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Parallels
5:38 pm
Wed August 21, 2013

Israeli Politician Stirs Up The Religious-Secular Debate

Ruth Calderon, a religious scholar, recently became a member of Israeli's parliament and has been a leading voice on issues that often divide the country's religious and secular communities.
Emily Harris NPR

Originally published on Sun August 25, 2013 8:19 am

When Ruth Calderon is nervous, she does her nails.

"It helps," she grins. "Did you ever try? It puts you together. If you really are nervous you do bright red."

Calderon, 51, is a scholar and teacher of Jewish religious texts. She is also a novice Israeli politician, part of the new Yesh Atid (There Is a Future) party that unexpectedly took 19 seats in the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, last January.

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Around the Nation
5:38 pm
Wed August 21, 2013

VA Still Under Pressure To Reduce Disability Claim Backlog

Originally published on Wed August 21, 2013 6:38 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

For years, the backlog of disability claims for veterans has been fodder for politicians, pundits and even comedians, like Jon Stewart.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "THE DAILY SHOW WITH JON STEWART")

JON STEWART: And paper disability records still undigitized and piled up so high that the floor of one VA field office is going to collapse.

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Shots - Health News
4:55 pm
Wed August 21, 2013

Deadly Middle East Coronavirus Found In An Egyptian Tomb Bat

So cute, but not cuddly. The Egyptian tomb bat, Taphozous perforatus, is a likely carrier of the Middle East respiratory syndrome virus, or MERS.
Courtesy of Jonathan H. Epstein/EcoHealth Alliance

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 7:09 am

For nearly a year, disease detectives around the world have been trying to track down the source of a mysterious new virus in the Middle East that has infected 96 people and killed 47 since September.

Now it looks like they've pinpointed at least one place where the virus is hiding out.

Scientists at Columbia University have detected the Middle East respiratory syndrome virus, or MERS, in a bat near the home of a man who died from the disease. The team found a small fragment of the virus's genes in the animal that matches perfectly with those seen in the patient.

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The Two-Way
4:52 pm
Wed August 21, 2013

Secret Court: NSA Surveillance Program Was Unconstitutional

An image taken from the FISA court opinion released Wednesday. The document reveals instances in which the court saw the NSA overstepping in its surveillance efforts.
NPR

Originally published on Mon August 26, 2013 8:53 am

A secret federal court found that the National Security Agency violated the civil rights of Americans when it collected thousands of emails and other digital messages between Americans, according to a 2011 opinion released Wednesday.

The FISA court ruled parts of the program to be unconstitutional and ordered them to be revised. The government made changes and the court signed off on the program in November of 2011.

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Book Reviews
4:05 pm
Wed August 21, 2013

'Things Falling' Is A Potboiler, But One That's Set To Simmer

Juan Gabriel Vasquez is also the author of The Informers.
Hermance Triay

Originally published on Wed August 21, 2013 6:38 pm

Colombia. The drug trade. Multiple plane crashes, drive-by shootings, Peace Corps hippies who peddle drugs, and an actual hippo on the loose. Despite all of that, there's actually not much plot to this novel. This is more of a metaphysical detective story where cause and effect can be difficult to pin down — a book where the events that matter most occur inside the characters.

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Animals
3:35 pm
Wed August 21, 2013

On A Rocky Maine Island, Puffins Are Making A Tenuous Comeback

A puffin prepares to land with a bill full of fish on Eastern Egg Rock, off the Maine coast in July. Last year young puffins died at an alarming rate from starvation because of a shortage of herring.
Robert F. Bukaty AP

Originally published on Wed August 21, 2013 8:12 pm

Rocky, windswept Eastern Egg Rock, about 6 miles off the coast of Maine, was once a haven for a hugely diverse bird population. But in the 1800s, fishermen decimated the birds' ranks — for food and for feathers.

When ornithologist Stephen Kress first visited 40 years ago, the 7-acre island was nearly barren, with only grass and gulls left. Not a puffin in sight. Not even an old puffin bone.

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All Tech Considered
3:25 pm
Wed August 21, 2013

Weekly Innovation: Hey, You're Taking Too Long In The Shower

The Uji shower head will be available for sale in early 2014. Its light turns from green to red as the shower progresses.
Courtesy of Brett Andler

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 8:16 am

This week's innovation pick is a shower head that reminds you you're taking too long. The Uji shower head gradually turns from green to red as users linger in the shower.

"It encourages [people] to take shorter and more energy efficient showers," said one of the co-inventors, Brett Andler. "By letting people become aware of how long they're in the shower, we've actually been able to cut shower time by 12 percent."

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Parallels
2:36 pm
Wed August 21, 2013

Panning For Gold In South Sudan, A Gram At A Time

South Sudanese pan for gold in Nanakanak, in the eastern part of the impoverished country. Tens of thousands of informal miners are looking for gold, and the government is trying to attract international mining companies to carry out the search on an industrial scale.
Hannah McNeish AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun September 15, 2013 7:08 pm

Digging a trench under the punishing midday sun, Thomas Lokinga stops only when he needs to wipe the sweat from his face. He is determined to find a nugget of gold amid the hard-baked ground in Nanakanak, in the eastern part of South Sudan, the world's newest nation.

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The Two-Way
2:31 pm
Wed August 21, 2013

Journey Of The Ring: Lost In WWII, Now Back With POW's Son

The ring that finally found its way home after nearly 70 years. David Cox, an American pilot, traded it for some food while he was a prisoner of war in Germany.
Courtesy of Norwood McDowell

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 6:11 am

  • David Cox Jr. talks with NPR's Melissa Block about the journey of his father's ring
  • David Cox Jr. talks with NPR's Melissa Block about how his father would have loved getting his ring back

"I can't touch it or pick it up without thinking about him and I can't pick it up without thinking about this journey of the ring."

That's David C. Cox Jr. of North Carolina talking Wednesday about the rather amazing saga of the ring his father had to trade for food in a German prisoner of war camp during World War II — a ring that has now made it back to the Cox family after seven decades.

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Code Switch
2:23 pm
Wed August 21, 2013

Summer Of '63: Old Lessons For A New Movement

Participants in the Immigrant Workers Freedom Ride sit on a bus that will travel from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C., Sept. 23, 2003.
J. Emilio Flores Getty Images

Originally published on Wed August 21, 2013 6:38 pm

All this summer, NPR is looking back to civil rights activism of 1963, marking the 50th anniversary of a number of events that changed our society. From the assassination of civil rights leader Medgar Evers in Mississippi to the March on Washington; NPR is remembering the past and examining how our society has changed.

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Shots - Health News
2:03 pm
Wed August 21, 2013

Ebola Treatment Works In Monkeys, Even After Symptoms Appear

The Ebola virus forms threadlike structures under the microscope.
Cynthia Goldsmith CDC

Originally published on Wed August 21, 2013 8:58 pm

Ebola, your days as one of the world's scariest diseases may be numbered.

A team of U.S. government researchers has shown that deadly Ebola hemorrhagic fever can be vanquished in monkeys by an experimental drug given up to five days after infection — even when symptoms have already developed.

An antibody cocktail aimed at Ebola's outer surface rescued three of seven macaques infected with lethal doses of the hemorrhagic virus in the U.S. Army's high-security labs at Fort Detrick, Md.

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The Two-Way
1:41 pm
Wed August 21, 2013

New Zealand Passes Law That Allows Domestic Spying

Megaupload boss Kim Dotcom, left, leaves court after he was granted bail in the in Auckland, New Zealand.
Michael Bradley AFP/Getty Images

Saying it was vital to the country's national security, New Zealand passed a controversial law today that allows the Government Communications Security Bureau — the country's NSA equivalent — to spy on New Zealanders on behalf of law enforcement.

The law was approved by a razor-thin — 61-59 — margin and comes in the shadow of a worldwide discussion of just how much spying governments should be allowed to conduct on their own citizens.

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The Two-Way
1:25 pm
Wed August 21, 2013

Jayhawks And Tigers: A Sports Rivalry Born Of Blood

This illustration depicts the bloody sacking of Lawrence, Kansas by the Quantrill Raiders on Aug. 21, 1863.
Interim Archives Getty Images

Originally published on Wed August 21, 2013 4:15 pm

Would you go to a bar to celebrate a massacre? That's a choice people in Kansas City are facing.

Wednesday marks the 150th anniversary of Quantrill's Raid, a notorious killing and burning spree in Lawrence, Kan., the present-day home of the University of Kansas. It was the worst atrocity in a decade's worth of Kansas-Missouri border fighting between abolitionists and pro-slavery forces.

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Shots - Health News
1:25 pm
Wed August 21, 2013

Brushing And Flossing Could Cut Risk Of Oral HPV Infection

Oral HPV infections are on the rise. Brushing and flossing well wouldn't hurt.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 4:19 pm

The human papillomavirus is a big cause of mouth and throat cancers, and those cancers have been getting more and more common.

So researchers asked: Could brushing and flossing make a difference?

It looks like the answer is yes, at least when it comes to being infected with oral HPV.

People with poor oral health are more likely to have an oral HPV infection, according to research from the the University of Texas School of Public Health in Houston.

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The Two-Way
12:42 pm
Wed August 21, 2013

Detroit's Stray Dog Epidemic: 50,000 Or More Roam The City

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 11:49 am

At first, we didn't believe this new report from Bloomberg News could be true:

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The Salt
12:38 pm
Wed August 21, 2013

Forget Cronuts: London's 'Townies' Take On Hybrid-Dessert Craze

American baker Bea Vo, who runs Bea's of Bloomsburg, a string of bakeries in London, came up with this answer to the cronut: the townie, a tartlet-brownie with a gooey center and a crisp outer shell.
Courtesy Bea's of Bloomsburgy Helena Marie Fletcher

Originally published on Wed August 21, 2013 1:45 pm

What's a baker to do when all foodies can talk about, on both sides of the Atlantic, is the cronut craze, a croissant-doughnut that NPR reported on earlier this year? Simple: Come up with an equally addictive hybrid dessert.

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The Two-Way
12:37 pm
Wed August 21, 2013

No Positive Tests For Doping At This Year's Tour De France

There were no positive doping tests during the 2013 Tour de France, officials say. Here, Chris Froome, the overall winner, steps into the anti-doping control bus after a stage in the race.
Pascal Guyot AFP/Getty Images

Hundreds of samples taken from riders in this summer's Tour de France found no signs of doping, officials say. The epic race, which was put on for the hundredth time in 2013, has been at the center of recent doping scandals.

Anti-doping officials say they took 202 blood and urine samples before the race began, and an additional 419 during competition. Nearly 200 of those samples were taken with the goal of creating a "biological passport" for riders, to establish a baseline of their body chemistry.

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Television
12:10 pm
Wed August 21, 2013

'Bridge' Actor Demian Bichir On Portraying Border Life

Mexican detective Marco Ruiz (Demian Bichir) teams up with his American counterpart, Sonya Cross (Diane Kruger), to solve a murder in FX's The Bridge.
Byron Cohen FX Network

Originally published on Wed August 21, 2013 1:34 pm

The new FX series The Bridge begins with the discovery of a body on a bridge that connects El Paso, Texas, and Juarez, Mexico. In it, a Mexican detective, played by Mexican actor Demian Bichir, has to work with an El Paso homicide cop to solve what turns out to be a serial murder case.

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Law
11:55 am
Wed August 21, 2013

Ad Dramatizes Trayvon Martin Shooting

Originally published on Wed August 21, 2013 1:52 pm

The Trayvon Martin shooting is at the center of a new video that advocates changing gun policy. The internet video reenacts George Zimmerman's shooting of the unarmed Florida teen, and includes tape from the 9-1-1 calls that night.

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Around the Nation
11:55 am
Wed August 21, 2013

Lessons From Getting Shot

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

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Politics
11:55 am
Wed August 21, 2013

Shaking Up The Grand Old Party

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

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The Two-Way
11:50 am
Wed August 21, 2013

Report: Former Pope Benedict Says God Told Him To Resign

Pope Benedict XVI, on Saturday at the Vatican.
Andreas Solaro AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed August 21, 2013 1:58 pm

When Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI announced his retirement in February, he surprised pretty much everyone. He was, after all, the first pope to resign since Pope Gregory XII in 1415.

At the time, Benedict cited his age and diminishing strength as his reasons for resigning.

Today, we get word from the Catholic wire service Zenit that Benedict resigned because "God told [him] to."

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Shots - Health News
11:37 am
Wed August 21, 2013

An Alaska-Sized Price Difference For Circumcisions

Dr. Charles Ryan checks on a patient.
Annie Feidt

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 7:10 am

It's not just patients who are stunned to see what a hospital charges for services.

Two groups of pediatricians are taking a stand in Anchorage, Alaska, after learning that Alaska Regional Hospital is charging $2,110 for a circumcision — almost 10 times more than the $235 that Providence Hospital, the city's other major health facility, charges. Those prices are on top of a doctor's bill.

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Music Reviews
11:19 am
Wed August 21, 2013

'Beauty' On Orrin Evans' Block

Orrin Evans.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed August 21, 2013 12:10 pm

On Philadelphia pianist Orrin Evans' trio version of Ornette Coleman's "Blues Connotation," drummer Donald Edwards and bassist Eric Revis set a New Orleans second-line groove tinged with vintage hip-hop. A beat like that is catnip to Evans, who gets right down and rolls in it.

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NPR Story
11:06 am
Wed August 21, 2013

Bradley Manning Sentenced To 35 Years For Leaks

Originally published on Wed August 21, 2013 12:03 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

Army Private Bradley Manning was sentenced this morning to 35 years in a military prison. The intelligence analyst shared hundreds of thousands of documents with the website WikiLeaks in what prosecutors call the biggest leak of classified information in U.S. history. The 25-year-old Manning stood at attention as his sentence was handed down in a courtroom in Fort Meade, Maryland.

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