NPR Blogs

The Two-Way
4:28 pm
Wed October 22, 2014

NHTSA Adds More Than 3 Million Vehicles To Air Bag Recall

Takata Ignition Systems in Schoenebeck, Germany, which makes air bags. Millions of automobiles have been recalled because of a defect in the air bags' inflators.
Jens Meyer AP

Originally published on Wed October 22, 2014 5:07 pm

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has once again changed the number of cars included in a massive and urgent recall over an inflator defect in air bags made by the Japanese company Takata.

Initially, 4.7 million vehicles were recalled, but in a list released on Wednesday, NHTSA added 3.1 million additional vehicles.

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Shots - Health News
3:54 pm
Wed October 22, 2014

Poll: Broad Support In U.S. For Ebola Travel Ban

A passenger wearing a face mask arrives at Los Angeles International Airport Friday. Federal officials now require people traveling from West Africa to enter the U.S. at one of five airports equipped to screen them for signs of Ebola.
Mark Ralston AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 22, 2014 4:45 pm

How do Americans feel about Ebola and the U.S. response to the outbreak so far?

NPR and our partners at Truven Health Analytics asked more than 3,000 adults in a poll conducted online and by phone (mobile and landline) Oct. 1-15.

Nearly everyone — 97 percent — knew about the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, and a slim majority of those people, or 53 percent, believe the U.S. government has taken a leadership role in response.

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The Salt
3:26 pm
Wed October 22, 2014

Glow-In-The-Dark Treats To Light Up Your Halloween

Glowing tapioca pearls accompanied by spiders (made of chocolate drizzle), just in time for Halloween, by Luma Bites
Martina Zupanic/Luma Bites

This Halloween, what better way to one-up your friends than mixing up some batter, swapping out your light bulbs for ultraviolet replacements, and showing off some glowing baked goods?

And, if you follow the advice of Steven Johnson and Martina Zupanic, these treats won't leave you feeling regretful the next day about your eating choices.

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Shots - Health News
2:49 pm
Wed October 22, 2014

A 45,000-Year-Old Leg Bone Reveals The Oldest Human Genome Yet

Researcher Svante Pääbo, was able to extract a complete genome from this ancient human leg bone.
Bence Viola Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology

Researchers have successfully decoded the genes of a 45,000-year-old man from Siberia. The results offer clues about early human life outside of Africa as well as how humans interacted with Neanderthals and other groups around at the time.

The complete set of genes is the oldest genome of its kind, according to Svante Pääbo, a director at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig. "It's almost twice as old as the next oldest genome that has been sequenced."

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The Salt
2:12 pm
Wed October 22, 2014

More Cities Are Making It Illegal To Hand Out Food To The Homeless

The homeless and others in need enjoy lunch at the Los Angeles Mission on Nov. 23, 2011, in celebration of Thanksgiving. Legislation to ban organizations from serving food to homeless people in public places has been proposed in Los Angeles.
Frederic J. Brown AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 22, 2014 4:30 pm

If you don't have a place to live, getting enough to eat clearly may be a struggle. And since homelessness in the U.S. isn't going away and is even rising in some cities, more charitable groups and individuals have been stepping up the past few years to share food with these vulnerable folks in their communities.

But just as more people reach out to help, cities are biting back at those hands feeding the homeless.

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The Two-Way
1:18 pm
Wed October 22, 2014

Blackwater Guards Found Guilty In 2007 Shootings In Iraq

Former Blackwater Worldwide guard Nicholas Slatten leaves federal court in Washington in June. Slatten on Wednesday was found guilty of first-degree murder in the deaths of 14 Iraqi civilians in 2007.
Cliff Owen AP

Originally published on Wed October 22, 2014 2:42 pm

Four private security guards working for the Blackwater Worldwide firm who were charged in the 2007 shootings of more than 30 Iraqis have been found guilty by a federal jury.

Nicholas Slatten was found guilty of first-degree murder, and three others — Paul Slough, Evan Liberty and Dustin Heard — were found guilty of multiple counts of voluntary manslaughter.

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The Two-Way
10:47 am
Wed October 22, 2014

Soldier Killed, Suspect Dead In Shooting Near Canadian Parliament

A Canadian soldier who was shot outside the war memorial on Parliament Hill in tended to in Ottawa on Wednesday.
Daniel Thibeaut/CBC Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed October 22, 2014 5:08 pm

A gunman opened fire at Canada's National War Memorial on Wednesday, killing one soldier, Ottawa police said in a statement.

Witnesses in the Canadian capital, Ottawa, say the gunman then ran into the main Parliament building, where dozens of shots were fired.

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Shots - Health News
10:43 am
Wed October 22, 2014

Quick Facts About Ebola

Ralph Orlowski Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed October 22, 2014 2:03 pm

Basic information about Ebola isn't as clear as it probably could be.

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The Two-Way
10:05 am
Wed October 22, 2014

Book News: Just Months In, A Publisher That Promised Innovation Ends Its Run

Originally published on Wed October 22, 2014 2:11 pm

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

Despite high hopes and executives with a record of success, Atavist Books didn't last long. Less than a year after its launch, the multiplatform publisher has announced that it's planning to close.

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The Two-Way
9:41 am
Wed October 22, 2014

Congolese Doctor Denis Mukwege Receives Sakharov Prize

Dr. Denis Mukwege (left) listens as Britain's Foreign Secretary William Hague speaks after the two men were presented Georgetown University's annual Hillary Rodham Clinton Award for Advancing Women in Peace and Security, at Georgetown University in Washington, in February.
Mike Theiler Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed October 22, 2014 10:11 am

Congolese gynecological surgeon Denis Mukwege has won the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, awarded for his work treating thousands of women who have been victims of rape in his country.

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Shots - Health News
8:56 am
Wed October 22, 2014

Banned Drugs Still Turning Up In Weight-Loss Supplements

Even versions of Zi Xiu Tang Bee Pollen labeled "genuine" and "anti-counterfeit" have been found to contain the drug sibutramine, which was supposed to come off the U.S. market in 2010 for safety reasons.
Food and Drug Administration

Originally published on Wed October 22, 2014 4:14 pm

Americans spend about $4 billion a year on weight-loss supplements. And the Food and Drug Administration spends a lot of effort policing distributors who market fraudulent products that are tainted with unsafe, banned drugs.

But a study published Tuesday finds that buyers should beware: Just because the FDA recalls a product for containing dangerous substances doesn't mean the product disappears from the market.

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The Two-Way
8:36 am
Wed October 22, 2014

Hong Kong Students March On Chief Executive's Residence

Pro-democracy protesters carrying portraits of Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying march to his residence in Hong Kong on Wednesday.
Bobby Yip Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed October 22, 2014 11:27 am

Activists in Hong Kong, angered by what they perceive as little progress in talks on democratic reforms with the government, marched to the home of the territory's chief executive to demand his ouster.

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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
7:51 am
Wed October 22, 2014

The Void Is A Busy Place

A computer-generated image of the distribution of matter in the nearby universe, as determined by means of galaxy motions in the region.
ESO

Originally published on Wed October 22, 2014 1:46 pm

At least when it comes to physical reality, which I define here as that which exists in the cosmos, there is no such thing as complete emptiness.

Quite the opposite, it seems that the more we learn about nature, the busier space becomes. We can, of course, contemplate the idea of a metaphysical emptiness, a complete void where there is nothing, what some people like to call absolute nothingness. But these are concepts we make up, not necessarily things that exist. In fact, calling nothingness a "thing" automatically makes it into a something, a curious paradox.

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The Two-Way
7:36 am
Wed October 22, 2014

Pentagon Says It Will Investigate Stray Arms Drop Over Syria

Video allegedly showing Islamic State militants rifling through a box of U.S.-supplied grenades intended for Kurdish fighters.
YouTube

Originally published on Wed October 22, 2014 2:55 pm

The Pentagon says it will investigate a video released by the self-declared Islamic State showing its fighters purportedly rifling through crates of U.S. arms intended for Kurdish forces fighting the extremist group.

Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby said: "We're still taking a look at [the video] and assessing the validity of it."

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The Two-Way
7:11 am
Wed October 22, 2014

American Freed By North Korea Arrives Home

This undated employee photo provided by the city of Moraine, Ohio, shows Jeffrey Edward Fowle, who was released by North Korea on Tuesday after a six-month detention.
AP

Originally published on Wed October 22, 2014 11:56 am

Updated at 10:55 a.m. ET

Jeffrey Fowle, an American held since May in North Korea for allegedly leaving a bible at a club for foreign sailors, has arrived at a U.S. Air Force base in his home state of Ohio after Pyongyang released him on a "special dispensation."

Fowle, 56, landed early today at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton. He disembarked carrying two bags and was met with embraces from family members.

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