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Shots - Health News
10:27 pm
Sun February 2, 2014

Most Teens Aren't Active Enough, And It's Not Always Their Fault

The CDC would be happy with these guys, who were playing in Birmingham, Ala., in July 2013. Teenage boys say basketball is their favorite activity.
Mark Almond AL.COM /Landov

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 2:43 am

Sure, you think, my kid's on a football team. That takes care of his exercise needs, right? Probably not.

"There are these bursts of activity," says Jim Sallis, a professor of family and preventive medicine at the University of California, San Diego. "But if you think about it, one hour of playing football out on the field means that the vast majority of that time is spent standing around waiting for the next play."

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Shots - Health News
10:26 pm
Sun February 2, 2014

Young Athletes Risk Back Injury By Playing Too Much

A West Coast team player kicks the ball during a match at the Adidas Challenges America's Youth Soccer Stars tournament in Venice, Calif.
Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 4, 2014 4:27 am

Jack Everett sat on his living room couch wearing a back brace, eyes glued to a massive TV set playing his favorite video game, NHL 2013.

"I'm the Boston Bruins," the 10-year-old said as he deftly worked the video controls. "The guy that just shot was Milan Lucic. He's a really good guy on our team."

Whether at home or during recess at his elementary school in suburban Los Angeles, Jack's young life now is about sitting still.

"Well, I can eat lunch with friends, and I play cards," Jack says. But his classmates are out running and jumping outside.

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The Edge
10:25 pm
Sun February 2, 2014

The Games Are A Great Party, But Not A Great Investment

Graffiti covers a vent adjacent to the Athens Olympic Stadium in this photo from Feb. 18, 2012. Expenditures on the 2004 Athens Summer Games contributed to the country's debt load, which sparked the current economic crisis.
Oli Scarff Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 2:02 pm

NPR correspondents Ari Shapiro, in London, and Joanna Kakissis, in Athens, teamed up for this joint look at Olympics economics.

The Winter Olympics in Sochi are just a few days away. Russia has spent $50 billion on everything from construction to security, making these the most expensive games in history.

Countries often justify the Olympic-sized price tag by saying the investment pays off in increased business and tourism.

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Remembrances
2:06 pm
Sun February 2, 2014

Philip Seymour Hoffman: An 'Uncanny' Actor Of Stage And Screen

Hoffman (left) and Eddie Marsan, in a scene from the film God's Pocket, released in January.
Lance Acord AP

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 9:53 am

Actor Philip Seymour Hoffman was found dead on Sunday in his Manhattan apartment. He was 46.

Hoffman was steeped in his profession — in film, on stage, in the spotlight and behind the scenes.

In 2005, he won the Oscar for best actor for his portrayal of Truman Capote. The movie focuses on Capote's interviews with two murderers on death row for his nonfiction novel In Cold Blood.

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Economy
1:44 pm
Sun February 2, 2014

Obama's State Of The Union And Your Economic Reality

President Barack Obama looks at a crank shaft as he tours General Electric's Waukesha Gas Engines facility on Thursday in Waukesha, Wis. as part of a four-stop tour he is making to expand on themes from his State of the Union address, including the economy.
AP

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 2:20 am

In his State of the Union speech Tuesday, President Obama stepped up to a podium before Congress and the country and declared that the state of our union was strong.

"Here are the results of your efforts: The lowest unemployment rate in over five years; a rebounding housing market; a manufacturing sector that's adding jobs for the first time since the 1990s," the president said.

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Shots - Health News
12:45 pm
Sun February 2, 2014

Abortions Reportedly Drop To Lowest Rate Since 1970s

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 6:39 am

Abortions in the U.S. resumed their downward trend between 2008 and 2011, according to a new study. But its authors say the recent surge of state laws intended to restrict the procedure is likely not the reason.

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Around the Nation
12:20 pm
Sun February 2, 2014

The Brutal Business Of Heroin Brings Wave Of Overdoses In Pa.

Originally published on Sun February 2, 2014 1:42 pm

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

Drug-related deaths are scarring families and communities across the country. The area around Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, has been hit especially hard. Twenty-two people have died there in less than two weeks, the latest in a wave of heroin overdoses. Police in Western Pennsylvania are blaming the deaths on an especially potent form of the street drug. After testing, they determined the heroin had been mixed with a prescription painkiller known as Fentanyl.

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Around the Nation
12:19 pm
Sun February 2, 2014

Following Oil Boom In N. Dakota: A Cultural Blooming?

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 9:25 am

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR West. I'm Arun Rath.

This week, NPR has been reporting on the effects of the fracking boom in the area known as the Bakken. Williston, North Dakota, offers a haven for a new working class. Tens of thousands of newcomers have flocked to the oil field over the past five years. The region is flush with high-paying, low-scaled work. It's bringing a lot of economic development, and some are hoping it can bring cultural development too. Montana Public Radio's Dan Boyce has the story.

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The Edge
12:17 pm
Sun February 2, 2014

After Decade-Long Fight, Ski Jumper Lindsey Van Is 'Ready To Fly'

Lindsey Van at the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships last year, in Val di Fiemme, Italy.
Mike Hewitt Getty Images

Originally published on Sat February 8, 2014 1:34 pm

For more than a decade, ski jumper Lindsey Van dreamed of making the U.S. Olympic team, but one thing held her back: Female ski jumpers weren't allowed to compete. Until this year.

This month, the 29-year-old from Park City, Utah, will be one of the athletes competing at the Olympics on the U.S. women's ski jumping team. For Van, that competition marks the end of a very long road.

"Honestly, I don't really have words for it," she said at a press conference announcing the team. "I'm just completely overwhelmed and happy to be representing my sport."

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The Salt
11:10 am
Sun February 2, 2014

Marijuana-Laced Treats Leave Colorado Jonesing For Food-Safety Rules

Truffles are among the many foods infused with THC – the chemical in marijuana that gives you a high — already for sale in Colorado.
Luke Runyon/KUNC/Harvest Public Media

Originally published on Tue February 4, 2014 7:00 am

Where there's pot, there's pot brownies. But how do you make sure those high-inducing sweets are safe to eat?

Colorado regulators are wrestling with that question now that the state has legalized recreational marijuana. From sodas and truffles to granola bars and butter, food products infused with THC – the chemical in marijuana that gives you a high — are already for sale.

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The Two-Way
9:55 am
Sun February 2, 2014

Philip Seymour Hoffman, Oscar-Winner, Found Dead At 46

Originally published on Wed February 5, 2014 2:51 am

Actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, who won a best actor Oscar for the title role in the 2005 film Capote, was found dead in his Manhattan apartment at the age of 46.

A New York Police Department spokesman tells NPR that authorities are "investigating Hoffman's death as a possible drug overdose."

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Parallels
8:05 am
Sun February 2, 2014

Race Toward Afghan Election Starts, With Skepticism In The Lead

A campaign banner is posted in Kabul, Afghanistan, for presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah on Sunday.
Omar Sobhani Reuters/Landov

With the campaign for Afghanistan's April 5 presidential election officially underway, three questions are commonly asked around Kabul: Do you think the presidential election will be held on April 5? Will the election be held at all this year? Who do you think will win?

Right now, 11 men are vying to succeed President Hamid Karzai, who is term-limited. If the election goes well, it would mark the first peaceful, democratic transfer of power in Afghanistan's history.

The Issue Of Timing

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Shots - Health News
7:57 am
Sun February 2, 2014

Poll: Support For High School Football, Despite Concussion Risks

Most Americans are aware that football carries a risk of concussions. An NPR poll found a large proportion of people believe safety improvements are needed for football to remain a high school sport.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 2:48 am

Making sure that children are active often means getting them interested in sports. But parents have to weigh the health risks of those sports, including hits that can cause concussions.

Concussions are brain injuries. Most people, including kids, recover from a concussion. But concussions, particularly repeated ones, can lead to serious, lasting health problems.

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The Two-Way
7:45 am
Sun February 2, 2014

Ukraine Protests Set To Widen As President Ends Sick Leave

Opposition supporters take part in a rally in Kiev's Independence Square, the epicenter of the country's current unrest, in Ukraine, on Sunday.
Sergei Chuzavkov AP

Ukraine President Viktor Yanukovych says he will return to work on Monday after a brief sick leave, likely setting the stage for a new round of anti-government unrest.

As many as 30,000 protesters gathered in the capital, Kiev, on Sunday, renewing calls for Yanukovych to step down.

The president had announced his sick leave on Thursday, prompting concern that, as The Associated Press writes, "he may have been taking himself out of action in preparation for declaring a state of emergency."

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It's All Politics
7:43 am
Sun February 2, 2014

Super Bowl XLVIII: A Political Guide

New York and national politicians join the NFL Super Bowl host committee in New York's Times Square Saturday. When it comes to political contributions, the owners of Sunday's Super Bowl contenders are plenty active.
Christopher Gregory Getty Images

Pro football prognosticators are divided over who's the favorite to win Sunday's Super Bowl. Some give the edge to Peyton Manning and the high-flying Denver Broncos. Others believe the stifling Seattle Seahawks defense will carry them to victory.

Here at the It's All Politics blog, we can't help with any game-day analysis or offer any insights into how the two teams match up against each other.

But we can tell you a little about the politics surrounding each team.

The Denver Broncos

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The Salt
5:56 am
Sun February 2, 2014

Sap Discovery Could Turn Syrup-Making Upside Down

Buckets collect sap on maple trees in Vermont. A new discovery means that sap doesn't have to be collected from mature trees out in the wild.
Toby Talbot AP

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 7:51 am

Last year researchers at the University of Vermont announced something that could change the way we think about Vermont — or at least how it produces its famous maple syrup.

The time-honored method calls for inserting a tap near the bottom of a tall, mature maple tree. At the end of February, the tree thaws, and voila: Sap starts flowing out the spigot at the bottom.

But in 2010, these researchers were testing ways to gather sap from mature trees when they noticed something unusual.

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The Two-Way
5:08 am
Sun February 2, 2014

Christie's Office Blasts Latest Bridgegate Accusations

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie waves to guests as he attends the Super Bowl Hand-Off Ceremony in New York on Saturday.
Eduardo Munoz Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Sun February 2, 2014 7:17 am

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's political team is going on the offensive against charges that he knew more than he admits about a plan to use lane closures on the George Washington Bridge as part of a political vendetta.

In an email to donors and journalists headlined "5 Things You Should Know about the Bombshell That's Not a Bombshell," on Saturday, political aides to the governor pushed back on accusations by David Wildstein, a former Port Authority official who oversaw the lane closures.

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All Tech Considered
4:57 am
Sun February 2, 2014

Should Uber Be Responsible For Driver Recklessness?

The transportation app Uber matches ride-seekers with drivers. Drivers must keep checking their phones to catch customers, and critics say that may have dangerous consequences on the road. Is Uber responsible for the risk?
Lucy Nicholson Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue February 4, 2014 6:04 am

A man named Syed Muzaffar drove for Uber, the San Francisco-based company that makes money selling car rides. He lives in a suburb of San Francisco and on New Year's Eve, he says, he was in the city for the sole purpose of picking up partygoers who needed a ride.

His night ended early and tragically, around 8 p.m., when he turned a corner and hit a family in a crosswalk.

"The mother sustained facial fractures," says Police Sgt. Eric Mahoney, who is investigating the case. "The 4-year-old boy suffered abrasions on his face, and the 6-year-old girl was fatally injured."

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The Two-Way
4:01 am
Sun February 2, 2014

Thai Election Largely Peaceful, Despite Fears Of Violence

Protesters demanding the right to vote argue with security and election officials at a district office in Bangkok on Sunday after anti-government protesters shut down the station.
Damir Sagolj Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Sun February 2, 2014 4:18 am

Fears of election-day violence in Thailand went largely unrealized on Sunday as efforts by anti-government protesters to block voting stations fell short of their goal of disrupting the parliamentary polls.

A few hundred polling stations in the capital were shut down by protesters, but the vast majority of them across the country remained open.

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Middle East
4:01 am
Sun February 2, 2014

Despite Scars Of War, Karachi Holds Onto Its Chutzpah

Originally published on Sun February 2, 2014 9:17 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin. When you hear us say Karachi, Pakistan, you might assume we're going to bring you're a story about terrorism or a bombing or a kidnapping - and you would often be right. It is the most violent city in all of Pakistan. But NPR's Philip Reeves found that isn't all there is to the city. In fact, there's often a gap between Karachi's reputation and the reality of the place, as he explains in this letter from Pakistan.

(SOUNDBITE OF TRAFFIC NOISE)

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Sports
4:01 am
Sun February 2, 2014

Seahawks, Broncos Fans Mingle In D.C. Watering Hole

Originally published on Sun February 2, 2014 9:17 am

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

In living rooms and sports bars across the country later today, football fans -and yes, just those of us who want to watch the budget commercial and dig into nachos - will sit down to watch the Super Bowl. In Denver and Seattle living rooms, there will be less casual viewing, of course, and that goes for anywhere else that fans of the Broncos and Seahawks gather.

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Middle East
4:01 am
Sun February 2, 2014

Homs Is Birthplace Of Syrian Protest

Originally published on Sun February 2, 2014 9:17 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

That was NPR's Steve Inskeep reporting last summer. And that piece he referenced still feels very far off to the people of Homs. The city has now been under siege for nearly 600 days. In that time, tens of thousands of people have fled or been displaced from their homes.

Dr. Zaher Sahloul is the president of the Syrian-American Medical Society. He's originally from Homs. He described what the situation is like now.

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Middle East
4:01 am
Sun February 2, 2014

Ancient Syrian City A Wasteland Of Modern Violence

Originally published on Sun February 2, 2014 9:17 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin.

Talks in Geneva have ended without any concrete action on Syria. In fact, even without a concrete promise from the Assad government that it will show up for another round of talks next week. The two sides had lengthy discussions about sending aid into the Syrian city of Homs, Syria's third-largest city. But they couldn't agree on passage for an aid convoy. And that means hundreds are still stranded without food or medicine.

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Strange News
4:01 am
Sun February 2, 2014

After Crushing Bad Luck, A Free Bungee Jump

Originally published on Sun February 2, 2014 9:17 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Asia
4:01 am
Sun February 2, 2014

Violence Gives Way To Calmer Thai Elections

Originally published on Sun February 2, 2014 9:17 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin. Voters went to the polls in Thailand today in a snap election called by the ruling party. The elections seem to have gone off fairly peacefully, but they were proceeded by violent clashes between government supporters, known as Red Shirts, and protesters backing the opposition. Last night, at least seven people were injured in Bangkok by gunfire and grenades. Reporter Michael Sullivan is with us now from Bangkok to tell us more. Hi, Michael.

MICHAEL SULLIVAN: Hi, Rachel.

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Energy
4:01 am
Sun February 2, 2014

Oil Train Derailments Spur Calls For Safety Measures

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 9:24 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Politics
4:01 am
Sun February 2, 2014

Why A Do-Nothing Immigration Strategy Might Work For GOP

Originally published on Sun February 2, 2014 9:17 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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The Two-Way
2:42 am
Sun February 2, 2014

Shadow Seen! Groundhog Predicts 6 More Weeks Of Cold

Punxsutawney Phil is held by handler John Griffiths after emerging from his burrow to see his shadow and forecast six more weeks of winter weather.
Gene J. Puskar AP

Originally published on Sun February 2, 2014 3:36 am

Punxsutawney Phil, the "prognosticator of prognosticators" saw his shadow after being roused from hibernation just long enough to make his annual prediction.

That means ... six more weeks of winter.

The famous groundhog's handler, Bill Deely, made the pronouncement atop Gobbler's Knob in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, at about 7:25 a.m. ET.

As The Associated Press reports:

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The Two-Way
12:30 am
Sun February 2, 2014

5 Points To Help Simplify Sunday's Super Bowl

Fans gather on the Super Bowl Boulevard in Times Square on Friday in New York. The Seattle Seahawks will play the Denver Broncos on Sunday in NFL football's Super Bowl XLVIII in East Rutherford, N.J.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Sun February 2, 2014 3:31 am

The chatter, hype and jargon in the weeks leading up to Sunday's Super Bowl XLVIII is more impenetrable than the Seahawk's secondary.

Perhaps you've heard the Seattle Seahawks have a running back who enters "Beast Mode." Maybe you've heard that the Denver Broncos' counter to Beast Mode is a defensive lineman nicknamed "Pot Roast."

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All Tech Considered
12:30 am
Sun February 2, 2014

Beirut Bombing Spawns An App To Tell Loved Ones 'I Am Alive'

Sandra Hassan put her app online in late January as yet more explosions struck Lebanon. She hopes it will help people in conflict zones, and areas hit by natural disasters.
STR AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 4:33 am

"I am alive."

Those words can mean a lot when you are a resident of Lebanon, where bombings are a frequent reality. So Sandra Hassan, a Lebanese-born graduate student studying public health in Paris, developed an app that lets users get the message out quickly. With one click, they can instantly tweet the message: "I am still alive! #Lebanon #LatestBombing."

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