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Parallels
1:30 am
Tue May 6, 2014

Fleeing War At Home, Syrians Reach State Of Limbo In Greece

Originally published on Tue May 6, 2014 8:34 am

At the end of a weathered street lined with sooty apartment blocks and minimarkets, in a smoky budget hotel in central Athens, the refugees wait.

"This lobby is like Syria," says a small, green-eyed man who calls himself Muhammad and says he's from Aleppo. "That guy is from Damascus," he says, pointing. "That one is from Homs, that one from Latakia."

There are about 80 Syrians here, including six neighbors from Yarmouk, the Palestinian neighborhood in Damascus. They sit together at a table in the hotel's breakfast room, sipping sweet, hot Nescafe from tall glasses.

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World
1:28 am
Tue May 6, 2014

Putin's Internet Plan Requires 'Sharing' With Security Services

Russian President Vladimir Putin, shown speaking on TV last month, has signed a measure that would impose a host of restrictions on Internet companies and users.
Alexey Nikolsky/RIO Novosti/Kremlin pool EPA/Landov

Originally published on Tue May 6, 2014 6:25 pm

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a new measure that will give the government much greater control over the Internet.

Critics say the law is aimed at silencing opposition bloggers and restricting what people can say on social media. It would also force international email providers and social networks to make their users' information available to the Russian security services.

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The Salt
1:27 am
Tue May 6, 2014

The Pizza Connection: Fighting The Mafia Through Food

Francesco Galante leads the Libera Terra, a cooperative of farmers and producers who create food and jobs outside of the Mafia's control.
The Kitchen Sisters

Originally published on Thu May 8, 2014 7:07 am

In recent years, the effort to bring the Mafia under control in Sicily has spilled over into the world of food. Today a movement of small organic agricultural cooperatives has sprung up across the island to farm land once confiscated by the Mafia and bring these goods to a global market.

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She Votes
1:24 am
Tue May 6, 2014

GOP Softens Its Edge In An Attempt To Appeal To Women

"We have allowed ourselves to be branded [in] a way I do not feel is representative of who we are as Republicans," says Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., of her party's negative reputation on women's issues.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 6, 2014 8:34 am

Republicans have a problem with women.

Since the 1980s, women have been much more likely than men to vote Democratic.

Increasingly, however, Republican operatives see getting more women to vote for their candidates as key to the party's future.

Take Equal Pay Day, for instance, a political holiday that Democrats have used to push a bill called the Paycheck Fairness Act.

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Shots - Health News
10:03 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

Even Penguins Get The Flu

Adelie penguins frolic in Antarctica, unaware of a flu virus that circulates among them.
Peter & J. Clement Science Source

Originally published on Wed May 7, 2014 2:35 pm

When you think of bird flu, you may conjure up images of chickens being slaughtered to stem an outbreak, or of migrating ducks, which can carry flu viruses from one continent to the next. Well, it's time to add penguins to your list of mental images.

Yes, Adelie penguins, which breed in huge colonies on the rocky Antarctic Peninsula, also harbor a version of the avian influenza virus, according to a study published in the journal, mBio.

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The Two-Way
6:42 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

USGS: Okla. At Increased Risk Of 'Damaging Quake'

A map showing seismic activity in Oklahoma since 1970.
United States Geological Survey

Originally published on Tue May 6, 2014 2:55 pm

The U.S. Geological Survey says the number of earthquakes in Oklahoma has gone up dramatically in recent months and that the surge in seismic activity has increased the danger of a damaging quake in the central part of the state.

The USGS and Oklahoma Geological Survey issued a joint statement on Friday, citing a dramatic spike in magnitude-3.0 temblors, especially since October 2013.

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Code Switch
6:23 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

Jessica Cleaves: A Silky, Soulful — And Funky — Voice Goes Silent

Jessica Cleaves made a name for herself as a lead singer with the group Friends of Distinction. She later played with Earth, Wind & Fire as well as George Clinton
YouTube screengrab

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The Two-Way
5:00 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

Vatican Tells U.N. Committee That Abuse Claims Have Dropped

Archbishop Silvano M. Tomasi appears before the U.N. committee in Geneva on Monday.
Salvatore Di Nolfi EPA/Landov

Originally published on Mon May 5, 2014 5:40 pm

A United Nations committee on Monday grilled a Vatican representative about priest sex abuse and compared the impact of the scandal to torture.

But Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the Holy See's top envoy in Geneva, said the Vatican leadership had improved its handling of abuse in the decade since the scandal exploded.

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Shots - Health News
4:35 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

The Comeback Of Polio Is A Public Health Emergency

On the outskirts of Islamabad, a Pakistani health worker vaccinates an Afghan refugee against polio.
Muhammed Muheisen AP

Originally published on Tue May 6, 2014 2:25 pm

It is, says the World Health Organization, "an extraordinary event." Polio is spreading to a degree that constitutes a public health emergency.

The global drive to wipe out the virus had driven the number of polio cases down from 300,000 in the late 1980s to just 417 cases last year. The World Health Organization has set a goal of wiping out polio by 2018.

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She Votes
3:58 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

Best Way To Get Women To Run For Office? Ask Repeatedly

Rep. Donna Edwards, D-Md., plays in the annual Congressional Women's Softball game in 2011. She says it's hard to get more women to run for office.
Tom Williams Roll Call/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 6, 2014 3:34 pm

Women make up less than 20 percent of those serving in Congress, but more than half the population. There are many reasons for this, but one simple answer comes back again and again. It's about recruiting.

When Monica Youngblood got the call, she thought it was a joke. The call came from a man she had worked to help get elected.

"It's your time," she says he told her. "We need people like you in Santa Fe. We need a voice like yours who's lived here, who's been through what you've been through. I think you need to really consider it."

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Music
3:14 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

Yeezy Or The Bard: Who's The Best Wordsmith In Hip-Hop?

Data scientist Matt Daniels charted the vocabularies of hip-hop artists against Shakespeare and Herman Melville.
Matt Daniels

Originally published on Tue May 6, 2014 10:16 am

William Shakespeare had a wildly extensive vocabulary. Of more than 800,000 total words in all of his works, almost 29,000 of them are unique.

Although impressive, there are a few rappers who give the Bard a run for his money. Data scientist Matt Daniels charted the vocabularies of hip-hop artists against Shakespeare and Herman Melville.

"This is not a serious academic study. This is an, like, 'I thought it'd be cool on the Internet [project],' " he says.

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Shots - Health News
3:08 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

More Health Insurance Equals Fewer Deaths In Massachusetts

Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney signed a health care reform bill during an April 12, 2006, ceremony at Faneuil Hall in Boston. The bill made Massachusetts the first state in the country to require that all residents have health insurance.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Fewer people died in Massachusetts after the state required people to have health insurance, according to researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health.

In each of the first four years of the state law, 320 fewer Massachusetts men and women died than would have been expected. That's one life extended for every 830 newly insured residents.

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The Two-Way
3:08 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

Failure Of Steel D-Ring May Have Caused Circus Accident

Originally published on Mon May 5, 2014 4:04 pm

The failure of a 5-inch steel D-ring known as a carabiner may have been the cause of an accident over the weekend that injured nine members of a Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey acrobatic troop.

"It was a single piece of equipment that failed," Providence, R.I., fire investigator Paul Doughty told reporters.

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Remembrances
3:01 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

Remembering Economist Gary Becker, Who Described 'Marriage Market'

Gary Becker was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom at the White House in 2007.
Roger L. Wollenberg UPI/Landov

Originally published on Mon May 5, 2014 5:59 pm

University of Chicago economist Gary Becker died Saturday at the age of 83. He won the Nobel Prize in 1992 for broadening the horizons of economics, using economic analysis to explore social issues like crime, racial discrimination and drug addiction.

Becker was a giant in the field of economics, and his pioneering application of economic theory to social questions extended to the marriage market. In an NPR interview on the day he was awarded the Nobel Prize in economics, Becker explained:

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Europe
2:25 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

Sinn Fein Leader's Questioning Dredges Memories Of 'Troubles'

Originally published on Mon May 5, 2014 4:35 pm

Gerry Adams, a leader of Sinn Fein, was questioned in Northern Ireland in connection with an infamous murder 42 years ago. The investigation threatens to impact the fragile peace agreement there.

Science
2:25 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

Max Planck Goes To Florida, Invites Brain Scientists To Join

Originally published on Mon May 5, 2014 4:35 pm

Germany's famous Max Planck Society has opened a brain research institute in Jupiter, Fla. It's another move in the international competition to attract the best brain researchers.

The Two-Way
2:05 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

Boats Carrying Migrants Capsize Off Greece; At Least 22 Dead

A handout photo provided by the Hellenic coast guard shows local fishermen examining a yacht that sank off the eastern Aegean island of Samos, Greece, on Monday.
Hellenic coast guard EPA/Landov

Originally published on Mon May 5, 2014 5:09 pm

At least 22 people, including four children, are dead after two small boats carrying illegal migrants capsized off the Greek coast in the eastern Aegean Sea.

Joanna Kakissis, reporting for NPR from Athens, says survivors told the Hellenic coast guard that as many as 65 people were on the two smuggling boats — a 30-foot yacht and a 6-foot dinghy.

Rescue teams managed to save 36 people after the boats started sinking early Monday and were still searching for the seven others thought to be missing.

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Author Interviews
2:02 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

Why Bring Up Death When We Could Talk About 'Something More Pleasant'?

Originally published on Mon May 5, 2014 4:35 pm

When people talk about extending the human lifespan to 120 it bothers Roz Chast. "That upsets me for a lot of reasons," she tells NPR's Melissa Block. "I feel like these are people who don't really know anybody over 95." The reality of old age, she says, is that "people are not in good shape, and everything is falling apart."

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Book News & Features
2:02 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

A Film And Fashion Icon On Aging, And The Power Of Turtlenecks

Diane Keaton lives with her daughter and son in Los Angeles.
Ruven Afanador Courtesy of Random House

Originally published on Mon May 5, 2014 6:07 pm

Actress Diane Keaton remains an icon, decades after her Oscar-winning performance in Annie Hall. At 68, she's a single mother of two, once romantically linked to some of Hollywood's biggest heartthrobs and still starring in films. And she still rocks her trademark look: a bowler hat, tinted glasses, oversized clothes, scarves, gloves, long sleeves and boots — "Clothing that actually hides the body," she says. "There's a lot to hide in my case. I'm the only remaining person on earth with this particular look."

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Politics
2:02 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

The Intra-Party Landscape, Seen From The Edge Of Primary Season

Originally published on Mon May 5, 2014 4:35 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Voters in three states go to the polls tomorrow in North Carolina, Indiana and Ohio. It's the beginning of an eight-week stretch of primaries that should give us a good idea of how the political landscape is shaping up for this November.

NPR's political editor Charlie Mahtesian joins us now to talk about that. Hey, Charlie.

CHARLIE MAHTESIAN, BYLINE: Hi, Melissa.

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Latin America
2:02 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

In Venezuela Protests, Report Condemns Police's 'Pattern Of Abuse'

Originally published on Mon May 5, 2014 4:35 pm

A Human Rights Watch report documents brutal force used by Venezuelan security forces against peaceful demonstrators — including beatings, shootings and, in some cases, torture. The report also shows how security forces work in cahoots with pro-government armed gangs, calling the abuses the worst they have seen in years.

Africa
2:02 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

Weeks Into Search Efforts, Can Other Countries Help Nigeria?

Originally published on Mon May 5, 2014 4:35 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Over the weekend, Secretary of State John Kerry called the kidnapping of the Nigerian girls an unconscionable crime. And he promised the U.S. would do everything possible to help return the young women to their homes and hold the perpetrators to justice.

So, just what might that everything possible mean? For insights on that I'm joined by Richard Downie. He's deputy director of the Africa Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies here in Washington.

Richard, thanks for coming in.

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Africa
2:02 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

Extremist Group Claims Credit For Mass Kidnapping In Nigeria

Originally published on Mon May 5, 2014 4:35 pm

Nigerian Islamist terrorist group Boko Haram claimed credit for abducting more than 200 schoolgirls. The girls remain missing, and parents are pressing the government to find and bring them home. The president's wife has ordered the arrest of the parent who is leading the protests demanding government action.

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Law
2:02 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

States Swap One Drug For Another, And Botched Executions Follow

Originally published on Mon May 5, 2014 4:35 pm

Oklahoma's botched execution of Clayton Lockett is prompting other states to question their use of the drug midazolam in lethal injections. The Lockett execution is fueling new calls to re-examine how states put inmates to death.

Education
2:02 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

Bereft Of Legal Shield, Scholars' Work Is Open To Federal Eyes

Originally published on Mon May 5, 2014 4:35 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

In the case of the 1972 murder and the oral history interviews that are said to shed light on it, did Boston College have a right to resist disclosure of the interviews in its archive? Well, Harvard law professor Noah Feldman addressed that question in a column for Bloomberg View, and he joins us now. Welcome to the program.

NOAH FELDMAN: Thank you for having me.

SIEGEL: And, first is there any federal law defending an academic researcher's right to keep the confidence of an interviewee?

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Law
2:02 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

A Narrow High Court Win For Prayer Before Government Meetings

Originally published on Mon May 5, 2014 9:52 pm

The Supreme Court ruled 5 to 4 that the government can use Christian prayers to start town meetings, so long as legislators don't discriminate against non-Christians. It's a new chapter in the long-running fight over prayer in public places and on public occasions. NPR's Carrie Johnson explains what happened in the town of Greece, New York.

All Tech Considered
2:02 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

Drone Journalism Can't Fully Take Flight Until Regulators Act

Drone Journalism Lab researcher Ben Kreimer is limited to testing drones indoors.
Courtesy of Drone Journalism Lab

Originally published on Mon May 12, 2014 9:12 am

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Business
2:02 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

Target's Top Executive Steps Down, Brought Low By Data Breach

Originally published on Mon May 5, 2014 9:49 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block. Five months after Target disclosed a massive data breach, its CEO has lost his job. Greg Steinhafel is stepping down from his dual posts as president and CEO at Target Corporation. His resignation underscores the company's effort to overhaul its entire business. Here's NPR's Yuki Noguchi.

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Global Health
2:02 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

To Fight Polio Outbreaks, WHO Lays Down New Rules

Originally published on Wed May 7, 2014 7:31 am

The World Health Organization is warning that recent outbreaks of polio in the Middle East, Africa and Asia mark a setback to the decades-long effort to eradicate the disease. In response, the WHO has declared a world health emergency. It's asking Syria, Pakistan and Cameroon — current polio hot spots — to require all travelers leaving those countries to show proof of vaccination.

Shots - Health News
1:47 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

Colorado Redraws Insurance Map To Cut Sky-High Ski-Town Rates

Telluride, Colo., where the mountains, powder and insurance rates are all high.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue May 6, 2014 6:08 am

Relief is in sight – and it won't involve a lawsuit – for the four counties in Colorado that have the the highest Obamacare health insurance premiums in the country.

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