Originally published on Fri January 13, 2012 2:33 pm
A new study in the journal Health Affairs estimates that a penny-per-ounce tax on soft drinks and other sugary beverages could prevent about 240,000 cases of diabetes per year, and 8,000 strokes and 26,000 premature deaths over a decade (or 2,600 per year).
Yes, death by soda.
So the analysis got me thinking: Our behavior is hard to predict, right? I know mine is.
Scientists are facing a riddle. For two years, researchers at Dauphin Island Sea Lab in Alabama have been studying the diets of Tiger Sharks in the Gulf of Mexico and they found that the sharks not only eat sea creatures, but also make a habit of eating land birds. Yep that's right woodpeckers, catbirds, kingbirds and swallows have all been found in their bellies.
A storefront in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, is brightly painted with a message welcoming President Michel Martelly into power. Two years after a devastating earthquake destroyed much of the Haitian capital, progress is palpable.
Credit Jason Beaubien / NPR
Gerline Rousole, 22, stands next to her son, Savoiu, 7, in Place Pigeon, a displaced-person camp outside the National Palace in Port-Au-Price. Both of Rousole's parents died in the Jan. 12, 2010, earthquake. "If my parents were still alive, I wouldn't be here," she says.
Credit Jason Beaubien / NPR
At the Place Pigeon camp, residents bathe in the streets by pouring water over themselves from a basin.
In Port-au-Prince, a radio blares from speakers in front of a guy selling pirated CDs on Delmas, a main street in the Haitian capital. Women sitting along the side of the road hawk everything from vegetables to cigarettes to pharmaceuticals. Overloaded tap-taps, the pickup trucks that serve as the main form of public transportation here, chug up the hill.
The scene is one that's remarkable for being unremarkable: Though it occurred this week, it could just as easily have been Port-au-Prince two years ago, before a massive earthquake destroyed much of the capital.
Originally published on Thu February 9, 2012 4:43 pm
Earlier this month, a group Chinese workers at Foxconn spent two days on the roof of one of the companies factories in central China. As The Telegraph reported, the workers were threatening to commit suicide to protest their working conditions.
Originally published on Thu January 12, 2012 4:23 pm
Earlier this week, we were surprised to learn that food manufacturers increasingly X-ray foods to screen for foreign objects that can break a tooth. That sounds like a good idea.
But the notion of X-rayed food also sparked a lively debate in The Salt's comments section on whether this poses a health threat. After all, we do know that some X-rays can damage DNA in the human body. So what does radiation mean for food?
Originally published on Thu January 12, 2012 3:28 pm
An investigating officer has recommended that Army private Bradley Manning face court-martial on multiple criminal charges related to the downloading of nearly 1 million war logs and secret diplomatic cables. Manning is accused of taking the files and them passing them on to WikiLeaks.
If he does face a court martial and is convicted, he could be sentenced to life in prison.
I admit I was biased against the Margaret Thatcher biopic The Iron Lady. Not, you understand, against Thatcher and her Tory politics. Against Meryl Streep and her accents. Which are great, no doubt. But I went in resolved not to fall for her pyrotechnics yet again. I wanted realism.
Well, it didn't take long to realize that I was watching not only one of the greatest impersonations I'd ever seen — but one that was also emotionally real.
Aides say President Obama won't get deeply involved in the political campaign until Republicans settle on a nominee, but Mr. Obama has already been busy fundraising. Today, his campaign announced that it raised $130 million last year. And as NPR's Scott Horsley reports, even when the president is conducting his official duties, it's easy to sense the political subtext.
This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.
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And I'm Audie Cornish.
William Janklow, a former Republican governor and congressman from South Dakota, died today at a Sioux Falls hospice center. He was 72 years old. Janklow announced in November he had an inoperable brain tumor.
An Indian street dweller prepares food on the streets of Kolkata. A growing number of scientists say that reducing black carbon — mostly soot from burning wood, charcoal and dung — would have an immediate and powerful impact on climate.
Politically, climate change is off this year's campaign agenda. Jobs, the economy and social issues are front and center.
But scientists are working as hard as ever to figure out how much the Earth is warming and what to do about it. Some now say it's time for a new strategy, one that gets faster results.
Talk to Durwood Zaelke, for example. Zaelke is a grizzled veteran of the climate wars: He was in Kyoto in 1997 when the world's nations drafted a treaty promising to curb warming, and he has watched that promise fizzle while the planet's temperature continues to rise.
Originally published on Thu January 12, 2012 2:57 pm
The "Battle Over Bain" has become a hot topic at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a key player in politics.
U.S. Chamber of Commerce President Tom Donohue says he is "disappointed" that some GOP presidential candidates are attacking front-runner and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney for his work at Bain Capital in the 1990s.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan, in Washington. It's now almost four decades since the Supreme Court's famous and controversial ruling that legalized abortion. In recent years, opponents have stepped up efforts to challenge Roe v. Wade in Congress and state legislatures, in court and at the ballot box, last year in particular.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan, in Washington. A police officer draws a weapon and fires. We see that on TV dramas every night. But what actually happens afterwards? Do investigators check the flight of every bullet? What kind of questions do officers face, and what kind of sanctions if they messed up?
The Marine Corps has identified at least two of the four Marines in a video that surfaced last night as Marines based at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. The video shows four U.S. Marines in Afghanistan in full combat gear, standing over the corpses of three men, laughing and urinating on the bodies. The audio is difficult to understand.
(SOUNDBITE OF YOUTUBE VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: Here's the tough guy (unintelligible).
Originally published on Thu January 12, 2012 9:58 pm
As the presidential campaign kicks into high gear, a fight is brewing over stricter voting laws that could affect turnout and influence general election results in battleground states.
New laws in several states will require millions of voters to show photo identification when they cast ballots this year, the result of a nationwide push mostly by Republicans who claim the measures will prevent election fraud. Democrats and voting rights activists oppose the laws, arguing that they are unnecessary because voter fraud is rare.
Janie Fricke has had a long, winding career. She started out as a singer of TV commercial jingles, warbling for Coca-Cola, McDonald's and Red Lobster, among other clients. She then moved on to singing back-up vocals for stars such as Elvis Presley, Loretta Lynn and Dolly Parton.
Originally published on Thu January 12, 2012 12:13 pm
Steven Rattner, the Wall Street financier who oversaw the Obama Administration's successful rescues of General Motors and Chrysler, now comes to the aid of some other beleaguered members of corporate America — Mitt Romney in his former role as a private-equity CEO, and Bain Capital, the company the Republican presidential candidate once ran.
In a Politico opinion piece, former "car czar" Rattner defends Romney and Bain which he says was among the better angels in the world of private-equity firms.
Gary Oldman watched Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy when it aired as a BBC miniseries in 1979, but he purposely avoided a second viewing before signing up to play George Smiley in a new film adaptation of John le Carre's classic 1974 novel.
"I really thought that I would be contaminated by it," he tells Fresh Air's Dave Davies. "And I didn't want to do an impersonation."
It's one of my favorite TV moments of this year. On Tuesday, the night of the New Hampshire primary, Stephen Colbert had Bill Moyers as his special guest on The Colbert Report. Moyers was there to publicize his return from retirement and the launch of his new TV series, Moyers & Company. Colbert booked him to help him do just that — but as his on-screen persona Stephen Colbert, the pontificating political conservative, he was there to throw good-natured verbal punches.