NPR News

Shots - Health Blog
10:11 am
Thu June 7, 2012

Introvale: Latest Birth Control Pill Recall

iStockphoto.com

What's so hard about making sure the right birth control pills are in the right place inside their packages?

Evidently, it's not as easy as you'd think it should be. Sandoz, a unit of drug giant Novartis, is recalling 10 lots of Introvale birth control pills.

It's the third big recall of birth control pills because of packaging problems in less than a year. Taking the wrong pills at the wrong time can lead to an unintended pregnancy.

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It's All Politics
9:55 am
Thu June 7, 2012

Public Still Mostly Hates Health Law With Supreme Court Ruling Just Weeks Off

If the Supreme Court follows the election returns, its members also no doubt pay attention to opinion polls.

Not that public opinion is the sole driver in the high court's decisions. But the justices certainly are aware of, say, the fact that Americans keep expressing their unhappiness with the Affordable Care Act.

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Sports
9:42 am
Thu June 7, 2012

DeMaurice Smith On Football's New Bad Rap

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Football is the most watched sport in the United States, and many people believe the most popular. But concerns about the safety of the game are raising questions about everything from how it's played to whether we should even watch. In just a few minutes we are going to speak with some youth coaches about how they are changing the way they teach the game to kids.

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Sports
9:42 am
Thu June 7, 2012

Is Football Safe For Young Players?

Recent news of concussions, brain disease and suicides of former pro players have youth coaches rethinking the game of football. Host Michel Martin discusses new questions about safety with youth football coach Kim Deane and high school football coach Jamey Dubose.

The Two-Way
9:35 am
Thu June 7, 2012

Romney, Republicans Pulled In More Money In May Than Obama, Democrats

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney in California last week.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Presidential candidate Mitt Romney and his fellow Republicans report raising more than $76 million last month, topping the $60 million collected by President Obama and the Democratic Party.

The Associated Press points out that "it's the first month that the former Massachusetts governor has collected more money than Obama, who is known for his fundraising prowess."

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The Two-Way
8:58 am
Thu June 7, 2012

U.N. Monitors Were Shot At Today In Syria, Secretary General Says

Originally published on Thu June 7, 2012 5:18 pm

United Nations monitors in Syria were shot at with small arms fire today as they tried to reach the scene of another alleged massacre, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon said this morning.

At the U.N. General Assembly, Ban also condemned today's "shocking and sickening" reports about the killings of dozens. And, NPR's Michele Kelemen reports, he called this yet another "pivotal moment" that could see Syria fall into a full-blown civil war.

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The Two-Way
7:03 am
Thu June 7, 2012

Japanese Dock Reaches Oregon; Tsunami Debris Arriving Sooner Than Expected

A man looks at the massive dock from Japan that washed ashore on Oregon's Agate Beach this week.
Rick Bowmer AP

Originally published on Thu June 7, 2012 8:42 am

"A massive dock" that was washed away from a city on Japan's northeast coast by the devastating March 2011 tsunami landed this week on an Oregon beach. It's a warning sign that dangerous chunks of debris from that disaster are reaching the Pacific coast of the mainland U.S. much sooner than predicted, The Oregonian reports.

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The Two-Way
5:54 am
Thu June 7, 2012

U.S. Is Running Out Of Patience With Pakistan, Panetta Says

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta earlier today in Kabul.
Shah Marai AFP/Getty Images

American officials are "reaching the limits of our patience" with Pakistan because that nation continues to allow terrorists to use its territory "as a safety net in order to conduct ... attacks on our forces," U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said today in Kabul, Afghanistan.

The Associated Press also writes that:

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Around the Nation
5:26 am
Thu June 7, 2012

Ex-House Speakers Request To Be Cellmates

Originally published on Thu June 7, 2012 5:34 am

Two former House speakers in Pennsylvania are proving politics doesn't have to be partisan. Democrat Bill DeWeese was convicted on corruption charges and began serving time at a prison near Harrisburg. He was approached by his former legislative rival, Republican John Perzel to room together.

The Two-Way
5:25 am
Thu June 7, 2012

New Massacre Reported In Syria; Clinton Condemns 'Unconscionable' Acts

With reports coming out of Syria about another massacre, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton today used some of her sternest language yet about what she said is the Assad regime's "unconscionable" crackdown on the Syrian people. Reuters reports she said President Bashar Assad must cede all power and leave Syria.

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Latin America
5:20 am
Thu June 7, 2012

Bicyclist Rides Super Tall Bike Around Cuba

Perched on his homemade bike, Felix Guirola rides around Havana. The bike is so tall; he can peer over buses and second-story windows. Hanging traffic lights do pose a problem.

Africa
3:18 am
Thu June 7, 2012

Moderates Worry Tunisia Is Becoming More Conservative

Originally published on Thu June 7, 2012 4:16 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning, I'm Renee Montagne with David Greene.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep on the Revolutionary Road, traveling through nations of the Arab Spring, from Carthage to Cairo.

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NPR Story
3:13 am
Thu June 7, 2012

Panetta Makes An Unannounced Trip To Afghanistan

Originally published on Thu June 7, 2012 4:33 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta is in Kabul, Afghanistan. He arrived this morning for a quick, unannounced visit with troops and also to check in on the progress of the war. Panetta's trip comes a day after a Taliban attack in southern Afghanistan left over 20 dead and at least 50 people wounded. Also yesterday, NATO forces were being blamed for allegedly killing civilians in an early morning strike.

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NPR Story
3:13 am
Thu June 7, 2012

N.J. Devils Force Game 5 Against L.A. Kings

Originally published on Thu June 7, 2012 4:04 am

The New Jersey Devils avoided elimination in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Finals by beating the Los Angeles Kings 3-1. Game 5 is Saturday night in New Jersey. The Kings have never won the Stanley Cup.

NPR Story
3:13 am
Thu June 7, 2012

Bradbury Revered In Space Exploration Community

Originally published on Thu June 7, 2012 5:10 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

When Ray Bradbury died this week, he was hailed as one of science fiction's great writers. Best known for works like "The Martian Chronicles," Bradbury himself didn't think science fiction was a good label for his work. He said science fiction was about what could happen, and believed most of his work was actually fantasy. And yet, in the real world of space exploration, Bradbury was revered. Science writer Andrew Chaikin, for one, considers Bradbury the poet laureate of space exploration.

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Middle East
12:56 am
Thu June 7, 2012

Planned E.U. Oil Embargo Looks Set To Squeeze Iran

Iranians line up at a gas station to fuel their motorcycles in central Tehran in February. Oil is the lifeblood of Iran's economy, but the planned EU boycott is expected to deal a major blow to Iranian oil exports.
Behrouz Mehri AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 7, 2012 12:07 pm

On July 1, the European Union says it will stop buying oil from Iran. Europe is one of the most important markets for Iran's oil, and in anticipation of the boycott, Iranian oil exports worldwide are already down by more than 25 percent.

Iran's leaders say they can weather this pressure, and so far they have refused to budge on their controversial nuclear activities, ones that prompted a series of economic sanctions.

As a result, it appears as if Iran will only face even greater difficulties when it comes to exporting oil, the lifeblood of its economy.

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Music Interviews
12:55 am
Thu June 7, 2012

Michelle Obama's Workout Jams: 'I Really Mix It Up'

More than 10,000 children from Iowa schools joined Michelle Obama during the "Let's Move" interactive celebration in Des Moines last February.
Conrad Schmidt AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 7, 2012 1:49 pm

The year began with New Year's resolutions to get fit and ever since, Morning Edition has been talking to athletes, musicians, a mail carrier and the head of the IRS about the music that gets them moving. The Ultimate NPR Workout Mix series concludes with a contribution from Michelle Obama.

The first lady is the mover and shaker behind "Let's Move," a campaign designed to get young people, in particular, to eat better and exercise more.

During a recent tour of the White House vegetable garden, Obama shared the key to her workout routine.

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Education
12:54 am
Thu June 7, 2012

Computers Grade Essays Fast ... But Not Always Well

As schools look to cut costs, more are considering using computers to grade students' writing assignments and to provide writing help. The programs can assess large numbers of papers in seconds.
David L Ryan The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 7, 2012 4:04 am

Imagine a school where every child gets instant, personalized writing help for a fraction of the cost of hiring a human teacher — and where a computer, not a person, grades a student's essays.

It's not so far-fetched. Some schools around the country are already using computer programs to help teach students to write.

There are two big arguments for automated essay scoring: lower expenses and better test grading. Using computers instead of humans would certainly be cheaper, but not everyone agrees on argument No. 2.

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Science
12:52 am
Thu June 7, 2012

A Scientist's 20-Year Quest To Defeat Dengue Fever

Scott O'Neill wants to rid the world of dengue fever by infecting mosquitoes with bacteria so they can't carry the virus that causes the disease.
Benjamin Arthur for NPR

Originally published on Fri July 6, 2012 1:26 pm

First of a two-part series

This summer, my big idea is to explore the big ideas of science. Instead of just reporting science as results — the stuff that's published in scientific journals and covered as news — I want to take you inside the world of science. I hope I'll make it easier to understand how science works, and just how cool the process of discovery and innovation really is.

A lot of science involves failure, but there are also the brilliant successes, successes that can lead to new inventions, new tools, new drugs — things that can change the world

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Revolutionary Road Trip
12:50 am
Thu June 7, 2012

Tunisia's Leader: Activist, Exile And Now President

Moncef Marzouki, the president of Tunisia, photographed in the presidential palace.
John W. Poole NPR

Originally published on Thu June 7, 2012 12:26 pm

NPR Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep is taking a Revolutionary Road Trip across North Africa to see how the countries that staged revolutions last year are remaking themselves as they write new social rules, rebuild their economies and establish new political systems. Steve and his team are traveling some 2,000 miles from Tunisia's ancient city of Carthage, across the deserts of Libya and on to Egypt's megacity of Cairo. In Tunisia, he sat down with the country's new president, Moncef Marzouki.

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Shots - Health Blog
5:57 pm
Wed June 6, 2012

CT Scans Boost Cancer Risks For Kids

Isabel Doran, 4, gets a CT scan at Children's National Medical Center with her mom, Veronica Doran. The X-ray radiation in CT scans raises the risks for cancer, including leukemia, a new study shows.
Dayna Smith The Washington Post/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 7, 2012 4:04 am

Children who get CT scans are at slightly increased risk for brain cancer and leukemia, according to a large international study released Tuesday.

CT scans create detailed images of the inside of the body. So they're great for diagnosing all sorts of medical problems — so great that their use has soared in recent years. More than 80 million are being done every year in the United States.

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World Cafe
4:47 pm
Wed June 6, 2012

Rufus Wainwright On World Cafe

Rufus Wainwright.
Barry J. Holmes

Originally published on Thu August 16, 2012 10:09 am

In this episode of World Café, Rufus Wainwright catches up with host Michaela Majoun, who first chatted with the singer-songwriter on World Cafe 14 years ago. Wainwright shares details about his seventh album, Out of the Game, as well as the emotional events that inspired the album's themes of mourning and celebration.

This episode originally aired on June 6, 2012.

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It's All Politics
4:44 pm
Wed June 6, 2012

On The Ground In Wisconsin: Lessons From The Winning Side

Don Taylor, GOP chairman in Wisconsin's Republican-dominated Waukesha County.
Liz Halloran NPR

Originally published on Thu June 7, 2012 8:45 am

Don Taylor, one of Wisconsin's most influential Republicans, had predicted that GOP Gov. Scott Walker would stave off recall challenger Tom Barrett, a Democrat, by a couple of percentage points.

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It's All Politics
4:44 pm
Wed June 6, 2012

On The Ground in Wisconsin: Lessons From The Losing Side

A sign along a county highway in Saukville, Wis. Exit polls showed 38 percent of voters with a labor union member in the family voted for Republican Gov. Scott Walker.
Jeffrey Phelps AP

Originally published on Thu June 7, 2012 8:45 am

The morning after Republican Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin handily rebuffed Democratic efforts to oust him, politicos in the state and beyond pored over exit poll data and turnout numbers to tease out:

A: How he did it.

B: Where Democrats failed.

My colleague Ron Elving, NPR's senior Washington editor, took a good shot at answering Question A Wednesday morning.

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Health
4:41 pm
Wed June 6, 2012

Children Getting CT Scans At Higher Risk For Cancer

Originally published on Wed June 6, 2012 5:29 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

New research out today indicates that a popular medical test may increase the risk for some forms of cancer. A large international study found that CAT scans, which are also known as CT scans, can increase the risk for leukemia and brain cancer in children.

NPR's Rob Stein joins us now to talk about the new findings. And, Rob, I understand the concerns about these scans have been building for a long time. So what's the specific source of worry here?

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The Two-Way
4:27 pm
Wed June 6, 2012

Fire That Caused $400M In Damage To Navy Sub Was Caused By Vacuum Cleaner

The Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS Miami (SSN 755) enters a dry dock to begin an engineered overhaul at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Maine.
Jim Cleveland U.S. Navy

$400 million in damage to the Navy's fast attack submarine USS Miami was caused by a fire started by a vacuum cleaner.

That's what a preliminary report about the May 23 fire has found. The vacuum cleaner, the Navy said in a statement, was "used to clean worksites at end of shifts, and stored in an unoccupied space."

There's still no indication how the vacuum cleaner caught fire to begin with.

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Election 2012
3:41 pm
Wed June 6, 2012

Walker Moves Forward As The Right's Newest 'Hero'

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (center) is greeted by his Cabinet and staff Wednesday at the state Capitol in Madison, a day after defeating Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett in a recall election.
Andy Manis AP

Originally published on Wed June 6, 2012 5:29 pm

Republican Gov. Scott Walker triumphantly returned to the Wisconsin Capitol Wednesday, fresh off of his decisive victory in Tuesday's bitter recall election.

The governor appears to be emerging from the tough recall fight stronger, and with his national profile rising.

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The Two-Way
3:34 pm
Wed June 6, 2012

Was Miss USA Pageant Rigged? Trump Says No, Plans To Sue

The former Miss Pennsylvania, Sheena Monnin.
Darren Decker AP

Barely a day after she competed in the Miss USA beauty contest, Miss Pennsylvania Sheena Monnin tore off her sash and fired a scorching resignation:

"In good conscience I can no longer be affiliated in any way with an organization I consider to be fraudulent, lacking in morals, inconsistent, and in many ways trashy."

Trashy? There's a surprising perjorative from a woman who says on Facebook she's spent a decade associated with the pageant.

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The Two-Way
3:27 pm
Wed June 6, 2012

From Our Readers: Bradbury's Wine

Dandelion Wine -- first a short story in 1953 and then a novel in 1957 — may not wield as much name recognition as Fahrenheit 451, but it is the late Ray Bradbury's most personal work. This sensory tribute to his boyhood summers in Illinois begins:

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Shots - Health Blog
3:04 pm
Wed June 6, 2012

Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis A 'Serious Epidemic' In China

Gao Weiwei, a doctor of the Beijing Chest Hospital which specializes in the treatment of tuberculosis, talks to a patient suspected to have tuberculosis at the hospital in Tongzhou, near Beijing, March 27, 2009.
Ng Han Guan AP

China's first national survey of tuberculosis has produced some of the worst TB news in years.

Out of the million Chinese who develop TB every year, researchers say at least 110,000 get a form that's resistant to the mainstay drugs isoniazid and rifampin. Patients with such multidrug-resistant or MDR tuberculosis have to be treated for up to two years with expensive second-line drugs that are toxic and less effective.

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