National

Goats and Soda
3:43 am
Fri April 17, 2015

When The World Bank Does More Harm Than Good

In the 1950s, the World Bank funded the creation of the world's largest man-made dam, the Kariba Dam, which sits on the border of Zimbabwe and Zambia. The construction of such dams can have dire consequences for poor people living near a river, an investigation found.
Jekesai Njikizana AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 17, 2015 8:17 am

The World Bank's goal is to end extreme poverty and to grow income for the poorest people on the planet.

The bank does this by lending money and giving grants to governments and private corporations in some of the least developed places on the planet. For example, money goes to preserving land, building dams and creating health care systems.

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National Security
3:41 am
Fri April 17, 2015

Boston Marathon Surveillance Raises Privacy Concerns Long After Bombing

High-definition video cameras with 30x magnification keep watch over the Boston Marathon finish line, where two bombs detonated in 2013, killing three people and injuring hundreds.
Jesse Costa WBUR

Originally published on Fri April 17, 2015 8:15 am

Nearly a million people will line the streets to watch the Boston Marathon on Monday, and someone else will be watching them. Bill Ridge with the Boston Police says video surveillance is a big part of the security plan.

"We've got a lot of cameras out there," he says. "We're going to be watching the portions in Boston — particularly the routes along Boylston Street, the finish line."

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Code Switch
3:40 am
Fri April 17, 2015

Deaths Of Unarmed Black Men Revive 'Anti-Lynching Plays'

Lauren Lattimore (left), Wi-Moto Nyoka, Edmund Alyn Jones and Courtney Harge rehearse a scene from Blue-Eyed Black Boy, a play about lynching that was written around 1930.
Hansi Lo Wang NPR

Originally published on Fri April 17, 2015 2:06 pm

An obscure but riveting genre of theater is being revived in New York City.

They're called "anti-lynching plays." Most were written by black playwrights during the early 1900s to show how lynchings devastated African-American families.

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The Two-Way
8:33 pm
Thu April 16, 2015

WikiLeaks Makes It Easy To Access Hacked Sony Pictures Information

Large amounts of data hacked from Sony Pictures last year have been made public online by WikiLeaks
Damian Dovarganes AP

Originally published on Fri April 17, 2015 7:02 am

WikiLeaks has posted a searchable archive of more than 170,000 emails and 30,000 private documents belonging to Sony Pictures Entertainment. The movie conglomerate reacted angrily to the news on Thursday, saying that it condemned the indexing of stolen employee and other privileged information.

The data was hacked in November of last year, revealing multiple embarrassing e-mail exchanges between Sony executives and personal information from thousands of employees, including social security numbers.

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History
7:40 pm
Thu April 16, 2015

Family Of Unaccounted For USS Oklahoma Sailor Wouldn't 'Let Him Go'

Edwin Hopkins with his mother, Alice, and father, Frank Jr. Hopkins was killed aboard the USS Oklahoma during the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor, but his remains never were identified.
Courtesy Tom Gray

Originally published on Mon April 20, 2015 11:14 am

The Defense Department announced Tuesday that it will exhume the remains of 388 sailors and Marines who were buried as "unknowns." The men were killed when Japanese torpedoes sank the USS Oklahoma on Dec. 7, 1941, during the attacks on Pearl Harbor in Hawaii.

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Shots - Health News
6:24 pm
Thu April 16, 2015

Use Of E-Cigarettes Triples Among U.S. Teens

Nicotine exposure at a young age "may cause lasting harm to brain development," warns Dr. Tom Frieden, chief of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu April 16, 2015 8:13 pm

A national survey confirms earlier indications that e-cigarettes are now more popular among teenage students than traditional cigarettes and other forms of tobacco, federal health officials reported Thursday.

The findings prompted strong warnings from Dr. Tom Frieden, head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about the effects of any form of nicotine on young people.

"We want parents to know that nicotine is dangerous for kids at any age," Frieden said.

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The Two-Way
6:23 pm
Thu April 16, 2015

Florida Mailman Who Flew Gyrocopter Onto Capitol Lawn Charged

The 61-year-old Florida mailman who flew a gyrocopter onto the grounds of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday has been charged with violating registration requirements involving aircraft and with violation of national defense airspace, the U.S. Attorney's Office said in a statement.

The registration charge is punishable by a maximum of three years in prison; the airspace charge up to a year. Douglas Mark Hughes of Ruskin, Fla., also faces financial penalties, the statement said.

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Goats and Soda
5:56 pm
Thu April 16, 2015

'Mad Cow' Disease In Texas Man Has Mysterious Origin

Colored brain scan of a 17-year-old boy with mad cow disease. The bright yellow spots are a sign that the thalamus is damaged by diseased proteins.
Simon Fraser Science Source

Originally published on Fri April 17, 2015 11:49 am

It began with anxiety and depression. A few months later, hallucinations appeared.

Then the Texas man, in his 40s, couldn't feel the left side of his face.

He thought the symptoms were because of a recent car accident. But the psychiatric problems got worse. And some doctors thought the man might have bipolar disorder.

Eventually, he couldn't walk or speak. He was hospitalized. And about 18 months after symptoms began, the man died.

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It's All Politics
5:38 pm
Thu April 16, 2015

The Most Corrupt State In The Country Is ...

High-profile politicians have been brought up on charges in recent years, but which places do people think are most corrupt?
Collection Agency flickr Creative Commons

Originally published on Fri April 17, 2015 1:14 pm

Politics, power and more money than ever can create an environment ripe for corruption.

But which states are the most corrupt, and how is that even defined?

A poll out from Monmouth University asked Americans what they think are the most corrupt states. Overall, there was not much of a consensus, but New York rose to the top (with just 12 percent), followed by California, Illinois, New Jersey and Texas.

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The Two-Way
5:12 pm
Thu April 16, 2015

We Might Welcome Robot Lawn Mowers, But Astronomers Aren't So Happy

You won't be able to use a robot lawn mower within 55 miles of the Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope in Green Bank, W.Va., if the National Radio Astronomy Observatory has its way.
Patrick Semansky AP

What could a robot lawn mower possibly have to do with astronomy? A lot, apparently.

iRobot, which makes Roomba, the wireless vacuum cleaner, appears to be developing a robot lawn mower – one that would work using a wireless beacon system. That's according to a waiver filing in February with the Federal Communications Commission.

Wired, where we spotted this story, has the details:

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Environment
4:39 pm
Thu April 16, 2015

California Cities Struggle To Enforce Mandatory Water Restrictions

Originally published on Thu April 16, 2015 7:40 pm

Gov. Jerry Brown ordered the state to cut back its water use by 25 percent overall and mandated specific targets for each city. But some are still figuring out how to enforce cutbacks, including in San Diego, where the target is 20 percent.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Law
4:39 pm
Thu April 16, 2015

58 Percent Of Bostonians Oppose Death Penalty For Bomber, Poll Finds

Originally published on Thu April 16, 2015 7:40 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Theater
4:39 pm
Thu April 16, 2015

Broadway Passes The Bechdel Test With 'Fun Home'

Sydney Lucas as Small Alison and Michael Cerveris as her father in the new production of Fun Home.
Joan Marcus

Originally published on Thu April 16, 2015 7:40 pm

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Health
4:39 pm
Thu April 16, 2015

Congress Repeals Medicare 'Doc Fix' Law, Ending Annual Scramble

Originally published on Thu April 16, 2015 7:40 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Health
4:39 pm
Thu April 16, 2015

Some Patients Lack Contraceptive Coverage Under Health Law, Study Finds

Originally published on Thu April 16, 2015 7:40 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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It's All Politics
4:26 pm
Thu April 16, 2015

In Or Out In Congress? Gyrocopters, Tweets To Iran, Downton Abbey

An explosive ordnance disposal technician checks the gyrocopter that landed on the Capitol's South Lawn Wednesday.
Paul J. Richards AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 16, 2015 7:44 pm

In Congress, just like at any storied American institution — McDonald's, New York Fashion Week, the Bush and Clinton families — trends come and go.

The 114th Congress is now 100 days old. And it can be difficult to keep up with the goings and comings of the body and its 535 members — the negotiations, visits from world leaders, the scandals and, oh yeah, the legislation.

So here's our look at what's in and what's out on Capitol Hill:

Have something to add to the list? Tweet @nprpolitics.

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The Two-Way
3:34 pm
Thu April 16, 2015

Yoda? Is It Thou? Figure In 14th-Century Manuscript Looks Familiar

A religious volume from the early 1300s includes this image of a monk who resembles the Jedi Master Yoda of the Star Wars films.
The Britsh Library

Originally published on Sat April 18, 2015 3:25 pm

A long time ago, in a place far away, a manuscript was created with an enigmatic figure who looks a great deal like a certain little — and yet powerful — green guy from the Star Wars films. It's an unlikely connection between a religious tome and science fiction.

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Shots - Health News
2:56 pm
Thu April 16, 2015

Scientists Probe Puppy Love

A direct, friendly gaze seems to help cement the bond of affection between people and their pooches.
Dan Perez/Flickr

Originally published on Fri April 17, 2015 5:28 pm

It's a question that bedevils dog owners the world over: "Is she staring at me because she loves me? Or because she wants another biscuit?"

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The Two-Way
2:49 pm
Thu April 16, 2015

WATCH: The New 'Star Wars' Trailer

Originally published on Thu April 16, 2015 3:46 pm

Disney has released a new teaser for its movie The Force Awakens, Episode VII of the Star Wars saga.

The movie is due for release Dec. 18 — and the teaser's release coincides with a celebration of the Star Wars universe at the Anaheim Convention Center in California.

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Shots - Health News
1:38 pm
Thu April 16, 2015

Study: Insurers Fail To Cover All Prescribed Contraceptives

Will the health plan pay for the contraceptives the doctor prescribes?
MediaforMedical/Emmanuel Rogue/Getty Images

Some women may be paying hefty fees for birth control pills, vaginal rings and emergency contraception, despite a federal requirement that insurers pay their full cost. And some women only have coverage for a less effective type of emergency contraception, according to a report released Thursday by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

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Shots - Health News
1:05 pm
Thu April 16, 2015

Men Strive To Give More To Charity When The Fundraiser Is Cute

Originally published on Fri April 17, 2015 5:28 pm

We donate to charities for lots of reasons: because we're generally magnanimous people, because we care deeply about certain issues or because it's the only way to get Meg to stop talking about the plight of the endangered proboscis monkey.

And for men, there may be another force at play: a subconscious desire to impress the ladies.

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Shots - Health News
10:57 am
Thu April 16, 2015

Letters About Dense Breasts Can Lead To More Questions Than Answers

Catharine Becker of Fullerton, Calif., was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer at 43 despite having a clean mammogram. The mother of three didn't know she had dense breast tissue until after she was diagnosed.
Heidi de Marco/Kaiser Health News

Originally published on Thu April 16, 2015 4:18 pm

Earlier this year, Caryn Hoadley received an unexpected letter after a routine mammogram.

The letter said her mammogram was clean but that she has dense breast tissue, which has been linked to higher rates of breast cancer and could make her mammogram harder to read.

"I honestly don't know what to think about the letter," said Hoadley, 45, who lives in Alameda, Calif. "What do I do with that information?"

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Monkey See
8:47 am
Thu April 16, 2015

Is There Anything Left To Say About 'Saturday Night Live'?

Live From New York
Edie Baskin Tribecca Film Festival

Originally published on Thu April 16, 2015 10:33 am

Why open a film festival whose reputation is for independent voices with a documentary salute to Saturday Night Live?

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Around the Nation
7:47 am
Thu April 16, 2015

Company Offers $70,000 A Year Minimum Wage

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Around the Nation
5:06 am
Thu April 16, 2015

Defense In Colo. Movie Theater Shooting Questions DA's Political Motives

Originally published on Thu April 16, 2015 7:47 am

Copyright 2015 Colorado Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.cpr.org.

Around the Nation
5:06 am
Thu April 16, 2015

In Record Drought, California Golf Course Ethically Keeps Greens Green

A bio-filtration basin, pictured during installation in 2007, captures water runoff from the Pelican Hill golf club's maintenance facility. The water is filtered through grass, gravel, sand, soil and filter fabric into an underground drainage system.
Pelican Hill

Originally published on Thu April 16, 2015 1:58 pm

In drought-stricken California, golf is often seen as a bad guy — it can be hard to defend watering acres of grass for fun when residents are being ordered to cut their usage and farmers are draining their wells.

But golf is a $6 billion industry in the state and employs nearly 130,000 workers, according to the California Golf Course Owners Association. So while the greens are staying green, some golf courses are saving every drop of water they can.

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It's All Politics
5:06 am
Thu April 16, 2015

Vulnerable Voting Machine Raises Questions About Election Security

Voters in Los Angeles County, Calif., cast their ballots in 2012.
Frederic J. Brown AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat April 18, 2015 12:17 pm

Computer security experts have warned for years that some voting machines are vulnerable to attack. And this week, in Virginia, the state Board of Elections decided to impose an immediate ban on touchscreen voting machines used in 20 percent of the state's precincts, because of newly discovered security concerns.

The problems emerged on Election Day last November in Spotsylvania County. The AVS WINVote touchscreen machines used in precinct 302 began to shut down.

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NPR Story
5:06 am
Thu April 16, 2015

Desalination Plants: Drought Cure Or Growth Enabler?

Originally published on Thu April 16, 2015 7:47 am

Copyright 2015 KQED Public Media. To see more, visit http://www.kqed.org.

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NPR Story
5:06 am
Thu April 16, 2015

Art From Japanese-American Internment Camps Saved From Auction Block

This watercolor scene at a mess hall in Wyoming's Heart Mountain internment camp was painted by Estelle Peck Ishigo, a white woman who voluntarily followed her Japanese-American husband into internment camps.
Courtesy of Rago Arts and Auction Center

Originally published on Sat April 18, 2015 12:23 pm

A collection of art and others artifacts related to the Japanese-American internment camps of World War II will not be sold to the highest bidder.

A New Jersey auction house was set to sell more than 400 items on Friday. But Rago Arts and Auction Center decided to withdraw the items on Wednesday after protests from descendants of internees who were wrongfully imprisoned by the U.S. government during the war.

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U.S.
3:51 am
Thu April 16, 2015

A North Dakota Family Breaks The Silence On Gay Marriage

In rural North Dakota, where Melanie Hoffert grew up on her family farm, discussing subjects like homosexuality and same-sex marriage is often considered taboo.
Courtesy of Beacon Press

Originally published on Thu April 16, 2015 8:27 am

All this week, Morning Edition is listening to people think out loud about same-sex marriage in North Dakota, one of 13 states that still ban same-sex marriage. Thursday's story looks at discussions about same-sex marriage among families — a subject some feel is often too taboo to tackle.

Melanie Hoffert grew up on a farm near the town of Wahpeton, N.D. She called her new memoir Prairie Silence because around here, people prefer not to talk about hard things in the open.

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