NPR Blogs

The Salt
5:47 am
Sat March 9, 2013

Gluten Goodbye: One-Third Of Americans Say They're Trying to Shun It

Michele Kelly, owner of Pure Knead bakery in Decatur, Ga., is one of many businesspeople catering to soaring demand for gluten-free baked goods.
John Bazemore AP

Originally published on Mon March 11, 2013 5:47 pm

Sure, we know that gluten-free is the Jennifer Lawrence of food trends. But we were still startled to hear that one-third of Americans say they're trying to avoid gluten. Really?

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The Two-Way
5:02 am
Sat March 9, 2013

With Hagel In Afghanistan, Explosion Hits Near Defense Ministry

Afghanistan National Army soldiers and security personnel walk at the site of a suicide attack next to the Ministry of Defense main gate in Kabul on Saturday.
Massoud Hossaini AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat March 9, 2013 2:38 pm

A bomb exploded near the Defense Ministry in Kabul on Saturday morning as U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel was visiting in Afghanistan. The Taliban claimed responsibility, calling it a message to the new Pentagon chief.

Update At 10:49 a.m. ET: Hagel Not Surprised

Hagel was nowhere near the attack, but the AP reports he heard the blast:

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The Two-Way
6:14 pm
Fri March 8, 2013

French Mother On Trial For Sending Her Son, Jihad, To School With 'Bomb' Shirt

Bouchra Bagour, left, leaves a court house with her lawyer Gaelle Genoun.
Anne-Christine Poujoulat AFP/Getty Images

A French mother was in court Wednesday for what she says was a simple birthday celebration but what the government alleges is a clear provocation, an allusion to terrorism.

The BBC reports that Bouchra Bagour, 35, has been charged with "glorifying crime" after she sent her three-year-old son — named Jihad — to school wearing a T-shirt that read "I am a bomb" and "Born on 11 September."

The BBC adds:

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The Two-Way
6:07 pm
Fri March 8, 2013

'World's Best Restaurant' Blamed For Diners' Illnesses

The famed Noma restaurant in Copenhagen has been blamed for more than 60 of its diners falling ill. Investigators say an illness spread from the staff to the customers.
Keld Navntoft AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 12, 2013 12:12 pm

Noma, the Danish eatery that has won fans with its innovative approach to Nordic cuisine, and won Restaurant magazine's "World's Best Restaurant" title the past three years, is getting some unwelcome press, after dozens of people who ate at the Copenhagen restaurant fell sick.

Update: Monday, March 11

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Monkey See
5:03 pm
Fri March 8, 2013

Gone Fishin': Monkey See In Repose

iStockphoto.com

What comes after awards season? After the Oscars, after the cold of winter begins to lift, after practically every midseason network show is yanked after fewer episodes than you have fingers? What then?

Well, what happens then is vacation, at least around here. I will be gone the week of March 11, resting and taking walks and going to the world's best movie theater and reading books with "Bride" in the title.

Now is the time for breathing. Take care of yourselves until I see you.

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The Two-Way
4:26 pm
Fri March 8, 2013

In Kenyan Election, Kenyatta Holds On To Razor-Thin Margin After Final Tally

A supporter celebrates on March 6, 2013 at a polling station in the Mathare slum of Nairobi.
Simon Maina AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat March 9, 2013 11:47 am

Update at 7:04 p.m. ET. All Votes Counted:

With all the votes in, Kenya's election commission says Uhuru Kenyatta appears to have won with the slimmest of margins. Kenyatta got 50.03 percent of the vote, the AP reports.

Reuters adds:

"Kenyatta, who faces international charges of crimes against humanity, secured 6,173,433 votes out of a total of 12,338,667 ballots cast, indicating that he had secured the more than 50 percent of votes needed for a first round win."

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The Two-Way
4:13 pm
Fri March 8, 2013

Alabama's Contentious Education Bill In Limbo As Courts Review Cases

Gov. Robert Bentley talks with reporters in his office, one day after Alabama Republicans adopted legislation to provide state tax credits to attend private schools.
Dave Martin AP

Originally published on Fri March 8, 2013 4:14 pm

A week after a sweeping and controversial education bill was adopted by the Alabama Legislature, the measure is on hold, with a circuit judge and the state's supreme court reviewing separate lawsuits filed over it. Democrats say Republicans broke the rules when they inserted school choice language into a bill that was originally meant to give school districts flexibility in meeting standards.

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Shots - Health News
4:04 pm
Fri March 8, 2013

Flu Risk And Weather: It's Not The Heat, It's The Humidity

A woman fends off the last blast of winter and the flu season in Philadelphia this month.
Matt Rourke AP

As winter wanes into spring, flu season wanes, too. But while people get the flu when it's cold in the United States, in Senegal they're getting sick when it's hot.

It's a puzzle that's baffled scientists for decades. Now, they think they might be have an explanation, though it's not a straightforward one.

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The Two-Way
3:04 pm
Fri March 8, 2013

Bulgaria Expresses 'Regret' For Holocaust Deportation Of Jews

For the first time, the Bulgarian National Assembly is expressing "regret" for deporting more than 11,000 Jews to German death camps.

The declaration passed today is truly bitter sweet, because while it calls the deportations a "criminal act," it also praises Bulgarian citizens and politicians for saving more than 48,000 Jews during the Holocaust.

The BBC explains:

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The Two-Way
2:44 pm
Fri March 8, 2013

In Syria's Complicated War, U.N. Peacekeepers Become Pawns

U.N. peacekeepers cross a checkpoint in the Golan Heights on Friday. Syrian rebels seized 21 peacekeepers from the Philippines and are insisting that Syrian troops leave the area.
Jack Guez AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 8, 2013 4:11 pm

The Syrian civil war keeps getting more complicated, and the seizure of 21 United Nations peacekeepers has again raised concern that the fighting could spread turmoil in the region.

The rebels fighting President Bashar Assad's regime are a mixed lot that include secular fighters calling for democracy, as well as Muslim fundamentalists who want to impose Islamic law.

A rebel faction calling itself the Martyrs of Yarmouk Brigade says it seized the peacekeepers on Wednesday.

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The Two-Way
1:43 pm
Fri March 8, 2013

South Dakota Governor Signs Law Allowing Guns In Schools

After training, teachers and other staffers in South Dakota could choose to bring guns with them to school if their districts want to set up "sentinel" programs.
Jim Urquhart Reuters /Landov

South Dakota on Friday became what's "believed to be the first state to pass a law that specifically allows teachers to carry firearms," as The New York Times writes.

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The Two-Way
1:22 pm
Fri March 8, 2013

John Brennan Is Sworn In As CIA Director

Vice President Joe Biden swears in CIA Director John Brennan in the Roosevelt Room of the White House on March 8, 2013.
David Lienemann The White House

During a ceremony in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, John Brennan was sworn in as the director of the Central Intelligence Office by Vice President Joe Biden.

According to the White House, Brennan took his oath by putting his hand "on an original draft of the Constitution, dating from 1787, which has George Washington's personal handwriting and annotations on it."

The AP reports that with Brennan, President Obama's national security team is set for a second term.

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The Two-Way
1:09 pm
Fri March 8, 2013

Citizens Of Nitro, W.V., Watch Town's Bridge Blow Up

An image taken from a video depicts a section of the Dick Henderson Memorial Bridge in Nitro, WV, being demolished by a controlled explosion Friday.
YouTube

The last portion of the Dick Henderson Memorial Bridge, which once connected the West Virginia towns of Nitro and St. Albans, was demolished this morning. Hundreds of people gathered to view the controlled explosion Friday morning.

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Shots - Health News
12:53 pm
Fri March 8, 2013

Could A 'Brain Pacemaker' Someday Treat Severe Anorexia?

Kim Rollins of Ontario, Canada, struggled with anorexia for more than 20 years. After starting deep brain stimulation 14 months ago, the 36-year-old says she's in recovery.
Courtesy of Krembil Neuroscience Centre

Originally published on Tue March 12, 2013 10:23 am

Many people who get anorexia recover after therapy and counseling. But in about 20 to 30 percent of cases, the disease becomes a chronic condition that gets tougher and tougher to treat.

Right now, doctors have few options for helping these patients, mostly women, whose disease can be crippling or fatal.

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The Two-Way
12:25 pm
Fri March 8, 2013

Presidents, Dignitaries Gather For Hugo Chávez's Funeral

In this photo released by Miraflores Press Office, Cuba's President Raul Castro salutes as he stands next to the coffin containing the body of Venezuela's late President Hugo Chavez.
AP

Originally published on Fri March 8, 2013 1:42 pm

Presidents and dignitaries from around the globe are gathered in Caracas this morning to pay their final respects to Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez.

CBS News reports:

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