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Shots - Health News
9:51 am
Thu February 7, 2013

Botulism From 'Pruno' Hits Arizona Prison

If you must make pruno, avoid potatoes.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon February 11, 2013 12:10 pm

Well, it has happened again. Twice.

Inmates at a maximum security prison in Arizona were stricken with botulism after consuming homemade hooch that's called "pruno" inside the big house.

Eight inmates wound up in the hospital in November after drinking the stuff. In August, four prisoners at the same facility were hospitalized.

The symptoms of botulism include blurred vision, dry mouth and difficulty swallowing and breathing.

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The Two-Way
9:14 am
Thu February 7, 2013

Oh, Poop! Animal Shelter May Still Need More Newspapers

A dog eagerly awaits adoption in an animal shelter.
iStockphoto.com

When San Francisco's Animal Care & Control put out the word last month that it needed more newspapers to line the cages for dogs that have to take care of business, the city's library system stepped up to help.

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The Two-Way
9:08 am
Thu February 7, 2013

NTSB Says Regulators Should Reconsider Approval Of Dreamliner Battery

Pieces of damaged electrode coils from a battery cell that resulted in a fire aboard a Japan Airlines Boeing 787 Dreamliner airplane at Logan International Airport in Boston.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 9:26 am

The head of National Transportation Safety Board said today that the FAA should reconsider their approval of the Dreamliner's lithium-ion battery.

Essentially, the NTSB Chairman Deborah Hersman said during a news conference, what Boeing told the FAA about the risks involving the battery have proved different in practice.

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The Two-Way
8:07 am
Thu February 7, 2013

Poll: 9 In 10 Americans Support Background Check For All Gun Sales

A photo illustration showing a Remington 20-gauge semi-automatic shotgun, a Colt AR-15 semi-automatic rifle, a Colt .45 semi-auto handgun, a Walther PK380 semi-auto handgun and various ammunition clips with a copy of the US Constitution on top of the American flag.
Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

A new Quinnipiac University poll finds Americans overwhelmingly support background checks on all gun sales.

The poll found that 92 percent of Americans support the checks, while 7 percent oppose them.

Quinnipiac also found that 52 percent support stricter gun laws and 56 percent support "a ban on the sale of assault weapons."

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The Two-Way
8:05 am
Thu February 7, 2013

NFL's Gregg Williams, Who Orchestrated Bounty Program, Is Reinstated

Gregg Williams, then a coach with the New Orleans Saints, in August 2011.
Bill Haber AP

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 5:16 pm

Less than a year after orchestrating a bounty program in Saint Louis, Gregg Williams will be back in the NFL next season. The Tennessee Titans have hired the former Saints defensive coordinator as a senior assistant coach.

Back in May of last year, Williams was suspended indefinitely for being part of a scheme in which he set up cash rewards for hits that knocked opponents out of games.

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The Two-Way
7:51 am
Thu February 7, 2013

Makeup Artist Who Created Yoda Dies; Stuart Freeborn Was 98

One of makeup artist Stuart Freeborn's best-known characters, Yoda.
Tim Whitby Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 12:28 pm

The makeup artist who gave Star Wars' Yoda and Chewbacca their out-of-this-world looks, and helped bring to life other memorable characters such as the apes in 2001: A Space Odyssey, has died.

Stuart Freeborn was 98. According to The Associated Press, his granddaughter Michelle Freeborn "said he died Tuesday in London from a combination of ailments due to his age."

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The Two-Way
7:44 am
Thu February 7, 2013

What Nations Were The Most Forward-Looking In 2012?

The Future Orientation index shows a strong correlation between Internet activity and its gross domestic product. Countries in blue are deemed forward-looking.
Suzy Moat and Tobias Preis

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 5:16 pm

Germany was the world's most future-oriented country in 2012, followed by Switzerland and Japan, according to the "Future Orientation Index." Researchers found that in Germany and 10 nations last year, more people used Google to search for "2013" than for "2011."

The 11 countries represent a gain over 2011, when only seven countries had as many searches for the upcoming year as for the prior one.

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The Salt
7:09 am
Thu February 7, 2013

Chain Restaurants Boost Sales With Lower-Calorie Foods

Ordering the small fries? You're part of a trend.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 9:54 am

Lower-calorie foods are driving growth and profits for chain restaurants, according to fresh research, suggesting that people are making smarter choices when it comes to burgers and fries.

We're still ordering the burger and fries, mind you. But we're going for smaller portions and shunning sugary drinks. French fry sales dropped about 2 percent from 2006 to 2011, while sales of lower-calorie beverages rose 10 percent, the study found.

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Around the Nation
6:56 am
Thu February 7, 2013

Ending Saturday Delivery, End Of The Post Office?

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 10:28 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Yesterday we told you about how middle class paychecks are feeling the pinch right now for a number of reasons - healthcare co-pays and premiums, rising gas prices, among other reasons. Today we want to tell you who is doing well. And we'll tell you that conversation in just a few minutes.

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The Salt
5:57 am
Thu February 7, 2013

Why Lebanese Love Their Raw Kibbeh

Kibbeh nayeh, a dish that combines raw meat, bulgur and onion, is "the definitive Lebanese festive food," says Kamal Mouzawak, founder of Beirut's first organic farmers market.
Maureen Abood

Growing up, I never knew I was eating raw meat. Or maybe it was just that I didn't think "raw" was something worth noting. I simply knew that kibbeh nayeh was incredibly good.

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Shots - Health News
5:06 am
Thu February 7, 2013

Despite Rocky Economy, Money For Global Health Remains Solid

After going through a huge growth spurt, money for global health has plateaued recently. The U.S. government remains the biggest donor, but private charities like the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have boosted donations.
Courtesy of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation

Given the world's economic troubles, you'd probably expect money to fight HIV and other illnesses around the world to have plummeted in the past few years.

But foreign aid for global health held steady in 2011 and 2012, hovering right around $28 billion a year, a report published Wednesday finds.

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The Two-Way
5:02 am
Thu February 7, 2013

At Prayer Breakfast, Obama Urges 'Humility'

President Obama speaking at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C., on Thursday.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Speaking at his fifth National Prayer Breakfast since taking office, President Obama said Thursday morning that the annual gatherings are always "wonderful." But he worries, Obama told the lawmakers and clergy gathered in Washington, D.C., that "as soon as we leave the prayer breakfast, everything we've been talking about the whole time at the prayer breakfast is forgotten ... on the same day as the prayer breakfast."

"It's like we didn't pray," he added.

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The Two-Way
4:32 am
Thu February 7, 2013

'Massive Manhunt' In Los Angeles For Ex-Cop Suspected In Killings

Christopher Jordan Dorner. He's the suspect in two murders and the shooting of three police officers, one of whom has died. A manhunt is under way in and around Los Angeles.
Irving Calif. Police Department

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 2:03 pm

A former Los Angeles police officer is the focus of a "massive manhunt" under way in that city because he's a suspect in a double murder last weekend and the shooting of three police officers early Thursday.

One of those officers has died.

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The Two-Way
3:59 am
Thu February 7, 2013

Minnesota's Moose Mystery: What's Killing Them?

On an April 2010 canoe trip to Knife Lake, Minn., Steve Piragis of Ely, Minn. was greeted by this bull moose. (Indentations on the moose's head indicated that he had shed his antlers.)
Sam Cook Courtesy of Duluth News Tribune

Originally published on Mon February 11, 2013 12:22 pm

In northeastern Minnesota, moose are dying at an alarming rate and state officials are having difficulty determining why.

And though hunters are not part of the problem, the state announced Wednesday that there will be no moose hunting season this coming fall.

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The Two-Way
3:57 am
Thu February 7, 2013

366,000 New Claims For Jobless Benefits, Down Only Slightly

There were 366,000 first-time clams for unemployment insurance last week, down just 5,000 from the week before, the Employment and Training Administration reports.

Of note: that number from the previous week — 371,000 — is an upward revision. A week ago, the agency estimated there had been 368,000 claims over that period.

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The Two-Way
3:08 am
Thu February 7, 2013

Book News: Anne Of Green Gables Gets A Bad Makeover

The cover photo of an edition of Anne of Green Gables.
CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 3:59 am

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

  • Anne of Green Gables, who is described in Lucy Maud Montgomery's best-selling books as red-headed, freckled and — at least when the Anne series begins — prepubescent, gets a horribly wrong makeover on the cover of this three-book set published in November.
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Asia
2:30 am
Thu February 7, 2013

What Cellphone Brand Does North Korean Leader Use?

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 10:07 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning, I'm Steve Inskeep with a case of product placement. Corporations pay millions to have their products turn up in the hands of famous people but somehow, they were not thrilled when a photo showed a smartphone on a table next to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. This set off fevered speculation about which brand it was.

The Two-Way
2:27 am
Thu February 7, 2013

'Real Nightmare' Headed For New England; Blizzard On Track For Friday

The National Weather Service's latest forecast of the snow totals across New England. Most places can expect 18-24 inches of new snow. It will start falling Friday and the storm is expected to last through Saturday.
Weather.gov

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 11:29 am

4:30 p.m. ET — Latest from the National Weather Service:

"A major winter storm is expected to impact the Northeast and New England Friday into Saturday. As much as one to two feet of snow is forecast from the New York City metro area to Maine, with localized heavier amounts possible. This, in addition to wind gusts as high as 60-75 mph will create significant impacts to transportation and power. Coastal flooding is also possible from Boston northward."

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Asia
2:22 am
Thu February 7, 2013

Millions Of Chinese To Travel For Chinese New Year

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 10:07 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Good morning, I'm David Greene.

We've heard that necessity breeds invention. Well, so does discomfort. This weekend, 200 million Chinese are traveling home for the Chinese New Year. And for some this means entire days on standing room only trains.

One gadget being sold to travelers is a padded metal pole. It's to lean your head on so you don't fall over when you doze off. Or how about a luggage cart that doubles as a seat, with cup holders? Many people, though, are going old school with a simple upside down bucket.

NPR Story
1:00 am
Thu February 7, 2013

African Peacekeepers Used To Battling Insurgents

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 10:07 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Let's get a glimpse of the troops now fighting Islamist insurgents in Somalia. Forces from multiple African nations have been battling a group called al-Shabaab for years. They're being closely watched now because the international community is considering how to intervene in future months and years against an insurgency in Mali. NPR's Gregory Warner is traveling with a force in Somalia. Gregory, welcome back to the program.

GREGORY WARNER, BYLINE: Thanks, Steve.

INSKEEP: So where are you, and what have you been doing?

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NPR Story
1:00 am
Thu February 7, 2013

Business News

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 10:07 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with Boeing's battery problem.

Boeing's new fleet of Dreamliner 787 aircraft is grounded. But there is one in the air right now. The FAA cleared the plane's flight this morning from Fort Worth, Texas to Seattle. Engineers at the Boeing factory there will study the plane's lithium ion batteries and look for ways to reduce fire risk. Regulators around the world grounded the Dreamliner last month after batteries overheated on two planes. Only crew are aboard the 787 currently on its way to Seattle.

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NPR Story
1:00 am
Thu February 7, 2013

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 10:07 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And we have news of another fire sale. Our last word in business today is the buy of a lifetime.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

That's what some are calling the sale of a 20-acre estate outside Cedar Falls, Iowa, which sold for a winning bid of around $600,000. The precise amount was not disclosed. One expert says to build something like that estate today would cost $1.5 million.

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Europe
10:39 pm
Wed February 6, 2013

Privatization Of Greek Assets Runs Behind Schedule

Employees of Hellenic Postbank protest during a strike against the bank's privatization in Athens, in December.
John Kolesidis Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 10:07 am

In exchange for multibillion-euro bailouts, Greece was required to sell state-owned assets. But the sweeping privatization process is behind schedule. In addition, European governments are nervous that Chinese, Russian and Arab companies are lining up to take advantage of the Greek fire sale.

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Planet Money
10:34 pm
Wed February 6, 2013

'Give Me The Money Or I'll Shoot The Trees'

Pay up, or the bird gets it. (A hoatzin perches on a branch in Yasuni National Park.)
Pablo Cozzaglio AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 10:07 am

Ecuador's Yasuni National Park is one of the most diverse ecosystems on Earth. But there's a complication: The park sits on top of the equivalent of millions of barrels of oil.

This creates a dilemma.

Ecuador prides itself on being pro-environment. Its constitution gives nature special rights. But Ecuador is a relatively poor country that could desperately use the money from the oil.

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Shots - Health News
10:31 pm
Wed February 6, 2013

Silica Rule Changes Delayed While Workers Face Health Risks

A worker makes a cut in the side of a sandstone block at the Cleveland Quarries facility in Vermilion, Ohio, earlier this month. The legal limit on the amount of silica that workers can inhale was set decades ago.
Ty Wright Bloomberg via Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 10:07 am

One of the oldest known workplace dangers is breathing in tiny bits of silica, which is basically sand. Even the ancient Greeks knew that stone cutters got sick from breathing in dust. And today, nearly 2 million American workers are exposed to silica dust in jobs ranging from construction to manufacturing.

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Puerto Rico: A Disenchanted Island
10:27 pm
Wed February 6, 2013

'Don't Give Up On Us': Puerto Ricans Wrestle With High Crime

Luis Romero looks out over the ocean to a view that includes the Coast Guard station where his son, Julian, was in the auxiliary. Romero started the anti-violence organization Basta Ya after Julian was murdered.
Coburn Dukehart NPR

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 3:31 pm

Puerto Rico's population is declining. Faced with a deteriorating economy, increased poverty and a swelling crime rate, many Puerto Ricans are fleeing the island for the U.S. mainland. In a four-part series, Morning Edition explores this phenomenon, and how Puerto Rico's troubles are affecting its people and other Americans in unexpected ways.

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National Security
5:40 pm
Wed February 6, 2013

Obama's Pick For CIA Chief To Face Senate Scrutiny

John Brennan, the deputy national security adviser for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, speaks at the White House in January. Brennan is President Obama's choice for CIA director.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 10:07 am

John Brennan, President Obama's choice to lead the CIA, can look forward to a grilling Thursday on Capitol Hill. As Obama's chief counterterrorism adviser, he has been associated with some controversial policies, including the use of armed drones. Brennan's nomination comes before the Senate Intelligence Committee, and members from both parties have their questions ready.

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Around the Nation
1:12 pm
Wed February 6, 2013

Questions Sprout Up Over Razed California Wildlife Reserve

The Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Reserve after the land was stripped by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Several advocates, including elected leaders, are protesting the move.
Courtesy of Mathew Tekulsky

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 2:23 pm

Just a stone's throw from two of Los Angeles' busiest freeways lies the Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Reserve, a unique spot in an urban jungle.

The northern portion of the reserve is adorned with 30-foot-tall cottonwood trees, spots of coyote bush and other plants. Native plants cover 50 percent of the nature spot, says Kris Ohlenkamp with the San Fernando Valley Audubon Society.

"On the other side it was significantly more than that," he says.

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The Two-Way
12:52 pm
Wed February 6, 2013

Sen. Marco Rubio Will Deliver Republican Response To State Of The Union

Sen. Marco Rubio speaks during the final day of the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio will deliver the Republican response to the president's State of the Union address this upcoming Tuesday.

NPR's Tamara Keith filed this report for our Newscast unit:

"Rubio is a rising star of the Republican party, who was elected as part of the Tea Party wave in 2010.

"He's the son of Cuban immigrants and is part of a bipartisan group of senators working on immigration reform legislation. He'll deliver the response in both English and Spanish.

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The Two-Way
12:39 pm
Wed February 6, 2013

Air Base In Saudi Arabia Is Latest Drone Secret To Be Revealed

John Brennan, President Obama's nominee to be the next CIA director, worked closely with Saudi Arabia to set up a secret U.S. drone base there, The New York Times reported. Brennan's confirmation hearing is Thursday.
Kevin Dietsch UPI /Landov

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 1:50 am

The Obama administration says lethal airstrikes, delivered stealthily by drones, have been a major success in its counterterrorism efforts. But the administration has been much less successful in keeping secret the details of the often controversial drone program.

Last May, Foreign Policy published this story providing details on 12 U.S. drone bases spread across three continents, from the Seychelles to the Philippines.

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