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Shots - Health News
12:43 am
Sun November 24, 2013

Colorado Ads Use Sex And Alcohol To Sell Health Insurance

This controversial ad riffing off the legendary "got milk?" campaign is one of several marketing health insurance to young people in Colorado.
Thanks Obamacare campaign

Originally published on Tue November 26, 2013 8:41 am

Try this on for size: The Affordable Care Act is good for young adults because it'll save them money on health care, leaving them more to spend on liquor and birth control.

That's one way to interpret the message from a provocative new ad campaign in Colorado. Not everyone is thrilled with it.

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Parallels
12:41 am
Sun November 24, 2013

Spain Has Been In The 'Wrong' Time Zone For 7 Decades

German Chancellor Adolf Hitler, talks with Spain's Generalissimo Francisco Franco, in Hendaye, France, October 23, 1940, in Hitler's railway carriage. Later, Franco moved Spain's clocks ahead an hour to be aligned with Nazi Germany.
AP

Originally published on Sat November 30, 2013 2:31 am

It was 1940 and World War II was raging. Nazi Germany occupied Norway, Holland, Belgium, then France. Fascist Italy had already joined with Adolf Hitler. The Fuhrer wanted Spain's support next.

So on Oct. 23, 1940, Hitler took a train to the Spanish border to woo Spain's Fascist dictator, Francisco Franco.

But Spain was in ruins from its own Civil War in the late 1930s, and Franco didn't have much to offer. He stayed neutral, but switched Spain's clocks ahead one hour, to be in line with Nazi Germany.

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Business
1:07 pm
Sat November 23, 2013

What Have Mortgage Settlements Done For Homeowners Lately?

JPMorgan Chase & Co. agreed to a $13 billion settlement over faulty mortgage securities with the Justice Department on Tuesday, though it did not admit any wrongdoing.
Emmanuel Dunand AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun November 24, 2013 9:51 am

This week, JPMorgan Chase agreed to a $13 billion settlement with the Justice Department over the sale of faulty mortgage securities that led to the financial crisis. It's the largest settlement with a single company in U.S. history.

From that settlement, $4 billion must go to help the millions of families who saw the values of their homes plummet and who still struggle to keep up with mortgage payments.

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Deceptive Cadence
1:07 pm
Sat November 23, 2013

A Sound Of Fear, Forged In The Shadow Of War

Stanley Kubrick's The Shining strikes its terrifying tone with help from the Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki, whose music underscores several of its tensest scenes.
Archive Photos Getty Images

Originally published on Sun November 24, 2013 7:09 am

The Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki turned 80 on Saturday. You may think you've never heard Penderecki's music, but I'm guessing you have — because I'm guessing you've seen The Shining.

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Law
12:14 pm
Sat November 23, 2013

Examining The 'Red Flags' In A Massachusetts Crime Lab Scandal

Former state chemist Annie Dookhan, left, stands alongside her attorney on Friday. She admitted faking test results in criminal cases and was sentenced to 3-to-5 years in prison.
David L. Ryan AP

Originally published on Sat November 23, 2013 1:07 pm

Former chemist Annie Dookhan began serving a 3-to-5 year sentence in a Massachusetts prison on Friday after pleading guilty to falsifying tests of drug evidence and helping to create one of the nation's largest drug lab scandals.

Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley says the state is taking steps to improve forensic testing:

"It is certainly lessons learned," she says. "We hope that we've made changes in the system that will mean this unique case will not happen again in Massachusetts."

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Technology
12:14 pm
Sat November 23, 2013

Online Streaming Deal Could Mean All Homer Simpson, All The Time

Originally published on Sat November 23, 2013 1:07 pm

After a fierce bidding war, FX spinoff cable network FXX won the rights to make all seasons of TV's longest-running scripted show, The Simpsons, available for online streaming. It may be the largest TV syndication deal ever. Anthony Breznican, a senior writer at Entertainment Weekly, says the deal shows how networks are trying to capitalize on the "binge watching" trend. The deal gives FXX the right to air more than 500 episodes of The Simpsons, now in its 25th season on Fox.

Afghanistan
12:14 pm
Sat November 23, 2013

In Afghanistan, Tribal Elders Get A Say In Security Pact With U.S.

Originally published on Sat November 23, 2013 2:15 pm

In Afghanistan, a grand assembly of some 2,500 tribal elders, politicians and civil society elites are meeting to decide whether to approve a security agreement with the United States. Approval by the grand assembly, called a loya jirga, would be in addition to the OK of the Afghan government. But as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has noted, the agreement can't go forward without the backing of the Afghan people. The security agreement would allow as many as 9,000 U.S. troops to remain in Afghanistan after the current NATO mission ends next year.

Book Reviews
12:14 pm
Sat November 23, 2013

An Inside Look That Strips The Face Paint Off The NFL

New York Jets tight end Josh Baker celebrates after scoring a touchdown during the first quarter in the game against the New York Giants in 2011.
Julio Cortez AP

Originally published on Sat November 23, 2013 3:44 pm

Nicholas Dawidoff's Collision Low Crossers: A Year Inside the Turbulent World of NFL Football may be the best book I've ever read about football. It is certainly the most detailed account of the players inside the helmets and the coaches obscured from an enthralled public by large, laminated playsheets.

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Business
12:14 pm
Sat November 23, 2013

Electric Bus Fleet Brings Chinese Manufacturing To America

BYD's North American headquarters is located in Los Angeles. Next year, the Chinese-based auto manufacturer will roll out electric buses in LA and Long Beach.
Daniel Hajek NPR

Originally published on Sat November 23, 2013 2:15 pm

Public transit vehicles may be the key to China's success in the U.S. auto market. Chinese company BYD, based in Shenzhen, is manufacturing electric buses. It's an appealing option for a place like California, where emission standards are strict.

At BYD's North American headquarters in Los Angeles, one of the 40-foot electric K9 buses sits on display. BYD Fleet Sales Manager James Holtz sits in the driver's seat and pushes the power button on the dashboard.

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The Two-Way
11:45 am
Sat November 23, 2013

Thousands Protest Venezuelan President's Decree Powers

Venezuelan opposition leader and Miranda state governor Henrique Capriles speaks during a mass protest in Caracas on Saturday.
Leo Ramirez AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat November 23, 2013 1:29 pm

Thousands of Venezuelans hit the streets of Caracas today to protest the sweeping decree powers recently vested upon President Nicolás Maduro.

Leading the protest was opposition leader Henrique Capriles, who lost against Maduro by a razor-thin margin in April.

The Wall Street Journal reports:

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The Two-Way
10:35 am
Sat November 23, 2013

Egypt, Turkey Expel Each Others Ambassadors, Testing Ties

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan gestures the four-finger salute used by supporters of ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi on Saturday.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat November 23, 2013 1:11 pm

The relationship between Egypt and Turkey took a big hit today, when Egypt announced it was expelling the Turkish ambassador, and Turkey responded in-kind, declaring the Egyptian ambassador "persona non grata."

The AP reports:

"Saturday's decisions, which fall short of closing diplomatic missions in the two countries, are a dramatic reversal of the warming relations between the two countries over the past year.

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The Two-Way
8:50 am
Sat November 23, 2013

FCC Chief Says He's Personally Opposed To In-Flight Phone Calls

The new head of the Federal Communications Commission says his agency is reviewing restrictions on in-flight cellphone use. Here, a passenger looks at her cellphone before a flight last month.
Matt Slocum AP

Originally published on Sat November 23, 2013 9:36 am

Just a day after his agency said it was reviewing "outdated and restrictive rules" banning the use of cellphones during flights, the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission is tempering his statement.

"We understand that many passengers would prefer that voice calls not be made on airplanes," Tom Wheeler, who was confirmed for the job in late October, said in a statement on Friday. "I feel that way myself."

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The Salt
8:46 am
Sat November 23, 2013

Pepsi Pressured To Fight Big Sugar's 'Land Grab'

Tractors sit on a sugarcane plantation on the land of a Guarani-kaiowá indigenous community in Brazil.
Tatiana Cardeal Courtesy Oxfam

Originally published on Sun November 24, 2013 7:15 am

The anti-poverty group Oxfam is asking Pepsi's shareholders to approve a resolution that, if passed, would force the company to disclose its sugar suppliers and investigate whether those suppliers are implicated in "land grabs" that unfairly take land from the poor.

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National Security
8:45 am
Sat November 23, 2013

Want A File From The NSA? You Can Ask, But You Might Not Get It

Protesters march on Oct. 26 to demand that the Congress investigate the National Security Agency's mass surveillance programs. Legally, the NSA can respond to many records requests from citizens with a non-committal answer.
Jose Luis Magana AP

Since former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden leaked classified information about the agency's intelligence-gathering activities last summer, the NSA has been bombarded with requests for its records.

USA Today this week said the agency received more than 2,500 requests for records from July to September, compared to about 250 from January to March.

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The Two-Way
7:25 am
Sat November 23, 2013

Miami-Area Police Force Accused Of Rampant Racial Profiling

Originally published on Sat November 23, 2013 9:25 am

Based on witness interviews, public records and surveillance video, The Miami Herald dropped a stunning story on Friday: It alleges that for years, the Miami Gardens Police Department has racially profiled the clients and employees of a convenience store in the Miami-area city.

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The Two-Way
5:40 am
Sat November 23, 2013

In Pakistan, Thousands Protest Against U.S. Drone Strikes

Thousands of Pakistani activists from right-wing political parties protested against U.S. drone strikes on Saturday.
A Majeed AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat November 23, 2013 9:48 am

Thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of Pakistan to protest U.S. drone strikes inside their country.

Reporting from Islamabad, NPR's Philip Reeves reports protesters blocked an important road used to carry supplies to NATO troops in Afghanistan. Philip filed this report for our Newscast unit:

"Some 10,000 people turned out, brandishing flags and chanting slogans.

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The Two-Way
4:05 am
Sat November 23, 2013

Duke Energy Pleads Guilty Over Eagle Deaths At Wind Farms

A golden eagle is seen flying over a wind turbine on Duke Energy's Top of the World wind farm in Converse County, Wyo.
Dina Cappiello AP

Originally published on Sat November 23, 2013 9:30 am

In a settlement reached with the Department of Justice, Duke Energy Renewables pleaded guilty in the deaths of 14 golden eagles and 149 other migratory birds at two of its wind energy facilities in Wyoming.

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The Two-Way
3:05 am
Sat November 23, 2013

John Kerry Joins Iran Nuclear Talks In Geneva

Secretary of State John Kerry arrives at the Geneva International airport in Geneva, Switzerland, on Saturday.
Denis Balibouse AP

Originally published on Sat November 23, 2013 9:22 am

Once again raising expectations that a deal over Iran's nuclear program is at hand, Secretary of State John Kerry joined the foreign ministers of the U.K., Russia, China, France and Germany in Geneva to try to hammer out an agreement that would curb Iran's nuclear work in exchange for the loosening of some sanctions.

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Parallels
2:35 am
Sat November 23, 2013

Once Victims Of Stalin, Ukraine's Tatars Reassert Themselves

A Crimean Tatar man cries at a mass rally held in Simfropol, Ukraine, on May 18, 2004, the 60th anniversary of the deportation of Tatars from Crimea.
Sergei Supinsky AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat November 23, 2013 6:18 am

In 1944, on the orders of Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin, the entire population of Tatars on the Crimean Peninsula was rounded up and sent to the deserts of Soviet Central Asia.

Nearly 70 years after that wartime atrocity, the Tatar population is still working to reassert itself in its homeland.

Mullah Ziyatdin, 82, was just 12 when he and his family were rousted in the middle of the night, ordered to gather a few belongings and shoved into freight cars for a nightmarish three-week journey. The freight-car doors were opened every few days.

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Politics
2:35 am
Sat November 23, 2013

Stumping For GOP Governors, Chris Christie Gets His Own Boost

In his role as chairman of the RGA, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will crisscross the country giving stump speeches and fundraisers.
Ralph Freso AP

Originally published on Sat November 23, 2013 3:30 pm

It's good to be Chris Christie these days.

Just a few weeks after his landslide re-election victory, the New Jersey governor won a second election this week: chairman of the Republican Governors Association.

The RGA chair is a largely ceremonial role, but in it, Christie will travel the country campaigning for other Republicans in gubernatorial races in 2014, a job that many see as groundwork for a potential White House run.

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NPR Story
2:35 am
Sat November 23, 2013

Trail Blazers Stretch Winning Streak To Nine

Originally published on Sat November 23, 2013 6:18 am

Portland's NBA team is riding a hot streak. Host Scott Simon talks with NPR's Tom Goldman about the Trail Blazers, a new champion in chess, and how John F. Kennedy's assassination set a precedent for how sports commissioners handle cancelling games after tragedies.

NPR Story
2:35 am
Sat November 23, 2013

Rivals Help Level Playing Field For Tornado-Shattered Team

A Panther Pride sign cheers Washington High School's undefeated football team amid debris from last week's tornado.
Anthony Souffle MCT /Landov

Originally published on Sat November 23, 2013 6:31 am

Competition and compassion meet on the field in Springfield, Ill., Saturday, when two central Illinois high school football teams face off for a spot in the state championship. One team is a perennial powerhouse, but the other is from a town that was all but leveled by a tornado.

Last week, linebacker Kevin Scott and the rest of the Washington Community High School Panthers were celebrating. They'd just made school history with a 12-0 record, capped off with a Saturday win that sent them to the semi-finals.

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NPR Story
2:35 am
Sat November 23, 2013

JFK Had The Wit To Lampoon Himself

Originally published on Sat November 23, 2013 6:18 am

Host Scott Simon looks back at the witticisms of President John F. Kennedy, with a little help from late night TV host and comedian Conan O'Brien.

Television
12:25 am
Sat November 23, 2013

Sarah Silverman, Serving Up Sinfully Divine Comedy

told Terry Gross in 2010, "there's a safety in what I do because I'm always the idiot. ... I'm always the ignoramus no matter what I talk about or what tragic event, off-color, dark scenario is evoked in my material."" href="/post/sarah-silverman-serving-sinfully-divine-comedy" class="noexit lightbox">
Nothing's sacred in We Are Miracles — but then as Sarah Silverman told Terry Gross in 2010, "there's a safety in what I do because I'm always the idiot. ... I'm always the ignoramus no matter what I talk about or what tragic event, off-color, dark scenario is evoked in my material."
Janet Van Ham HBO

Originally published on Sat November 23, 2013 6:18 am

Sarah Silverman is funny — sweet, bawdy, innocent, outrageous, Emmy-winning, milk-through-your-nose funny. And her new comedy special, We are Miracles, debuts tonight on HBO.

Performing in front of a live audience, the comedian takes on religion, pornography, childhood, politics and stereotypes, and no one's left standing. (No really: One punchline involves Hitler being assigned "Heil Marys" as penance.)

Silverman tells NPR's Scott Simon that she thinks good comedy comes from "some kind of childhood humiliation or darkness."

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The Protojournalist
12:24 am
Sat November 23, 2013

Project Xpat: Thanksgiving In Faraway Lands

Evy Gedlinske, last Thanksgiving.
Michelle Lin

Originally published on Sun November 24, 2013 6:29 am

For many Americans, the Thanksgiving holiday – with its site-specific sounds, smells, tastes, colors and rituals – is a meaningful, memory-making must-do kind of thing.

Even – maybe, especially – for those Americans living in other countries.

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The Salt
12:23 am
Sat November 23, 2013

Time To Mix Up The Manischewitz Turkey Brine For Thanksgivukkah

Manischewitz-brined turkey centers the Thanksgivukkah feast, surrounded by challah-apple stuffing, sweet potato bourbon noodle kugel, horseradish-spiked mashed potatoes, brussels sprouts with pastrami and pickled onions, and latkes with cranberry applesauce.
Macey J. Foronda for BuzzFeed

Originally published on Sat November 23, 2013 6:35 am

You may have heard that this Thursday isn't just Thanksgiving — it's also the holiday of Hanukkah. It's a once-in-a-lifetime convergence people are calling Thanksgivukkah. Which naturally raises two questions: How did this happen? And, more importantly, what do we cook for Thanksgivukkah dinner?

For more on the math of Thanksgivukkah, listen to my story on Weekend Edition. For more on the food, read on.

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Television
11:21 pm
Fri November 22, 2013

Allons-y! Why We've Been Traveling With 'Doctor Who' For 50 Years

Jenna Coleman plays Clara, companion to Eleventh Doctor Matt Smith. The relationship between the Doctor and his companions is at the core of Doctor Who's long-lived appeal.
Adrian Rogers/BBC

Originally published on Sat November 23, 2013 6:18 am

This afternoon, millions of fez-wearing fans around the world will tune in to a very special episode of Doctor Who. The venerable British sci-fi series turns 50 today — though the time traveling alien Doctor himself is probably somewhere on the wrong side of 1,000.

From scrappy, low-budget beginnings (bubble-wrap monsters, anyone?), Doctor Who has become a global phenomenon. Only soap operas can match it for longevity and popularity. So what's the secret to the Doctor's appeal?

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Code Switch
1:30 pm
Fri November 22, 2013

Rev. T.J. Jemison Remembered As Civil Rights Movement Pioneer

The Rev. T.J. Jemison escorts Mary Briscoe (left) and Sandra Ann Jones from jail in Baton Rouge, La., on April 4, 1960. The two had been in jail as a result of lunch counter sit-ins.
AP

Originally published on Fri November 22, 2013 2:21 pm

The state of Louisiana is paying tribute Friday to the Rev. T.J. Jemison, a strong and steady voice against unequal treatment for blacks in the Jim Crow South.

Jemison's body lay in repose at the Louisiana State Capitol in Baton Rouge, where Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., said he will be remembered as one of the greats of the civil rights movement.

"He had such a heart and courage for justice," Landrieu said. "There are very few people in our state that will rise to that level of influence, and it is very appropriate that our Capitol was opened up for him today."

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The Salt
1:06 pm
Fri November 22, 2013

Ancient Wine Bar? Giant Jugs Of Vino Unearthed In 3,700-Year-Old Cellar

Graduate student Zach Dunseth carefully excavates wine jugs found in the ruins of a Canaanite palace that dates back to about 1700 B.C.
Eric H. Cline Courtesy of Eric H. Cline/George Washington University

Originally published on Tue November 26, 2013 11:06 am

It looks like our ancestors from the Bronze Age were way bigger lushes than we had ever realized.

Archaeologists have discovered a personal wine cellar in a palace that dates back to 1700 B.C. It's the oldest cellar known, and the personal stash was massive.

More than 500 gallons of wine were once stored in a room connected to the palace, located in modern-day northern Israel, scientists said Friday at a conference in Baltimore. That's enough vino to fill 3,000 wine bottles — or a seven-person hot tub.

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All Tech Considered
12:57 pm
Fri November 22, 2013

Hard-Core And Casual Gamers Play In Different Worlds

Kelly Kelley, who goes by the gaming pseudonym MrsViolence, streams her play nightly for her many fans to watch.
Twitch.TV screenshot

Originally published on Fri November 29, 2013 1:49 pm

This holiday season, the video game industry is looking to reignite sales as two game titans, Sony and Microsoft, launch the next generation of game consoles.

Their target demographic is the group of dedicated players known as hard-core gamers. Dive into the wide world of video game culture on YouTube and you'll hear that term being thrown about.

So what exactly is a hard-core gamer?

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