NPR Blogs

Shots - Health News
1:04 pm
Thu May 16, 2013

Everybody In The Pool! But Please Leave The Poop Behind

Is it safe? The water in many public pools is contaminated with E. coli, a study finds.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri May 17, 2013 12:53 pm

Perhaps you've noticed a toddler's sagging swim diaper and wondered if it's really keeping the poop out of your neighborhood pool.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has the answer for you: no.

Last summer, researchers at the federal public health agency collected 161 filter samples from public swimming pools in the Atlanta area. More than half of those samples, 58 percent, were contaminated with E. coli.

That, the CDC reported today, "signifies that swimmers introduced fecal matter into pool water."

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Monkey See
12:39 pm
Thu May 16, 2013

A Farewell To 'The Office': The 10 Best Episodes

Jenna Fischer and John Krasinski in The Office.
Vivian Zink NBC

It really only hit yesterday: It's the end of The Office.

After nine seasons, Dunder Mifflin is going dark Thursday night, with an hour-long retrospective at 8:00 and a 75-minute episode at 9:00 that may or may not feature a cameo from Steve Carell. There have been denials of an appearance from him that could be read as emphatic or tiptoeing, depending on whether you focus on the obvious implications of those denials or the technicalities that might allow for wiggle room.

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The Two-Way
12:37 pm
Thu May 16, 2013

After Daughter Is Taken, Mother Rams Abduction Suspect's Car

Police in Albuquerque say they want to question David Jesus Hernandez, 31, about the brief abduction of a little girl Wednesday.
Albuquerque Police

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 3:41 pm

Police in Albuquerque, N.M., are interviewing a man they say is a "person of interest" in the abduction of a five-year-old girl. After the girl was taken Wednesday evening, her mother chased down and rammed the car she had been in; a suspect fled on foot. Authorities say the girl is safe; she was pushed out of the car shortly after being taken.

Update at 3:30 p.m. ET. 'Person Of Interest' Found:

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The Two-Way
11:48 am
Thu May 16, 2013

Almost Nerd Wars: 'Doctor Who' & 'Star Wars' Fans Have Spat

Darth Vader or The Doctor? Pick your champion.
Lewis Whyld/Andrew Matthews PA Photos/Landov

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 4:20 pm

Some stories are indeed too good to be true.

This BBC headline had us punching the Two-Way control board to go to light speed in pursuit of appropriate puns:

"Star Wars and Doctor Who fans clash at Norwich convention"

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Shots - Health News
11:48 am
Thu May 16, 2013

Human Scent Is Even Sweeter For Malaria Mosquitoes

An Anopheles gambiae mosquito feasts on a human.
Jim Gathany CDC

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 1:13 pm

People smell yummy to mosquitoes.

So yummy, in fact, that our scent is a big way the pesky insects track us down.

But just how much mosquitoes like Eau de Human may not be entirely up to the bugs.

Mosquitoes are more attracted to human odors when they're infected with the malaria parasite, scientists reported Wednesday in the journal PLOS ONE.

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The Two-Way
10:49 am
Thu May 16, 2013

David Beckham Retires From Soccer, Ending Storied Career

David Beckham, seen here on the sidelines of a 2010 World Cup match, has announced that he is retiring. The 38-year-old midfielder appeared in 115 matches for England's team and won titles in four different national leagues.
Michael Regan Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 1:37 pm

David Beckham, who starred for Manchester United, Real Madrid and England's national team before heading to the United States and Paris, is retiring. The news was confirmed Thursday by England's Football Association.

The midfielder played his first game for Manchester United in 1992 and eventually rose to become captain of England's international team for more than 50 games, including several World Cup tournaments. He appeared in 115 matches for the squad.

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The Two-Way
10:27 am
Thu May 16, 2013

Berkshire Hathaway's Credit Rating Knocked Down A Notch

Warren Buffett.
Donald Bowers Getty Images for Fortune

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 10:53 am

Billionaire investment legend Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. has had its credit rating lowered from AA+ to AA by Standard & Poor's Ratings Services.

In a statement, S&P says that even though Berkshire Hathaway has an "excellent business profile," the lower credit rating "better reflects our view of BRK's dependence on its core insurance operations for most of its dividend income." (S&P's statement is posted on its website, but you have to register to view it.)

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The Two-Way
10:18 am
Thu May 16, 2013

Hiring Julie Hermann, Rutgers Seeks A New Era In Athletics

Rutgers athletics director Julie Hermann takes a question as university President Robert Barchi looks on Wednesday. Hermann' hire comes a month after the school fired its basketball coach over a video of abusive practices.
Mel Evans AP

Rutgers University officials are welcoming the arrival of new athletic director Julie Hermann as the beginning of a new era, as the school seeks to rebound from the turmoil that recently engulfed its athletics department.

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The Two-Way
8:57 am
Thu May 16, 2013

Conflicting Signals From Latest Economic Indicators

Thursday morning's economic news:

-- There were 360,000 first-time claims for unemployment insurance last week, up 32,000 from the week before, the Employment and Training Administration says. At 360,000, the pace was the fastest since the last week of March. But it remained well below the 400,000-and-higher rate that lasted from mid-2008 into 2011.

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The Two-Way
8:35 am
Thu May 16, 2013

Twitter Users Risk Damnation, Say Saudi Religious Police

In January, this Saudi man in Riyadh had Twitter open on his computer.
Fayez Nureldine AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 9:57 am

"The head of Saudi Arabia's religious police has warned citizens against using Twitter, which is rising in popularity among Saudis," the BBC reports. "Sheikh Abdul Latif Abdul Aziz al-Sheikh said anyone using social media sites — and especially Twitter — 'has lost this world and his afterlife.' "

International Digital Times notes that:

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The Two-Way
8:08 am
Thu May 16, 2013

Suspect Apprehended In New Orleans Second-Line Shooting

Akein Scott, 19, the suspect in a shooting spree Sunday that left 19 people wounded in New Orleans.
New Orleans Police Department EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 4:30 pm

"CAPTURED!"

That's how the New Orleans Police Department spread the word on Facebook early Thursday that its officers had "arrested 19-year-old Akein Scott in connection with the shooting of 19 people on Mother's Day."

Update at 4:05 p.m. ET. Second Suspect Arrested:

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The Two-Way
7:45 am
Thu May 16, 2013

Book News: Amazon's Tiny Tax Payment Draws Fresh Scrutiny

An Amazon.co.uk parcel passes along a conveyor belt at a facility in Milton Keynes, England.
Bruno Vincent Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 11:00 am

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

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The Two-Way
7:31 am
Thu May 16, 2013

Top Stories: Deadly Texas Twisters; NATO Faces Afghan Bombs

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 8:50 am

Good morning, here are our early stories:

-- Texas Tornado Leaves 6 Dead, Dozens Hurt, Hundreds Homeless.

-- At Least 13 Dead, Including Americans, After Attack In Kabul.

And here are more early headlines:

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The Two-Way
7:27 am
Thu May 16, 2013

At Least 13 Dead, Including Americans, After Attack In Kabul

The scene Thursday in Kabul, Afghanistan, after a suicide bomber attacked a NATO convoy.
Zhao Yishen Xinhua /Landov

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 8:46 am

Early casualty reports indicate that a powerful suicide car bombing Thursday in Kabul killed at least seven Afghan civilians, four foreign civilian contractors who were working for international forces and two members of the international military force.

Dozens more people were reportedly injured by the blast in Afghanistan's capital city.

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Shots - Health News
3:04 am
Thu May 16, 2013

Cloning, Stem Cells Long Mired In Legislative Gridlock

After President Obama overturned Bush-era policy restricting federal funding of embryonic stem cell research in 2009, Nebraska Right to Life led a protest of the research outside the University of Nebraska regents' meeting.
Nati Harnik AP

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 11:53 am

The news that U.S. scientists have successfully cloned a human embryo seems almost certain to rekindle a political fight that has raged, on and off, since the announcement of the creation of Dolly the sheep in 1997.

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