NPR Blogs

The Two-Way
6:02 pm
Wed November 6, 2013

Judge: MF Global Customers To Recover All Their Losses

Jon Corzine, former New Jersey governor and ex-CEO of MF Global, leaves a congressional hearing in 2011.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 6, 2013 6:35 pm

One thread runs through nearly every story of financial fraud, from Enron to Madoff: Investors bilked out of their money rarely get it back.

So, this lead from The New York Times Dealbook blog caught our attention:

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Shots - Health News
5:17 pm
Wed November 6, 2013

IVF Doesn't Raise Overall Risk For Childhood Cancers

Tina Nevill of Essex, England, holds Poppy, who was conceived by in vitro fertilization. The U.K.'s health system records all IVF cycles performed in the country.
Barcroft Media/Landov

Originally published on Thu November 7, 2013 9:51 pm

Children who were conceived with in vitro fertilization have the same overall chance of developing childhood cancers as those conceived naturally, scientists reported Wednesday.

"It's a reassuring finding," says pediatrician Alastair Sutcliffe of University College London, who led the study. "It's a bellwether to the future health of these kids as they grow up."

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The Two-Way
4:58 pm
Wed November 6, 2013

This Is Nuts! Heist Nabs $400,000 Worth Of Walnuts

A walnut orchard in California's Central Valley.
PRNewsFoto California Walnut Commission

Originally published on Wed November 6, 2013 5:27 pm

This case is proving a tough nut to crack: Thieves have been making off with shipments of walnuts and almonds in California's Central Valley. The latest heist is valued at $400,000.

Rich Paloma, a reporter with The Oakdale Leader, tells NPR's All Things Considered that in the most recent nut job — he's counted six thefts of walnuts and almond shipments in recent months — the thieves cut through a fence.

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The Two-Way
4:07 pm
Wed November 6, 2013

Another Election?! Relax, This One's To Name A Baby Panda

You can help select a name for the National Zoo's new panda cub.
Abby Wood Smithsonian's National Zoo

Originally published on Wed November 6, 2013 4:45 pm

Fresh off Tuesday's election, another is just around the corner: The National Zoo wants you to help name its new panda cub by casting a vote at Smithsonian.com.

You can vote online (no photo identification required and the balloting continues until Nov. 22).

At NPR, we always strive to ensure that our audience is informed of the candidates — even when they're names for pandas.

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The Salt
3:08 pm
Wed November 6, 2013

Forget Barley And Hops: Craft Brewers Want A Taste Of Place

The brewers at Scratch Brewing Company add wild plants like spicebush, goldenseal, wild ginger, chanterelles and wild rose root to their beer to give it the flavor of the Illinois woods.
Aaron Kleidon Scratch Brewing Company

Originally published on Fri November 8, 2013 11:37 am

Last week, Aaron Kleidon went for a walk in the Illinois woods and returned with a bag of lotus seeds. The seeds were bound not for his dinner plate, but for his pint glass.

In a few months, Kleidon will have lotus-flavored beer at the small brewpub Scratch Brewing Company, which he owns with two friends in Ava, Ill. The microbrewery specializes in beers with seeds, leaves, roots, fruits and fungi foraged from a nearby wooded property. The brewers have even made a saison from chanterelle mushrooms.

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The Two-Way
2:40 pm
Wed November 6, 2013

Wife Beats Husband In Local Maine Election

Originally published on Wed November 6, 2013 4:33 pm

The election Tuesday for Ward 1 warden in Waterville, Maine, might have had as much to say about marital politics as partisan politics.

Democrat Jennifer Johnson beat out her husband, Republican David Johnson, by a margin of 127-76 votes.

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Shots - Health News
1:46 pm
Wed November 6, 2013

Babies' Immune Systems May Stand Down To Let Good Microbes Grow

He's not just getting a cold. He's building his microbiome.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed November 6, 2013 3:27 pm

Here's possible solace for parents who are up at night with a baby who gets sick all the time: There appears to be a good reason why infant immune systems don't fight off germs.

A newborn's immune system is deliberately not doing battle with every germ that comes along so that "good" microbes have a chance to settle in, researchers say. That explanation is at odds with the widely held belief that those new immune systems are just too weak to do the job.

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The Two-Way
12:38 pm
Wed November 6, 2013

Tests 'Moderately Support' Case That Arafat Was Poisoned

Oct. 29, 2004: Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat boards a helicopter in Ramallah, the West Bank, for the start of his journey to a hospital in France. He died 2 weeks later.
Scott Nelson Getty Images

Originally published on Sun November 10, 2013 12:21 pm

Swiss scientists report that tests on the remains of former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat "moderately support" the theory that his 2004 death "was the consequence of poisoning with polonium-210."

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Shots - Health News
12:03 pm
Wed November 6, 2013

A New Look At An Old Epilepsy Drug Yields Treatment Clue

In epilepsy, the normal behavior of brain neurons is disturbed. The drug valproic acid appears to help the brain replenish a key chemical, preventing seizures.
David Mack/Science Source

Originally published on Wed November 6, 2013 4:38 pm

About one-third of people with epilepsy aren't helped by existing drugs.

But a commonly prescribed medicine used for almost 50 years to treat the disorder has revealed new information about how the disorder works that could lead to improvements in treatments.

That drug, valproic acid, is used to treat epilepsy, migraines and bipolar disorder. It's the active ingredient in drugs like as Depakote or Depakon, among other names.

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The Two-Way
11:32 am
Wed November 6, 2013

Splattered Flag-Themed Football Uniforms Have Many Seeing Red

Part of the special design to be worn by Northwestern University football players on Nov. 16.
Facebook.com/UnderArmourFootball

Originally published on Wed November 6, 2013 2:01 pm

Special uniforms that Northwestern University's football team will wear on Nov. 16 have sparked controversy because of red streaks across the flag-themed patterns that look like blood to many observers.

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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
11:06 am
Wed November 6, 2013

A Darker Universe

The hunt for dark matter started with astronomer Fritz Zwicky's observations of the Coma galaxy cluster in the 1930s. This recent image of the Coma cluster combines optical and X-ray observations from the Chandra mission.
J.Sanders et al NASA/CXC/MPE/SDSS

"What is essential is invisible to the eye," said the Fox to the Little Prince. And although in Saint-Exupéry's fable the "invisible" referred to love, the Fox was also right on when it comes to about 95 percent of the universe.

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Shots - Health News
10:48 am
Wed November 6, 2013

How Pictures Of Infant Boy's Eyes Helped Diagnose Cancer

A milky eye can be a sign of early cancer of the retina.
Courtesy of Bryan Shaw

Originally published on Thu November 7, 2013 9:51 pm

Bryan Shaw never expected to write a research paper about a rare eye cancer.

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The Two-Way
10:07 am
Wed November 6, 2013

Astrodoomed? Famed Houston Stadium May Fall To Wrecking Ball

An interior shot of the Houston Astrodome taken in 1990. The stadium was "the first fully air-conditioned, enclosed, domed, multipurpose sports stadium in the world," according to the Texas Historical Association.
Tony Duffy Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 6, 2013 1:46 pm

Voters in Houston on Tuesday rejected a bond referendum that would have allowed Harris County, Texas, to borrow $217 million that it could then spend on turning the Astrodome into one very large convention and exhibition hall.

The vote was 53 percent against the referendum, to 47 percent in favor.

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Monkey See
9:50 am
Wed November 6, 2013

Miss Universe's National Costume Show Raids International Feather Supply

This photo of Brenda Gonzalez, Miss Argentina, is my prototype national costume. If you grew up wanting to be Miss Universe, this is why. Feathers, metallic bustier: this is it.
Darren Decker Miss Universe Organization

Originally published on Wed November 6, 2013 10:33 am

Two years back, we noted that Miss USA's costume at the Miss Universe National Costume Show was a mashup of tradition and vulgarity: "like crossing the Delaware to go to Hooters."

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Shots - Health News
9:17 am
Wed November 6, 2013

Administration Looks To Give Labor Unions Health Tax Relief

Union member Tom Stensberg holds a sign thanking Congress for the Affordable Care Act during a rally hosted by the AFL-CIO at the U.S. Capitol in May 2010.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Weeks after denying labor's request to give union members access to health law subsidies, the Obama administration is signaling it intends to exempt some union plans from one of the law's substantial taxes.

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