1:00pm

Wed February 29, 2012
The Two-Way

Reports: Egypt To Let Pro-Democracy Americans Leave Country

Originally published on Wed February 29, 2012 8:34 pm

Reuters and The Associated Press are reporting that Egyptian authorities have decided that seven Americans who it has accused of engaging in illegal "political activity" may now leave the country.

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12:44pm

Wed February 29, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Expert Panel To Give Controversial Bird Flu Research A Second Look

Originally published on Wed February 29, 2012 8:34 pm

An health official wearing protective gear culls a bird at a poultry farm after a naturally occurring bird flu virus was detected near Agartala, India, in January.
Sushanta Das AP

Two controversial studies on bird flu will once again be reviewed by an expert committee that advises the government on what to do with biological research that could pose potential dangers.

The move is just the latest development in a fierce ongoing debate about genetically altered flu viruses created in laboratories at Erasmus Medical Center in the Netherlands and at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

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12:40pm

Wed February 29, 2012
The Two-Way

Syrian Officials Claim They Will Soon Have Baba Amr 'Cleaned'

In Qusayr, Syria, on Tuesday, a Free Syria Army member was on guard at the funeral of a man who activists say was killed by government forces.
Gianluigi Guercia AFP/Getty Images

An ominous excerpt from the latest BBC News report on what's happening in Syria:

"The Syrian army is advancing on opposition positions in Homs, which has been under artillery bombardment for nearly a month, reports say. Security officials said the city's besieged district of Baba Amr would be 'cleaned' within the next few hours."

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12:22pm

Wed February 29, 2012
State Capitol

Auditor Wades into Medicaid Debate

State Auditor Adam Edelen has released ten recommendations for a more efficient Medicaid Managed Care system in Kentucky. For weeks, the MCOs, lawmakers, health care providers and patients have tussled over the new system, which was implemented quickly to plug a budget gap.

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12:19pm

Wed February 29, 2012
State Capitol

Debt Deal Proposed in Frankfort

A deal to help Kentucky repay a federal loan is officially on the table. During the recession, the commonwealth borrowed more than $900 million from the federal government to shore up the unemployment insurance fund. In 2010, the General Assembly approved a plan to repay the debt over time. But when that measure passed, lawmakers and the governor believed the federal government would defer interest payments. That didn’t happen, and the state was left on the hook for millions of dollars in interest. If Kentucky doesn’t make the interest payments, employers will face government fees and the loss of federal tax credits on unemployment insurance.

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11:54am

Wed February 29, 2012
The Two-Way

Franklin Graham Apologizes For Seeming To Question Obama's Faith

Rev. Franklin Graham in 2007.
Davis Turner Getty Images

One week after saying "you'll have to ask President Obama" when asked if he believes the president is a Christian, Rev. Franklin Graham has issued an apology for "any comments I have ever made which may have cast any doubt on the personal faith of our president, Mr. Obama."

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11:50am

Wed February 29, 2012
Movie Interviews

'Being Flynn': When Dad Needs To Take Shelter

Originally published on Wed February 29, 2012 1:24 pm

Robert De Niro (left) plays Jonathan Flynn, the father of writer Nick Flynn (played by Paul Dano) who shows up at his son's workplace: a homeless shelter.
David Lee Focus Features

Writer Nick Flynn was working in a homeless shelter in his 20s when his father — an alcoholic and self-proclaimed writer who left when Flynn was a baby — showed up as a client. Flynn wrote about the experience in his 2004 memoir, Another Bulls- - - Night in Suck City.

That story is now a movie called Being Flynn, starring Paul Dano as the young Nick Flynn and Robert De Niro as his father, Jonathan.

Flynn and Paul Weitz, the film's director, tell Fresh Air's Dave Davies that the film boils down to a few important themes.

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11:43am

Wed February 29, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

The High Price Of Caring For A Loved One With Alzheimer's

The last photo taken of Joy (left) and her father, Patrick, in July 2011.
Courtesy of Joy Johnston

As a kid, Joy Johnston was Daddy's little girl.

Her father, Patrick, worked in the trucking trade, took care of his family and loved singing to his daughter.

When Joy got older, she moved to Atlanta for work and her parents retired to New Mexico. When she flew in for a visit in 2008, she noticed her father was changing. He would pay for gas but not fill up the tank. He would ask his wife, Jane, "Where's Jane?"

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11:28am

Wed February 29, 2012
Research News

The Man Working To Reverse Engineer Your Brain

A map of neurons of the mouse retina, reconstructed automatically by artificial intelligence from electron microscopic images.
A. Zlateski based on data from K. Briggman, M. Helmstaedter, and W. Denk MIT/Seung

Our brains are filled with billions of neurons, entangled like a dense canopy of tropical forest branches. When we think of a concept or a memory — or have a perception or feeling — our brain's neurons quickly fire and talk to each other across connections called synapses.

How these neurons interact with each other — and what the wiring is like between them — is key to understanding our identity, says Sebastian Seung, a professor of computational neuroscience at MIT.

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11:28am

Wed February 29, 2012
The Salt

Truffles Take Root In Appalachian Soil

Originally published on Wed February 29, 2012 5:09 pm

Perigord truffles for sale in southwestern France. American farmers say they've figured out how to make the delicacy flourish in Appalachian soils.
Regis Duvignau Reuters /Landov

As orchards go, truffle orchards are upside-down and backwards. The magic happens not on the branches of oak and hazel trees, but beneath them, where a richly flavored mushroom sprouts from fungal colonies laced about the trees' roots. This cultivated variety is the black Perigord truffle, or tuber melanosporum.

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