NPR Blogs

The Two-Way
11:03 am
Tue August 6, 2013

George Duke, Legendary Jazz Keyboardist, Dies

George Duke.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue August 6, 2013 12:42 pm

George Duke, the legendary jazz keyboardist, died on Monday, his publicist tells NPR.

Duke's career spanned five decades and he always straddled the line between disparate genres, collaborating with artists such as Miles Davis, Barry Manilow, Frank Zappa, George Clinton and some of Brazil's top musicians.

Here's how NPR's Felix Contreras describes him:

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The Two-Way
10:51 am
Tue August 6, 2013

India Accuses Pakistan Of Killing 5 Soldiers

Supporters of India's main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party protest Tuesday in Allahabad, India, against the deaths of five Indian soldiers. India has accused Pakistani soldiers of firing across the Line of Control in Kashmir; Islamabad denies the charge.
Rajesh Kumar Singh AP

Originally published on Tue August 6, 2013 12:35 pm

India has accused Pakistani troops of killing five Indian soldiers after firing across the Line of Control, the de facto border in disputed Kashmir. Pakistan denies any firing from its side, and calls the allegation "baseless."

This latest incident comes amid attempts to renew diplomatic overtures for peace between the two nuclear-armed rivals.

Indian officials say Pakistani soldiers fired into Indian territory overnight, ambushing a patrol of Indian troops.

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The Two-Way
10:01 am
Tue August 6, 2013

George W. Bush Has Heart Procedure; Stent Inserted

Former President George W. Bush at the April dedication of his presidential library in Dallas.
Larry W. Smith EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Tue August 6, 2013 3:11 pm

"Former President George W. Bush has successfully undergone a heart procedure after doctors discovered a blockage in an artery," The Associated Press writes.

According to the wire service, "Bush spokesman Freddy Ford says a stent was inserted during a procedure Tuesday at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas. The blockage was discovered Monday during Bush's annual physical at the Cooper Clinic in Dallas, where the nation's 43rd president lives."

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Shots - Health News
9:54 am
Tue August 6, 2013

Smoking Ban Tilts Odds Against Ambulance Calls From Casinos

Feeling lucky? Smoke-filled casinos cloud the health outlook for workers and gamblers alike.
William Thomas Cain Getty Images

Originally published on Tue August 6, 2013 4:20 pm

Public health advocates have lobbied hard in recent years to clear restaurants, bars and other workplaces of tobacco smoke, and the winds seem to be at their back.

Already, 36 states and the District of Columbia have enacted some version of an indoor smoking ban to protect the health of workers and patrons, and many local communities in other states have followed suit.

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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
9:44 am
Tue August 6, 2013

Is Weak Evidence Better Than No Evidence?

Jonathan Downey iStockphoto.com

In my post last week, I wrote that "weak evidence is still better than no evidence." The statement prompted some thoughtful comments from readers:

I find that weak evidence is often worse than no evidence. (Chris Harlan)

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The Two-Way
7:19 am
Tue August 6, 2013

Book News: Crime Writer Elmore Leonard Recovering From Stroke

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

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The Two-Way
6:59 am
Tue August 6, 2013

'Depart Immediately,' State Dept. Tells Americans In Yemen

An army trooper sits beside a machine gun that is mounted on a patrol vehicle at a checkpoint in Sanaa, Yemen. Security is tight in the capital amid warnings about possible terrorist attacks.
Khaled Abdullah Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue August 6, 2013 12:25 pm

  • From 'Morning Edition': NPR's Dina Temple-Raston talks with Linda Wertheimer about the terrorism alerts

Warning that "the security threat level in Yemen is extremely high," the State Department is urging any Americans in that country to "depart immediately."

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The Two-Way
2:26 am
Tue August 6, 2013

Court-Martial To Begin Tuesday In Fort Hood Shooting Rampage

Maj. Nidal Hasan faces 13 charges of murder and 32 of attempted murder for the November 2009 shootings at Fort Hood, Texas.
Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue August 6, 2013 10:59 am

Former Army psychiatrist Maj. Nidal Hasan is charged with opening fire in a troop processing center at Fort Hood, Texas, and killing 13 people and wounding more than 30 others in 2009.

Hasan is representing himself in the death penalty case.

NPR's Wade Goodwyn tells Morning Edition co-host Renee Montagne that means Hasan will be questioning witnesses he is accused of shooting.

Hassan is paralyzed from the waist down after being shot by a military police officer during the rampage.

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Shots - Health News
6:03 pm
Mon August 5, 2013

Harsh In Hard Times? A Gene May Influence Mom's Behavior

A gene known as DRD2 affects the brain's dopamine system and is known to be associated with aggressive behavior.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 7:51 am

A gene that affects the brain's dopamine system appears to have influenced mothers' behavior during a recent economic downturn, researchers say.

At the beginning of the recession that began in 2007, mothers with the "sensitive" version of a gene called DRD2 became more likely to strike or scream at their children, the researchers say. Mothers with the other "insensitive" version of the gene didn't change their behavior.

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The Two-Way
5:29 pm
Mon August 5, 2013

In Baseball, Punishments Often Come With An Asterisk

Despite already being in the Hall of Fame, New York Yankees legend Mickey Mantle was banned from baseball in 1983, for his work for a casino. He was reinstated in 1985. MLB suspended Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez for 211 regular season games Monday.
AP

Originally published on Mon August 5, 2013 8:01 pm

By suspending New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez for 211 regular-season games — through the end of the 2014 regular season — Major League Baseball stopped short of the lifetime ban that had been threatened.

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The Two-Way
4:49 pm
Mon August 5, 2013

'Washington Post' To Be Sold To Amazon's Jeff Bezos

View of the front page of the October 30, 2009 edition of The Washington Post.
Nicholas Kamm AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue August 6, 2013 10:03 am

The Washington Post Co. will sell its flagship newspaper and one of the most respected news organizations in the country to Amazon.com founder Jeffrey P. Bezos, the company announced in a press release. The Post has been a family-owned business for four generations.

Amazon, the company said, will play no role in the purchase. Bezos is making the purchase personally.

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Monkey See
4:34 pm
Mon August 5, 2013

Still Not Ginger: In Which We Express Cautious Excitement About Peter Capaldi

For hardcore Doctor Who fans, the show is like a cranky elderly relative. You love it because it's basically family. But you don't always like it. (Steven Moffat ... grumble grumble ... female characters ... grumble grumble ... what the hell did you do to River Song grumble grumble ...)

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The Salt
4:00 pm
Mon August 5, 2013

Long Awaited Lab-Grown Burger Is Unveiled In London

Scientists say commercial production of cultured beef could begin within 10 to 20 years.
David Parry / PA Wire

Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 5:04 pm

After three months, $330,000 and a high-profile media blitz, the world's first hamburger grown in a lab made its worldwide debut Monday.

The unveiling of "cultured beef," as the burger is branded, was a production worthy of the Food Network era, complete with chatty host, live-streamed video, hand-picked taste testers, a top London chef and an eager audience (made up mostly of journalists). Rarely has a single food gotten such star treatment.

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Shots - Health News
3:55 pm
Mon August 5, 2013

Data Dive Finds Doctors For Rent

What's up, doc?
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue August 6, 2013 7:04 am

Silly me. I thought "rent-seeking" was something only landlords did.

But economists have their own way of looking at the world. To them, rent-seeking is a term for describing how someone snags a bigger share of a pie rather than making a pie bigger, as the venerable Economist explains it.

So, a drugmaker can be seen as a rent-seeker if it cajoles doctors to prescribe more of a particular brand of medicine at the expense of a rival pharmaceutical company's wares.

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