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The Two-Way
3:23 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

Wal-Mart Meeting Spurs Protests Over Low Pay, Safety Issues

Wal-Mart U.S. CEO Bill Simon speaks to shareholders at Bud Walton Arena in Fayetteville, Ark., during this week's shareholders' meeting. The company is coping with a bribery scandal, as well as demands from workers.
Gareth Patterson AP

Retailing giant Wal-Mart Stores' annual shareholders' meeting this week showed signs of the company's recent turbulence, as protesters assembled at corporate headquarters to shout slogans and demands.

Despite a court-issued restraining order, the protesters, including workers who are on strike, decried low wages and called for better safety procedures for supply-chain workers. And some of their views were heard inside the meeting, as well.

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The Two-Way
3:16 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

Grain Deaths Fall In 2012 But Industry Share Grows

John Poole NPR

A new report from grain safety researchers at Purdue University says eight people died while trapped in grain last year, another steep drop from the record year of 2010, when 31 people lost their lives in grain bins and other grain storage facilities.

The continued decline in incidents since 2010 is credited to drier and smaller harvests since then. The grain stored in bins in 2010 was generally harvested wet and tended to spoil and clog. Workers and farmers went into bins to unclog grain and were trapped in a "quicksand" effect common in flowing grain.

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The Salt
2:42 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

Hold The Hot Dog: National Park Visitors Can Feast On Bison Burgers

Stefan Larsson serves up bison sloppy Joes and juniper-smoked bison tenderloin, which will be offered at the Yellowstone National Park this summer. Each park will have different menus featuring local foods.
Maggie Starbard NPR

Originally published on Fri June 7, 2013 8:29 pm

The director of the National Park Service doesn't have anything against hot dogs or pizza being served in eateries in national parks.

"But I wanted more options, and more healthy choices," Jonathan Jarvis told me at a tasting event this week to unveil new standards for the concessionaires who operate more than 250 food and beverage operations in national parks.

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The Picture Show
2:42 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

Photo Staff Firings Won't Shake Pulitzer Winner's Focus

Ballerinas at practice
John H. White

Originally published on Fri June 7, 2013 5:07 pm

The Chicago Sun-Times made a shocking announcement last week when it fired its entire photo staff. The paper says it will now rely on freelancers and reporters to shoot with cellphone cameras or whatever equipment they have.

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Shots - Health News
2:36 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

An Artist's Brush Reveals Tales Of Struggle And Survival

Alisa Hughley's brother Carey Hughley III was murdered at 21 by a person with untreated paranoid schizophrenia. Because she knew that he had chosen to be an organ donor, she was able to convince her grieving parents to approve the donations. "I was able to allay my parents' concerns," she says. "He was able to save four lives."
Maggie Starbard NPR

Most health policy meetings are a dull gray snooze of business suits talking data. They seem a million miles removed from making sick people healthy. But this week in Washington, D.C., some of those meetings was enlivened by a sudden flash of color.

The back of one woman's suit jacket bore a painting, a Renoir-like portrait of a mother and child. A man's blazer showed him reborn after years of despair. Another woman's jacket portrayed a young man holding his organ donor card. A petite redhead's jacket blazed with a scarlet letter "A."

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The Two-Way
2:31 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

Why Being Stuck On A Tarmac With The Philly Orchestra Rocks

Artists from the Philadelphia Orchestra perform at the Temple of Heaven in Beijing, capital of China.
Luo Xiaoguang Xinhua /Landov

Originally published on Tue June 11, 2013 9:28 am

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Book Reviews
2:30 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

'Beside Ourselves' Explores Human-Animal Connections

Originally published on Fri June 7, 2013 3:47 pm

Note: The audio and text of this review describe a major plot point that is not revealed until partway into the book.

If you know Karen Joy Fowler's writing only from her clever, 2004 best-seller, The Jane Austen Book Club, you're in for a shock. Fowler's new novel, We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, is a different literary creature altogether — still witty but emotionally and intellectually riskier, and more indebted to Fowler's other books that toy with the sci-fi genre.

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The Two-Way
1:43 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

Reports: Husband Cleared, Wife Arrested In Latest Ricin Case

There's been an arrest by federal authorities who are trying to track down the person responsible for last month mailing possibly ricin-laced letters to President Obama, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and a gun control group the mayor supports.

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Medical Treatments
1:33 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

Promising Results In Early Trial of Novel MS Treatment

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. In the disease multiple sclerosis, the body's own immune cells stage a mutiny. Those cells, white cells, normally go after foreigners in the body like bacteria or other invaders that make us sick. But in MS, the immune cells go after the body itself, attacking the myelin covering that wraps around nerve cells. As that myelin gets degraded, nerve signals don't get transferred properly, and that's what leads to the symptoms of MS.

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The Salt
1:32 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

On National Doughnut Day, Free Food And Feel-Good History

The cover of the Salvation Army's War Cry magazine from 1918 commemorates the "Doughnut Girl."
Wikimedia Commons

Originally published on Tue June 11, 2013 10:43 am

We here at The Salt tend to look at themed food holidays with a heavy dose of skepticism. Most of these days sound more like marketing schemes than true reasons for a national day of remembrance.

So we were pleasantly surprised to learn that there is a bona fide historical reason to chow down on a deep-fried pastry today to mark National Doughnut Day.

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Three-Minute Fiction
1:25 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

Picked Clean

iStockphoto.com

She found her brother's finger in the grass by the shed.

The grass glistened with the morning dew, but the finger did not.

She picked it up. She had seen it fall. He'd been running for the house, away from the toolshed, and he'd been holding onto the finger and onto the space where the finger had been, and despite his concentration, and in his haste, he had let go of the one to hold on tighter to the other.

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Three-Minute Fiction
1:24 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

Chips

iStockphoto.com

The door slam is meant to be symbolic, I can tell, one last "take that!" in our roiling argument. But that door never did fit right in the frame, so it swings back open, revealing the heel of his departing shoe and the flick of his coat as he swings around the corner. I hear his footfalls stop, and imagine him pondering a return to slam the door, for real this time.

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The Two-Way
1:21 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

Poll: Americans, Chinese Harbor Mutual Suspicions

Originally published on Fri June 7, 2013 2:05 pm

As President Obama and his Chinese counterpart prepare for a weekend summit in California to discuss thorny bilateral issues, a new poll shows that ordinary Americans and Chinese increasingly eye one another with suspicion.

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The Two-Way
1:03 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

California Nuclear Plant Slated For Permanent Shut Down

The San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station at San Onofre State Beach in a 2012 photo.
David McNew Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 7, 2013 1:54 pm

California's San Onofre nuclear power plant will be shut down for good amid concerns as to whether it could be safely restarted after being offline since early last year because of a radiation leak.

The plant's operator, Southern California Edison, said in a statement Friday that San Onofre's twin reactors "had served the region for over 40 years" but that the 16 months of uncertainty about whether they would or wouldn't go back online "was not good for our customers, our investors or the need to plan for our region's long-term electricity needs."

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The Two-Way
12:44 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

'Nobody Is Listening To Your Telephone Calls,' Obama Says

President Obama on Thursday in Mooresville, N.C.
Davis Turner EPA /LANDOV

In his most extensive comments so far on the revelations this week about the electronic data that the nation's spy agencies are collecting, President Obama told the American people Friday that "nobody is listening to your telephone calls."

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The Two-Way
12:44 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

'Night Stalker' Richard Ramirez Dies In Prison

Originally published on Fri June 7, 2013 1:38 pm

Richard Ramirez, the serial killer known as the Night Stalker, has died of natural causes in California, the AP reports, citing corrections officials.

KRON-TV reports that Ramirez was on death row in California's San Quentin prison. The station adds:

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The Two-Way
12:18 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

'I Didn't Want To Be Pope,' Francis Tells Group Of Children

Pope Francis speaks with Jesuit school students Friday at the Vatican.
Andreas Solaro AFP/Getty Images

Speaking to a huge group of children Friday at the Vatican, Pope Francis pushed aside a set of prepared remarks to talk directly to them and answer some of their questions.

One of his frank responses to a girl named Teresa was this: "Anyone who wants to be Pope doesn't care much for themselves, God doesn't bless them. I didn't want to be Pope," reports Reuters.

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The Two-Way
12:05 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

Flooding Threatens Hungary As Central Europe Reels From Rain

An aerial view of the flooded Danube River in Deggendorf, Germany, on Friday.
Armin Weigel AP

Surging rivers in central Europe are threatening more people downstream, following heavy rains this week and a very sodden spring. After inundating Austria, the Czech Republic, Germany, Poland and Slovakia, the next area of danger appears to be Hungary.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban warned Friday that "it is now certain that we must face the largest-ever flood on the Danube, so we must be prepared for the worst," The Associated Press reported.

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The Two-Way
12:03 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

As Tropical Storm Andrea Heads North, East Coast Is Drenched

A map showing the amount of rainfall forecast during the next 24 hours.
National Weather Service

The Eastern Seaboard is getting drenched this morning, as Tropical Storm Andrea moves north along the coast.

Check out this rainfall map put out by the Weather Prediction Center:

It shows that in the next 24 hours, a wide swath of the Mid-Atlantic will get hammered with about 3 inches of rain and New York may see close to 4 inches.

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Middle East
11:56 am
Fri June 7, 2013

Opposition Spokesman Won't Commit To Syria Peace Talks

Originally published on Fri June 7, 2013 4:53 pm

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

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