NPR Blogs

The Two-Way
8:10 pm
Tue October 21, 2014

Legendary 'Washington Post' Editor Ben Bradlee Has Died

Ben Bradlee, former executive editor of The Washington Post, is seated during an event sponsored by paper to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Watergate in 2012.
Alex Brandon AP

Ben Bradlee, the legendary Washington Post editor, who ushered in the paper's golden era, overseeing its coverage of the Watergate scandal, has died.

The newspaper reported his death on its website, saying he died of natural causes on Tuesday at his home in Washington.

He was 93.

NPR's David Folkenflik filed this obituary for our Newscast unit:

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The Two-Way
7:23 pm
Tue October 21, 2014

NBC News Photojournalist Is Now Ebola Free, Says Hospital

An ambulance transports Ashoka Mukpo, who contracted Ebola while working in Liberia, to the Nebraska Medical Center's on Oct 6, 2014.
Dave Weaver AP

A photojournalist for NBC News is now Ebola free, the Nebraska hospital treating him said on Tuesday.

The Nebraska Medical Center said the CDC had cleared Ashoka Mukpo and he would be discharged on Wednesday.

If you remember, the 33-year-old Mukpo contracted the virus while working for the TV network in Liberia. After running a fever, he quickly quarantined himself and then on Oct. 6, he was flown to the United States for treatment.

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The Two-Way
6:22 pm
Tue October 21, 2014

Missouri Governor Announces Creation Of 'Ferguson Commission'

Police walk through a cloud of smoke as they clash with protesters in Ferguson, Mo., this summer.
Jeff Roberson AP

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon announced on Tuesday that he was forming a panel that would study the social and economic conditions that fueled violent protests in Ferguson, Mo., over the killing of an unarmed 18-year-old this summer.

The Wall Street Journal reports:

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Shots - Health News
6:19 pm
Tue October 21, 2014

Ebola Vaccine Could Start Testing In Africa By January

Patients in a clinic line up to get a smallpox shot on Feb. 24, 1962, Leopoldville, Congo. Health workers used vaccination campaigns to finally eradicate smallpox by 1980.
AP

The World Health Organization says that efforts are on track to distribute an experimental Ebola vaccine in West Africa in January.

Two potential vaccines are now being tested for safety in people, and Russia is developing another one. While quantities will be limited, scientists say even a relatively small supply of vaccine can help bring the epidemic under control.

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The Salt
4:34 pm
Tue October 21, 2014

From NFL To 'Scandal,' Whole Foods Buys TV Ads To Boost Its Brand

Whole Foods' new ad campaign is part of its effort to brand itself as America's Healthiest Grocery Store.
Whole Foods youtube

If you tune into Game 1 of the World Series tonight, you may catch this ad for Whole Foods Market.

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Shots - Health News
4:30 pm
Tue October 21, 2014

Hospitals Struggle To Beat Back Serious Infections

An official at the University of Michigan Health System in Ann Arbor says its mix of patients helps explain the infection rates.
Scott C. Soderberg Courtesy of University of Michigan Health System

Originally published on Tue October 21, 2014 6:19 pm

While Ebola stokes public anxiety, more than 1 in 6 hospitals — including some top medical centers — are having trouble stamping out less exotic but sometimes deadly infections, federal records show.

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The Two-Way
3:35 pm
Tue October 21, 2014

Watchdog: $7 Billion U.S. Effort Doesn't Dent Afghan Poppy Production

Poppies bloom in a field on the outskirts of Kandahar on April 27, 2014.
Javed Tanveer AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 21, 2014 3:41 pm

The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) has some more bad news for U.S. taxpayers: The $7.6 billion the United States has spent on its counternarcotic efforts in Afghanistan has done little to reduce poppy production.

In fact, quite the opposite has happened because in 2013, the cultivation levels of poppy in Afghanistan hit an all-time high.

In a letter to top U.S. officials, John Sopko explains what's going on:

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The Two-Way
3:22 pm
Tue October 21, 2014

UPDATED: After Controversy, Toys R Us Pulls 'Breaking Bad' Action Figures

Bryan Cranston (left) starred as chemistry teacher turned meth dealer Walter White, and Aaron Paul played former student and drug-dealing co-conspirator Jesse Pinkman in AMC's Breaking Bad.
Ben Leuner AMC

Originally published on Tue October 21, 2014 7:45 pm

Update at 7:27 p.m. ET. Toys R Us Pulls Dolls:

After a controversy stirred by a Florida mom, Toys R Us is pulling a line of action figures based on the TV show Breaking Bad.

The AP reports that in a statement, the toy retailer said: "Let's just say, the action figures have taken an indefinite sabbatical."

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Shots - Health News
1:52 pm
Tue October 21, 2014

When The Economy Goes Down, Vasectomies Go Up

Did worries about financial stability get more men to say no to fatherhood?
iStockphoto

The number of men getting vasectomies spiked during the Great Recession, rising one-third from 2006 to 2010, a study finds.

In 2006, 3.9 percent of men said they had had a vasectomy; in 2010, 4.4 percent reported having the surgery. That means an additional 150,000 to 180,000 men per year had vasectomies in each year of the recession.

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The Two-Way
1:38 pm
Tue October 21, 2014

American Freed After Months Of Detention In North Korea

Jeffrey Fowle, an American who had been detained in North Korea, spoke to The Associated Press last month in Pyongyang. Fowle was released by North Korean authorities and flown back to the U.S. on Tuesday.
Wong Maye-E AP

Originally published on Tue October 21, 2014 2:19 pm

Updated at 1:35 p.m. ET

Jeffrey Fowle, one of three Americans held by North Korea, has been released, the White House says.

Fowle, 56, who was detained in June, allegedly for leaving a Bible in his hotel room in North Korea, was home today after negotiators secured his release.

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The Two-Way
1:36 pm
Tue October 21, 2014

'Mr. President, Don't Touch My Girlfriend,' Chicago Voter Teases Obama

President Barack Obama casts a ballot in early voting for the 2014 midterm elections at the Dr. Martin Luther King Community Service Center in Chicago on Monday.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

Things got heated at the Chicago polling place where President Obama cast an early ballot on Monday.

Obama was in his little booth, next to a young woman, when her boyfriend, whom CNN identified as Mike Jones, quips: "Mr. President, don't touch my girlfriend."

Obama held his own, replying, "I wasn't really planning on it."

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The Two-Way
12:36 pm
Tue October 21, 2014

DHS: Travelers From West Africa Limited To 5 U.S. Airports

Thomas Nellon (left), 17, and his brother Johnson Nellon, 14, of Liberia smile at their mother in the arrivals area at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York earlier this month. The brothers received a health screening upon arrival. The U.S. says it will step up screening measures for arrivals from Ebola-affected West African countries.
Craig Ruttle AP

Originally published on Tue October 21, 2014 2:48 pm

Updated at 1:00 p.m. ET

The Department of Homeland Security has announced that all passengers arriving from Ebola-affected countries in West Africa must go by way of a handful of U.S. airports as part of measures to control the spread of Ebola.

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The Salt
11:52 am
Tue October 21, 2014

Can Hand-Cut, Artisanal Ice Make Your Cocktail That Much Better?

Joe Ambrose of Favourite Ice holds one of his crystal-clear artisanal cubes.
Jessica Sidman Washington City Paper

Originally published on Tue October 21, 2014 4:55 pm

Now that we've entered the "craft cocktail" era, drinks with double-digit price tags are just par for the course. And in many cities, there's a decent chance that your fancy craft drink now comes with a large, crystal-clear cube or rectangle that melts unhurriedly in your glass. That's right: Artisanal ice is a thing.

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The Two-Way
11:37 am
Tue October 21, 2014

A Tale Of Two Cities: World Series Fever Takes Hold In SF, KC

Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Mo., a day before Game 1 of the 2014 World Series.
Rob Carr Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 21, 2014 2:32 pm

Millions of baseball fans and two cities 1,500 miles apart are getting ready for tonight's big game in Kansas City, Mo. The Royals are in their first World Series in nearly three decades. They face the San Francisco Giants, who are back again after missing their chance at the series last year.

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Shots - Health News
10:14 am
Tue October 21, 2014

More Insurers Put Spending Limits On Medical Treatments

The California Public Employees' Retirement System has capped how much it will pay for some common medical procedures and tests.
Max Whittaker Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 21, 2014 3:29 pm

To clamp down on health care costs, a growing number of employers and insurers are putting limits on how much they'll pay for certain medical services such as knee replacements, lab tests and complex imaging.

A recent study found that savings from such moves may be modest, however, and some analysts question whether "reference pricing," as it's called, is good for consumers.

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