NPR Blogs

Shots - Health News
6:33 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

Genetic Code Shows Bird Flu In China Spread Between People

A man who just recovered from the H7N9 bird flu leaves a hospital in Bozhou, China, in April. Since early May, the number of new H7N9 cases has dramatically declined.
AFP Getty Images

When a new strain of bird flu cropped up in China last winter, the billion-dollar question was whether the deadly virus could transmit between people.

Now, Chinese scientists offer the first clear evidence that the bird flu is indeed contagious, although only slightly.

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The Two-Way
6:32 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

Judge Cuts Bradley Manning's Possible Sentence To 90 Years

Army Pfc. Bradley Manning is escorted from court on July 25, in Fort Meade, Md.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

The military judge presiding over the sentencing of Pfc. Bradley Manning today reduced the maximum possible sentence the former intelligence analyst could face.

Manning, 25, who was found guilty of espionage and theft in the largest leak of classified intelligence in U.S. history, could face up to 90 years in prison, a maximum sentence that is down from the original 136 years.

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The Two-Way
5:17 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

Reports: U.S. Files First Criminal Charges In Benghazi Attacks

Sept. 11: The U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, was aflame after coming under attack.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue August 6, 2013 6:10 pm

CNN, The Wall Street Journal and NBC News are reporting that the United States has filed charges against a number of people suspected of orchestrating the attacks against the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

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The Two-Way
5:12 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

California Takes Drivers' Orders For 'Vintage' Car Plates

The real deal: California's new vintage car tag program would let drivers emulate icons of cool such as actor Steve McQueen, seen here in his Ford-Cobra roadster in 1963.
Dick Stroebel AP

Thousands of California drivers are ordering specialty vintage license tags for their cars, in a program that lets people choose new tags based on designs from the 1950s, '60s, and '70s. The throw-back plates will let drivers put iconic blue, black, or yellow plates on their vehicles.

And in a nod to way things used to be, the tags' letters and numbers will be stamped, not screen-printed, as John Rabe reports for Southern California Public Radio.

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The Salt
4:54 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

Heck No Or Let's Go? Your Thoughts On Lab-Grown Meat

The scientists who developed the in vitro beef say it could help solve the coming food crisis and combat climate change.
David Parry / PA Wire

Originally published on Tue August 6, 2013 5:52 pm

Would you taste or buy a lab-grown hamburger if you could? That's the question we posed Monday at the end of our report on the world's first in vitro burger, launched this week at a tasting event in London that was streamed via the Internet.

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The Two-Way
4:02 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

U.S. Sues Bank Of America Over Mortgage-Backed Securities

Originally published on Tue August 6, 2013 4:33 pm

The Department of Justice announced Tuesday that it was suing Bank of America for allegedly lying to investors about the riskiness of about $850 million worth of mortgage-backed securities back in 2008.

According to a press release by the Justice Department, the action is part of efforts of the Obama administration's Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force's RMBS Working Group.

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The Two-Way
3:48 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

New Magazine Takes A Grown-Up Look At Adoption

The new online magazine Gazillion Voices was begun in the hopes of shaping a new national conversation on adoption, the website says.
Gazillion Voices

The complex and interconnected topics of adoption, race, and culture will form the backbone of a new online magazine that is starting this week. Gazillion Voices was begun with those goals in mind, says Kevin Vollmers, who created the magazine as an extension of his blog, Land of Gazillion Adoptees.

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The Two-Way
1:53 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

PBS Names Gwen Ifill, Judy Woodruff Co-Anchors Of 'NewsHour'

Gwen Ifill, left, and Judy Woodruff.
Frederick M. Brown Getty Images

Originally published on Wed August 7, 2013 10:14 am

PBS says Gwen Ifill and Judy Woodruff will share the job of anchoring public television's News Hour.

"The veteran correspondents were also named managing editors of the weekly news program," PBS reports on the Newshour blog.

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The Two-Way
1:08 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

Pentagon Cuts Workers' Mandated Furloughs From 11 To 6 Days

Originally published on Tue August 6, 2013 2:30 pm

Civilian workers for the Department of Defense will have to take six mandatory unpaid furlough days instead of 11 days, according to an Associated Press report that the Pentagon confirmed Tuesday afternoon.

Update at 2:20 p.m. ET: Pentagon Confirms Reduced Furloughs

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and the Pentagon have issued a statement announcing the reduction in civilian furlough days, from 11 to six.

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Shots - Health News
12:43 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

Falling Obesity Rates Among Preschoolers Mark Healthful Trend

This map from the CDC shows decreases (light blue) and increases (gray) in obesity prevalence among low-income, preschool-aged children from 2008-2011.
CDC

Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 7:47 am

A fresh analysis from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests the tide may be turning on the childhood obesity front.

After decades of steady increases, 19 states and U.S. territories saw small decreases in their rates of obesity among low-income preschoolers. And another 20 states held steady at current rates.

A CDC map shows several Southern states — including Florida, Georgia and Mississippi — that are part of the downward trend.

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The Two-Way
12:38 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

Bezos Can Help 'Post' Disrupt Other Businesses, Editor Says

Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon.com and soon-to-be owner of The Washington Post, last month in Sun Valley, Idaho.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images
  • From 'Here & Now': 'Washington Post' executive editor Martin Baron on new owner Jeff Bezos

What does Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos bring to The Washington Post, which he just agreed to buy for $250 million?

Here's how the Post's executive editor, Martin Baron, answered that question Tuesday on Here & Now:

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The Two-Way
12:38 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

WATCH: 'Mormon Missionaries' Dominate Pickup Basketball Game

A screen-shot from YouTube of a game of pickup basketball.
YouTube

Originally published on Tue August 6, 2013 2:16 pm

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The Two-Way
12:12 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

Japan Shows Off Largest Warship In 60 Years

Japan's new warship, the Izumo, draws a crowd for its launch ceremony at the port in Yokohama Tuesday. At 248 meters (814 feet) in length, the flat-topped ship has been called a destroyer, or a helicopter carrier.
Toshifumi Kitamura AFP/Getty Images

It's being called a destroyer, or perhaps a helicopter carrier. But by any name, Japan's new warship, unveiled Tuesday, is the largest it has built since World War II. The ship was shown to the public on the anniversary of the 1945 atomic bombing of Hiroshima, and at a time of escalating tensions with China.

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The Salt
11:46 am
Tue August 6, 2013

The Cotton Candy Grape: A Sweet Spin On Designer Fruit

The Cotton Candy grape looks and smells like a regular green grape. But the taste will evoke memories of the circus.
Courtesy of Spencer Gray

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 1:48 pm

Can't we just leave our fruit alone?

Last year, apple farmers were soaking their fruit in grape flavor to make them more attractive to kids. Now, plant breeders in California have created a grape that tastes like — well, spun sugar and air.

That's right, Salties. Say hello to the Cotton Candy grape.

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The Two-Way
11:39 am
Tue August 6, 2013

Whitey Bulger Trial: Jurors Begin Deliberations

James "Whitey" Bulger, in an image released by the U.S. Marshal's Service in August 2011.
EPA /Landov

After a nearly 9-week trial, jurors now have the case and are beginning to debate the fate of infamous Boston gangster James "Whitey" Bulger.

He's accused of 19 murders and racketeering. The trial featured gripping testimony from several of Bulger's accomplices over the years, who told harrowing tales of what they said had been brutal killings.

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