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3:14pm

Thu May 21, 2015
Goats and Soda

A Toilet In Every Home: Zambians Celebrate Sanitation Milestone

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 7:46 pm

Village chiefs, residents and government officials take to the streets to celebrate the Chienge district's accomplishment of bringing sanitation to every home.
Mark Maseko Courtesy of UNICEF Zambia

On a sunny day in the remote Chienge district of Zambia, hundreds gathered for a celebration that was the first of its kind. There was singing, laughing and no shortage of dancing. The village chiefs and government officials came dressed in their finest clothes, while volunteers sported bright green T-shirts that read, "We use a toilet ... do you?"

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3:11pm

Thu May 21, 2015
Television

Letterman's Executive Producer: 'He's Meant A Lot To A Lot Of People'

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 4:01 pm

Rob Burnett celebrates with Barbara Gaines (left) and Maria Pope (right) after winning an Emmy Award for his work on the Late Show with David Letterman in 2000.
Kevork Djansezian Associated Press

Rob Burnett started working with David Letterman as an intern in 1985 and never left, even when the talk-show host moved from NBC to CBS. During the course of his 29-year tenure, Burnett evolved from intern to head writer to executive producer of the Late Show with David Letterman, a position he held through last night's final show.

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2:43pm

Thu May 21, 2015
The Two-Way

More Than 100 Charged In Mob Killing Of Christian Couple In Pakistan

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 4:53 pm

Pakistani human rights activists condemn the killing of the Christian couple for alleged blasphemy during a demonstration in Islamabad, Pakistan, in November.
B.K. Bangash AP

Prosecutors in Pakistan's Punjab province have charged 106 people in connection with the gruesome mob killing of a Christian couple who were incinerated in a brick kiln for allegedly desecrating a copy of the Quran.

In November, Sajjad Mesih and his wife, Shama β€” who was pregnant when the couple in their 20s was killed β€” were beaten and thrown into the kiln they tended as laborers.

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2:39pm

Thu May 21, 2015
It's All Politics

Gyrocopter Pilot On His 'Incredible' Flight Onto Capitol Lawn

Originally published on Fri May 22, 2015 8:39 am

Doug Hughes said he sees his future as working for "the cause of getting a Congress β€” not more liberal, not more conservative β€” but a Congress that is working for the people."
Peter Overby NPR

Florida postman Doug Hughes made headlines last month for landing his gyrocopter on the lawn in front of the Capitol building.

In an interview with NPR, Hughes said he "made every effort to send word ahead" about the flight, but also knew he would be taken into custody. He made the flight anyway, he said, to "get a message to the American people β€” not that there's a problem with Congress but that there are solutions to the problem."

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2:26pm

Thu May 21, 2015
The Two-Way

Go Forth And Pwn For Shizzle, Word List Guardians Tell Scrabble Players

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 4:59 pm

A new batch of 6,500 words are now available to Scrabble players, after publishing house Collins updated its widely used Official Scrabble Words list Thursday. The list includes tech jargon and slang, such as pwn, twerk and shizzle.

Also added: aji (the pepper), coqui (the frog) and the more old-fashioned ixnay and zowee. (See a longer list at the bottom of this post.)

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2:24pm

Thu May 21, 2015
The Two-Way

Fla. Mailman Who Flew Gyrocopter Onto Capitol Lawn Appears In Court

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 5:00 pm

Updated at 3:36 p.m. ET

The Florida mailman who landed a gyrocopter on the lawn of the Capitol last month appeared in court today and pleaded not guilty to all six charges against him.

Douglas Mark Hughes was charged Wednesday and faces up to 9 1/2 years in prison.

NPR's Peter Overby reported on the charges against Hughes:

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2:10pm

Thu May 21, 2015
Shots - Health News

You And Yeast Have More In Common Than You Might Think

Originally published on Fri May 22, 2015 9:25 am

This fungus among us β€” baker's yeast, aka Saccharomyces cerevisiae β€” is useful for more than just making bread.
iStockphoto

Rip open a little package of baker's yeast from the supermarket, peer inside, and you'll see your distant cousin.

That's because we share a common ancestor with yeast, and a new study in the journal Science suggest that we also share hundreds of genes that haven't really changed in a billion years.

Edward Marcotte, a biologist at the University of Texas at Austin, knew that humans and yeast have thousands of similar genes. But, he wondered, how similar are they?

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2:08pm

Thu May 21, 2015
Politics

When Is A Filibuster Not Really a Filibuster? When It Looks Like A Filibuster

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 4:49 pm

Republican presidential candidate Sen. Rand Paul's 10 1/2 hours on the Senate floor were about liberty, the Constitution and the need to stand out in a field of presidential hopefuls.
Andrew Harnik AP

Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, a Republican, held the floor of the Senate for 10 1/2 hours Wednesday afternoon and evening, airing his objections to the NSA bulk collection of telephone records in the U.S.

Many of the accounts of this lengthy performance referred to it as a filibuster, or a near-filibuster, or some kind of filibuster or other.

It was none of the above.

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1:54pm

Thu May 21, 2015
Parallels

He Calmed Kandahar. But At What Cost?

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 7:07 pm

Lt. Gen. Abdul Raziq is the police chief widely credited with bringing much greater security to the southern Afghan city of Kandahar. But critics accuse him of human rights abuses including torture and extrajudicial killings.
David Gilkey NPR

The southern Afghan city of Kandahar was the birthplace of the Taliban and has long been considered one the most dangerous parts of Afghanistan.

But the city has grown peaceful in recent years, and much of the credit has been given to an American ally: Lt. Gen. Abdul Raziq, the provincial police chief.

On a recent day, the most feared man in Kandahar is slumped in a cheap blue plastic chair on a wide patio. He's slight and wiry, with a shy smile. He could be mistaken for a security guard at this palatial home of marble and chandeliers.

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1:22pm

Thu May 21, 2015
Shots - Health News

People In Poor Communities Are More Likely To Lose Eyesight

Vision loss and blindness can be devastating, isolating people and increasing their risk of illness and death. And that burden falls hardest on people in poor communities, especially in the South.

More than three quarters of the counties with the highest rates of severe vision loss are in the South, according to an analysis published Thursday in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. It's the first analysis of severe vision loss at the county level.

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1:21pm

Thu May 21, 2015
The Two-Way

Obama Calls Loss Of Ramadi A 'Setback,' But Denies U.S. Is Losing To ISIS

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 5:26 pm

President Obama tells The Atlantic that the loss of Ramadi to the self-declared Islamic State is a "setback," but he denies the U.S. is losing to the group.
Kathy Willens AP

President Obama says that while the loss of Ramadi to the self-declared Islamic State is a "setback," he doesn't think the U.S. is losing to the militant group.

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12:36pm

Thu May 21, 2015
Parallels

Rome's Cinematic 'Dream Factory' Ramps Up Production Once Again

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 8:27 pm

The famous chariot race in Ben-Hur was filmed on a movie set at CinecittΓ  in 1958.
AP

It's just 15 miles south of Rome, but it looks more like ancient Jerusalem.

Welcome to the vast backlot at CinecittΓ , the sprawling movie metropolis where the original Ben-Hur was filmed, and a remake is currently in production.

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11:57am

Thu May 21, 2015
The Salt

Urban Food Forests Make Fruit Free For The Picking

A morning's berry harvest from West Philadelphia's Ogden Orchard includes raspberries, gooseberries, currants, goumis and mulberries.
Courtesy of Philadelphia Orchard Project

To discover the new frontier of urban farming, you'll have to look up β€” and look sharp β€” for hanging fruit.

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11:52am

Thu May 21, 2015
Shots - Health News

Overnight Contacts Can Help Kids' Sight During Day, But Also Carry Risks

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 5:32 pm

Logan Levenson had a cornea transplant to repair an eye after a fungal infection.
Courtesy of Beth Levenson

The sales pitch for contact lenses that help kids see better by reshaping their corneas sounds futuristically appealing. Sleep overnight in the lenses, pop them out in the morning and experience perfect or near-perfect vision for an entire day.

Beth Levenson of Williamsburg, Va., thought the lenses, even at a price of $2,000, seemed ideal for her son Logan, then 9, who played on several sports teams.

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11:36am

Thu May 21, 2015
The Two-Way

'Fast-Track' Trade Authority Wins Key Test Vote In Senate

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 3:28 pm

The Senate has voted to limit debate on a bill that would grant the White House "fast track" negotiating authority and clear a path for the Obama administration's trade deal with 11 Pacific Rim nations.

Reuters says the 62-38 vote, which clears a filibuster hurdle, boosts "hopes for a deal that is central to President Barack Obama's strategic shift toward Asia."

Many Democrats oppose the Asia-Pacific treaty, saying free-trade deals cost U.S. jobs, but the White House maintains that U.S. producers need access to foreign markets.

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11:25am

Thu May 21, 2015
Code Switch

On 'Menace II Society' And 'Easy Rider': Why All The Talk On Bikers And Thugs Matters

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 12:36 pm

Sgt. Patrick Swanton of the Waco Police Department speaks to the media as Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper D.L. Wilson (left) stands nearby a Twin Peaks restaurant where nine members of a motorcycle gang were shot and killed in Waco, Texas on Tuesday.
Mike Stone Reuters/Landov

In his New York Times column this week, Charles Blow discussed bikers and thugs in the aftermath of the Waco shootout on Sunday.

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11:00am

Thu May 21, 2015
The Two-Way

Domestic Violence Charges Dismissed Against The NFL's Ray Rice

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 3:33 pm

Citing the completion of a pretrial intervention program, a New Jersey judge has dismissed a felony assault charge that was filed against former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice over a now-infamous incident in which Rice struck his then-fiancee in a casino elevator.

Rice hit Palmer during an argument while they were visiting Atlantic City, N.J., in February of 2014. A month later, he was indicted on a charge of third-degree aggravated assault. He then entered into a one-year pretrial program that would allow him to avoid a trial.

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10:43am

Thu May 21, 2015
NPR History Dept.

Muddled Messages In America's Past

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 6:17 pm

Telegraph operator, 1908.
Library of Congress

Do you ever feel like communication β€” in this Age of Communication β€” is more confused and confusing than ever? Does anybody even read whole messages anymore β€” beyond the subject line or the first screen? Do you get tangled up in threads and bewildered by attachments? Do txt msgs n-furi-8 u?

Here's the real question: Are all these communication devices truly improving interaction between humans or just providing more opportunities for miscommunication?

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10:34am

Thu May 21, 2015
The Two-Way

Malaysia Orders Navy, Coast Guard To Rescue Rohingyas At Sea

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 8:08 pm

A newly arrived Rohingya migrant uses a mirror after taking a shower at a temporary shelter in Bayeun, Aceh province, Indonesia, on Thursday.
Binsar Bakkara AP

Malaysia's prime minister has ordered the navy and coast guard to search for stranded Rohingya migrants in the Andaman Sea, a day after Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta agreed to take boatloads of desperate refugees who have been in limbo for weeks since fleeing persecution in Myanmar.

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10:34am

Thu May 21, 2015
Shots - Health News

Heart Risk Factors May Affect Black Women More Than White Women

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 11:31 am

African-American women may be more sensitive to metabolic abnormalities like high triglycerides or low good cholesterol.
iStockphoto

African-American women can be at risk of heart disease even if they don't have metabolic syndrome, a study finds.

That's a problem, because the current thinking is that metabolic syndrome β€” defined as high triglycerides, bad cholesterol, abdominal fat, high blood pressure and impaired glucose metabolism β€” is the big risk factor for heart attacks and strokes.

The picture with women appears to be a lot more complicated, especially when you compare women in different racial or ethnic groups.

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8:38am

Thu May 21, 2015
The Two-Way

Fears Grow That ISIS Might Target Palmyra's Ancient Treasures

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 12:52 pm

A photo released on Sunday by the Syrian official news agency SANA shows a general view of the ancient Roman city of Palmyra, northeast of Damascus, Syria. Fears have intensified that the self-declared Islamic State, which captured the city on Wednesday, might raze the ruins.
AP

Following the self-declared Islamic State's capture of Palmyra, concern today is turning to the security of the ancient Syrian city's archaeological sites and fears that the Islamist extremists might try to destroy them, as they have done elsewhere.

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7:46am

Thu May 21, 2015
Africa

Freed From Boko Haram, Hostages Now Held By Nigeria's Military

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 9:20 am

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

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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7:37am

Thu May 21, 2015
The Two-Way

Pipeline Operator In Calif. Spill Reportedly Had History Of Infractions

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 4:29 pm

A helicopter coordinates ships below pulling booms to collect oil from a spill near Refugio State Beach, north of Goleta, Calif., on Wednesday.
Michael A. Mariant AP

Updated at 11 a.m. ET

The Texas-based company responsible for the undersea pipeline that has leaked tens of thousands of gallons of oil into the sea near the coast at Goleta, Calif., has a history of federal safety violations, The Los Angeles Times reports.

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7:31am

Thu May 21, 2015
Television

Letterman Leaves Late-Night TV With A Near-Perfect Final Show

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 1:17 pm

David Letterman hosts his final Late Show episode on Wednesday.
Jeffrey R. Staab CBS

When the final episode came, after weeks of accolades and tributes to his genius, David Letterman made sure he punctured the emotion of the moment with a little old-fashioned, self-deprecating sarcasm.

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6:52am

Thu May 21, 2015
The Two-Way

Sen. Rand Paul Stages 'Filibuster' To Protest Patriot Act

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 1:04 pm

In an image from Senate video, presidential candidate Sen. Rand Paul speaks on the floor of the U.S. Senate Wednesday afternoon at the start of an almost 11-hour speech opposing renewal of the Patriot Act.
AP

Updated at 11:20 a.m. ET

Protesting the soon-to-expire Patriot Act, presidential candidate Sen. Rand Paul held the floor of the Senate for nearly 11 hours late Wednesday in a filibuster-like speech railing against the law and the government's continued surveillance of Americans' phone records.

"I don't think we're any safer looking at every American's records," Paul said.

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6:45am

Thu May 21, 2015
Around the Nation

California Drought Creates Business Opportunities

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 7:44 am

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

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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6:03am

Thu May 21, 2015
Economy

#MotorCityDrive: Is Detroit's Economic Engine Roaring Back To Life?

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 8:29 pm

Murals on display across the street from the Red Bull House of Art gallery in Detroit, Mich. After the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history, Detroit hopes outsiders will focus on the city's potential, not the history of conflict and crisis that has cut its population in half since 1960.
Joshua Lott AFP/Getty Images

For generations of Americans, Detroit was the place where people made things: powerful cars, amazing architecture, beautiful music. But now Detroit is entering a new chapter. After months of often tense and difficult negotiations, Detroit is now formally out of bankruptcy. Millions of dollars of contributions from private foundations and corporations helped the city preserve its acclaimed art collection. A new generation of artists and entrepreneurs, doers and makers is calling Detroit home. So we'd like to ask, what's next? What will drive Detroit's future now?

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5:16am

Thu May 21, 2015
Asia

Personal Ad First: Mother In India Places Gay-Marriage Ad For Son

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 7:44 am

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

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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5:00am

Thu May 21, 2015
NPR Story

Senate Panel Considers New Constraints On Fed's Emergency Lending

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 7:44 am

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

5:00am

Thu May 21, 2015
Around the Nation

Boston-Based MiniLuxe Aims To Be 'Starbucks' Of Nail Salons

Originally published on Fri May 22, 2015 1:30 am

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

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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