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Shots - Health News
3:33 pm
Fri October 17, 2014

U.S. To Temporarily Halt Funding For Controversial Virus Research

Avian influenza, or bird flu, causes an infectious and contagious respiratory disease. In the lab, several scientists have made the H5N1 strain more contagious, a controversial line of research.
James Cavallini ScienceSource

Originally published on Fri October 17, 2014 4:07 pm

The federal government will temporarily stop funding any new studies that could make three high-risk infectious diseases even more dangerous. The government is asking all scientists involved in this research now to voluntarily halt their current studies.

The unusual move comes after a long controversy over experiments with mutant forms of a bird flu virus.

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Europe
3:10 pm
Fri October 17, 2014

Europe's Short-Term Economic Fixes Can't Solve Long-Term Problems

Originally published on Mon October 20, 2014 7:57 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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Trade Lingo
2:51 pm
Fri October 17, 2014

In Skydiving, A 'Whuffo' Won't 'Burble' Or Try The 'Horny Gorilla'

Originally published on Tue October 21, 2014 7:57 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And speaking of flights of fantasy, meet our next guest.

MICHAEL SNIVELY: Full-time, I design speakers, but part-time and on weekends, I am a skydiving instructor.

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Africa
2:50 pm
Fri October 17, 2014

'Bring Back Our Girls' Hopes Release Brings An End To Campaign

Originally published on Fri October 17, 2014 4:26 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Arts & Life
2:25 pm
Fri October 17, 2014

Out Of The Lockerbie Bombing, A Bond And A 'Letter Of Note'

Originally published on Fri October 17, 2014 4:26 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

We're turning another page of the collection titled, "Letters of Note."

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The Two-Way
2:19 pm
Fri October 17, 2014

Washington, D.C., Pitches New Bridge Park As A 'Model For Social Equity'

A rendering for the planned 11th Street Bridge Park in Washington, D.C.
OMA and OLIN

Originally published on Sat October 18, 2014 11:39 am

Washington, D.C., moved a big step closer this week toward building its own "bridge to the future." Two well-known design firms — OMA and OLIN — were selected as the winners of a competition to conceptualize the 11th Street Bridge Park.

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Global Health
2:18 pm
Fri October 17, 2014

Why Won't The Fear Of Airborne Ebola Go Away?

The Ebola virus as seen under an electron microscope.
BSIP UIG via Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 21, 2014 8:19 am

How many times do top officials have to say that the Ebola virus is not airborne?

A lot, apparently.

Here is President Obama Thursday: "This is not an airborne disease. It is not easy to catch."

And the day before: "It is not like the flu. It is not airborne."

And Friday, a reporter asked the inevitable question about airborne Ebola when Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, held a press briefing about nurse Nina Pham's transfer to the National Institute of Health.

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Iraq
2:07 pm
Fri October 17, 2014

In Iraq, Anbar Province Remains Fiercely Contested

Originally published on Fri October 17, 2014 4:26 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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Shots - Health News
2:05 pm
Fri October 17, 2014

California Nurses' Union Pulls Ebola Into Contract Talks

Members of the California Nurses Association rallied in Sacramento, Calif., in May, in anticipation of contract negotiations with Kaiser Permanente that began in this fall.
April Dembosky / KQED

Originally published on Mon October 20, 2014 6:23 am

The powerful California Nurses Association has put Ebola on the bargaining table in its negotiations for a new contract with Kaiser Permanente.

Contract talks have been going on for months, and the nurses' most recent demands are focused on Ebola — better training, more staffing, protective gear that goes beyond what's recommended by federal officials and even a special life insurance policy.

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Economy
2:05 pm
Fri October 17, 2014

Drop In Unemployment Raises Debate On Optimal Rate

A notice in a store window in New York City announces a retail job opening. Now that unemployment has slipped below 6 percent, there's renewed interest in what the Federal Reserve's target for joblessness should be.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 17, 2014 4:26 pm

The U.S. unemployment rate has been falling steadily over the years. Down from the recession peak of 10 percent in 2009, it reached 5.9 percent in September.

That's getting close to what economists call the natural unemployment rate — the normal level of joblessness you'd expect in a healthy economy.

But a lot of economists are asking whether the old rules about full employment still apply.

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NPR Story
2:00 pm
Fri October 17, 2014

Senate Tracker: South Dakota No Longer A Shoo-in For Republicans

Photograph of Republican senate candiate Mike Rounds. (roundsforsenate)

In this week’s installment of the Senate Tracker series, we turn to South Dakota, which had been considered safe for Republican candidate and former governor Mike Rounds.

However, after some controversy surrounding a visa program under his governorship, independent candidate Larry Pressler and Democrat Rick Weiland are gaining ground.

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NPR Story
2:00 pm
Fri October 17, 2014

Colorado Considers Another 'Personhood' Amendment

So-called “personhood” initiatives will be on the ballot in two states on Election day: Measure One in North Dakota and Amendment 67 in Colorado.

“Personhood” may be a familiar term to Colorado voters by now because they’ve rejected two such measures in recent elections.

Those previous two measures were designed to ban abortion, but supporters of Amendment 67 say that’s not their goal this time around.

From the Here & Now Contributors Network, Colorado Public Radio’s Megan Verlee explains.

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NPR Story
2:00 pm
Fri October 17, 2014

Phillip Morris May Enter E-Cigarette Market

Most e-cigarettes use liquid nicotine, but tobacco giant Phillip Morris will release a smart e-cigarette, that uses heated tobacco. (Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

Since electronic cigarettes were introduced in 2003, they have grown in popularity as an alternative to tobacco products. However, there may be new competition coming to the market as cigarette giant Phillip Morris’ patent for Heat Sticks, a smart e-cigarette that uses heated tobacco, has been approved.

Unlike other e-cigarettes that use liquid nicotine to create a tobacco-flavored vapor, Heat Sticks contain real tobacco that will heat up to a maximum of 660 degrees Fahrenheit, similar to a pipe.

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Parallels
1:39 pm
Fri October 17, 2014

Egality N'est Pas La Réalité: French Women Wage Online War On Sexism

Caroline De Haas, 34, launched Macholand.fr after a company responded dismissively to her complaint against its sexist advertising.
Courtesy of EGAE

Originally published on Fri October 17, 2014 4:39 pm

Caroline De Haas has had enough. The French feminist, 34, became so fed up with sexism in the country that she's launched a website to fight it.

Tapping on her keyboard, De Haas brings up the new site, Macholand.fr. On the screen are several "actions" targeted at sexist politicians or advertisers who have crossed the line.

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The Two-Way
12:38 pm
Fri October 17, 2014

Citing Previous Rulings, Federal Judge Throws Out Arizona Gay-Marriage Ban

Originally published on Fri October 17, 2014 1:07 pm

In a process that will surely be repeated across the United States, a federal judge in Arizona ruled that the state's ban on gay marriage was unconstitutional.

U.S. District Judge John W. Sedwick said that the legal opinion in his circuit is clear: The Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit decided state bans on gay marriage are unconstitutional and the Supreme Court has refused to hear appeals for those cases.

For that reason, Sedwick ordered that the state "permanently cease enforcement of those provisions of Arizona law declared unconstitutional by this order."

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Shots - Health News
12:02 pm
Fri October 17, 2014

Spike In ER, Hospital Use Short-Lived After Calif. Medicaid Expansion

One rationale for extending Medicaid coverage to more people is to help them get to a doctor or clinic before a minor illness becomes a medical emergency.
iStockphoto

While the expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act may lead to a dramatic rise in emergency room use and hospitalizations for previously uninsured people, that increase seems to be largely temporary and should not lead to a dramatic impact on state budgets, according to an analysis from the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research released Wednesday.

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The Salt
11:46 am
Fri October 17, 2014

At London's Tincan, Eating Canned Fish Is The Height Of Luxury

There's a strong element of buying with your eyes at Tincan. Rows of gourmet-quality tins, beautifully packaged in collectible-worthy cans, are displayed at eye level.
Paul Winch-Furness Courtesy of Tincan

Originally published on Fri October 17, 2014 12:40 pm

In the heart of London's Soho sits a gleaming new restaurant — Tincan. The premise is simple: No kitchen, very few staff, and the menu all comes out of a can. Specifically, canned fish.

To many people, canned food conjures up images of stocking up for winter, emergency rations, or — for Brits — the deprivations of World War II.

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NPR Ed
11:32 am
Fri October 17, 2014

The New Vocabulary Of Urban Education

LA Johnson/NPR

Originally published on Fri October 17, 2014 4:26 pm

Once upon a time, most kids attended things called schools to get an education. And, in those schools, these kids were called students.

Well, times are changing — especially in urban areas with lots of charter schools. In New Orleans, where just about every school receiving public funding is now a charter, we asked a bunch of adults where they had gone to school.

Their answers: Newton Elementary and Newton High School, Warren Easton High School, Epiphany School, Folsom Elementary School, Valena C. Jones School and the Moses Brown School.

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The Two-Way
11:16 am
Fri October 17, 2014

Florida 'Loud Music' Shooter Michael Dunn Gets Life In Prison

Michael Dunn talks with a member of his defense team during the first break in his retrial at the Duval County Courthouse in Jacksonville, Fla., in September.
Bob Self AP

Originally published on Fri October 17, 2014 12:14 pm

A Florida man convicted of first-degree murder for fatally shooting a teenager during an argument over loud music has been sentenced to life in prison.

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Goats and Soda
10:08 am
Fri October 17, 2014

3-Year-Old Ebola Survivor Proposes To Nurse

After beating Ebola, young Ibrahim celebrated by proposing to his nurse.
Anders Kelto NPR

Originally published on Wed October 22, 2014 4:28 pm

Isata Kallon, a nurse at Kenema Hospital in eastern Sierra Leone, remembers the day 3-year-old Ibrahim showed up at the Ebola treatment center. He was with his mother and two older brothers, ages 5 and 8. They all had Ebola. Ibrahim was especially sick, vomiting constantly.

"The chance of survival was very low for him," says Kallon, who's in her 30s. She sits at a picnic table outside the Ebola ward, her hair pulled back with a hairband and her blue nursing scrubs tinged with sweat around the neck.

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The Two-Way
9:47 am
Fri October 17, 2014

Nigerian Truce With Boko Haram Raises Hopes For Schoolgirls' Release

"Bring Back Our Girls" campaigners march during a rally calling for the release of the Abuja schoolgirls who were abducted by Boko Haram militants in Borno state in August.
Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri October 17, 2014 11:52 am

Nigeria's army has reportedly reached a cease-fire deal with the extremist group Boko Haram that could lead to the release of more than 200 schoolgirls who were abducted in April and whose release quickly became an international cause.

According to NPR's Ofeibea Quist-Arcton, Nigeria's official news agency is quoting the country's defense chief, Air Marshal Alex Badeh, as saying a truce has been reached. Badeh announced the truce and ordered his troops to immediately comply with the agreement, according to The Associated Press.

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Shots - Health News
9:37 am
Fri October 17, 2014

Take Your Medicine, Tap Your Phone And Collect A Prize

A view of the rewards screen on the Mango Health app.
Meredith Rizzo NPR

Originally published on Fri October 17, 2014 4:10 pm

As a neurosurgeon in Connecticut, Dr. Katrina Firlik saw too many patients make the same mistakes, over and over again.

At her hospital in Greenwich she'd see patients with hemorrhagic strokes that could have been prevented. "They didn't take their hypertension medications for the last couple decades," she says.

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The Two-Way
8:49 am
Fri October 17, 2014

White House Appoints An Ebola 'Czar'

Ron Klain (left), then chief of staff for Vice President Joe Biden, talks with Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse on Capitol Hill in December 2009.
Jonathan Ernst Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri October 17, 2014 11:59 am

Ron Klain, a former White House adviser, has been appointed to head U.S. efforts to combat Ebola.

A White House official says Klain "will report directly to the president's Homeland Security Adviser Lisa Monaco and ... National Security Adviser Susan Rice as he ensures that efforts to protect the American people by detecting, isolating and treating Ebola patients in this country are properly integrated but don't distract from the aggressive commitment to stopping Ebola at the source in West Africa."

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The Two-Way
8:14 am
Fri October 17, 2014

Bermuda Braces For Hurricane Gonzalo

Workers board up a restaurant Thursday in Flatts Village as Bermudans prepare for the arrival of Hurricane Gonzalo. The storm will hit the island Friday.
Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri October 17, 2014 9:14 am

Bermudans are boarding up windows and leaving low-lying areas on the British island territory ahead of Hurricane Gonzalo.

A warning issued by the Bermuda Weather Service says residents of the island can expect winds of 74 mph or higher and "dangerously high water or a combination of dangerously high water and exceptionally high waves, even though winds expected may be less than hurricane force."

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The Two-Way
7:29 am
Fri October 17, 2014

LA Schools Superintendent Steps Down, Defends Tenure

Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent John Deasy, seen in a photo taken last year, says his resignation Thursday was "by mutual agreement."
Damian Dovarganes AP

Originally published on Fri October 17, 2014 8:12 am

Los Angeles schools Superintendent John Deasy has stepped down as head of the nation's second-largest school system after a controversial tenure that saw him at odds with the teachers union and unable to push through a plan to get an iPad in every student's hand.

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Business
7:27 am
Fri October 17, 2014

Predictions Of 'Peak Oil' Production Prove Slippery

Workers drill for oil in the Bakken shale formation outside Watford City, N.D., an area experiencing an oil boom.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Originally published on Sat October 18, 2014 10:52 am

The dustiest portion of my home library includes the 1980s books — about how Japan's economy would dominate the world.

And then there are the 1990s books — about how the Y2K computer glitch would end the modern era.

Go up one more shelf for the late 2000s books — about oil "peaking." The authors claimed global oil production was reaching a peak and would soon decline, causing economic chaos.

The titles include Peak Oil and the Second Great Depression, Peak Oil Survival and When Oil Peaked.

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Shots - Health News
6:02 am
Fri October 17, 2014

Just Seeing Charts And Graphs Makes Drug Claims More Credible

When people see charts like this, they think the drug is more effective than if they just read about the data, a study finds.
Source: Cornell University

Originally published on Mon October 20, 2014 6:24 am

Graphs and formulas say "Science!" to consumers, so much so that simply seeing claims about a new drug that were accompanied by data visualizations made people more likely to believe the claims.

The effect is especially true if people have a strong belief in science to begin with.

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The Two-Way
5:20 am
Fri October 17, 2014

Hong Kong Police Launch Dawn Raid To Dismantle Protest Site

Police officers stand guard at a main street in Mong Kok district in Hong Kong on Friday, where they raided a student protest site.
Vincent Yu AP

Originally published on Fri October 17, 2014 7:18 am

Police in Hong Kong moved aggressively to dismantle a pro-democracy protest site in the city's congested Mong Kok district, launching a dawn raid to remove metal and bamboo barricades at one of three areas where student activists have staged rallies calling for open elections in the former British colony.

The operation to clear the protest camp after weeks of pro-government demonstrations and sit-ins "came while many protesters were asleep on the asphalt in dozens of tents or beneath giant, blue-striped tarpaulin sheets," Reuters says.

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Around the Nation
5:20 am
Fri October 17, 2014

Washington, D.C. Election Guide Uses Upside-Down Flag

Originally published on Fri October 17, 2014 6:53 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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NPR Ed
5:03 am
Fri October 17, 2014

New Research Suggests Small High Schools May Help After All

LA Johnson/NPR

Originally published on Fri October 17, 2014 2:05 pm

Findings from a new long-term study of small high schools in New York City show the approach may not only boost a student's chances of enrolling in college but also cost less per graduate.

The city began an intensive push to create smaller learning communities in its high schools in 2002. That year, the city's education department rolled out a districtwide lottery system for high school admission.

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