NPR Blogs

The Two-Way
10:53 am
Wed July 9, 2014

5,000 Years Old: Ancient Yew Tree Identified In Wales

Originally published on Wed July 9, 2014 1:18 pm

It might be the oldest tree in Britain. A yew tree that sprawls over a churchyard in Wales is more than 5,000 years old, according to experts. While it's not exceptionally tall, the tree has a wide canopy. And it dates back to the era of Egypt's pharaohs.

From NPR's London bureau, Rich Preston reports:

"The 60-foot-wide yew tree sits in the grounds of St Cynog's churchyard near Swansea in Wales. Recent DNA and ring-count testing shows the tree to be more than 5,000 years old — making it older than the Great Pyramid of Giza.

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The Two-Way
10:14 am
Wed July 9, 2014

Defending Tour De France Champ Froome Quits Race

Britain's Chris Froome gestures to a teammate (right) after getting up from his third crash in two days. Froome, who hurt his wrist in Tuesday's fall, has abandoned the race that he won in 2013.
Laurent Cipriani AP

Originally published on Wed July 9, 2014 2:32 pm

Chris Froome, who raced to the top of the podium in Paris last July, is out of this year's Tour de France after falling in treacherous conditions on today's stage of the bicycle race.

Today's stage had been predicted to be harrowing, owing to the course's inclusion of cobblestones. But Froome went down twice before the race even reached that point, leaving his riding kit torn on both thighs and one shoulder, where a bloody wound could be seen.

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The Two-Way
9:19 am
Wed July 9, 2014

Brazil Reels From Thrashing That Bounced It From World Cup

A fan screams as she watches Brazil lose to Germany, in a live telecast Tuesday in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. The host nation is reeling from its loss in the World Cup semifinal.
Bruno Magalhaes AP

Originally published on Wed July 9, 2014 12:45 pm

"The worst game I saw in my life" is how one Brazilian fan describes it. Another says it's simply a tragedy. Some angry fans burned Brazil's flag in the street.

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The Two-Way
8:40 am
Wed July 9, 2014

Top Stories: More Israeli Airstrikes; Hamas Fires Rockets

Good morning, here is our early story:

-- Israel Strikes Gaza, As Hamas Rockets Show Increased Range.

And here are more early headlines:

Obama To Visit Texas Today, But Not The Border. (AP)

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The Two-Way
8:02 am
Wed July 9, 2014

Book News: Amazon Makes Direct Offer To Hachette Authors

Paul Sakuma AP

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

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The Two-Way
7:23 am
Wed July 9, 2014

Israel Continues Gaza Offensive, Hints At Ground Operation

Smoke and debris rise after an Israeli strike on the Gaza Strip Wednesday. Since the Gaza offensive began Tuesday, Israel has attacked more than 400 sites in Gaza.
Ariel Schalit AP

Originally published on Wed July 9, 2014 3:21 pm

Update at 2:42 p.m. ET

Israeli leaders are signaling that a ground invasion might be imminent as the offensive on Gaza intensifies, killing at least 53 people and wounding 465 others.

The toll comes from the Palestinian Authority's Health Ministry.

Reporter Daniel Estrin tells NPR's Newscast unit that Israel's military struck at least 200 Hamas targets on the second day of its offensive on the Gaza Strip. The operation is in response to rocket attacks from Gaza toward Israeli cities.

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Krulwich Wonders...
7:03 am
Wed July 9, 2014

A Tough Little Droplet Fights To Stick Around

Zach Heller Flickr

Originally published on Wed July 9, 2014 3:58 pm

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Shots - Health News
3:32 am
Wed July 9, 2014

Like All Animals, We Need Stress. Just Not Too Much

Daniel Horowitz for NPR

Originally published on Wed July 9, 2014 2:41 pm

Ask somebody about stress, and you're likely to hear an outpouring about all the bad things that cause it — and the bad things that result. But if you ask a biologist, you'll hear that stress can be good.

In fact, it's essential.

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The Two-Way
8:44 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

As Engines Sputter To Life, Vintage Spacecraft Turns Toward Moon

With a comet fly-by and a solar orbit behind it, ISEE-3 has now revved its engines for a swing past the moon.
Mark Maxwell Courtesy ISEE-3 Reboot Project

Originally published on Wed July 9, 2014 9:56 am

A gung-ho group of space enthusiasts has started the process of putting a vintage NASA spacecraft on a new flight path, so that this venerable piece of hardware will be able to do useful science once again.

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The Two-Way
5:31 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

Germany Gives Brazil Das Boot With 7-1 Win, Enters World Cup Final

Pretty much sums it up.
Leo Correa AP

Originally published on Tue July 8, 2014 7:01 pm

Update at 6:08 p.m. ET

Germany steamrolled over host Brazil 7-1 on Tuesday in their semifinal game to enter the final of the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Five of Germany's goals came in the first half.

Thomas Muller scored in the 11th minute, Toni Kroos scored in the 24th and 26th minutes, Miroslav Klose and Sami Khedira scored in the 23rd and 29th minutes, respectively, and Andre Schurrle in the 69th and 79th minutes.

Oscar scored Brazil's consolation goal in the 90th minute.

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The Salt
4:59 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

3 Kickstarter Food Projects That Leave Potato Salad In The Dirt

Would you pay someone $60,000 to make this?
iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed July 9, 2014 10:14 am

Within days of asking for a total of $10 to crowdsource his first potato salad, Ohioan Zack Danger Brown raised tens of thousands of dollars. He promised people he would read their names aloud as he made this salad, which was apparently an irresistible draw.

Being the geeks we are, we asked our NPR Science Desk interns Nicholas St. Fleur and Kara Manke to do a little back-of-the-envelope calculation.

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Shots - Health News
4:57 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

What Looks Like Overcharging By Your Hospital Might Not Be

Originally published on Tue July 8, 2014 6:14 pm

Despite concerns first raised a few years ago, hospitals do not seem to be abusing their electronic data systems to generate bigger bills and boost their income — at least according to authors of a large study released Tuesday. Other leaders in the field say the jury's still out.

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Shots - Health News
4:10 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

HPV Vaccine Doesn't Raise Risk Of Blood Clots, Study Finds

The vaccine for human papillomavirus has been controversial from the get-go, partly because it protects against a virus that causes cervical cancer and is spread by sexual activity.

The vaccine's safety has also been contested, with media celebrities like Katie Couric publicizing rare reports of people who became ill or died after receiving the vaccine, even though there was no evidence that the vaccine caused the problems.

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Shots - Health News
3:45 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

Will This Tech Tool Help Manage Older People's Health? Ask Dad

Lively is a sensor that can be attached to a pill box, keys or doors. It lets people know whether aging parents are taking their medicines or sticking to their routines.
Courtesy of Lively

Originally published on Wed July 9, 2014 11:39 am

Aging 2.0 may not sound like the hippest start-up in San Francisco, but it's part of an industry worth $2 billion and growing fast — technology to help older adults.

Katy Fike, 35, is the company's co-founder. She's devoted to making sure that older adults who are supposed to use the products are involved in their development.

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The Two-Way
3:43 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

1 Out Of 4 Memphis, Tenn., Cops Calls In Sick

Originally published on Tue July 8, 2014 5:04 pm

About a quarter of the police officers in Memphis have called in sick in an apparent protest over benefit cuts.

As of Tuesday morning, 552 officers were out sick, out of a total force of 2,218, according to the Memphis Commercial Appeal. The "blue flu" numbers have been increasing rapidly in recent days.

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