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It's All Politics
1:45 pm
Thu May 21, 2015

Gyrocopter Pilot On His 'Incredible' Flight Onto Capitol Lawn

Doug Hughes said he sees his future as working for "the cause of getting a Congress — not more liberal, not more conservative — but a Congress that is working for the people."
Peter Overby NPR

Originally published on Fri May 22, 2015 8:39 am

Florida postman Doug Hughes made headlines last month for landing his gyrocopter on the lawn in front of the Capitol building.

In an interview with NPR, Hughes said he "made every effort to send word ahead" about the flight, but also knew he would be taken into custody. He made the flight anyway, he said, to "get a message to the American people — not that there's a problem with Congress but that there are solutions to the problem."

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Shots - Health News
1:22 pm
Thu May 21, 2015

People In Poor Communities Are More Likely To Lose Eyesight

Vision loss and blindness can be devastating, isolating people and increasing their risk of illness and death. And that burden falls hardest on people in poor communities, especially in the South.

More than three quarters of the counties with the highest rates of severe vision loss are in the South, according to an analysis published Thursday in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. It's the first analysis of severe vision loss at the county level.

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The Two-Way
1:21 pm
Thu May 21, 2015

Obama Calls Loss Of Ramadi A 'Setback,' But Denies U.S. Is Losing To ISIS

President Obama tells The Atlantic that the loss of Ramadi to the self-declared Islamic State is a "setback," but he denies the U.S. is losing to the group.
Kathy Willens AP

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 5:26 pm

President Obama says that while the loss of Ramadi to the self-declared Islamic State is a "setback," he doesn't think the U.S. is losing to the militant group.

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Parallels
12:36 pm
Thu May 21, 2015

Rome's Cinematic 'Dream Factory' Ramps Up Production Once Again

The famous chariot race in Ben-Hur was filmed on a movie set at Cinecittà in 1958.
AP

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 8:27 pm

It's just 15 miles south of Rome, but it looks more like ancient Jerusalem.

Welcome to the vast backlot at Cinecittà, the sprawling movie metropolis where the original Ben-Hur was filmed, and a remake is currently in production.

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The Salt
11:57 am
Thu May 21, 2015

Urban Food Forests Make Fruit Free For The Picking

A morning's berry harvest from West Philadelphia's Ogden Orchard includes raspberries, gooseberries, currants, goumis and mulberries.
Courtesy of Philadelphia Orchard Project

Originally published on Fri May 22, 2015 1:06 pm

To discover the new frontier of urban farming, you'll have to look up — and look sharp — for hanging fruit.

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Shots - Health News
11:52 am
Thu May 21, 2015

Overnight Contacts Can Help Kids' Sight During Day, But Also Carry Risks

Logan Levenson had a cornea transplant to repair an eye after a fungal infection.
Courtesy of Beth Levenson

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 5:32 pm

The sales pitch for contact lenses that help kids see better by reshaping their corneas sounds futuristically appealing. Sleep overnight in the lenses, pop them out in the morning and experience perfect or near-perfect vision for an entire day.

Beth Levenson of Williamsburg, Va., thought the lenses, even at a price of $2,000, seemed ideal for her son Logan, then 9, who played on several sports teams.

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The Two-Way
11:36 am
Thu May 21, 2015

'Fast-Track' Trade Authority Wins Key Test Vote In Senate

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 3:28 pm

The Senate has voted to limit debate on a bill that would grant the White House "fast track" negotiating authority and clear a path for the Obama administration's trade deal with 11 Pacific Rim nations.

Reuters says the 62-38 vote, which clears a filibuster hurdle, boosts "hopes for a deal that is central to President Barack Obama's strategic shift toward Asia."

Many Democrats oppose the Asia-Pacific treaty, saying free-trade deals cost U.S. jobs, but the White House maintains that U.S. producers need access to foreign markets.

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Code Switch
11:25 am
Thu May 21, 2015

On 'Menace II Society' And 'Easy Rider': Why All The Talk On Bikers And Thugs Matters

Sgt. Patrick Swanton of the Waco Police Department speaks to the media as Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper D.L. Wilson (left) stands near a Twin Peaks restaurant where nine members of a motorcycle gang were shot and killed in Waco, Texas, on Tuesday.
Mike Stone Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri May 22, 2015 1:15 pm

In his New York Times column this week, Charles Blow discussed bikers and thugs in the aftermath of the Waco shootout on Sunday.

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The Two-Way
11:00 am
Thu May 21, 2015

Domestic Violence Charges Dismissed Against The NFL's Ray Rice

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 3:33 pm

Citing the completion of a pretrial intervention program, a New Jersey judge has dismissed a felony assault charge that was filed against former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice over a now-infamous incident in which Rice struck his then-fiancee in a casino elevator.

Rice hit Palmer during an argument while they were visiting Atlantic City, N.J., in February of 2014. A month later, he was indicted on a charge of third-degree aggravated assault. He then entered into a one-year pretrial program that would allow him to avoid a trial.

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NPR History Dept.
10:43 am
Thu May 21, 2015

Muddled Messages In America's Past

Telegraph operator, 1908.
Library of Congress

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 6:17 pm

Do you ever feel like communication — in this Age of Communication — is more confused and confusing than ever? Does anybody even read whole messages anymore — beyond the subject line or the first screen? Do you get tangled up in threads and bewildered by attachments? Do txt msgs n-furi-8 u?

Here's the real question: Are all these communication devices truly improving interaction between humans or just providing more opportunities for miscommunication?

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The Two-Way
10:34 am
Thu May 21, 2015

Malaysia Orders Navy, Coast Guard To Rescue Rohingyas At Sea

A newly arrived Rohingya migrant uses a mirror after taking a shower at a temporary shelter in Bayeun, Aceh province, Indonesia, on Thursday.
Binsar Bakkara AP

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 8:08 pm

Malaysia's prime minister has ordered the navy and coast guard to search for stranded Rohingya migrants in the Andaman Sea, a day after Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta agreed to take boatloads of desperate refugees who have been in limbo for weeks since fleeing persecution in Myanmar.

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Shots - Health News
10:34 am
Thu May 21, 2015

Heart Risk Factors May Affect Black Women More Than White Women

African-American women may be more sensitive to metabolic abnormalities like high triglycerides or low good cholesterol.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 11:31 am

African-American women can be at risk of heart disease even if they don't have metabolic syndrome, a study finds.

That's a problem, because the current thinking is that metabolic syndrome — defined as high triglycerides, bad cholesterol, abdominal fat, high blood pressure and impaired glucose metabolism — is the big risk factor for heart attacks and strokes.

The picture with women appears to be a lot more complicated, especially when you compare women in different racial or ethnic groups.

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The Two-Way
8:40 am
Thu May 21, 2015

Fears Grow That ISIS Might Target Palmyra's Ancient Treasures

A photo released on Sunday by the Syrian official news agency SANA shows a general view of the ancient Roman city of Palmyra, northeast of Damascus, Syria. Fears have intensified that the self-declared Islamic State, which captured the city on Wednesday, might raze the ruins.
AP

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 12:52 pm

Following the self-declared Islamic State's capture of Palmyra, concern today is turning to the security of the ancient Syrian city's archaeological sites and fears that the Islamist extremists might try to destroy them, as they have done elsewhere.

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Africa
7:46 am
Thu May 21, 2015

Freed From Boko Haram, Hostages Now Held By Nigeria's Military

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 9:20 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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The Two-Way
7:37 am
Thu May 21, 2015

Pipeline Operator In Calif. Spill Reportedly Had History Of Infractions

A helicopter coordinates ships below pulling booms to collect oil from a spill near Refugio State Beach, north of Goleta, Calif., on Wednesday.
Michael A. Mariant AP

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 4:29 pm

Updated at 11 a.m. ET

The Texas-based company responsible for the undersea pipeline that has leaked tens of thousands of gallons of oil into the sea near the coast at Goleta, Calif., has a history of federal safety violations, The Los Angeles Times reports.

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Television
7:31 am
Thu May 21, 2015

Letterman Leaves Late-Night TV With A Near-Perfect Final Show

David Letterman hosts his final Late Show episode on Wednesday.
Jeffrey R. Staab CBS

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 1:17 pm

When the final episode came, after weeks of accolades and tributes to his genius, David Letterman made sure he punctured the emotion of the moment with a little old-fashioned, self-deprecating sarcasm.

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The Two-Way
6:52 am
Thu May 21, 2015

Sen. Rand Paul Stages 'Filibuster' To Protest Patriot Act

In an image from Senate video, presidential candidate Sen. Rand Paul speaks on the floor of the U.S. Senate Wednesday afternoon at the start of an almost 11-hour speech opposing renewal of the Patriot Act.
AP

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 1:04 pm

Updated at 11:20 a.m. ET

Protesting the soon-to-expire Patriot Act, presidential candidate Sen. Rand Paul held the floor of the Senate for nearly 11 hours late Wednesday in a filibuster-like speech railing against the law and the government's continued surveillance of Americans' phone records.

"I don't think we're any safer looking at every American's records," Paul said.

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Around the Nation
6:45 am
Thu May 21, 2015

California Drought Creates Business Opportunities

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 7:44 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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Economy
6:03 am
Thu May 21, 2015

#MotorCityDrive: Is Detroit's Economic Engine Roaring Back To Life?

Murals on display across the street from the Red Bull House of Art gallery in Detroit, Mich. After the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history, Detroit hopes outsiders will focus on the city's potential, not the history of conflict and crisis that has cut its population in half since 1960.
Joshua Lott AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 8:29 pm

For generations of Americans, Detroit was the place where people made things: powerful cars, amazing architecture, beautiful music. But now Detroit is entering a new chapter. After months of often tense and difficult negotiations, Detroit is now formally out of bankruptcy. Millions of dollars of contributions from private foundations and corporations helped the city preserve its acclaimed art collection. A new generation of artists and entrepreneurs, doers and makers is calling Detroit home. So we'd like to ask, what's next? What will drive Detroit's future now?

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Asia
5:16 am
Thu May 21, 2015

Personal Ad First: Mother In India Places Gay-Marriage Ad For Son

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 7:44 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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NPR Story
5:00 am
Thu May 21, 2015

Senate Panel Considers New Constraints On Fed's Emergency Lending

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 7:44 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Around the Nation
5:00 am
Thu May 21, 2015

Boston-Based MiniLuxe Aims To Be 'Starbucks' Of Nail Salons

Originally published on Fri May 22, 2015 1:30 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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Goats and Soda
3:42 am
Thu May 21, 2015

WHO Calls For $100 Million Emergency Fund, Doctor 'SWAT Team'

The Ebola outbreak "overwhelmed" the World Health Organization and made it clear the agency must change, WHO's director-general, Dr. Margaret Chan, said Monday in Geneva.
Fabrice Coffrini AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 8:00 pm

Nearly 3,000 delegates from around the world are gathering this week in one of the most expensive cities in Europe to debate the fate of the World Health Organization.

There's one main question on the table: Will the WHO be given the power and money it needs to be the world's leading health agency, or will it plod forward in its current state — as a weak, bureaucratic agency of the U.N. known more for providing advice than taking action.

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The Salt
3:40 am
Thu May 21, 2015

Avian Flu Outbreak Takes Poultry Producers Into Uncharted Territory

"No trespassing" signs are posted on the edge of a field at a farm operated by Daybreak Foods near Eagle Grove, Iowa, which has been designated "bio security area," on May 17.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 4:25 pm

An avian flu outbreak is sweeping across the Midwest at a frightening pace, ravaging chicken and turkey farms and leaving officials stumped about the virus's seemingly unstoppable spread.

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Environment
3:38 am
Thu May 21, 2015

Spending To Fight Wildfires At The Expense Of Preventing Them

Rancher Ross Frank worries that funding to fight fires in Western communities like Chumstick, Wash., has crowded out important land management work.
Rowan Moore Gerety Northwest Public Radio

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 6:23 am

The weed-whacker is a frequent companion to the sounds of chirping birds and rustling pines at Ross Frank's ranch in Chumstick, Wash. With forested land on all sides, he's clearing dense brush beneath a stand of by his house.

"So we're turning that around manually and mimicking what fire would have done naturally," he says.

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Heroin In The Heartland
3:36 am
Thu May 21, 2015

States Lack Accurate Statistics On Widespread Heroin Use

Stacy Emminger holds the death certificate for her son, Anthony, who was addicted to heroin. His death was marked as a multidrug toxicity in Pennsylvania.
Ben Allen WITF

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 7:51 am

In Pennsylvania, it's estimated opioids like heroin killed at least 1,300 people last year. In Massachusetts, more than 1,000 have died, and in Connecticut, heroin deaths jumped more than 85 percent in two years.

But figuring out the size and scope of the problem is harder than many people think.

Pennsylvania, like many states, doesn't require reporting of specific details on drug overdoses, and whatever other information is available is at least two years old.

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Asia
3:35 am
Thu May 21, 2015

Why A Chinese Government Think Tank Attacked American Scholars

The Dzungar army surrenders to Manchu officers of the Qing Dynasty in 1759 in the Ili Valley, now part of China's Xinjiang region, in this painting made several years later by Chinese and Jesuit missionary artists.
Wikimedia Commons

Originally published on Fri May 22, 2015 6:23 am

Last month, a Chinese government think tank bashed history professors from Harvard, Georgetown and other leading American universities regarding things they wrote — at least 15 years ago — about events that occurred more than two centuries ago.

"This was a uniquely vitriolic attack," says Georgetown's Jim Millward. The article calls him as "arrogant," "overbearing" and an "imperialist," and dismisses Millward's and his colleagues' scholarship as "academically absurd."

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Parallels
7:17 pm
Wed May 20, 2015

For Israel, Soccer Becomes A Geopolitical Football

FIFA President Sepp Blatter kicks a ball during the inauguration of a football stadium in the village of Dura al-Qari near the West Bank city of Ramallah on Wednesday. Blatter said he is on a "mission of peace" to resolve tensions between the Israeli and Palestinian soccer federations.
Majdi Mohammed AP

Originally published on Wed May 20, 2015 8:39 pm

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has moved to the soccer field. Next week, at the annual meeting of FIFA — the international body governing football — its 209 members are scheduled to vote on a proposal to suspend Israel from international play.

Palestinian soccer officials put the proposal on FIFA's agenda, saying Israeli policies hurt Palestinian players and the sport's development and break FIFA's own rules.

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The Salt
6:08 pm
Wed May 20, 2015

McMadness: Activists Pile On At McDonald's Shareholders Meeting

Demonstrators march on McDonald's corporate headquarters in Oak Brook, Ill., on Wednesday, demanding a wage increase to $15 per hour.
Brian Kersey UPI /Landov

Whoa, I wouldn't want to be Steve Easterbrook right about now.

The newish CEO of McDonald's — who has pledged to turn the fast-food giant into a progressive burger chain — is getting an earful this week, as the company prepares to convene its annual shareholders meeting on Thursday.

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U.S.
6:03 pm
Wed May 20, 2015

Often The Butt Of Jokes, S.C.'s Giant Peach Is Ripe For Renovation

The restoration of the landmark, popularized by a House of Cards episode, has some fans wondering whether the giant peach will lose its giggle-inducing appearance.
Michael Tomsic WFAE

Originally published on Wed May 20, 2015 7:17 pm

You can't miss it as you drive down I-85. The Peachoid, as it's called, is a massive peach-shape water tower near the North Carolina border.

When maintenance crews sandblasted the paint off the water tower recently, people were furious.

Just ask Claire Huminski, with the city of Gaffney.

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