NPR Blogs

The Two-Way
2:22 pm
Fri December 19, 2014

Instagram Is Now Valued At $35 Billion By Citigroup Analysts

Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 3:19 pm

Less than three years after Facebook purchased Instagram for $1 billion, the photo-sharing service is now worth $35 billion, according to analysts at Citigroup.

Instagram's user base has skyrocketed since the acquisition, in part because of its integration with Facebook but also because the purchase roughly coincided with the release of an Instagram app for Android smartphones.

Earlier this month, Instagram announced that it surpassed 300 million users.

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Shots - Health News
2:00 pm
Fri December 19, 2014

At Last, I Meet My Microbes

Lactobacillus acidophilus, which is one variety of the genus Lactobacillus is one of the common active cultures found in yogurt and in the human gut.
Scimat Scimat Getty Images/Photo Researchers

Originally published on Mon December 22, 2014 3:13 pm

A veritable jungle of organisms is helping keep each of us alive. But we've been rather negligent hosts. For starters, we don't even know who has shown up for the party.

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The Two-Way
1:31 pm
Fri December 19, 2014

Obama's Wide-Ranging, Year-End News Conference

President Obama speaks in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House during a media briefing last month.
Manuel Balce Ceneta AP

Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 6:02 pm

Updated at 6 p.m. ET

President Obama spoke to reporters in a year-end news conference at the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House.

One of the topics that came up was Sony Pictures Entertainment's decision to cancel distribution of the film The Interview following North Korea's cyber attack against the company's servers.

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The Two-Way
12:09 pm
Fri December 19, 2014

Obama Says Sony Should Not Have Pulled Film Over Threats

Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 7:04 pm

Updated at 6:00 p.m. ET

President Obama called Sony's decision to pull its film The Interview, following threats to movie theaters, a "mistake."

"We cannot have a society in which some dictator someplace can start imposing censorship here in the United States," the president said in his year-end news conference.

He added that he was "sympathetic" to Sony's concerns, but, "I wish they would have spoken to me first."

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The Salt
12:00 pm
Fri December 19, 2014

How Peppermint Tricks Us Into Feeling (Deliciously) Cold

Even in the coldest months, we relish the refreshing, icy taste of peppermint — in seasonal treats like peppermint bark, peppermint schnapps, even peppermint beer.

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Monkey See
11:11 am
Fri December 19, 2014

Pop Culture Happy Hour: 'Top Five' And The Art Of The Mixtape

NPR

This week's show brings our pal Audie Cornish into the studio for a conversation about Chris Rock's comedy Top Five. We get into the balance of industry satire and romance, the particular variety of raunchy comedy the film favors, and how his deft handling of the agony of junkets contrasts with the actually impressive round of interviews Rock has done surrounding the film.

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The Two-Way
10:57 am
Fri December 19, 2014

Education Dept. Issues Framework For New College Rating System

Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 11:59 am

Beginning next year, colleges and universities will be judged on three broad criteria when it comes to meting out federal financial aid: access, affordability and student outcomes, according to a new "framework" released by the Education Department.

The ratings plan was first announced by President Obama in August 2013, but the framework announced today is only an interim step. Public input is being sought by Feb. 17 on the proposed system.

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Shots - Health News
10:47 am
Fri December 19, 2014

Some Early Childhood Experiences Shape Adult Life, But Which Ones?

Having warm, supportive parents early on correlates with success in adulthood.
Agent Illustrateur/Ikon Images

Originally published on Mon December 22, 2014 7:48 am

Most of us don't remember our first two or three years of life — but our earliest experiences may stick with us for years and continue to influence us well into adulthood.

Just how they influence us and how much is a question that researchers are still trying to answer. Two studies look at how parents' behavior in those first years affects life decades later, and how differences in children's temperament play a role.

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The Two-Way
10:30 am
Fri December 19, 2014

FIFA Votes To Release At Least Some Of The Controversial World Cup Report

FIFA president Sepp Blatter attends a press conference in Marrakech, Morocco, on Friday.
Christophe Ena AP

Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 10:51 am

Soccer's governing body is sticking to its guns.

FIFA has voted not to revisit the bidding of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups. It also decided to release, at some later date, at least part of a 430-page confidential report produced by American lawyer Michael Garcia.

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The Two-Way
10:23 am
Fri December 19, 2014

Book News: Macmillan Inks Deal With Amazon, But Doesn't Sound Happy About It

People wait in line at Macmillan Publishers to have books autographed by their authors at last year's Book Expo America in New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
Mark Lennihan AP

Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 12:01 pm

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

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The Two-Way
10:19 am
Fri December 19, 2014

Thailand Says It Was Unaware Of CIA 'Black Site' On Its Soil

Abu Zubaydah, an alleged al-Qaida operative who was reportedly subjected to waterboarding at a secret location in Thailand in 2002.
Anonymous AP

Thailand's prime minister says his government had no knowledge of a secret location inside the country where the CIA is said to have waterboarded top al-Qaida operatives in 2002.

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Monkey See
9:53 am
Fri December 19, 2014

A Different 'Annie,' But Still A Good Kid

Jamie Foxx and Quvenzhane Wallis star in the latest incarnation of the musical Annie.
Barry Wetcher Sony Pictures

Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 12:19 pm

The sun'll come out tomorrow
Bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow, there'll be sun

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Shots - Health News
9:50 am
Fri December 19, 2014

Teaching Hospitals Hit Hardest By Medicare Fines For Patient Safety

NYU Langone Medical Center is one of the teaching hospitals being penalized by Medicare for its rate of medical errors.
Joshua Bright AP

Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 2:18 pm

Medicare has begun punishing 721 hospitals with high rates of infections and other medical errors, cutting payments to half of the nation's major teaching hospitals and many institutions that are marquee names.

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The Two-Way
8:33 am
Fri December 19, 2014

To Finish Up Year, Obama Will Hold A Press Conference

President Barack Obama speaks in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington on Dec. 17.
Doug Mills AP

President Obama will close out 2014 with his traditional end-of-year press conference.

The press conference is scheduled to begin at 1:30 p.m. ET., and it's bound to be eventful because Obama has a lot to talk about.

Among the news events that will likely come up:

-- The normalization of diplomatic relations with Cuba.

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