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Shots - Health Blog
5:02 pm
Thu October 11, 2012

Romney: People Don't Die For Lack Of Insurance

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney boards his campaign plane Thursday in Dayton, Ohio, for a flight to North Carolina. In comments to The Columbus Dispatch, Romney said uninsured Americans don't die from a lack of health care.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Tue October 16, 2012 2:48 pm

Another day, another editorial board, another controversial remark for Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney. On Wednesday, it was abortion. On Thursday, health care.

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Around the Nation
4:13 pm
Thu October 11, 2012

To Survive A Shooting, Students Learn To Fight Back

Many schools advise students and staff to lock doors and stay in place during a shooting threat. But others are adopting an approach that includes fighting back if escape is impossible.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue October 16, 2012 3:30 pm

The names Columbine and Virginia Tech have both become tragic shorthand for school shootings in America. In the wake of those shootings, schools have developed a fairly typical lockdown procedure when there's a threat: sound the alarm, call police, lock doors and stay put.

The standard school-lockdown plan is intended to minimize chaos so police arriving on the scene don't shoot the wrong people. Students practice following directions, getting into classrooms and essentially, waiting.

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Movie Reviews
3:48 pm
Thu October 11, 2012

'Argo': A Rescue Mission With Real Hollywood Style

John Chambers (John Goodman) serves as a guide to the ins and outs of the movie business for CIA agent Tony Mendez (Ben Affleck).
Claire Folger Warner Bros. Pictures

Originally published on Fri October 12, 2012 3:13 pm

Ben Affleck's new thriller, Argo, chronicles a secret CIA rescue mission — a mission that remained classified for years. When details finally came to light, the operation sounded like something only Hollywood could come up with. As we find out, there's a reason for that.

It's 1979, and the Iranian public's hatred for their U.S.-backed shah erupts when he leaves the country. A crowd grows around the U.S. Embassy in Tehran — they're climbing the gates and taking dozens of Americans hostage.

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Solve This
3:06 pm
Thu October 11, 2012

Obama, Romney on Higher Ed Help: Dueling Visions

Gan Golan holds a ball and chain representing his college loan debt during at a Occupy DC event last year.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Fri October 12, 2012 3:13 pm

Many Americans today feel like they've lost or are losing their shot at a college education because paying for it often seems out of reach. So how big of an issue is this in the presidential campaign?

Here's what President Obama has done to help families pay for college: He negotiated a deal with Congress this summer that kept the interest rate on government-backed Stafford loans from doubling for 7.5 million students.

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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu October 11, 2012

A 'Big Picture' Intently Focused On The Details

Paul (Romain Duris), an aspiring photographer, assumes another man's identity to escape his job, marriage and dull life.
MPI Media Group

The original French title of The Big Picture — an adaptation of a novel by American expatriate writer Douglas Kennedy — means "the man who wanted to live his life." That's pointedly ironic, since this existential thriller is about a person who seeks personal freedom by becoming somebody else.

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Books
3:02 pm
Thu October 11, 2012

From Boy King Of Texas To Literary Superstar

Originally published on Fri October 12, 2012 3:13 pm

Domingo Martinez is the author of The Boy Kings of Texas. He has been nominated for a National Book Award in the nonfiction category.

Yesterday morning I'm lying in bed and the phone rings. It's way too early. I'm thinking — "Wow, bill collectors are calling earlier and earlier."

Except it wasn't a bill collector. It was Alice Martell, my agent. She was calling to tell me that I'd been nominated for the National Book Award.

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The Two-Way
2:57 pm
Thu October 11, 2012

'Softball-Sized Eyeball' Washes Up In Florida; Can You I.D. It?

Quite a baby blue.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 8:41 am

Tell us you can resist clicking on this headline from Florida's Sun Sentinel:

"Huge Eyeball From Unknown Creature Washes Ashore On Florida Beach."

It's big, it's blue and the newspaper says "among the possibilities being discussed are a giant squid, some other large fish or a whale or other large marine mammal."

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has sent the eye off for study.

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Shots - Health Blog
2:51 pm
Thu October 11, 2012

Among Disciplined Nurse Aides, Criminal Records Turn Up

HHS found that 19 percent of nurse aides who'd been disciplined had a prior conviction that would have shown up on a background check.
Matt Rourke AP

There are two ways to look at results of a recent investigation of nursing homes by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Both are pretty disturbing.

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Music Interviews
2:50 pm
Thu October 11, 2012

'Looper': A World Of Musical Clicks And Pops

Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars in the science-fiction thriller Looper.
Courtesy of Sony Pictures Entertainment

Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 12:19 pm

When you think about the great music of science fiction, a few staples spring to mind — say, the theme from the classic Star Trek series, or John Williams' compositions for the Star Wars movies.

Nathan Johnson, the composer for the new time-travel thriller Looper, wanted to break with tradition. Instead of going for that slick, orchestral sound, he immersed himself in the world of the film to find his source material.

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The Salt
2:23 pm
Thu October 11, 2012

How A Sleepy Pennsylvania Town Grew Into America's Mushroom Capital

Four hundred million pounds of mushrooms come from farms in Chester County, Pa.
Eliza Barclay NPR

Originally published on Fri October 12, 2012 3:13 pm

Here's an astonishing fact: Half of America's mushrooms are grown in one tiny corner of southeastern Pennsylvania, near the town of Kennett Square.

But why? It's not as though this place has some special advantage of climate or soil, the kind of thing that led to strawberry fields in Watsonville, Calif., or peach orchards in Georgia. Mushrooms can grow indoors. They could come from anywhere.

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Shots - Health Blog
1:58 pm
Thu October 11, 2012

How Cellphones Helped Researchers Track Malaria In Kenya

More than 90 percent of Kenyans use mobile phones, giving scientists a powerful tool to track how diseases spread.
Simon Maina AFP/Getty Images

Cellphones are popping up all over in health care these days. They're monitoring our blood sugar, tracking the flu season and even mapping the junk food we eat at night.

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It's All Politics
1:34 pm
Thu October 11, 2012

How Ohio Could Swing The Election

A campaign charter flight carrying Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan arrives in Ohio, which has seen nearly nonstop visits from the candidates in recent weeks.
Mary Altaffer AP

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 2:52 pm

Kentucky may be the site for tonight's debate between the vice presidential candidates, but the monster swing state of Ohio remains the focus of White House dreams for President Obama and Mitt Romney.

Both the incumbent and his challenger have been in and out of the state with increasing frequency; GOP vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan plans a trip to the Buckeye State on Friday, after his tangle with Vice President Joe Biden.

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The Two-Way
1:27 pm
Thu October 11, 2012

Panda Cub's Death Due To 'Lung And Liver Damage'

Mei Xiang at the National Zoo earlier today. Her cub died last month.
Rod Lamkey Jr. The Washington Times /Landov

The giant panda cub born at Washington's National Zoo did, as first suspected, die on Sept. 23 because of "lung and liver damage" stemming from problems with her development, zoo officials say.

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The Two-Way
1:18 pm
Thu October 11, 2012

Very Fancy: Scientists Detail A Diamond Encrusted Super-Earth

Illustration of the interior of 55 Cancri e — an extremely hot planet with a surface of mostly graphite surrounding a thick layer of diamond, below which is a layer of silicon-based minerals and a molten iron core at the center.
Haven Giguere via Yale University

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 4:39 pm

Scientists have discovered a world much fancier than our homely, little Earth.

New research that will published in the journal Astrophysical Journal Letters details a planet that is eight times heavier than Earth and with twice its radius. But instead of being covered in water and granite, it is encrusted in graphite and diamond.

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Asia
12:42 pm
Thu October 11, 2012

A Shooting Foreshadowed By Taliban Threats

Malala Yousafzai is treated in a hospital in Peshawar, Pakistan, after she was shot on Tuesday.
ISPR EPA/Landov

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 2:00 pm

A 15-year-old Pakistani schoolgirl remains in critical condition after being shot in the head for defying the Taliban and championing the right of girls to go to school. Malala Yousafzai rose to prominence during the recent war in Pakistan's Swat Valley by writing a blog under a pen name. NPR's Philip Reeves reported on that war — and twice met Malala's father. Reeves sent this account of the tough world in which Malala spent her childhood.

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Technology
12:05 pm
Thu October 11, 2012

In Digital War, Patents Are The Weapon Of Choice

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 12:16 pm

If you don't think of patents as a particularly exciting or interesting field, consider a point Charles Duhigg makes in his recent New York Times article, "The Patent, Used as a Sword": According to an analysis done at Stanford: "In the smartphone industry alone ... as much as $20 billion was spent on patent litigation and patent purchases in the last two years — an amount equal to eight Mars rover missions."

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The Salt
10:58 am
Thu October 11, 2012

100 Years Ago, Maillard Taught Us Why Our Food Tastes Better Cooked

A tower of profiteroles like this one, known as croquembouche, was created in France to celebrate Maillard, the man credited with identifying a key reaction in food science.
Gavin Tapp via Flickr

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 12:36 pm

A few hundred scientists gathered in the small French city of Nancy recently to present scientific papers related to a chemical reaction. Now that may seem a bit humdrum and hardly worth mentioning in The Salt, but in this case, it isn't.

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The Two-Way
10:39 am
Thu October 11, 2012

Masked Gunman Kills Yemeni Who Worked As Security Official At U.S. Embassy

A masked gunman killed a Yemeni man when he was on his way to work as a security official at the U.S. Embassy in Sanaa, the AP and Reuters are reporting.

The Associated Press reports that Yemeni officials said the drive-by shooting was reminiscient of other attacks undertaken by the al-Qaida offshoot in Yemen.

The AP adds:

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Shots - Health Blog
10:35 am
Thu October 11, 2012

Bioethicists Call For Privacy Protections For Personal Genomes

Would you like a genome with that?
iStockphoto.com

When a stranger can gain access to someone's entire genetic code by picking up a used coffee cup, it presents a whole new thicket of concerns about privacy and security.

Actually, we're already there, though we're still in the early stages of what's shaping up, after all the years of hype, as a genuine revolution. Just take a look at Rob Stein's recent series on the $1,000 genome to see how far we've come and where we're headed.

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Europe
10:25 am
Thu October 11, 2012

With A Database, Germany Tracks Rise Of Neo-Nazis

Neo-Nazis and their sympathizers march on Feb. 13 to commemorate the World War II firebombing of Dresden, Germany, by Allied planes. Concerns about far-right extremism have grown in Germany after the discovery last year of an extreme far-right cell believed to have carried out a decade-long crime spree, including the murder of 10 people, mainly Turkish shopkeepers, bank robberies and bombs.
Sean Gallup Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 12, 2012 3:13 pm

The spread of neo-Nazi influence in Germany came to light fully last year with the shocking discovery of a neo-Nazi terrorist cell responsible for the worst right-wing violence since World War II.

At least nine people of migrant origin were murdered, and there were bomb attacks and bank robberies.

In response, Germany last month established the first centralized neo-Nazi database, similar to those that existed for decades for Islamic and leftist extremists.

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Law
10:07 am
Thu October 11, 2012

Who Feels The Scars Of 'Stop And Frisk'?

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, we'll hear from a doctor who's worked with the poorest of the poor in San Francisco, opened up insights into health care for everybody. We'll hear from the author of "God's Hotel" in a few minutes.

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Middle East
10:07 am
Thu October 11, 2012

Exile Defends Unity Of Syrian Opposition

Tensions are heating up between Syria and Turkey, as rebels and regime troops continue to battle it out. Host Michel Martin discusses whether the conflict can spill over with Abderrahim Foukara of Al Jazeera International and Radwan Ziadeh of the Syrian National Council, a coalition of exiles opposing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

It's All Politics
9:56 am
Thu October 11, 2012

Wonkfest Or Slugfest? Anticipation Mounts Ahead Of Biden Vs. Ryan

Tonight's faceoff between Vice President Joe Biden (right) and GOP Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin will likely be an important stage-setter for next week's second presidential debate.
Jose Luis Magana/Thanassis Stavrakis AP

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 11:51 am

It may be the undercard to the main event, but partisans on both sides are talking some trash ahead of the vice presidential debate tonight in Danville, Ky.

The pressure is particularly intense on Vice President Joe Biden, following his boss' lackluster performance in last week's presidential debate, which moved GOP nominee Mitt Romney into a national polling lead.

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Business
9:10 am
Thu October 11, 2012

Beep If You Understand Veep Buzzwords

Wind turbines dwarf a church near Wilson, Kan. The White House wants to extend a federal wind energy credit, but the Romney campaign wants to let it expire.
Charlie Riedel AP

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 10:07 am

When Vice President Joe Biden and U.S. Rep Paul Ryan face off during their only debate, tens of millions of Americans will tune in to hear them defend their running mates' records.

And that audience Thursday night also will hear lots of budget-related buzzwords, with meanings that may not be entirely clear. Those words are shorthand for policies that could have huge impacts on taxpayers and the annual $1 trillion budget deficit.

Brushing up on terms of the debate can help voters better understand what's really being said on the stage at Centre College in Kentucky.

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The Two-Way
8:56 am
Thu October 11, 2012

Malala, Pakistani Girl Shot By Taliban, Airlifted To Military Hospital

Malala Yousafzai in March 2012.
T. Mughal EPA /LANDOV

The news coming out of Pakistan today in the case of Malala is not good: The 15-year-old girl shot by the Taliban has been airlifted to the "country's top military hospital for specialist treatment," Pakistan's Dawn reports.

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The Two-Way
8:01 am
Thu October 11, 2012

Forced Landing Of Syrian Plane, Opens Rift Between Turkey And Russia

People speak atop the aircraft steps of a Syrian passenger plane that was forced by Turkish jets to land at Esenboga airport in Ankara, Turkey, early Thursday.
Burhan Ozbilici AP

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 8:06 am

The rift between Syria and Turkey deepened, after Turkish warplanes forced a Moscow-to-Damascus bound passenger airplane to land on Wednesday.

Not only that but it also opened fresh conflict with Russia. The New York Times reports that today Moscow demanded answers for it called "air piracy" and Turkey said it had found illegal materials on board.

The Times reports:

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The Two-Way
7:55 am
Thu October 11, 2012

U.S. Foreclosures Drop Dramatically, But The Picture Remains Very Mixed

An auction sign in front of a Salem, Ore., home on Feb. 23.
Rick Bowmer AP

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 8:38 am

RealtyTrac, an online industry group that follows the foreclosure market, says the number of foreclosed properties nationally dropped dramatically in September, down by seven percent from August. And the firm says since September 2011, foreclosures are down 16 percent — that's the lowest total since July 2007.

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The Two-Way
7:18 am
Thu October 11, 2012

Jobless Claims Drop To Lowest Level In More Than Four Years

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 1:30 pm

There were 339,000 first-time claims for unemployment benefits last week, a decrease from last week's revised figure of 369,000, the Employment and Training Administration says.

Reuters reports it's the lowest number in more than four years. Reuters adds:

"The prior week's figure was revised up to show 2,000 more applications than previously reported.

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The Salt
6:51 am
Thu October 11, 2012

Why Foods Go Together Like 'Rama Lama Lama, Ke Ding A De Dinga Dong'

Taking a bite out of a salty pretzel can actually enhance the bitterness of your beer. That's one reason pretzels and beer work as a pair.
James Puccio iStockPhoto

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 8:49 am

OK, Grease lyrics aside, when it comes to gastronomy, certain foods just belong together: red wine and red meat, sushi and ginger, tea and biscuits, beer and pretzels. But, ever wonder why your favorite cabernet goes so well with a nice filet mignon? What makes two flavors jibe?

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The Two-Way
6:28 am
Thu October 11, 2012

It's Vice Night: Biden, Ryan Set For Face-off In Only Vice Presidential Debate

Crews put finishing touches on the stage for the vice presidential debate at the Norton Center at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 7:37 am

Tonight, Vice President Joe Biden and Rep. Paul Ryan are set for a one-on-one, 90-minute debate in Danville, Ky. It's the one and only VP candidate debate of the campaign and after what has been conclusively deemed a bad performance by President Obama during the first presidential debate, all eyes are on Biden.

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