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2:48 am
Fri April 27, 2012

Can Helmets Cut Tornado Deaths? CDC Isn't So Sure

Noah Stewart shelters in the closet just 15 minutes before an April 2011 tornado demolished his house. Wearing the helmet may have saved his life, one doctor says.
Courtesy of the Stewart family

Originally published on Fri May 4, 2012 8:04 pm

Tornadoes killed more than 500 people in the U.S. last year — the highest number in decades. Already this year, 63 people have died, and the tornado season doesn't hit its peak until June.

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Shots - Health Blog
2:46 am
Fri April 27, 2012

Wanted: Mavericks And Missionaries To Solve Mississippi's M.D. Shortage

Janie Guice is the recruiter for the Mississippi Rural Physician Scholarship Program.
Jeffrey Hess for NPR

Originally published on Fri April 27, 2012 5:19 pm

When Janie Guice looks at the Mississippi Delta she sees a vast, flat flood plain home to cotton fields and catfish farms. She also sees desperate rural health problems and a deep shortage of doctors to offer care. Her job: to find doctors to fill that void.

"Who is the one that is going to go back and live in a community that maybe doesn't even have a Wal-Mart? And yes, there are a lot of communities in Mississippi that don't have a Wal-Mart yet!" Guice laments.

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Education
2:44 am
Fri April 27, 2012

Teaching The LA Riots At Two City Schools

Smoke rises as fires burn out of control near Vermont Street in Los Angeles on April 30, 1992. Riots erupted after L.A. police officers were acquitted in the beating of black motorist Rodney King.
Paul Sakuma AP

Originally published on Fri April 27, 2012 10:22 pm

It has been 20 years since four police officers were acquitted in the beating of Rodney King, and L.A. erupted in race-fueled riots. Many in Los Angeles, including students who weren't born when the riots hit in April 1992, are reflecting on those days of anger, looting and destruction, asking why it happened and how to make sure it doesn't happen again.

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Europe
2:42 am
Fri April 27, 2012

Showdown Looms Over Europe's Largest Shantytown

Residents of Cañada Real stand near recently demolished shacks on March 5. The settlement is separated into different sections and tends to be segregated by ethnic groups: Roma in one section, Arabs in another, for example.
Susana Vera Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Fri April 27, 2012 10:24 pm

Europe's largest illegal settlement lies on the edge of Madrid. As the Spanish capital has grown, the city's limits have moved ever closer to the shantytown known as Cañada Real, a sprawling tangle of tents and cement houses. And as the economy has tanked, a growing number of people are calling it home.

Now the city is eyeing the property for possible development.

The roads in Cañada Real are unpaved. Houses are made of corrugated metal or cement. Some lots are just piles of garbage.

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It's All Politics
7:07 pm
Thu April 26, 2012

The Wisconsin Recall That Nobody's Talking About

In this photo taken in November 2010, Lt. Gov.-elect Rebecca Kleefisch speaks to supporters in Pewaukee, Wis.
Jeffrey Phelps AP

Originally published on Thu April 26, 2012 7:10 pm

If the job of the vice president is, as John Adams so famously put it, "the most insignificant office that ever the invention of man contrived or his imagination conceived," what must it be like to be lieutenant governor?

And, to go a step further, what about a lieutenant governor facing recall?

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The Two-Way
6:56 pm
Thu April 26, 2012

With Violence Unabated, France Says Next Step For Syria Should Be Military

As the United Nations chief announced that the Syrian government was "in contravention" of an international peace agreement, France took a tougher stance.

The French foreign minister said that if the peace plan fails, the U.N. Security Council should consider a military option.

The AP reports:

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It's All Politics
6:45 pm
Thu April 26, 2012

Gingrich And The Secret Service: Who Calls For Protection To End?

Newt Gingrich signs an autograph for supporter Jeff Legg as members of the Secret Service look on at Delmarva Christian High School in Georgetown, Del., on April 18.
Patrick Semansky AP

Originally published on Fri April 27, 2012 11:24 am

Newt Gingrich's Secret Service protection is ending Thursday night, NBC news is reporting.

As WNYC's Anna Sale was reporting earlier, a conservative taxpayers group had called on Gingrich to give up his taxpayer-funded protection.

Here's the original post:

Newt Gingrich is ending his presidential campaign, but not until next week. And he still has Secret Service protection despite calls from a conservative taxpayers group to give it up.

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The Two-Way
6:20 pm
Thu April 26, 2012

More Pain In Spain As Economy Goes Down The Drain

Originally published on Fri April 27, 2012 6:40 am

There was more bad news for Europe's attempt to rebuild its economy: Standard & Poor announced Thursday that it was downgrading Spain's long-term sovereign credit rating by two notches – from "A" to "BBB+." The agency also lowered Spain's short-term sovereign credit rating to "A-2" from "A-1," and said the outlook on the long-term rating is negative.

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The Two-Way
6:03 pm
Thu April 26, 2012

If 'War And Peace' Was Less Than Exciting, Try A Union Between Dull And Boring

Originally published on Thu April 26, 2012 6:27 pm

Don't expect fireworks for this union: The city of Boring, Oregon and Dull, Scotland will become sister cities.

City leaders hope the union of two dim names will result in a blockbuster tourism campaign.

The Oregonian reports that the idea of becoming twin cities came after Elizabeth Leighton stumbled upon Boring and couldn't "wait to tell all her Dull friends."

The paper adds:

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Election 2012
5:50 pm
Thu April 26, 2012

In Battleground Iowa, Even Office Space Up For Grabs

President Obama arrives to speak at the University of Iowa in Iowa City on Wednesday.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Thu April 26, 2012 6:27 pm

In Iowa, President Obama's re-election campaign is already in gear, with staff and volunteers on the ground.

The Obama campaign hopes its head start over the campaign of Republican Mitt Romney — who until recently had been focused on fending off GOP opponents — will make the difference in November in this swing state.

The Obama campaign headquarters in Des Moines is a former Blockbuster Video store, where this week a couple of dozen 20-somethings tapped away at laptops, painted signs by hand and worked the phones.

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It's All Politics
5:48 pm
Thu April 26, 2012

Biden Foreign-Policy Counterattack On Romney Highlights GOP Challenge

Vice President Joe Biden, March 2012.
Madalyn Ruggiero AP

Originally published on Fri April 27, 2012 4:24 pm

Foreign policy isn't expected to pave the path to the White House in 2012 though, of course, that could all change in a literal flash.

Still, a president seeking re-election against a backdrop of a lackluster economy would be remiss if he didn't stress his unique role as the nation's top policymaker in the international relations arena and the military's commander-in-chief.

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Digital Life
5:30 pm
Thu April 26, 2012

What We Have Here: A Failure To Communicate

Commuters immersed in their smartphones ride the subway in Beijing.
Nelson Ching Bloomberg via Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 27, 2012 7:45 am

It is the weirdest thing. There are more ways than ever to communicate with people, yet it sometimes seems like it is more difficult to connect — and stay connected — with anyone.

Should you shoot off an email? Tap out a text? Post a private message on Facebook? Write on their Facebook wall? Skype, poke, ping or conjure them up on a digital tin can phone?

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You Must Read This
5:14 pm
Thu April 26, 2012

Something Wicked: A Haunting Must Read

Seth Grahame-Smith is the author of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.
Matthew Rudenberg

Originally published on Thu April 26, 2012 6:27 pm

Seth Grahame-Smith is the author of Unholy Night.

I know it's strange to be thinking about October right now, but whenever I write, in a way that's always where I am. Growing up in Connecticut, it always held a special place in my heart — "a rare month for boys," as Ray Bradbury begins Something Wicked This Way Comes.

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London 2012: The Summer Olympics
5:08 pm
Thu April 26, 2012

American Whiz Rises Up In The World Of Ping-Pong

Originally published on Thu April 26, 2012 8:21 pm

The United States has never won an Olympic medal in table tennis. China has long dominated the sport, winning almost every medal since 1992. That's not likely to change at this year's Summer Olympics in London, but a group of young American women may be on their way to competing at the sport's highest levels.

Ariel Hsing, 16, already has the attributes of a fine table tennis player — quick hands, perfect balance and strong lungs. While she plays, she'll often shout "Sa!" — a meaningless word — to help relieve stress, something she's been dealing with a lot lately.

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Movie Reviews
5:03 pm
Thu April 26, 2012

A 'Five-Year Engagement' Leaves A Bitter Taste

Tom (Jason Segel) and Violet (Emily Blunt) celebrate their impending nuptials with their families before Violet drops a bomb: She's been accepted at a program at the University of Michigan, and wants to move there and postpone their wedding day.
Universal Pictures

Originally published on Fri April 27, 2012 9:38 am

There are many dramas and comedies in which career trajectories take couples to different corners of the country, complicating or ending romantic relationships. There will be many more, at least until someone invents a teleportation machine. What's different about each work is how the problem gets interpreted.

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Statewide Races
4:50 pm
Thu April 26, 2012

N.C. Gay Marriage Amendment Has Unlikely Foes

Jennifer Cockrham, a nurse from Walkertown, N.C., holds her hand over her heart for the Pledge of Allegiance during a rally supporting a constitutional ban on gay marriage Friday in Raleigh.
Allen Breed AP

Originally published on Thu April 26, 2012 6:27 pm

North Carolina is the only Southern state without a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. But that could change next month.

On May 8, voters will decide whether to change the state constitution to ban same-sex marriage, as well as civil unions and domestic partnerships. Leading Republican lawmakers think it's one of the most important issues facing voters.

But some conservatives worry that the measure goes too far.

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Environment
4:48 pm
Thu April 26, 2012

Countries Losing Steam On Climate Change Initiatives

Germany plans to take all of its nuclear power plants offline by 2022, which means coal-fired power plants like the Kraftwerk Westfalen, in Hamm, Germany, will be a key component of the country's energy infrastructure.
Lars Baron Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 26, 2012 6:27 pm

Energy ministers from around the world met in London this week and got a scolding. The International Energy Agency warned the ministers that they are falling way behind in their efforts to wean the world from dirty sources of energy. Nations are nowhere near being on track to avert significant climate change in the coming decades.

It turns out that right now, just about everything is conspiring to make it harder to clean up the world's energy supply.

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The Salt
4:15 pm
Thu April 26, 2012

Stone Age Mediterranean Farmer ISO Hungry Nordic Hunter-Gatherer?

A family near Karsta, Sweden, in the 1930s. Did their ancient forebears hail from the Mediterranean?
Swedish Heritage Board

Farming transformed Europe when it arrived from the Near East about 6,000 years ago. But was it the agricultural know-how that traveled, or the farmers themselves?

By comparing DNA from Stone Age farmers and hunter-gatherers, Swedish researchers say it's clear that the farmers traveled north through Europe, bringing their agrarian skills with them.

How else would a farmer with Mediterranean DNA end up in Sweden?

I'm imagining suave dark-eyed farmers seeking out Nordic maidens tired of all that berry picking and hide scraping.

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Africa
4:06 pm
Thu April 26, 2012

At Last, Egypt Settles On Presidential Candidates

Amr Moussa, the front-runner in the Egyptian presidential race, speaks during a press conference in Cairo on Apr. 22. The country's election commission said Thursday that Moussa and 12 other candidates are eligible to compete in next month's election.
Khaled Desouki AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 26, 2012 6:27 pm

After months of anticipation, and just a few weeks before the voting, Egypt now has a list of 13 officially approved presidential candidates.

Amr Moussa, the former secretary-general of the Arab League, is one of the 13, and he is ahead in most opinion surveys in advance of the May 23-24 election.

And in a reversal, Egyptian election officials agreed Thursday to let one of Hosni Mubarak's former prime ministers run for president.

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The Salt
3:56 pm
Thu April 26, 2012

Nutella Maker May Settle Deceptive Ad Lawsuit For $3 Million

The fact that Nutella's parent company, Ferrero, is known for its chocolates might be a tip-off that the sweet hazelnut spread isn't exactly "health" food.
STEFANO RELLANDINI Reuters /Landov

Remember that California mom who sued Nutella maker Ferrero over misleading advertising that made the addictive and gooey chocolate-hazelnut spread seem healthy?

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The Two-Way
3:50 pm
Thu April 26, 2012

PHOTO: Like Hawaii, Mars Has Coils Thought Formed By Volcanic Flow

This image provided by NASA shows lava flows in the shape of coils located near the equatorial region of Mars.
AP

Originally published on Thu April 26, 2012 3:52 pm

Take a look at this picture:

Those same coils — the ones that look like the side of a snail — are also found on the Big Island of Hawaii, which were formed by lava flows.

As Wired reports, the difference is that some of the Martian coils are 100 feet across — giant compared the Earth-bound ones.

Still scientists found that they are "morphologically consistent with terrestrial lava coils."

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Shots - Health Blog
3:50 pm
Thu April 26, 2012

Colorado Extends Medicaid To Some Adults Without Kids

The Colorado Coalition for the Homeless runs the Stout Street Clinic in Denver, helped Dale Miller get a CT scan.
Colorado Coalition for the Homeless

Originally published on Thu April 26, 2012 6:27 pm

Dale Miller spends his days on the streets of downtown Denver selling a newspaper called The Homeless Voice. He's been having some health problems, but he can't afford to see a doctor on the $10 to $15 a day he makes selling papers.

A local charity clinic called the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless recently helped him get a CT scan at no cost to him. Miller fully understands, though, that someone has to pay for his care.

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Shots - Health Blog
3:34 pm
Thu April 26, 2012

Health Insurers Set To Pay $1.3 Billion In Rebates

Come summer, mailboxes of 1 in 3 buyers of individual health insurance buyers could get rebate checks.
JS Callahan/tropicalpix iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu April 26, 2012 3:51 pm

If you buy your own health insurance, there's nearly a 1 in 3 chance that come this summer you'll get a nice little surprise in the mail: money back from your health insurance company.

At least that's the prediction from an analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

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The Two-Way
3:07 pm
Thu April 26, 2012

Court Says Florida Governor's Order To Drug Test Employees Is Unconstitutional

Originally published on Thu April 26, 2012 3:54 pm

A district judge ruled that Florida Gov. Rick Scott cannot mandate random drug testing for state employees.

CNN reports:

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The Record
2:27 pm
Thu April 26, 2012

Marooned In L.A. For A Week, Coachella Bands Make Do

Ian St. Pe of the band Black Lips performs at this year's Coachella festival in Indio, Calif. Like many of the artists on the bill, the band agreed not to book other shows in Southern California within months of the event.
Michael Buckner Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 10:51 am

The massive Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival came to a close in California on Sunday after two weekends worth of sold-out shows by over 150 artists.

One of those acts was the Austin, Texas, band Explosions in the Sky, which first played Coachella back in 2007 and has seen its profile grow since then.

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World
2:09 pm
Thu April 26, 2012

The Charles Taylor Case And International Justice

Originally published on Thu April 26, 2012 2:43 pm

Former Liberian President Charles Taylor was found guilty by an international tribunal of planning, aiding and abetting war crimes during the 1990s. This marks the first time since World War II that a current or former head of state was convicted by a tribunal of crimes committed while in office.

NPR Story
2:03 pm
Thu April 26, 2012

'Ball Four': The Book That Changed Baseball

New York Yankees pitcher Jim Bouton holds two balls that his teammates hope will lead them to victory in the 1964 World Series.
AP

Originally published on Fri April 27, 2012 12:53 pm

Fifty years ago, a young pitcher won his first major league game for the New York Yankees. Jim Bouton went on to become a top-flight player.

But he became famous, or notorious, for Ball Four, a memoir that described the petty jealousies on the team, as well as camaraderie, raucous tomcatting, game-winning heroics, routine drug use and the pain professional athletes endure.

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It's All Politics
2:02 pm
Thu April 26, 2012

Some Campaign Donors Putting Their Money Where Their Mouth Isn't

Originally published on Thu April 26, 2012 2:09 pm

Much of the attention on money in politics this election cycle has been focused on the new superPACs, and with good reason.

Recent court rulings allow superPACs — which officially are independent of specific candidates — to raise and spend unlimited money to support their favorite politician or cause.

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NPR Story
1:59 pm
Thu April 26, 2012

America's 'Great Divergence' Is Relatively New

Originally published on Fri April 27, 2012 12:05 pm

Thirty years ago, CEOs of America's largest businesses earned an estimated 42 times as much as their average employee. These days, that number has jumped to more than 200 times as much, by many counts. Since the economic crisis of 2008, there has been much more focus on income inequality, not just from economists and social scientists, but also from politicians and from protesters who occupied Wall Street.

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Theater
1:56 pm
Thu April 26, 2012

'Best Man' John Larroquette Takes Broadway

Sen. Joseph Cantwell, played by Eric McCormack (left), is an ambitious striver who throws mud at his rival, Secretary William Russell, played by John Larroquette, who debates whether to use some dirt of his own in The Best Man.
Joan Marcus

Originally published on Fri April 27, 2012 10:38 am

Perhaps most recognizable for his role as despicable but lovable lawyer Dan Fielding on Night Court, John Larroquette has recently taken to the stage. He earned a Tony Award for his role in the 2011 production of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.

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