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Book Review: '300 Arguments,' Sarah Manguso

Feb 16, 2017

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

A new book by Sarah Manguso is tough to pin down. It claims to be a book of essays, but that label isn't exactly right, says our poetry reviewer Tess Taylor. She has this take on "300 Arguments."

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KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

Updated 8:50 p.m. ET

President Trump said at a wide-ranging news conference Thursday that he didn't direct resigned national security adviser Michael Flynn to talk about U.S. sanctions on Russia in a pre-inauguration phone call Flynn had with Russia's U.S. ambassador, but he would have.

Updated 5:15 p.m. ET

In the dead of night last weekend in North Carolina's Alexander County, a massive concrete statue of a rooster disappeared from its perch in front of a poultry farm.

The white rooster stands about 4 feet tall and has a bright red wattle, Alexander County Sheriff Chris Bowman tells The Two-Way. It is valued at more than $1,000. But perhaps the most impressive aspect of the lawn ornament is its considerable weight — approximately 3,000 pounds, according to Bowman.

Dozens of people were killed and more than 100 others wounded after a bomb tore through a crowded Sufi shrine in southwestern Pakistan on Thursday. The blast was triggered by an Islamic State suicide bomber, according to a claim by the Sunni militant group's semi-official Amaq news agency.

Is That A Brown Recluse Spider Bite Or Skin Cancer?

Feb 16, 2017

The best way to diagnose a strange skin bump is often to decide what it's not. So say the researchers who have devised a mnemonic device useful for determining that the lesion or lump isn't a bite from a brown recluse spider — a diagnosis that can be very common and very false, they say.

A bomb exploded in Iraq's capital city on Thursday, killing at least 45 people.

It happened on a street filled with car dealerships and garages in southern Baghdad, according to Reuters. Islamic State militants claimed responsibility in a statement released on social media that said the group was targeting Shiites Muslims.

Updated 9:05 p.m. ET with 9th Circuit appeals court delay

President Trump says his administration will continue to fight for his existing travel ban in the court system, and that he will also issue a new, "very comprehensive order" next week.

Trump provided no details on what that new order would entail, but said it would "comprehensively protect our country." The president made the remarks during a news conference Thursday at the White House.

President Trump began his press conference Thursday afternoon naming his new nominee for labor secretary, R. Alexander Acosta. He then moved on to a range of topics, from the resignation of Michael Flynn as national security adviser and U.S.

Nearly four months after a former aide testified that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie knew about a looming traffic nightmare that sparked a political scandal, a municipal judge says a criminal complaint against Christie can move forward.

In finding there is probable cause for a complaint of official misconduct to proceed against Christie, Bergen County Municipal Court Judge Roy McGeady is extending a probe into the governor's involvement in a case that has generated federal charges against several former aides to Christie.

President Trump took a big step forward this week in his long-running legal battle for more control over one of his most valuable assets in China: his name.

On its website on Wednesday, China's Trademark Office announced the trademark registration for a Trump construction-services business in China.

The highest court in Washington state says a florist violated the state's anti-discrimination law when she refused to provide floral services to a gay couple.

Before Martin Shkreli's event at Harvard could even get started Wednesday night, it was set briefly on ice. The controversial former pharmaceutical executive had to wait as university police officers evacuated the building where he was speaking, after someone falsely pulled the fire alarm.

Things didn't go much smoother from there.

A strange thing is happening to the tour business in Cambodia's second largest city. The sleepy town of Battambang is becoming known for its Khmerican service.

Cambodian American deportees expelled from the U.S. after committing crimes are now providing Western-style service to foreign visitors. Sarith Chan built up a successful tuk-tuk tour business by using his American-accented English and familiarity with American customs to attract American and European customers.

"It is not an accident that there is a blackout on the Black man's contributions in America."
Dr. Melvin Chapman (1928-2015), educator, Detroit, Mich.

Yahoo is warning some of its users that their accounts might have been breached by intruders using forged cookies, allowing them to access private information without knowing users' passwords.

Cookies are pieces of code stored by browsers to, among other things, keep track of whether a user is logged into a password-protected account. They're also used for innocuous functions, such as keeping track of online shopping cart contents.

Updated with announcement

President Trump has named R. Alexander Acosta as his replacement for labor secretary nominee. Trump's earlier pick, fast-food executive Andrew Puzder, withdrew his nomination on Wednesday afternoon after losing support on both sides of the aisle.

Candidate Donald Trump was a big fan of leaks, especially when they targeted Hillary Clinton and reports of her deleted emails.

"Russia, if you're listening, I hope you're able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing," Trump said last July in Florida. "I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press."

Investigators are beginning to shed light on the mysterious, sudden death of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's estranged half-brother in Malaysia on Tuesday.

Kim Jong Nam died en route to the hospital, after reportedly telling medical workers that he had been attacked at the Kuala Lumpur airport in broad daylight.

Now, Malaysian officials have taken three people into custody, as NPR's Elise Hu reports from Seoul. Here's more from Elise:

Rep. Mick Mulvaney, President Trump's pick to lead the White House's Office of Management and Budget, won a close confirmation vote in the full Senate on Thursday, two weeks after the Senate Budget Committee advanced the South Carolina Republican's nomination by a 12-11 vote.

In a back-and-forth voice vote, the tally was 50-47 when Sen. Mitch McConnell's name was called. His "aye" vote sealed the nomination with 51 senators in favor. As the votes rolled in, groups of Democrats and Republicans huddled on the Senate floor, locked in conversation.

Author of the monumental multivolume novel In Search of Lost Time. High modernist of the first order and reclusive titan of French letters. And, if one Canadian scholar is correct, quite the dapper attendee of a wedding in 1904.

In the more than a century since Marcel Proust was first published, the name of the great French novelist has come to be associated with many things, but film footage is not one of them. Despite a handful of photographs depicting Proust, no one living claimed to have seen the man actually move -- until earlier this month.

In cities around America, thousands of construction companies, restaurants and other businesses are bracing for "A Day Without Immigrants," a combination boycott/strike that highlights the contributions of immigrants to U.S. business and culture.

You know those nasty brown spots that can ruin an otherwise perfectly delicious apple? Those spots and other problems — like blossom blight and yellow leaves — are often caused by fungi. Apple growers usually fight back with fungicides, but a new study has found that those fungicides could be hurting honey bees.

"The long-standing assumption is that fungicides won't be toxic to insects," says May Berenbaum, an entomologist at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

The drug is so strong and deadly, it's been researched as a chemical weapon of warfare; police officers are warned to handle it with extreme care. The opioid carfentanil is 10,000 times more potent than morphine — but until now, it hasn't been a controlled substance in China, where producers have been exporting it abroad.

So far, President Trump has tried to run the White House much the way he ran his family business. That means little rigid organization and a skeleton crew of loyal, but not necessarily experienced, staffers.

A neighborhood in the Bronx is being targeted by New York City health department officials after one person died and two others became severely ill from contracting a rare disease transmitted by rats.

The disease is called leptospirosis and it commonly occurs through exposure to rat urine. It can be treated with antibiotics.

One of the patients, a 43-year-old man, told CBS2 that he's feeling better and is recovering with antibiotics.

For most of human history, we had a lot of bad ideas about how we were getting sick. We also had plenty of bad ideas about how to prevent it, like bloodletting, drilling large holes in the head and drinking arsenic.

We really only started to figure out how to effectively fight infectious disease about 200 years ago, when, inspired by milkmaids, a doctor named Edward Jenner decided to take a closer look at a promising folk remedy - the surprising details we'll leave for the video.

On a sidewalk in Los Angeles' bustling piñata district, Enrique is using tongs to dip long, rosy strips of pig skin into a vat of boiling oil. When they're blistering, crispy and slightly cool, he lays the chicharrones on the table for hungry passersby. This is the taste of his native Mexico and it is delicious. But, technically, that chicharrón is also illegal.

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