NPR Blogs

13.7: Cosmos And Culture
7:33 am
Wed July 23, 2014

Without Conflict There Is No Growth

Always and forever.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed July 23, 2014 12:30 pm

Where do values come from? Culture? Life experience? Family traditions? Upbringing? Religion? How do we decide what is right and what is wrong, given that, in most situations, there are arguments for and against opposing viewpoints? Often, what is right for one person is wrong for another, and from these tensions conflict arises. We see this in our families, in our workplace, in religious conflicts, in political disputes. If, on the one hand, diversity of opinion is what enriches us as humans, on the other, it is what feeds the worse that we have to offer.

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The Two-Way
7:11 am
Wed July 23, 2014

Gaza Conflict Day 16: Here's What You Need To Know

Smoke and fire rises over Gaza City on Tuesday. Israeli airstrikes pummeled a wide range of locations along the coastal area as diplomatic efforts intensified to end the two-week war.
Hatem Moussa AP

Originally published on Wed July 23, 2014 11:46 am

Amid another day of fighting, Secretary of State John Kerry landed in Tel Aviv on Wednesday and began a whirlwind session of shuttle diplomacy.

As NPR's Michele Kelemen, who is traveling with Kerry, tells our Newscast unit, the secretary of state is "trying to talk to everybody" to see if he can broker a cease-fire and perhaps lay the groundwork for longer-term negotiations over the future of Gaza.

The Israeli offensive against Hamas in the Gaza Strip is now entering its 16th day. Here's what you need to know:

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Shots - Health News
4:45 am
Wed July 23, 2014

California Nurses Union Braces For Contract Battle

Members of the California Nurses Association say they rallied in Sacramento in May to raise public awareness of their concerns about patient care in California hospitals.
April Dembosky KQED

Originally published on Wed July 23, 2014 7:51 am

Going to a union meeting of nurses is a little bit like going to an evangelical church service.

"We all have to stand up, and it's a struggle," says Veronica Cambra, a nurse reporting a grievance at Kaiser Hospital in Fremont, Calif., as though she's giving testimony. "And we will overcome this, OK?"

The rest of the nurses respond with the passion of a devout congregation, humming "Mmm hmmm," and "That's right," through the series of speeches.

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The Two-Way
8:13 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

Fruit Recall Hits Trader Joe's, Costco, Wal-Mart Stores

Originally published on Wed July 23, 2014 11:40 am

Fears of possible listeria contamination have led to a national recall of whole peaches, nectarines and other fruits packed by a California company. No illnesses have been reported, but the Wawona Packing Co. has told retailers such as Wal-Mart, Costco and Trader Joe's to pull its products.

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The Two-Way
6:57 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

Flight MH17: U.S. Builds Its Case; Plane Wreckage Reportedly Cut Apart

Pro-Russian rebels move journalists away from Malaysian investigators and monitors from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe Tuesday. Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was allegedly shot down by a missile Thursday; today, U.S. intelligence says it has verified that two rebel leaders spoke by phone about shooting the plane down.
Rob Stothard Getty Images

American analysts say they've verified several pieces of evidence that show pro-Russian separatist rebels shot down Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, according to U.S. intelligence officials who briefed reporters Tuesday.

Here's a quick rundown of the officials' updates on what U.S. investigators have found, from notes taken by NPR's Pentagon reporter Tom Bowman:

  • A U.S. spy satellite detected the launch of a surface-to-air missile in the area just before the plane went down.
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The Salt
5:11 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

Glass Or No Glass? That Is The Grill Lid Question

A still from a video showing a glass top grill.
Schott Home Tech/YouTube

We love cooking on our grills, especially in the summertime. Keeping the house cool and avoiding the dish pile up are two major draws – not to mention the flavor of food cooked over fire.

When we saw a glass-topped grill, shining like Cinderella's slipper in a YouTube video posted by commercial glass maker SCHOTT, we were intrigued. But, we wondered, how the heck do you clean it?

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The Two-Way
4:49 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

University Would Study Health Issues In Polluted New York Town

A view of the Tonawanda Coke plant in Tonawanda, N.Y., which was found to have emitted carcinogens at levels many times higher than the state's limit.
John W. Poole NPR

Originally published on Tue July 22, 2014 6:13 pm

Residents of an upstate New York town who've long associated their illnesses with the air they breathe may finally get some answers about the health effects of living next to a toxic polluter.

The town of Tonawanda lies in the shadow of Tonawanda Coke Corp., whose ovens heat coal into material used for the iron and steel industries, and release toxic chemicals into the air.

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The Two-Way
4:46 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

Tree Planted To Honor Beatle Is Killed By Beetles

A tree planted in Los Angeles to honor former Beatle George Harrison grew to more than 12 feet tall before succumbing to a bark beetle infestation
AP

Originally published on Tue July 22, 2014 6:13 pm

Flowers may grow so incredibly high, as the Beatles once sang, but trees — not so much.

Actually, a pine tree planted in Los Angeles a decade ago to honor former Beatle George Harrison reached a height of 12 feet before succumbing recently.

To an infestation. Of beetles.

"No one I think is in my tree" — a line from the song "Strawberry Fields Forever" — wouldn't seem to apply.

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The Two-Way
4:06 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

9/11 Commission Issues An Update On Anniversary Of Report

Originally published on Tue July 22, 2014 5:17 pm

Ten years after its landmark report on terrorism, the 9/11 Commission has released an update in which it notes continued problems. But in 2014, the dangers have shifted geographically — and online, the commission's former members say.

Noting that the world has changed "dramatically" since 2004, the report's authors write that "Al Qaeda–affiliated groups are now active in more countries than before 9/11."

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Shots - Health News
3:19 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

As High School Lacrosse Surges In Popularity, So Does Injury Focus

Walt Whitman High School's Caroline Schweitzer runs through a host of Severna Park High School defenders during a semifinal game in Maryland's Class 4A/3A lacrosse tournament in May.
Toni L. Sandys The Washington Post/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 24, 2014 6:02 pm

Sometimes called the fastest game on two feet, lacrosse is also one of the fastest-growing sports in the U.S.

Between 2008 and 2012, kids' participation in lacrosse climbed 158 percent to a little more than three-quarters of a million, according to a survey conducted by the Sports & Fitness Industry Association/Physical Activity Council. At the same time participation in baseball, basketball, football and soccer has either stagnated or declined.

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The Two-Way
3:12 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

Montana Judge Is Publicly Censured Over 30-Day Sentence For Rape

Montana District Judge G. Todd Baugh was publicly censured by the state Supreme Court on Tuesday. The judge apologized for remarks he made about a rape victim last year.
Matt Brown AP

Originally published on Tue July 22, 2014 4:00 pm

Less than a year after his lenient jail sentence for an admitted rapist stirred outrage, a Montana judge was publicly reprimanded today. In giving a former high school teacher only a 30-day jail sentence, District Judge G. Todd Baugh said the man's victim, a student, seemed older than her age, 14.

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Shots - Health News
2:05 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

How A Tiny Fly's Ears Could Help You Hear Better

If you were a cricket, this little fly would make you very nervous.
Courtesy of Louisiana State Arthropod Museum

Originally published on Wed July 23, 2014 8:32 am

Ormia ochracea is not a very likeable creature, even by fly standards.

This parasitic fly likes to leave its larvae on the backs of crickets. The larvae burrow inside the cricket and then proceed to eat the cricket alive.

But humans who have struggled with hearing loss might soon be thankful for at least one small part of this fly — its ears.

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Krulwich Wonders...
1:55 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

What's Better Than A Total Eclipse Of The Sun? Check This

NASA/JPL-Caltech

Originally published on Tue July 22, 2014 2:54 pm

Any eclipse is worth seeing. A total eclipse — where the moon completely blots out the sun, where day turns to night, where solar flares ring the moon's shadow like a crown of flame — that's the eclipse everybody wants to see, the alpha eclipse that eclipses all the other eclipses. Everybody knows this (me included), until I saw this ...

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The Two-Way
12:44 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

FAA Prohibits U.S. Airlines From Flying To Tel Aviv

A woman passes by a departure board at Philadelphia International Airport showing that US Airways Flight 796 to Tel Aviv has been canceled Tuesday.
Matt Rourke AP

Originally published on Tue July 22, 2014 9:00 pm

The Federal Aviation Administration has issued a 24-hour ban on flights to and from the Tel Aviv airport.

"The notice was issued in response to a rocket strike which landed approximately one mile from Ben Gurion International Airport on the morning of July 22, 2014," the FAA said in a statement.

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Shots - Health News
12:31 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

Appeals Court Strikes Down Subsidies In Federal Health Exchange

Originally published on Tue July 22, 2014 1:37 pm

A three-judge panel at the U.S. Appeals Court for the D.C. Circuit threw the fate of an important part of the Affordable Care Act into doubt Tuesday.

In a 2-1 decision, the court ruled that the Internal Revenue Service lacked the authority to allow subsidies to be provided in exchanges not run by the states. The ruling could put at immediate risk the millions of people who bought insurance in the 36 states where these online insurance marketplaces are run by the federal government.

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