NPR Blogs

The Salt
3:46 am
Tue November 13, 2012

Danes May Bring Back Butter As Government Rolls Back Fat Tax

Toothbutter, illustrated.
Sidsel Overgaard NPR

Originally published on Thu November 15, 2012 3:34 pm

Toothbutter: noun. Butter spread so thickly as to reveal teeth marks upon biting.

The fact that this word exists in the Danish language should help to explain what politicians were up against when they introduced the "fat tax" just over a year ago. This is a country that loves it some butter (and meat, and all things dreadful to the arteries).

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Shots - Health News
3:34 am
Tue November 13, 2012

Health Insurance Exchanges Explained

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam said last week the state could design its own health insurance exchange required under President Obama's health care law. But resistance in the Republican-controlled General Assembly may cause the state to hand that power off to the federal government.
Mark Humphrey AP

Originally published on Tue November 13, 2012 1:33 pm

Last week's election may have settled the fate of the federal Affordable Care Act, but its implementation after months of uncertainty has caught many of the players unprepared.

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The Two-Way
6:08 pm
Mon November 12, 2012

Thousands of Iranian Troops Will Participate in 'Biggest Ever' Military Drill

Iran has initiated a massive week-long air defense drill amidst growing international pressure over its nuclear ambitions and last week's firing on a U.S. drone they claim entered Iranian air space.

Iran will test its air defense system, named "Mersad," meaning ambush in Persian. Drill spokesman Shahrokh Shahram told Iran's Press TV the military exercise was both a "strong warning to those threatening Iran" and a symbol of regional security, according to Reuters.

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The Two-Way
5:30 pm
Mon November 12, 2012

Salman Rushdie, John Le Carre End Literary Feud

Author Salman Rushdie at The New Yorker Festival in New York on Oct. 7.
Todd France AP

It began with a war of words in the letters pages of the Guardian and ended with comments made to The Times of London. It took 15 years, but, as the Guardian reports, the feud between writers Salman Rushdie and John le Carre is at an end.

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The Two-Way
5:16 pm
Mon November 12, 2012

People From 20 States Ask To Secede On White House Website

A fan holds up the Texas state flag during Game Two of the ALCS during the 2010 MLB Playoffs.
Stephen Dunn Getty Images

Originally published on Tue November 13, 2012 11:06 am

They're asking politely. Malcontents from 20 different states are petitioning the White House to allow them to secede from the union.

Using the White House website's We the People function, in which petitions garnering at least 25,000 signatures get a response from the president, people from the state of Texas are asking to "peacefully ... withdraw from the United States of America and create its own NEW government."

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The Salt
4:28 pm
Mon November 12, 2012

Kind of Like 'eFarmony': Matching Farmers With Urban Landowners For Fun And Profit

Chris Costa and one of her chickens on her farm in Downingtown, Pa. Costa and her partner, T.J., found the land for this farm through a sustainable agriculture program.
Emma Lee WHYY

Originally published on Mon November 12, 2012 6:15 pm

Many farmers want their farms to be located close to a city - especially organic farmers who'd like to sell their produce at big urban farmers markets. But the price of land within range of a big city is sky high and only getting higher.

Most small farmers buy their land, but some are now looking to lease in suburban or exurban areas. And to do that, they're using something straight out of Fiddler On The Roof: A matchmaker.

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Shots - Health News
3:49 pm
Mon November 12, 2012

Malaria-Like Disease Follows Lyme's Path In New England

As white-tailed deer have returned to New England in the past century, they've brought with them tick-borne parasites that cause human diseases.
marcinplaza iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue November 13, 2012 1:07 pm

There's more than deer lurking in the New England woods these days.

Diseases carried by ticks that hitch rides on deer are rising in the Northeast, researchers said Monday at a meeting about tropical diseases.

In particular, babesiosis — a disease that mimics malaria — is catching up with Lyme disease in some communities.

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Shots - Health News
3:22 pm
Mon November 12, 2012

Georgia Immigration Law Trips Up Doctors And Nurses

Workers in the Georgia secretary of state's office have fallen behind on licensing applications for nurses.
Jim Burress WABE

Originally published on Tue November 13, 2012 7:39 am

Hundreds of health care workers in Georgia are losing their licenses to practice because of a problem created by a new immigration law in the state.

The law requires everyone — no matter where they were born — to prove their citizenship or legal residency to renew their professional licenses.

With too few state workers to process the extra paperwork, licenses for doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other health professionals are expiring.

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The Two-Way
3:10 pm
Mon November 12, 2012

VIDEO: Venice Floods, But It Doesn't Stop The Tourists

People sit at the table of a bar in a flooded St. Mark's Square in Venice, Italy on Sunday.
Luigi Costantini AP

In a city so used to flooding, life doesn't stop when the water's knee-deep.

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The Two-Way
2:29 pm
Mon November 12, 2012

Abbie Evans, Who Cried About 'Bronco Bamma,' Seems Happy With His Win

Abigael Evans, looking happier after the election.
Elizabeth Evans video on YouTube

Originally published on Tue November 13, 2012 6:45 am

All is well, it seems, with 4-year-old Abigael Evans of Fort Collins, Colo.

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The Two-Way
1:41 pm
Mon November 12, 2012

By 2020, United States Will Become World's Leading Oil Producer, Says IEA

Austin Mitchell walks away from an oil derrick outside Williston, N.D., in July 2011. North Dakota is now the No. 2 producer of oil in the U.S. behind Texas.
Gregory Bull AP

Originally published on Mon November 12, 2012 9:51 pm

By 2020, the United States will overtake Saudi Arabia to become the world's leading oil producer, the International Energy Agency says in a new report.

At the moment, the United States imports 20 percent of its energy. So this prediction is bold and points to "a dramatic reversal" for the U.S.

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The Salt
1:26 pm
Mon November 12, 2012

Sandwich Monday: Hail The Pepperoni Roll

"Mini" is relative.
NPR

Originally published on Fri October 25, 2013 11:52 pm

When I left my home state of West Virginia and went away to college, I was surprised by a couple of things. One, that the rest of the world did not refer to a ski cap as a "toboggan," and two, that the rest of the world was a dark, dystopian hellplex which had never heard of a pepperoni roll. I visited West Virginia this weekend and came back with a bag to share with my poor, naive coworkers.

Mike: Pepperoni Rolls sounds like an obese piano player from the '20s. Or maybe a sausage-powered luxury car.

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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
1:01 pm
Mon November 12, 2012

An American Family

A sea of self-motivated individuals or a web of interdependent talents? Both, of course.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

... we are an American family and we rise or fall together as one nation and as one people.

... our destiny is shared ...

... this country only works when we accept certain obligations to one another and to future generations. The freedom which so many Americans have fought for and died for come with responsibilities as well as rights. And among these are love and charity and duty and patriotism.

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The Two-Way
12:54 pm
Mon November 12, 2012

Voice Of Elmo On Leave To Confront 'Unsubstantiated' Allegations

Puppeteer Kevin Clash and Elmo.
Frederick M. Brown Getty Images

Originally published on Tue November 13, 2012 5:46 pm

Update on Nov. 13 at 5:43 p.m. ET. The man who accused Kevin Clash of having sex with him while he was underage has recanted his testimony. We've added a separate blog with the details.

Our Original Post Continues:

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The Two-Way
12:26 pm
Mon November 12, 2012

Lance Armstrong Cuts Formal Ties With Livestrong Charity

Lance Armstrong competes in the Rev3 Half Full Triathalon Sunday in Ellicott City, Md. Armstrong joined other cancer survivors in the event, which raised funds for the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults.
Steve Ruark AP

The fallout from the Lance Armstrong doping scandal continues: Today, Livestrong announced the cyclist had cut all formal ties with the cancer charity.

AP reports:

"Armstrong resigned from the board of directors for Livestrong on Nov. 4. He had previously resigned as chairman from the charity he founded Oct. 17 but had kept a seat on the board. ...

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