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NPR Story
5:07 am
Thu March 26, 2015

South African Mercenaries Play Crucial Role In Fight Against Boko Haram

Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 9:17 am

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

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Today is the final day of campaigning for Nigeria's presidential election - an election that was postponed six weeks ago because of security concerns. That delay seems to have been a bonus for embattled incumbent Goodluck Jonathan.

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NPR Story
5:07 am
Thu March 26, 2015

Migrants Try To Enter Europe Through Spanish Territory In Africa

Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 9:17 am

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

Shots - Health News
3:52 am
Thu March 26, 2015

Why Doctors Are Trying A Skin Cancer Drug To Treat A Brain Tumor

MaryAnn Anselmo has started to sing again after recovering from brain surgery and having successful treatment with a drug that targeted a mutation in her tumor cells.
Dave Gershgorn/WNYC

Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 5:06 pm

MaryAnn Anselmo feared for the worst when she was diagnosed with a brain tumor called a glioblastoma in late 2013.

"You start doing research on that type of tumor, and you're saying, 'Oh my God, you're history.' It's like a death sentence," says, Anselmo, now 59.

Only for her it wasn't.

Anselmo's successful treatment shows how precision medicine — tailoring therapy to each patient's genetic needs — is beginning to transform cancer care.

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Around the Nation
3:49 am
Thu March 26, 2015

Closure Of Private Prison Forces Texas County To Plug Financial Gap

A riot late last month forced officials to close the Willacy County Correcitonal Center in Wallcy County, Texas.
John Burnett NPR

Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 9:17 am

The Willacy County Correctional Center is empty now. The tall security fences and dome-like housing units set out on the coastal prairie have no one inside them.

One morning late last month, the prisoners rioted. They set fires and tore the place up. Guards put down the uprising in about five hours. But the destruction was so severe that the sprawling detention compound has been shut down. All 2,800 inmates were transferred.

Willacy County is now facing the question — what does it do now that its biggest moneymaker is out of business?

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It's All Politics
3:48 am
Thu March 26, 2015

Is Capitol Hill Ready To Rest Its Near-Annual 'Doc Fix' Exercise?

If Reps. Nancy Pelosi and John Boehner win and their plan becomes law, it would kill what's known on Capitol Hill as the "doc fix."
David McNew Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 12:11 pm

Updated at 12:10 p.m. E.T.

Doctors who treat Medicare patients will face a huge cut, 21 percent, if Congress doesn't act by the end of the month. This isn't a new problem. While Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill agree that the formula that pays doctors who treat Medicare patients has long been broken, over the years they've been unable to pass more than temporary patches.

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The Two-Way
10:42 pm
Wed March 25, 2015

Midwest Town Braces For More Steel Layoffs

U.S. Steel's Granite City Works in 2011.
David Schaper NPR

Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 1:40 am

U.S. Steel will be shutting down a steel mill in southern Illinois, laying off more than 2000 workers. The company says in a statement that it will consolidate its North American flat-rolled operations and temporarily close its Granite City Works plant, which is across the Mississippi River from St. Louis.

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Law
7:14 pm
Wed March 25, 2015

California Attorney General Moves To Stop Anti-Gay Ballot Proposal

Originally published on Wed March 25, 2015 8:00 pm

NPR's Robert Siegel talks to Vikram Amar, a law professor at the University of California, Davis, about the attorney general's move to halt a proposed initiative that would allow gays and lesbians to be "put to death by bullets to the head."

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

Transcript

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National Security
6:22 pm
Wed March 25, 2015

U.S. Military Charges Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl With Desertion

Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 7:43 am

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

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Bowe Bergdahl was charged today by the U.S. military. He's the U.S. Army sergeant who was captured in Afghanistan and held by the Taliban for nearly five years. Here's Army Colonel Daniel King announcing the charges.

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The Salt
5:37 pm
Wed March 25, 2015

Heinz And Kraft: Before They Were Food Giants, They Were Men

Henry J. Heinz
Library of Congress

Originally published on Wed March 25, 2015 8:00 pm

Heinz and Kraft.

When we hear those names we think ketchup and Velveeta, right?

But before they were products and companies that will merge to become a giant with $28 billion in revenue, Heinz and Kraft were men.

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Goats and Soda
5:08 pm
Wed March 25, 2015

Mosquitoes Can Smell Inside Your Blood

Hanna Barczyk for NPR

Originally published on Wed March 25, 2015 5:10 pm

Garlic lovers: You can smell them before you see them. Some people would say they even stink!

Hours after you eat garlic, your breath can still smell bad, as your body digests compounds in the plant and releases them into your blood.

Now scientists say a similar process might explain why people infected with malaria attract more mosquitoes than those not infected.

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National Security
5:08 pm
Wed March 25, 2015

Can Female Marines Carry The Load And Kill The Enemy?

Sgt. Courtney White carries her machine gun before a live fire exercise at the Marine base at Twentynine Palms, Calif.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Wed March 25, 2015 8:00 pm

More than a dozen Marines from Alpha Company fan out across California's Mojave Desert, far into the distance. Machine-gun fire gives them cover. The small forms dash ahead. Some drop to one knee, others fall on their stomachs, firing at pop-up targets.

Only one woman is part of this group. Until last fall, Sgt. Kelly Brown was fueling helicopters and trucks. Now she's running with an assault rifle.

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Shots - Health News
5:08 pm
Wed March 25, 2015

University And Biotech Firm Team Up On Colorblindness Therapy

A simulation from the Neitz lab of what colorblindness looks like, with normal color vision on the left and red-green colorblindness on the right.
Courtesy of Neitz Laboratory

Originally published on Mon March 30, 2015 3:17 pm

More than 10 million Americans have trouble distinguishing red from green or blue from yellow, and there's no treatment for colorblindness.

A biotech company and two scientists hope to change that.

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Animals
5:08 pm
Wed March 25, 2015

'Super-Termite' Could Be Even More Destructive Than Parent Species

The male Asian subterranean termite (brown abdomen) and the female Formosan subterranean termite (orange abdomen) are surrounded by their hybrid offspring (eggs, larvae, workers, soldiers) in an eight-month-old colony.
Thomas Chouvenc University of Florida

Originally published on Mon March 30, 2015 3:19 pm

Termites are among the world's most destructive pests, causing more than a billion dollars in damage each year in the U.S. alone. Scientists in Florida have tracked the development of a new hybrid species of termite — one whose colonies grow twice as fast as the parent species.

Researchers say the new "super-termite" is even more destructive than other species and may carry a significant economic cost.

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Law
5:08 pm
Wed March 25, 2015

Calif. Lawyer's Ballot Proposal Calls Referendum System Into Question

Originally published on Wed March 25, 2015 8:00 pm

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

It's All Politics
5:03 pm
Wed March 25, 2015

Can Republicans Get Ahead In The 2016 Digital Race?

Former Gov. Jeb Bush, a 2016 hopeful, takes a selfie with an Iowa supporter earlier this month.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 12:44 pm

Just after midnight Monday, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz scooped his own big announcement by about 10 hours. Ahead of a planned speech, he posted the news of his presidential bid on Twitter.

"I'm running for President and I hope to earn your support!" he tweeted.

The tweet, which included a 30-second video, was retweeted more than 3,000 times in 30 minutes. Cruz's announcement generated 5.7 million interactions (likes, posts, comments and shares) Monday on Facebook. And during his planned speech at Liberty University, his staff live tweeted lines from the speech on his account.

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The Salt
4:44 pm
Wed March 25, 2015

Arsenic In California Wines: Should Drinkers Be Concerned?

"There's no reason to believe that exposure to arsenic in food and wine is above levels that are considered to be safe," says Susan Ebeler, a professor and chemist in the Foods For Health Institute at the University of California, Davis.
Erik Schelzig ASSOCIATED PRESS

Originally published on Mon March 30, 2015 10:57 am

There's been a lot of buzz around the story that some inexpensive California wines, including a Charles Shaw (aka two-buck Chuck) white Zinfandel sold at Trader Joe's, have been found to contain traces of arsenic.

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The Two-Way
4:41 pm
Wed March 25, 2015

In Havana, A Journey Into The Forbidden With A Provocative Artist

Cuban artist Tania Bruguera poses for a photograph near the statue of José Martí in Havana's Revolution Plaza. She was arrested in December for planning a political performance there.
Eyder Peralta NPR

Originally published on Wed March 25, 2015 8:00 pm

It was still dark when Tania Bruguera hopped into a cab with us on her way to Revolution Square.

"All of a sudden it looks quite subversive what we're doing," she said. Her voice revealed a little nervousness, but it translated into a giddy laughter.

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Parallels
3:42 pm
Wed March 25, 2015

Lebanon's Reality TV: Like The Kardashians, Only Less Serious

A photo of the Abdelaziz sisters before their reality show aired.
Nadine Abdelaziz Via Instagram

Originally published on Wed March 25, 2015 8:00 pm

The Abdelaziz sisters live in a world of pretty artifice. Alice, Nadine and Farah answer the door in a flurry of hellos while their fluffball dog Stella barks and tinkles the bells on her tiny collar.

They usually live in the Lebanese capital, Beirut, in a family home, but for the purposes of their new reality show, The Sisters, they reside in this apartment where green hillsides spill down from picture windows to the Mediterranean below.

"The view is amazing here," says Nadine, the middle sister. "And you see the weather today is sunny."

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Shots - Health News
2:56 pm
Wed March 25, 2015

A Woman's Journey From Cancer Diagnosis To 'Professional Patient'

The Josephson family in 2001, after Dixie (third from left) was told she had cancer.
Courtesy of the Josephsons

Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 10:31 am

Dixie Josephson was 56 when she was diagnosed with metastatic ovarian cancer. She's 71 now, but the cancer is still with her.

Josephson's story is one shared by other fortunate cancer patients. Advances in treatment mean that more people like Josephson can live longer with their disease. Still, the five-year survival rate for metastatic ovarian cancer is 27 percent, putting Josephson in the minority.

And the treatments that have extended her life have also taken a toll on her and her family.

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The Two-Way
2:56 pm
Wed March 25, 2015

Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl Is Charged With Desertion

This photo provided by Eugene R. Fidell shows Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl preparing to be interviewed by Army investigators in August.
Eugene R. Fidell AP

Originally published on Wed March 25, 2015 5:52 pm

Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl has been charged with desertion and misbehavior before the enemy.

Bergdahl was captured by the Taliban in 2009, after he walked off his military outpost in southeastern Afghanistan. In a controversial move and five years after his capture, the Obama administration cut a deal with the Taliban, securing Bergdahl's release in exchange for the release of five Taliban detainees who were being held at the Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba.

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Book Reviews
2:37 pm
Wed March 25, 2015

Do You Believe In Ghosts? You Might After Reading This Book

Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 6:13 pm

Who doesn't love a good ghost story? The unseen hand moving a cup or the shadow climbing a staircase promises an existence beyond our mundane realities. Hannah Nordhaus' new book, American Ghost, is an offbeat mishmosh of memoir, cultural history, genealogical detective story and paranormal investigation, but it opens in the classic manner of spooky tales — with a sighting.

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Politics
2:37 pm
Wed March 25, 2015

Journalist Says Ted Cruz's Message Is Clear That 'Compromise Is For Losers'

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

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross. On Monday Ted Cruz, the first-term senator from Texas, became the first Republican candidate to officially declare he was running for president.

(SOUNDBITE OF SPEECH)

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Code Switch
2:30 pm
Wed March 25, 2015

Takeaways From The Federal Report On Deadly Force By Philadelphia Cops

Two years ago, Charles Ramsey, Philadelphia's police commissioner, called for a federal review of the city's police practices. Ramsey called for a similar federal inquiry during his tenure as Washington, D.C.'s police chief.
Matt Rourke AP

Originally published on Wed March 25, 2015 6:55 pm

Even before the unrest in Ferguson, Mo., or the Eric Garner incident in New York City last summer, Charles Ramsey, Philadelphia's police commissioner, called on the federal government to look into how the officers in his department used force, and how their use of force might contribute to the department's often strained relationship with the city's residents.

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NPR Story
2:06 pm
Wed March 25, 2015

Living With The Ceasefire In Eastern Ukraine

Soldiers of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic (DNR) take position in the frontline town of Shyrokyne, some 10 kilometers east of Mariupol, on March 20, 2015. (John MacDougall/AFP/Getty Images)

A fragile ceasefire remains in effect in eastern Ukraine and there are signs that life is returning to some sense of normalcy. The BBC’s Tom Burridge reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.

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NPR Story
2:06 pm
Wed March 25, 2015

DJ Sessions: Opera Greats Past And Present

German opera singer Fritz Wunderlich (1930 - 1966) is pictured circa 1958. (Express Newspapers/Getty Images) and American opera singer Renee Fleming is pictured on, March 2, 2015, in New York. (Evan Agostini/Invision via AP)

For this week’s installment of the Here & Now DJ Sessions, host Jeremy Hobson sits down with classical DJ and opera singer Peter Van de Graaf, who shares some of his favorite opera music, from the late German tenor Fritz Wunderlich to American singer Renee Fleming.

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NPR Story
2:06 pm
Wed March 25, 2015

With New App, StoryCorps Hopes To 'Collect The Wisdom Of Humanity'

(Screenshot from storycorps.me)

If you’re a regular public radio listener, chances are you’ve heard a StoryCorps conversation – and maybe even shed a tear. The ongoing oral history project, which is the brain child of Dave Isay, has recorded more than 65,000 interviews over the past 11 years, and archived them at the Library of Congress.

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NPR Story
2:06 pm
Wed March 25, 2015

Indiana Governor To Sign Controversial 'Religious Freedom' Bill

Originally published on Wed March 25, 2015 4:09 pm

The governor of Indiana is expected to sign a controversial religious freedom bill that aims to protect business owners who say it violates their beliefs to serve gay couples.

Opponents say the bill would allow businesses to discriminate. The organizers of Gen Con, a big gaming convention held every year in Indianapolis, are threatening to leave the state over the bill.

The Republican-controlled Indiana legislature gave final passage to the bill yesterday. Indiana would become the 20th state with a law of this kind.

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NPR Story
2:06 pm
Wed March 25, 2015

Kraft And Heinz To Merge, Bringing Together Prominent American Brands

(Photo Illustration by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

Heinz Co. is buying Kraft Foods Group, in a deal that will form the world’s fifth-largest food and beverage company.

The new company will be called Kraft Heinz Co. and will have revenue of $28 billion, bringing together American brands from Jell-O and Kool-Aid to Heinz Ketchup and Bagel Bites.

CNN business reporter Maggie Lake joins Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson with details.

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NPR Story
2:06 pm
Wed March 25, 2015

From The Battle Field To The Farm Field

Air Force veteran Sara Creech moved from Florida to a 43-acre farm in North Salem, Ind., to build Blue Yonder Organic Farm. (John Wendle for Harvest Public Media)

Many of the millions of veterans deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan have returned home to resume civilian lives and civilian careers. But it can be a tough transition. Congress wants to help jumpstart the process. And for some, that means a second life on the farm. From the Here & Now Contributors Network, Abby Wendle of Harvest Public Media has the story.

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NPR Story
2:06 pm
Wed March 25, 2015

Manatee Count Is Up And How Dogs Helped Take Neanderthals Down

A baby manatee born on April 24, 2014, swims at the Zoo Parc of Beauval on July 19, 2014. (Guillaume Souvant/AFP/Getty Images)

The manatee population is up to 6,063, which is record number, according to Florida’s state wildlife commission. But with the increase in population, the blubbery marine mammals run the risk of losing their endangered status and protections.

Vicki Croke of WBUR’s The Wild Life speaks with Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson about manatees and other animal news, including elephants and the downfall of Neanderthals.

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