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7:47am

Sat August 30, 2014
National Security

What No Strategy On The Islamic State Means For The Region

Originally published on Sat August 30, 2014 12:33 pm

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

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7:47am

Sat August 30, 2014
Middle East

Fiancée Of Imprisoned Journalist Advocates For His Release

Originally published on Sat August 30, 2014 12:33 pm

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

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6:48am

Sat August 30, 2014
The Salt

Can Oxfam Nudge Big Food Companies To Do Right?

A campaign called Behind The Brands, led by Oxfam International, is trying to make the inner workings of the 10 biggest food companies in the world more visible to consumers.
iStockphoto.com

It's not always easy to connect the dots between the food we consume and the people who grow it, or the impact of growing and processing that food on the health of our planet.

But a campaign called Behind the Brands, led by Oxfam International, an advocacy organization dedicated to fighting poverty, is trying to make the inner workings of the 10 biggest food companies in the world more visible.

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5:12am

Sat August 30, 2014
Shots - Health News

Results From Screening Tests Can Be High In Anxiety

Originally published on Mon September 1, 2014 12:11 pm

Katherine Streeter for NPR

For years I've had a patient who is a gym teacher. As you might expect, he's pretty fit. Well into his 60s, he can do an impressive number of pushups, as he demonstrated one morning in our exam room.

He surprised me in a different way at an appointment several months ago. He pulled out results from medical tests that he'd had done at his church. He and many of his fellow congregants had each paid about $150 for screening tests that they were told could see if they were at risk for strokes, clogged leg arteries and other problems.

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4:45am

Sat August 30, 2014
All Tech Considered

Tech Week: Uber's Tricks, JPMorgan Hacked & A Desk Microwave

Originally published on Sat August 30, 2014 10:12 am

Uber's going the distance to try and crowd out its competition, like Lyft and its signature mustached vehicles.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Each weekend, we look back on the tech week that was, which includes original content from NPR and the stories worth noting from across the Internet. Here we go...

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7:21pm

Fri August 29, 2014
Law

Federal Judge Blocks Texas Abortion Restrictions

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 8:40 pm

Regulations passed in Texas, which affected clinics that perform abortions there, were set to go into effect on Sept. 1. On Friday, a federal judge blocked those regulations, on the grounds that they unconstitutionally restricted access to legal abortion.

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

5:42pm

Fri August 29, 2014
Governing

Legal Questions Loom As Obama Weighs Military Action In Syria

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 8:40 pm

President Obama says he agrees that Congress should have buy-in on military intervention against the Islamic State.
Evan Vucci AP

The White House is working behind the scenes to develop a strategy for fighting the Islamic State in Syria, a strategy that could include airstrikes and other military action there. But there are already lots of questions in political and national security circles about the legal authority the Obama administration might use to justify those actions.

In the days after the Sept. 11 attacks, Congress authorized the White House to use military force — broad authority to strike against al-Qaida.

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5:08pm

Fri August 29, 2014
The Two-Way

Chinese High-Rise Worker Left Dangling After Annoyed Boy Cuts Rope

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 6:41 pm

A worker in southern China was left hanging from 100 feet up the side of a high-rise apartment building when a 10-year-old boy, apparently annoyed at the construction racket outside his window, decided to cut the safety line on the man's rappelling apparatus.

Xinhua says the boy was watching cartoons in his eighth-floor apartment in Guizhou province as the worker was outside installing lighting. So, the boy took a knife and sliced through the rope that allows the worker to move up and down.

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4:40pm

Fri August 29, 2014
Governing

Justice Department Supports Native Americans In Child Welfare Case

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 8:40 pm

Chase Iron Eyes, an attorney with the Lakota People's Law Project, is calling for a turnaround of child welfare and foster care systems.
Kevin Cederstrom AP

The Justice Department has weighed in on a class-action lawsuit in South Dakota pitting Native American tribes against state officials, and come down resoundingly in support of tribes.

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4:39pm

Fri August 29, 2014
Education

New Orleans Enters The Charter School Era

Originally published on Sat August 30, 2014 11:53 am

Ninth graders at George Washington Carver Collegiate Academy learn to shake hands and greet each other during the first day of school in New Orleans.
Kainaz Amaria/NPR

On Aug. 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina ripped through New Orleans and gutted most of its public schools. Even before the storm, the district was one of the most troubled in the nation.

Today, the New Orleans school system is unlike any other anywhere in the U.S. More than 9 in 10 students this fall are attending charter schools run by dozens of private, nonprofit organizations. Families choose the schools their children will attend, and the neighborhood school is a thing of the past.

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4:29pm

Fri August 29, 2014
This Week's Must Read

In An Earthquake, History Fuels One Writer's Anxiety

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 8:40 pm

San Francisco on fire in the aftermath of the 1906 earthquake.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

While most of America is thinking burgers and swimming this Labor Day weekend, I can't stop thinking about earthquakes.

Last Sunday, a shaker registering magnitude 6.0 struck the Napa Valley in Northern California. It injured dozens and caused about $1 billion in damages. National media coverage focused on how the quake affected the area's famous wine industry — because America needs to know that our stock of cabs and zinfandels is safe.

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4:29pm

Fri August 29, 2014
Europe

Residents Join Soldiers In Shoring Up Defenses Of Key Ukrainian Port

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 8:40 pm

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

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4:29pm

Fri August 29, 2014
Sports

NFL Commissioner On Controversial Suspension: 'I Didn't Get It Right'

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 8:40 pm

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

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4:29pm

Fri August 29, 2014
Middle East

The Spectacle Of The Beheading: A Grisly Act With A Long History

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 8:40 pm

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

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4:29pm

Fri August 29, 2014
Men In America

'I Am Not An Inmate ... I Am A Man. And I Have Potential'

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 8:40 pm

Dan Huff rests after a long day's work. He spent much of his life incarcerated in the California prison system. Now, he lives in drug- and alcohol-free transitional housing in Portland, Ore.
Beth Nakamura for NPR

If you want to know how prison can shape a man, talk to Dan Huff. He's spent more than half of his 59 years locked up. He says he was "raised by the state of California."

"Even judges, when they would send me away — looking back at it now — they [were] kind of more like a father figure sitting up there," he says. "Closer to fatherly than any father that I ever had."

Those judges had plenty of reason to be concerned about him: Huff used heroin. He committed robberies.

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3:30pm

Fri August 29, 2014
Goats and Soda

The Co-Discoverer Of Ebola Never Imagined An Outbreak Like This

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 8:40 pm

Peter Piot was one of the co-discoverers of the Ebola virus in 1976. "I never thought we would see such a devastating and vast epidemic," he says.
Leon Neal AFP/Getty Images

As a young scientist in Belgium, Peter Piot was part of a team that discovered the Ebola virus in 1976.

He took his first trip to Africa to investigate this mysterious disease. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, he met people who had contracted it. "I'll never forget the glazed eyes, the staring and the pain ... this type of expression in the eyes ... telling me I'm going to die," says Piot. "That I'll never forget."

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3:29pm

Fri August 29, 2014
The Two-Way

Holiday Gas Prices Lowest In Four Years

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 4:52 pm

A graphic produced by Gasbuddy.com shows regional variation of gas prices.
GasBuddy.com via USEIA

Some good news heading into the long weekend: Labor Day gas prices are at their lowest level in four years.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration says the nationwide average for retail regular was $3.45 per gallon on Aug. 25 — that's the lowest average price for a Monday ahead of Labor Day since 2010, and it's about $0.25 per gallon less than at the end of June this year. The current price is down from the record average of $3.83 for the 2012 holiday.

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3:20pm

Fri August 29, 2014
Shots - Health News

An App Can Reveal When Withdrawal Tremors Are Real

Originally published on Mon September 1, 2014 12:12 pm

He's working; really, he is.
iStockphoto

People who abuse alcohol sometimes try to fake the hand tremors caused by withdrawal to get a prescription for sedatives.

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3:15pm

Fri August 29, 2014
The Salt

Real Vanilla Isn't Plain. It Depends On (Dare We Say It) Terroir

Originally published on Sat August 30, 2014 11:49 am

Three scoops of vanilla ice cream made with vanilla beans from Mexico, Tahiti and Madagascar.
Meredith Rizzo NPR

Banish the phrase "plain vanilla" from your lexicon.

Why? Because vanilla is one of the most complex spices around, boasting at least 250 different flavor and aroma compounds, only one of which is vanillin, the stuff that can be made artificially in a lab (and is used in a lot of processed foods).

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3:13pm

Fri August 29, 2014
Goats and Soda

Study: Kids In Orphanages Can Do As Well As Those In Foster Care

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 4:22 pm

A woman walks with children at an orphanage in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Policymakers have long called for orphans to be taken out of institutions and placed with foster families, but one study from Duke University is challenging that notion.
Sean Gallup Getty Images

"Please, sir, I want some more," Oliver Twist famously asked in the food line at an orphanage.

Instead he got a blow to the head with a ladle.

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2:46pm

Fri August 29, 2014
It's All Politics

Texas Voter ID Law Goes To Trial

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 4:06 pm

A voter in Austin, Texas, shows his photo identification to an election official in February.
Eric Gay AP

Dozens of lawyers will gather in a federal courtroom in Corpus Christi, Texas, on Tuesday for the start of a new challenge to the state's controversial voter ID law.

The trial is expected to last two to three weeks, but it's unlikely to be the end of what's already been a long, convoluted journey for the Texas law — and many others like it.

First, some background:

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1:38pm

Fri August 29, 2014
Shots - Health News

Experimental Drug Saves Monkeys Stricken With Ebola

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 8:40 pm

A Public Health Agency of Canada worker seen inside the National Microbiology Laboratory's Level 4 lab in Winnipeg.
Public Health Agency of Canada/Nature

Scientists are reporting strong evidence that the experimental Ebola drug ZMapp may be effective for treating victims of the devastating disease.

A study involving 18 rhesus macaque monkeys, published Friday in the journal Nature, found that the drug saved 100 percent of the animals even if they didn't receive the drug until five days after they had been infected. The study is the first to test ZMapp in a primate, which is considered a good model for how a drug might work in humans.

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1:22pm

Fri August 29, 2014
Parallels

With Homegrown Technology, Israel Becomes Leading Arms Exporter

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 8:40 pm

An Israeli soldier launches a drone that's attached to a military vehicle in southern Israel, not far from the border with the Gaza Strip, on July 29. Israel was a pioneer with drones and has developed a number of military technologies that it later sells abroad.
Jim Hollander EPA/Landov

One byproduct of the recurring battles between Israel and its Arab neighbors is that Israel has developed a homegrown weapons industry that addresses its very specific needs.

Over the decades, this has included a number of cutting-edge technologies, from drones to night-vision equipment, which have been widely exported.

A more recent example is the Iron Dome, which was used throughout the latest conflict with Hamas in the Gaza Strip. The mobile missile defense system is capable of stopping short-range rockets from places like Gaza, the West Bank and southern Lebanon.

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1:14pm

Fri August 29, 2014
Author Interviews

John Waters Hitchhikes Across America, And Lives To Write About It

The 68-year-old film director hitchhiked from Baltimore to San Francisco for his book Carsick. He says hitchhiking is "the worst beauty regimen ever" and admits he always kept his luggage with him.

Originally broadcast June 10.

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

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1:14pm

Fri August 29, 2014
Author Interviews

Florida-Grown Fiction: Hiaasen Satirizes The Sunshine State

Novelist and Miami Herald columnist Carl Hiaasen writes with passion and purpose about the state he loves. His latest book, Bad Monkey, is an offbeat murder mystery set in Key West.

Originally broadcast June 13, 2013.

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

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1:02pm

Fri August 29, 2014
The Two-Way

The Most Bizarre Bits To Come Out Of The Trial Of Virginia's Ex-Governor

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 3:24 pm

Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell arrives at federal court in Richmond, Va., on Thursday.
Steve Helber AP

The trial of former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife went into closing arguments today. At issue are serious allegations of corruption, but the trial has also unveiled seriously strange details about the McDonnells' personal life.

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12:29pm

Fri August 29, 2014
The Two-Way

Malaysia Airlines Cuts A Third Of Its Workforce After Steep Losses

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 1:14 pm

A Malaysia Airlines crew member inspects an airplane at Kuala Lumpur International Airport on Thursday. The carrier announced it was laying off a third of its workforce amid steep financial losses.
Azhar Rahim EPA/Landov

For Malaysia Airlines, the tragic loss of two of its aircraft with all passengers and crew in recent months has hardly been the extent of its problems: On Thursday, the carrier announced a steep quarterly loss, and today came word that it is cutting nearly a third of its workforce.

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11:28am

Fri August 29, 2014
Goats and Soda

A Peace Corps Stint In Madagascar Gave Him A Vision Of Vanilla

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 3:45 pm

The orchids that produce vanilla beans have no natural pollinators in Madagascar; the plant must be pollinated by hand — a labor-intensive process with little margin for error.
Courtesy of Madécasse

Madagascar-grown orchids produce most of the world's vanilla beans, but vanilla extract isn't manufactured in country. Former Peace Corps volunteers-turned-entrepreneurs Tim McCollum and Brett Beach, co-founders of the Brooklyn-based Madécasse brand, aim to change that. They want to produce the world's first "bean to bottle" extract, made entirely in Madagascar by local people using all-local materials — right down to the packaging.

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11:09am

Fri August 29, 2014
The Two-Way

Britain Raises Terror Alert Level, But Cites No Specific Threat

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 1:07 pm

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron speaks at a news conference in London on Friday after the U.K. raised its terror alert level.
Paul Hackett PA Photos/Landov

British Prime Minister David Cameron is warning that the threat to the U.K. from international terrorism is "greater and deeper" than ever before, as London raised its terror warning level in response to what it said were plans by the Islamic State and other extremist groups to attack the West.

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10:33am

Fri August 29, 2014
The Two-Way

California Lawmakers Pass 'Affirmative Consent' Sexual Assault Bill

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 2:57 pm

California state Sen. Kevin de Leon (D-Los Angeles) urges lawmakers to approve his measure aimed at curbing sexual assault on campuses on Thursday in Sacramento.
Rich Pedroncelli AP

California is one step closer to becoming the first state to require colleges and universities "to adopt a standard of unambiguous consent among students engaging in sexual activity," The Los Angeles Times reports.

The California Senate gave the bill unanimous approval on Thursday, and it is now headed to the governor's office.

The Times adds:

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