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2:37pm

Thu April 30, 2015
Music

Two Takes On Billie Holiday

In honor of Billie Holiday's 100th birthday this month, several artists are releasing out Holiday tribute albums. Fresh Air jazz critic Kevin Whitehead looks at a couple of these by other singers. One he rather likes; the other, not so much.

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

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TERRY GROSS, HOST:

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2:37pm

Thu April 30, 2015
Environment

Drought In Calif. Creates Water Wars Between Farmers, Developers, Residents

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

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross.

(SOUNDBITE OF NEWS MONTAGE)

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER #1: California going back to the drawing board to deal with their drought.

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2:13pm

Thu April 30, 2015
Shots - Health News

Small Plague Outbreak In People Tracked To Pit Bull

Originally published on Fri May 1, 2015 2:14 pm

Rod-shaped specimens of Yersinia pestis, the bacterial cause of plague, find a happy home here in the foregut of a flea. Fleas can transmit the infection to animals and people, who can get pneumonic plague and transmit the infection through a cough or kiss.
Science Source

For the first time in 90 years, U.S. health officials say they have diagnosed a case of the plague that may have spread in the air from one person to another. Don't be alarmed — the plague these days is treatable with antibiotics and is exceptionally rare (just 10 cases were reported nationwide in 2014).

And if the plague has become mostly a curiosity in the United States, this case is more curious than most.

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1:58pm

Thu April 30, 2015
The Salt

How British Farmers Are Making Rapeseed (Canola) Posh And Flavorful

Originally published on Thu April 30, 2015 4:23 pm

Algy Garrod's rapeseed in bloom in Norfolk, England.
Anne Bramley for NPR

Rapeseed, an oilseed known in North America as canola, has a mild reputation as a cooking oil. Maybe that's because the version that most consumers know is a pale, neutral-flavored oil used for frying and baking.

But in the U.K., a more colorful and flavorful version has made its way onto store shelves: cold-pressed rapeseed that goes for £5-7 per 500 milliliters (about $9-12 for 17 fluid ounces).

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12:43pm

Thu April 30, 2015
The Two-Way

Baltimore Police Hand Freddie Gray Investigation Report To Prosecutors

Demonstrators gather at Pennsylvania Station to march to Baltimore City Hall on Wednesday over the death of Freddie Gray. A Baltimore Police Department task force handed over its investigation into Gray's death to the state's attorney's office.
Kenneth K. Lam TNS /Landov

The Baltimore Police Department says the van transporting Freddie Gray, the 25-year-old black man who suffered a serious spine injury while in police custody and later died, made one more stop than previously thought.

Deputy Police Commissioner Kevin Davis said the stop was made at the corner of Fremont Avenue and Mosher Street. A private camera helped make the discovery, he said.

The stop was one of four made by the van that was transporting Gray who suffered a spine injury at some point after his April 12 arrest on a weapons charge.

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12:41pm

Thu April 30, 2015
It's All Politics

#TBT: Hoping For Presidency, Former Senator Throws Rock In Water

Originally published on Thu April 30, 2015 3:33 pm

Former U.S. Sen. Mike Gravel speaks during a September 2007 Democratic presidential debate as then-Sen. Hillary Clinton listens.
Darren McCollester Getty Images

11:44am

Thu April 30, 2015
NPR History Dept.

A Forgotten Tradition: May Basket Day

Originally published on Fri May 1, 2015 9:42 am

First lady Eleanor Roosevelt receives a May basket of flowers from young children in 1938.
Library of Congress

Maybe there really was a time when America was more innocent.

Back when May Basket Day was a thing, perhaps.

The curious custom — still practiced in discrete pockets of the country — went something like this: As the month of April rolled to an end, people would begin gathering flowers and candies and other goodies to put in May baskets to hang on the doors of friends, neighbors and loved ones on May 1.

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11:41am

Thu April 30, 2015
The Two-Way

Kill The Messenger: NASA Orbiter Crashes Into Mercury

Originally published on Thu April 30, 2015 5:36 pm

This image of a "red spot" on Mercury, which is thought to be the result of a volcanic explosion, was sent to Earth by the Messenger probe in 2011.
NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington

After 4,104 orbits of Mercury and billions of miles of space travel, NASA's Messenger orbiter ended its mission with a quiet bang on Thursday. Messenger crashed into the planet it has been orbiting for four years.

NASA says the orbiter began the process of lithobraking at 3:26 p.m. ET — meaning that Messenger essentially scraped to a stop after hitting the planet's surface traveling at thousands of miles an hour. The Oxford English Dictionary reminds us that litho is the combining form for the Greek word for "stone."

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11:38am

Thu April 30, 2015
The Two-Way

France Investigates Claims Its Soldiers Abused Children In Africa

Originally published on Thu April 30, 2015 3:28 pm

French President Francois Hollande says there will be grave consequences if allegations that French soldiers sexually abused children in the Central African Republic are true.

"There should be no stain on our French forces wherever they're serving," he said. "I will be implacable if any soldiers are shown to have behaved badly."

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11:28am

Thu April 30, 2015
Shots - Health News

The Great Success And Enduring Dilemma Of Cervical Cancer Screening

Originally published on Sun May 3, 2015 12:29 pm

Dr. George Papanicolaou discovered that it was possible to detect cancer by inspecting cervical cells. The Pap smear, the cervical cancer screening test, is named after him.
American Cancer Society AP

Cervical cancer, which still kills about 4,000 American women every year, is almost entirely preventable. Proper screening can catch early warning signs that could lead to cancer without the right treatment. But how often women should get screened and which tests should be used has been hotly debated by women, doctors and medical researchers for the past decade.

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11:18am

Thu April 30, 2015
The Two-Way

Dozens Of Writers Join Protest Of Free Speech Award For 'Charlie Hebdo'

Originally published on Thu April 30, 2015 2:28 pm

This pair of Charlie Hebdo covers from 2012 pokes fun at the magazine's "irresponsible" approach to humor.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Updated at 2:30 p.m. ET

The protest over a free speech award to Charlie Hebdo continues to grow.

Earlier this week, six authors withdrew from the PEN American Center's annual gala in response to the organization's decision to give the French satirical magazine its Freedom of Expression Courage Award.

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11:08am

Thu April 30, 2015
Shots - Health News

Health Plans Often Fail To Provide Free Coverage For Women's Health

Originally published on Thu April 30, 2015 8:31 pm

After the conversation about contraception, will there be a copay?
Garo/Phanie Science Source

Many women were thrilled when the Affordable Care Act became law in 2010, because it required insurance companies to cover a broad array of women's health services without any out-of-pocket costs.

Five years later, however, the requirement isn't being enforced, according to two new studies. Health insurance plans around the country are failing to provide many of those legally mandated services including birth control and cancer screenings.

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10:26am

Thu April 30, 2015
Parallels

Is Bashar Assad Just Losing Some Ground ... Or His Grip On Power?

Originally published on Thu April 30, 2015 8:19 pm

People gather around a helicopter reportedly belonging to Syrian government forces that crashed in March in Jabal al-Zawiya in northwest Syria. Islamist rebels captured four crew members, while a fifth was killed, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Opposition fighters have made a number of advances in recent weeks.
Ghaith Omran AFP/Getty Images

The past few weeks have brought almost daily news of rebel victories in their 4-year-old battle against Syria's President Bashar Assad.

There was the capture of the crucial Nassib border crossing with Jordan — a key trade route and source of government taxes. And some of the biggest rebel victories have come in the northern province of Idlib, where the opposition recently captured the provincial capital, Idlib City, as well as military bases and other key towns.

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10:21am

Thu April 30, 2015
Goats and Soda

Safe Surgery Is A Dream In The Developing World

Originally published on Thu April 30, 2015 2:21 pm

A surgeon and nurse anesthetist a baby by emergency cesarean section at a hospital in Rwanda.
Amber Lucero Dwyer/Courtesy Lifebox Foundation

As you're wheeled down to surgery, nervously waving goodbye to loved ones, it's unlikely that one of your fears is whether your surgeon will have to double up as your anesthesiologist.

But at a hospital in Kenya, Dr. David Barash remembers watching an obstetrician perform a cesarean section while at the same time instructing a nurse on how to deliver anesthesia.

Then at another hospital in Nigeria, Barash saw women left unattended, lying on beds in the hallway, to recover on their own after C-sections.

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9:55am

Thu April 30, 2015
The Two-Way

'Charlie Hebdo' Cartoonist Says He Will No Longer Draw Prophet Muhammad

Originally published on Thu April 30, 2015 4:51 pm

French caricaturist Luz, seen on Jan. 15, says drawing Islam's Prophet Muhammad no longer interests him.
Ian Langsdon EPA /Landov

The French cartoonist who drew the Charlie Hebdo cover featuring Islam's Prophet Muhammad after the deadly attack on the magazine in January by Islamist militants says he will no longer draw the figure.

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8:26am

Thu April 30, 2015
Parallels

Bullfighting For Buddhists: A Less Bloody Alternative In South Korea

Originally published on Thu April 30, 2015 11:19 am

The General (right) and his opponent, Dragon, lock horns during this year's Cheongdo Bullfighting Festival in South Korea. There are no matadors and no swords in the South Korean version. The bulls fight until one turns and runs.
Marius Stankiewicz for NPR

Sitting in a stadium that seats 10,000, I look down at the ring and something I never thought I'd see in Asia: a bullfight.

But instead of pitting matador versus beast, two bulls face off in the South Korean version. And befitting a Buddhist country, the battle ends not in death, but in surrender. In some cases, one of the combatants simply turns and wanders off.

"In Korean bullfighting there is no mortal end in sight for these beasts of burden," my interpreter says.

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8:05am

Thu April 30, 2015
The Two-Way

10 Men Sent To Prison Over Shooting Of Pakistani Girl Malala Yousafzai

Originally published on Thu April 30, 2015 8:25 pm

Malala Yousafzai, who was 15 when she was shot, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize last year.
Hakon Mosvold Larsen EPA/Landov

A Pakistani anti-terrorism court has sent 10 men to prison for 25-year terms for their roles in the near-fatal attack on activist Malala Yousafzai in 2012. The girl who has since come to be known only by her first name later won global renown for her work promoting education for girls.

From Islamabad, NPR's Philip Reeves reports:

"The 10 were convicted by an anti-terrorism court in a closed hearing in Swat in north-west Pakistan. That's where Malala Yousafzai, then aged 15, was shot and seriously wounded as she returned from school.

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7:42am

Thu April 30, 2015
The Two-Way

Rescue Brings A Bit Of Good News To Nepal's Capital After Earthquake

Originally published on Thu April 30, 2015 10:52 am

Members of Nepal's Armed Police Force carry an officer as they cheer the successful rescue of a teenager who had been trapped by Saturday's earthquake in Kathmandu.
Navesh Chitrakar Reuters /Landov

There hasn't been much to cheer about in Nepal this week as it copes with a devastating earthquake — but cheers and applause broke out in Kathmandu Thursday after a teenager was pulled alive from a collapsed building.

For five days, the teenager was covered in the rubble of a seven-story building hit by Saturday's powerful quake. Rescue workers who got him out included an American disaster response team that arrived in Nepal this week.

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7:28am

Thu April 30, 2015
Around the Nation

Will Big-Screen Movies Turn Astronauts Into Couch Potatoes?

Originally published on Thu April 30, 2015 11:07 am

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

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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7:28am

Thu April 30, 2015
Around the Nation

New York Takes Migrating Birds Into Consideration

Originally published on Thu April 30, 2015 11:07 am

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

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RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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6:03am

Thu April 30, 2015
NPR Ed

Skip A Grade? Start Kindergarten Early? It's Not So Easy

Originally published on Thu April 30, 2015 10:36 am

A.J. Rich iStock

On the first day of school, perhaps the only person more discussed than the "new kid" is the "new kid who skipped a grade."

Words like "gifted," "brilliant" and "genius" get thrown around to describe these students. Education researchers generally refer to them as "accelerated." It's a catch-all term to describe students who have either entered kindergarten early, grade-skipped or taken single subjects above grade level.

Part of the hype comes from how uncommon it is.

Researchers estimate no more than 2 percent of students fall into these categories.

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5:33am

Thu April 30, 2015
Michel Martin, Going There

Looting And Rioting? First Responders Remember 1968

Originally published on Thu April 30, 2015 3:24 pm

Michel Martin's father was a New York City firefighter in 1968, when race riots erupted in neighborhoods across the city and country. His memorial card sits on his dented helmet from those years.
Emily Jan NPR

Scenes from Baltimore earlier this week have evoked the riots that broke out in many cities after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King in 1968. I spoke to two first responders who were on duty at the time, Ed Mattson, a retired sergeant from the Baltimore City Police who was in the tactical squad and riot squad in 1968, and Steve Souder, Director of Communications at Fairfax County Department of Public Safety. He was working in communications for the Washington D.C. Fire Department the day Dr. King died. It also made me think of my own father.

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5:16am

Thu April 30, 2015
NPR Story

Bipartisan Measure Would Protect Juveniles In The Justice System

Originally published on Thu April 30, 2015 2:19 pm

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

5:16am

Thu April 30, 2015
NPR Story

In An Empty Camden Yards, Orioles Beat White Sox 8-2

Originally published on Thu April 30, 2015 2:17 pm

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

5:16am

Thu April 30, 2015
NPR Story

With Only One Runway, Kathmandu's Airport Hinders Earthquake Relief

Originally published on Thu April 30, 2015 2:04 pm

Monks and aid workers walk to the arrival terminal at Kathmandu's international airport. The plane was unable to secure an arrival gate when it landed on Wednesday.
Taylor Weidman LightRocket/Getty Images

There's a lot of aid headed toward Nepal, but it's not getting there as fast as people would like.

The reason: There aren't enough runways.

The country's only international airport is Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu. It's tiny. It has just one runway. So it can't accommodate all the planes flying in.

The single runway has been closed several times for earthquake repairs. Also, there are limited places for planes to park. On many days, pilots circled for hours waiting for another plane to take off because there's no room to land.

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4:42am

Thu April 30, 2015
Parallels

Saudi King Salman Reshuffles Line Of Succession

Originally published on Thu April 30, 2015 4:42 pm

Earlier this month, Mohammed bin Salman, Saudi Arabia's new deputy crown prince, met with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi in Cairo.
Egyptian Presidency Handout EPA /Landov

Things are changing in Saudi Arabia. The new king made a surprising move this week, choosing his nephew to take over as crown prince and his son to take the position of deputy crown prince.

The decision marks a generational shift. For the first time, a grandson of the founder of the kingdom is heir to the throne. And one young prince, the son of King Salman, is emerging as a war hero for many Saudis as the country continues to carry out airstrikes in Yemen.

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3:25am

Thu April 30, 2015
Parallels

The Frightened Vietnamese Kid Who Became A U.S. Army General

Originally published on Thu April 30, 2015 11:07 am

Brig. Gen. Viet Luong of the 1st Cavalry Division came to the United States in the 1970s after his family fled Vietnam in the waning days of the war there. He's now leading the effort to train Afghan soldiers to fight the Taliban.
David Gilkey NPR

Brig. Gen. Viet Luong sits on a case of MREs, the soldiers' daily meals. He's inside a cavernous hanger at an Afghan army base outside the southern city of Kandahar.

A couple dozen American and Australian soldiers lounge on green cots lining the sides. Banners of U.S. military units hang on the walls. Between the troops is a 6-foot-tall shipment of Girl Scout cookies.

Luong's job is to train the Afghan military to fight a guerrilla force, the Taliban. But he's willing to talk about another guerrilla war, long ago.

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3:24am

Thu April 30, 2015
History

Vietnam Veterans' Memorial Founder: Monument Almost Never Got Built

Originally published on Thu April 30, 2015 11:07 am

Jan Scruggs gazes up at the names of fellow military service members inscribed on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.
Steve Inskeep NPR

On a perfect spring morning, Jan Scruggs walks along the site overlooking the wall of the Vietnam Veterans' Memorial in Washington, D.C. Contrasting the bright colors of blooming trees and flowers is the black granite carved with the names of more than 58,000 Americans who served during the war.

Scruggs, a veteran himself, is credited with getting the memorial built. He's now preparing to retire. Morning Edition met Scruggs to learn the story of how the memorial was built, honoring the dead from a war that ended 40 years ago, on April 30, 1975.

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3:23am

Thu April 30, 2015
Parallels

Learning About The Quran ... From A Catholic Archbishop

Originally published on Thu April 30, 2015 3:11 pm

Archbishop Michael Fitzgerald is one of the Catholic Church's top experts on Islam. He has served the Vatican in places such as Tunisia, Uganda and Egypt, and now is promoting interfaith understanding by teaching Jesuit students in Cleveland about the Quran.
Rob Wetzler

As a 12-year-old Catholic boy growing up in England, Michael Fitzgerald decided he wanted to be a missionary in Africa. Eight years later, he was studying theology and learning Arabic in Tunisia.

He went on to devote his priestly ministry to the promotion of interfaith understanding between Muslims and Christians, and became one of the top Roman Catholic experts on Islam. He has served as the archbishop of Tunisia, the papal nuncio — effectively a Vatican ambassador — in Cairo, and the Vatican's delegate to the Arab League.

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1:38am

Thu April 30, 2015
The Two-Way

Photos: Baltimore Quiet For 2nd Night; New York, Denver Protests Noisier

Originally published on Thu April 30, 2015 11:10 am

Demonstrators snarl traffic as they try to block an entrance to the Holland Tunnel during a solidarity protest Wednesday in New York City.
Michael Abbott Getty Images

Updated at 11 a.m. ET

For the second night in a row, people in Baltimore appear to have mostly heeded a citywide curfew.

But solidarity protests resulted in dozens of arrests in New York, and police used pepper spray on demonstrators near the Colorado State Capitol in Denver. Other large protests were held in Seattle, Houston, Washington, Boston and Minneapolis.

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