NPR Blogs

The Two-Way
5:57 pm
Tue August 13, 2013

Air Force Nuclear Unit Fails Inspection

The 341st Missile Wing at the Malmstrom Airforce Base in Montana handles one-third of the United States' land-based nuclear missiles.

Today, it failed an inspection after making "tactical-level errors during one of several exercises," the Air Force's Global Strike Command said in a statement.

The AP reports this is the second setback in a year for the unit. The news service adds:

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The Salt
4:37 pm
Tue August 13, 2013

Chipotle Is Keeping Its Meat Antibiotic-Free After All

Originally published on Mon November 18, 2013 5:26 pm

For a few hours Tuesday, it appeared that Chipotle Mexican Grill, an ever expanding source of fast food for the ethically conscious consumer, had softened its hard line against antibiotics in meat production.

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Shots - Health News
4:34 pm
Tue August 13, 2013

Medical Discount Plan In Nevada Skips Insurers

Mounting medical debt and struggles with insurers led Shelley Toreson to drop her health insurance. She now pays discounted rates upfront for her medical needs.
Pauline Bartolone Capital Public Radio

Originally published on Wed August 14, 2013 4:19 pm

Shelley Toreson, who lives near Reno, Nev., had health insurance for years — but not anymore. Instead, she is part of an unusual Nevada nonprofit that helps connect 12,000 uninsured residents to doctors and hospitals that are willing to accept a lower, negotiated fee for their services.

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The Two-Way
3:57 pm
Tue August 13, 2013

Sprites: A Rarely Seen Sky Phenomenon Caught On Camera

Sprites sparkle over Red Willow County, Neb., on Monday.
Jason Ahrns via Flickr

When thunderstorms emit lightning, we see the white, snaking electricity from the ground. But if you flew above the clouds, you would see a sky phenomenon known as sprites.

These are rarely seen bolts of red light that look like very fast burning sparklers. The Capital Weather Gang over at The Washington Post describes them like this:

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The Two-Way
2:27 pm
Tue August 13, 2013

Would Some Marriages Be Better If Couples Signed 'Wedleases'?

To have and hold, to sign on the bottom line?
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Tue August 13, 2013 5:56 pm

"People marry and divorce as if getting married is the equivalent of the high school concept of going steady," says Florida lawyer Paul Rampell.

Which is why, as Rampell said Tuesday on Tell Me More, he's pitching the idea of "wedleases."

That is:

"A combination of the words wedlock and lease. Two people commit themselves to a marriage, to a written contract for a period of years. One year. Five years. Ten years. Whatever term suits them.

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The Two-Way
2:24 pm
Tue August 13, 2013

Mary Cain, America's Teenage Phenom, Advances To 1,500m Final

Mary Cain of the United States competes in the Women's 1500 metres heats during Day Two of the 14th IAAF World Athletics Championships Moscow.
Julian Finney Getty Images

Originally published on Tue August 13, 2013 3:06 pm

Mary Cain, the 17-year-old phenom who was the youngest female runner at the IAAF World Championships in track and field in Moscow, has stunned again by qualifying for the 1,500 meters final.

Perhaps Jason Gay, a sports columnist for The Wall Street Journal put it best, when he tweeted:

"Just amazing. The first Rio superstar is born. RT @ScottCacciola It looks like 17-year-old Mary Cain advances to the women's 1,500m final."

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The Two-Way
1:18 pm
Tue August 13, 2013

Canada Revokes License Of Company In Quebec Rail Disaster

The railway company whose train derailed and exploded in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, last month can no longer operate in Canada. An image shows the scene one week after the disaster.
Ian Willms Getty Images

Originally published on Tue August 13, 2013 1:54 pm

The railway whose crude oil-carrying train derailed and exploded in the center of Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, last month can no longer operate in Canada, the country's Transportation Agency says. The disaster resulted in more than 40 deaths and the destruction of many of the town's central buildings.

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The Two-Way
12:50 pm
Tue August 13, 2013

Federal Court Says U.S. Must Complete Yucca Mountain Review

A federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that the Obama administration is breaking the law by delaying its review of a plan to store nuclear waste in Nevada. The court ruled that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission must complete its licensing process — that is, approve or reject — the Energy Department's plan for the waste site in Nevada.

NPR's Geoff Brumfiel filed this report for our Newscast unit:

"The Nuclear Regulatory Commission's original job was to issue or deny a license to build a nuclear waste dump inside Yucca Mountain, Nevada.

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The Two-Way
12:32 pm
Tue August 13, 2013

Row Over The Rock: Britain And Spain Feud Over Gibraltar

A dispute over fishing rights at Gibraltar has grown into an international spat between Britain and Spain. Here, cars sit in line at the border crossing between Spain and Gibraltar earlier this month.
Marcos Moreno AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue August 13, 2013 1:21 pm

Tensions over fishing rights and border checks are driving officials in Spain and Britain to consider legal options in their newly escalated dispute over the status of Gibraltar.

In recent weeks, Spain has insisted on performing comprehensive border checks that slow traffic to Gibraltar, a rocky outcropping of land at the southern tip of the Iberian Peninsula, in a move seen as an answer to Gibraltar's creation of a concrete reef in disputed waters.

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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
11:32 am
Tue August 13, 2013

The Power Of Science And The Danger Of Scientism

No matter what face you put on it, science is a powerful tool. Here, engineer Marcus Hold works on a nearly completed RoboThespian. Marvels of modern science, these fully interactive and multilingual humanoid robots are increasingly being sold to academic research groups.
Matt Cardy Getty Images

Originally published on Tue August 13, 2013 1:29 pm

Can you be a strident defender of science and still be suspicious of the way it is appropriated within culture? Can you be passionate about the practice and promise of science, yet still remain troubled by the way other beliefs and assumptions are heralded in its name? If such a thing is possible, you may be pro-science but anti-scientism. And, if that is the case, then Steven Pinker may have just pissed you off. But, as we'll see, it might be hard to tell.

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The Two-Way
11:26 am
Tue August 13, 2013

'Rat-A-Tat Whitey!' Bulger Trial's Most Memorable Moments

James "Whitey" Bulger, in an image released by the U.S. Marshal's Service in August 2011.
EPA /Landov

Originally published on Tue August 13, 2013 12:12 pm

Now that the trial's over and Boston mobster James "Whitey" Bulger has been convicted of 11 murders and multiple counts of extortion and money laundering, it's a good time to look back at a few memorable moments, surprises and conclusions.

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The Two-Way
10:55 am
Tue August 13, 2013

Justice Sues To Block US Airways-American Airlines Merger

A US Airways plane rests near two American Airlines jets at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport last year. The combined carrier would be named American Airlines.
Jim Watson AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue August 13, 2013 2:33 pm

A merger of American Airlines and US Airways would violate U.S. antitrust law, the Justice Department, six state attorneys general and the District of Columbia allege in a lawsuit filed Tuesday in Washington, D.C.

Bloomberg reports that Justice alleges the merger would lead to "less competition in the industry and higher prices for consumers." The wire service explains:

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The Salt
10:49 am
Tue August 13, 2013

Why Urban Beekeeping Can Be Bad For Bees

Beehive designer Johannes Paul (right) and Natural England's ecologist Peter Massini, with a brood frame colonized with bees from the "beehaus" beehive on the roof of his house in London in 2009.
Sang Tan AP

Originally published on Thu August 15, 2013 5:27 pm

Two British scientists are dumping cold water on campaigns to promote urban beekeeping. They say that trying to "help the bees" by setting out more hives is naive and misguided if the bees can't find enough flowers nearby to feed on. You'll just end up with sick and starving bees.

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Shots - Health News
10:49 am
Tue August 13, 2013

Same-Sex Couples Seeking Insurance Wait For IRS Rules

Saying, "I do," may be easy part when it comes to health coverage.
iStockphoto.com

Now that the Supreme Court has ruled that the federal ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional, federal agencies have to figure out the regulations that govern everything from immigration permission to income taxes.

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The Two-Way
9:53 am
Tue August 13, 2013

Beware The Pacu, Experts Tell Men Who Skinny-Dip In Scandinavia

This pacu, a fish native to Brazil, was caught in the Øresund Sound, a body of water that separates Sweden and Denmark.
Henrik Carl Natural History Musem of Denmark

Originally published on Tue August 13, 2013 12:09 pm

The appearance of a Brazilian fish has sent a chill through summertime swimmers in Sweden and Denmark. The alarming fish isn't the much-feared piranha but its cousin, the pacu, which has large teeth and a reputation for attacking men's testicles.

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