NPR Blogs

The Two-Way
10:33 am
Tue April 30, 2013

New Arizona Law: Guns From Buybacks Can't Be Destroyed

Detective Enrique Chavez logs weapons from a gun buyback in Miami. Arizona's new law requires municipalities to re-sell weapons recovered in such programs.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 10:38 am

Cities in Arizona that conduct buyback programs to get guns off the street will now be required to re-sell those weapons, according to a new law signed by the governor.

Gov. Jan Brewer signed the legislation late Monday "preventing local governments from melting down the weapons obtained from these popular civic events. Before the new law, the state had allowed such firearms to be destroyed," according to Reuters.

The news agency says:

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The Two-Way
10:10 am
Tue April 30, 2013

Home Prices Continue To Rise Across The Nation

A home that was for sale earlier this month in Washington, D.C.
Jonathan Ernst Reuters /Landov

There were solid increases in home prices during the month of February across all 20 major cities where that data is tracked, according to the latest S&am

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Shots - Health News
10:05 am
Tue April 30, 2013

Consensus Builds For Universal HIV Testing

Katherine Tapp, 26, tries a rapid HIV test offered at the Department of Motor Vehicles in Washington, D.C., in June 2012. It's part of an effort to get more people screened.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 12:02 pm

Everybody needs an HIV test, at least once.

That's the verdict from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, which has just joined the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and a scrum of professional medical societies in calling for universal testing for the virus that causes AIDS.

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The Two-Way
9:21 am
Tue April 30, 2013

Bombing In Syrian Capital Kills At Least 13 People

Syrian government security officers after a blast in the Marjeh district of Damascus on Tuesday.
Louai Beshara AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 10:15 am

Syrian state TV is reporting that a bomb blast in Damascus has killed at least 13 people, a day after the country's prime minister narrowly escaped a car bomb.

The Associated Press reports:

"The bombings appear to be part of an accelerated campaign by opposition forces seeking to topple President Bashar Assad to strike at his heavily protected seat of power. ...

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The Two-Way
9:16 am
Tue April 30, 2013

In Japan: Running Out Of Places To Put Radioactive Water

As they inspected an underground storage pool near the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant earlier this month, Tokyo Electric Power Co. President Naomi Hirose (4th from left) and other officials wore protective suits and masks. Radioactive water stored in some of the pits has leaked.
Tokyo Electric Power Co. Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 9:56 am

Adding to reporting from NPR, The Associated Press and other news outlets, The New York Times writes Tuesday that:

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The Two-Way
8:27 am
Tue April 30, 2013

Top Stories: Boston Investigation Widens; Netherlands' New King

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 9:06 am

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Monkey See
8:27 am
Tue April 30, 2013

A Banana With Dreadlocks: A Study In Misery

The banana with dreadlocks featured in a local story from the news in Boston.
Screenshot

If this guy actually lost his life savings playing "Tubs Of Fun," that's sad. And if the game was rigged, that's fraud! Also, I think that banana is offensive.

But I find it almost entirely impossible to believe this is actually a dude who carries this item around with him all the time, perched on top of a baby stroller. This comes from the local news in Boston, and it appears to be presented seriously, but it looks like a segment from a satirical news broadcast, no?

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The Two-Way
8:04 am
Tue April 30, 2013

Book News: 'Winnie-The-Pooh' Author Wrote WWI Propaganda

British author A.A. Milne looks positively Bond-esque in this photo from 1952.
Associated Press

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 10:38 am

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

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The Two-Way
7:53 am
Tue April 30, 2013

Orange Is Everywhere As Dutch Welcome New King

New Dutch King Willem-Alexander, Queen Maxima and their daughters wave to the crowd Tuesday from the balcony of the royal palace in Amsterdam.
Patrick Van Katwijk DPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 12:12 pm

The signing ceremony looked rather simple, but the celebrations seemed joyous Tuesday in Amsterdam as Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands handed over the crown to her son Willem-Alexander.

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Shots - Health News
3:09 am
Tue April 30, 2013

Why Calif. Doesn't Want Smokers To Pay More For Health Insurance

Californian State Assemblyman Richard Pan (center) is the author of legislation that would bar higher prices for health insurance sold to smokers.
Rich Pedroncelli AP

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 3:27 pm

Smoking has its risks, but in California higher prices for health insurance probably won't be among them.

The federal health law allows states to charge smokers up to 50 percent more for a health plan, but a bill moving forward in the California Legislature would prevent that from happening.

The Affordable Care Act is supposed to remove discrimination in the pricing of health insurance for things like gender and medical condition. Critics say a tobacco surcharge creates a new category of discrimination against smokers.

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The Two-Way
5:43 pm
Mon April 29, 2013

Cargo Plane Crash In Afghanistan Kills Seven

Originally published on Mon April 29, 2013 6:00 pm

A civilian cargo plane crashed in Afghanistan, killing all seven crew members, the U.S. military said Monday.

NPR's Tom Bowman is reporting on it for our Newscast team. He says:

"Officials say the crash killed all seven crew members. And there is no word yet on their nationalities.

"Emergency responders are still on the scene of the crash, at the sprawling base north of Kabul. Officials are still trying to determine the reason for the crash but say there's no indication of hostile fire.

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The Two-Way
5:32 pm
Mon April 29, 2013

Medics Arrive At Guantanamo As Hunger Strikers Increase

Originally published on Mon April 29, 2013 5:58 pm

About 40 medical personnel have arrived at the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay amid an increase in the number of hunger strikers at the facility.

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The Two-Way
5:07 pm
Mon April 29, 2013

Iceland Elects Three Pirate Party MPs

Supporters of the German Pirate Party attend a meeting in Berlin in February.
Adam Berry Getty Images

Iceland has become the first country to elect members of parliament from the Pirate Party — an international online freedom movement.

Three Pirate Party MPs will take seats following historic polls in Iceland that saw a new coalition come to power on a promise of easing economic austerity measures.

According to The Associated Press:

"The conservative Independence Party and rural-based Progressive Party — who governed Iceland for decades before the 2008 [economic] crash — each had 19 seats in Iceland's 63-seat parliament, the Althingi. ...

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The Two-Way
4:40 pm
Mon April 29, 2013

Europe Bans Pesticides In Move To Protect Honey Bees

Beekeepers demonstrate at the EU headquarters in Brussels Monday, as lawmakers vote on whether to ban pesticides blamed for killing bees.
Georges Gobet AFP/Getty Images

Three popular pesticides will soon be illegal in the European Union, where officials hope the change helps restore populations of honey bees, vital to crop production, to healthy levels. The new ban will be enacted in December.

"I pledge to do my utmost to ensure that our bees, which are so vital to our ecosystem and contribute over €22 billion ($28.8 billion) annually to European agriculture, are protected," said EU Health and Consumer Commissioner Tonio Borg.

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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
4:32 pm
Mon April 29, 2013

Elegance Trumps Ethics In A Scientific Scandal

iStockphoto.com

In a compelling New York Times piece published last Friday, writer Yudhijit Bhattacharjee discusses the rise and fall of Diederik Stapel, a Dutch social psychologist who committed fraud in 55, or more, of his scientific papers.

While I have very little sympathy for Stapel, I was surprised to recognize the impulse behind his fabrication. Here's how the article explained it:

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