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All Tech Considered
3:30 am
Mon September 9, 2013

It's OK To Protest In China, Just Don't March

Security guards stand outside newspaper offices in Guangdong province in January, where banners and flowers were laid in protest of censorship.
AP

Originally published on Mon September 9, 2013 1:12 pm

Thousands of messages posted on the Internet every day in China get censored. Until now, little has been known about how the Chinese censorship machine works — except that it is comprehensive.

"It probably is the largest effort ever to selectively censor human expression," says Harvard University social scientist Gary King. "They don't censor everything. There are millions of Chinese [who] talk about millions of things. But the effort to prune the Internet of certain kinds of information is unprecedented."

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Parallels
3:29 am
Mon September 9, 2013

How To Build An Afghan Army, In A Million Difficult Steps

Afghan soldiers and contractors are taught about the workings of a diesel-powered electrical generator at Forward Operating Base Nolay in Helmand province.
Sean Carberry NPR

Originally published on Mon September 9, 2013 12:57 pm

It's 8 a.m. on a recent day at Forward Operating Base Nolay, a small Marine outpost in Taliban-infested Sangin District of southern Afghanistan's Helmand province. The Marines are in the process of caffeinating and preparing for the day.

Suddenly, explosions and gunfire ring out. The Marines don't run for their weapons or bunkers for that matter. They don't even flinch.

"We can sit here and we can have a cup of coffee when there's booms going on, we're not concerned about it," says Lt. Col. Jonathan Loney.

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The Two-Way
3:28 am
Mon September 9, 2013

Obama Presses Lawmakers For Authorization On Syria

Vice President Joe Biden stands in front of his residence at the Naval Observatory in Washington, D.C., on Sunday, as President Obama arrives at a dinner Biden is hosting for Republican senators.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Mon September 9, 2013 12:02 pm

President Obama is ratcheting up pressure on lawmakers to support his request for limited U.S. military strikes in Syria. The White House says the Syrian government is responsible for a chemical weapons attack last month near the capital, Damascus.

On Sunday night, the president stopped by a dinner Vice President Joe Biden was holding for Republican senators.

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Shots - Health News
3:28 am
Mon September 9, 2013

From Birth, Our Microbes Become As Personal As A Fingerprint

We may not see them, but we need them.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu September 19, 2013 1:58 pm

Look in the mirror and you won't see your microbiome. But it's there with you from the day you are born. Over time, those bacteria, viruses and fungi multiply until they outnumber your own cells 10 to 1.

As babies, the microbes may teach our immune systems how to fight off bad bugs that make us sick and ignore things that aren't a threat.

We get our first dose of microbes from our mothers, both in the birth canal and in breast milk. Family members tend to have similar microbiomes.

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The Two-Way
1:48 am
Mon September 9, 2013

Football Fan Dies At Candlestick Park

Fans tailgate outside Candlestick Park in 2012.
Marcio Jose Sanchez AP

Originally published on Mon September 9, 2013 10:17 am

An unidentified man fell to his death Sunday during the San Francisco 49ers' home opener at Candlestick Park.

He reportedly fell from the Jamestown walkway, which goes around the outside of the San Francisco area stadium.

Witnesses say the man appeared to be intoxicated.

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The Two-Way
7:45 pm
Sun September 8, 2013

Serena Williams Wins Fifth U.S. Open Title

Serena Williams holds up the championship trophy after defeating Victoria Azarenka, of Belarus, during the women's singles final of the 2013 U.S. Open tennis tournament on Sunday in New York.
David Goldman AP

Originally published on Sun September 8, 2013 9:44 pm

Top-seeded Serena Williams overcame the wind and more than a dozen unforced errors Sunday to defeat No. 2 Victoria Azarenka of Belarus, in the U.S. Open women's singles championship match 7-5, 6-7(6), 6-1.

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The U.S. Response To Syria
6:32 pm
Sun September 8, 2013

How Could A Drought Spark A Civil War?

Farmers ride in their tractor in the drought-hit region of Hasaka in northeastern Syria on June 17, 2010.
Louai Beshara AFP/Getty Images

The background of the Syrian conflict can seem obscure to outsiders, but the spark that started it all is often traced back to the city of Dara'a, in February of 2011.

A group of young people writing Arab Spring protest slogans on a wall are arrested and beaten.

"When that news broke there was a massive demonstration on the street, and that was the first spark one can call of the Syrian uprising," Nayan Chanda tells NPR's Jacki Lyden.

But long before a single shot was fired in Syria, there was drought in Dara'a, laying the groundwork for social unrest.

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Animals
5:33 pm
Sun September 8, 2013

Hired Hog Trapper Has Three Years To Clean Out Dallas

Feral hogs were once just a rural problem in Texas, but now they threaten to turn city parks into sties.
Courtesy City Trapping

Originally published on Sun September 8, 2013 6:26 pm

Texas has a pig problem.

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Animals
5:33 pm
Sun September 8, 2013

Answering The Cranes' Call: 40 Years Of Preserving Grace

Mated pairs of red-crowned cranes perform a "unison call," a complex and extended series of calls between the male and female that reinforces the pair bond.
Sture Traneving

Originally published on Sun September 8, 2013 6:26 pm

Of all the world's birds, perhaps none are more mystical than cranes.

From Asia to North America, these tall birds with haunting cries have been woven into paintings, literature and folk tales. But today, 10 of the world's 15 crane species are threatened, and some are on the brink of extinction.

Their grass and wetland habitats are devastated all over the world. The International Crane Foundation, based in Wisconsin, has been studying and advocating for the birds for 40 years. George Archibald founded it with another young ornithologist on a family farm near Baraboo.

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Humans
5:33 pm
Sun September 8, 2013

From The Fall Of Failure, Success Can Take Flight

Members of S. A. Andrée's 1897 journey survey their downed vessel. This photo was recovered from a camera when their remains were found 33 years later.
Courtesy of Grenna Museum, Andréexpeditionen Polarcenter/Swedish Society for Anthropology and Geography/National Geographic

Originally published on Sun September 8, 2013 6:26 pm

Diana Nyad's successful swim from Cuba to Key West on Monday was made all the sweeter because she had tried — and failed — four times before.

She learned you should "never, ever give up," but she also learned some practical lessons to help beat the elements in those earlier attempts. Out of failure, she innovated. And out of innovation, she succeeded.

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NPR Story
4:52 pm
Sun September 8, 2013

After Years Of War, Rebuilding Iraq's Libraries

Originally published on Sun September 8, 2013 6:26 pm

Transcript

JACKI LYDEN, HOST:

If you're just joining us, this is WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Jacki Lyden. Coming up, the art of embracing failure.

But first, reading and learning have been enshrined in Baghdad's storied libraries for centuries. Some were destroyed by Mongol invaders hundreds of years ago, but more recently, the war in Iraq savaged the country's libraries. Looting and burning left many of them emptied of books and patrons.

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NPR Story
4:52 pm
Sun September 8, 2013

Wrestling Keeps Hold On Olympics And Avoids Cut

Originally published on Sun September 8, 2013 6:26 pm

Transcript

JACKI LYDEN, HOST:

If you're just joining us, this is WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Jacki Lyden.

The ancient Olympic sport of wrestling will be the future Olympic sport of wrestling. Wrestling was the winner of a vote by members of the International Olympic Committee earlier today. It beat out squash and a combined bid by baseball and softball for inclusion in the 2020 and 2024 games.

NPR's Mike Pesca has been covering the IOC meetings in Buenos Aires, and he joins us now. Hello there, Mike.

MIKE PESCA, BYLINE: Hello.

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The Two-Way
3:38 pm
Sun September 8, 2013

Police Challenge Prince Andrew During Walk At Palace

Prince Andrew, Duke of York, seen here at Ascot Racecourse in June, was confronted by police in a garden at Buckingham Palace, who ordered him to identify himself.
Chris Jackson Getty Images

For Prince Andrew, a stroll in the garden of Buckingham Palace turned into a confrontation with police, after officers ordered the prince to show ID. Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, is the son of Queen Elizabeth II; Buckingham is her most famous residence.

"We are grateful to the duke for his understanding and have apologized for any inconvenience caused," Scotland Yard says.

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Book Reviews
3:38 pm
Sun September 8, 2013

'Five Days' Of Ambiguous Morality At Katrina-Hit Hospital

An aerial view of Memorial Medical Center surrounded by floodwaters on Sept. 9, 2005.
Kathy Anderson The Times-Picayune/Landov

Originally published on Sun September 8, 2013 6:26 pm

If we didn't experience Hurricane Katrina ourselves, we saw it: the ominous red pinwheel on the radar, the wrecked Superdome, the corpses. And certainly we saw our shame — America's inequality, negligence and violence were all laid bare by the storm.

But one tragedy went largely unwitnessed. And this is the subject of Sheri Fink's provocative new book, Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital. The Pulitzer Prize-winning writer examines what happens when people make life-and-death decisions in a state of anarchy.

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Shots - Health News
1:36 pm
Sun September 8, 2013

Treatment For Middle East Coronavirus Works In Monkey Tests

The source? Signs of the Middle East respiratory syndrome virus have been detected in camels on the Arabian Peninsula. But it's still a mystery how people catch the disease.
Sean Gallup Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 10:18 am

A mysterious disease in the Middle East has triggered international alarms for two big reasons. The virus is often deadly: It has killed almost half of the 114 people known to have caught it. And there's no clear treatment for it.

Now scientists might have made some progress toward fixing that second problem.

A combination of two drugs commonly used for other viral infections reduced the symptoms of the Middle East respiratory syndrome, or MERS, in monkeys, virologists report Sunday in the journal Nature Medicine.

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