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The Edge
1:30 am
Wed February 5, 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 6:29 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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Movies
1:29 am
Wed February 5, 2014

An Oscar Nominee, But Unwelcome At Home In Cairo

Khalid Abdalla, an activist and actor (The Kite Runner, Green Zone and United 93), and Ahmed Hassan protest in Jehane Noujaim's Oscar-nominated documentary, The Square.
Netflix

Originally published on Tue February 25, 2014 3:47 pm

On a cool Cairo evening, the cast and crew of The Square put on an informal screening of the film for their friends. Many of them are in the documentary, which chronicles three years of political unrest and revolution centered on this city's now-iconic Tahrir Square; all of them experienced some part of the events that unfolded there.

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Parallels
1:28 am
Wed February 5, 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 7:01 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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Kitchen Window
10:02 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

A Meal To Honor Early African-American Cookbook Authors

David Betts/Metropolitan Photography

Originally published on Wed February 5, 2014 9:24 am

The earliest African-American cookbook authors brought me back to a food career I thought I had left behind. Years ago, I was a pastry chef, but I changed course and went to graduate school for a doctorate in American history. Lately, I've been drawn back into the food world thanks to these authors and their determined pursuit of independence and equality through their cooking and writing.

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All Tech Considered
7:56 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

Lawmakers Look To Prevent More Target-Sized Data Breaches

Sen. Patrick Leahy chats with Sen. Mazie Hirono before hearing from retail company executives on Tuesday.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 5, 2014 10:40 am

The sheer size and frequency of the recent credit card data breaches at Target, Neiman Marcus and other companies are prompting lawmakers to consider legislative options to keep sophisticated cyberthefts from happening.

"If anything, we've learned from this major, major breach that we can no longer do nothing," said Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn. "We have to take action."

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Shots - Health News
6:00 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 6:20 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
5:44 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

More Access To Health Care Means Millions Can Quit Or Cut Hours

Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers Jason Furman at a White House press briefing Tuesday.
Carolyn Kaster AP

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

What might have been a routine update on the state of the federal budget Tuesday instead became the newest front in the ongoing political war over President Obama's signature health care law.

At issue: a revised estimate about how many people would voluntarily leave the workforce because they can get health care without necessarily holding down a job.

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The Two-Way
5:19 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

Look Ma, No Cables: Flea Cops To Playing Air Bass At The Super Bowl

The Red Hot Chili Peppers band members Flea, center, and Anthony Kiedis perform during the halftime show of the Super Bowl on Sunday.
Julio Cortez AP

Originally published on Wed February 5, 2014 4:07 am

The annals of faking it on stage have a new chapter: After Internet sleuths pointed out that the guitarist and bassist for The Red Hot Chili Peppers did not have their instruments plugged in during their performance at the Super Bowl half time show last Sunday, Flea, the bassist, admitted that they were in fact only pretending to play.

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The Two-Way
4:54 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

Watch The Creationism Vs. Evolution Debate: Ken Ham And Bill Nye

Bill Nye, left, and Ken Ham take the stage to debate evolution and creationism Tuesday in Kentucky.
YouTube

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 3:13 pm

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It's All Politics
4:26 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 5:27 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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Around the Nation
4:12 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 6:02 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 Salt
4:12 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 6:00 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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The Two-Way
4:10 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 7:43 am

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The Edge
3:33 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 6:07 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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The Two-Way
3:30 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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Around the Nation
3:26 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 6:00 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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Middle East
3:26 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

U.S. And Iran Tread Potholed Path From Rivalry To Negotiation

Originally published on Tue February 4, 2014 6:00 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

The U.S. and other major powers will hold talks with Iran later this month. The goal is turn an interim deal, limiting that nation's nuclear program, into a more lasting agreement. President Obama has asked that Congress give diplomats some room to maneuver and not pass any new sanctions bill. That he says could derail the entire process.

As NPR's Michele Kelemen reports, this threat of sanctions is just one symptom of a deeper problem that makes these negotiations hard for both sides.

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Around the Nation
3:26 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

Some Fake Coral Might Mean A Sea Change at Detroit Aquarium

Originally published on Tue February 4, 2014 6:00 pm

Detroit's Belle Isle Aquarium is getting a little help from its friends in Washington, D.C. The National Aquarium closed late last year after more than 100 years. Thousands of dollars' worth of equipment went to the Motor City, where its own century-old aquarium is beautiful and historic — but starved for resources. Budget shortfalls forced its closure in 2005. But a scrappy team of volunteers has worked to open it to the public on a limited basis, and they hope the fake coral, fiberglass tank props, and other equipment from D.C. will help it regain some of its luster.

Book Reviews
3:26 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

A Widow's Quiet Life Leaves Room For Sex, Guns And Literature

iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue February 4, 2014 6:00 pm

As of last week, what I knew about Beirut could fit in a sandwich bag. What I knew about being a blue-haired, 72-year-old woman, never mind a widow and a shut-in, was a whole lot less. Now, one week later, I'm much more informed, and I'm happy to encourage you to become so, too.

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It's All Politics
3:26 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 9:56 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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Politics
3:26 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

The Fine Art Of The Public Apology

Originally published on Tue February 4, 2014 6:00 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

A few little words yet so hard to say: I'm sorry.

MAYOR ROB FORD: I made my decisions. They are my mistake. And I am sitting here today to acknowledge that and to say I'm sorry for that.

GOVERNOR CHRIS CHRISTIE: And I come out here today to apologize to the people of New Jersey.

LANCE ARMSTRONG: Do you want me to say I'm sorry? Do you want me to say I apologize? Do you want me to dance around? I'm not quite sure what you want me to do.

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Health Care
3:26 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

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

Originally published on Tue February 4, 2014 6:00 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.

Economy
3:26 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

Deficit Shrinks, But Debate Continues To Grow

Originally published on Tue February 4, 2014 6:00 pm

The federal government's deficit is shrinking quite quickly — and that may not necessarily be a good thing. As congressional forecasters lower their predictions for economic growth over the next decade, some experts are saying that gross domestic product and unemployment figures would look better, were it not for the government's rapid push to get a handle on the deficit.

Law
3:26 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

Senate Steps Into The Data Breach Controversy

Originally published on Tue February 4, 2014 6:00 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
3:26 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

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

Originally published on Tue February 4, 2014 6:00 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.

Shots - Health News
2:50 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

Higher Blood Pressure At 18 Means Hardening Arteries At 40

Even if you're under 25, you should still know your blood pressure, a study says.
Rudyanto Wijaya iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed February 5, 2014 12:41 pm

Young people in their teens and early 20s probably aren't thinking about heart disease. But maybe it's time they did.

People who have slightly higher blood pressure when they're 18 to 25 are more likely to have high blood pressure and hardening of the arteries in their 40s, a study says. About one quarter of the people in this study were in that group.

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Parallels
2:18 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

Iran's Nuclear Talks: What To Expect Next

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (right) speaks during a joint press conference with his Swedish counterpart Carl Bildt in Tehran on Tuesday. Bildt is visiting to try to bolster the temporary nuclear deal on Iran's nuclear program.
Behrouz Mehri AFP/Getty Images

The next round of Iranian nuclear talks with world powers is fast approaching, and there's still a lot of skepticism in the air over the prospects for a comprehensive deal.

Iran will sit down with the U.S. and five other major powers in Vienna on Feb. 18 as they try to hammer out a long-term agreement on the Islamic Republic's nuclear program. By most every estimate, it won't be easy to build on the success of a temporary deal drawn up last November given the lingering, visceral mistrust between the United States and Iran.

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Shots - Health News
2:10 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

Are We Paying $8 Billion Too Much For Mammograms?

Some of the money spent on annual mammograms might do more good if it went toward risk-based screening, a doctor says.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue February 4, 2014 4:09 pm

The question of how often women should get mammograms remains contested, with advisory panels and medical societies disagreeing on how early and how often they should be used to find breast cancer.

But those discussions rarely mention cost. And the financial implications are huge.

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The Two-Way
2:06 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

Lawyer's Local-Market Super Bowl Spot Is An On-Fire Smash

Georgia attorney Jamie Casino's TV ad featuring a sledgehammer, fire and a personal story of vindication has won fans online with its over-the-top production style.
YouTube

Originally published on Tue February 4, 2014 4:09 pm

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The Salt
2:02 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

Sweet Tooth Gone Bad: Why 22 Teaspoons Of Sugar Per Day Is Risky

Even seemingly healthful foods can contain unexpected spoonfuls of sugar.
Meg Vogel/NPR

Originally published on Tue February 4, 2014 6:00 pm

We've written lots lately about the potentially addictive qualities of sugar and the public policy efforts to limit consumption.

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