National

Author Interviews
3:34 pm
Mon July 14, 2014

How A Factory Man Fought To Save His Furniture Company

Author Beth Macy worked for years as a reporter for the Roanoke Times. "When I became a journalist, I gravitated to those kinds of stories of what I call 'outsiders and underdogs,' " she says.
David Hungate Courtesy of Little, Brown and Co.

In the town of Bassett in southern Virginia, some of the downtown street lights are dark. The lamps, maintained by the once prosperous Bassett Furniture Co., are now funded by voluntary contributions from residents and businesses — when they can afford it.

Bassett is just one of many towns and cities in Virginia and North Carolina where scores of furniture-making plants have closed in the past 20 years, mostly because of competition from China and other foreign countries.

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Shots - Health News
3:08 pm
Mon July 14, 2014

Do We Choose Our Friends Because They Share Our Genes?

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 11:15 am

People often talk about how their friends feel like family. Well, there's some new research out that suggests there's more to that than just a feeling. People appear to be more like their friends genetically than they are to strangers, the research found.

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The Two-Way
2:46 pm
Mon July 14, 2014

Trump Plaza Latest Atlantic City Casino To Fold

The Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino opened to much fanfare in 1984 but may close by mid-September.
Mel Evans AP

Originally published on Mon July 14, 2014 3:37 pm

The Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino is expected to close on Sept. 16, making it the latest in a series of Atlantic City casinos to go under.

As required by federal law in advance of mass layoffs, the hotel sent out warnings about the planned closure to employees on Monday. According to a document obtained by The Associated Press, a total of 1,153 layoffs are expected.

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Shots - Health News
2:11 pm
Mon July 14, 2014

Why A Spoonful Of Medicine Can Be A Big Safety Risk For Kids

Ordinary spoons vary widely in size and shape. Confusing regular spoons for accurate measurements of teaspoons and tablespoons can lead to accidental overdoses.
Meredith Rizzo NPR

Originally published on Mon July 14, 2014 5:15 pm

We've all done it. The bottle of Pepto-Bismol says to take two tablespoons, so you grab the nearest spoon from the silverware drawer and drink down two of those. It's probably pretty close, right?

Maybe not. With all the different sizes and shapes of spoons out there — soup spoons, dessert spoons, grapefruit spoons and coffee spoons, to name just a few — who knows if the spoon you chose is actually close to a tablespoon.

And when it comes to children, that lack of precision can be dangerous.

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Goats and Soda
1:20 pm
Mon July 14, 2014

Nadine Gordimer: Wise Words About Bettering A Troubled World

Nadine Gordimer visited Alexandra, the black township near Johannesburg, in 1986 to pay homage to victims of political unrest.
Reuters /Landov

The great novelist Nadine Gordimer, whose stories told of the immorality of apartheid in her beloved South Africa, has died at age 90.

Gordimer was not only a writer. She was an activist in the fight to end apartheid. In her writings and speeches, the Nobel Prize winner offered words of enlightenment for anyone sharing her commitment to bring a better life to those suffering from prejudice, poor health, poverty, and other ills.

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U.S.
1:06 pm
Mon July 14, 2014

A Year After Trayvon-Zimmerman Verdict, What's Changed?

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

We'd like to return now to a story that sparked a great deal discussion, soul-searching and emotion last year. A year ago, July 13, 2013, George Zimmerman was found not guilty of all charges in the 2012 shooting death of the unarmed teenager, Trayvon Martin. The verdict sparked protests and intense emotion for many different people, but most especially the family of the teenager who was shot by the neighborhood watch volunteer while walking home from an errand. Here's Trayvon Martin's mother, Sybrina Fulton, speaking after the verdict.

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Faith Matters
1:06 pm
Mon July 14, 2014

Preachers Call For Compassion In Dealing With Immigrant Surge

Host Michel Martin speaks with religious leaders about how faith organizations are responding to the recent surge of immigrants along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Monkey See
12:56 pm
Mon July 14, 2014

Asking Katherine Heigl The 'Difficult' Question At Press Tour

Katherine Heigl and Alfre Woodard, stars of NBC's new fall drama State of Affairs, speak at the Television Critics Association's summer press tour in Los Angeles.
Frederick M. Brown Getty Images

It may be the toughest task of all at a press tour in Los Angeles packed with TV critics from across the nation: How to ask a celebrity a tough question about her bad reputation without looking like a jerk yourself.

That moment surfaced for me Sunday, when trying to ask star Katherine Heigl about longstanding rumors in Hollywood that she and her manager/mother have been difficult to work with across many projects.

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Goats and Soda
12:05 pm
Mon July 14, 2014

Pathogens On A Plane: How To Stay Healthy In Flight

Suspicious travel companions: Bacteria can survive for days on surfaces inside a plane. But that doesn't mean you have to take these critters home with you.
Benjamin Arthur for NPR

Originally published on Mon July 14, 2014 2:30 pm

From Ebola in West Africa to chikungunya in the Caribbean, the world has had plenty of strange — and scary — outbreaks this year.

Some pathogens have even landed in the U.S. Just a few months ago, two men boarded planes in Saudi Arabia and brought a new, deadly virus from the Middle East to Florida and Indiana.

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Shots - Health News
12:03 pm
Mon July 14, 2014

Why Are Obstetricians Top Billers For Group Therapy In Illinois?

Unusual billing for group therapy led to a crackdown on Medicaid payments in Illinois.
iStockphoto

A few years ago, Illinois' Medicaid program for the poor noticed some odd trends in its billings for group psychotherapy sessions.

Nursing home residents were being taken several times a week to off-site locations, and Medicaid was picking up the tab for both the services and the transportation.

And then there was this: The sessions were often being performed by obstetrician-gynecologists, oncologists and urologists — "people who didn't have any training really in psychiatry," Illinois Medicaid director Theresa Eagleson recalled.

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Code Switch
12:02 pm
Mon July 14, 2014

Relics Of The Patron Saint Of Immigrants Take A Pilgrimage

This month, relics of St. Toribio Romo will be on display at several Catholic churches in Southern California.
Sam Sanders NPR

Originally published on Mon July 14, 2014 6:24 pm

A small portion of an ankle bone belonging to Saint Toribio Romo — the patron saint of immigrants — sits in a glass enclosure about the size of a big watch face. That enclosure sits right in the chest of a 4-foot-tall painted wooden statue of Romo. Usually, that statue resides in Mexico, in Romo's hometown of Santa Ana de Guadalupe. But this month, these relics are on tour at several Catholic churches in Southern California.

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Goats and Soda
10:38 am
Mon July 14, 2014

Facing A Toxic Dump In South Africa, He Cleaned Up

Desmond D'Sa stands by the landfill he helped shut down in Durban.
Goldman Environmental Prize

Originally published on Mon July 14, 2014 3:07 pm

Desmond D'Sa helped shut down a toxic landfill.

The landfill was located in South Durban — an industrialized city teeming with petrochemical plants, paper mills and oil refineries. D'Sa and his family had been forcibly relocated to the area by the apartheid government in the 1970s, together with thousands of other Indian and black South Africans. The apartheid government was notorious for forcing nonwhite laborers to live in the industrial areas where they worked.

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Code Switch
9:23 am
Mon July 14, 2014

How 'Ching Chong' Became The Go-To Slur For Mocking East Asians

An album cover for Lee S. Roberts and J. Will Callahan's 1917 song "Ching Chong."
The Library Of Congress

Originally published on Mon July 14, 2014 1:01 pm

When Kwok-Ming Cheng went to a Whole Foods in New York City to pick up some pre-ordered sandwiches over the Fourth of July weekend, he wasn't expecting to get tapped with a new nickname.

"Are you Ching Chong?"

That's the question Cheng said he heard from a customer service representative at the grocery store.

It's a slur I and many other Asian-American folks have heard at some point in our lives. But every time I hear it, I can't help but wonder, "How is this thing still around? And where did it even come from?"

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Around the Nation
7:12 am
Mon July 14, 2014

Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary Hosts Underwater Concert

Originally published on Mon July 14, 2014 12:34 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep. Hundreds of people attended an underwater concert on Saturday. It happened at the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Four hours of music were piped through underwater speakers as we're hearing now - songs from "Flipper" and "the Little Mermaid" were played, it is said, to entertain diverse, snorkelers and marine life. No word if any dolphins asked for the music to be turned down or if they requested music from "Moby Dick" or "Jaws." It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Race
6:37 am
Mon July 14, 2014

Why Did Black Voters Flee The Republican Party In The 1960s?

Barry Goldwater greets an Indianapolis crowd during a campaign tour in Oct. 1964.
AP

Originally published on Mon July 14, 2014 2:43 pm

If you'd walked into a gathering of older black folks 100 years ago, you'd have found that most of them would have been Republican.

Wait... what?

Yep. Republican. Party of Lincoln. Party of the Emancipation. Party that pushed not only black votes but black politicians during that post-bellum period known as Reconstruction.

Today, it's almost the exact opposite. That migration of black voters away from the GOP reached its last phase 50 years ago this week.

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