NPR Blogs

Monkey See
6:45 am
Mon September 9, 2013

Toronto International Film Festival, Days Three And Four: '12 Years' And 'Gravity'

Chiwetel Ejiofor (right) plays Solomon Northup in 12 Years A Slave. Benedict Cumberbatch plays one of the slaveowners who claim ownership of him.
Jaap Buitendijk Toronto International Film Festival

The weekend brings some higher-profile screenings, and my schedule on Saturday and Sunday reflects that. If some of the Thursday/Friday films were an opportunity to see what you may never hear about again, some of the Saturday/Sunday films are a chance to get a jump on the next four or five months of chatter.

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Shots - Health News
3:28 am
Mon September 9, 2013

From Birth, Our Microbes Become As Personal As A Fingerprint

We may not see them, but we need them.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu September 19, 2013 1:58 pm

Look in the mirror and you won't see your microbiome. But it's there with you from the day you are born. Over time, those bacteria, viruses and fungi multiply until they outnumber your own cells 10 to 1.

As babies, the microbes may teach our immune systems how to fight off bad bugs that make us sick and ignore things that aren't a threat.

We get our first dose of microbes from our mothers, both in the birth canal and in breast milk. Family members tend to have similar microbiomes.

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The Two-Way
7:45 pm
Sun September 8, 2013

Serena Williams Wins Fifth U.S. Open Title

Serena Williams holds up the championship trophy after defeating Victoria Azarenka, of Belarus, during the women's singles final of the 2013 U.S. Open tennis tournament on Sunday in New York.
David Goldman AP

Originally published on Sun September 8, 2013 9:44 pm

Top-seeded Serena Williams overcame the wind and more than a dozen unforced errors Sunday to defeat No. 2 Victoria Azarenka of Belarus, in the U.S. Open women's singles championship match 7-5, 6-7(6), 6-1.

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The Two-Way
3:38 pm
Sun September 8, 2013

Police Challenge Prince Andrew During Walk At Palace

Prince Andrew, Duke of York, seen here at Ascot Racecourse in June, was confronted by police in a garden at Buckingham Palace, who ordered him to identify himself.
Chris Jackson Getty Images

For Prince Andrew, a stroll in the garden of Buckingham Palace turned into a confrontation with police, after officers ordered the prince to show ID. Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, is the son of Queen Elizabeth II; Buckingham is her most famous residence.

"We are grateful to the duke for his understanding and have apologized for any inconvenience caused," Scotland Yard says.

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Shots - Health News
1:36 pm
Sun September 8, 2013

Treatment For Middle East Coronavirus Works In Monkey Tests

The source? Signs of the Middle East respiratory syndrome virus have been detected in camels on the Arabian Peninsula. But it's still a mystery how people catch the disease.
Sean Gallup Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 10:18 am

A mysterious disease in the Middle East has triggered international alarms for two big reasons. The virus is often deadly: It has killed almost half of the 114 people known to have caught it. And there's no clear treatment for it.

Now scientists might have made some progress toward fixing that second problem.

A combination of two drugs commonly used for other viral infections reduced the symptoms of the Middle East respiratory syndrome, or MERS, in monkeys, virologists report Sunday in the journal Nature Medicine.

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The Two-Way
1:28 pm
Sun September 8, 2013

Michigan Beats Notre Dame, Plays 'Chicken Dance' Song

The Michigan Wolverines defeated the Notre Dame Fighting Irish Saturday night, 41-30 — and then celebrated by playing some polka. Here, the Irish's Chris Brown is tackled by Michigan's Delonte Hollowell after making a catch.
Gregory Shamus Getty Images

Originally published on Sun September 8, 2013 3:51 pm

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The Two-Way
12:16 pm
Sun September 8, 2013

Wrestling Gets A New Hold On Olympics, Avoids Being Cut

The delegation of the International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles celebrates as its sport is voted to be included in the 2020 and 2024 Summer Olympic Games.
Scott Halleran Getty Images

Originally published on Sun September 8, 2013 1:16 pm

Wrestling, which was bounced from the Olympics' permanent roster of sports earlier this year, has been given a reprieve: It will be part of the 2020 and 2024 Olympics. In a vote held Sunday, the International Olympic Committee chose it over squash and a combined bid from baseball and softball.

Wrestling was cut from the list of 25 core Summer Olympic sports in February. As NPR's Mike Pesca reported, the cut came as a shock.

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The Two-Way
11:13 am
Sun September 8, 2013

Syria Developments: Debate In Washington; Assad Speaks To Rose

The Greek Orthodox monastery of Mar Takla in the Syrian Christian town of Maaloula is seen on Sept. 7. The town is now controlled by a rebel group with al-Qaida ties.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun September 8, 2013 5:05 pm

We're following several stories regarding Syria Sunday, including new comments from Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. There are also reports that an Islamist group with ties to al-Qaida has seized a town with a large Christian population. Elsewhere, officials in the U.S. and its allies are debating how to respond to the conflict that began in 2011, as President Obama's administration tries to shore up support for military action.

We'll update this post with news as it emerges today.

Update at 5 p.m. ET: Sampling Of Political Debate

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The Two-Way
9:14 am
Sun September 8, 2013

France Leads Europe In Hunting, Newspaper Says

Hunters gather prior to a wild boar hunt in Pietrosella, on the French Mediterranean island of Corsica, in August.
Pascal Pochard Casabianca AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun September 8, 2013 10:46 am

French sports fans are known for their love of soccer. But according to Le Figaro, the country's "second sport" is hunting. The newspaper cites the National Federation of Hunters, which says that among all European countries, France has the most hunters.

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The Two-Way
8:23 am
Sun September 8, 2013

Man, 107, Dies In Shootout With Police

Originally published on Sun September 8, 2013 10:43 am

A 107-year-old Arkansas man who held off police is dead after a SWAT team stormed a house during a reported exchange of gunfire on Saturday afternoon.

Police officers had arrived at the house in Pine Bluff, Ark., to investigate a report of a domestic disturbance. They spoke with two people, who said Monroe Isadore had pointed a gun at them. Isadore was in his bedroom, they said.

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Shots - Health News
6:55 pm
Sat September 7, 2013

E-Cigarettes May Match The Patch In Helping Smokers Quit

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 10:18 am

Electronic cigarettes are sparking lots of skepticism from public health types worried they may be a gateway to regular smoking.

But the cigarettes, which use water vapor to deliver nicotine into the lungs, may be as good as the patch when it comes to stop-smoking aids, a study finds.

Smokers who used e-cigarettes in an attempt to quit the old-fashioned kind of cigarettes did about as well at stopping smoking as the people who tried the patch.

After six months, 7.3 percent of e-smokers had dropped cigarettes, compared to 5.8 percent of people wearing the patch.

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The Two-Way
3:55 pm
Sat September 7, 2013

Tokyo Will Host The 2020 Summer Olympics, Beating Out Istanbul

Tokyo will host the 2020 Summer Games, IOC officials said Saturday. In Tokyo, five-time Paralympian Wakako Tsuchida, left, and former Olympic athletes Hiromi Miyake, center, and Yoshiyuki Miyake cheer the news.
Atsushi Tomura Getty Images

Originally published on Sat September 7, 2013 5:51 pm

It will be Tokyo, not Istanbul or Madrid, who hosts the 2020 Summer Olympics, the International Olympic Committee and its president, Jacques Rogge, announced in Buenos Aires Saturday. Rival city Madrid was eliminated in the first round of voting. We have updated this post with the latest news.

Update at 4:55 p.m. ET: Voting Tally Detailed

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The Two-Way
2:49 pm
Sat September 7, 2013

Pope Francis Leads Vigil Calling For Peace In Syrian Crisis

People in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican hold Syrian flags and signs against a possible military strike, after gathering for a vigil in the name of peace convened by Pope Francis Saturday.
Riccardo De Luca AP

Originally published on Sat September 7, 2013 5:44 pm

Pope Francis is leading a mass prayer vigil in St. Peter's Square Saturday night, building on his calls to avoid violence in the escalating conflict over Syria. Tens of thousands of people have come to the Vatican on what the pontiff has declared a day of fasting and prayer in the name of peace.

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The Two-Way
1:36 pm
Sat September 7, 2013

Chobani Issues All-Clear After Yogurt Recall

The Chobani Greek yogurt company says the mold that caused some of its products to bloat or swell is not normally harmful to people. On Thursday, Chobani said, "To be extra cautious, we have moved from a voluntary withdrawal to a voluntary recall."
PR NEWSWIRE

Originally published on Sat September 7, 2013 2:18 pm

After concerns over its product led the Chobani Greek yogurt company to issue a voluntary recall of some packages earlier this week, the New York-based foodmaker now says the mold that was identified as the culprit is not dangerous.

"Through extensive testing and expert consultation, we now know that the mold found in the products we voluntarily recalled this week is a species called Mucor circinelloides," the company says. "Mucor circinelloides is not considered a foodborne pathogen."

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The Two-Way
11:52 am
Sat September 7, 2013

Rim Fire Is Third-Largest Wildfire In California's History

A charred tree rests on the forest floor after being sawn down to a stump Friday. Firefighters are still working to contain the Rim Fire, which is now the third-largest wildfire in California's history.
Mike McMillan U.S. Forest Service

Originally published on Sat September 7, 2013 1:00 pm

The Rim wildfire that began three weeks ago today is now 80 percent contained, officials say, but it has burned more than a quarter of a million acres, and it may continue to grow, thanks to low humidity and other conditions.

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