NPR Blogs

Shots - Health News
3:40 pm
Mon December 16, 2013

Novice Neurosurgeons Train On Brains Printed In 3-D

A simulated patient at the University of Malaya makes use of different materials to mimic the look and feel of human tissue.
Courtesy of Vicknes Waran

Originally published on Wed December 18, 2013 9:58 am

There's no such thing as too much practice when it comes to brain surgery.

But it's hard for beginner neurosurgeons to get real hands-on experience. Most residents learn by watching and assisting experienced surgeons.

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The Two-Way
3:33 pm
Mon December 16, 2013

Russia Reportedly Near To Signing Loan Guarantee For Ukraine

Anti-government protesters gather on Independence Square on Friday in Kiev, Ukraine.
Brendan Hoffman Getty Images

Russia is reportedly on the cusp of agreeing to a major loan guarantee for economically troubled Ukraine in an effort to keep the former Soviet republic in its sphere of influence, even as anti-government protesters in Kiev push for closer ties with Europe.

Reuters says:

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The Salt
3:02 pm
Mon December 16, 2013

Sandwich Monday: The Grinch Sandwich

The Grinch sandwich: It has the power to ruin Christmas.
CBS/Photofest

Originally published on Mon December 16, 2013 3:54 pm

Right there at the end of "You're A Mean One, Mr. Grinch," the narrator sings, "you're a three-decker toadstool and sauerkraut sandwich ... with arsenic sauce." So we made one, to celebrate/ruin the holidays.

Our local Whole Foods was fresh out of arsenic sauce, so we went with the next best thing, Sriracha.

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The Two-Way
2:44 pm
Mon December 16, 2013

Man Who Bilked Millions From Navy Charity Donors Gets 28 Years

Bobby Thompson, whom authorities have identified as Harvard-trained attorney John Donald Cody, looks at the jury as his verdict is read in Cleveland in November.
Tony Dejak AP

Originally published on Mon December 16, 2013 4:33 pm

A man found guilty of masterminding a $100 million fraud involving a Navy veterans charity has been sentenced to 28 years in prison and slapped with a $6 million fine.

Harvard-trained attorney John Cody, 67, went by the alias Bobby Thompson. He was convicted in November of 23 counts, including identity fraud and using a false name in a scam that spanned 40 states, Reuters says.

The news agency writes:

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The Two-Way
2:32 pm
Mon December 16, 2013

Federal Judge Rules NSA Bulk Phone Record Collection Unconstitutional

Originally published on Mon December 16, 2013 4:31 pm

A federal judge in Washington says the National Security Agency's program for bulk phone record collection violates Americans' reasonable expectation of privacy.

The ruling (pdf), however, has been stayed pending a likely appeal.

Judge Richard Leon says the sweeping NSA collection of U.S. phone metadata constitutes an unreasonable search or seizure under the Fourth Amendment.

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Shots - Health News
2:27 pm
Mon December 16, 2013

As Far As Mom's Concerned, You'll Always Be The Little One

Being the littlest may mean more protection and care from parents, psychologists say.
Getty Images/Image Source

If you're a youngest child, your mother may call you "the baby," even if you're 6-foot-3. It can be endearing or annoying, depending on how you're feeling about dear old Mom.

But, it turns out, lots of parents think their youngest children are smaller than they really are, Australian researchers have found.

When they asked mothers to mark the height of their youngest child on a wall, they consistently marked it lower than the child's height. And not just by a little bit.

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The Two-Way
2:04 pm
Mon December 16, 2013

Wondering What Rob Ford's Been Up To? He's Dancing... In Church

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford is surrounded by the media as he waits for an elevator outside his office at Toronto City Hall on November 15.
Geoff Robins AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 2, 2014 10:06 am

It's been a while since we last checked in on the embattled mayor of Toronto Rob Ford.

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The Two-Way
1:35 pm
Mon December 16, 2013

Trains To Roll Through Devastated Quebec Town Again

Scene of the disaster: On July 6, smoke rose from the tank cars that derailed in Lac Megantic, Quebec. The explosions and fires killed 47 people.
Paul Chiasson AP

For the first time since a July 6 derailment that caused massive explosions and fires that killed 47 people, freight trains are due to roll again through Lac-M├ęgantic, Quebec, starting on Wednesday.

According to Toronto's Globe and Mail:

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Monkey See
12:18 pm
Mon December 16, 2013

5 By O'Toole: What To Watch Beyond 'Lawrence Of Arabia'

Lawrence of Arabia made Peter O'Toole an instant star, but his career was a long and varied one. Bob Mondello has recommendations for other movies well worth seeing him in.
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Originally published on Mon December 16, 2013 1:16 pm

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The Two-Way
11:48 am
Mon December 16, 2013

Mandela Interpreter Says He Was In Group That Killed Two Men

Thamsanqa Jantjie.
Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi AP

As we continue to follow the story of the apparently bogus sign language interpreter who stood beside President Obama and other world leaders at a memorial service for Nelson Mandela last week in Johannesburg, South Africa, there's word that:

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The Two-Way
11:28 am
Mon December 16, 2013

No Amnesty For Edward Snowden, White House Says

Edward Snowden, seen during a video interview with The Guardian.
Glenn Greenwald/Laura Poitras EPA/LANDOV

Originally published on Mon December 16, 2013 11:39 am

Looks like Edward Snowden won't get amnesty after all.

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The Two-Way
11:14 am
Mon December 16, 2013

In Clash, Police In China's Muslim Region Kill At Least 14

Chinese police killed at least 14 people during a clash on Sunday in a Muslim region of the country, USA Today reports, citing state media.

The paper adds:

"The attackers killed two policemen late Sunday when police were arresting "criminal suspects" in a township near the Silk Road city of Kashgar, reported Tianshan, a local government news portal.

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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
10:43 am
Mon December 16, 2013

Global Warming Explained, In About A Minute

Jean-Pierre Clatot AFP/Getty Images

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Krulwich Wonders...
10:29 am
Mon December 16, 2013

What's That Clinging To The Towering Wall And Why Doesn't It Fall Off?

YouTube

Maybe you've seen this, (it's gotten around), but I'm still gobsmacked. Totally amazed. We're in northern Italy looking at the face of the Cingino Dam, and here and there on the vertical stone wall, you'll see a few dark specks.

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The Two-Way
10:11 am
Mon December 16, 2013

Harvard Issues 'All Clear' After Unconfirmed Reports Of Explosives

SWAT team officers on the scene Monday at Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass. Four buildings on campus were evacuated after an unconfirmed report that explosives may have been placed inside.
Elise Amendola AP

Originally published on Mon December 16, 2013 2:58 pm

Update at 2:50 p.m. ET. Authorities Issue 'All Clear' For All Four Campus Sites:

Harvard's Emergency website issued has cleared the university's Science Center, the last of four sites that were searched for possible explosives.

After nearly 6 hours of searching by bomb squads and other experts, authorities at Harvard University on Monday had issued "all clear" notices for the four buildings apparently cited in "unconfirmed reports" about explosives on campus.

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