NPR Blogs

Shots - Health News
3:04 am
Mon June 24, 2013

Proposed Changes In Organ Donation Stir Debate

Hospitals and organ banks could get more leeway in decisions about donations.
Sean Gallup Getty Images

Originally published on Mon June 24, 2013 11:55 am

The nation's organ transplant network will consider a controversial proposal Monday to overhaul the guidelines for an increasingly common form of organ donation.

The board of directors of the United Network for Organ Sharing will open a two-day meeting at the organization's headquarters in Richmond, Va., to consider new guidelines for donation after cardiac death.

Donation after cardiac death involves removing organs minutes after life-support has been stopped for patients who still have at least some brain activity.

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Shots - Health News
3:00 am
Mon June 24, 2013

Gloomy Thinking Can Be Contagious

Katherine Streeter for NPR

Originally published on Tue June 25, 2013 10:59 am

When students show up at college in the fall, they'll have to deal with new classes, new friends and a new environment. In many cases, they will also have new roommates — and an intriguing new research study suggests this can have important mental health consequences.

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Shots - Health News
2:58 am
Mon June 24, 2013

Depression May Increase The Risk Of Dementia Later On

Depression is common among old people, affecting up to 25 percent.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon June 24, 2013 11:54 am

Depression can have physical consequences. Research now suggests that when people get depressed in middle age and beyond, they're more likely to develop dementia in old age.

But the link between depression and dementia remains something of a mystery. Researchers are working to understand why that occurs and what might be done to prevent dementia.

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The Two-Way
4:59 pm
Sun June 23, 2013

Hospitalized Nelson Mandela In Critical Condition

A print of Nelson Mandela and get well messages lay outside the home of the former President Mandela in Johannesburg, South Africa earlier this month.
Themba Hadebe Associated Press

Originally published on Mon June 24, 2013 6:54 am

Nelson Mandela, the former South African president and anti-apartheid leader, is in critical condition in a hospital in Pretoria where he was admitted two weeks ago with a recurring respiratory infection.

A statement from South African President Jacob Zuma said the 94-year-old Mandela's condition had become critical over the past 24 hours.

"The doctors are doing everything possible to get his condition to improve and are ensuring that Madiba is well-looked after and is comfortable. He is in good hands," said Zuma, referring to Mandela by his clan name.

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The Two-Way
2:47 pm
Sun June 23, 2013

Malaysia Declares Emergency From Cross-Border Blanket Of Smoke

The landmark Petronas Twin Towers (top, right) in the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur, are barely visible amid the thick smoke. It's even worse farther south.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon June 24, 2013 6:55 am

Malaysia has declared a state of emergency in the country's south after choking smog from slash-and-burn agriculture in neighboring Indonesia enveloped the region.

Residents in Muar and Ledang districts of Johor state have been told to stay indoors. This comes after a similar order in Singapore last week.

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The Two-Way
11:43 am
Sun June 23, 2013

High-Wire Artist Nik Wallenda Walks Across Arizona Gorge

Daredevil Nik Wallenda crosses a tightrope 1,500 feet above the Little Colorado River Gorge, Ariz., on Sunday.
Rick Bowmer AP

Originally published on Sun June 23, 2013 11:18 pm

Update at 10:03 p.m. ET

Nik Wallenda successfully walked the 1,500 feet across the Colorado River Gorge in Arizona on Sunday. The high-wire daredevil, famous for similar walks like the one he did at Niagara Falls, made the precarious trek live on television and without a net or safety line.

The walk took Wallenda 22 minutes of edging his way along the 2-inch-thick cable.

Our Original Post Continues:

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The Two-Way
10:20 am
Sun June 23, 2013

Pakistan Gunmen Kill Foreign Climbers In Brazen Attack

A 2003 photograph of majestic Nanga Parbat, one of a number of 8,000-plus-meter peaks that attract the most adventurous Himalayan mountaineers.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon June 24, 2013 1:05 pm

(This story was last updated at 10:40 a.m. ET)

Armed assailants attacked a hotel at a Himalayan base camp in Pakistan, gunning down nine foreign climbers and a local guide as the group prepared for an ascent of one of the world's tallest peaks.

NPR's Philip Reeves reports that Ukrainians and Chinese climbers, as well as a Pakistani guide, were killed in the attack at 26,246-foot Nanga Parbat, about 150 miles northeast of Pakistan's capital, Islamabad.

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The Two-Way
8:43 am
Sun June 23, 2013

Federal Safety Officials To Investigate Ohio Air Show Crash

Wing walker Jane Wicker performs at the Vectren Air Show just before crashing on Saturday. She and pilot Charlie Schwenker were killed.
Thanh V. Tran Associated Press

Originally published on Sun June 23, 2013 12:19 pm

Federal air safety officials say they will investigate the fiery crash of a stunt plane at an Ohio air show that killed the pilot and a wing walker.

Thousands of spectators at the Vectren Air Show near Dayton, Ohio, watched on Saturday as the biplane, with wing walker Jane Law Wicker, 46, and pilot Charlie Schwenker, 64, careened into the ground and exploded during a low-altitude maneuver. No one in the audience was hurt.

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The Two-Way
7:56 am
Sun June 23, 2013

Ecuador Says NSA Leaker Has Asked For Asylum

A TV screen shows a news report of Edward Snowden at a shopping mall in Hong Kong on Sunday.
Vincent Yu Associated Press

Originally published on Sun June 23, 2013 5:20 pm

(This story was last updated at 5:17 p.m. ET)

Edward Snowden, the former NSA contractor accused of leaking classified surveillance information, has asked Ecuador for asylum, the country's foreign minister says.

Snowden left Hong Kong earlier Sunday bound for a "third country," the government in the Asian hub said. He later landed in Moscow.

Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino Aroca, who is on an official visit to Vietnam, said:

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The Two-Way
3:43 pm
Sat June 22, 2013

Stunt Plane Crashes At Air Show, Killing Pilot, Wing Walker

Originally published on Sat June 22, 2013 8:55 pm

A stunt biplane crashed and burst into flames at an air show in Dayton, Ohio, killing the pilot and a stunt wing walker, authorities said.

A spokeswoman for the Dayton International Airport, Linda Hughes, and Ohio State Highway Patrol Lt. Anne Ralston confirmed the deaths to The Associated Press.

The crash happened at around 12:45 p.m. at the Vectren Air Show near Dayton, the AP says. No spectators were injured.

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The Two-Way
2:50 pm
Sat June 22, 2013

Is This Dog Really That Ugly?

Walle, a beagle-basset mix, won the 25th annual World's Ugliest Dog competition in Petaluma, Calif., on Friday.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat June 22, 2013 4:41 pm

We don't mean to be offensive, but someone has to say it: Walle, a 4-year-old beagle-basset mix who was just crowned the 2013 World's Ugliest Dog, is just NOT that ugly.

In fact, Walle is downright cute.

There's something not quite right in Petaluma, Calif., where the annual competition is held. Genuinely ugly (and, in our opinion, totally deserving) Icky, Josie, Rascal and Mugly — all Chinese cresteds — were shut out.

Even a pug named Penny seems more deserving.

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The Two-Way
12:15 pm
Sat June 22, 2013

Judge In Zimmerman Trial Bars Audio Experts' Testimony

Judge Debra Nelson addresses concerns from the state and defense during a pretrial hearing on Friday.
Pool Getty Images

Originally published on Sat June 22, 2013 3:01 pm

A judge in the murder trial of George Zimmerman has excluded testimony from two audio experts who've suggested that Trayvon Martin can be heard screaming on a 911 call moments before the unarmed teen was fatally shot.

Judge Debra Nelson issued the 12-page ruling on Saturday after hearing days of arguments on whether to allow the testimony.

The Associated Press says one expert ruled out Zimmerman as the screamer and another said it was Martin. Defense experts argued there was not enough audio to determine whom the screams are coming from.

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The Two-Way
11:27 am
Sat June 22, 2013

Brazil's President Offers Carrot And Stick To Protesters

Students from the eastern city of Sao Paulo protest on Friday.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat June 22, 2013 2:16 pm

Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff has pledged a nationwide overhaul of public transportation, improved funding for schools and a crackdown on corruption in response to sometimes violent anti-government protests that have roiled the country for the past week.

In a 10-minute address broadcast on Friday, Rousseff broke her silence on the protests, saying she would spend more money on public transportation and divert some of the country's oil revenues to pay for education, The Associated Press reported. She also addressed widespread anger over government corruption.

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The Two-Way
9:46 am
Sat June 22, 2013

Southwest Airlines Computer Outage Causes Delays, Cancellations

Southwest jet at the gate at the Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport in December 2011.
Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

Southwest Airlines says some of its Saturday flights will still be affected by a network computer outage that snarled check-ins, forcing the cancellation of more than a dozen flights and temporarily grounding some 250 others – mostly on the West Coast.

Although the carrier's computer system was back up and running after Friday's problems, Southwest says there was still a backlog that could cause flight delays.

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The Two-Way
8:55 am
Sat June 22, 2013

'Friends Of Syria' Countries Meet To Map Out Arming Rebels

Secretary of State John Kerry (front row, third from right) poses with foreign ministers of the "Friends of Syria" in Doha, Qatar.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat June 22, 2013 1:49 pm

Update At 11:30 a.m. ET:

Secretary of State John Kerry called the current situation in Syria "unacceptable by anyone's standard" and lashed out at the government of President Bashar al-Assad for using Hezbollah in the fight against rebels.

"Assad chose to raise the stakes militarily," Kerry said. "He chose to attack the Syrian people, but this time using Iranian supporters and using Hezbollah, which is a terrorist organization.

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