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8:46am

Wed July 29, 2015
The Two-Way

Afghan Government Investigates Reports That Mullah Omar Is Dead

Undated photo reportedly showing Taliban leader Mullah Omar.
AP

The Afghan government says it is investigating reports that the Taliban's spiritual leader, Mullah Omar, is dead.

It is, of course, worth noting that rumors of Omar's death have swirled in the past and have turned out to be unreliable.

The BBC reports:

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7:29am

Wed July 29, 2015
Around the Nation

It's Summer But There Is Still Snow In Buffalo, N.Y.

Originally published on Wed July 29, 2015 7:59 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

7:29am

Wed July 29, 2015
Around the Nation

Las Vegas Mob Museum To Open FIFA Exhibit

Originally published on Wed July 29, 2015 7:59 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

6:47am

Wed July 29, 2015
The Two-Way

Texas Authorities Release More Jailhouse Video Relating To Sandra Bland Case

In this undated frame from video provided by the Waller County Sheriff's Department, Sandra Bland stands before a desk at Waller County Jail in Hempstead, Texas.
AP

Officials in Waller County, Texas, have released more jailhouse video that they say dispels some of the conspiracy theories surrounding the case of Sandra Bland, who was found hanged in her cell two weeks ago.

Her death was ruled a suicide by a medical examiner but her family says she was not suicidal.

NPR's Martin Kaste filed this report for our Newscast unit:

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6:03am

Wed July 29, 2015
It's All Politics

Could President Obama Win A Third Term?

Originally published on Wed July 29, 2015 9:08 am

President Obama speaks in Ethiopia. While there, he noted that in the U.S., presidents can't run for more than two terms. But if they could, he said, he'd win.
Mulugeta Ayene AP

President Obama was giving the final speech of his Africa tour, offering a critique of the young democracies on that continent, singling out the all-too-typical practice of leaders overstaying their terms in office.

"When a leader tries to change the rules in the middle of the game just to stay in office, it risks instability and strife," Obama said, aware that the president of Burundi, seated nearby, had recently defied that country's two-term limit.

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5:05am

Wed July 29, 2015
NPR Story

Sans McDonalds: Neighbors Want To Keep Paris Food Hub Historic

Originally published on Wed July 29, 2015 7:59 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

5:05am

Wed July 29, 2015
NPR Story

U.S. Turkey To Create ISIS Free Zone Along Syrian Border

Originally published on Wed July 29, 2015 6:25 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

5:05am

Wed July 29, 2015
NPR Story

Big Cat On The Loose Worries Milwaukee Residents

Originally published on Wed July 29, 2015 7:59 am

Copyright 2015 Milwaukee Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.wuwm.com/.

5:05am

Wed July 29, 2015
NPR Story

Arizona's Boot Hill Cemetery Filled With Victims Of The Wild West

Originally published on Wed July 29, 2015 7:59 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

5:05am

Wed July 29, 2015
Youth Radio

Meant To Keep Youths Out Of Detention, Probation Often Leads Them There

Originally published on Wed July 29, 2015 7:59 am

Brian Hopson, assistant superintendent at Alameda County Juvenile Hall, stands in one of its many empty units. The 360-bed facility was full when it opened eight years ago, but is now at half capacity.
Brett Myers Youth Radio

Juvenile justice reformers have tried for years to figure out what works to help rehabilitate youth in trouble, and a recent shift away from locking kids up has been at the forefront of reform efforts. One of the most common alternatives to incarceration is to order kids directly into probation, instead of juvenile hall.

But the goals of these alternative approaches don't always match the reality — and disproportionately impact youth of color.

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5:05am

Wed July 29, 2015
Around the Nation

'Location Is Everything' In Tribal Casino Dispute

Originally published on Wed July 29, 2015 7:59 am

Tribal Chairman Bill Iyall stands on Cowlitz Tribe reservation land with a rendering of the casino the tribe hopes to build on the site near La Center, Washington, just north of Portland, Ore.
Peter Haley MCT/Landov

Fewer than 20 miles north of Portland, Ore., off Interstate 5 in southwest Washington state, sits a 150-acre former dairy farm. The Cowlitz Indian Tribe eyed the grassy field as the future home of a casino, and a developer purchased the land for the tribe more than a decade ago.

"It will be a very good attraction for the whole community here, drawing thousands of people daily but also providing thousands of jobs," says Bill Iyall, the Cowlitz tribal chairman.

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5:05am

Wed July 29, 2015
All Tech Considered

Beam Me Up? Teleporting Is Real, Even If Trekkie Transport Isn't

Originally published on Wed July 29, 2015 7:59 am

Star Trek's Mr. Spock and Captain Kirk never even lose pocket change when they use a transporter to get from TV's Starship Enterprise to distant worlds. What gives?
Paramount Television/The Kobal Collection

"I have a hard time saying this with a straight face but I will: You can teleport a single atom from one place to another," says Chris Monroe, a biophysicist at the University of Maryland.

His lab's setup in a university basement looks nothing like the slick transporters that rearrange atoms and send them some place else on Star Trek. Instead, a couple million dollars' worth of lasers, mirrors and lenses lay sprawled across a 20-foot table.

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4:58am

Wed July 29, 2015
Sweetness And Light

Deford To Hollywood: Ban Boxing Movies

Originally published on Wed July 29, 2015 7:59 am

Actor Jake Gyllenhaal stars in Southpaw, a new film about a junior middleweight boxing champion who faces adversity.
Scott Garfield The Weinstein Company

Some people wanna ban boxing. I just wanna ban boxing movies.

You get the feeling sometimes that Hollywood still thinks Joe Louis is heavyweight champion and boxing is still top-tier popular? Yes, there's yet another boxing movie out, this one entitled Southpaw.

Oh, please, please. Making boxing movies when boxing is so passé would be like if Hollywood kept making showbiz movies about vaudeville.

Click the audio above to hear Frank Deford's take on movies about boxing.

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6:42pm

Tue July 28, 2015
Parallels

Investigation Underway Into Killing Of Cecil, Zimbabwe's Best Known Lion

Cecil the lion is shown walking in Zimbabwe's Hwange National Park in a YouTube video from July 9, 2015. Credit: Bryan Orford
Bryan Orford YouTube

Conservationists are lamenting the hunting and killing of a well-known lion from western Zimbabwe's Hwange National Park.

The black-maned lion, named Cecil, was 13 years old and had become popular among tourists from around the world.

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6:04pm

Tue July 28, 2015
The Salt

Oceans Called A 'Wild West' Where Lawlessness And Impunity Rule

Originally published on Wed July 29, 2015 12:19 am

There are about 140 million square miles of open ocean, and according to New York Times reporter Ian Urbina, much of it is essentially lawless. As Mark Young, a retired U.S. Coast Guard commander and former chief of enforcement for the Pacific Ocean, told Urbina, the maritime realm is "like the Wild West. Weak rules, few sheriffs, lots of outlaws."

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5:38pm

Tue July 28, 2015
NPR Ed

Is This The Beginning Of The End For The SAT And ACT?

Originally published on Wed July 29, 2015 7:07 am

Carol McMullen-Pettit (right), a Premier Tutor at The Princeton Review, goes over SAT test preparation with 11th-grader Suzane Nazir in Pembroke Pines, Fla.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Many high schoolers hoping to attend George Washington University in Washington, D.C., one of the top private universities in the country, breathed a sigh of relief this week.

GWU announced it will no longer require applicants to take the SAT or ACT.

The move comes after the school formed a task force to study the pros and cons of going "test-optional." GWU attracts lots of high-achieving students who do well on both exams, but the task force concluded that the school's reliance on these tests was excluding some high-achieving students who simply don't test well.

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5:32pm

Tue July 28, 2015
The Two-Way

Researchers Warn Against 'Autonomous Weapons' Arms Race

Originally published on Tue July 28, 2015 7:01 pm

"Starting a military AI arms race is a bad idea," says a group of researchers and concerned citizens who are urging a ban on offensive military weapons that don't rely on human control. The group signed an open letter that's being delivered at a conference on artificial intelligence this week.

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5:00pm

Tue July 28, 2015
Business

New York's LaGuardia Airport To Get Long Overdue Redesign

Originally published on Tue July 28, 2015 6:31 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

5:00pm

Tue July 28, 2015
Sports

Remembering The Flair Of #45: Boston Red Sox To Honor Pedro Martinez

Originally published on Tue July 28, 2015 6:31 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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5:00pm

Tue July 28, 2015
History

Remains Of 36 World War II Marines Returned To U.S.

Originally published on Tue July 28, 2015 6:31 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

5:00pm

Tue July 28, 2015
It's All Politics

After Hope For Early Release, Prisoners' Applications Stuck In Limbo

Originally published on Tue July 28, 2015 6:31 pm

Dana Bowerman's lifelong best friend Michelle Elliott holds a photograph of the two together. Bowerman is serving a nearly 20-year sentence for federal drug conspiracy charges. She was holding out hope for clemency for nonviolent drug offenders but it is unlikely that she will receive an early release date.
Matthew Ozug NPR

It took a while for Dana Bowerman's long prison sentence to sink in.

Bowerman is a onetime honor student and cheerleader whose brassy personality cleared most obstacles from her path. But there was one hurdle her quick mind couldn't leap. In early 2001, Bowerman got sent away for nearly 20 years on federal drug conspiracy charges, her first and only offense. It wasn't until two years in, in her bunk behind a fence in a Texas prison, that her fate seemed real.

"It was a hard swallow," Bowerman said.

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5:00pm

Tue July 28, 2015
U.S.

During Pool Season, Even Lifeguard Numbers Are Taking A Dive

Originally published on Tue July 28, 2015 6:31 pm

A shortage of lifeguards across U.S. cities could be a fallout of the recovering economy.
Christopher Corr Ikon Images/Getty Images

A teenager locking down a summer job as a lifeguard used to be a big deal.

But this summer, several parks and recreation departments and YMCA's across the country are reporting a shortage of lifeguards. And an improving economy may be playing a big role.

The Ridge Road swimming pool in Raleigh, N.C. is packed. There are easily 200 people here competing in a swim meet, some of them as young as 5 years old.

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4:41pm

Tue July 28, 2015
The Two-Way

Imprisoned Israeli Spy Jonathan Pollard To Be Released In November

Originally published on Tue July 28, 2015 8:46 pm

Jonathan Pollard speaks during an interview at the Federal Correctional Institution in Butner, N.C., in May 1998.
Karl DeBlaker AP

Updated at 8:45 p.m.

Jonathan Pollard, who has served almost 30 years in prison after being convicted of espionage, will be granted parole on Nov. 21, according to his attorneys.

The former civilian Navy analyst was arrested in 1985 and charged with passing classified information to Israel. He pleaded guilty and received a life sentence.

"But under laws in place at the time, that meant he could get parole after 30 years," NPR's Carrie Johnson says. "Now, that term is nearly up — and the Justice Department did not stand in the way of his release."

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4:02pm

Tue July 28, 2015
The Two-Way

Human Error Caused Virgin Galactic Crash, Investigators Say

SpaceShipTwo crashed in the Mojave Desert in California on Oct. 31. The co-pilot was killed.
Ringo H.W. Chiu AP

The crash of a Virgin Galactic spaceship last fall in California's Mojave Desert was caused by pilot error and design problems, the National Transportation and Safety Board announced Tuesday after a nine-month investigation.

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3:09pm

Tue July 28, 2015
The Two-Way

NFL's Goodell Upholds Tom Brady's 4-Game Suspension

Originally published on Tue July 28, 2015 5:08 pm

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, seen here arriving at NFL headquarters last month, sought to destroy evidence in the "deflategate" incident, says NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.
Shannon Stapleton Reuters /Landov

Saying that New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady "was aware of, and took steps to support, the actions of other team employees to deflate game footballs" below required levels, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has upheld the punishment.

In doing so, Goodell also faulted Brady for not cooperating with the investigation, citing his "destruction of potentially relevant evidence" — a reference to Brady's cellphone and SIM card, which he gave to an assistant to be destroyed, according to Goodell's findings.

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3:08pm

Tue July 28, 2015
It's All Politics

Political Campaigns Go Social, But Email Is Still King

Originally published on Tue July 28, 2015 7:36 pm

A campaign worker live-streams Sen. Bernie Sanders speaking in Nashua, N.H. in June 2015.
Michael Dwyer AP

Presidential campaigns cost a lot of money these days — perhaps as much as $5 billion could be spent in the next election, by one estimate.

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2:49pm

Tue July 28, 2015
The Salt

Me-Tea-Morphosis: Tea Bags Get Second Life As Works Of Art

Originally published on Tue July 28, 2015 4:33 pm

Courtesy of Andrew Gorkovenko

Though tea strainers often come in brightly colored, sweet packaging with punny names like "the manatee," the lowly tea bag is often forgotten. Made from silk, plastic or paper, these bags are meant for one-time use only. Yet some artists are giving the tea bag a second life, letting their simple shapes and colors shine.

Colorado artist Wewer Keohane has been making art from spent tea bags for over 20 years. Sometimes she simply uses tea as a subtle dye, or pastes pieces of empty bags into an otherwise two-dimensional painting.

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2:19pm

Tue July 28, 2015
The Salt

Beyond Brothels: Farms And Fisheries Are Frontier Of Human Trafficking

Thai and Burmese fishing boat workers sit inside a cell at the compound of a fishing company in Benjina, Indonesia on Nov. 22, 2014. The imprisoned men were considered slaves who might run away.
Dita Alangkara AP

When the U.S. State Department released its annual human trafficking report on Monday, it told distressingly familiar tales of forced sex work and housekeepers kept against their will. But this year, one area got special attention: Slavery in the global supply chains of agriculture, fishing and aquaculture.

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1:53pm

Tue July 28, 2015
All Tech Considered

As Twitter Flirts With Hearts, Will You Miss The Stars?

Originally published on Tue July 28, 2015 2:43 pm

Some Twitter users pulled up their feed Tuesday and saw changes involving the reply, retweet and "fav" buttons.

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1:51pm

Tue July 28, 2015
Shots - Health News

A Sense Of Self: What Happens When Your Brain Says You Don't Exist

Originally published on Tue July 28, 2015 3:58 pm

Anil Ananthaswamy is a consultant for New Scientist Magazine.
Prasad Vaidya Dutton

Science journalist Anil Ananthaswamy thinks a lot about "self" — not necessarily himself, but the role the brain plays in our notions of self and existence.

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