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The Salt
10:27 pm
Sun August 4, 2013

Ecologists Turn To Planned Grazing To Revive Grassland Soil

Fox Ranch, outside Yuma County, Colo., is a 14,000-acre nature preserve and working commercial cattle ranch. The ranch is used by the Nature Conservancy to put into practice its panned grazing technique.
Luke Runyon Harvest Public Media

Originally published on Wed August 7, 2013 11:24 am

The world's soil is in trouble. Ecologists say without dramatic changes to how we manage land, vast swathes of grassland are at risk of turning into hard-packed desert. To make sure that doesn't happen, researchers are testing out innovative ways to keep moisture in the soil.

In eastern Colorado, one way could be in the plodding hooves of cattle.

Conventional wisdom tells you that if ranchland ground has less grass, the problem is too many cows. But that's not always the case. It depends on how you manage them, if you make sure they keep moving.

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Shots - Health News
10:25 pm
Sun August 4, 2013

When Treating Abnormal Breast Cells, Sometimes Less Is More

Sally O'Neill decided to have a double mastectomy rather than "do a wait-and-see."
Richard Knox NPR

Originally published on Tue August 6, 2013 6:39 am

When Sally O'Neill's doctor told her she had an early form of cancer in one of her breasts, she didn't agonize about what she wanted to.

The 42-year-old mother of two young girls wanted a double mastectomy.

"I decided at that moment that I wanted them both taken off," says O'Neill, who lives in a suburb of Boston. "There wasn't a real lot of thought process to it. I always thought, 'If this happens to me, this is what I'm going to do.' Because I'm not taking any chances. I want the best possible outcome. I don't want to do a wait-and-see."

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The Race Card Project: Six-Word Essays
10:24 pm
Sun August 4, 2013

To Join '63 March On Washington: 'Like Climbing A Mountain'

A newspaper clipping from The Cincinnati Herald on Sept. 14, 1963, included a picture of Jack Hansan and other members of the Cincinnati delegation.
Courtesy of Jack Hansan

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 4:49 am

For the Month of August, Morning Edition and The Race Card Project are looking back at a seminal moment in civil rights history: The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, where the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., delivered his iconic "I Have A Dream Speech" on Aug. 28, 1963. Approximately 250,000 people descended on the nation's capitol from all over the country for the mass demonstration.

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Space
10:22 pm
Sun August 4, 2013

A Year On Mars: What's Curiosity Been Up To?

This self-portrait of NASA's Mars rover Curiosity combines dozens of exposures taken by the rover's Mars Hand Lens Imager during the 177th Martian day, or sol, of Curiosity's work on Mars, plus three exposures taken during Sol 270 to update the appearance of part of the ground beside the rover.
NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Originally published on Mon August 5, 2013 5:55 am

Imagine winning the World Series, the lottery and a Nobel Prize all in one day. That's pretty much how scientists and engineers in mission control at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., felt one year ago when the 1 ton, six-wheeled rover named Curiosity landed safely on Mars.

Within minutes, the rover began sending pictures back to Earth. In the past year it has sent back a mountain of data and pictures that scientists are sorting through, trying to get a better understanding of the early climate on Mars.

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The Two-Way
9:56 pm
Sun August 4, 2013

Calif. Gov. Brown Intervenes, BART Strike Averted For Now

A Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) train sits in the Rockridge station on Friday in Oakland, Calif. San Francisco Bay Area commuters were bracing for the possibility of a BART strike as a 30-day contract extension was set to expire Sunday at midnight.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Mon August 5, 2013 4:35 am

Commuters can rest a little easier — another threatened strike at the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit system has been avoided, at least temporarily.

California Gov. Jerry Brown has appointed a board of investigators to look into the contract dispute that had threatened to shut down the system.

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Education
1:38 pm
Sun August 4, 2013

Missed Summer Learning Spells Out Long-Term Struggles

A researcher at Johns Hopkins University says there are serious setbacks for children without summer educational opportunities, known as the "summer slide."
iStockphoto

Originally published on Sun August 4, 2013 2:52 pm

At first glance, Horizons looks like an ordinary summer getaway for kids: There are games, bonding time and lots of bagged snacks. But along with the songs and the pool, there are fractions to memorize and online grammar quizzes to take.

An affiliate of a national network, the program in Washington, D.C., is a six-week, free summer service for children from low-income families. Its purpose is simple: to make sure they don't fall behind in school by the time September rolls around.

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Law
12:06 pm
Sun August 4, 2013

U.S. Teen Is Youngest Ever To Pass Britain's Bar Exams

At 18, Gabrielle Turnquest is the youngest person in the history of the English legal system to be admitted to the bar.
Neil Hall Courtesy The University of Law

Originally published on Sun August 4, 2013 1:38 pm

At 18 years old, Gabrielle Turnquest has become the youngest person to pass Britain's bar exams.

The Florida native told NPR's Jackie Lyden her family influenced her decision to study law in the United Kingdom. Her mother had studied in the U.K. and she joined an older sister who was also studying law.

She graduated from college early, too — at 16, she was the youngest person to ever get a psychology degree from Liberty University in Virginia.

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Remembrances
12:06 pm
Sun August 4, 2013

In His Own Words: Remembering Poet Robert Hayden

Originally published on Sun August 4, 2013 1:38 pm

Robert Hayden was born in Detroit 100 years ago Sunday. He became the first African-American to receive the honor now known as "poet laureate." Among his most famous works is the collection of short poems called Elegies for Paradise Valley. We hear an excerpt from the collection, as read by the author in 1976.

Author Interviews
11:38 am
Sun August 4, 2013

Charles Manson: Master Manipulator, Even As A Child

Originally published on Sun August 4, 2013 1:38 pm

In the summer of 1969, all eyes were on Los Angeles, where nine people had been murdered. Among the dead was Sharon Tate, a movie star and wife of movie director Roman Polanski. Police said a cult called "The Family" was responsible.

The leader of The Family was the charismatic, ruthless and manipulative Charles Manson. America was captivated by him, and by the young women who, under his spell, had snuck into two houses in Los Angeles to murder people they had never met. The trial was nationally broadcast, and Manson became a household name.

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The Two-Way
10:14 am
Sun August 4, 2013

Aaaannnd The 12th Doctor Who Is ...

Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 6:50 am

The bookies called it; the 12th Doctor is Peter Capaldi.

The actor was introduced during a live broadcast on the BBC Sunday. He'll be the next in a long line of actors to play the quirky Doctor since the beloved British sci-fi show began back in the 60s.

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The Two-Way
9:26 am
Sun August 4, 2013

Australian PM Calls September Elections

Australia's Prime Minister Kevin Rudd addresses the media in Canberra after calling Sunday for a general election in September.
AFP/Getty Images

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has called elections for Sept. 7, setting the stage for a parliamentary contest that he says will determine the future of the country's economy.

Rudd's challenge comes just six weeks after he wrested control of the Labor Party from Prime Minister Julia Gillard. He faces stiff competition from conservative opponent Tony Abbott.

But as The Associated Press reports:

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History
9:10 am
Sun August 4, 2013

Museum Tries To Save The Plant Where Rosie Riveted

The former Willow Run Assembly Plant, in Ypsilanti Township about 40 miles west of Detroit, is where Rosie the Riveter worked during World War II.
Paul Sancya AP

Originally published on Sun August 4, 2013 1:38 pm

The historic Michigan factory where the iconic Rosie the Riveter and thousands of other women built B-24 bombers during World War II could face the wrecking ball two months from now.

A modest nonprofit is trying to raise enough money to salvage some of the massive plant, which Ford sold to General Motors after the war. The Yankee Air Museum figures the factory is the perfect place to start anew, after a devastating fire destroyed its collections in 2004.

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The Two-Way
8:05 am
Sun August 4, 2013

Talking Robot Astronaut Heads To International Space Station

Kirobo, a small talking humanoid robot, is unveiled by a team of Japanese researchers in Tokyo on June 26.
Kyodo /Landov

Originally published on Sun August 4, 2013 8:16 am

HAL 9000 he's not. But Kirobo, the first-ever talking robot in space is heading to the International Space Station this week ahead of his human companion, Japanese astronaut Kochi Wakata, who takes over as ISS commander in November.

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National Security
6:33 am
Sun August 4, 2013

Snowden Case Illustrates Decline In U.S.-Russia Relations

President Obama met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Northern Ireland in June.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Sun August 4, 2013 1:38 pm

U.S.-Russia relations hit a new low this week, when Moscow ignored U.S. requests and gave temporary asylum to a man who leaked classified documents on U.S. government surveillance programs.

Many in Congress are complaining that the Edward Snowden case is just the latest example of how the Kremlin is thumbing its nose at the White House.

The Obama administration famously reset relations with Russia when Dmitry Medvedev was president. But now that Russian President Vladimir Putin is back in the Kremlin, it seems to be having a more difficult time.

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The Two-Way
6:32 am
Sun August 4, 2013

FBI Official: Internet A Key Recruiting Tool For Sex Traffickers

Ron Hosko, assistant director of the FBI's Criminal Investigative Division, speaks during a news conference at FBI headquarters in Washington on Monday.
Evan Vucci Associated Press

Originally published on Sun August 4, 2013 8:49 am

  • Hear the full interview with FBI's Ron Hosko on "Weekend Edition"

Ron Hosko, the assistant director of the FBI's Criminal Investigative Division, tells NPR's Weekend Edition Sunday that the Internet has become a key tool for recruitment of child prostitutes and that cutbacks at the federal and local levels have made it harder to clamp down on the problem.

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The Two-Way
4:52 am
Sun August 4, 2013

One Dead After Driver Plows Through Crowded L.A. Boardwalk

Police and fire officials respond after a car drove through a packed afternoon crowd along the Venice Beach boardwalk in Los Angeles on Saturday.
Maarten Smitskamp ASSOCIATED PRESS

Originally published on Mon August 5, 2013 2:31 am

A speeding car plowed through a crowd at Los Angeles' popular Venice Beach boardwalk, killing one person and injuring 11 others before he fled the scene. The driver apparently surrendered to police later.

The Associated Press reports that security video shows the driver of the black Dodge initially parked his car along the boardwalk on Saturday, and then minutes later got back in the vehicle and sped through the crowd. Hundreds of pedestrians were sent scrambling.

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The Two-Way
4:14 am
Sun August 4, 2013

State Department Extends Closure Of Embassies

An American flag flies over the U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem on Sunday.
Lior Mizrahi Getty Images

Originally published on Sun August 4, 2013 11:46 am

Update At 4:40 p.m. ET:

State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki says Sunday that the embassy and consulate closures will be extended:

In a statement, Psaki says the decision was taken "out of an abundance of caution" and the it was "not an indication of a new threat stream, merely an indication of our commitment to exercise caution ... to protect our employees."

The statement says:

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The Two-Way
3:21 am
Sun August 4, 2013

Iran's New President: U.S. Wants 'Excuse' To Confront Tehran

Iran's new President Hassan Rowhani sits next to the national flag on his first official day in office in Tehran on Saturday.
Atta Kenare AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun August 4, 2013 6:42 am

Hassan Rouhani, Iran's newly elected president, is being sworn-in on Sunday, succeeding the controversial Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, whose focus on the country's nuclear program proved a constant source of tension with the West.

Rouhani, 64, is viewed as a moderate and has pledged greater openness on the country's nuclear program. However, the former chief nuclear negotiator for Tehran appeared late Saturday to be reading from the same script as his predecessor:

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Music Interviews
12:39 am
Sun August 4, 2013

Violinist Amanda Shires Picks Up The Pieces

Amanda Shires' new album is called Down Fell the Doves.
Jimmy Collins Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun August 4, 2013 1:38 pm

When country violinist Amanda Shires goes on tour, she meets a lot of interesting people. Once after a show in Tampa, Florida, a fellow calling himself Tiger Bill handed her a mysterious bag — whose contents, he said, would make her "bulletproof."

"And I opened it and looked inside of it," Shires recalls. "And it was whiskers and claws and teeth and fur."

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The Two-Way
12:16 am
Sun August 4, 2013

U.S. Men's Soccer Is On A Roll — All The Way To Rio?

Members of the U.S. men's soccer team take a lap around the field after beating Panama 1-0 to capture the CONCACAF Gold Cup on Sunday in Chicago.
Jonathan Daniel Getty Images

Originally published on Sun August 4, 2013 9:55 am

At the beginning of 2013 — with only a year before soccer's crown jewel event, the World Cup in Brazil — all was not rosy with the U.S. Men's National Soccer Team. There was that 0-0 tie with Canada, and then a 2-1 loss to Honduras in a World Cup qualifier.

But now, the cry is, "Break up the Americans!"

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All Tech Considered
11:44 pm
Sat August 3, 2013

Digital Seen Surpassing TV In Capturing Our Time

A study shows digital media consumption will surpass TV viewing for the first time this year.
iStockphoto.com

It's finally happening, folks. This year, the average time Americans spend with digital media each day will surpass traditional TV viewing time. That's according to eMarketer's latest estimate of media consumption among adults.

The average adult will spend more than five hours per day online and on non-voice mobile activities (read: texting, apps, games). That's compared to an average four hours and 31 minutes each day of TV watching.

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Afghanistan
10:58 pm
Sat August 3, 2013

Regimental Combat Team 7 Rolls Up Its Flag In Afghanistan

Regimental Combat Team 7 cases its flag during their mission's closing ceremony in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.
Sean Carberry NPR

Originally published on Sun August 4, 2013 9:42 am

At the peak of fighting in Afghanistan's Helmand Province, there were 20,000 Marines battling the Taliban. Now there are 8,000 — and more are heading home every month.

Among the latest to pack up was Regimental Combat Team 7.

At their mission's recent closing ceremony, several hundred Marines gathered in the scorching desert heat at Camp Leatherneck in Helmand Province. Their tan, pixelated fatigues blended in amidst the vast expanse of sand-colored tents and buildings of the largest Marine base in Afghanistan.

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U.S.
1:51 pm
Sat August 3, 2013

Online And Anonymous: New Challenges To Prosecuting Sex Trafficking

John Ryan, CEO of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, speaks during a press conference about a child sex trafficking operation on Monday in Washington.
Brendan Smialows AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun August 4, 2013 8:50 am

Monday, the FBI announced the success of a three-day, multicity child sex trafficking operation. The seventh and largest of its kind, the raid recovered 106 teenagers and arrested 152 pimps. Aged 13 to 17, almost all of the young people found were girls.

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Arts & Life
1:21 pm
Sat August 3, 2013

Bespoke Suits And Perfect Cravats At 'Dandy' Exhibit

Sartorial Anarchy #5, 2012. Ike Ude, photographer. In his Sartorial Anarchy self-portraits, New York-based Nigerian-born artist Ike Ude creates composite images of the dandy across geography and chronology. Ude photographs himself in disparate ensembles, pairing, for example, a copy of an 18th-century Macaroni wig with other carefully selected vintage garments and reproductions.
Courtesy of Leila Heller Gallery Ike Ude

Originally published on Sun August 4, 2013 5:43 am

When you hear the word dandy, what do you think of?

Maybe the song "Yankee Doodle Dandy," which dates all the way back to the Revolutionary War, and compares the colonists to foppish, effeminate idiots: the dandies.

But a summer exhibit at the Rhode Island School of Design Museum, closing Aug. 18, aims to reclaim the term. It explores dandyism through the ages, linking to the cutting edge of men's fashion and style. The name of the show is "Artist, Rebel, Dandy: Men of Fashion" — which does still leave you wondering what you might see.

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Movie Interviews
1:21 pm
Sat August 3, 2013

Robert Klein And The Golden Age Of Comedy

Robert Klein
International Film Circuit

Originally published on Sat August 3, 2013 1:29 pm

When Robert Klein was a busboy in the Catskills, he saw the best Jewish comedians of the day. From Rodney Dangerfield and Mel Brooks, to comedy in its modern form, Klein was there to see the evolution of what makes us laugh. It made him the perfect person to narrate the documentary that opened this week in New York City, When Comedy Went to School. It's a look back at how many famous comedians got their start by spending their summers in the Catskill Mountains of upstate New York.

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Music
12:39 pm
Sat August 3, 2013

The Biggest Thing Out Of Thailand: An Elephant Orchestra

Thai Elephant Orchestra co-founder David Sulzer (bottom center, in red) poses with the animals and their mahouts, or keepers.
Jerry Alexander Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 10:01 am

The Thai Elephant Orchestra is, remarkably, just what it sounds like. At a conservation center in Thailand, made for former work animals with nowhere to go, a group of elephants has been assembled and trained to play enormous percussion instruments, holding mallets in their trunks and sometimes trumpeting along.

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NPR Story
12:20 pm
Sat August 3, 2013

Preserving African-American Cemeteries

Originally published on Sat August 3, 2013 1:29 pm

Under a popular park in Washington, D.C., there is a 19th century burial ground that was once the largest African-American cemetery in the city. Advocates want to protect the park from further development and create space for a memorial. But how many other such burial grounds are in similar straits, and how have others solved the problem of co-existing with development and gentrification?

Sports
12:06 pm
Sat August 3, 2013

How Major League Baseball Alleviated Its Broken Bat Problem

Yasiel Puig of the Los Angeles Dodgers breaks his bat on a single to right field during a game in June. The rate of such breaks has been cut in half since 2008.
Victor Decolongon Getty Images

Originally published on Sat August 3, 2013 1:29 pm

Back in 2008, Major League Baseball had a problem with broken bats. That season, bats were breaking into multiple pieces at a higher rate than ever before: around once per game.

The problem coincided with a surge in the popularity of maple bats over the traditional ash.

A bat that simply cracks isn't too big a deal. But in 2008, maple bats kept breaking apart. Often, they'd break along the handle, sending the heavier upper barrel of the bat flying.

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Research News
11:22 am
Sat August 3, 2013

Worms' Bright Blue Death Could Shed Light On Human Aging

A nematode worm glows as it nears death in this screenshot from a YouTube video showing the work of researchers in London.
Wellcome Trust YouTube

Originally published on Sat August 3, 2013 2:50 pm

Last year, researchers at University College London's Institute of Healthy Ageing were looking through their microscopes when they saw something amazing.

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The Two-Way
9:23 am
Sat August 3, 2013

Mugabe Declared Winner In Zimbabwe's Presidential Poll

Zimbabwe's longtime President Robert Mugabe has been declared the winner in elections that give him another five-year term. He's shown here at a July 30 news conference.
Tsvanigirayi Mukwazhi AP

Originally published on Sat August 3, 2013 10:06 am

Zimbabwe's longtime President Robert Mugabe has been declared the winner in elections that give him another five-year term. But the opposition says the vote was rigged.

Mugabe won by 61 percent, with his main challenger, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, trailing far behind in the official results from the July 31 vote. Mugabe's party, the Zimbabwe African National Union, also managed a comfortable win in parliamentary elections.

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