NPR Blogs

The Two-Way
9:11 am
Fri November 29, 2013

Suspected U.S. Drone Strike Kills At Least 2 In Pakistan

On Friday in Peshawar, Pakistan, supporters of Jamaat-e-Islami party shout slogans during a rally to condemn U.S. drone strikes.
Ahmad Sidique Xinhua /Landov

Originally published on Fri November 29, 2013 9:59 am

Pakistani officials said Friday that a suspected U.S. drone strike in the country's tribal belt has killed at least two people and injured several others. The incident comes amid growing controversy in Pakistan over American drone attacks.

NPR's Philip Reeves filed this report for our Newscast unit:

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The Two-Way
8:27 am
Fri November 29, 2013

Thai Protesters Storm Army Headquarters

An anti-government protester waves a national flag after breaking into the compound of the Royal Thai Army headquarters in Bangkok on Friday.
Damir Sagolj Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Fri November 29, 2013 9:05 am

Protesters in Thailand stormed the grounds of the army headquarters Friday, seeking the military's help in toppling the prime minister, but in an interview with the BBC, Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra ruled out early elections to mollify the demonstrators.

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Shots - Health News
4:02 pm
Thu November 28, 2013

Breaking Up With HealthCare.gov Is Hard To Do

Lara Imler has tried to cancel her enrollment on HealthCare.gov, but to no avail.
Annie Feidt Alaska Public Radio Network

Originally published on Thu November 28, 2013 4:43 pm

Enrolling in HealthCare.gov is not easy, and it's been particularly difficult in Alaska. Just 53 people enrolled in the first month.

Anchorage hair stylist Lara Imler is one of the few who got through, as we previously reported. But Imler discovered problems with her application, and now she wants to cancel her enrollment.

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Shots - Health News
2:03 pm
Thu November 28, 2013

Brain Cells 'Geotag' Memories To Cache What Happened — And Where

Benjamin Arthur for NPR

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 6:13 am

Think back to an important event in your life: a graduation, a birth, a special Thanksgiving dinner. Chances are you're remembering not only what happened, but also where it happened. And now scientists think they know why.

As we form so-called episodic memories, the brain appears to be using special cells in the hippocampus to "geotag" each event, researchers report in Science. The process is similar to what some digital cameras do when they tag each picture with information about where the image was taken.

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The Salt
11:26 am
Thu November 28, 2013

Why We Give Thanks For The Health Benefits Of Cranberries

Zac Visco for NPR

Originally published on Thu November 28, 2013 9:08 pm

Many of us sitting down for Thanksgiving feasts today have made cranberries a part of our holiday table. And from a health perspective, those bitter, bright red berries should be on your list of things to be thankful for.

As my colleague Allison Aubrey has previously reported, the Pilgrims believed that cranberries could cure scurvy. They were wrong on their reasoning but right on the cure: The berries are packed with vitamin C.

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Shots - Health News
9:08 am
Thu November 28, 2013

After The Cranberries And Pie, Let's Talk About Death

What seemed like a burden can become a gift.
iStockphoto

On Thanksgiving morning I'll be making pies with my mom, just as I have ever since I was a girl. But at some point I know we'll be talking about more than shortening versus butter. We'll be talking about how she would like to die.

A few months ago my mom fell at home and ended up being admitted to the ICU with four broken ribs and internal injuries. She was lucky. After two weeks in the hospital and a few more in a rehab unit, she's back home, using her new blue walker to get around.

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Krulwich Wonders...
8:08 am
Thu November 28, 2013

On Thanksgiving, Everybody Needs A Friend — And That Means Everybody

Blue_Cutler iStockphoto

Last December, a website called The Morning News asked me to describe the most important and unimportant events of my year. So I sent them a story that felt like both to me, something slight but at the same time deeply rich. Now that it's Thanksgiving, I'm going to post it here because it's about two girls who want the best for everybody — and that can get complicated.

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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
7:03 am
Thu November 28, 2013

A Messy Sort of Gratitude: Giving Thanks For Radiation

Barbara King rings the "victory bell" and holds up a certificate celebrating her completion of 25 external radiation treatments.
Courtesy of Charles Hogg

Those of us who were schoolchildren in the 1950s and 1960s remember duck-and-cover drills: in our classrooms, we practiced dropping under our desks in order to protect ourselves in case a nuclear bomb went off.

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Shots - Health News
3:05 am
Thu November 28, 2013

'The Coolest Thing Ever': How A Robotic Arm Changed 4 Lives

Dee Faught tests a robotic arm installed on his wheelchair in September. Commercially produced robotic arms can cost tens of thousands of dollars, but three Rice engineering students built one for Dee for about $800.
Eric Kayne for NPR

Originally published on Tue April 22, 2014 10:00 am

Three engineering undergrads at Rice University gave a teenager with a rare genetic disease something he'd always wished for: the ability to turn off the light in his room.

It may not seem like much, but for 17-year-old Dee Faught, it represents a new kind of independence.

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The Two-Way
1:57 am
Thu November 28, 2013

Thai Prime Minister Survives No-Confidence Vote

Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra speaks during a no-confidence debate earlier this week.
Pornchai Kittiwongsakul AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 28, 2013 1:06 pm

This post was updated at 1:05 p.m. ET

Thailand's embattled prime minister, Yingluck Shinawatra, survived a no-confidence vote Thursday as anti-government protests entered a fifth day in Bangkok..

The vote, 297 to 134, had been expected to fail because Yingluck's party has a majority in Parliament. Afterward, the prime minister urged protesters to put an end to the demonstrations that have roiled the capital.

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The Two-Way
5:35 pm
Wed November 27, 2013

U.S. And Japanese Officials Discuss China's Air Defense Claim

Concerns over China's air defense claims led Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel to call Japan's defense minister Wednesday. Here, a man makes a call near a replica of a Chinese fighter jet displayed in Beijing Wednesday.
Ng Han Guan AP

Concerned by China's move to assert itself in an area claimed by Japan, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel spoke with his Japanese counterpart Wednesday. China's military says it monitored a flight Tuesday by U.S. bombers through an air defense zone recently outlined by China.

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Shots - Health News
4:30 pm
Wed November 27, 2013

Small-Business Access To Online Health Exchanges Delayed Again

Small employers can still enroll in Affordable Care Act coverage through insurers or brokers, but not through the online exchanges.
iStockphoto

The Obama administration is delaying yet again online signup for small businesses through the Affordable Care Act. The program was intended to make it easier for small employers to provide health insurance to their workers on a more equal footing with big business.

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Shots - Health News
4:24 pm
Wed November 27, 2013

Booming Demand For Donated Breast Milk Raises Safety Issues

Madison Fitzgerald, 20, holds her baby, Jake, in the neonatal intensive care unit at Texas Children's Hospital in Houston. Jake, who was born 16 weeks too early, receives donor breast milk every three hours by mouth.
Carrie Feibel/KUHF

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 10:04 am

The public health message that "breast is best" has been received loud and clear. More mothers in the U.S. are breast-feeding, and they're doing so longer than ever.

But those simple facts hide a complicated world where passions about breast milk run high, and demand has skyrocketed.

Women who have extra milk are intensively courted, by hospitals who need the breast milk for premature babies and by moms who can't nurse their own babies and don't want to use formula.

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The Two-Way
3:52 pm
Wed November 27, 2013

'Turkey Day' Stuffing: Unlikely Pitches Fill Our Inboxes

Talkin' Turkey: In the run-up to Thanksgiving, marketers and PR pros seem to compete for the title of the most creative tie-in to their own business or cause. That led us to list some notable pitches.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 27, 2013 6:56 pm

Turkey is not the only thing that gets stuffed during the Thanksgiving holiday.

Our email inboxes, like yours, have been in Operation Overload this week, glutted with sweet potato souffle recipes, deals of the day, countdowns to Black Friday with BIG SAVINGS and FREE SHIPPING, doorbuster coupons, notices of Santa bar crawls, and more directions for the use of cream cheese than an old Paula Deen cookbook.

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The Salt
3:46 pm
Wed November 27, 2013

Did Your Thanksgiving Turkey Take Any Antibiotics?

Turkeys sit in a barn in Sonoma, Calif. An estimated 46 million turkeys are cooked and eaten during Thanksgiving meals in the U.S.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 27, 2013 7:02 pm

In our series Pharmed Food, we've been looking closely at how the livestock industry in the U.S. uses antibiotics, and what that might mean for human health.

And so as Americans prepare to roast and baste plump, juicy holiday birds, we couldn't help but wonder what antibiotics the average turkey might have been given.

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