The Two-Way
12:30 pm
Fri January 20, 2012

Palestinian Women Behind The Wheel, And Ahead Of The Pack

Noor Daoud holds a trophy after she won third place in the first day of Formula Israel's women's race, in Eilat, Israel. Daoud went on to take the women's title at the event.
Uriel Sinai Getty Images

Palestine might not seem like a breeding ground for race car drivers. After all, the area is dotted with checkpoints and roadblocks, hundreds of obstacles that can cramp a driver's ability to explore a car's limits.

But that hasn't stopped a group of Palestinian women from driving very fast, winning races and making a name for themselves along the way.

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Shots - Health Blog
12:08 pm
Fri January 20, 2012

Researchers Agree To Temporary Halt For Bird Flu Experiments

H5N1 avian flu viruses (seen in gold) grow inside canine kidney cells (seen in green).
Cynthia Goldsmith CDC

Originally published on Mon January 23, 2012 1:41 pm

Scientists have said that they are voluntarily putting some controversial bird flu research on hold.

The move to suspend the work for 60 days comes in response to critics who say their work is dangerous.

People rarely get sick with bird flu, caused by the H5N1 virus, and when they do, they're generally not contagious.

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Shots - Health Blog
11:27 am
Fri January 20, 2012

How Tears Go 'Pac-Man' To Beat Bacteria

Tears contain an enzyme that eats bacteria the way Pac-Man eats Power Pellets.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon January 23, 2012 1:39 pm

The mystical healing properties of tears are invoked in fairy tales and fantasies from Rapunzel to Harry Potter. So it may surprise you to hear that tears really are pretty powerful, on the microbial level at least.

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The Two-Way
11:25 am
Fri January 20, 2012

Not A Record, But Audubon Set Still Sells For A Tidy $7.9 Million

We wouldn't want to say that $7,922,500 isn't an awful lot to pay for one set of four books.

But we do have to point out that it's not a record.

Thursday, we previewed the Christie's New York auction of a rare set of John James Audubon's Birds of America. As we reported, there was talk that it might fetch more than the record $11.5 million paid for another full set of the books in 2010.

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The Two-Way
11:10 am
Fri January 20, 2012

Megaupload Is Trying To Go Back Online Even As Execs Sit In Jail

Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom, also known as Kim Schmitz, in an Auckland, New Zealand, court today.
TV3/ AFP/Getty Images

A judge in New Zealand today ordered that Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom (a.k.a. Kim Schmitz) and three others remain in custody at least until a bail hearing on Monday as the legal process of possibly extraditing them to the U.S. to face copyright infringement and conspiracy charges got underway.

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The Two-Way
10:50 am
Fri January 20, 2012

Search Of Stricken Italian Cruise Ship Resumes After Third Delay

A coast guard boat passes the Costa Concordia, as the cruise liner lies aground in front of the harbor of Giglio Island.
Vincenzo Pinto AFP/Getty Images

Search and rescue operations at the wreck of the Costa Concordia have resumed, after being halted for a third time, due to choppy waters and the partially submerged vessel's tendency to shift on the rocks near Italy's coast.

BBC correspondent Luisa Baldini says the search has resumed, after being called off early Friday.

Here's a roundup of recent developments in the story:

From Italy, Sylvia Poggioli report for NPR's Newscast unit:

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Middle East
10:49 am
Fri January 20, 2012

Israeli And Arab Hackers Square Off In Cyberbattle

The websites of Israel's El Al airline and the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange were knocked offline Monday, just hours after a Saudi Arabian hacker threatened to act against them. Israeli hackers responded by crashing the Saudi stock exchange. Here, a man walks past an El Al office in Tel Aviv on Monday.
Jack Guez AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 17, 2012 11:16 am

An online battle is raging between Israelis and Arabs, with each side unveiling credit card and other personal information of thousands of private citizens, as well as temporarily disabling high-profile websites, like the Tel Aviv and Saudi Arabian stock exchanges.

So far, the recent Web assaults seem to be the work of bored young people venting frustration. But others worry that these actions could easily escalate into a much larger online fight.

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Music Interviews
10:14 am
Fri January 20, 2012

Remembering Bandleader And Producer Johnny Otis

Johnny Otis (center), shown playing with his band The Johnny Otis Revue.
Charlie Gillett Collection Redferns Via Getty Images

Bandleader and producer Johnny Otis, who launched and then nurtured the careers of many of R&B's greatest singers, died Tuesday at his home near Los Angeles. He was 90.

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Movie Interviews
10:11 am
Fri January 20, 2012

Brad Pitt: On Life, Movies And 'Moneyball'

Brad Pitt, left, plays Billy Beane, the general manager of the Oakland A's, in the movie Moneyball. His assistant Peter Brand is played by Jonah Hill.
Melinda Sue Gordon Sony Pictures

Originally published on Fri January 20, 2012 10:16 am

This interview was originally broadcast on September 22, 2011.

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Planet Money
9:55 am
Fri January 20, 2012

The Secret Document That Transformed China

Yen Jingchang was one of the signers of the secret document.
Jacob Goldstein NPR

Originally published on Fri January 20, 2012 7:03 pm

In 1978, the farmers in a small Chinese village called Xiaogang gathered in a mud hut to sign a secret contract. They thought it might get them executed. Instead, it wound up transforming China's economy in ways that are still reverberating today.

The contract was so risky — and such a big deal — because it was created at the height of communism in China. Everyone worked on the village's collective farm; there was no personal property.

"Back then, even one straw belonged to the group," says Yen Jingchang, who was a farmer in Xiaogang in 1978. "No one owned anything."

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