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4:59am

Thu January 22, 2015
Around the Nation

Measles Outbreak At Disneyland Spreads To Other States

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 1:49 pm

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

4:59am

Thu January 22, 2015
Back At Base

At The Monterey Presidio, City And Army Partner To Reduce Costs

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 12:06 pm

An aerial view from March, 2014, shows the Presidio of Monterey located in Monterey, Calif. The Army base, which is home to the Defense Language Institute, has partnered with the city in an effort to curb costs.
Natela A. Cutter U.S. Army via Flickr

NPR — along with seven public radio stations around the country — is chronicling the lives of America's troops where they live. We're calling the project "Back at Base."

At a time when the Department of Defense budget is under pressure, some military bases are re-examining how they operate to find ways to save.

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3:39am

Thu January 22, 2015
NPR Ed

The Past, Present And Future Of High-Stakes Testing

Originally published on Fri January 23, 2015 9:48 am

PublicAffairs Books

After a long stretch as the law of the land, annual standardized tests are being put to, well, the test.

This week, the Senate education committee held a hearing on the reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) law and, specifically, on testing. The committee's chairman, Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., has released a draft bill offering a lot more leeway to states in designing their own assessment systems.

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3:38am

Thu January 22, 2015
The Two-Way

X-Rays Open Secrets Of Ancient Scrolls

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 12:06 pm

The ancient scrolls look and feel more like blocks of charcoal. A new technique gives a peek inside.
Salvatore Laporta AP

Researchers in Europe have managed to read from an ancient scroll buried when Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 A.D. The feat is all the more remarkable because the scroll was never opened.

The Vesuvius eruption famously destroyed Pompeii. But it also devastated the nearby town of Herculaneum. A villa there contained a library stacked with papyrus scrolls, and the hot gas and ash preserved them.

Sort of.

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3:34am

Thu January 22, 2015
Business

Senator 'Astounded' That Nonprofit Hospitals Sue Poorest Patients

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 2:11 pm

Heartland Regional Medical Center in St. Joseph, Mo., is changing its name to Mosaic Life Care. It was the focus of an NPR and ProPublica investigation into its billing practices.
Steve Hebert for ProPublica

NPR and ProPublica have been reporting about nonprofit hospitals that seize the wages of lower-income and working-class patients. Now, Sen. Chuck Grassley, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, says hospitals could be breaking the law by suing these patients and docking their pay. And he wants some answers.

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3:34am

Thu January 22, 2015
Goats and Soda

Police Fire Tear Gas On Kenyan Kids Protecting A Soccer Field

Originally published on Mon January 26, 2015 8:15 pm

School kids hold up a sign given to them by activists at a demonstration at Langata Primary Road School.
Brian Inganga AP

Hundreds of elementary schools were protesting the illegal seizure of their playground by a private developer in Nairobi, Kenya, when police fired tear gas into the crowd.

The incident sparked outrage across the city — and on social media, where Kenyans tweeted with the hashtag #OccupyPlayGround.

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3:32am

Thu January 22, 2015
Cities Project

Building Sponge City: Redesigning LA For Long-Term Drought

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 5:44 pm

For thousands of years, city planners have engineered water into submission — think aqueducts.

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7:00pm

Wed January 21, 2015
Around the Nation

California Prisons Aim To Keep Sex Between Inmates Safe, If Illegal

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 8:13 pm

A Los Angeles County Department of Public Health worker shows condoms for weekly distribution to inmates in the Men's Central Jail.
George Lavender

There's an inconspicuous metal box mounted on the wall of the gym at San Francisco County Jail No. 4.

When Kate Monico Klein turns a knob, the machine releases a condom in a small cardboard packet. Machines like this one — dispensing free condoms — are installed in all of the county's male jails.

"We set [the machine] off to the side, so that people would have a minor amount of privacy," explains Monico Klein, director of HIV services for Jail Health, a division of the county's health department.

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6:48pm

Wed January 21, 2015
The Two-Way

Shouts Of Protest At Supreme Court On 'Citizens United' Anniversary

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 4:26 am

A demonstrator rallies outside the U.S. Chamber of Commerce against the Supreme Court's decision in favor of Citizens United five years ago. Eight protesters at the Supreme Court were arrested and charged.
Nicholas Kamm AFP/Getty Images

Overturned chairs and shouts of protest briefly shattered the formality and calm of the U.S. Supreme Court this morning.

The session had just begun when protesters in the back of the chamber began yelling things like, "One person, one vote," "We are the 99 percent," "Money is not speech," and "Overturn Citizens United." This last was a reference to the Court's 2010 decision, issued on this day five years ago. That decision struck down limits on corporate and union campaign spending, uncorking a flood of campaign cash.

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6:20pm

Wed January 21, 2015
All Tech Considered

The Battle Over Open-Internet Rules Shifts To Congress

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 8:01 pm

President Obama called on the Federal Communications Commission to implement a strict policy of net neutrality and to oppose content providers in restricting bandwidth to customers.
Michael Bocchieri Getty Images

In Tuesday night's State of the Union address, President Obama offered a number of ideas for improving the economy. Among them was a nod to the role the Internet plays in economic development.

"I intend to protect a free and open Internet, extend its reach to every classroom, and every community, and help folks build the fastest networks," Obama said.

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6:13pm

Wed January 21, 2015
The Salt

Why Some GMO Foods Don't Have Genetically Modified DNA

While reporting my story on how foods earn a label certifying them as "non-GMO," I came across a comment that struck me – and it might surprise you, too.

The comment came from Ken Ross, the CEO of Global ID. (He didn't make it into the final story.) Global ID is the parent company of FoodChain ID, one of the companies that traces ingredients to determine whether they contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

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5:56pm

Wed January 21, 2015
The Two-Way

Justice Dept. Will Reportedly Clear Ferguson Police Officer In Brown Case

Demonstrators remember Michael Brown on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, marching from the apartment complex where Brown was killed to the Ferguson police station. A federal inquiry has found no evidence that officer Darren Wilson violated Brown's civil rights, sources tell NPR.
Scott Olson Getty Images

The Justice Department is poised to declare that former police officer Darren Wilson should not face civil rights charges over the death of Michael Brown, law enforcement sources tell NPR. Wilson, who is white, shot and killed Brown, who was black, in August. Brown was not armed.

"Two law enforcement sources tell NPR they see no way forward to file criminal civil rights charges" against Wilson, NPR's Carrie Johnson reports. She adds, "Those charges would require authorities to prove the officer used excessive force and violated Brown's constitutional rights."

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5:45pm

Wed January 21, 2015
All Tech Considered

This Is True: Facebook Starts Cracking Down On Hoax News Stories

A Facebook worker at the company's headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif. Facebook announced it will start flagging hoax news stories in users' News Feeds.
Paul Sakuma AP

Facebook's on a mission to make your News Feed a little more truthful.

The social media giant has announced it will start doing more to alert users when stories they're seeing in their feeds are fake. And it will allow users to start flagging hoaxes themselves. But Facebook says it won't remove false stories. And the company says it won't start "reviewing content and making a determination on its accuracy."

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5:40pm

Wed January 21, 2015
It's All Politics

Meet The YouTube Stars Who Will Interview The President

Self-proclaimed "Queen of YouTube" GloZell Green.
YouTube

Two days after the State of the Union address, President Obama will sit down for a round of unusual interviews. There's a good chance he'll get a question that none of his predecessors have ever had to answer.

One distinct possibility: "Mr. President, is you OK? Is you good? 'Cuz I wanted to know."

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5:08pm

Wed January 21, 2015
Shots - Health News

E-Cigarettes Can Churn Out High Levels Of Formaldehyde

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 4:55 pm

Vapor from an e-cigarette obscures the user's face in a London coffee bar.
Dan Kitwood Getty Images

Vapor produced by electronic cigarettes can contain a surprisingly high concentration of formaldehyde — a known carcinogen — researchers reported Wednesday.

The findings, described in a letter published in the New England Journal of Medicine, intensify concern about the safety of electronic cigarettes, which have become increasingly popular.

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4:48pm

Wed January 21, 2015
Politics

Obama Draws Battle Lines In State Of The Union Address

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 7:00 pm

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

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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4:48pm

Wed January 21, 2015
Politics

Sen. Jeff Flake: Republicans Can Work With President On Trade

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 7:00 pm

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

4:48pm

Wed January 21, 2015
Europe

Police, Counter-Demonstrators Dampen Anti-Islam March In Leipzig

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 7:00 pm

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

4:48pm

Wed January 21, 2015
Economy

Middle Class Economics Dominate Obama's State Of The Union

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 8:00 pm

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

4:48pm

Wed January 21, 2015
Around the Nation

Virginia Searches For A New State Song

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 7:00 pm

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

4:48pm

Wed January 21, 2015
Middle East

Scholar: U.S. Drone Use Has Contributed To Yemen's Instability

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 7:00 pm

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

4:48pm

Wed January 21, 2015
Economy

At Davos, U.S. Economic Recovery Widely Lauded

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 7:00 pm

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

4:48pm

Wed January 21, 2015
Politics

Rep. Van Hollen: Obama's Focused On Helping Middle Class

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 7:00 pm

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

4:48pm

Wed January 21, 2015
Sports

'Deflate-Gate' Is 'Sour Grapes' Or Serious Business, Depending Who You Ask

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 7:28 pm

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

4:48pm

Wed January 21, 2015
Law

Supreme Court Rules In Favor Of Air Marshal Whistleblower

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 7:30 pm

Former air marshal Robert MacLean blew the whistle after he was informed that missions on overnight, long-distance flights were being canceled. The announcement came just days after air marshals were warned of terrorist threats.
LM Otero AP

The U.S. Supreme Court, by a 7-to-2 vote, ruled in favor of a fired air marshal on Wednesday. In a decision of great interest to federal employees and air travelers, the court said that the air marshal's alert about safety concerns was shielded by the federal whistleblower protection law.

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3:52pm

Wed January 21, 2015
The Two-Way

Soccer Players End Lawsuit Over Artificial Turf At Women's World Cup

Dozens of elite women's soccer players have ended their fight against the use of turf at this summer's Women's World Cup. The plaintiffs included Abby Wambach, seen here in a 2013 US Women's National Team game.
Jamie Sabau Getty Images

A group of high-profile women's soccer players have withdrawn a lawsuit that fought FIFA and the Canadian Soccer Association's plan to use artificial turf at this summer's Women's World Cup. Stars such as Abby Wambach, Homare Sawa of Japan, and Marta of Brazil had backed the suit.

The lawsuit accused the organizers of discrimination, saying that elite men's teams would never be forced to play on an artificial surface instead of natural grass. The complaint was filed with the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario.

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3:03pm

Wed January 21, 2015
Shots - Health News

Scientists Give Genetically Modified Organisms A Safety Switch

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 7:37 pm

Scientists reprogrammed the common bacterium E. coli so it requires a synthetic amino acid to live.
BSIP UIG via Getty Images

Researchers at Harvard and Yale have used some extreme gene-manipulation tools to engineer safety features into designer organisms.

This work goes far beyond traditional genetic engineering, which involves moving a gene from one organism to another. In this case, they're actually rewriting the language of genetics.

The goal is to make modified organisms safer to use, and also to protect them against viruses that can wreak havoc on pharmaceutical production.

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2:16pm

Wed January 21, 2015
Parallels

Bulgakov's 'Master' Still Strikes A Chord In Today's Russia

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 7:00 pm

Written during the Soviet era, Mikhail Bulgakov's classic novel, The Master and Margarita, continues to resonate in today's Russia.
Sovfoto UIG via Getty Images

In times of turmoil, Russians turn to their great writers for inspiration.

One of those writers is Mikhail Bulgakov, who died 75 years ago. Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin liked some of Bulgakov's work, but he considered most of it too dangerous to publish. A museum in Moscow shows that the work is just as relevant as ever.

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2:00pm

Wed January 21, 2015
The Two-Way

Boehner Invites Israel's Netanyahu To Address Congress On Iran

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 2:55 pm

House Speaker John Boehner has invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address a joint session of Congress on Iran on Feb. 11. The White House, which was not consulted about the invitation, called it a departure from diplomatic protocol.

NPR's Ailsa Chang tells our Newscast unit that Boehner, R-Ohio, defended his decision not to consult with the White House.

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1:10pm

Wed January 21, 2015
Parallels

The Challenge Of Fact-Checking North Korea

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 3:16 pm

North Korean defector Shin Dong-hyuk came to prominence in a 2012 book about his life in a North Korean prisoner camp. He now says some key parts of his story were not true. His case highlights the difficulty in confirming information in a closed society like North Korea.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Shin Dong-hyuk told a powerful story about the misery of life in a North Korean prison camp, becoming the most famous defector from that notoriously reclusive country.

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