NPR Blogs

13.7: Cosmos And Culture
1:18 pm
Mon July 14, 2014

Sex, Death And Evolution ... Nursery Rhyme Style

Courtesy of Tom Griffiths

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The Two-Way
1:11 pm
Mon July 14, 2014

In Nigeria, Malala Calls For Release Of Kidnapped Schoolgirls

Malala Yousafzai, the well-known Pakistani activist, met with Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan on Monday to discuss the plight of more than 200 kidnapped girls.
AP

Originally published on Mon July 14, 2014 2:17 pm

Boko Haram, the extremist group that kidnapped hundreds of Nigerian schoolgirls last April, has released a new video mocking international calls for the girls' release.

The video was seen as a snub of Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani activist who gained prominence after being shot in 2012 by the Pakistani Taliban for campaigning for girls' education. She met with Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan on Monday to discuss the plight of the missing girls.

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Monkey See
12:56 pm
Mon July 14, 2014

Asking Katherine Heigl The 'Difficult' Question At Press Tour

Katherine Heigl and Alfre Woodard, stars of NBC's new fall drama State of Affairs, speak at the Television Critics Association's summer press tour in Los Angeles.
Frederick M. Brown Getty Images

It may be the toughest task of all at a press tour in Los Angeles packed with TV critics from across the nation: How to ask a celebrity a tough question about her bad reputation without looking like a jerk yourself.

That moment surfaced for me Sunday, when trying to ask star Katherine Heigl about longstanding rumors in Hollywood that she and her manager/mother have been difficult to work with across many projects.

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The Two-Way
12:24 pm
Mon July 14, 2014

Church Of England Will Allow Women To Serve As Bishops

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, shown here in Kenya last October, supported the decision to ordain women as bishops.
Ben Curtis AP

Originally published on Mon July 14, 2014 1:44 pm

The Church of England voted Monday to ordain women as bishops.

Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury and the church's spiritual leader, said before the vote that the public would find it "almost incomprehensible" if the church's General Synod did not approve the change.

A similar proposal was narrowly defeated in 2012. A revised proposal had been put to a vote and approved in 43 of the church's 44 dioceses, according to the BBC.

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Shots - Health News
12:03 pm
Mon July 14, 2014

Why Are Obstetricians Top Billers For Group Therapy In Illinois?

Unusual billing for group therapy led to a crackdown on Medicaid payments in Illinois.
iStockphoto

A few years ago, Illinois' Medicaid program for the poor noticed some odd trends in its billings for group psychotherapy sessions.

Nursing home residents were being taken several times a week to off-site locations, and Medicaid was picking up the tab for both the services and the transportation.

And then there was this: The sessions were often being performed by obstetrician-gynecologists, oncologists and urologists — "people who didn't have any training really in psychiatry," Illinois Medicaid director Theresa Eagleson recalled.

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The Two-Way
11:56 am
Mon July 14, 2014

Another Former Champion Abandons Tour De France After Crash

Spain's Alberto Contador abandons the Tour de France after crashing during the 10th stage Monday.
Christophe Ena AP

Originally published on Tue July 15, 2014 8:49 am

These are not good days to be a former Tour de France champion on the roads of France. Spain's Alberto Contador left the race after suffering a heavy crash in a wet and foggy portion of Monday's mountain stage, five days after defending champion Chris Froome abandoned the race.

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The Two-Way
10:50 am
Mon July 14, 2014

Former Captive Bergdahl Will Return To Regular Duty In Army

Originally published on Mon July 14, 2014 11:58 am

The Army says Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, whose freedom from the Taliban was gained by a prisoner exchange, has been cleared for active duty and assigned to a unit in Texas. When he was released in May, Bergdahl had been held by the Taliban for five years.

Responding to questions from NPR's Tom Bowman about his status, the Army issued a statement:

"Sgt. Bergdahl has completed the final phase of the reintegration process under the control of U.S. Army South and is currently being assigned to U.S. Army North, Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston (JBSA).

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The Two-Way
10:17 am
Mon July 14, 2014

Nadine Gordimer, Nobel-Winning Chronicler Of Apartheid, Dies

Gordimer, shown here in 2006, died in her sleep Sunday at home in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Guillermo Arias AP

Originally published on Mon July 14, 2014 11:57 am

Nadine Gordimer, a Nobel Prize-winning author famed for her portrayals of South Africa under apartheid, died Sunday, her family said in a statement. She was 90.

Gordimer was considered a modern literary genius, an important chronicler of the injustices of racial segregation along with other white writers such as Athol Fugard and J.M. Coetzee.

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The Two-Way
9:59 am
Mon July 14, 2014

Sweet Deal? Chocolatier Lindt Buys Russell Stover

A store manager arranges merchandise in a Russell Stover Candy store in Overland Park, Kan., in this file photo. The candy maker is being bought by Swiss company Lindt & Spruengli.
Charlie Riedel AP

Originally published on Mon July 14, 2014 12:07 pm

In a push for greater prominence in the American market, Swiss chocolate company Lindt & Sprungli has reached a deal to acquire Russell Stover, the company whose products include the time-tested Whitman's Sampler box of chocolates, a product featured in the 1994 film Forrest Gump.

The deal would make the combined company the No. 3 chocolate maker in North America, Lindt says in a news release announcing the deal. The company says the acquisition is the "biggest and most important strategic acquisition" in its history.

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The Two-Way
8:18 am
Mon July 14, 2014

Israel Shoots Down Drone As Clash With Hamas Continues

A missile leaves an "Iron Dome" battery, Israel's short-range missile defense system, Monday. Israel shot down a drone Monday, using a Patriot missile to take out the unmanned aircraft.
David Buimovitch AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 14, 2014 12:24 pm

  • Ari Shapiro on 'Morning Edition'
  • Hear Emily Harris on 'Morning Edition'

Exchanges of rockets and airstrikes continue between Israel and militants in Gaza, one week after violence broke out in the area. The Palestinian death toll is being reported at 172; no Israelis have reportedly died in the fighting.

From Haaretz:

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The Two-Way
8:03 am
Mon July 14, 2014

Book News: Famed Philosopher Accused Of Plagiarizing White Separatist Journal

Marxist philosopher Slavoj Zizek, photographed in 2012 in London.
Tim Whitby Getty Images

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

Marxist philosopher Slavoj Žižek — who is one of the world's most prominent living public intellectuals — has been accused of plagiarizing from the white separatist magazine American Renaissance. (The magazine calls itself a "race realist" publication, while the Southern Poverty Law Center calls it a hub for "proponents of eugenics and blatant anti-black racists.")

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The Two-Way
7:40 am
Mon July 14, 2014

Citigroup Agrees To Pay $7 Billion To Resolve Mortgage Probe

Citigroup has agreed to pay $7 billion to settle a federal investigation into subprime mortgages it sold in the run-up to the financial meltdown of 2008.
Kiichiro Sato AP

Originally published on Mon July 14, 2014 11:53 am

Citigroup said Monday it had agreed to pay $7 billion to settle a federal investigation into subprime mortgages it sold in the run-up to the financial meltdown of 2008.

The deal covers mortgage-backed securities and collateralized debt obligations issued, structured or underwritten by Citi between 2003 and 2008, the company said in a statement on its website.

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The Two-Way
7:05 am
Mon July 14, 2014

Costa Concordia Cruise Ship Floats Again, After 2 Years

The process of refloating the Costa Concordia cruise ship started off Italy's Giglio Island on Tuesday.
Guiseppe Cacace AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 14, 2014 11:26 am

More than two years after it ran aground off the Italian coast, the cruise ship Costa Condordia is floating again. Salvage workers managed that feat Monday by expelling water from large caissons, the pontoons that are attached to its sides.

"Six hours after the refloating began, the 115,000-ton vessel had cleared its custom-made platform by one meter," reports NPR's Sylvia Poggioli. "The ship is to be raised another meter today. Then it will be towed 90 feet eastward and anchored to the seabed and land with chains and cables."

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Shots - Health News
5:06 am
Mon July 14, 2014

To Make Children Healthier, A Doctor Prescribes A Trip To The Park

Zarr with Kellsi Aguilar and her father, Felipe, in Zarr's Washington, D.C., office.
Sam Sanders/NPR

Originally published on Fri July 18, 2014 1:08 pm

When Dr. Robert Zarr wanted a young patient to get more exercise, he gave her an unusual prescription: Get off the bus to school earlier.

"She has to take a bus to the train, then a train to another bus, then that bus to her school," says Zarr, a pediatrician at Unity Health Care, a clinic that serves low-income and uninsured families in Washington, D.C. So the prescription read: "Walk the remaining four blocks on the second bus on your route to school from home, every day."

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