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The Salt
12:01 am
Mon March 12, 2012

To Cut The Risk Of A High-Fat Meal, Add Spice

Research from Penn State finds heavily spiced meals — think chicken curry with lots of turmeric, or desserts rich in cinnamon and cloves — may do the heart good.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon March 12, 2012 1:34 pm

No need to be stingy with spices. Research from Penn State finds heavily spiced meals — think chicken curry with lots of turmeric, or desserts rich in cinnamon and cloves — may do the heart good.

"Elevated triglycerides are a risk factor for heart disease," explains researcher Sheila West.

Her study found that a spicy meal helps cut levels of triglycerides, a type of fat, in the blood — even when the meal is rich in oily sauces and high in fat.

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Shots - Health Blog
12:01 am
Mon March 12, 2012

Gain Together, Lose Together: The Weight-Loss 'Halo' Effect

Studies show that friends and family gain weight — and lose weight — together.
Sean Locke iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon March 12, 2012 5:19 pm

Here's another good reason to lose weight: It might benefit your friends, family and co-workers. Such altruism might be just the final "nudge" some of us need.

Researchers are finding that the friends and family of obese and overweight individuals who lose weight lost weight themselves, and sometimes a lot of it. Dr. John Morton, who directs Bariatric Surgery at Stanford Hospital & Clinics, calls obesity a "family disease."

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Author Interviews
12:01 am
Mon March 12, 2012

How Ford's CEO Helped Restore The 'American Icon'

Journalist Bryce Hoffman describes Ford CEO Alan Mulally as an older version of Ron Howard's character from the sitcom Happy Days.
William Thomas Cain Getty Images

Seven years ago, when journalist Bryce Hoffman started covering the Ford Motor Co. for The Detroit News, he knew he was either witnessing the end of an American icon or its resurrection.

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Looking Up: Pockets of Economic Strength
12:01 am
Mon March 12, 2012

Jobs Abound In Energy Industry's New Boom Time

Oil workers on a drilling rig owned by Chesapeake Energy in Ohio. Students are flocking to the energy field.
Gus Chan The Plain Dealer/Landov

Originally published on Wed November 28, 2012 5:47 pm

Part of a series

Economists say many industries are looking up this year. But perhaps none has a better outlook than the energy sector.

New drilling technologies and rising fuel prices have generated a boom in drilling — and lots of high-paying jobs for people with the skills to work in the oil patch. On some college campuses, companies are so eager to find petroleum engineers that they are offering jobs to students even before they have graduated.

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Energy
12:01 am
Mon March 12, 2012

Power Grid Must Adapt To Handle Renewable Energy

Towers carry electrical lines in San Francisco. The electricity grid is a web of power stations, transformers and transmission lines that span the continent.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Mon March 12, 2012 11:08 am

The National Academy of Engineering in Washington, D.C., once asked its members to pick the greatest engineering achievement ever.

Their choice? The electrification of the country through what's known as "the grid."

Ernest Moniz, director of the Energy Institute at MIT, says they were right on the money.

"That reflects what an amazing machine this is, spread out geographically, always having to balance demand and supply because electricity is not stored," he says.

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Asia
12:01 am
Mon March 12, 2012

iPad Workers: Plant Inspected Hours Before Blast

Workers burned during an explosion at an Apple supplier factory in Shanghai are seen at a hospital where they are receiving continued treatment for their injuries. According to the factory, 24 workers were burned in the explosion.
Frank Langfitt NPR

Originally published on Mon March 12, 2012 1:06 pm

Apple's new iPad goes on sale this Friday, the latest version of a wildly popular product from an iconic company. In the past couple of months, though, Apple has come under criticism for working conditions in Chinese factories that help build iPads.

A New York Times investigation focused on an explosion at an Apple supplier factory last May. In December, another explosion struck a different Apple supplier factory in Shanghai.

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Presidential Race
5:56 pm
Sun March 11, 2012

Who Will Win Over America's Latino Voters?

Audience members listen to President Obama talk about immigration in 2011 in El Paso, Texas. Hispanic voters face a choice this election season: continue to support Obama despite being disproportionately hurt by the economic downturn, or turn to Republicans at a time when many GOP presidential hopefuls have taken a hard line on immigration.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Wed March 14, 2012 1:37 pm

There's a man in Phoenix with a political playbook that has become valuable. So valuable, the Obama campaign believes it could help clinch the president's re-election.

Phoenix City Council Member Daniel Valenzuela is a fourth-generation Mexican-American. Last year, he won a seat on the Phoenix City Council in a traditionally Republican district, and he did it by increasing Latino voter turnout by 488 percent.

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Afghanistan
3:00 pm
Sun March 11, 2012

U.S. Soldier Accused Of Afghan Killings

Originally published on Sun March 11, 2012 5:59 pm

Transcript

GUY RAZ, HOST:

Let's now turn to news overseas and a story we've been following today out of Afghanistan. An American soldier is in custody after allegedly walking out of a military base in southern Afghanistan and opening fire on nearby houses. At least 16 people, including several children, were shot. Now, just a few hours ago, the acting American ambassador to Afghanistan, James Cunningham, spoke about the incident.

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Religion
3:00 pm
Sun March 11, 2012

Black Leader For Southern Baptist Convention?

Originally published on Sun March 11, 2012 5:59 pm

Transcript

GUY RAZ, HOST:

And if you're just joining us, this is WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Guy Raz.

Sunday morning, as it's said, is often the most segregated part of the week in America. The Southern Baptist church is still struggling to repair its segregated past. The Southern Baptist Convention is rooted in the rift over slavery, which it supported, and not too long ago, it backed segregation.

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Books
3:00 pm
Sun March 11, 2012

Three-Minute Fiction

Round 8 of Three-Minute Fiction is open. Author Luis Alberto Urrea, the new judge, is on board and ready to read. The challenge this round: The story must begin with the sentence, "She closed the book, placed it on the table, and finally decided to walk through the door." As always, the story must be 600 words or fewer. To submit a story, go to npr.org/threeminutefiction.

Author Interviews
2:41 pm
Sun March 11, 2012

'Schoolhouse': Rosenwald Schools In The South

Northwestern University Press

Julius Rosenwald and Booker T. Washington came from vastly different backgrounds.

Rosenwald, president of Sears, Roebuck and Co., was one of the richest men in America; Washington rose out of slavery to become a civil rights leader. But their meeting led eventually to the construction of thousands of schools for black children in the segregated South.

Stephanie Deutsch tells the story of their friendship in her new book You Need a Schoolhouse: Booker T. Washington, Julius Rosenwald, and the Building of Schools for the Segregated South.

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Around the Nation
2:25 pm
Sun March 11, 2012

Flower Power: Philly Show Eyes More Than Gardeners

Visitors to the 2012 Philadelphia International Flower Show entered through a wave-like tunnel. The show's theme was "Hawaii: Islands of Aloha."
Courtesy of PHS

Originally published on Tue March 13, 2012 7:52 am

Philadelphia hosted the world's oldest and largest indoor flower show this week.

Since 1829, the Philadelphia International Flower Show has attracted gardeners looking for ideas they can try at home. But in an effort to attract more than just gardeners, the show modernized this year.

"We cannot just have exhibits, and [have] people come to look at exhibits. That's old-school," said Drew Becher, the new president of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society. "Museums are getting away from that. We have got to be interactive."

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Music
11:44 am
Sun March 11, 2012

From Thousands Of Songs, Four SXSW Discoveries

K Ishibashi, who performs under the name Kishi Bashi, will perform at SXSW Friday.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon April 30, 2012 11:27 am

This week, more than 2,000 bands will perform live as part of the South by Southwest music festival in Austin, Texas — and each will hope to stand out somehow. It's one thing to play SXSW, but another to generate excitement.

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Afghanistan
8:00 am
Sun March 11, 2012

U.S. Soldier Shoots Afghan Civilians

Originally published on Sun March 11, 2012 11:05 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer.

American officials say that a U.S. soldier in Afghanistan walked off a base in the predawn hours this morning and began shooting at civilian homes in the southern province of Kandahar. Initial reports say 15 civilians are dead, including women and children. Relations between the United States and Afghanistan had been slowly returning to normal after last month's accidental burning of the Quran at an American military base. But this morning's news may erase that progress.

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Asia
8:00 am
Sun March 11, 2012

Japanese Village Marks Disasters' Anniversary

Originally published on Tue March 13, 2012 9:49 pm

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Japan is remembering the massive earthquake and tsunami that killed nearly 20,000 people and triggered a nuclear crisis a year ago today. At 2:46 P.M. local time, trains stopped, sirens blared, and people across Japan bowed their heads in silence. But one year on, rebuilding has not even begun on much of the country's devastated northeast coast.

And as NPR's Anthony Kuhn reports, the fishing town of Minamisanriku is still too early for most of the wounds to heal.

(SOUNDBITE OF A BELL AND A CHANTING BUDDHIST MONK)

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Sports
8:00 am
Sun March 11, 2012

Record-Setter Says He Won't Run Backward Anymore

Achim Aretz holds the Guinness World Record for running the half marathon, backward. But now, the 27-year-old German athlete says he's tired of doing something almost no one else does and wants to head in a new direction. Reporter Caitlan Carroll caught up with him in Hannover, Germany.

Middle East
8:00 am
Sun March 11, 2012

Kofi Annan Pushes Peace In Syria For Second Day

United Nations envoy Kofi Annan continues talks with the Syrian leadership, hoping to find a way to end the violence of the past year. NPR's Peter Kenyon has the latest.

Middle East
8:00 am
Sun March 11, 2012

How Should U.S. Proceed With Syria?

P.J. Crowley was U.S. assistant secretary of state for public affairs from 2009 to 2011. Guest host Linda Wertheimer talks with Crowley about how the U.S. should handle the Syrian situation.

Around the Nation
8:00 am
Sun March 11, 2012

Forgotten Irish Laborers Finally Laid To Rest

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

This past week, five Irish immigrant laborers were laid to read in Philadelphia, 180 years after their death. From member WHYY, Peter Crimmins reports they were part of a forgotten railroad work crew that was buried in a mass grave under the very railroad tracks they helped construct.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "AMAZING GRACE")

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Presidential Race
8:00 am
Sun March 11, 2012

Santorum Wins Kansas Caucus

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum won Kansas' Republican caucuses Saturday. Neither Mitt Romney nor Newt Gingrich spent any time campaigning in the state. Kansas Public Radio's Stephen Koranda reports.

Presidential Race
8:00 am
Sun March 11, 2012

Southern Faith: Why Candidates' Beliefs Matter

Ahead of the primary voting in Mississippi and Alabama, guest host Linda Wertheimer talks with William Martin Wiseman, director of the John C. Stennis Institute of Government and Professor of Political Science at Mississippi State University, about the religious politics of the South.

The Salt
6:44 am
Sun March 11, 2012

Why Monsanto Thought Weeds Would Never Defeat Roundup

A farmer sprays the weed killer glyphosate across his cornfield in Auburn, Ill.
Seth Perlman AP

Originally published on Mon March 12, 2012 10:06 am

Since it seems to be Pest Resistance Week here at The Salt, with stories on weeds and insects, we might as well just pull out all the stops. So, next up: Why didn't Monsanto's scientists foresee that weeds would become resistant to glyphosate, the weed-killing chemical in their blockbuster herbicide Roundup?

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Looking Up: Pockets of Economic Strength
6:23 am
Sun March 11, 2012

Signs Of Recovery Emerge After A Long Downturn

While parts of the U.S. economy struggle, other sectors are seeing growth. Here, job seekers talk with recruiters at a career fair in Manhattan last month.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Mon March 12, 2012 10:08 am

Millions of Americans are still searching for jobs or facing home foreclosures. For them, the Great Recession drags on into its fifth year.

But for others, the U.S. economy is looking up.

Companies in certain sectors are buying equipment again and hiring workers. These pockets of strength — found in energy, technology, manufacturing, autos, agriculture and elsewhere — are helping invigorate the broader economy.

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Rebuilding Japan
6:23 am
Sun March 11, 2012

Nuclear Woes Push Japan Into A New Energy Future

A liquefied natural gas tanker arrives at a gas storage station east of Tokyo on April 6, 2009. The shuttering of Japan's nuclear power plants has driven an increased reliance on natural gas and other fossil fuels.
AFP/Getty Images

The tsunami that struck Japan last year destroyed four nuclear reactors at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power station on the east coast of the country. Radiation spread through the air and into the ocean, and workers labored for weeks to quench the melting reactor cores. Farmland and numerous towns were evacuated and much remains off-limits.

Since then, Japan has been temporarily shutting down its remaining nuclear plants as the public debates whether to swear off nuclear power permanently. But saying no to nuclear has been and will continue to be costly.

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Middle East
6:21 am
Sun March 11, 2012

Syrian Refugees May Be Wearing Out Turks' Welcome

Syrian girls attend a class in a makeshift classroom at a refugee camp on the Turkish-Syrian border in southern Turkey's Hatay province, on Feb. 8. More than 12,000 Syrians live in refugee camps in Hatay, and several thousand more have found accommodations elsewhere.
Murad Sezer Reuters /Landov

It could be a scene from almost any school in the world: rows of young kids reciting their lessons, the girls dressed in shades of pink and sporting Hello Kitty backpacks, the boys in dark clothing, looking a little restless.

But this makeshift school is in a concrete farmhouse on the outskirts of Antakya, in southern Turkey's Hatay province near the border with Syria. And the 156 students — aged 6 to 13 — are all refugees from cities and towns across Syria.

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Economy
6:20 am
Sun March 11, 2012

An Example To Avoid: City Of Stockton On The Brink

The beleaguered city of Stockton is fighting to avert bankruptcy by cutting staff, including a quarter of the roughly 425-member police force.
David Paul Morris Bloomberg

Originally published on Sun March 11, 2012 6:21 pm

The city of Stockton, Calif., about 90 minutes east of San Francisco, is broke and on the brink of bankruptcy. Stockton's road to insolvency is a long one, and it appears that, financially speaking, everything that could go wrong in Stockton did.

If Stockton can't solve its budget crisis, it would be the largest American city to go bankrupt.

The City's Seen Better Days

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Mitt Romney
6:20 am
Sun March 11, 2012

To Woo South, Romney Needs More Than A Twang

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks at the Mississippi Farmers Market in Jackson, Miss., on Friday. The former Massachusetts governor has skeptics in the Deep South.
Rogelio Solis AP

Originally published on Sun March 11, 2012 1:29 pm

Mitt Romney picked up some support in Saturday's contests, but there may be trouble lurking for him in the near future as the GOP race moves to the Deep South.

Despite his second-place finish in Kansas, Romney scored victories Saturday in caucuses in Guam, the Northern Marianas and the U.S. Virgin Islands. He also won county conventions in Wyoming.

Tuesday's primaries are in Alabama and Mississippi, and the reddest of states are proving to be a tough sell for the former Massachusetts governor. He's trying his best to connect with the Republican base.

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The Two-Way
1:48 am
Sun March 11, 2012

U.S. Service Member Detained For Allegedly Shooting Afghans

An elderly Afghan man sits next to the covered body of a person who was allegedly killed by a U.S. service member in Panjwai, Kandahar province south of Kabul, Afghanistan, on Sunday, March 11, 2012.
Allauddin Khan AP

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 10:57 am

An American soldier in Afghanistan allegedly walked off his base in the pre-dawn hours Sunday morning and began shooting at civilians in their homes in the southern province of Kandahar.

At least 16 civilians are reported dead, including nine children and three women. NATO hasn't confirmed the death toll, but has detained the accused service member.

The attack began around 3 a.m. in two villages in Panjwai, a suburb of Kandahar. They're not far from the U.S. base. As the AP reports:

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Middle East
6:01 pm
Sat March 10, 2012

A War With Iran: Rhetoric Or A Reality?

Bob Kunst (right) protests against a nuclear Iran in front of the White House on Monday.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

In recent weeks and days, the divisions over how to deal with Iran and its nuclear program have sharpened. The only undisputed fact is that Iran is developing a nuclear energy program, but after that things get murky.

Israel and some European countries believe Iran is moving toward a nuclear weapons program, but U.S. intelligence agencies disagree. Israel argues that a nuclear-armed Iran poses an existential threat, and there's much speculation in the media about a possible Israeli attack on Iran's nuclear sites.

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The Two-Way
5:03 pm
Sat March 10, 2012

Putin Opposition Recounts Vote Fraud At Moscow Rally

A protester wearing a costume bearing the words Robocop walks among Russian riot police officers after a rally in Moscow on Saturday.
Ivan Sekretarev AP

Originally published on Sat March 10, 2012 6:42 pm

Opponents of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin staged another rally in Moscow on Saturday, but with Putin now elected to the presidency for a six-year term, their mass protest movement seemed to be losing steam.

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