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Shots - Health Blog
12:11 pm
Fri February 24, 2012

Chemical Used For Stripping Bathtubs Kills 13

Sure, gussy it up. But be careful.
iStockPhoto.com

We've all seen those bathtub refinishing ads that promise a glossy new surface on the dingy old tub.

But a solvent used to make that transformation has killed at least 13 people who used it to strip bathtubs from 2006 to 2011, according to a new study. The chemical, methylene chloride, is sold as a solvent and paint stripper both to professionals and in dozens of do-it-yourself products sold at home improvement stores.

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The Two-Way
11:55 am
Fri February 24, 2012

In Orlando, Another Melee Caused By Shoes

The shoes in question: Nike's Foamposite.
Nike

Originally published on Fri February 24, 2012 4:01 pm

Last night at midnight, Nike released a pair of expensive glow-in-the-dark basketball shoes. And as has happened before for big shoe releases, a melee broke out among the hundreds of people who waited outside of an Orlando, Fla. mall to buy them.

The Orlando Sentinel reports that the release of the shoes was timed with Orlando's hosting of the NBA All-Star Game and by 9:45 p.m., police in riot gear were called in to control the crowd.

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Technology
11:00 am
Fri February 24, 2012

Reaching For The Limits of Tiny Transistors

Computer chip makers have long struggled to build ever-smaller transistors to allow faster, more powerful computers. Writing in the journal Nature Nanotechnology, a team of scientists describes what may be the ultimate limit of that struggle — a transistor made of a single atom. Michelle Simmons, a physicist at the University of New South Wales in Australia and leader of the project, discusses the work.

News
10:57 am
Fri February 24, 2012

How Lawmakers Lost Their Sense Of Shame

Outside the state Capitol in Annapolis, Md., last year: Someone who'd had enough of what has been going on.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 24, 2012 2:01 pm

Connie Johnson is not afraid to be outrageous. The Democratic state senator from Oklahoma has watched in frustration for several years now as colleagues have rammed through bills limiting women's reproductive rights.

She tried debating and making speeches. Finally, earlier this month, she thought of something that made her point more clearly, or at least more graphically.

She introduced an amendment that would define life as beginning not at conception, but at "ejaculation."

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The Two-Way
10:21 am
Fri February 24, 2012

Occupy Wall Street Doesn't Endorse Philly Conference

Occupy Wall Street tells The Associated Press that a national conference being planned in Philadelphia this summer was not approved by its General Assembly, meaning the group does not endorse it.

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The Salt
10:19 am
Fri February 24, 2012

In Rice, How Much Arsenic Is Too Much?

Brown rice syrup, which can be high in arsenic, is sometimes used in vegan recipes like this caramel corn.
iStockphoto.com

The news that some rice-based foods are surprisingly high in arsenic has left rice lovers wondering how the heck we're to know what's safe to eat.

Since Dartmouth College researchers reported last week that a toddler formula and energy bars sweetened with organic brown rice syrup tested high for arsenic, readers of The Salt have had lots of questions about how one might find out the arsenic content of rice-based foods, and figure out what's safe.

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Mitt Romney
10:02 am
Fri February 24, 2012

From George Romney To Mitt, A Shrinking Tax Rate

Mitt Romney holds a poster of his father, given to him at a campaign rally in Spartanburg, S.C., in January.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 9:00 am

Mitt Romney gave a major economic speech Friday, in which he stressed his plan to lower personal income taxes.

Romney's own taxes became an issue last month, when he acknowledged paying a lower tax rate than many middle-class families.

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Law
10:00 am
Fri February 24, 2012

South Dakota Tribe Goes Up Against Big Brewers

The Oglala Sioux Tribe filed a $500 million lawsuit against brewers and retailers, claiming they're responsible for the reservation's alcohol-related problems. The tribe lives on a dry reservation, but they claim nearby towns unlawfully sell alcohol to residents. Host Michel Martin speaks to a reporter and the tribe's attorney.

Law
10:00 am
Fri February 24, 2012

Court Takes Another Look At Affirmative Action

A new case taking on affirmative action in higher education is set to be heard in the Supreme Court this fall. In 2003, the court ruled that universities could consider racial diversity in admissions. But today the make-up of the court is very different. Host Michel Martin discusses the case with two law school deans.

The Two-Way
9:45 am
Fri February 24, 2012

Remembering Marine Sgt. Oscar Canon, A 'Superstar'

Marine Sgt. Oscar Canon, and the tattered hat he was wearing the day he was injured.
Joseph Shapiro NPR

Originally published on Fri February 24, 2012 10:45 am

After the explosion of the rocket-propelled grenade on a road in Fallujah, Oscar Canon saw the white of his own thigh bone. At the medical unit, the young Marine sergeant grabbed the doctor by his collar and yelled, "Don't cut off my f***ing leg." That was in October of 2004 and the first of dozens of surgeries — 72 separate operations, by a family member's count — that saved his leg.

Last week, Staff Sgt. Oscar Canon, 29, died. A Marine Corps spokesman at Camp Pendleton says the death is still being investigated.

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Shots - Health Blog
9:39 am
Fri February 24, 2012

Study: Older Antipsychotics Shouldn't Be Used For Elderly

For patients in nursing homes, treatment with antipsychotic medicines is pretty much routine.

Though the drugs were developed to treat schizophrenia, they're also used to manage the dementia-related behavior of elderly patients. Up to a third of patients in nursing homes get the drugs, despite their risks.

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All Tech Considered
8:30 am
Fri February 24, 2012

What Science Fiction Books Does A Futurist Read?

Originally published on Fri February 24, 2012 2:53 pm

One of science fiction's jobs is to give humanity a map of where we're headed. From Jules Verne to William Gibson, sci-fi authors have described their versions of the future, and how people might live in it.

Those ideas came up in a recent conversation I had with Brian David Johnson, who works for Intel as a futurist — a title that gives him one of the tech world's cooler business cards.

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The Two-Way
8:15 am
Fri February 24, 2012

New Home Sales Dipped In January

A sign of the times at a new housing development in Danville, Calif., last year.
David Paul Morris Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 24, 2012 8:18 am

There was a 0.9 percent drop in sales of new homes in January vs. December, the Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development just reported.

The annual sales rate, 321,000, was still 3.5 percent above the pace of January 2011, however.

And The Associated Press notes that the dip in January from December may have partly been due to the fact that "the government said the final quarter of 2011 was stronger than first estimated."

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It's All Politics
7:41 am
Fri February 24, 2012

Friday's Political Grab Bag: Romney Leans On Bush's Economic Team Etc.

In a move that likely opens him up to some obvious Democratic attacks, Mitt Romney is turning to members of President George W. Bush's economic brain trust to craft what he hopes will be a winning economic message.

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It's All Politics
7:14 am
Fri February 24, 2012

Romney Reaches Out To Skeptical Tea Partiers In Michigan

Mitt Romney sings the national anthem before speaking at a Tea Party event at the Bakers of Milford Banquet Hall on Thursday in Milford, Mich.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 24, 2012 1:08 pm

  • Listen to the Story On Morning Edition

Campaigning in Michigan on Thursday night, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney reached out to Tea Party voters — a segment of the party that he has had a hard time winning over in previous states this primary season.

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The Two-Way
7:00 am
Fri February 24, 2012

NPR Promotes Two Executives To Key Posts

Kinsey Wilson, NPR's executive vice president and chief content officer.
Stephen Voss NPR

Originally published on Fri February 24, 2012 12:03 pm

Slightly more than one year after a series of controversial events led to top leaders' depatures, NPR this morning announced "a new executive structure" and named two current managers to key posts.

NPR President and CEO Gary Knell said that:

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Shots - Health Blog
6:44 am
Fri February 24, 2012

Disease Sleuths Surf For Outbreaks Online

Adam Cole NPR

Most folks who wake up feeling crummy will sit down with a computer or smartphone before they sit down with a doctor.

They might search the Web for remedies or tweet about their symptoms. And that's why scientists who track disease are turning to the Internet for early warning signs of epidemics.

"Surveillance is one of the cornerstones of public health," says Philip Polgreen, an epidemiologist at the University of Iowa. "It all depends on having not only accurate data, but timely data."

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The Two-Way
6:00 am
Fri February 24, 2012

U.S., Other 'Friends Of Syria,' To Call On Syria's Assad To Step Aside

As Syrian security forces continue to pound the city of Homs and surrounding areas, "the United States, Europe and Arab countries were set Friday to back a proposal for Syria's president to step aside and allow in humanitarian assistance to end a brutal crackdown against opponents," The Associated Press writes.

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The Two-Way
5:30 am
Fri February 24, 2012

Obama's Tax Plan Is 'Step Forward,' But Not Enough, Key Republican Says

  • NPR's Steve Inskeep talks with Rep. Dave Camp, R-Mich.

President Obama's proposal to cut the top corporate tax rate from its current 35 percent to 28 percent (and in some cases, to 25 percent) is "a good step forward and I welcome looking at the details," the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee said today on Morning Edition.

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The Two-Way
5:05 am
Fri February 24, 2012

From Palin's Emails: 'Are You Flipping Kidding???'

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin at a Tea Party event in Iowa last September.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Once again, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is in the news and the story is one of this morning's "talkers."

Another big batch of emails she wrote while in office has been released, and as The Associated Press writes:

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Around the Nation
4:54 am
Fri February 24, 2012

Man Arrested For Cooking His Own Meal At Denny's

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Around the Nation
4:42 am
Fri February 24, 2012

Cop Spied Emptying Police Fridge

Originally published on Fri February 24, 2012 4:43 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep with a story of a man caught in a sting operation. Somebody stole from an office fridge - drinks, lunches, 60 pounds of deer sausage disappeared. What made the fridge of special interest to police was its location in a police station in Deer Park, Texas. Police placed a hidden video camera in the ceiling and caught an officer - Kevin Yang. TV station KTRK says that when caught, Mr. Yang said he was just cleaning the fridge. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

NPR Story
2:00 am
Fri February 24, 2012

Business News

Originally published on Fri February 24, 2012 5:20 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with a sale at Sears.

Sears says it is spinning off outlet, hometown and hardware stores. The deal is expected to help the company raise up to $500 million. It's also selling some of its other properties in a separate deal.

This comes after Sears said in December it would close about 100 stores after an abysmal holiday shopping season. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

NPR Story
2:00 am
Fri February 24, 2012

The Last Word In Business

Steve Inskeep has the Last Word in business.

NPR Story
2:00 am
Fri February 24, 2012

Observers Fear Violence-Marred Election In Senegal

With just two days left before Senegal's presidential election, mediation efforts are underway to try to calm a political standoff in the West African nation that has led to violent protests.

NPR Story
2:00 am
Fri February 24, 2012

Rep. Camp On Corporate Tax Plan

Originally published on Fri February 24, 2012 5:06 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep.

President Obama put tax reform back on the table this week. He called for changes to the corporate tax system. Tax rates would go down for companies, deductions would go away - many of them, and companies with overseas operations would find it a little harder not to pay.

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Around the Nation
11:44 pm
Thu February 23, 2012

N.H. GOP Moves To Revise State's Contraception Law

New Hampshire, one of the least religious states in the nation, has become the latest front in the political battle over contraception. State GOP leaders oppose the new federal rule compelling insurers to provide birth control to employees of religious organizations. They want to change a 12-year-old state law that requires contraceptive coverage under insurers' prescription drug policies.

It's hard to miss the politics fueling state House Speaker William O'Brien's push to carve out a religious exemption from the contraception mandate.

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Media
10:01 pm
Thu February 23, 2012

With Sale, Phila. Reporters Fear Loss Of Integrity

The publisher of the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Philadelphia Daily News has been accused of interfering with coverage of the newspapers' pending sale.
Joseph Kaczmarek AP

Originally published on Fri February 24, 2012 2:50 am

Philadelphia's financially troubled newspapers — the jointly owned Inquirer and Daily News — may be sold for the fourth time in six years. Circulation and advertising are down. A new set of layoffs has been announced, and the papers' newsrooms are about to be combined with the news site Philly.com.

But reporters and editors there are outraged by something else: the actions of their own publisher to influence their coverage of the company's sale.

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Middle East
10:01 pm
Thu February 23, 2012

With President Leaving, Yemen Steps Into A New Era

A Yemeni man shows his ink-stained thumb after he voted in the presidential election in Yemen's capital on Feb. 21. The one-candidate election ends President Ali Abdullah Saleh's 33-year hard-line rule.
Mohammed Huwais AFP/Getty Images

Yemen has become the latest Arab country to depose its dictator.

On Monday, the country's longtime president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, is set to hand power to his vice president, Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi, as part of an agreement reached late last year. The agreement was backed by the U.S., Europe and Yemen's powerful Gulf Arab neighbors. It was ratified by more than 60 percent of Yemen's voters earlier this week.

Now, the real work begins.

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