National

Shots - Health News
5:42 pm
Sun February 10, 2013

Obscure Chagas' Disease Takes Costly Toll

Don't let the name fool you. The kissing bug, or Rhodnius prolixus, transmits the Chagas parasite when it bites someone's face.
Erwin Huebner, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada Wikimedia.org

Originally published on Mon February 11, 2013 5:11 pm

There's been a lot of talk recently about an old malady that seems to be on the rise.

It's called Chagas' disease, and it's transmitted by the so-called kissing bug, a bloodsucking insect that bites your face and lips.

Health economists have now put a price tag on the global cost of Chagas, and the illness is taking a heavier toll than previously appreciated.

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Education
3:29 pm
Sun February 10, 2013

Rise Early And Shine: Teachers And Students Try Out Longer School Days

Students walk in the hallway as they enter the lunch line of the cafeteria at Draper Middle School in Rotterdam, N.Y. Five states announced in December that they will add at least 300 hours of learning time to the calendar in some schools starting in 2013.
Hans Pennink AP

Originally published on Sun February 10, 2013 4:58 pm

It's 7:30 a.m. on a recent weekday, the sun is still rising and the kids at Pulaski Elementary School in Meriden, Conn., are already dancing.

They are stomping, hopping, clapping and generally "getting the shakies out," as fifth-grader Jaelinne Davis puts it.

"If we're like hyper, if we do this, then we can get better at, like, staying mellow and stuff like that," she says.

By 9 a.m., Jaelinne will be back at her normal school day with its core curriculum that is graded by a state test at the end of the year.

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Around the Nation
6:36 am
Sun February 10, 2013

Residents Begin Cleanup After Massive Snowstorm

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin. New England is digging out from as much as three feet of snowfall today, and at least five deaths have been blamed on a powerful winter storm that swept through the region Friday night and yesterday morning. The snow has stopped falling, but more than half a million people still don't have electricity. And in some coastal areas, residents are also dealing with flooding. NPR's Jeff Brady visited the small town of Scituate, Massachusetts.

(SOUNDBITE OF WAVES CRASHING)

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Around the Nation
6:36 am
Sun February 10, 2013

The Pups Are Prepped, Bring On The Westminster Ribbons

It's that time of year when dogs put on their best smiles for the judges at the annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. Weekend Edition Sunday host Rachel Martin speaks with David Frei, the official commentator at the show. Frie has been the official announcer for more than 20 years and certainly knows his boxers from his bulldogs. The 137th annual dog show starts on Monday, Feb. 11 at Madison Square Garden.

Around the Nation
6:36 am
Sun February 10, 2013

Gun Control Debate Remains Stunted In Congress

Gun violence and gun control are the topics of a series of hearings currently being held in the U.S. Senate. Since the mass shooting in Newtown, Conn., the White House and gun control advocates have pushed for stricter gun laws to help reduce gun violence, but many congressional Republicans remain skeptical. Weekend Edition Sunday host Rachel Martin speaks with Sen. Charles Grassley, a Republican from Iowa and the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Business
6:36 am
Sun February 10, 2013

Bloomingdale's Lays Out Welcome Mat To Chinese Shoppers

To mark the Lunar New Year, Bloomingdale's is catering to affluent Chinese tourists with an array of pop-up shops.
Courtesy of Bloomingdale's

Originally published on Sun April 7, 2013 8:04 pm

A number of luxury retailers are rolling out tactics this year to mark the beginning of the Lunar New Year. For Bloomingdale's in New York City, though, reaching out to Asian shoppers during the cultural celebration is a decades-long tradition.

The upscale department store's marketing strategy traces back to 1971, the year President Nixon lifted the U.S. trade embargo with the People's Republic of China. Immediately, Marvin Traub, then-president of Bloomingdale's, decided he wanted to sell Chinese goods in his flagship store on the Upper East Side.

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Around the Nation
5:07 am
Sun February 10, 2013

First Lady Among Mourners At Funeral For Slain Chicago Teen

The remains of Hadiya Pendleton are taken to her final resting place at the Cedar Park Cemetery on Saturday in Calumet Park, Ill.
Charles Rex Arbogast AP

Originally published on Mon February 11, 2013 1:38 pm

Hundreds of mourners, including first lady Michelle Obama, turned out Saturday for the funeral of 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton, a Chicago girl who was shot to death just days after she and her high school band performed at inauguration events in Washington.

Her killing has catapulted her into the nation's debate over gun violence.

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Remembrances
5:05 pm
Sat February 9, 2013

For Longtime Central Park Birder, Walks 'Heightened Joys Of Life'

Saphir leads a bird walk in Central Park during spring migration last year.
Margot Adler NPR

Originally published on Mon February 11, 2013 10:29 am

Legendary birder Starr Saphir died this week at the age of 73, after an 11-year battle with metastatic breast cancer. She led walks in New York's Central Park for some 30 years and enriched so many city lives.

I could never keep up with Starr Saphir. Even when her bones were fragile and you couldn't jostle her, and she stopped to rest several times during a walk to take pain medication, her walks could last five hours.

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Animals
5:05 pm
Sat February 9, 2013

Vultures Beware: Virginia Town Targets Flock Of Unwanted Visitors

Turkey vulture droppings can strip paint, kill grass and sicken pets. The droppings also smell really bad.
Holly Kuchera iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon February 11, 2013 7:34 am

It sounds like a horror story: Every few years, usually in the winter months, residents of the town of Leesburg, Va., come home from work to find their backyards overrun with turkey vultures. Not just a few birds, but hundreds of them. Everywhere.

Lt. Jeff Dube is with the town's police department. For a whole week, he spent every evening driving around town, looking for the latest vulture hotspots.

"They like Leesburg. There's really no rhyme or reason. Every three to five years they come back en mass, like this year, 2- to 300," Dube says.

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U.S.
5:05 pm
Sat February 9, 2013

Crews Clean Up Northeast Blizzard

Originally published on Sat February 9, 2013 6:51 pm

As crews dig out from a record-breaking snow storm in New England, there are new worries about flooding. The National Weather Service reported waves three stories high off the coast. NPR's Jeff Brady reports from Boston.

The Two-Way
3:31 pm
Sat February 9, 2013

From Making Snow Angels To Sledding, Finding Ways To Have #FunInTheSnow

The Northeast's latest winter storm, which the Weather Channel named Nemo, is winding down, but it has left behind more than 30 inches of snow in some places. It's also left a lot of people stranded, either #CoopedUp indoors or stuck in cars overnight on the Long Island Expressway.

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The Two-Way
10:11 am
Sat February 9, 2013

The Blizzard 'Nemo' Highlights The Hype Cycle Of Storms

Two women look for a taxi in New York's Times Square on Friday.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat February 9, 2013 1:53 pm

If you've wondered why the blizzard dumping snow on the Northeast has a name, look no further than The Weather Channel. At the start of this storm season, the 24-hour-weather network announced, much to the chagrin of The National Weather Service, that it would give names to winter storms.

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The Salt
7:47 am
Sat February 9, 2013

British Outrage Grows As Horsemeat Pops Up In More Foods

Frozen-food company Findus recalled its beef lasagne meals earlier this week because they contain horsemeat.
Scott Heppell AP

Originally published on Sat February 9, 2013 8:42 am

They like riding them. They like racing them. They bet on them, hunt on them and patrol the streets on them.

But to most who live in the land of the Beefeater, the idea of eating a horse in peacetime is as generally repugnant as grilling one the queen's corgis and gobbling it up with ketchup and fries.

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Books
7:00 am
Sat February 9, 2013

Literary Types Find Love In 'The New York Review Of Books'

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sat February 9, 2013 12:11 pm

There are a lot of places these days to look for all kinds of love, especially online. But what's an aging intellectual who loves William Gass, Philip Glass and a good merlot to do?

The distinguished New York Review of Books celebrates its 50th anniversary this month. It is noted for its rigorous writing and stellar cerebral lit stars — and its personal ads.

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Around the Nation
6:37 am
Sat February 9, 2013

Despite Shadow Of Sandy Hook, Schools Considered 'Safe'

Originally published on Sat February 9, 2013 12:11 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

And of course, members of Congress aren't alone in reconsidering their position on guns and public safety. Schools across the country have been increasing security since the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary. As one school official in suburban Washington, D.C. said, Newtown changed school security the way 9/11 changed air travel. A high school in Illinois recently staged a lockdown drill with administrators shooting blanks in the hallways while the kids huddled in the classrooms with the doors locked and lights off.

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