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Around the Nation
5:37 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

California Prisons Aim To Keep Sex Between Inmates Safe, If Illegal

A Los Angeles County Department of Public Health worker shows condoms for weekly distribution to inmates in the Men's Central Jail.
George Lavender

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 6:13 pm

There's an inconspicuous metal box mounted on the wall of the gym at San Francisco County Jail No. 4.

When Kate Monico Klein turns a knob, the machine releases a condom in a small cardboard packet. Machines like this one — dispensing free condoms — are installed in all of the county's male jails.

"We set [the machine] off to the side, so that people would have a minor amount of privacy," explains Monico Klein, director of HIV services for Jail Health, a division of the county's health department.

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The Two-Way
5:23 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

Shouts Of Protest At Supreme Court On 'Citizens United' Anniversary

A demonstrator rallies outside the U.S. Chamber of Commerce against the Supreme Court's decision in favor of Citizens United five years ago. Eight protesters at the Supreme Court were arrested and charged.
Nicholas Kamm AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 2:26 am

Overturned chairs and shouts of protest briefly shattered the formality and calm of the U.S. Supreme Court this morning.

The session had just begun when protesters in the back of the chamber began yelling things like, "One person, one vote," "We are the 99 percent," "Money is not speech," and "Overturn Citizens United." This last was a reference to the Court's 2010 decision, issued on this day five years ago. That decision struck down limits on corporate and union campaign spending, uncorking a flood of campaign cash.

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All Tech Considered
4:20 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

The Battle Over Open-Internet Rules Shifts To Congress

President Obama called on the Federal Communications Commission to implement a strict policy of net neutrality and to oppose content providers in restricting bandwidth to customers.
Michael Bocchieri Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 6:01 pm

In Tuesday night's State of the Union address, President Obama offered a number of ideas for improving the economy. Among them was a nod to the role the Internet plays in economic development.

"I intend to protect a free and open Internet, extend its reach to every classroom, and every community, and help folks build the fastest networks," Obama said.

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The Salt
4:13 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

Why Some GMO Foods Don't Have Genetically Modified DNA

While reporting my story on how foods earn a label certifying them as "non-GMO," I came across a comment that struck me – and it might surprise you, too.

The comment came from Ken Ross, the CEO of Global ID. (He didn't make it into the final story.) Global ID is the parent company of FoodChain ID, one of the companies that traces ingredients to determine whether they contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

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It's All Politics
3:48 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

Republican SOTU Responses: Immigration No, But Inmigración Sí

Florida Rep. Carlos Curbelo gave the Spanish-language response to President Obama's State of the Union address. He included his support for an immigration overhaul. The English response was silent on the issue.
gop.gov/YouTube

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 6:47 pm

What do you have when the State of the Union response is assigned to an English-only advocate — but then is reprised in Spanish by someone who supports a pathway to citizenship for immigrants here unlawfully?

You have some explaining to do, that's what.

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All Tech Considered
3:45 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

This Is True: Facebook Starts Cracking Down On Hoax News Stories

A Facebook worker at the company's headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif. Facebook announced it will start flagging hoax news stories in users' News Feeds.
Paul Sakuma AP

Facebook's on a mission to make your News Feed a little more truthful.

The social media giant has announced it will start doing more to alert users when stories they're seeing in their feeds are fake. And it will allow users to start flagging hoaxes themselves. But Facebook says it won't remove false stories. And the company says it won't start "reviewing content and making a determination on its accuracy."

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It's All Politics
3:40 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

Meet The YouTube Stars Who Will Interview The President

Self-proclaimed "Queen of YouTube" GloZell Green.
YouTube

Two days after the State of the Union address, President Obama will sit down for a round of unusual interviews. There's a good chance he'll get a question that none of his predecessors have ever had to answer.

One distinct possibility: "Mr. President, is you OK? Is you good? 'Cuz I wanted to know."

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The Two-Way
3:17 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

Justice Dept. Will Reportedly Clear Ferguson Police Officer In Brown Case

Demonstrators remember Michael Brown on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, marching from the apartment complex where Brown was killed to the Ferguson police station. A federal inquiry has found no evidence that officer Darren Wilson violated Brown's civil rights, sources tell NPR.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 3:56 pm

The Justice Department is poised to declare that former police officer Darren Wilson should not face civil rights charges over the death of Michael Brown, law enforcement sources tell NPR. Wilson, who is white, shot and killed Brown, who was black, in August. Brown was not armed.

"Two law enforcement sources tell NPR they see no way forward to file criminal civil rights charges" against Wilson, NPR's Carrie Johnson reports. She adds, "Those charges would require authorities to prove the officer used excessive force and violated Brown's constitutional rights."

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Shots - Health News
3:08 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

E-Cigarettes Can Churn Out High Levels Of Formaldehyde

Vapor from an e-cigarette obscures the user's face in a London coffee bar.
Dan Kitwood Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 2:55 pm

Vapor produced by electronic cigarettes can contain a surprisingly high concentration of formaldehyde — a known carcinogen — researchers reported Wednesday.

The findings, described in a letter published in the New England Journal of Medicine, intensify concern about the safety of electronic cigarettes, which have become increasingly popular.

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Law
2:48 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

Standard & Poor's Settles In SEC Ratings Fraud Case

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 5:00 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Planet Money
2:48 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

Tired Of Paying For Checked Baggage? You're Actually Getting A Good Deal

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 5:00 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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Around the Nation
2:48 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

Virginia Searches For A New State Song

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 5:00 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Economy
2:48 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

At Davos, U.S. Economic Recovery Widely Lauded

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 5:00 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Sports
2:48 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

'Deflate-Gate' Is 'Sour Grapes' Or Serious Business, Depending Who You Ask

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 5:28 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Law
2:48 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

Supreme Court Rules In Favor Of Air Marshal Whistleblower

Former air marshal Robert MacLean blew the whistle after he was informed that missions on overnight, long-distance flights were being canceled. The announcement came just days after air marshals were warned of terrorist threats.
LM Otero AP

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 5:30 pm

The U.S. Supreme Court, by a 7-to-2 vote, ruled in favor of a fired air marshal on Wednesday. In a decision of great interest to federal employees and air travelers, the court said that the air marshal's alert about safety concerns was shielded by the federal whistleblower protection law.

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Global Health
2:48 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

Going For The Gold Sends Mercury Down The River

A miner holds a nugget of mercury mixed with gold. The mercury is used to extract gold from river sludge.
Rodrigo Abd AP

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 1:23 pm

Picture this: A rickety barge about the size of a garden shed is floating on the Madre de Dios river in eastern Peru. A stream of tan sludge pours off a conveyor belt on one side of the platform. Smoke from a generator belches from the other. The sound of a massive pump thuds across the water. And dangling over the side of the barge is a thick tube to suck sediment up from the riverbed.

Welcome to wildcat gold mining in the 21st century, Peruvian style.

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Europe
2:48 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

Police, Counter-Demonstrators Dampen Anti-Islam March In Leipzig

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 5:00 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Middle East
2:48 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

Scholar: U.S. Drone Use Has Contributed To Yemen's Instability

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 5:00 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Politics
2:48 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

Obama Draws Battle Lines In State Of The Union Address

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 5:00 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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Politics
2:48 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

Sen. Jeff Flake: Republicans Can Work With President On Trade

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 5:00 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Latin America
2:48 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

Historic Diplomatic Talks Begin In Cuba

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 5:00 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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Economy
2:48 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

Middle Class Economics Dominate Obama's State Of The Union

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 6:00 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Politics
2:48 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

Rep. Van Hollen: Obama's Focused On Helping Middle Class

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 5:00 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The Two-Way
1:52 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

Soccer Players End Lawsuit Over Artificial Turf At Women's World Cup

Dozens of elite women's soccer players have ended their fight against the use of turf at this summer's Women's World Cup. The plaintiffs included Abby Wambach, seen here in a 2013 US Women's National Team game.
Jamie Sabau Getty Images

A group of high-profile women's soccer players have withdrawn a lawsuit that fought FIFA and the Canadian Soccer Association's plan to use artificial turf at this summer's Women's World Cup. Stars such as Abby Wambach, Homare Sawa of Japan, and Marta of Brazil had backed the suit.

The lawsuit accused the organizers of discrimination, saying that elite men's teams would never be forced to play on an artificial surface instead of natural grass. The complaint was filed with the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario.

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Shots - Health News
1:03 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

Scientists Give Genetically Modified Organisms A Safety Switch

Scientists reprogrammed the common bacterium E. coli so it requires a synthetic amino acid to live.
BSIP UIG via Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 5:37 pm

Researchers at Harvard and Yale have used some extreme gene-manipulation tools to engineer safety features into designer organisms.

This work goes far beyond traditional genetic engineering, which involves moving a gene from one organism to another. In this case, they're actually rewriting the language of genetics.

The goal is to make modified organisms safer to use, and also to protect them against viruses that can wreak havoc on pharmaceutical production.

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Parallels
12:46 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

Bulgakov's 'Master' Still Strikes A Chord In Today's Russia

Written during the Soviet era, Mikhail Bulgakov's classic novel, The Master and Margarita, continues to resonate in today's Russia.
Sovfoto UIG via Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 5:00 pm

In times of turmoil, Russians turn to their great writers for inspiration.

One of those writers is Mikhail Bulgakov, who died 75 years ago. Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin liked some of Bulgakov's work, but he considered most of it too dangerous to publish. A museum in Moscow shows that the work is just as relevant as ever.

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The Two-Way
12:00 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

Boehner Invites Israel's Netanyahu To Address Congress On Iran

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 12:55 pm

House Speaker John Boehner has invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address a joint session of Congress on Iran on Feb. 11. The White House, which was not consulted about the invitation, called it a departure from diplomatic protocol.

NPR's Ailsa Chang tells our Newscast unit that Boehner, R-Ohio, defended his decision not to consult with the White House.

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Monkey See
11:57 am
Wed January 21, 2015

'Parks And Recreation' Shows The Beating Heart Of Its Great Love Story

Nick Offerman and Amy Poehler play the platonic friends at the very beating heart of Parks And Recreation.
Ben Cohen NBC

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 6:56 am

The wedding of Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler) and Ben Wyatt (Adam Scott) was one of Parks and Recreation's greatest moments. So was the wedding of April Ludgate (Aubrey Plaza) and Andy Dwyer (Chris Pratt). But Tuesday night, Parks spent the second half of its hourlong double episode on its greatest love story: the friendship of Leslie and Ron Swanson (Nick Offerman).

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All Songs Considered
11:43 am
Wed January 21, 2015

Viking's Choice: Native Lights, 'Blue Star'

Native Lights.
Jeremy Charles Courtesy of the artist

Sometimes you don't know that you've missed something, like an old friend or a recipe tucked away in a cookbook, until it reappears just when it's needed. In August, I went to see Unwed Sailor's set in Washington, D.C., partly out of nostalgia. I came away not only fortified by the instrumental rock band's currency, but also reminded of primary songwriter Johnathon Ford's thoughtful, ardent bass playing; he also worked with the underrated Roadside Monument in the '90s. Without using words, Ford is a natural storyteller who doesn't force an emotional narrative.

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Parallels
11:00 am
Wed January 21, 2015

The Challenge Of Fact-Checking North Korea

North Korean defector Shin Dong-hyuk came to prominence in a 2012 book about his life in a North Korean prisoner camp. He now says some key parts of his story were not true. His case highlights the difficulty in confirming information in a closed society like North Korea.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 1:16 pm

Shin Dong-hyuk told a powerful story about the misery of life in a North Korean prison camp, becoming the most famous defector from that notoriously reclusive country.

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