NPR Blogs

The Salt
5:33 pm
Fri August 9, 2013

Watermelon Babies Of China: Your Friday Moment Of Zen

Mom, I'm not so sure about this: An example of the photos of babies dressed as watermelons being shared by Chinese Internet users.
dx365

Originally published on Tue August 13, 2013 10:56 am

Babies come in pretty cute packaging — we're pretty sure it has something to do with Mother Nature wanting you to coo over a burping, pooping little freeloader. But now Chinese Internet users have found a way to one-up nature: They're wrapping those already adorable babes in watermelons.

Yep, watermelons.

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The Two-Way
5:16 pm
Fri August 9, 2013

NCAA Will Stop Selling Player Jerseys, Takes Web Shop Down

A screenshot posted on Twitter by ESPN analyst Jay Bilas shows the results for a search for "manziel" — shirts and jerseys matching Texas A&M star Johnny Manziel. The NCAA says it will stop selling such products.
Jay Bilas Twitter

Stung by fresh accusations that the NCAA makes money off college athletes, the organization promised this week to stop selling jerseys and similar products. The move came days after ESPN analyst Jay Bilas tweeted pics of the NCAA Shop selling jerseys corresponding to current players' numbers.

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The Two-Way
4:18 pm
Fri August 9, 2013

Mexican Court Frees Drug Lord Convicted In Killing DEA Agent

Mexican federal police patrol Friday near Puente Grande State prison (background) in Zapotlanejo, Jalisco state, Mexico, where former top Mexican cartel boss Rafael Caro Quintero was released.
Hector Guerrero AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon August 12, 2013 8:28 am

A Mexican court has thrown out the conviction of infamous drug lord Rafael Caro Quintero, 28 years after he was convicted and imprisoned for the 1985 kidnapping and murder of U.S. DEA agent Enrique Camarena.

Quintero had been serving a 40-year sentence for torturing and killing Camarena, but the court voided the sentence on a technicality — saying he should have been tried in a state court instead of the federal court where he was convicted.

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Monkey See
3:53 pm
Fri August 9, 2013

Karen Black, Strange And Lovely, And Always Game

Karen Black and Kris Kristofferson were photographed together in 1972, when they co-starred in Cisco Pike, a saga of drug-ruined rockers and crooked cops.
John Springer Collection/CORBIS

Originally published on Mon August 12, 2013 1:26 pm

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The Two-Way
2:17 pm
Fri August 9, 2013

President Faces Tough Questions On Latest NSA Leaks

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President Obama talks with Jay Leno during the taping of his appearance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Obama told Leno: "We don't have a domestic spying program."
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Fri August 9, 2013 3:04 pm

President Obama, appearing Friday for his first news conference in more than three months, will no doubt be fielding tough questions on a new round of revelations regarding the NSA's top-secret electronic surveillance programs.

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The Two-Way
2:16 pm
Fri August 9, 2013

President Obama Proposes Reforms To Surveillance Programs

President Obama walks out of the East Room of the White House after holding a news conference Friday.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 9, 2013 6:50 pm

In the shadow of classified leaks that exposed some of the government's most secret surveillance programs, President Obama said he will work with Congress to reform the law governing their function.

Speaking at a press conference in the East Room of the White House on Friday, Obama defended the programs but said the reforms will bring greater oversight and transparency.

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The Two-Way
1:00 pm
Fri August 9, 2013

Glock Vs. Glock: Gun Tycoon Loses Alimony Battle

The family behind the Glock gun company has been locked in court battles stemming from founder Gaston Glock's 2011 divorce from his wife of 49 years, Helga.
Jay Directo AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 9, 2013 1:56 pm

Gaston Glock, 84, has been ordered to pay alimony to his ex-wife, Helga, whom he divorced in 2011. The couple had been married for 49 years. The founder of the Austrian gun company "divorced Helga in order to marry a woman about 50 years his junior," Agence France-Presse reports.

Austria's highest court issued its ruling this week, after two lower courts had sided with Gaston Glock in what has been a lengthy court battle.

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The Salt
12:40 pm
Fri August 9, 2013

Wine Waste Finds Sweet Afterlife In Baked Goods

At her bakery in Costa Mesa, Calif., Rachel Klemek sells cabernet brownies made with a flour substitute derived from grape pomace, a byproduct of winemaking packed with nutrients known as polyphenols.
Mariana Dale NPR

Originally published on Sat August 10, 2013 11:26 am

When winemakers crush the juice from grapes, what's left is a goopy pile of seeds, stems and skins called pomace. Until several years ago, these remains were more than likely destined for the dump.

"The pomace pile was one of the largest problems that the wine industry had with sustainability," says Paul Novak, general manager for WholeVine Products, a sister company to winemaker Kendall-Jackson in Northern California.

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The Two-Way
12:20 pm
Fri August 9, 2013

Look For Shooting Stars During This Weekend's Perseid Peak

A Perseid meteor streaks across the sky early on August 13, 2007 in the ghost town of Rhyolite, Nevada.
Ethan Miller Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 9, 2013 5:47 pm

Time to stretch out the lawn chairs, lie back and enjoy the once-a-year celestial show known as the Perseid meteor shower.

The Perseids, the dusty debris of Comet Swift-Tuttle, whisk through our upper atmosphere every August. They aren't the only meteor shower on the calendar, but "the Perseids are the good ones," says meteorite expert Bill Cooke of NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala.

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Krulwich Wonders...
12:20 pm
Fri August 9, 2013

Mosquito Exclusive! Yes, They Bite, But Half The Time They Miss

The Two-Way
12:08 pm
Fri August 9, 2013

Obama Administration, GOP Agree On Opening Prayers Case

Members of the media camp outside the U.S. Supreme Court in June.
Jim Watson AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 9, 2013 1:55 pm

How's this for surprising news: The Obama administration and the GOP have found some common ground.

Both sides have filed amicus briefs with the United States Supreme Court supporting the right of local town boards to begin their meetings with a prayer. The Los Angeles Times explains Town of Greece, New York v. Susan Galloway, Et. Al. like this:

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The Two-Way
12:05 pm
Fri August 9, 2013

5 Teams In 1 Year For 1 Player; And It's Not A MLB Record

Have bat, will travel: Casper Wells just before the start of the season, when he was with the Seattle Mariners. Four stops later, he's landed with the Philadelphia Phillies.
Christian Petersen Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 9, 2013 2:04 pm

Reading in the Chicago Tribune that outfielder Casper Wells had been claimed off waivers by the Philadelphia Phillies and is now with his fifth major league team this season made us wonder:

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The Two-Way
11:55 am
Fri August 9, 2013

Texans Call For Boycott Of Retailers That Fought Wage Bill

In Texas, back-to-school shoppers are being urged to boycott Macy's and Kroger stores for their efforts to quash a wage fairness bill. In this file photo, a man shops at a Sears store in Fort Worth.
Tom Pennington Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 9, 2013 1:56 pm

A group is calling on back-to-school shoppers to boycott Macy's and Kroger stores in Texas this weekend, in retaliation for the national retailers' efforts to quash a bill that would have strengthened the state's wage discrimination law.

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The Salt
11:31 am
Fri August 9, 2013

Why Picking Your Berries For $8,000 A Year Hurts A Lot

A Triqui Mexican picks strawberries at a farm in Washington state.
Courtesy of Seth Holmes

Originally published on Tue August 13, 2013 10:55 am

As the supply chain that delivers our food to us gets longer and more complicated, many consumers want to understand — and control — where their food comes from.

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The Two-Way
10:48 am
Fri August 9, 2013

Father And Son Coaxed From Jungle 40 Years After Vietnam War

Ho Van Lang, found in the jungle of central Vietnam 40 years after he and his father fled the war.
VTV2

Originally published on Fri August 9, 2013 1:55 pm

Four decades ago, Ho Van Thanh fled the fighting in his native Vietnam, disappearing into the jungle with his infant son, Ho Van Lang. This week, father and son emerged for the first time — an enfeebled Thanh carried in a stretcher, and Lang wearing only a loincloth made of tree bark.

According to the Vietnamese newspaper Dan Tri, Ho Van Thanh, now 82, was last seen in 1973 running into the jungle, after his wife and two other children were killed by a bomb or land mine near his home.

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