NPR Blogs

The Two-Way
3:00 pm
Thu June 6, 2013

Russian President Vladimir Putin, Wife Call It Quits

In this handout photo, Russian President Vladimir Putin and his wife, Lyudmila Putina, await the arrival of G-8 leaders for an informal dinner in July 2006 in Peterhof, Russia.
Handout Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 6, 2013 4:58 pm

After a 30-year marriage, Vladimir Putin announced on state television that he was divorcing his wife, Lyudmila.

Russia Today reports Putin and Lyudmila attended the Esmeralda ballet at the Grand Kremlin Palace, where they broke the news.

According to Russia Today, the country's official English-language news outlet, Putin said it was a "joint decision." RT adds:

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Monkey See
2:24 pm
Thu June 6, 2013

Joss Whedon's 'Much Ado' As Romantic Comedy And Cop Show

Amy Acker as Beatrice eavesdrops in a scene from Joss Whedon's new film version of Much Ado About Nothing.
Roadside Attractions

If you all think back all the way to when I was in Toronto last fall, you'll recall I was very enamored with Joss Whedon's Much Ado About Nothing, the story of the bickering lovers Beatrice and Benedick. And now, months later, this morning, he was on Morning Edition to talk about it with NPR's Renee Montagne.

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The Two-Way
2:00 pm
Thu June 6, 2013

3 Things You Need To Know About The NBA Finals

LeBron James of the Miami Heat.
Brent Smith Reuters /Landov

We won't dwell on the obvious. If you care about basketball at all, you know by now that Game 1 of the NBA finals is set for Thursday night in Miami, where the hometown Heat will play the San Antonio Spurs.

Time: 9 p.m. ET.

Broadcaster: ABC-TV.

Led by LeBron James, Miami is defending its 2012 championship. Led by Tim Duncan, San Antonio is looking to win its fifth title.

It's a best-of-seven series.

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The Two-Way
1:57 pm
Thu June 6, 2013

'An Inland Ocean Of Flooding': Disaster In Central Europe

A cloverleaf is partially flooded by the river Danube near Deggendorf, southern Germany, on June 6, 2013.
Christof Stache AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 6, 2013 3:31 pm

At least 16 people are dead after several days of flooding in Austria, Germany, Slovakia and the Czech Republic. Historic cities are underwater, and flood victims are perching on rooftops for safety. It's been a rainy spring in the region, and heavy storms last weekend forced many rivers and streams over their banks.

And more rain is forecast for this weekend in parts of central Europe.

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Monkey See
1:38 pm
Thu June 6, 2013

The Vexing Matter Of The Summer Blockbuster

In Iron Man 3, Robert Downey Jr. reprises his role as Tony Stark (aka Iron Man), and Gwyneth Paltrow reprises hers as his girlfriend, Pepper Potts.
Paramout Pictures

On today's Here & Now from WBUR, I talked to host Robin Young about the weird situation of summer blockbusters — which can easily go the way of Iron Man 3 (hit!) or the way of After Earth (non-hit!) and it's not always easy to tell what you're going to get until it happens.

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The Two-Way
1:29 pm
Thu June 6, 2013

Esther Williams, Swimmer Turned Movie Star, Dies

Esther Williams in August, 1942.
AP

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The Salt
12:36 pm
Thu June 6, 2013

Feeling A Little Blue May Mask Our Ability To Taste Fat

Feeling down? It could be messing with your ability to taste the fat in that carton of ice cream.
Heather Rousseau NPR

Originally published on Thu June 6, 2013 4:00 pm

So, here's the scenario: You're feeling a little blue, then you watch an emotional movie and dig into a bowl of ice cream.

Are you aware of how fattening your comfort food is? Likely not. Especially in the moment.

A new study finds that temporary, strong emotions, like the sadness we experience from a weepy movie, can significantly decrease our ability to taste — or perceive — the amount of fat we're eating.

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Shots - Health News
12:05 pm
Thu June 6, 2013

How Nature Builds A Pandemic Flu Virus

A vendor weighs a live chicken at the Kowloon City Market in Hong Kong last April. After closing live poultry shops in many cities around China, the rate of new H7N9 infections sharply declined.
Lam Yik Fei Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 7, 2013 8:26 am

Here's a sobering thought: Wild birds — including city pigeons and ubiquitous Canada geese — carry 170 different types of bird flu. You know, all those viruses with the Hs and Ns in their names, like H1N1 and H5N1.

Only a dozen of these viruses have infected humans so far, but many of those have been deadly, and three of them have caused global flu pandemics.

Does every bird flu that leaps into people have the potential to turn into the next "big one" that spreads rapidly around the world?

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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
11:43 am
Thu June 6, 2013

The Fat-Shaming Professor: A Twitter-Fueled Firestorm

account was public before his "obese PhD applicants" tweet. Now it's protected." href="/post/fat-shaming-professor-twitter-fueled-firestorm" class="noexit lightbox">
Geoffrey Miller's account was public before his "obese PhD applicants" tweet. Now it's protected.
Screenshot

Originally published on Thu June 6, 2013 12:45 pm

On Sunday, evolutionary psychologist Geoffrey Miller, a professor currently on leave from the University of New Mexico with a visiting position at New York University, tweeted a comment that sent shock waves through academia and beyond:

Dear obese PhD applicants: if you didn't have the willpower to stop eating carbs, you won't have the willpower to do a dissertation #truth

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The Two-Way
11:20 am
Thu June 6, 2013

Can You Hear Me Now? A Lighter Look At NSA Snooping

Originally published on Thu June 6, 2013 11:50 am

As news broke about the NSA collecting telephone records through Verizon, people took to Twitter to voice their opinions. As an experiment, NPR senior strategist Andy Carvin asked his followers to respond to the hashtag #CallsTheNSAKnowsAbout. Their responses ranged from the hilarious to the poignant.

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The Two-Way
10:31 am
Thu June 6, 2013

Microsoft, FBI Say They've Disrupted $500 Million Botnet

Buttons with the Microsoft logo are seen at a Comp USA store in 2007.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 6, 2013 12:11 pm

Working jointly with the FBI, Microsoft says it has disrupted a botnet responsible for stealing more than $500 million from bank accounts worldwide.

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The Two-Way
10:25 am
Thu June 6, 2013

VIDEO: Michelle Obama's Face-To-Face With A Heckler

The first lady was confronted by a heckler at a private event in Washington on Tuesday.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Thu June 6, 2013 11:36 am

CNN has video that lets you see and hear some of what it was like Tuesday night when first lady Michelle Obama confronted a heckler who had interrupted her during a Democratic fundraiser at a home in Washington, D.C.

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The Two-Way
10:20 am
Thu June 6, 2013

Koreas Agree To First High-Level Talks In Years

Cars drive past barricades on the road linking North Korea's Kaesong Industrial Complex at a military checkpoint in Paju, near the demilitarized zone dividing the two Koreas, on Thursday.
Jung Yeon-je AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 6, 2013 11:58 am

It's too early to tell whether North Korea's offer on Thursday of talks with the South — potentially the first such dialogue in years — is more than just another negotiating tactic.

But Seoul readily accepted the offer, and though Pyongyang said the agenda should be discussing the reopening of the jointly run Kaesong factory complex inside North Korea, it left the door open for the possibility of broader negotiations.

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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
9:51 am
Thu June 6, 2013

An Update From Barbara

Two weeks ago, I wrote here about my new cancer diagnosis and my upcoming robot-assisted surgery.

The surgery occurred as planned on May 24; after a single rough night in the hospital, I went home and my recovery has proceeded completely on track (with the usual ups and downs after a 6-hour operation).

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