NPR Blogs

Shots - Health News
3:08 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

NIH Takes Another Step Toward Retirement Of Research Chimps

Chimpanzees play at Chimp Haven, a retirement home for former research animals, in Keithville, La.
Gerald Herbert AP

Originally published on Thu June 27, 2013 9:32 am

The National Institutes of Health says it will retire hundreds of chimpanzees that the agency had been using for research. Animal rights activists see the move as a big step towards ending the use of chimps in research, but it will be awhile before any of the research chimps find their way into retirement homes.

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The Two-Way
2:42 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

Black Bear Roams In D.C., Days After Red Panda's Jaunt

A black bear was captured in northwest Washington, D.C., Wednesday, two days after Rusty the red panda escaped from the National Zoo into a nearby area.
YouTube

First there was Rusty, the red panda. Now there are reports that a bear was captured after roaming around in Washington, D.C., Wednesday, prompting (mostly unserious) concerns of a possible siege on the nation's capital.

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The Two-Way
2:33 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

Justice Kennedy At Center Of Gay Rights Decisions For A Decade

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy has now written two landmark gay rights decisions.
Damian Dovarganes AP

Originally published on Wed June 26, 2013 4:06 pm

Ten years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a Texas "Homosexual Conduct" law that criminalized some sexual acts.

Today, on the anniversary of that decision, the high court overturned a federal law that defined marriage as between a man and a woman.

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The Two-Way
2:00 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

WATCH: Reactions To Gay Marriage Rulings

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The Two-Way
1:42 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

Revised GDP Numbers Weaker Than Projected

The nation's gross domestic product, the output of goods and services produced within the U.S., grew at a rate of 1.8 percent in the first quarter of this year, according to the Commerce Department's Bureau of Economic Analysis. That's a downward revision from the 2.4 percent rate previously reported.

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Shots - Health News
12:28 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

Laughing Gas Gets A Safety Check

Is nitrous oxide during surgery safe?
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu June 27, 2013 9:32 am

To anesthesiologists, laughing gas is no joke.

Nitrous oxide was one of the first chemicals used to make surgery and tooth-pulling painless. Back in the 1840s, Horace Wells, a dentist in Hartford, Conn., did his best to popularize it as an anesthetic agent. Despite some failed demonstrations early on, use of the gas during surgery eventually became routine.

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Shots - Health News
12:24 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

Men Pick Robotic Surgery For Prostate Cancer Despite Risks

A billboard advertising robotic surgery hangs outside Boston's Fenway Park in 2009. Hospitals and doctors have heavily promoted robotic surgery.
Charles Krupa AP

Pretty much every medical organization has told men to back off on screening for prostate cancer, because it can lead to unneeded treatment, including surgery that can leave a man incontinent and impotent.

But it's hard to resist a robot.

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The Two-Way
12:22 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

After DOMA: What's Next For Gay Married Couples

Edith Windsor is mobbed by journalists and supporters as she leaves the Supreme Court on March 27, when the court heard oral arguments in the case that challenged the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 26, 2013 3:47 pm

The Supreme Court's 5-4 decision Wednesday to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act is a monumental victory for advocates of same-sex marriage.

But what happens now that the 1996 federal law that confines marriage to a man and a woman has been declared unconstitutional?

Will federal benefits flow only to same-sex married couples living in states that recognize their unions?

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The Two-Way
10:13 am
Wed June 26, 2013

Court Overturns DOMA, Sidesteps Broad Gay Marriage Ruling

Plaintiff Edith Windsor of New York waves to supporters in front of the Supreme Court in Washington after the court heard arguments on her Defense of Marriage Act case.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Thu June 27, 2013 3:51 am

The Supreme Court issued rulings on two highly-anticipated cases on gay marriage today. By 5-4, it ruled the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as a union between one man and one woman, is unconstitutional.

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The Two-Way
9:09 am
Wed June 26, 2013

WATCH: Teary Paula Deen Says She's No Racist

Celebrity chef Paula Deen poses for a portrait in 2012, in New York. In her deposition for a lawsuit by a former employee, Deen admits to having used racial slurs, among other things.
Carlo Allegri AP

Originally published on Wed June 26, 2013 11:18 am

Paula Deen, the Food Network star under fire over a racially charged deposition, says she is no racist.

Deen, who has been dropped by the Food Network and as spokeswoman for Smithfield Foods, gave a teary interview to the Today show this morning.

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The Salt
9:03 am
Wed June 26, 2013

Fruity With A Hint Of Bologna: A Slacker's Guide To Wine Tasting

Swigging for science: A hint of oak, our wine tasting newbies learned, is more common in reds than whites. It's a marker for expense in both.
Heather Rousseau NPR

Originally published on Sat June 29, 2013 9:29 pm

Wine tasting has taken it on the chin recently.

"There are no two ways about it: the bullsh*t is strong with wine."

That's what Robert T. Gonzales recently wrote on io9.com in a post that eviscerated wine tasting as a form of skilled craft. "Wine tasting. Wine rating. Wine reviews. Wine descriptions," he writes. "They're all related. And they're all egregious offenders, from a [expletive deleted] standpoint."

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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
8:33 am
Wed June 26, 2013

Laws Of Man And Laws Of Nature

The Sundarbans, a mangrove forest at the edge of the Bay of Bengal, stretch across parts of southwestern Bangladesh and southeastern India.
NASA

We humans are an unruly bunch. So much so that we need laws to keep order, to make sure we stay on track. Without our laws, society would quickly descend into chaos. The laws of man are guarantors of order, a necessary control against the inherent greediness of our species.

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The Two-Way
8:15 am
Wed June 26, 2013

Book News: Turkish Protesters Form 'Taksim Square Book Club'

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

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The Two-Way
7:42 am
Wed June 26, 2013

Prime Minister Julia Gilliard Ousted By Kevin Rudd

Prime Minister Julia Gillard during question time at Parliament House on Wednesday in Canberra, Australia.
Stefan Postles Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 26, 2013 12:40 pm

In a move designed to salvage upcoming elections, Australia's Labor Party ousted Prime Minister Julia Gillard in favor of Kevin Rudd.

Reuters explains the politics:

"Rudd, a former diplomat who speaks Mandarin, won a Labor Party ballot with 57 votes to Gillard's 45. Gillard promised to quit politics if she lost the ballot.

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