NPR Blogs

The Salt
7:49 am
Sun October 13, 2013

With Each Sip Of Whisky, You're Taking A Gulp Of Atmosphere

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sun October 13, 2013 4:48 pm

You know the saying about drinking early in the day: "It's 5 o'clock somewhere in the world."

Well, it turns out that the "somewhere" actually can make a difference when it comes to drinking.

Scientists at Oxford University have found that whisky has a different taste depending on where it's sipped.

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The Salt
5:38 am
Sun October 13, 2013

(Cabbage) Heads Will Roll: How To Make A Food Network 'From Scratch'

According to journalist Allen Salkin, Emeril Lagasse initially opposed bringing Rachael Ray, pictured here in 2007, onto the Food Network – and, at first, Ray agreed with him. "You have this all wrong," she told executives, "I'm beer in a bottle; you guys are champagne."
Scott Gries Getty Images

Originally published on Sun October 13, 2013 8:47 am

Mario Batali, Guy Fieri and Rachael Ray are just a few of the stars the Food Network helped create. But what the network gave, it could also take away.

In From Scratch, author Allen Salkin takes an unsparing look at the network's progression from struggling cable startup to global powerhouse, and the people — Emeril Lagasse, Paula Deen — who rose and fell along the way.

Salkin tells NPR's Rachel Martin that while the network was intended for cooks, it wasn't run by them.

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The Two-Way
5:20 pm
Sat October 12, 2013

Malala On Nobel Prize: 'I Think I Have Won' With Nomination

During her trip to Washington this week, Nobel Peace Prize nominee Malala Yousafzai met President Barack Obama, first lady Michelle Obama, and their daughter Malia Obama in the Oval Office.
The White House Getty Images

Originally published on Sat October 12, 2013 6:00 pm

  • Malala Yousafzai, 16, and her father, Ziauddin

It seems odd to say that someone "lost" the Nobel Peace Prize. But that's what some folks were saying this week about Malala Yousafzai, who was favored to win the award because of the resilience she showed after being shot in the head by the Taliban.

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The Two-Way
4:25 pm
Sat October 12, 2013

North Dakota's Delay In Reporting Oil Spill Raises Questions

Cleanup went on Friday at the site of an oil pipeline leak and spill north of Tioga, N.D. Officials took nearly two weeks to tell the public about the break in a Tesoro Corp. pipeline.
Kevin Cederstrom AP

The handling of an oil spill in North Dakota is raising questions, after a state agency waited to tell the public it had taken place. A wheat farmer was the first to recognize the spill had happened; it became public knowledge nearly two weeks later.

Here's how the AP describes the spill's discovery:

"Farmer Steve Jensen says he smelled the crude for days before the tires on his combines were coated in it. At the apparent break in the Tesoro Corp.'s underground pipeline, the oil was 'spewing and bubbling 6 inches high,' he said in a telephone interview Thursday."

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The Two-Way
1:51 pm
Sat October 12, 2013

Crime Ring That Used Kids In Robberies Gets Jail Time In France

Adults who ordered children to commit dozens of robberies have been sentenced to jail terms in France, after a court found members of three Croatian Roma families guilty of using the kids to carry out the crimes.

The court convicted 26 members of three families for the crimes, handing down sentences of between two and eight years in prison.

From the Agence France-Presse:

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The Two-Way
12:48 pm
Sat October 12, 2013

Senate Democrats Visit Obama; Boehner Says Talks Are Over

Speaker of the House John Boehner leaves after discussing the government shutdown with his fellow Republicans on Capitol Hill Saturday. Boehner reportedly told his colleagues that talks with the White House had ended without a deal.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Originally published on Sat October 12, 2013 6:02 pm

President Obama hosted the Senate's leading Democrats at the White House for more than an hour Saturday afternoon, in a session that came the same day that Majority Leader Harry Reid met with Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell.

No details were available about the Democrats' discussion, which is one of several lines of communication that are aimed at reaching consensus on a budget deal. Earlier Saturday, House Speaker John Boehner said negotiations with the White House were over, after the president rejected the GOP's most recent plan.

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The Two-Way
11:47 am
Sat October 12, 2013

Grand Canyon And Other National Parks Reopen, On States' Dime

Tourists stop on the roadside near Mount Rushmore, after their visit was canceled due to the government shutdown. South Dakota and other states have reached an agreement to fund operations to reopen the parks.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Thanks to agreements between the Department of the Interior and several states, a dozen popular national parks are open again, at least temporarily. The parks range from the Statue of Liberty to the Grand Canyon; the states are paying to keep them open for up to 10 days.

State officials say it's particularly important to have the parks open during the Columbus Day holiday weekend. National Park Service employees began opening some facilities Friday; others will reopen today or Monday.

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The Two-Way
9:46 am
Sat October 12, 2013

Kerry And Karzai Meet To Discuss U.S. Presence In Afghanistan

Ahead of an expected — and repeatedly delayed — news conference, an Afghan worker leaves the area where Secretary of State John Kerry and Afghan President Hamid Karzai were expected to speak Saturday in Kabul.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat October 12, 2013 11:12 am

The U.S. desire to maintain a military presence in Afghanistan is the subject of talks today in Kabul, where Secretary of State John Kerry is in prolonged discussions with President Hamid Karzai. Most of the U.S. troops would continue training Afghan forces, while another contingent works against terrorist groups.

As for how many Americans would be posted to Afghanistan, NPR's Sean Carberry says a precise number hasn't emerged, but he adds that "through conversations and comments by military officials, the range is about 5,000 to 10,000."

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The Two-Way
8:41 am
Sat October 12, 2013

Cyclone Phailin Hits India With 120 MPH Winds; Thousands Flee

A man covers himself with a plastic sheet as a shield as he walks to a safer place near Gopalpur in eastern India Saturday. Hundreds of thousands of people living along India's eastern coastline took shelter from the massive powerful cyclone Phailin.
Biswaranjan Rout AP

Originally published on Sat October 12, 2013 3:35 pm

Cyclone Phailin has struck India's east coast in the Bay of Bengal, where more than 500,000 people have evacuated from vulnerable areas along the coast. Phailin reportedly packed sustained winds of more than 120 mph when the eye of the storm hit; strong winds will likely persist for hours to come.

Update at 3:15 p.m. ET:

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Shots - Health News
7:36 am
Sat October 12, 2013

Health Insurance Exchanges Suffer Ills Of Geography

Alexandra Dixon is one of 350 "navigators" hired to help people sign up for health insurance in Maryland.
Jenny Gold for NPR

Originally published on Sat October 12, 2013 9:05 am

These first two weeks have been rocky for the state health insurance exchanges. The online marketplaces opened across the country Oct. 1, with computer glitches and staffing shortages.

Even the states that have agreed to run their own exchanges are having a hard time. In states that have not embraced the Affordable Care Act, the federal government is struggling to fill in the gap.

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The Salt
6:07 am
Sat October 12, 2013

Women, The 'First Brewers,' Lean Into Craft Beer-Making

Meg Gill is the president and co-founder of Golden Road Brewing in Los Angeles. Her brewery is favored to win awards at the Great American Beer Festival.
Melissa Kuypers NPR

Originally published on Sat October 12, 2013 10:09 am

Thousands of beer aficionados are in Denver this weekend for the Great American Beer Festival. Some 600 breweries from around the country are represented at the marquee event for the craft-brewing industry.

And while this annual competition has long been male-dominated, that's starting to change.

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The Salt
3:54 am
Sat October 12, 2013

Feminist Hulk Smash Shutdown, Rescue Women On Food Aid!

Courtesy Jessica Lawson

Originally published on Sun October 13, 2013 9:09 pm

The government shutdown is frustrating enough for furloughed workers, but for families dependent on federal food assistance, it's infuriating.

Enter the Feminist Hulk.

The Twitter monster is smashing the shutdown's threats to the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Food and Nutrition program, which provides food aid to pregnant women and mothers of young children deemed to be at risk of malnutrition. And she's urging her nearly 74,000 followers to help.

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Shots - Health News
3:53 am
Sat October 12, 2013

More Evidence Against Vitamin D To Build Bones In Middle Age

If only it was as simple as popping a supplement and being set for life. But alas, no.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sat October 12, 2013 11:51 am

It's not easy being a wonder vitamin these days. Just when it looks like you're the solution to every health problem, some doctors come along and burst your bubble. Now it's happening to vitamin D.

The supplement has been widely promoted to prevent osteoporosis and fight a host of other ills. But recent studies haven't found much benefit, for bones or for general health.

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The Salt
6:38 pm
Fri October 11, 2013

Shutdown Leaves Some Seniors Worried About Their Next Meal

Seniors around the country depend on weekly deliveries of nutritionally balanced food from the USDA's supplemental nutrition program.
tmarvin iStockPhoto.com

Originally published on Fri October 11, 2013 7:27 pm

You've no doubt heard of Senior Meals on Wheels preparing hot meals delivered to the elderly. But there's a different meal program that's been put on hold because of the partial government shutdown. It's the USDA's Commodity Supplemental Food Program.

In Michigan's western Kent County alone, more than 1,300 low-income seniors depend on the program. For them, it's a nutrition lifeline: They can't just go to a food pantry for similar assistance.

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The Two-Way
6:27 pm
Fri October 11, 2013

Migrant Boats Capsize Off Italy And Near Egypt

An Italian student holds a paper boat reading "How many tombs without names in Lampedusa, No to Bossi Fini" in reference to the recent tragedy near Lampedusa island where at least hundreds of immigrants drowned and the Bossi-Fini anti-immigration law.
Filippo Monteforte AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 11, 2013 7:59 pm

Two separate incidents left dozens of migrants dead, when their boats capsized on Friday.

First, a boat capsized off the Coast of Egypt and 12 migrants died and 116 were rescued. Then, 27 migrants died and 221 were rescued after a boat capsized off the coast of Italy.

Of course, this comes about a week after a similar incident left 339 dead because of a capsized boat near Italy.

The BBC reports on the Egypt accident:

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