NPR Blogs

The Two-Way
6:55 am
Fri August 9, 2013

Book News: Barbara Mertz, Mystery Novelist Of Many Names, Dies

Author Barbara Mertz died Thursday morning, Aug. 8, 2013, at her home in Frederick, Maryland.
ASSOCIATED PRESS

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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The Salt
3:05 am
Fri August 9, 2013

Old Hawaiian Menus Tell Story Of Local Fish And Their Demise

Colorful covers of menus from the Royal Hawaiian Hotel (left) and the Monarch Room Royal Hawaiian Hotel.
New York Public Library

Originally published on Tue August 13, 2013 3:53 pm

In the early to mid-1900s, the islands of Hawaii were a far-away, exotic destination. People who managed to get there often kept mementos of that journey including kitschy menus from Hawaiian fine dining restaurants and hotels like like Trader Vic's and Prince Kuhio's.

Now these old menus are serving a purpose beyond colorful relics from the past. Kyle Van Houtan, an ecologist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, says he's found a scientific purpose for the menus.

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The Two-Way
2:35 am
Fri August 9, 2013

Americans Warned Not To Travel To Pakistan

Pakistani security personnel are pictured outside the U.S. Consulate in Lahore on Aug. 5.
Arif Ali AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 9, 2013 11:11 am

The Department of State cautioned Americans not to travel to Pakistan.

Officials also ordered nonessential government personnel to leave the U.S. Consulate in Lahore.

The statement issued Thursday says the drawdown was due to "specific threats" concerning the consulate, which was scheduled to be closed for the Eid holiday from Thursday through Sunday. No reopening had been scheduled, a U.S. official told The Associated Press.

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Shots - Health News
7:02 pm
Thu August 8, 2013

Experimental Malaria Vaccine Shows Promise In Human Test

A red blood cell infected with malaria parasites (blue) sits next to normal cells (red).
NIAID Flickr.com

Originally published on Fri August 9, 2013 11:02 am

A viable, effective vaccine against malaria has long eluded scientists. Results from a preliminary study have ignited hope that a new type of vaccine could change that.

The experimental vaccine offered strong protection against malaria when given at high doses, scientists report Thursday in the journal Science.

The study was extremely small and short-term. And the candidate vaccine still has a long way to go before it could be used in the developing world.

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The Two-Way
6:03 pm
Thu August 8, 2013

Bill Clinton, Winfrey Receiving Presidential Medal Of Freedom

The White House cited Oprah Winfrey's philanthropy and work to expand opportunities for young women in awarding her a Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Frazer Harrison Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 9, 2013 6:14 am

President Obama named 16 recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom today. President Bill Clinton and Oprah Winfrey are among the brightest stars.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the highest civilian honor, which was first presented by President John F. Kennedy and has been given to 500 individuals from diverse corners of the country.

From the White House, here is a list of the recipients, along with short bios:

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The Two-Way
5:24 pm
Thu August 8, 2013

MLB Warns Of 'Absurd' Results Of San Jose's Antitrust Suit

In its efforts to get the Oakland A's to relocate to their city, San Jose officials filed an antitrust lawsuit against Major League Baseball this year. The Oakland stadium is seen here in a file photo.
Ezra Shaw Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 6:20 pm

Calling a lawsuit's potential results "absurd" for cities around the United States, Major League Baseball asked a federal judge to dismiss a challenge to its antitrust exemption filed by San Jose, Calif. The city filed the suit to press its case for relocating the Oakland A's there.

NPR's Richard Gonzales filed this report for our Newscast unit:

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The Two-Way
5:20 pm
Thu August 8, 2013

Yemen Official: New Round Of Drone Strikes Target Al-Qaida

A Yemeni soldier speaks with a motorcyclist amid tightened security near Sanaa International Airport on Tuesday.
Mohammed Huwais AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 5:41 pm

A Yemeni official says 12 suspected al-Qaida militants have been killed in the Arab country in three separate U.S. drone strikes Thursday.

The Associated Press quotes the official as saying that the first drone attack killed six alleged militants in central Marib province, while the second and third killed six more in Hadramaut province.

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The Two-Way
4:42 pm
Thu August 8, 2013

Email Service Allegedly Used By Edward Snowden Is Shut Down

The free email service Lavabit allowed users to send encrypted emails.
Lavabit

Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 6:17 pm

The email service allegedly used by "NSA leaker" Edward Snowden is no more.

The owner and operator of Lavabit, which encrypts communication between two people, shut down the site and left a cryptic message on its homepage.

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Found Recipes
3:51 pm
Thu August 8, 2013

Don't Let The Price Of Pine Nuts Keep You From Pesto

Julia della Croce says pistachio pesto is an economical — and delicious — alternative when Italian pine nuts can cost up to $120 per pound.
Nathan Hoyt Courtesy of Julia della Croce

Originally published on Fri August 16, 2013 5:10 pm

Basil is growing thick and leafy in many backyard gardens throughout the U.S. right now, which means many people are thinking about pesto. It's one of the more basic sauces you can make — in addition to basil, all you need is Parmesan or Romano cheese, a little garlic, some extra virgin olive oil and Italian pine nuts.

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The Two-Way
3:45 pm
Thu August 8, 2013

Shipyard To Get $54 Million To Scrap Arson-Damaged Nuclear Sub

Casey Fury was sentenced to 17 years in prison for setting a fire aboard the USS Miami in May 2012.
AP

Originally published on Fri August 9, 2013 6:15 am

A Maine shipyard where an employee set fire to the USS Miami will get $54 million to scrap the nuclear submarine after the Navy decided the damage from the blaze was too great to justify repairs.

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The Two-Way
3:42 pm
Thu August 8, 2013

NOAA: Hurricane Season On Track To Be 'Above Normal'

Image of Tropical Storm Dorian on July 24 from NOAA's GOES East satellite.
NOAA

Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 6:13 pm

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration stuck by its earlier prediction today that the summer will bring with it an "above normal" Atlantic hurricane season.

NOAA reports:

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The Two-Way
2:27 pm
Thu August 8, 2013

U.S. 'Space Fence' Will Cease To Operate, Site Says

A rendering of objects currently in Low Earth Orbit (not illustrated to scale). According to NASA, "approximately 95 percent of the objects in this illustration are orbital debris, i.e., not functional satellites."
NASA

Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 4:54 pm

A U.S. radar system that tracks thousands of objects orbiting Earth — from satellites to harmful debris — has been slated for shutdown, according to the Space News site. The ground-based network known as the "Space Fence" may cease to operate in October.

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The Two-Way
2:01 pm
Thu August 8, 2013

Al-Qaida Conference Call? It Wasn't On Phone, Reporters Say

"Dial 1 if you're the conference host."
Mark Memmott NPR

Originally published on Fri August 9, 2013 6:16 am

One of this week's most-talked-about stories is The Daily Beast's report that "the crucial intercept that prompted the U.S. government to close embassies in 22 countries was a conference call between al Qaeda's senior leaders and representatives of several of the group's affiliates throughout the region."

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The Two-Way
2:00 pm
Thu August 8, 2013

Kazakh Students Indicted In Boston Bombing Probe

A courtroom sketch shows defendants Dias Kadyrbayev and Azamat Tazhayakov at the Moakley Federal Courthouse in Boston on May 1.
Jane Flavell Collins AP

Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 4:07 pm

This post last updated at 3:55 p.m. ET:

A federal grand jury has indicted two men on charges of obstruction of justice related to the Boston Marathon bombing investigation.

The U.S. Attorney's office for Massachusetts made the announcement on Thursday against two students from Kazakhstan, Dias Kadyrbayev and Azamat Tazhayakov, both 19 at the time of the bombing. If convicted, they face up to 20 years in prison.

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