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The Two-Way
2:20 pm
Thu July 19, 2012

As Fighting In Syria Intensifies, U.S. Worries About Chemical Weapons

Syrian President Bashar Assad waves at supporters during a rare public appearance in Damascus on Jan. 11.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 19, 2012 2:49 pm

"Deathly afraid."

That's what one U.S. official says about the prospect that Syria's vast stockpile of chemical weapons might be used against rebel forces. From a U.S. national security standpoint, an even worse outcome would be for those weapons to fall into the hands of terrorists.

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Books
2:01 pm
Thu July 19, 2012

Terrible Virus, Fascinating History In 'Rabid'

Originally published on Thu July 19, 2012 4:38 pm

Here's your vocabulary word for the week: zoonosis. It describes an infection that is transmitted between species. For example, the disease that the husband and wife team of Bill Wasik and Monica Murphy have written about in their new book, Rabid: A Cultural History of the World's Most Diabolical Virus.

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Opinion
1:56 pm
Thu July 19, 2012

Wish You Were Here: Sunrise In Laos

A sunrise ritual draws Pam Houston to Luang Prabang, Laos.
Allie Caulfield

Originally published on Thu July 19, 2012 4:38 pm

Pam Houston directs the Creative Writing Program at U.C. Davis. Her most recent novel is Contents May Have Shifted.

Luang Prabang, Laos, is so close to the equator that daybreak happens at the same time each day. Also each day, a few dozen women set up rice cookers on small collapsible tables on street corners next to the more than 30 monasteries that grace this riverside town. If you get up with them and walk the silent streets in the misty Mekong predawn, you smell, under the sweetness of the frangipani blossoms, the thick odor of cooked starch.

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The Salt
1:40 pm
Thu July 19, 2012

High-Tech Shortcut To Greek Yogurt Leaves Purists Fuming

A supermarket's dairy case with shelves of yogurt.
Benjamin Morris NPR

Originally published on Fri July 20, 2012 10:30 am

America's food companies are masters of technology. They massage tastes and textures to tickle our palates. They find ways to imitate expensive foods with cheaper ingredients.

And sometimes, that technological genius leads to controversy.

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American Dreams: Then And Now
12:53 pm
Thu July 19, 2012

Your American Dreams: Family, Friends And The Freedom To Roam

NPR listener Matt Anderson defines the American dream as "having the time, money, health and resources to get to enjoy such simple and whimsical pleasures with my family at our local state fair."
Courtesy of Matt Anderson

Originally published on Thu July 19, 2012 3:43 pm

While the concept of the American dream has been a part of our national consciousness for generations, you'd be hard-pressed to find two people who define it precisely the same way. We can say that with some authority, because, as part of our series, American Dreams: Then And Now, we asked you to share your own take on the dream. Sure enough, no two responses were the same.

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The Two-Way
12:33 pm
Thu July 19, 2012

China And Russia Veto U.N. Resolution Threatening Sanctions On Syria

Originally published on Thu July 19, 2012 4:38 pm

China and Russia this morning vetoed a U.N. Security Council resolution that could permit sanctions against Syria unless the government of President Bashar Assad stops using weapons against civilians. This is the third time China and Russia have rebuffed measures pushed by the United States and its allies to try to bring a halt to Syria's violent civil conflict.

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The Two-Way
12:29 pm
Thu July 19, 2012

Court Rules Portland's Naked Traveler Is Protected By Law

John Brennan, the man who stripped at Portland International Airport to protest TSA screeners, testifies during his trial Wednesday.
Rick Bowmer AP

A man who stripped naked to protest security screenings at the Portland International Airport was exercising his right to free speech, a court ruled Wednesday.

John Brennan was charged with indecent exposure after the incident, but Brennan said he stripped only after he refused to walk through a scanner and security agents found traces of nitrates on his clothes.

Here's how he described the incident to KVAL:

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The Two-Way
12:09 pm
Thu July 19, 2012

Ford Recalls Some 2013 Escapes, Tells Owners Not To Drive Them

Ford's Escape was redesigned for the 2013 model year. Last month, this one rolled of the assembly line in Louisville, Ky.
Brian Bohannon AP

Warning that a fuel line could leak, "potentially resulting in an underhood fire," Ford Motor Co. today told owners of about 11,500 model year 2013 Escapes "to stop driving their vehicles and to immediately contact their dealers."

The company said that "dealers will deliver a loaner vehicle to customers and will then transport their 2013 Escape to the dealership until the repair has been completed."

There have been no injuries reported in connection with the problem, the company said.

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Shots - Health Blog
11:37 am
Thu July 19, 2012

How HIV Treatment Can Curb The Spread Of AIDS

Anti-AIDS posters at the Eshowe public health clinic in Kwazulu Natal, South Africa. Clinicians there are hoping to slow the spread of HIV by getting more people treatment.
Jason Beaubien NPR

As the 19th International AIDS Conference prepares to open this weekend in Washington, one of the catch phrases swirling around the AIDS community is "treatment as prevention."

Researchers, clinicians and HIV policy experts are hailing treatment that helps prevent more infections as a possible way to end the pandemic.

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The Two-Way
11:31 am
Thu July 19, 2012

Because Of Injury Nadal Won't Play At London Games

Spain's Rafael Nadal looks on during his Wimbledon loss to Czech Republic's Lukas Rosol in June.
Miguel Medina AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 19, 2012 12:31 pm

Rafael Nadal announced he will not compete in the upcoming London Olympic Games.

The New York Times reports that in making the announcement, the tennis star called it one the "saddest days of my career as one of my biggest ambitions, that of being Spain's flag-bearer in the opening ceremony of the Games in London, cannot be."

Had Nadal competed, he would have been in a position to defend the men's singles gold medal he won at the Beijing Games in 2008.

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Joe's Big Idea
10:48 am
Thu July 19, 2012

When Art Meets Science, You'll Get The Picture

Student scientist Araw Akram discovered that fruit flies that eat nonorganic produce have lower reproduction rates than insects that eat organic food.
Manuel Guzman Intel

Originally published on Thu July 19, 2012 11:15 am

Scientists often struggle to explain their work to us nonscientists. Art to the rescue!

In a new collaboration, artists are taking the inventions of teenage scientists and turning them into posters. Science inspires art. And the art inspires questions.

Why are umbrellas shimmering under the stars?

Because a teenager in Sri Lanka figured out how to use the positions of the starts to accurately predict rainfall.

Why is paint slithering across the canvas in a sinuous brushstroke?

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The Two-Way
10:36 am
Thu July 19, 2012

Italy's 'Armani Of Mozzarella' Accused Of Having Mafia Links

Giuseppe Mandara (in white shirt, with cigar), and officers from the Anti-Mafia unit of the Italian police on Tuesday.
Italian Police AFP/Getty Images

This story's been out there for a day or two, but it's too tasty to ignore. So here's a slice:

"Italy's biggest buffalo mozzarella maker, Giuseppe Mandara, has been arrested on charges he had close ties to the mafia. Mandara, 56 — who once dubbed himself the 'Armani of Mozzarella' — was arrested with three associates near Naples, reports said." (Global Post)

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The Two-Way
10:35 am
Thu July 19, 2012

Report: Federal Spending On Kids Declines For First Time In 30 Years

For the first time since the early 1980s, the federal government will spend less on American children this year, the Urban Institute's latest "Kids' Share" study (pdf) finds.

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Remembrances
10:34 am
Thu July 19, 2012

Fresh Air Remembers Actress Celeste Holm

Originally published on Thu July 19, 2012 11:44 am

Celeste Holm, the actress of stage and screen, passed away of a heart attack on July 15. She was 95 years old.

Made famous on Broadway for her role as Ado Annie in Rodgers and Hammerstein's Oklahoma!, Holm earned more fans for her performances in All About Eve (1950), The Tender Trap (1955) and High Society (1956).

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Shots - Health Blog
10:30 am
Thu July 19, 2012

How HIV Hijacks The Immune System

A 3-D model of HIV peeled back to show its layers. HIV's genetic material sits inside a spherical shell (gray matrix) studded with spikes (dark gray and orange). The sphere pops open when a T cell tugs on a spike.
Courtesy of Ivan Konstantinov © Visual Science 2011

Originally published on Tue July 24, 2012 3:23 pm

The road to a cure for AIDS is in sight, even if every step on the journey isn't clear yet.

One of the most promising avenues is a kind of gene therapy that would block HIV's entry into cells of the immune system. A genetic tweak could make these key cells resistant to the virus's attack.

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The Salt
9:54 am
Thu July 19, 2012

Romney And Jimmy John's Sandwiches, Never Far Apart

Jimmy John's sandwiches, wrapped and ready to go.
Steven Depolo Flickr.com

Jimmy John's Gourmet Sandwiches are a big part of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's campaign. The story of the sandwich chain founder's success is now a regular part of the Romney stump speech, and, according to our political correspondent Ari Shapiro, "It's a reliable bet that almost any time the Romney press bus provides lunch, it will be a big box of Jimmy John's subs."

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World
9:47 am
Thu July 19, 2012

Syrians Hear 'Shooting Through The Night'

The Syrian conflict has been declared a civil war by the Red Cross and violence continues with no end in sight. Many civilians have been forced to leave Syria for neighboring countries. Tell Me More brings the story of one man who is living in a Turkish refugee camp with his family and host Michel Martin discusses whether the conflict has reached a turning point with Al Jazeera International's Abderrahim Foukara.

Politics
9:47 am
Thu July 19, 2012

Are Romney Critics Really Attacking His Success?

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's tenure at Bain Capital and his refusal to release more extensive tax records continue to dog his campaign. Host Michel Martin takes up these topics and other political news of the week with Republican strategist Ron Christie and Joy-Ann Reid, managing editor of The Grio.com.

The Fresh Air Interview
9:21 am
Thu July 19, 2012

Sigourney Weaver's Stately Role In 'Political Animals'

Sigourney Weaver stars as Secretary of State Elaine Barrish in the USA Network miniseries Political Animals.
Andrew Eccles USA Network

Originally published on Thu July 19, 2012 3:56 pm

In the new USA Network miniseries Political Animals, Sigourney Weaver plays smart, tough Secretary of State Elaine Barrish. It's a role many critics have likened to current Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, but Weaver says the show's creators were thinking beyond Clinton when they devised the role.

"We've had three remarkable women who've been our secretaries of state in our last three administrations, but somehow we're not willing as a country to elect a woman president," she says. "And I think this show partially investigates what that's about."

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Book Reviews
8:40 am
Thu July 19, 2012

A Little Advice On 'How To Be A Woman'

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu July 19, 2012 10:03 am

Funny feminists should never die; there are too few of them who've gained any cultural prominence in the first place. That's why Nora Ephron's death earlier this summer flattened me, even though I hadn't read her in a while and had mixed feelings about the whole "I Feel Bad About My Neck," self-flagellation routine. Still, she made me laugh at the same time she often made me think: I wanted her playing on Team Feminist forever.

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The Two-Way
8:17 am
Thu July 19, 2012

Mixed Signals: Sales Of Existing Homes Dipped, But Prices Rose

While sales of existing homes fell 5.4 percent in June from May, their median price was up 7.9 percent from a year earlier.

In addition, the National Association of Realtors reports, the supply of existing homes available for sale continued to shrink — including the number of "distressed" homes on the market because of foreclosures.

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The Two-Way
8:00 am
Thu July 19, 2012

Tennessee Mosque Can Open; Imam Says America Is Better For That

The mosque in Murfreesboro, Tenn., last month when it was still under construction.
Erik Schelzig AP

Originally published on Thu July 19, 2012 11:08 am

Now that a federal judge has ruled that the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro in Rutherford County, Tenn., can open, the mosque's imam says muslims elsewhere should take notice.

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The Two-Way
7:07 am
Thu July 19, 2012

Emmy Nominations Are Out: 'Mad Men' Will Go For Record

The cast of Mad Men.
Frank Ockenfels AMC

Originally published on Thu July 19, 2012 9:21 am

AMC's Mad Men, as expected, has again been nominated for an Emmy as "outstanding drama series" — meaning that the show about Madison Avenue in the '60s has a chance to win a record fifth such honor.

Hill Street Blues, L.A. Law and The West Wing share that title with four best drama Emmys each.

Mad Men's competition for the award:

-- Boardwalk Empire, (HBO).

-- Breaking Bad, (AMC).

-- Downton Abbey, (PBS).

-- Game of Thrones, (HBO).

-- Homeland, (Showtime).

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It's All Politics
7:06 am
Thu July 19, 2012

The ABCs Of Election Reform

A Florida election official tests the accuracy of a voting machine on Aug. 4, 2010, in Miami.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 19, 2012 8:49 am

A. Following the controversy-crazy U.S. presidential election of 2000, in which the Supreme Court was drafted to determine the outcome, there have been efforts by various groups to reform the country's electoral system. However, "we have not changed much of substance really since the 2000 debacle," says Norman Ornstein, a co-writer of the 2010 Election Reform Project report.

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The Two-Way
6:48 am
Thu July 19, 2012

Jobless Claims Rose By 34,000 Last Week

There was a 34,000-increase in the number of Americans filing first-time claims for jobless benefits last week, the Employment and Training Administration reports.

It says 386,000 people filed claims, up from 352,000 the week before. "The 4-week moving average was 375,500, a decrease of 1,500 from the previous week's revised average of 377,000."

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Around the Nation
6:41 am
Thu July 19, 2012

U.S. Men Held At Border With Canadian Contraband

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. Two young Seattle men came back from a trip to Canada bearing gifts - six chocolate eggs known as Kinder Surprise eggs, because each has a plastic toy inside. They got their own surprise when they reached the U.S. border and agents informed them each egg carried a $2,500 fine. The men told KOMO News they were eventually allowed across without a fine and without the eggs, which are banned in the U.S. as a choking hazard. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.

The Two-Way
6:38 am
Thu July 19, 2012

VIDEO: 'God's Plan' Led To Deadly Encounter With Trayvon, Zimmerman Says

George Zimmerman during his interview with Fox News' Sean Hannity.
FoxNews.com

Originally published on Thu July 19, 2012 9:23 am

While he is sorry that Trayvon Martin ended up dead, George Zimmerman says he doesn't regret anything he did the evening of Feb. 26 and that it was "God's plan" that he would end up killing the unarmed 17-year-old.

"For me to second guess it or judge it" would be wrong, Zimmerman told Fox News Channel's Sean Hannity in a pre-recorded and edited interview broadcast Wednesday night.

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Around the Nation
6:30 am
Thu July 19, 2012

Hasselhoff Photos Stolen From Store's Ad Campaign

Cumberland Farms put giant photo cutouts of David Hasselhoff in front of their stores across New England and Florida. The 60-year-old star of Baywatch and Knight Rider is shown smiling, wearing a tank top and promoting iced coffee. Of 570 photos, roughly 550 have been stolen.

The Two-Way
6:07 am
Thu July 19, 2012

Video May Show Suicide Bomber Who Attacked Bus In Bulgaria

A screen grab from the surveillance video showing the man who it's suspected set off a bomb aboard a bus full of Israeli tourists in Burgas, Bulgaria.
BGNES.com

Originally published on Sun July 22, 2012 7:43 am

  • Lourdes Garcia-Navarro reporting on 'Morning Edition'

He was "looking like any other tourist," as NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro said on Morning Edition.

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Europe
6:01 am
Thu July 19, 2012

Israel Suspects Extremists In Bulgaria Attack

Originally published on Sun July 22, 2012 7:43 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Let's learn more, now, about an attack in Bulgaria. Seven people were killed, we're told, among them, five Israelis, in a suspected suicide bombing. It happened at a seaside resort town called Burgos. More than 30 more people were injured by this explosion. Israel is calling it a terrorist attack and says it suspects Iran or Muslim extremists. NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro joins us on the line, now, from Tel Aviv.

Hi, Lourdes.

LOURDES GARCIA-NAVARRO, BYLINE: Good morning.

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