NPR Blogs

13.7: Cosmos And Culture
3:59 pm
Thu November 14, 2013

New Study Shows Brain Benefits Of Bilingualism

An Indian schoolgirl dressed as Telugu Talli poses for the camera during a celebration in Hyderabad, home to a study that seems to show the onset of dementia is delayed for people who speak more than one language.
Noah Seelam AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 15, 2013 3:18 pm

The largest study so far to ask whether speaking two languages might delay the onset of dementia symptoms in bilingual patients as compared to monolingual patients has reported a robust result. Bilingual patients suffer dementia onset an average of 4.5 years later than those who speak only a single language.

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The Two-Way
3:53 pm
Thu November 14, 2013

Police Arrest Hundreds In Global Child Porn Sting

Toronto police say they've cracked a massive child porn network, rescuing 386 children around the world and nabbing hundreds of suspects, including teachers, clergymen and doctors.

Of the 348 people arrested worldwide, 108 were in Canada and 76 in the U.S. Project Spade, as the sweep is known, is described by Canadian police as one of the largest-ever child porn busts.

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Shots - Health News
2:44 pm
Thu November 14, 2013

Bacterial Competition In Lab Shows Evolution Never Stops

The plate on the left contains about equal numbers of colonies of two different bacteria. After the bacteria compete and evolve, the lighter ones have taken the lead in the plate on the right.
Courtesy of Michael Wiser

Originally published on Fri November 15, 2013 10:49 am

Evolution is relentless process that seems to keep going and going, even when creatures live in a stable, unchanging world.

That's the latest surprise from a unique experiment that's been underway for more than a quarter-century.

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The Salt
2:41 pm
Thu November 14, 2013

Philadelphia Children's Hospital Bars Herbs And Supplements

Dietary supplements are generally defined as vitamins, minerals, herbs and extracts. They're regulated as a unique category of food by the Food and Drug Administration.
iStockphoto.com

One of the nation's largest and oldest children's hospitals is cracking down on parents who bring their kids herbs, extracts or other dietary supplements.

In what it describes as a break from other hospitals, the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, or CHOP, last month removed most dietary supplements from its list of approved medicines, and established new policies for administering them.

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The Two-Way
2:33 pm
Thu November 14, 2013

Tennessee Valley Authority To Close Several Coal-Fired Plants

An air-monitoring station near the TVA Kingston Fossil Plant in Kingston, Tenn. Stations such as this one are used to monitor clean-air compliance of TVA coal-fired plants.
Wade Payne AP

Originally published on Thu November 14, 2013 4:47 pm

The Tennessee Valley Authority, the nation's largest public utility, has decided to close six coal-fired power plants in Alabama and replace two others in Kentucky with a single new natural gas station.

CEO Bill Johnson made the announcement at a Thursday board meeting in Oxford, Miss., citing stricter environmental regulations and flat demand for power.

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The Two-Way
2:10 pm
Thu November 14, 2013

Google Says It's Getting Far More User-Data Requests From Government

Originally published on Thu November 14, 2013 2:11 pm

Google says the number of requests it gets from the U.S. government for user information is rising — fast.

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The Two-Way
1:50 pm
Thu November 14, 2013

Federal Reserve Nominee Yellen Navigates Confirmation Hearing

Janet Yellen, President Obama's nominee to become the next chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, is sworn in Thursday on Capitol Hill for her confirmation hearing.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Thu November 14, 2013 5:58 pm

Janet Yellen cleared a key hurdle Thursday, as her confirmation hearing to become the next chair of the Federal Reserve went smoothly. There were only a few snags in roughly two hours of questions and discussions between Yellen and members of the Senate banking committee.

Many of the senators lauded Yellen's extensive experience, as well as her adherence to views they heard her discuss in private meetings on Capitol Hill in recent weeks.

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Shots - Health News
12:25 pm
Thu November 14, 2013

Common Test For Bladder Infections Misses Too Many Cases

Urine tests are the gold standard for diagnosing bladder infections. But one common test, the urine culture, can easily miss infections.
Ian Hooton http://www.sciencesource.com/

Most women know all too well the pain and discomfort of a urinary tract infection. They also know they'll probably have to trek to the doctor for a urine analysis so they can get a prescription for antibiotics.

Surely there's got to be a better way.

The first step for women with a history of urinary tract infections may be skipping a standard test isn't that good at spotting bladder infections anyway.

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The Two-Way
11:33 am
Thu November 14, 2013

What Amazing Thing Did Toronto's Mayor Say Today?

Mayor Rob Ford was wearing a Toronto Argonauts football jersey when at City Hall on Thursday. He was also making some rather crude comments in response to some of the latest allegations about his behavior.
Mark Blinch Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu November 14, 2013 12:59 pm

After admitting to smoking crack, to buying illegal drugs and to more than once being in a drunken stupor, it would seem like Toronto Mayor Rob Ford couldn't say anything else that would really shock anyone.

Well ...

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The Two-Way
10:32 am
Thu November 14, 2013

Judge Sentences 'Whitey' Bulger To Two Life Terms In Prison

James "Whitey" Bulger, in a 2011 U.S. Marshals Service photo, has been sentenced to two life terms in prison for his role in 11 killings.
EPA/Landov

Originally published on Thu November 14, 2013 11:32 am

James "Whitey" Bulger has been sentenced to two terms of life in prison, to run consecutively, plus five years for his role in the murder of 11 people. Bulger, 84, is also being punished for racketeering and other crimes. Before announcing the sentence, U.S. District Judge Denise Casper read aloud the names of Bulger's victims.

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The Two-Way
10:28 am
Thu November 14, 2013

Obama Moves To Delay Cancellations Of Insurance Plans

President Barack Obama speaking at the White House on Thursday.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 14, 2013 1:18 pm

  • LISTEN: The president's news conference and NPR coverage of it

President Obama announced Thursday that Americans who have had their health insurance plans canceled because of his Affordable Care Act can keep those plans for another year if they wish.

Those cancellations — most effective on Jan. 1 — have sparked intense criticism of the ACA, in part because the president pledged many times that if Americans liked the health plans they had, they wouldn't have to give them up under the terms of his program.

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The Two-Way
9:41 am
Thu November 14, 2013

Secret Service Shaken By New Report Of Misconduct

Secret Service agents stood watch earlier this month as President Obama arrived at Dallas Love Field airport.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 14, 2013 10:35 am

A Secret Service supervisor has been removed from his post on the team that protects President Obama and another supervisor has been shifted to a different position after allegations of misconduct that have "sent tremors through an agency still trying to restore its elite reputation," The Washington Post reports.

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Monkey See
9:31 am
Thu November 14, 2013

How I Learned To Stop Explaining How Old Things Make Me Feel

iStockphoto.com

"Get ready to feel old."

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The Two-Way
9:07 am
Thu November 14, 2013

Yellen To Say Economy Needs Support, New Data Seem To Agree

Originally published on Thu November 14, 2013 10:28 am

As Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Janet Yellen prepares to tell the Senate Banking Committee that she supports continuing the central bank's policy of buying billions of dollars' worth of bonds to boost the economy, there's fresh evidence that the relatively slow economic recovery continues to be ... relatively slow.

The Employment and Training Administration said Thursday that there were 339,000 first-time claims for jobless benefits filed last week, down by just 2,000 from the week before.

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Krulwich Wonders...
8:50 am
Thu November 14, 2013

My Wine Won't Stop Crying — A Mystery In A Wineglass

Dan Quinn YouTube

Originally published on Thu November 14, 2013 1:23 pm

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