NPR Blogs

The Two-Way
8:47 am
Thu January 2, 2014

Jobless Claims Were Nearly Unchanged Last Week

Originally published on Thu January 2, 2014 8:57 am

There were 339,000 first-time claims filed for unemployment insurance last week, down slightly from 341,000 the week before, the Employment and Training Administration says.

According to The Associated Press, the slight decline is "evidence that layoffs are low and hiring will likely remain steady."

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The Two-Way
6:47 am
Thu January 2, 2014

VIDEO: Stranded Passengers Flown To Safety In Antarctic

Help arrives: an image from video taken as a helicopter landed Thursday on an ice floe in the Antarctic. The copter then carried passengers from a stranded ship to another vessel waiting nearby in open waters.
Intrepid Science

Originally published on Thu January 2, 2014 8:51 am

After more than a week aboard a ship stuck in ice off Antarctica, 52 scientists and paying passengers from the Russian ship MV Akademik Shokalskiy are either aboard or headed to an Australian icebreaker that will now take them to warmer waters.

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The Salt
5:22 am
Thu January 2, 2014

Why The Cod On Cape Cod Now Comes From Iceland

With local cod so scarce, Chef Toby Hill of Lyric Restaurant in Yarmouth Port, Mass., tries out a dogfish salad — served here with garlic aioli on toast — instead. Dogfish is still plentiful in New England waters, but wholesale fisheries say there's not much demand for it in the U.S.
Christine Hochkeppel Courtesy of Cape Cod Times

Originally published on Thu January 2, 2014 2:53 pm

Good luck finding local cod in Cape Cod, Mass.

The fish once sustained New England's fishing industry, but in recent years, regulators have imposed severe catch limits on cod, and the fish remain scarce.

"I've never seen cod fishing this bad," says Greg Walinsky, who has been fishing on Cape Cod for more than 30 years. "It looks to me like it's over. And I can't catch any codfish."

It's so bad, many fishermen say, that for the first time, they cannot catch enough cod to even reach shrinking government quotas.

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The Salt
5:22 am
Thu January 2, 2014

How Mass-Produced Meat Turned Phosphorus Into Pollution

A dead carp floats in water near the shore at Big Creek State Park on Sept. 10 in Polk City, Iowa. Like many agricultural states, Iowa is working with the EPA to enforce clean-water regulations amid degradation from manure spills and farm-field runoff.
Charlie Neibergall AP

Originally published on Thu January 2, 2014 10:27 am

It's a quandary of food production: The same drive for efficiency that lowers the cost of eating also can damage our soil and water.

Take the case of one simple, essential chemical element: phosphorus.

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Shots - Health News
4:27 am
Thu January 2, 2014

'Good Behavior' More Than A Game To Health Care Plan

Originally published on Thu January 2, 2014 8:03 am

Behaving well in elementary school could reduce smoking in later life. At least, that's what Trillium Community Health Plan hopes, and it's putting money behind the idea.

Danebo Elementary in Eugene, Ore., is one of 50 schools receiving money to teach classes while integrating something called the "Good Behavior Game." Teacher Cami Railey sits at a small table, surrounded by four kids. She's about to teach them the "s" sound and the "a" sound. But first, as she does every day, she goes over the rules.

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The Salt
3:53 am
Thu January 2, 2014

Food As Punishment: Giving U.S. Inmates 'The Loaf' Persists

Lisa Brown for NPR

Originally published on Thu January 2, 2014 3:49 pm

In many prisons and jails across the U.S., punishment can come in the form of a bland, brownish lump. Known as nutraloaf, or simply "the loaf," it's fed day after day to inmates who throw food or, in some cases, get violent. Even though it meets nutritional guidelines, civil rights activists urge against the use of the brick-shaped meal.

Tasteless food as punishment is nothing new: Back in the 19th century, prisoners were given bread and water until they'd earned with good behavior the right to eat meat and cheese.

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The Two-Way
6:12 pm
Wed January 1, 2014

'Fresh Prince' Actor James Avery Dead At 68

Actor James Avery, known to many as "Uncle Phil" on the TV show The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, has died. He was 68.
Mark Mainz Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 1, 2014 6:31 pm

James Avery, the actor who played the Honorable Philip Banks — also known as Uncle Phil — on the TV show The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, has died.

Avery died on Tuesday in Glendale, Calif., following complications from open heart surgery, publicist Cynthia Snyder told NPR. Avery was 68.

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The Two-Way
5:10 pm
Wed January 1, 2014

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's Health Worsens

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's condition has taken a turn for the worse, the hospital treating him said Wednesday. Sharon, 85, has been in a coma since 2006 when a stroke incapacitated him.
Oded Balilty AP

Originally published on Fri January 3, 2014 7:04 am

The condition of Israeli former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon deteriorated Wednesday, according to the hospital treating him.

The 85-year-old Sharon has been in a coma since 2006, when a massive stroke incapacitated him. The New York Times reports that his condition began to worsen about a month ago:

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Shots - Health News
5:08 pm
Wed January 1, 2014

When Teen Drivers Multitask, They're Even Worse Than Adults

You can do it. But your 16-year-old can't. Teens were more likely to have accidents while eating or talking in the car.
iStockphoto

Everyone knows that the first rule of driving is never take your eyes off the road.

Teen drivers start off being careful, but they tend to start multitasking after just a few months behind the wheel, according to research published Tuesday in the New England Journal of Medicine.

And while older drivers can handle eating or talking to passengers, which trip up the newbies, dialing a cell phone increased the risk of accidents among young and experienced drivers alike.

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Shots - Health News
2:03 pm
Wed January 1, 2014

Editing Your Life's Stories Can Create Happier Endings

Daniel Horowitz for NPR

Originally published on Thu January 2, 2014 11:49 am

It was a rainy night in October when my nephew Lewis passed the Frankenstein statue standing in front of a toy store. The 2 1/2-year-old boy didn't see the monster at first, and when he turned around, he was only inches from Frankenstein's green face, bloodshot eyes and stitched-up skin.

The 4-foot-tall monster terrified my nephew so much that he ran deep into the toy store. And on the way back out, he simply couldn't face the statue. He jumped into his mother's arms and had to bury his head in her shoulder.

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The Two-Way
1:05 pm
Wed January 1, 2014

Blast Rips Through Minneapolis Apartment Building

Crews battle a Minneapolis apartment fire on Wednesday. The billowing fire engulfed a three-story building, sending 14 people to hospitals with injuries ranging from burns to trauma associated with falls.
Jeff Baenen AP

Originally published on Thu January 2, 2014 6:03 am

Update at 6:34 p.m. ET: 14 Reported Injured

Minnesota Public Radio reporter Tim Nelson says 14 people are reported to have been injured, six in critical condition, in the blast and have been taken to area hospitals.

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The Salt
11:24 am
Wed January 1, 2014

Tummy Beer, Coffee Maker Cooking And Mini-Fasts: 2013's Most Read

Latte art, debunking Julia Child and dishwasher cooking: 2013 had something for everybody.
NPR staff

Originally published on Thu January 2, 2014 11:10 am

As we review our most popular posts of 2013, we can't help but notice some patterns, dear readers. It seems that you gravitate towards stories on the escapades of bacteria inside the gut, dieting, icky-looking school lunches and cooking tips ranging from how to handle raw chicken to coffee maker and dishwasher cooking.

And that's just fine with us, since those are some of the food stories we love, too.

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The Two-Way
5:10 am
Wed January 1, 2014

Former First Lady Barbara Bush Is Hospitalized

Former first lady Barbara Bush in March 2012.
Tom Pennington Getty Images

Barbara Bush, 88, is in a hospital in Houston with a respiratory-related issue, according to her husband's office.

She was admitted to Houston Methodist Hospital on Monday, a statement from the office of former President George H.W. Bush reads.

The statement says the former first lady "is in great spirits."

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