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The Salt
5:34 am
Sun December 8, 2013

Between Pigs And Anchovies: Where Humans Rank On The Food Chain

An animal's ranking on the food chain depends on where its meals place on the ladder. That puts plants on the bottom (they make all their food), polar bears on top and people somewhere between pigs and anchovies.
Lisa Brown for NPR

Originally published on Wed December 11, 2013 10:28 am

When it comes to making food yummy and pleasurable, humans clearly outshine their fellow animals on Earth. After all, you don't see rabbits caramelizing carrots or polar bears slow-roasting seal.

But in terms of the global food chain, Homo sapiens are definitely not the head honchos.

Instead, we sit somewhere between pigs and anchovies, scientists reported recently. That puts us right in the middle of the chain, with polar bears and orca whales occupying the highest position.

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The Two-Way
2:53 am
Sun December 8, 2013

Winter Storm Moves Into Mid-Atlantic

Tractor trailers sit on I-35 north of Dallas on Saturday.
Tony Gutierrez AP

Originally published on Mon December 9, 2013 10:28 am

Freezing rain has been creeping across Tennessee on its way to the mid-Atlantic as the stunning cold, snow and ice that gripped Texas and the west on Saturday advance eastward.

The storm is expected to turn Virginia and Pennsylvania into an icy mess today and scrabble north into New York and southern New England tonight.

Roads will be perilous in many places by this evening and forecasters warned travelers and holiday shoppers to stay home.

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Remembrances
6:33 pm
Sat December 7, 2013

Nelson Mandela: From 'Second-Class Citizen' To World-Revered Leader

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR West. I'm Arun Rath.

A great man died two days ago. The world is still mourning. Journalists still haven't run out of things to say, not even close. Because while great men and women die regularly, there's something very, very different about this one.

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Africa
6:33 pm
Sat December 7, 2013

Mandela's Young Days Marked By More Radical Activism

A writer who has studied Nelson Mandela's life as a young man says the leader known for his grace and forgiveness, and for helping South Africa end apartheid while avoiding civil war, was once seen in a much different light. At one point, he even trained in guerrilla warfare.

NPR Story
5:29 pm
Sat December 7, 2013

To Better Remember Nelson Mandela, Get To Know This 'Country'

A file photo dated 1961 of South African anti-apartheid leader and African National Congress (ANC) member Nelson Mandela.
STF/AFP Getty Images

Originally published on Tue December 10, 2013 11:02 am

Since the death of anti-apartheid activist Nelson Mandela, tributes and memorials have poured in from around the globe. Mourners count among their number leaders from dozens of countries, including American presidents and Iran's Hassan Rouhani.

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The New And The Next
5:25 pm
Sat December 7, 2013

An 'Accidental Activist,' And England's World Cup Hope

Michael Regan Getty Images

Originally published on Sun December 8, 2013 3:47 pm

The online magazine Ozy covers people, places and trends on the horizon. Co-founder Carlos Watson joins All Things Considered regularly to tell us about the site's latest discoveries.

This week, Watson tells NPR's Arun Rath about about a rising star in soccer who could turn things around for England in the World Cup, and a Bahraini woman who calls herself an "accidental activist." He also shares a clip from an Ozy interview with President Bill Clinton regarding Nelson Mandela's legacy.

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Around the Nation
5:25 pm
Sat December 7, 2013

N.Y. Train Crash Spotlights Push For Automatic Safety System

A police officer stands guard at the scene of a Metro-North passenger train derailment in the Bronx borough of New York on Dec. 1.
John Minchillo AP

Originally published on Mon December 9, 2013 11:36 am

A commuter train crash that killed four passengers in New York is raising questions about whether a high-tech safety system could have prevented the derailment.

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Author Interviews
5:25 pm
Sat December 7, 2013

'Pomegranate Lady' Depicts The Comedy And Tragedy Of Exile

iStockphoto

Originally published on Sat December 7, 2013 6:33 pm

Goli Taraghi writes about life in Iran — about love, loss, alienation and exile. She is particularly equipped to the task, as her own exile from the country began in 1980 at the outset of the Iranian Revolution.

In 1979, she was a professor living in Tehran with her two young children, and initially supported the movement.

"Of course the turmoil started, and then the executions, and the university was closed, and I thought the best thing is to go abroad and stay just one year," says Taraghi.

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NPR Story
5:25 pm
Sat December 7, 2013

Mandela's Path, In His Own Words

Originally published on Sat December 7, 2013 6:33 pm

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

Nelson Mandela served as president of South Africa for five years, elected in the country's first free election with voters from all races. But Mandela decided not to run for a second term. Instead, he set the stage for new elections and a modern democracy. So in June 1999, South Africans and world leaders gathered to inaugurate Thabo Mbeki, the second freely elected president of South Africa. Here are excerpts from Mandela's words that day.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

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NPR Story
5:25 pm
Sat December 7, 2013

South Africans Mourn Mandela, Celebrate His Life

Originally published on Sat December 7, 2013 6:33 pm

South Africa's official period of mourning for former President Nelson Mandela will culminate in his funeral a week from Sunday. Mandela's death left South Africans with "a sense of profound and enduring loss," says the nation"s president, Jacob Zuma. His compatriots, as well as foreign visitors, are flocking in homage to the Mandela homes in Soweto and Johannesburg.

NPR Story
5:25 pm
Sat December 7, 2013

How U.S. Activists Helped Push South Africa Away From Apartheid

Originally published on Sat December 7, 2013 6:33 pm

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

Growing up when I did, going to high school and college in the '80s and early '90s, I don't think I saw real political activism until I encountered the anti-apartheid movement. My own church sent a busload of congregants to picket the South African embassy. We all felt like we had a moral stake in ending apartheid and freeing Nelson Mandela.

Richard Knight says the anti-apartheid movement helped put pressure on South Africa's white leaders.

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The Protojournalist
4:47 pm
Sat December 7, 2013

The Scent Of Pepper Spray Is In The Air

A police officer uses pepper spray on seated Occupy demonstrators at the University of California, Davis, on Nov. 18, 2011.
Thomas K. Fowler AP

Just in the past few days:

  • In Baton Rouge, La., joggers concerned about a recent attack on a runner are carrying pepper spray.
  • In Missoula, Mont., a woman files a complaint against a man for pepper-spraying her golden retriever.
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The Two-Way
4:36 pm
Sat December 7, 2013

A Small 4.5 Quake Strikes During OU-OSU Game

An ESPN sportscaster reacts to a small earthquake.
YouTube

Originally published on Sat December 7, 2013 6:22 pm

Today college football saw another upset, when Oklahoma beat Oklahoma State to kill their Big 12 championship and BCS bowl game hope.

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The Two-Way
3:57 pm
Sat December 7, 2013

Obama: History Tells Us Sanctions, Threats Won't Make Iran Cave

President Obama participates in a conversation with Saban Forum Chairman Haim Saban at the 10th annual Saban Forum on Saturday.
Pete Marovich Getty Images

Originally published on Sun December 8, 2013 8:19 am

During an hour-long talk at the Brookings Saban Forum 2013, President Obama explained his calculations as it relates to peace in the Middle East and negotiating with Iran over its nuclear program.

Obama took some hard questions posed by skeptical Israeli journalists Saturday, and he faced probing questions posed by moderator and media mogul Haim Saban, an Israeli-American supporter of Obama.

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The Two-Way
1:05 pm
Sat December 7, 2013

U.S. Veteran, Held By North Korea, Arrives Safely In Calif.

Merrill Newman (left) walks beside his wife Lee and son Jeffrey after arriving at San Francisco International Airport on Saturday.
Ben Margot AP

Originally published on Sat December 7, 2013 1:57 pm

Saying this was a "great homecoming," Merrill Newman, the 85-year-old Korean War veteran who had been held by North Korea for weeks, walked out of San Francisco International Airport with his wife on Saturday.

As we reported, Newman was deported by North Korea on Friday, days after he appeared on state TV reading an apology for alleged war crimes.

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The Two-Way
11:45 am
Sat December 7, 2013

France Increases Its Troops In The Central African Republic

French troops patrolled the Central African Republic's tense capital on Saturday, as reinforcements crossed into the country as part of a UN-mandated effort to quell a wave of deadly sectarian violence.
Sia Kambou AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat December 7, 2013 1:51 pm

France is increasing its military presence in the Central African Republic. The Associated Press reports that after a summit in Paris on Saturday, French President François Hollande said 1,600 troops would be deployed by the end of the day and they would remain in the country until tensions between Muslim and Christian militias cool.

The BBC reports:

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Shots - Health News
10:03 am
Sat December 7, 2013

Gene Therapy Keeps 'Bubble Boy' Disease At Bay In 8 Children

David Vetter was born without a functioning immune system and spent his life in a bubble that protected him from germs. He died at age 12 in 1984. Scientists are using gene therapy to treat the disorder so that children can live normally.
Science Source

Researchers say they are achieving success in curing the genetic defect that causes some children to be born without immune defenses, a rare condition made famous in the 1970s by a Texas boy who lived most of his short life in a sterile "bubble."

Scientists now report that 8 out of 9 young children given gene therapy for a type of severe combined immunodeficiency disease, called SCID-X1, are alive and living amid the everyday microbial threats that would otherwise have killed them. The oldest is just over 3 years old.

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The Two-Way
9:47 am
Sat December 7, 2013

Another Winter Storm Moves East: More Snow, Ice Expected

Six-year-old Enari Hernandez (left) and her cousin Maritza Jimenez, 6, play in front of a damaged tree in their neighbors yard on Saturday in Plano, Texas.
Stewart F. House Getty Images

Originally published on Sat December 7, 2013 1:40 pm

After a significant winter storm dumped a mixture of snow and ice across the country's midsection, another gruesome storm is moving east and meteorologist say the Eastern Seaboard should prepare for the kind of conditions that paralyzed cities in Texas, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Arkansas and Missouri.

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Parallels
9:28 am
Sat December 7, 2013

When Nelson Met Boris: How Mandela's Grace Transformed A Moment

South African President Nelson Mandela and Russian President Boris Yeltsin shake hands in Moscow on April 29, 1999.
Misha Japaridze AP

It was the spring of 1999 in Moscow, and two of the 20th century's great revolutionary leaders were having their first face-to-face talks as presidents of their nations.

South Africa's Nelson Mandela was meeting Russia's Boris Yeltsin. I was in the Kremlin's great hall to cover the historic meeting for the South African Broadcasting Corp.

Mandela was 80, his hair gray and his movement stiff, but he was still very sharp and aware, with that famous glint in his eye.

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Fresh Air Weekend
9:03 am
Sat December 7, 2013

Fresh Air Weekend: Alexander Payne, Baby Photos And Ted Williams

Alexander Payne arrives at the 69th annual Golden Globe Awards in 2012.
Chris Pizzello AP

Originally published on Sat December 7, 2013 11:12 am

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors, and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

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