in May 2011.

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The Two-Way
4:05 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

Senate Report: Multinationals, Including Microsoft, Avoided Billions In Taxes

Microsoft headquarters in Redmond, Wash.
Elaine Thompson AP

According to a Senate investigations subcommittee, Microsoft Corp., Hewlett-Packard Co. and other multinational corporations took advantage of an ambiguous U.S. tax code to avoid paying billions of dollars in taxes.

Here's how Bloomberg wraps it up:

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Election 2012
4:05 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

Senate Race Tough To Call As Wisconsin Swings

Wisconsin Senate candidate Tammy Baldwin sits with state delegates during the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., on Sept. 5.
David Goldman AP

Republicans hoping to gain control of the U.S. Senate in November's elections are banking on Wisconsin where they want to flip the seat held by Democrat Herb Kohl, who's retiring.

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It's All Politics
3:46 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

Despite Obama's High Latino Support, Univision Puts Him On Hot Seat

President Obama got few if any softball questions when he had his turn at a Univision forum for the two major-party presidential candidates.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 4:46 pm

President Obama may have the overwhelming support of Latino voters in his race against Republican Mitt Romney, but that didn't get him a free pass during his appearance Thursday at Univision's presidential candidate forum.

Obama faced repeated tough questions from the hosts of the forum on the Spanish-language channel, and from some in the audience, for his failure to deliver on his promise as a candidate in 2008 to push comprehensive immigration reform during his first year in the White House.

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Middle East
3:33 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

Mideast Violence Prompts Calls For New U.S. Policy

Egyptians destroy an American flag pulled down from the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, Sept. 11, during a protest over the film that insulted the Prophet Muhammad.
Mohamed Abd El Ghany Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 4:05 pm

The protests and violence aimed at U.S. interests in the Middle East have set off a domestic debate about what the U.S. could or should do to relate to new political movements in the region. The Obama administration says it will continue to engage the region. The campaign of Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential candidate, says the U.S. needs to do more to lead.

But there are others who say that both parties have it wrong, and that U.S. policies from both Republican and Democratic administrations have failed.

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Election 2012
3:31 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

Parties Debate Meaning, Value Of 'Redistribution'

Mitt Romney speaks in Miami on Wednesday.
J Pat Carter AP

Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 4:19 pm

Cuban-Americans know a thing or two about what can happen when a government seizes wealth and redistributes it, as Fidel Castro's regime did five decades ago in Cuba.

So Mitt Romney had an especially receptive audience Wednesday night at a rally of Cuban-Americans in Miami, when he launched his campaign's latest line of attack on President Obama.

"He said some years ago something which we're hearing about today on the Internet," Romney told the crowd. "He said that he believes in redistribution."

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Africa
3:21 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

Libyan Militiaman Says He Warned U.S. Of Dangers

U.S. officials and Libyan militiamen met to discuss the deteriorating security in Benghazi just two days before the attack that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans. Stevens is shown here at the consulate in June.
John Poole NPR

Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 4:15 pm

Two days before the deadly Sept. 11 attack on Americans in Libya, three U.S. officials met pro-government militias working to provide security in the city of Benghazi.

In that meeting, which included the American economic and political counselors, Mohammed el Gharabi, a leader of a prominent militia, says he warned the Americans that the security situation in Benghazi was deteriorating.

Assassinations are becoming rampant; no one is safe, including militiamen like himself, he says he told the Americans.

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Animals
2:52 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

Man-Made Cave Built To Shelter Bats From Infection

The artificial cave built for bats in Tennessee has a human entrance below and a bat entrance above. In the summer, any fungus left by the bats over the winter will be cleaned up.
The Nature Conservancy

Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 4:05 pm

A man-made bat cave in Tennessee is looking for tenants. An hour northwest of Nashville, the artificial cave is built to give thousands of bats a haven from a devastating infection called white-nose syndrome.

Millions of bats in the Northeast have died from the infection since it first showed up a few years ago. The culprit is an invasive fungus that grows in caves. When bats hibernate inside, they wake up with faces covered in white fuzz and often wind up starving or freezing to death.

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The Two-Way
2:41 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

'New York Times' Bans Practice Of Allowing Sources To Approve Quotes

Back in July, The New York Times writer Jeremy Peters lifted the curtain on a common, but surprising, practice in Washington: In exchange for an interview, high-powered politicos demand the right to approve any quotes before they're published.

It's a practice used by the White House as well as the Romney campaign.

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Shots - Health Blog
2:38 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

Who's Next In Line For A Kidney Transplant? The Answer Is Changing

Surgeons transplant a kidney in 8-year-old Sarah Dickman at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta in 2008. The proposed changes in the transplant list attempt to maximize kidney life in young patients.
John Bazemore AP

Originally published on Fri September 21, 2012 7:38 am

There's some big news out today about one of the most sensitive issues in medicine: Who's next in line for a transplant?

The United Network for Organ Sharing, or UNOS, a nonprofit in charge of distributing organs, wants to revamp the system for distributing the most sought-after organ — kidneys — for the first time in 25 years.

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Shots - Health Blog
2:29 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

Challenges To Health Law Just Keep Coming

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, seen at a news conference in early 2011 before he took office, promised to file a lawsuit soon after he was sworn in. He did.
Sue Ogrocki AP

The Affordable Care Act survived a near-death experience at the Supreme Court earlier this year. And the overhaul law's fate again hangs in the balance come Election Day. Mitt Romney has vowed to work for its repeal, if he's elected president.

Meanwhile, the law continues to take its hits.

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U.S.
2:22 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

You Can Buy An Island, But Can You Really Own It?

The Four Seasons resort on Lanai. Software mogul Larry Ellison recently bought virtually the entire Hawaiian island.
Martin Kaste NPR

Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 5:23 pm

We don't know how much software mogul Larry Ellison recently paid for the Hawaiian island of Lanai — for 98 percent of the island, to be exact — but estimates run upward of half a billion dollars. So what do you get for that kind of money?

Beautiful beaches, for starters. A view of Maui, just eight miles away. A couple of luxury resorts built by the previous owner. And, as a bonus, some delicate history.

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The Two-Way
2:08 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

U.S. Speedskater Accused Of Sabotaging Rival

Simon Cho of the U.S. celebrates during the 500 meter men's final race at the Short Track Speed Skating World Cup in Dresden in 2011.
Jens Meyer AP

Originally published on Fri September 21, 2012 4:53 pm

The allegations of physical and verbal abuse at U.S. Speedskating have a new twist: A coach allegedly directed a skater to tamper with the skates of a Canadian competitor at an international competition last year — and the skater complied.

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The Salt
1:53 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

Man Wins $7 Million In Suit Claiming Microwave Popcorn Caused Lung Disease

Wayne Watson, who just won a $7 million lawsuit, explains how a bag of popcorn would "whoof" when opened, releasing steam and flavor.
Ed Andrieski AP

Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 6:04 pm

A federal court has awarded a Denver man $7.2 million in a lawsuit he filed against a popcorn maker and a grocery store for selling him microwaved popcorn that made him sick.

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World Cafe
1:52 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

Latin Roots: The Sound Of Africa In Cuba

The Afro-Cuban progressive rock group Síntesis.
Courtesy of the artist

In this installment of World Cafe's Latin Roots series, Carlos Alfonso, one of the vocalists and principal songwriters of the Cuban progressive-rock band Síntesis, talks with host David Dye about the relationships connecting Cuban music, Yoruba music from Nigeria and Arara music out of Benin.

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World Cafe
1:52 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

Síntesis On World Cafe

WXPN

Originally published on Fri September 21, 2012 6:25 am

All month, World Cafe invites listeners to discover the music of Havana, Cuba, with the series Sense of Place.

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Shots - Health Blog
1:25 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

Could Genes For Stripes Help Kitty Fight Disease?

The genetic factors responsible for a cat's stripes might help researchers understand disease resistance in humans.
kennymatic via Flickr

Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 4:04 pm

At this point it's just an interesting hypothesis, but it's possible that understanding cat coloration could help scientists understand resistance to infectious diseases.

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All Tech Considered
1:15 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

Electronic Pull-Tab Gambling Hits The iPad In Minnesota Bars

Booths that sell paper pull-tab games like this one have new competition in Minnesota: electronic pull-tab games played on iPads. The games are meant to help pay for a new football stadium in Minneapolis.
Jim Mone AP

Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 2:30 pm

Minnesota gamblers no longer have to rip paper pull-tabs to see if they've won cash: As of this week, they can use iPads to play, and play again, at the click of a button. The venture was sparked by the need to help pay for a new Minnesota Vikings football stadium, which will cost an estimated $975 million.

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Planet Money
1:01 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

Are Chinese Exporters Cheating?

Workers assemble one of the many car models at Chinese carmaker's Chery Automobile plant in Wuhu, east China's Anhui province.
STR/AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon September 24, 2012 12:35 pm

The Obama administration filed a lawsuit with the World Trade Organization this week alleging that China is illegally subsidizing its auto industry.

The US says China provides cheap loans and grants and other incentives to their car industry, and that these favors go to companies who are already successful exporters. That, says US Trade Representative Ron Kirk, is unfair.

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The Two-Way
12:51 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

Leader Of Amish Sect, 15 Others Found Guilty Of Hate Crimes In Beard Cuttings

Samuel Mullet outside his home in Bergholz, Ohio, in 2011.
Amy Sancetta AP

Fifteen members of an Amish breakaway group in Ohio "have been found guilty of hate crimes by carrying out beard- and hair-cutting attacks against fellow Amish in a dispute over religious differences," The Associated Press reports.

According to the wire service, a jury today "also found the sect's leader, 66-year-old Samuel Mullet Sr., "guilty of planning the attacks last fall in eastern Ohio. ... They all face prison terms of 10 years or more."

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The Salt
12:16 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

Billionaires Fund A 'Manhattan Project' For Nutrition And Obesity

Billionaires John and Laura Arnold are betting that the country's top nutrition researchers can get to the bottom of the obesity epidemic.
Courtesy of the John and Laura Arnold Foundation

Originally published on Fri September 21, 2012 7:46 am

Why would a billionaire energy trader-turned-philanthropist throw his foundation's dough behind a new think tank that wants to challenge scientific assumptions about obesity?

John Arnold, 38, whose move from Enron to a spectacularly successful hedge fund got him on the list of wealthiest Americans, isn't crazy about talking to the press. But certainly his decision with his wife Laura to back a newly launched operation called the Nutrition Science Initiative, or NuSI, is an intriguing one.

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The Two-Way
12:08 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

White House: 'Self-Evident' Attack On Consulate 'Was A Terrorist Attack'

The Obama administration continued walking a fine line today when describing the attack on the United States consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

"It is, I think, self-evident that what happened in Benghazi was a terrorist attack," White House spokesman Jay Carney said aboard Air Force One, according to Reuters. "Our embassy was attacked violently and the result was four deaths of American officials. So, again, that's self-evident."

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The Two-Way
11:43 am
Thu September 20, 2012

Justice Ginsburg Predicts Gay Marriage Question Headed To High Court

Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg made a bit of news during an appearance at the University of Colorado, yesterday. When she was asked a question about the issue of gay marriage, she smiled and declined to answer, the AP reports. She said the issue is likely to come up before the court, so she couldn't adress it.

"I think it's most likely that we will have that issue before the court toward the end of the current term," she said.

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It's All Politics
11:00 am
Thu September 20, 2012

Tim Pawlenty Exits Romney Campaign To Lead Bank Lobbying Group

Tim Pawlenty at the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 12:03 pm

With less than seven weeks to go before the presidential election, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty is leaving his job as co-chairman of the Mitt Romney campaign to take a top Washington lobbying job.

Pawlenty, 51, will become the next CEO of the Financial Services Roundtable, whose 100 members include many of the nation's largest banks and insurance and securities companies.

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The Two-Way
10:46 am
Thu September 20, 2012

Pew: Religious Intolerance Is On The Rise Worldwide

A woman takes a picture of the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro after midday prayers in August in Murfreesboro, Tenn. Opponents of the mosque waged a two-year court battle trying to keep it from opening.
Mark Humphrey AP

Religious intolerance is on the rise worldwide, according to a new study from Pew's Forum on Religion and Public Life. The study finds that during the past year three-quarters of the world lived in countries with "high government restrictions on religion or high social hostilities involving religion." That's five percent higher than a year earlier.

Perhaps the biggest jump, Pew reports, is the rise in countries the forum considers to put high or very high restrictions on religion. That number jumped from 31 percent in 2009 to to 37 percent in 2010.

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It's All Politics
10:04 am
Thu September 20, 2012

Ohio Senate Race Gets Nasty Amid Flood Of Ads And Cash

Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 11:37 am

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