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Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit


If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area, you may have seen ads urging you to vote "no" on a grocery tax. "Don't Tax Our Groceries" is the tagline of the $9.5 million campaign, which is funded by the American Beverage Association.

In one ad, the camera pans to images of tomatoes and beans, as a local business owner says, "The grocery tax is going to hurt my customers."

But here's the thing. There's no grocery tax on the ballot.

The Ikea store in Shanghai doesn't mind if you curl up in one of the beds on display and take a nap.

But older people who spend the day in the cafeteria without buying anything are no longer welcome. Unless they're willing to spring for food and drinks.

That's the news from the Swedish retailer's Shanghai outpost. Ikea's decision this month to require a purchase of all cafeteria useres has sparked a spirited debate in China's social media about the plight of older citizens – nowhere to go, nothing to do.

The Schiaparelli Mars lander got very close to the red planet before something went wrong. It entered the planet's atmosphere, managed not to burn up as it hurtled down and unfurled its parachute. It's unclear what happened in the final minute of descent, but it wasn't what the European and Russian space agencies had planned.

The British government announced Wednesday that it intends to posthumously pardon thousands of men convicted for consensual sexual relationships with other men.

A proposed amendment dubbed the "Turing Law" was announced by the U.K.'s Ministry of Justice in a press release that said it would "build on the case of Enigma codebreaker Alan Turing, who committed suicide following his conviction for gross indecency."

In front of an exuberant crowd Thursday in Delaware, Ohio, Donald Trump again addressed whether he would accept the outcome of the November election.

"Ladies and gentleman I want to make a major announcement today," Trump said, continuing, "I would like to promise and pledge to all of my voters and supporters, and to all of the people of the United States, that I will totally accept the results of this great and historic presidential election ..."

After weeks of anti-U.S. rhetoric that included denunciations of President Obama, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has announced "I have separated from them," using his remarks during a state visit to China to seek closer ties with that country.

The Rocky Horror Show began as a stage musical in London in the early 1970s, starring Tim Curry as the outrageously dressed outer-space alien Frank N. Furter, self-described as a "sweet transvestite from Transsexual, Transylvania." Richard O'Brien, the composer of the play and its music, played Frank's hunchbacked assistant, Riff Raff — and the two of them repeated their roles in a 1975 movie, The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.


Snakes used to wander the Earth on legs about 150 million years ago, before they shifted from strut to slither.

Now, two scientists have pinpointed the genetic process that caused snakes to lose their legs. What's more, they say the "molecular machinery" for leg development still persists in snakes after these millions of years — it's simply switched off.

Unexplained fainting episodes may be caused by a dangerous blood clot in the lung more frequently than many doctors suspect, according to an Italian study.

Episodes of fainting (known as syncope) are quite common in elderly people. About half the time, doctors identify an underlying heart condition. Other cases are caused by shock or some other passing cause. But many cases remain mysterious.

Whether it's jet lag, a new work schedule, daylight saving time or just a Monday morning, shifting sleep schedules takes a toll. But scientists think they might have found a way to reset our internal timers that's more than hot air.

At least, it works if you're a mouse. The solution, it seems, is thin air. A study published Thursday in the journal Cell Metabolism found that decreasing oxygen levels for a short period of time helped mice recover from jet lag faster.

As Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton shook hands with moderator Chris Wallace and greeted their families after the end of Wednesday night's presidential debate, the broadcast hosts delivered their verdict.

"All six of the 15-minute segments — total home runs for him," said Cliff Sims. "I think this was really the performance that Donald Trump needed to grab that momentum going toward the election."

His co-host, Boris Epshteyn, agreed: "He prosecuted the case against Hillary Clinton perfectly."

On a blistering 90-degree day, Nelly Carrillo stands over her stove, placing a chorizo and potato sope onto the oiled cast-iron skillet. The thick, fried tortilla sizzles, and she wipes sweat off her brow with the back of her softly wrinkled hands. You can hear a cacophony of honking cars and voices in the near distance.

Huang Xian'er came of age while watching Internet celebrities' streaming videos on her smartphone in western China's Yinchuan city.

"My mom knew I was watching Internet stars in school," she recalls. "She simplistically thought that all Internet stars sell clothes, get plastic surgery and all look the same."

Dorothy's ruby slippers could use a little more magic these days — or at least some preservationist TLC.

The famous shoes from The Wizard of Oz are among the most popular items on display at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History. But they're showing their age, and the museum is asking the public to pitch in to help keep the shoes intact for decades to come.

Giant panda Bao Bao, born at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C., in August 2013, will be heading to China this winter.

Bao Bao's parents, Mei Xiang and Tian Tian, are on loan from China, and the agreement calls for any pandas born to the breeding pair to be sent to the Chinese breeding program before they turn 4.

A guy who covers agriculture in the West who's never put a skinned, sliced, battered, deep-fried bull testicle into a cup of cocktail sauce and then into his mouth?

I couldn't let it stand.

They're known by many names: lamb fries, bull fries, Montana tenders, huevos de toro, cowboy caviar. In my corner of Colorado, they're Rocky Mountain oysters, and I somehow coaxed myself into thinking I needed to try them to be more a part of the place I live, to be a true-blue Coloradoan.

Donald Trump at Wednesday's presidential debate refused to say whether he would honor the results of the Nov. 8 election. But is that just a tease meant to build suspense?

Democratic vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine tells Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep he doubts that.

Just 18 and still in high school, Camila Rodriguez did not feel prepared for motherhood when she learned she was unexpectedly pregnant. She began asking around her school, hoping to find someone selling Misoprostol, a pharmaceutical drug that treats stomach ulcers, but which has been banned in Chile since 2001 because it can also induce abortions.

In the final presidential debate, Donald Trump said he supports the federal ban on "partial-birth" abortion because, under the procedure, "in the ninth month you can take the baby and rip the baby out of the womb of the mother."

He added that this can happen "as late as one or two or three or four days prior to birth."

But that is not at all likely.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit



Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit


Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

Divided States: Florida Voters Roundtable

Oct 20, 2016
Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

In 'IQ,' A Sherlock For South Central

Oct 20, 2016

We have so many Sherlocks these days.

Books, multiple TV shows, movies — the world (particularly the modern world) is so rich with touchy, cold, brilliant consulting detectives that it's a wonder there are any crimes left for the police to solve. I mean, with such a profusion of Holmeses running around, why would anyone bother calling 911?