NPR Blogs

Shots - Health News
10:22 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

Federal Judge Blocks Texas Restriction On Abortion Clinics

Opponents and supporters of a law that restricts abortion in Texas rallied outside the Texas Capitol in Austin as the bill was debated in July 2013.
Eric Gay ASSOCIATED PRESS

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 10:49 pm

A federal judge in Austin struck down part of a Texas law that would have required all abortion clinics in the state to meet the same standards as outpatient surgical centers. The regulation, which was set to go into effect Monday, would have shuttered about a dozen abortion clinics, leaving only eight places in Texas to get a legal abortion — all in major cities.

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The Two-Way
5:08 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

Chinese High-Rise Worker Left Dangling After Annoyed Boy Cuts Rope

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 6:41 pm

A worker in southern China was left hanging from 100 feet up the side of a high-rise apartment building when a 10-year-old boy, apparently annoyed at the construction racket outside his window, decided to cut the safety line on the man's rappelling apparatus.

Xinhua says the boy was watching cartoons in his eighth-floor apartment in Guizhou province as the worker was outside installing lighting. So, the boy took a knife and sliced through the rope that allows the worker to move up and down.

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The Two-Way
3:29 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

Holiday Gas Prices Lowest In Four Years

A graphic produced by Gasbuddy.com shows regional variation of gas prices.
GasBuddy.com via USEIA

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 4:52 pm

Some good news heading into the long weekend: Labor Day gas prices are at their lowest level in four years.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration says the nationwide average for retail regular was $3.45 per gallon on Aug. 25 — that's the lowest average price for a Monday ahead of Labor Day since 2010, and it's about $0.25 per gallon less than at the end of June this year. The current price is down from the record average of $3.83 for the 2012 holiday.

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Shots - Health News
3:20 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

An App Can Reveal When Withdrawal Tremors Are Real

He's working; really, he is.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 7:09 pm

People who abuse alcohol sometimes try to fake the hand tremors caused by withdrawal to get a prescription for sedatives.

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The Salt
3:09 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

Real Vanilla Isn't Plain. It Depends On (Dare We Say It) Terroir

Three scoops of vanilla ice cream made with vanilla beans from Mexico, Tahiti and Madagascar.
Meredith Rizzo NPR

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 4:05 pm

Banish the phrase "plain vanilla" from your lexicon.

Why? Because vanilla is one of the most complex spices around, boasting at least 250 different flavor and aroma compounds, only one of which is vanillin, the stuff that can be made artificially in a lab (and is used in a lot of processed foods).

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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
3:04 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

In Praise Of Being Bored

iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 6:51 pm

When Bud Selig, baseball's long-serving commissioner, visited Oakland recently, he took the opportunity to bemoan the A's inadequate stadium and also to worry aloud about a topic that seems to loom large in the minds of many baseball people these days, namely, the increasingly slow pace of the game.

Indeed, the game has gotten slower over time.

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Shots - Health News
1:09 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

Experimental Drug Saves Monkeys Stricken With Ebola

A Public Health Agency of Canada worker seen inside the National Microbiology Laboratory's Level 4 lab in Winnipeg.
Public Health Agency of Canada/Nature

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 4:29 pm

Scientists are reporting strong evidence that the experimental Ebola drug ZMapp may be effective for treating victims of the devastating disease.

A study involving 18 rhesus macaque monkeys, published Friday in the journal Nature, found that the drug saved 100 percent of the animals even if they didn't receive the drug until five days after they had been infected. The study is the first to test ZMapp in a primate, which is considered a good model for how a drug might work in humans.

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The Two-Way
1:08 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

Malaysia Airlines Cuts A Third Of Its Workforce After Steep Losses

A Malaysia Airlines crew member inspects an airplane at Kuala Lumpur International Airport on Thursday. The carrier announced it was laying off a third of its workforce amid steep financial losses.
Azhar Rahim EPA/Landov

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 1:14 pm

For Malaysia Airlines, the tragic loss of two of its aircraft with all passengers and crew in recent months has hardly been the extent of its problems: On Thursday, the carrier announced a steep quarterly loss, and today came word that it is cutting nearly a third of its workforce.

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The Two-Way
1:02 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

The Most Bizarre Bits To Come Out Of The Trial Of Virginia's Ex-Governor

Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell arrives at federal court in Richmond, Va., on Thursday.
Steve Helber AP

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 3:24 pm

The trial of former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife went into closing arguments today. At issue are serious allegations of corruption, but the trial has also unveiled seriously strange details about the McDonnells' personal life.

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The Two-Way
11:09 am
Fri August 29, 2014

Britain Raises Terror Alert Level, But Cites No Specific Threat

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron speaks at a news conference in London on Friday after the U.K. raised its terror alert level.
Paul Hackett PA Photos/Landov

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 1:07 pm

British Prime Minister David Cameron is warning that the threat to the U.K. from international terrorism is "greater and deeper" than ever before, as London raised its terror warning level in response to what it said were plans by the Islamic State and other extremist groups to attack the West.

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The Two-Way
10:19 am
Fri August 29, 2014

California Lawmakers Pass 'Affirmative Consent' Sexual Assault Bill

California state Sen. Kevin de Leon (D-Los Angeles) urges lawmakers to approve his measure aimed at curbing sexual assault on campuses on Thursday in Sacramento.
Rich Pedroncelli AP

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 2:57 pm

California is one step closer to becoming the first state to require colleges and universities "to adopt a standard of unambiguous consent among students engaging in sexual activity," The Los Angeles Times reports.

The California Senate gave the bill unanimous approval on Thursday, and it is now headed to the governor's office.

The Times adds:

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The Two-Way
9:09 am
Fri August 29, 2014

Volcanoes In Iceland, Papua New Guinea Keep Residents On Edge

Smoke billows from Mount Tavurvur after an eruption in Kokopo, east New Britain, Papua New Guinea, on Friday. The eruption has caused some nearby residents to be evacuated and some flights to be rerouted.
Jason Tassell AP

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 1:05 pm

Two volcanoes half a world apart are causing havoc today: Several flights have been diverted around an eruption in Papua New Guinea, and authorities in Iceland briefly put aviation on highest alert (again) owing to a temperamental Mount Bardarbunga, which has been rumbling for the past week.

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Monkey See
8:23 am
Fri August 29, 2014

Pop Culture Happy Hour: Live From The Bell House, Part 2

NPR
  • Listen to Pop Culture Happy Hour
  • Listen to the Abject Humiliation Of It All

Last week, we brought you the first half of the live show we recently held at the Bell House in Brooklyn, featuring producer emeritus Mike Katzif and a conversation about what we'll take away from this summer and what's to come this fall. This week, we have the second half, packed full of special guests and good pals and quizzes that are, in some cases, very difficult, apparently.

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The Two-Way
8:10 am
Fri August 29, 2014

U.N.: Syrian Refugee Crisis Is 'Biggest Humanitarian Emergency Of Our Era'

A Syrian refugee child eats food which her mother collected from rubbish in the Eminonu disctrict of Istanbul.
Bulent Kilic AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 1:24 pm

The Syrian civil war has sparked "the biggest humanitarian emergency of our era."

That's according to António Guterres, the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, who added that while the world's response to the crisis has been "generous," it hasn't met the needs of refugees.

The U.N. agency released new numbers on Friday and the picture they paint is exceedingly grim. A few data points from the report:

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The Two-Way
7:20 am
Fri August 29, 2014

Book News: Born to Write? Bruce Springsteen To Publish A Children's Book

Bruce Springsteen performs in May in Century City, Calif.
Alberto E. Rodriguez Getty Images for USC Shoah Foundation

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 11:53 am

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

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