NPR Blogs

The Two-Way
7:59 am
Thu October 17, 2013

House Stenographer Seizes Microphone In Bizarre Rant

Originally published on Thu October 17, 2013 10:54 am

In one of the strangest moments of a strange few weeks on Capitol Hill, a House stenographer broke into a rant about God, the Constitution and Freemasonry as representatives cast their votes Wednesday on a deal to reopen the government.

"He will not be mocked," the stenographer, later identified as Dianne Reidy, yelled into the microphone at the chamber's rostrum. "The greatest deception here is that this is not one nation under God. It never was. It would not have been. The Constitution would not have been written by Freemasons. They go against God."

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The Two-Way
7:15 am
Thu October 17, 2013

Federal Workers Head Back To Jobs As Government Reopens

A furloughed federal worker protests outside the U.S. Capitol last week, demanding an end to the shutdown.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 17, 2013 10:49 am

Hundreds of thousands of federal workers on furlough for two weeks are going back to work after Congress approved a late-night deal Wednesday to fund the government and stave off default.

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The Two-Way
5:08 am
Thu October 17, 2013

Kerry Says He Hopes Syria's Chemical Weapons Are Shipped Out Of Region

Secretary of State John Kerry flies over Afghanistan on Oct. 11. He met with President Hamid Karzai to work out an agreement on U.S. presence in the country.
Jacquelyn Martin AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 17, 2013 2:11 pm

Syria's chemical weapons could be consolidated and moved out of the country, Secretary of State John Kerry suggested in an interview with NPR.

Weapons inspectors are still in Syria assessing the country's stockpile and how to destroy it, in accordance with a United Nations Security Council resolution approved in September.

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The Salt
6:39 pm
Wed October 16, 2013

So What Happens If The Movement To Label GMOs Succeeds?

Labels on bags of snack foods indicate they are non-GMO food products.
Robyn Beck AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 8:09 pm

I have a story on All Things Considered Wednesday (click on the audio link above to hear it) about the campaign to put labels on food containing genetically modified organisms, or GMOs. The idea is gaining ground in the Northeast — Maine and Connecticut passed labeling laws this summer, though they won't take effect unless more states do the same. And GMO labeling is on the ballot this November in Washington state.

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Shots - Health News
5:25 pm
Wed October 16, 2013

To Reduce Patient Falls, Hospitals Try Alarms, More Nurses

Some patients at MultiCare Auburn Medical Center in Washington are given wristbands showing that they have a high risk of falling.
John Ryan KUOW

Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 6:39 pm

A bad fall in the hospital can turn a short visit into a long stay.

Such falls featured in congressional discussions about patient safety, and in a new study in the Journal of Patient Safety about medical errors. Falls are one part of a multistate clash between nurses and hospitals over how to improve the safety of hospitalized patients.

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The Two-Way
5:14 pm
Wed October 16, 2013

Secretary Of Defense Apologizes To Medal Of Honor Recipient

President Obama gives former U.S. Army Capt. William Swenson the Medal of Honor during a ceremony at the White House on Tuesday.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel apologized today to William Swenson, the Army officer who was awarded the Medal of Honor by President Obama on Tuesday.

Swenson was awarded the medal for the bravery he showed in the 2009 Battle of Ganjgal, one of the costliest battles of the Afghan War. Another soldier involved in the battle received his Medal of Honor two years ago. Swenson's honor was delayed because the Army lost his paperwork.

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The Two-Way
4:31 pm
Wed October 16, 2013

Reporter Glenn Greenwald, eBay Founder Forming New Venture

Reporter Glenn Greenwald, who became famous reporting on NSA contractor Edward Snowden's disclosure of the NSA's government surveillance programs, is leaving the Guardian to form a new media company with eBay founder Pierre Omidyar.
Vincent Yu AP

Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 4:49 pm

Glenn Greenwald, the reporter and blogger who broke the story on the National Security Agency's massive surveillance program, is leaving Britain's Guardian newspaper to join a new media venture.

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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
4:28 pm
Wed October 16, 2013

Alone Among The Stars, For Now

Even if we find other life out there, in the depths of space, life here will still be a rare gem that must be worshipped and preserved at all costs.
ESO

Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 5:18 pm

Our solar system is almost 5 billion years old (4.6, really) and we haven't yet had any indication that there are other forms of life in the cosmos, especially intelligent ones.

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The Salt
3:20 pm
Wed October 16, 2013

Here's A Reason To Love Disco Again: Stopping Food Waste

Tristram Stuart, founder of Feeding the 5000, is helping to organize several disco soup events across Europe for World Food Day.
Courtesy of Feeding the 5000

Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 6:33 pm

Wednesday is World Food Day, an occasion food activists like to use to call attention to world hunger. With 842 million chronically undernourished people on Earth, it's a problem that hasn't gone away.

This year, activists are trying to make the day a little spicier with pots full of disco soup to highlight the absurd amount of food thrown away that could feed people: one-third of all the food produced every year.

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Shots - Health News
3:03 pm
Wed October 16, 2013

Family Caregiving Can Be Stressful, Rewarding And Life-Affirming

Taking care of a family member can be a life-extending experience, a study finds.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 4:48 pm

The stereotype of caring for a family member is that it's so stressful it harms the caregiver's health. But that's not necessarily so.

Studies are conflicted, finding that caregiving can harm or help the caregiver. Here's one on the plus side. A study finds that people who care for a family member live longer than similar people who aren't caregiving.

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The Two-Way
2:39 pm
Wed October 16, 2013

Divers In Russia Dredge Up A Half-Ton Chunk Of Meteorite

People look at what scientists believe to be a chunk of the Chelyabinsk meteor, recovered from Chebarkul Lake near Chelyabinsk, about 930 miles east of Moscow.
Alexander Firsov AP

Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 6:36 pm

Remember that bus-sized meteor that stunned thousands and injured hundreds across Russia when it entered the atmosphere and produced a massive shockwave last February?

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The Salt
2:34 pm
Wed October 16, 2013

Why U.S. Taxpayers Pay $7 Billion A Year To Help Fast-Food Workers

New York City Council speaker and then-mayoral candidate Christine Quinn speaks at a fast-food workers' protest outside a McDonald's in New York in August. A nationwide movement is calling for raising the minimum hourly wage for fast-food workers to $15.
Richard Drew AP

Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 4:48 pm

If you hit the drive-through, chances are that the cashier who rings you up or the cook who prepared your food relies on public assistance to make ends meet.

A new analysis finds that 52 percent of fast-food workers are enrolled in, or have their families enrolled in, one or more public assistance programs such as SNAP (food stamps) Medicaid or the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

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Monkey See
1:26 pm
Wed October 16, 2013

'Burton And Taylor': The Hollywood Romantic Legend, Take 2

Dominic West and Helena Bonham Carter in Burton And Taylor.
BBC

We can wonder how BBC America's Burton And Taylor might have been received in the absence of Lifetime's Liz And Dick, which, almost a year ago, did not quite rehabilitate Lindsay Lohan's career in the way she was hoping. Perhaps we'd have been able to see this biopic, with Dominic West and Helena Bonham Carter, purely as its own project.

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The Two-Way
12:05 pm
Wed October 16, 2013

Passenger Turboprop Crashes In Laos; All 49 On Board Feared Dead

A Lao Airlines ATR similar to the one that crashed on Wednesday.
Wikipedia Commons

Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 1:35 pm

A Lao Airlines flight from the capital, Vientiane, crashed into the Mekong River as it was landing. There was no word of survivors among the 49 passengers and crew, The Bangkok Post reports.

The twin-turbo ATR, with 44 passengers and five crew on board, hit the water short of a runway in Pakse, in Champassak province in southern Laos, the newspaper says.

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