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3:38 pm
Tue April 21, 2015

Teaching Students To Hear The Music In The Built World

Architecture professor Diana Agrest evaluates her students' work during a class critique at Cooper Union in New York.
LA Johnson NPR

Originally published on Wed April 22, 2015 7:31 am

What makes a great teacher great? That's the question at the heart of 50 Great Teachers, from the NPR Ed Team.

Diana Agrest believes architecture is so much more than a marriage of form and function. For more than four decades, she's been trying to get her students to believe that too.

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Back At Base
3:37 pm
Tue April 21, 2015

Looming Budget Cuts Pit National Guard Against The Army

An aviation technician works on a UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter in the Washington National Guard Army Aviation Support Facility on Joint Base Lewis-McChord.
Patricia Murphy KUOW

Originally published on Thu April 23, 2015 3:49 pm

NPR — along with seven public radio stations around the country — is chronicling the lives of America's troops where they live. We're calling the project "Back at Base." This is the second of four reports this week about the National Guard.

Inside the hangar at Washington state's Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM), the Army National Guard mechanics are busy maintaining a neat line of Blackhawk and Chinook helicopters.

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Environment
3:37 pm
Tue April 21, 2015

5 Years After BP Oil Spill, Experts Debate Damage To Ecosystem

Fresh oil puddles on the white sand in Orange Beach, Ala., during the BP oil spill in 2010.
Debbie Elliott NPR

Originally published on Wed April 22, 2015 5:18 am

At the Gulf State Park Pier in Orange Beach, Ala., Wetzel Wood casts his fishing line into the rough surf of the Gulf of Mexico. He pulls his bait, a cigar minnow, through the water just beyond where the waves break for the shore.

"On a good day you'd catch king mackerel, Spanish mackerel," he says. Wood first learned to fish at the pier with his grandfather in 1969. "I've seen a lot of different things out here. It's been wonderful."

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All Tech Considered
3:37 pm
Tue April 21, 2015

Google's New Search Algorithm Stokes Fears Of 'Mobilegeddon'

The Google logo is seen at the Google headquarters in Brussels. This week, Google is changing the way its influential search engine recommends websites on smartphones and tablets in a shift that's expected to sway where millions of people shop, eat and find information.
Virginia Mayo AP

Google has a lot of algorithms. And the company updates them on a regular basis. But one update that started rolling out Tuesday has tech writers across the Internet warning of a coming "Mobilegeddon."

The change is only taking place on Google searches made on smartphones. The results will favor websites deemed "mobile friendly," giving them higher rankings than sites that are only optimized for desktops and laptops.

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Parallels
3:20 pm
Tue April 21, 2015

Smuggler To Desperate Migrants: 'Now I Am Sending You To Your Death'

Hamudeh al-Masaadi plays on the shores of Lake Constance near Friedrichshafen, where they wait as their request for asylum is processed.
Joanna Kakissis for NPR

Originally published on Tue April 21, 2015 6:03 pm

Emad al-Masaadi, a 41-year-old house painter and taxi driver, fled Damascus with his wife and three young boys after their home was bombed in late 2012, just one of the countless hard-luck stories generated by Syria's civil war. They landed in Beirut, but after more than a year without work or cash, Masaadi wanted out.

"So I asked my friends, 'How can we get to Europe?' " says Masaadi, an industrious and optimistic man with a gracious smile.

The answer was clear: "Smugglers were the only way," he recalls.

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The Two-Way
2:39 pm
Tue April 21, 2015

Report Lays Out 10 Most Censored Countries

Protesters support jailed veteran Chinese journalist Gao Yu during a rally outside the central government's liaison office in Hong Kong last week. China ranks eighth on the Committee to Protect Journalists' list of 10 most censored countries.
Kin Cheung AP

The Committee to Protect Journalists released its annual report on the 10 Most Censored Countries today, with Eritrea, North Korea, and Saudi Arabia leading the list.

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The Two-Way
2:30 pm
Tue April 21, 2015

Saudis Say Operation In Yemen Entering New Phase

Originally published on Tue April 21, 2015 2:54 pm

Updated at 4:53 p.m. ET

The Saudi-led military operation in Yemen is shifting gears, moving from airstrikes against Houthi rebels to a new phase that will include diplomatic and political efforts alongside military operations, Saudi military spokesman Brig. Gen. Ahmed Asiri said.

"The coalition will continue to prevent the movement of Houthi militias from moving or undertaking any operations inside Yemen," Asiri said at a news briefing in Riyadh.

He said coalition airstrikes had destroyed the ballistic missiles operated by the Shiite Houthis.

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It's All Politics
1:54 pm
Tue April 21, 2015

Should The Government Get Out Of The Air Traffic Control Business?

An air traffic control tower at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.
Ted S. Warren AP

Originally published on Tue April 21, 2015 4:25 pm

Keeping track of the traffic in the skies above us is a big job. The nation's air traffic control system has been reliable, but it's not very efficient. And efforts to replace it with newer technology have gotten bogged down by a combination of uncertain congressional funding and the slow-moving federal bureaucracy. Now, some in Congress want to get the government out of the air traffic control business.

The Federal Aviation Administration says some 7,000 aircraft are over the U.S. at any given time.

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Shots - Health News
1:54 pm
Tue April 21, 2015

Screening Tests For Breast Cancer Genes Just Got Cheaper

iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed April 22, 2015 1:29 pm

A new California company announced Monday it is offering a much cheaper and easier way for women to get tested for genetic mutations that increase their risk for breast and ovarian cancer.

Color Genomics of Burlingame, Calif., has begun selling a $249 test that it says can accurately analyze a saliva sample for mutations in the breast cancer genes BRCA1 and BRCA2, as well as check for 17 other genetic variants that have been associated with a somewhat increased risk for cancer of the breast or ovaries.

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News
1:46 pm
Tue April 21, 2015

NPR Presents Michel Martin: Chartered Waters

NPR's Michel Martin is headed to New Orleans, to examine how the New Orleans school system is reinventing itself, ten years after the flood.

In collaboration with WWNO, Martin brings together a dynamic group of education experts at The George & Joyce Wein Jazz & Heritage Center for live, on-stage conversations around the city's unique charter school system.

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NPR Story
1:39 pm
Tue April 21, 2015

Supreme Court: Police May Not Detain Traffic Violators Longer Than Necessary

Dissenting, Justice Samuel Alito called the court's decision "unnecessary, impractical, and arbitrary."
Carolyn Kaster AP

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that police may not detain a traffic violator longer than needed so as to allow police time to conduct a dog sniff for drugs.

Just after midnight on March 27, 2012, Dennys Rodriguez was spotted on a Nebraska highway veering slowly onto the shoulder and then back onto the road. Police officer Morgan Struble questioned Rodriguez and checked his license, registration and whether he had any outstanding arrest warrants. Everything checked out. Struble also questioned the passenger traveling with Rodriguez and checked his documents as well.

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Shots - Health News
12:31 pm
Tue April 21, 2015

Young Adults With Autism More Likely To Be Unemployed, Isolated

Credit: NPR; Source: National Longitudinal Transition Study-2/A.J. Drexel Autism Institute

Originally published on Wed April 22, 2015 6:12 am

The transition to adulthood marks a big turning point in life for everyone, but for young people on the autism spectrum that transition can be really tough.

Young adults with autism had lower employment rates and higher rates of complete social isolation than people with other disabilities, according to a report published Tuesday by the A.J. Drexel Autism Institute.

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The Two-Way
12:25 pm
Tue April 21, 2015

Amid Scandal, DEA Chief Michele Leonhart Will Retire

DEA administrator Michele Leonhart is reportedly going to resign.
Felipe Dana AP

Originally published on Tue April 21, 2015 4:51 pm

(This post was last updated at 5:23 p.m. ET.)

With her agency embroiled in scandal, Michele Leonhart, the chief of the Drug Enforcement Administration, has decided to retire beginning in mid-May.

In a statement, Attorney General Eric Holder said he appreciated Leonhart's "leadership" and "35 years of extraordinary service to the DEA, to the Department of Justice and to the American people."

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The Two-Way
12:07 pm
Tue April 21, 2015

Iowa Farm To Kill 5 Million Chickens In Effort To Contain Avian Flu

A farm in Iowa is going to euthanize more than five million chickens in response to an outbreak of bird flu.
CHARLIE NEIBERGALL ASSOCIATED PRESS

A farm in Iowa is going to destroy more than five million of its chickens in an attempt to curb the spread of the highly infectious avian flu.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture confirmed the H5N2 avian influenza outbreak Monday, adding that the agency says that there is little chance that humans could become infected. According to the department's press release:

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The Two-Way
11:42 am
Tue April 21, 2015

China's President Promises Pakistan $45B In Investment

Originally published on Tue April 21, 2015 1:17 pm

Chinese President Xi Jinping has ended a visit to Pakistan after signing $45 billion worth of investment agreements in the South Asian nation.

NPR's Philip Reeves tells our Newscast unit that Xi's visit is being seen as a "game changer." Here's more from him:

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The Salt
11:32 am
Tue April 21, 2015

Tea Tuesdays: Tea, Tao And Tourists — China's Mount Hua Is Three-Part Harmony

You can get a cup of tea at Cuiyun Palace on the west peak of Mount Hua.
Courtesy of James Guo

Originally published on Thu April 23, 2015 10:56 am

Imagine yourself clinging to a cliff face with nothing but uneven, worn wooden planks and chains to keep you from plummeting 7,000 feet to your untimely demise. Don't worry: You can rent a little red safety harness for $5. No one will make you wear it, though.

Oh, and you will probably encounter someone coming the other way, in which case you will have to maneuver around your neighbor as if playing a deadly game of Twister. Someone has to go on the outside, so I hope you're good at not blinking first.

You wouldn't do this for all the tea in China, you say?

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The Two-Way
11:25 am
Tue April 21, 2015

What A Bleeping Day: Reds Manager Takes Media To Task

Cincinnati Reds manager Bryan Price, seen here during a home game, has apologized for the language he used in a long tirade.
Joe Robbins Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 21, 2015 1:13 pm

More than 80 profanities in under six minutes. That's the statistic baseball writers are talking about today, after Cincinnati Reds manager Bryan Price aired his frustrations with both the media and his team's struggles Monday.

Price took vehement exception to journalists' attempts to report on the Reds' personnel moves and the status of All-Star catcher Devin Mesoraco, who had at that point missed six consecutive games.

Before Monday's game, Price said Mesoraco wouldn't be available. Then he was asked, again, about the slugger's status.

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Goats and Soda
10:23 am
Tue April 21, 2015

How Modern Life Depletes Our Gut Microbes

Compared with Americans' digestive tracts, Yanomamis' teem with life, like a lush, tropical rain forest.
Maria Fabrizio for NPR

Originally published on Tue April 21, 2015 1:03 pm

Looks like many of us don't have the right stomach for a paleodiet. Literally.

Two studies give us a glimpse into our ancestors' microbiome — you know, those trillions of bacteria that live in the human gut.

And the take-home message of the studies is clear: Western diets and modern-day hygiene have wiped a few dozen species right out of our digestive tracts. One missing microbe helps metabolize carbohydrates. Other bygone bacteria act as prebiotics. And another communicates with our immune system.

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NPR Ed
10:03 am
Tue April 21, 2015

On The High School Diploma: A 'Bilingual' Stamp Of Approval?

LA Johnson/NPR

In the 1920s, Aurora Orozco crossed over from Mexico to Texas — a child of African descent who spoke not a word of English. She was an uneasy transplant.

Many years later, in an essay published in 1999, she recalled attitudes towards students who were caught speaking Spanish in school: "My teacher, Mrs. White, would make me stay after class. With a red rubber band, she would hit my poor hands until they nearly bled."

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The Two-Way
9:48 am
Tue April 21, 2015

Ex-Auschwitz Guard Says He Was 'Morally Complicit' In Atrocities

Former SS guard Oskar Groening, now 93, enters a car after the first day of his trial in Lueneburg, Germany, on Tuesday. He faces 300,000 counts of accessory to murder, in a case that tests the argument that anyone who served at a Nazi death camp was complicit in what happened there.
Markus Schreiber AP

Originally published on Tue April 21, 2015 10:50 am

A 93-year-old former guard at Auschwitz said his work at the concentration camp made him "morally complicit" in the atrocities committed there, but he told judges at the opening of his trial they "must decide on the question of ... criminal liability."

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Parallels
9:26 am
Tue April 21, 2015

Menaced By War, An Ancient Christian Village In Iraq Returns To Life

Three men water newly planted trees on March 18 in al-Qosh, an ancient Christian village in northern Iraq. The village emptied out last August as Islamic State fighters approached. But the extremists never entered al-Qosh and the village and residents have returned. The men are watering outside a monastery that dates to the 7th century.
Alex Potter for NPR

Originally published on Wed April 22, 2015 8:31 am

The ancient Rabban Hermizd Monastery, on a hill overlooking the northern village of al-Qosh, is a testament to the long history of Christians in Iraq. Stone walls leading up the hill are decorated with iconography, and the 7th-century monastery is covered with the ancient Syriac language, still spoken today by the people of al-Qosh.

"Christians have been here in the Ninevah plains for thousands of years. It would be a tragedy if we just disappeared," said Athra Kado, a local Syriac language teacher.

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Shots - Health News
9:06 am
Tue April 21, 2015

Californians Can Now Pay Cash For Health Insurance At 7-Eleven

Originally published on Tue April 21, 2015 10:29 am

The largest publicly run health plan in the nation, L.A. Care, will allow customers who do not have traditional bank accounts to pay their health insurance premiums with cash.

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The Two-Way
8:45 am
Tue April 21, 2015

N.Y. Judge Grants Legal Rights To 2 Research Chimps

Originally published on Wed April 22, 2015 4:09 pm

Update at 1:21 p.m. ET, Wednesday:

The judge in the case has amended her ruling to strike out the term "writ of habeas corpus." It is now unclear whether Hercules and Leo, the chimps at Stony Brook University, can challenge their detention. You can read our post about the amended order here.

Our original post continues:

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The Two-Way
8:23 am
Tue April 21, 2015

Captain In Deadly Migrant Boat Sinking Charged With Manslaughter

Mohammed Ali Malek (left) and Mahmud Bikhit (center) were identified by survivors as the captain and a crew member of the vessel that sank in the Mediterranean this weekend. They're seen here shortly before an Italian coast guard ship took them to Catania, Sicily.
Alessandro Bianchi Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue April 21, 2015 3:27 pm

Italian authorities have arrested the captain and a crew member of the boat that capsized in the Mediterranean Sea over the weekend. The pair are among the boat's 28 survivors; the United Nations says more than 800 would-be migrants died after cramming themselves onto the 66-foot boat.

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The Two-Way
6:20 am
Tue April 21, 2015

Blue Bell Widens Recall To All Of Its Products Over Listeria Worries

After initially recalling products made at its Oklahoma facility, Blue Bell is now asking retailers and customers to throw away or return all of its products currently on the market.
Blue Bell

Originally published on Tue April 21, 2015 8:04 am

Texas ice cream maker Blue Bell Creameries has widely expanded a voluntary recall over Listeria concerns, seeking the return of all of its products currently on the market. Blue Bell products are sold in 23 states.

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World
5:34 am
Tue April 21, 2015

Isis Booted From List Of Pacific Hurricane Names

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

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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Around the Nation
5:34 am
Tue April 21, 2015

Roommates Fight Over: Who Is The Greatest NBA Player Ever?

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

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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Michel Martin, Going There
5:03 am
Tue April 21, 2015

What Can #NOLASCHOOLS Teach Us?

Teacher Towana Pierre-Floyd in her classroom at New Orleans West in 2005. It's a structured charter school set up for students and teachers displaced by the storm.
Pat Sullivan AP

Originally published on Tue April 21, 2015 8:38 pm

What if you had to start your school system over almost from scratch? What if most of the buildings were unusable, and most of the teachers had left or been fired? Is that a nightmare, or your dream come true?

In New Orleans, that was the reality after the flooding that followed Hurricane Katrina. That set off a chain reaction that transformed the city's schools forever, first by a state takeover and then by the most extensive charter school system in the country.

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The Two-Way
4:49 am
Tue April 21, 2015

Egypt's Former President Morsi Sentenced To 20 Years In Prison

Egypt's former President Mohammed Morsi gestures from the defendants' cage during his trial in Cairo on Tuesday. An Egyptian court sentenced the ousted leader to 20 years in prison for abuses of protesters.
Mohamed El-Shahed AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 21, 2015 9:18 am

Less than two years after he was removed from power by the military, an Egyptian court has sentenced former President Mohammed Morsi to 20 years in prison for the arrest and torture of protesters during his tenure.

The charges stem from the months of protests between late 2012 and July 2013, when Morsi was kicked out of office.

Twelve other defendants were also found guilty and received the same sentence as Morsi; they include former Muslim Brotherhood legislator Mohamed al-Beltagi and Essam al-Aryan, the group's former spokesman.

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NPR Story
3:07 am
Tue April 21, 2015

Celebrated Afghan Writer Recalls Kabul Of Decades Ago

Originally published on Tue April 21, 2015 5:34 am

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

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