NPR Blogs

The Two-Way
5:28 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

Two Blond Children Taken From Roma Families In Ireland Are Returned

A newspaper vendor wears a vest displaying front page of The Herald on Wednesday in Dublin. Irish authorities were waiting for DNA test results in relation to a girl removed by Gardai from a Roma family in Dublin, days after a similar case in Greece. The test showed the girl was the biological daughter of the Roma family.
Dan Kitwood Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 6:33 pm

Over the past week, two children were taken from Roma families in Ireland. Authorities said they suspected the blond-haired and blue-eyed children might had been abducted because they did not look like their parents.

Today, we get news that after a DNA test and other proof was presented to authorities, the boy and the girl are back with their biological parents.

Meanwhile, the Justice Minister Alan Shatter called for a report about how this happened.

Read more
Shots - Health News
5:21 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

A Toddler Remains HIV-Free, Raising Hope For Babies Worldwide

HIV-positive babies rest in an orphanage in Nairobi, Kenya. Treatment right after birth may make it possible for HIV-positive newborns to fight off the virus.
Brent Stirton Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 6:31 pm

A 3-year-old girl born in Mississippi with HIV acquired from her mother during pregnancy remains free of detectable virus at least 18 months after she stopped taking antiviral pills.

New results on this child, published online by the New England Journal of Medicine, appear to green-light a study in the advanced planning stages in which researchers around the world will try to replicate her successful treatment in other infected newborns.

Read more
The Two-Way
4:45 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

Ex-Navy Carrier USS Forrestal Sold For 1 Cent

The decommissioned aircraft carrier USS Forrestal departs Newport, R.I., for a three-day cruise to Philadelphia in 2010.
MCCS Melissa F. Weatherspoon U.S. Navy

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 6:45 pm

The U.S. Navy's first "supercarrier" is being sold for just 1 cent to a ship breaker.

The USS Forrestal, launched in 1954 and decommissioned in 1993, is the first of three conventional (non-nuclear) carriers due to be scrapped in the coming years. The Forrestal is best known for a devastating fire in 1967 that engulfed the ship's flight deck, killing 134 sailors and wounding 161 others.

Read more
The Salt
4:41 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

Are You A Sage Foodie? A Quiz To Test Your Food Literacy

Screenshot of the Food Literacy Quiz

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 6:06 pm

So, Food Day is almost upon us (it's Oct 24). And maybe it's time to test your mettle.

The folks behind this celebration have devised a Food Literacy Quiz to gauge your knowledge of all things food — from farm to table.

Think you know tomatoes? Well, by evaluating a series of photos shown in the first question of the quiz, you may learn something about how its seeds are dispersed.

Read more
The Two-Way
4:11 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

China's Smog As Seen From Space

Heavy smog has shrouded much of eastern China, and air quality levels have been dropped to extremely dangerous levels. The heavy smog is caused by industrial pollution, coal and agricultural burning, and has been trapped by the mountains to the west and wind patterns. The thick haze of smog is clearly visible as the murky gray color in this true color satellite image.
NASA/NOAA

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 4:35 pm

We told you earlier this week about how smog choked the northeast Chinese city of Harbin, which is home to 11 million people.

Today, we get a stunning look at just how bad the problem is from an image taken by the Suomi NPP satellite on Tuesday. That murky gray you see below is all smog:

Read more
Shots - Health News
4:05 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

Why Postponing Insurance Mandate Is No Easy Fix For Obamacare

Patrick Lamanske, of Champaign, Ill., works with Amanda Ziemnisky (right), of the Champaign Urbana Public Health District, to try to sign up his wife, Ping, for health coverage through the Affordable Care Act on Oct. 1.
David Mercer AP

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 7:57 pm

The Obama administration has entered full damage-control mode over the balky website intended to enroll people in new health plans under the Affordable Care Act.

Read more
The Salt
3:30 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

Put Some Sizzle In Your Halloween Costume ... With Sausage?

Geene Courtney models a scarf, skirt, bracelets and a crown made from hot dogs, frankfurters and kielbasa in her role as Queen of National Hot Dog Week, circa 1955.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 4:56 pm

Still looking for a Halloween costume that makes a statement? Look no further than your grocery aisle, if you dare.

Ever since Carmen Miranda danced her way onto the silver screen with a fantastical fruit-laden hat in the 1940s, food as costume has provoked reactions of both delight and horror.

Costumes made of real food have sparked discussions about race, hunger, vegetarianism, commercialism, sexuality, morality and the ever-popular female body image for decades. Here are a few of the more memorable examples.

Read more
13.7: Cosmos And Culture
3:20 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

Space Is Not Our Friend

If Gravity carries a clear message, it is that the universe is hostile to life.
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 4:22 pm

This weekend I finally caught up with the rest of America's moviegoers and went to see Gravity, the blockbuster directed by Mexico's Alfonso Cuarón, of Harry Potter and Y Tu Mamá También fame. The movie stars Sandra Bullock as a Ph.D. medical engineer on her first space mission and George Clooney as an unflappable veteran astronaut. Somehow, Bullock, the medical engineer, is sent on a mission to fix the Hubble Space Telescope. (Huh?)

Read more
The Two-Way
2:48 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

Boston Mayor Fumbles (Again), Says Sox Will Bring Home 'Cup'

Boston Mayor Thomas Menino in March 2013.
Paul Marotta Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 6:14 pm

Boston Mayor Thomas Menino dropped another fly ball: On Tuesday, a day before the first game of the World Series, he mixed his sports references, proving once again that he is no sports fan.

"Tomorrow night, the never (say) die Red Sox, play in their third World Series in the last nine years," Menino said, according to The Boston Globe. "(We're) rooting hard to bring back the World Series Cup to Boston, like we did in 2004 and 2007."

Read more
The Two-Way
1:07 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

Chinese Paper Makes Unprecedented Plea For Reporter's Release

A woman reads the New Express newspaper with Wednesday's headline: "Please Release Him."
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 5:55 pm

"Please Release Him."

That was the simple but startling front-page headline on Wednesday in New Express, a cutting-edge newspaper based in China's southern city of Guangzhou. "Him" is Chen Yongzhou, one of the paper's investigative journalists who New Express says was taken away by police after reporting "problems with the accounts" at Zoomlion Heavy Industries."

Read more
Shots - Health News
12:47 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

FDA Asks Dog Owners For Help With Illnesses Linked To Jerky

Jerky treats for dogs and cats have been linked to pet illnesses and deaths. But it's still unclear what is causing the problems.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu October 24, 2013 12:11 pm

The Food and Drug Administration has a mystery on its hands.

Thousands of dogs and at least 10 cats have become sick after eating various forms of jerky for pets over the past few years. Some 580 animals have died, the agency says. But it's not sure why.

Read more
The Two-Way
12:45 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

VIDEO: World Series Smackdown, Symphony Style

The St. Louis and Boston symphony orchestras are into this year's World Series. They've made a video so that they can talk some trash (and play some music too).
YouTube
  • From 'Morning Edition': NPR's Mike Pesca previews the World Series

We could do another World Series preview, like Eyder's "Sox Vs. Cards: 5 Things To Know About The World Series" post from Monday.

Read more
The Two-Way
12:05 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

Iran Minister: Man Who Survived Hanging Shouldn't Be Executed

A blindfolded man convicted of armed robbery, kidnapping and the slaying of two policemen awaits execution in Tehran in 2011.
Mohammad Hadi Khosravi AP

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 4:23 pm

Iran's justice minister says a convicted drug smuggler who survived an attempted execution by hanging earlier this month shouldn't go back to the gallows.

As we reported last week, the 37-year-old man, identified as Alireza M, was found alive in the morgue by his family following a 12-minute hanging. After the incident, an Iranian judge reportedly said Alireza would hang again once he had recovered from the botched execution.

Read more
The Two-Way
11:39 am
Wed October 23, 2013

6 1/2-Year Sentence For 'I Killed A Man' YouTube Confessor

An image from the video confession of Matthew Cordle.
becauseisaidiwould.com AP

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 7:28 pm

Read more
The Two-Way
11:10 am
Wed October 23, 2013

Norwegian Town's Bright Idea Is A Shining Example Of Ingenuity

People gathered on a spot in front of the town hall of Rjukan, Norway, last week, where mirrors have focused sunlight.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 2:22 pm

Archimedes would be proud of the town of Rjukan, Norway. So would Sam Eyde.

Rjukan, home to about 3,500 residents and situated about 70 miles west of the capital, Oslo, has installed a trio of giant mountaintop mirrors to focus light into the valley town's square during the cold (and dark) winter months.

Read more

Pages