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The Two-Way
8:28 am
Wed February 5, 2014

White House Says There Are No Plans To Bail Out Puerto Rico

The Puerto Rican flag waves in front of the south wing of the Capitol in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Ricardo Arduengo AP

Originally published on Wed February 5, 2014 9:01 am

A day after S&P downgraded Puerto Rico's credit rating to junk status, the White House said it was not contemplating a bailout for the island.

Reuters reports:

"A White House spokeswoman declined to comment about the S&P move specifically but said the administration's position had not changed since Jan. 22, when she said that no 'deep federal assistance' was being contemplated.

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Shots - Health News
8:20 am
Wed February 5, 2014

Our Brains Rewrite Our Memories, Putting Present In The Past

The brain edits memories of the past, updating them with new information. Scientists say this may help us function better in the present. But don't throw those photos away.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 3:04 am

Think about your fifth-birthday party. Maybe your mom carried the cake. What did her face look like? If you have a hard time imagining the way she looked then rather than how she looks now, you're not alone.

The brain edits memories relentlessly, updating the past with new information. Scientists say that this isn't a question of having a bad memory. Instead, they think the brain updates memories to make them more relevant and useful now — even if they're not a true representation of the past.

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Shots - Health News
8:13 am
Wed February 5, 2014

By Dropping Cigarettes, CVS Gives Its Reputation A Boost

A CVS pharmacy in Orlando, Fla., is one of more than 7,600 stores where the company will stop selling tobacco products by October.
John Raoux AP

Originally published on Thu February 13, 2014 1:24 pm

When drugstore chain CVS said Wednesday that it would stop selling tobacco products by October, the company also told investors that the move would probably cost it $2 billion a year in lost sales.

CVS says it has figured out unspecified ways to help make up for the profits from cigarettes and other tobacco products.

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The Two-Way
8:05 am
Wed February 5, 2014

Sniper Attack On Calif. Power Station Raises Terrorism Fears

Fred Greaves Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 9:30 am

Was an attack last April on an electric power station near San Jose, Calif., the work of vandals or something far more dangerous — domestic terrorism or a trial run by an individual or organization bent on damaging the nation's electric grid?

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The Two-Way
4:58 am
Wed February 5, 2014

Millions Warned To Stay Off Roads As Latest Storm Spreads

This man stopped to take pictures of the snow-covered trees in Manhattan's Central Park on Tuesday.
Seth Wenig AP

Originally published on Wed February 5, 2014 6:53 am

From the Midwest through the Northeast and on into New England, the latest winter storm is spreading misery across some of the most heavily populated states in the nation.

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The Salt
4:20 am
Wed February 5, 2014

Electronic Tongues Are The Beer Snobs Of The Future

Personally, we're most looking forward to having robot drinking buddies.
Bongo Entertainment Inc.

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 12:01 pm

If beer is the new wine, robots are the new beer snobs. Well, sort of.

Researchers in Barcelona have developed an electronic tongue that really knows the difference between a pilsner and a bock.

For now, it looks less like a slick, futuristic robot and more like a big of clump sensors. It's still a prototype, but its creators say it could some day replace human taste testers.

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The Two-Way
3:53 am
Wed February 5, 2014

Employers Added 175,000 Jobs Last Month, Survey Signals

The scene last November at a jobs fair in New York City.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 5, 2014 7:00 am

The first of two reports this week about how many jobs were added to U.S. payrolls in January indicates that growth was slow but solid.

The ADP National Employment Report estimates that there were 175,000 more jobs in the private sector last month than in December.

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The Two-Way
3:22 am
Wed February 5, 2014

Reports: 4 Arrests Linked To Philip Seymour Hoffman's Death

Originally published on Wed February 5, 2014 6:59 am

Three men and one woman were arrested Tuesday evening in connection with the death over the weekend of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, The New York Times and other New York news outlets are reporting.

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Business
2:44 am
Wed February 5, 2014

CVS Caremark To Clear Shelves Of Tobacco Products

Originally published on Thu March 6, 2014 6:57 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rene Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep.

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The Two-Way
2:33 am
Wed February 5, 2014

Vatican Let Abuse Of Kids Go On For Decades, U.N. Panel Says

St. Peter's Square in Vatican City.
Ciro Fusco EPA/Landov

Originally published on Wed February 5, 2014 11:01 am

The Vatican "has not acknowledged the extent of the crimes committed, has not taken the necessary measures to address cases of child sexual abuse and to protect children, and has adopted policies and practices which have led to the continuation of the abuse by, and the impunity of, the perpetrators," a U.N. human rights committee charged Wednesday.

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The Two-Way
2:25 am
Wed February 5, 2014

CVS To Stop Selling Tobacco Products

Soon to be gone: Marlboro cigarettes on display at a CVS store in Pittsburgh last July.
Gene J. Puskar AP

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 6:43 am

Saying it is "the right thing for us to do for our customers and our company to help people on their path to better health," the CEO of CVS Caremark announced Wednesday that the company's 7,600 pharmacies will stop selling cigarettes and tobacco products by Oct. 1.

Larry Merlo also said CVS will try to help those who want to quit smoking with a "robust national smoking cessation program" at its locations.

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NPR Story
12:03 am
Wed February 5, 2014

Snowboarder Shaun White Withdraws From Slopestyle Event

Shaun White practiced at the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park in Sochi on Monday. On Wednesday, he withdrew from the event, saying the slopestyle course is too risky for him.
Ryan Pierse Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 5, 2014 1:35 pm

Snowboarder Shaun White has announced that he is dropping out of the slopestyle event at the Sochi Olympics.

The event is scheduled to start Thursday. White will still compete in halfpipe, his usual sport, but he says Sochi's slopestyle course, with its larger-than-usual jumps, is too risky for him.

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NPR Story
12:03 am
Wed February 5, 2014

Ex-Rwandan Officer Goes On Trial In France For Genocide

Originally published on Wed February 5, 2014 2:19 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne. A trial in France is shedding more light on the genocide in Rwanda and 20 years after it occurred France's role in the killing. A former intelligience official close to the family of the then-president went on trial yesterday in Paris. He's charged with abetting the massacre of 800,000 ethnic Tutsis by Hutu militias.

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NPR Story
12:03 am
Wed February 5, 2014

Science Guy Bill Nye Debates Creationist Ken Ham

Originally published on Wed February 5, 2014 2:19 am

Copyright 2014 Louisville Public Media. To see more, visit http://www.louisvillepublicmedia.org/.

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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Shots - Health News
10:48 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

A Denver Family Of Doctors Has Seen Medicine Transformed

Michael Sawyer, the latest doctor in his family, holds a portrait of his grandfather Dr. Ken Sawyer, while his father Robert, a surgeon, looks on.
Barry Gutierrez for NPR

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 3:06 am

What it means to be a doctor in America is changing.

The Affordable Care Act is one reason. But the federal health overhaul is just the latest factor among many that have affected the practice of medicine.

Just ask Drs. Robert and Michael Sawyer, a father and son in a family that has worked at Denver Health since the 1930s.

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Sweetness And Light
10:32 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

An Olympic Shame: Vladimir Putin Plays Host To Winter Games

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks with Olympic volunteers in Sochi, Russia, in January.
Alexei Nikolsky AP

Originally published on Wed February 5, 2014 4:33 am

You know those commercials for prescription medicines on television when they devote the first 15 seconds to the benefits of the drug and then take the next 45 telling you all the bad things that could happen if you use it? Vladimir Putin's Olympics remind me of that. For all the happiness his Winter Games are supposed to bring us, you need considerably more time to hear about all the things that could go wrong.

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The Edge
10:30 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

One Prediction Of Sochi Doom That Hasn't Happened

More than 400 snow-making machines are keeping the ski slopes of Sochi covered in snow.
Tamara Keith NPR

Originally published on Wed February 5, 2014 3:29 am

Heading into the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, there were many predictions of trouble — possible terrorism, incomplete construction, unsold tickets and not enough snow. Well, you can take that last item off the list.

Skiers zip by on a practice run at the Rosa Khutor alpine ski course in Russia with not a cloud in the sky above them. You can't hear the skis, though, because there's a snow-making machine blasting water into the cool, dry air. It mists down onto the ground below in fine ice particles: man-made snow.

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Parallels
10:28 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

China Ends One Notorious Form Of Detention, But Keeps Others

Falun Gong practitioners watch a video at the Masanjia re-education through labor camp in northeast China's Liaoning province on May 22, 2001.
John Leicester AP

Originally published on Wed February 5, 2014 4:01 pm

After more than a half-century and the imprisonment of millions of people without trial, China officially moved to abolish its re-education through labor camp system at the end of last year.

When the Communist Party makes such sweeping policy statements, it pays to be a little skeptical. Last decade, the government abolished one detention system — and then secretly created another.

So, recently I headed out on a re-education through labor camp road trip to try to find out what the government is doing with its labor camps and what is happening to all those prisoners.

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Shots - Health News
2:44 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

Cancer Cases Rising At An Alarming Rate Worldwide

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer for men in the West, while lung and liver cancers are the top problems in Asia.
Courtesy of the World Health Organization

Originally published on Wed February 5, 2014 3:20 am

As countries modernize around the world, they're increasingly being hit with one of the curses of wealth: cancer.

There are about 14 million new cancer cases globally each year, the World Health Organization reported Monday. And the trend is only getting worse.

The global burden of cancer will grow by 70 percent over the next two decades, the WHO predicts, with an estimated 22 million new cases and 13 million deaths each year by 2032.

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It's All Politics
1:26 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

RNC Highlights Black History Month With Radio Ads

Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus is seen at the Jan. 24 RNC winter meeting in Washington. Priebus celebrates the achievements of black Republicans in a series of new radio ads designed to honor Black History Month.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Tue February 4, 2014 2:27 pm

Leaders of the Republican Party acknowledge they have a problem attracting minority voters — especially African-Americans, 93 percent of whom voted for President Obama in 2012, compared with just 6 percent for GOP nominee Mitt Romney.

That chasm is at the heart of a new initiative by the Republican National Committee during February. In its first-ever Black History Month ad campaign, the RNC has launched radio spots aimed at African-American audiences in a handful of cities: Washington, D.C.; Detroit, Cleveland and Atlanta.

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The Salt
1:12 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

When His Pit Burned Down, Southern BBQ Master Took Hogs On Tour

Pitmaster Rodney Scott seasons a roasting hog behind a barbecue restaurant in Birmingham, Ala. Scott has been touring the South with a makeshift barbecue pit to raise money to rebuild his family's cookhouse after it burned down in November.
Debbie Elliott/NPR

Originally published on Tue February 4, 2014 3:00 pm

In the tiny town of Hemingway, S.C., the Scott family has been selling barbecue out of its roadside general store for nearly a half-century. The smoky, vinegary pork has reached legendary status around the South.

So when the Scotts' wooden cookhouse went up in flames late last year, barbecue brethren cooked up a plan to get them back in business. What resulted is a part road trip, part old-fashioned barn-raising tour called Rodney Scott's Bar-B-Que in Exile Tour.

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Around the Nation
1:12 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

Spike In Heroin Use Can Be Traced To Prescription Pads

Experts say today's heroin problem can be traced back to the aggressive prescribing of opioid drugs like OxyContin about 15 years ago.
Toby Talbot AP

Originally published on Tue February 4, 2014 3:02 pm

The death of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman has brought attention to a grim reality of drug abuse in America — most notably with the increasing use of heroin.

Hoffman was found dead in his apartment on Sunday, and New York police are investigating his death as a possible drug overdose. Hoffman struggled with drug addiction throughout his career.

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The Two-Way
1:10 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

The View From Down There: FDA Approves Pill Cam For Colon Exams

Outfitted with two color cameras that run on batteries, the PillCam Colon capsule is being billed as a less invasive and less expensive option to a colonoscopy.
Given Imaging

Originally published on Wed February 5, 2014 4:43 am

Patients who undergo colon screenings might breathe a little easier now that U.S. regulators have approved a pill containing two cameras. The PillCam Colon is minimally invasive and runs on batteries, its maker says. And as you might imagine, it's disposable.

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The Two-Way
12:30 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

Obama Secures Funding To Help Connect Students To Internet

President Obama records students on a classroom iPad while visiting a seventh grade classroom before speaking about goals of connecting students to next generation broadband and wireless technology within five years on Tuesday, at Buck Lodge Middle School in Adelphi, Md.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

President Obama on Tuesday announced that technology companies had pledged $750 million in equipment and services that would help connect students to the Internet.

USA Today reports:

"Money from Apple, Microsoft, AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and other companies, combined with $2 billion from the Federal Communications Commission, will help connect up to 15,000 schools and 20 million students.

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It's All Politics
12:26 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

RNC's Priebus Insists Minority Outreach Effort Is Built To Last

Patrick Lundy and the Ministers of Music gospel choir perform Tuesday at the Republican National Committee's awards lunch at Washington's Howard Theatre.
Frank James NPR

Originally published on Wed February 5, 2014 6:56 am

Much of politics is about symbols and gestures. And there were plenty of them at the historic Howard Theatre in Washington, D.C., Tuesday.

Under Chairman Reince Priebus, the Republican National Committee vows to be much more serious about outreach to African-Americans than ever before.

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Law
12:14 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

Senate Steps Into The Data Breach Controversy

Originally published on Tue February 4, 2014 3:00 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

A top executive at the retail chain Target went to Capitol Hill today to try to explain the massive security breach that hit the company in December. Hackers stole personal information of tens of millions of Target customers during the holiday shopping season. The incident has underscored the increasing sophistication of cyber criminals and the vulnerability of big retailers. NPR's Jim Zarroli has more on the hearing.

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Business
12:14 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

It's Three's Company Now: Microsoft Names New CEO

Originally published on Tue February 4, 2014 3:00 pm

Satya Nadella is just the third CEO in Microsoft's 39-year history. He's a Microsoft insider tasked with re-energizing the company and making it more relevant in a future likely to be dominated by mobile technology. As Nadella moves into his new role, he will be supported by Bill Gates, who is stepping down as chairman to become more involved with technology development.

Health Care
12:14 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

Is Obamacare A Job Killer? New Estimates Suggest It Might Be

Originally published on Tue February 4, 2014 3:00 pm

A new front has opened in the political battle over the Affordable Care Act, with Tuesday's release of the Congressional Budget Office's annual budget and economic outlook. The economists updated an earlier estimate about how many workers would leave the workforce because they no longer needed a job to have health care coverage — revising upward from 800,000 people to over 2 million people. Republicans pounced on the higher number, and President Obama now finds himself playing defense.

Around the Nation
12:14 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

Case Sheds Light On The Murky World Of Asbestos Litigation

Companies have set aside more than $30 billion for victims of mesothelioma, a form of cancer linked to asbestos exposure, since 1980.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue February 4, 2014 3:00 pm

This is a case about a bankrupt company, legal shenanigans, and a rare type of cancer.

You may have seen TV commercials about mesothelioma, mainly caused by inhaling asbestos — minerals many companies once used in insulation and other products.

According to a 2011 report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office, companies have set aside more than $30 billion for mesothelioma victims since the 1980s. Asbestos lawsuits have played a role in about 100 companies' going bankrupt.

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World
12:14 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

Countdown To Sochi: Will The City Be Ready?

In Sochi, sporting arenas are ready to receive athletes and visitors, but some stores and hotels aren't quite finished.
Sonari Glinton NPR

Originally published on Tue February 4, 2014 3:07 pm

The Winter Games begin Thursday in Sochi, Russia.

Thousands of athletes and journalists have already converged on the city along the coast of the Black Sea, and spectators will be streaming in this week. But ahead of the games, the real race is to see if all the last-minute preparations can be completed in time.

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