NPR Blogs

The Two-Way
11:01 am
Thu January 9, 2014

While U.S. Shivers, Australia And Brazil Sizzle

At the Australian Bat Clinic in Queensland, 15 baby flying foxes (bats) were lined up and ready to be fed Thursday. They were brought there to get out of the extreme heat, which has killed hundreds of thousands of bats.
Trish Wimberley AP

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 12:18 pm

Temperatures across much of the U.S. are, as forecast, finally starting to get back to something close to normal after several days of dangerously cold air.

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Shots - Health News
10:49 am
Thu January 9, 2014

How Medigap Coverage Turns Medicare Into A Health Care Buffet

How about back surgery, a cardiac catheterization and an MRI scan?
iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 3:01 pm

Restaurants know customers eat more at fixed-price buffets than when they pay a la carte. Economists have been saying for years that the same kind of behavior goes on in the federal Medicare program for seniors and the disabled.

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The Two-Way
10:39 am
Thu January 9, 2014

Pakistani Teen Dies Stopping Bomber From Striking School

Pakistani security personnel examine the site of a suicide bombing in the Ibrahimzai area of Hangu, Pakistan, on Monday. The bombing killed 15-year-old Aitizaz Hasan, who prevented the bomber from attacking a school.
Basit Shah AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 12:02 pm

A teenager who was killed after reportedly stopping a suicide bomber at a school in northwest Pakistan is being hailed as a hero.

Aitizaz Hasan, 15, was late for school on Monday and as a punishment wasn't allowed to attend assembly, the Express Tribune newspaper said.

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The Two-Way
9:40 am
Thu January 9, 2014

The Case Against Clemency: Expert Says Snowden's Leaks Hurt Security

The National Security Agency headquarters building in Fort Meade, Md.
Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 11:25 am

A former NSA general counsel tells NPR's Morning Edition that Edward Snowden advertised his theft of government secrets as an act of civil disobedience and should take responsibility.

"He did the crime — he should do the time," says Stewart Baker, also a former assistant secretary of Homeland Security under President George W. Bush.

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The Two-Way
9:03 am
Thu January 9, 2014

More Slow-But-Steady News: Fewer Jobless Claims Filed

Looking for work in Florida. At a November career fair in West Palm Beach, this man had a job application in hand.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 12:15 pm

There were 330,000 first-time claims filed for unemployment insurance last week, down 15,000 from the week before, the Employment and Training Administration says.

The claims data are the last bits of evidence about how the labor market is doing before Friday's scheduled release of figures on the December unemployment rate and payroll growth.

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The Two-Way
7:40 am
Thu January 9, 2014

Book News: Cache Of Letters From 'Frankenstein' Author Found

An image of author Mary Shelley, circa 1830.
Hulton Archive/Getty Images

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

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Krulwich Wonders...
7:08 am
Thu January 9, 2014

A Rain Forest Begins With Rain, Right? Is This A Trick Question?

MinuteEarth YouTube

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 1:50 pm

Think of a rain forest — rich with trees, covered by clouds, wet all the time.

Then ask yourself, how did this rain forest get started?

I ask, because the answer is so going to surprise you. It's not what you think.

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The Two-Way
6:56 am
Thu January 9, 2014

'I Had Been Drinking,' Rodman Says In Apology For Comments

Dennis Rodman in December, during one of his previous visits to North Korea.
David Guttenfelder AP

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 12:24 pm

Saying that "I had been drinking," former NBA player Dennis Rodman has had his publicist issue an apology for the obscenity-laced rant he went on earlier this week during an interview on CNN.

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The Salt
3:47 am
Thu January 9, 2014

Blending Red Wine With Porter Ale: A Crossover Beer Worth The Buzz?

Sebastian Zutant is the owner of The Red Hen restaurant in Washington, D.C. He's also a sommelier. He and a friend at DC Brau have developed their own beer-wine mashup.
Allison Aubrey NPR

Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 10:21 am

If you're a beer lover and your significant other tends more toward wine, is there a drink that can satisfy both of you?

How about a beer-wine mashup, combining two of mankind's oldest beverages?

"To me, it's kind of the magic in the middle," says Sebastian Zutant, sommelier and owner of the D.C. restaurant The Red Hen.

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Shots - Health News
3:39 am
Thu January 9, 2014

Legal Loopholes Leave Some Kids Without Dental Insurance

Kamora Cyprian got her teeth cleaned at a free health care event in the Los Angeles Sports Arena in September 2012.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 10:21 am

If you think buying health insurance under the Affordable Care Act has been complicated, just wait. Buying dental coverage on the health exchanges, it turns out, is even more confusing.

Dental coverage for children is one of the benefits that must be offered under the law. But, it turns out, a loophole in the law means that — in most states — families don't actually have to buy that coverage.

These rules are so confusing that they even tripped me up.

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The Salt
3:37 am
Thu January 9, 2014

The Fruits Of Free Trade: How NAFTA Revamped The American Diet

Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 10:21 am

Walk through the produce section of your supermarket and you'll see things you'd never have seen years ago — like fresh raspberries or green beans in the dead of winter.

Much of that produce comes from Mexico, and it's the result of the North American Free Trade Agreement — NAFTA — which took effect 20 years ago this month.

In the years since, NAFTA radically changed the way we get our fruits and vegetables. For starters, the volume of produce from Mexico to the U.S. has tripled since 1994.

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The Two-Way
2:54 am
Thu January 9, 2014

Loehmann's To Liquidate; Macy's Cuts Jobs In Reorganization

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 12:21 pm

Discount retailer Loehmann's, which has been in business for more than 90 years, will begin liquidating its inventory on Thursday.

A bankruptcy court in Manhattan on Wednesday authorized three outside groups to conduct "going out of business" sales for the retailer.

The company blamed its demise on declining economic conditions, intense competition from other off-price and outlet retailers as well as competition online.

Loehmann's has 93 stores in 11 states.

Macy's To Reorganize

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The Two-Way
9:50 pm
Wed January 8, 2014

Ease Up On 'No Tolerance' Policies, U.S. Agencies Tell Schools

Originally published on Wed January 8, 2014 9:56 pm

Saying that "zero tolerance" discipline policies at U.S. schools are unfairly applied "all too often," Secretary of Education Arne Duncan is urging officials to rethink that approach. The Obama administration issued voluntary guidelines today that call for more training for teachers and more clarity in defining security problems.

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The Two-Way
6:34 pm
Wed January 8, 2014

Solar Flare Will Hit Earth Thursday; Northern Lights May Expand South

Coming At You: An image created by NASA combines two pictures from its Solar Dynamics Observatory. One shows the location of a large sunspot; the other shows Tuesday's massive solar flare.
NASA/SDO

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 3:51 pm

Tired of reading about intensely cold temperatures? Here's some news that might help take your mind off this week's deep freeze. It could even give you an excuse to hang around outside Thursday.

An intense solar flare is being blamed for disrupting a NASA mission and could force airlines to reroute some flights. That's the bad news. The good news is that the flare is also expected to expand the viewing field of the aurora borealis southward, perhaps down to Colorado and Illinois.

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