World

Parallels
3:09 am
Thu October 24, 2013

Following Bloomberg's Lead, Mexico Aims To Fight Fat

A street vendor fries food for lunch customers in Mexico City on July 10. Mexico has now surpassed the United States in levels of adult obesity, according to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization.
Ivan Pierre Aguirre AP

Originally published on Thu October 24, 2013 11:10 am

Nearly a third of all Mexicans are obese, putting Mexico at the top of the list of overweight nations — ahead of the United States.

In the battle against the bulge, lawmakers are taking aim at consumer's pocketbooks. They're proposing a series of new taxes on high calorie food and sodas. Health advocates say the higher prices will get Mexicans to change bad habits, but the beverage industry and small businesses are fighting back.

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Ask Me Another
6:58 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

Celebrity Spoonerisms

Originally published on Thu October 24, 2013 10:37 am

Transcript

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

Joining us now are Susan Herder and Kelly Guncheon.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Hello, Susan.

SUSAN HERDER: Hi.

EISENBERG: You work helping teachers adapt new technology.

HERDER: I do.

EISENBERG: Is it like helping them post on their students' Facebook walls or what's going on here?

HERDER: No, we don't quite go that far. Not yet.

EISENBERG: Oh, that's too advanced.

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Ask Me Another
6:58 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

This, That Or The Other VI: Bad Movie Edition

Kevin Murphy (left) comforts Bill Corbett after Bill incorrectly guessed that "War With The Mutant Spider Ants" was a movie title. (It's a Choose Your Own Adventure book, naturally.)
Eamon Coyne NPR

Originally published on Thu October 24, 2013 12:03 pm

Few people love bad movies like Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett love bad movies--you know, movies that are "so bad, they're good"? The pair is known for their work on the cult TV show Mystery Science Theater 3000, and now are part of the team that creates RiffTrax--downloadable commentaries that you play along with a cheesy or shlocky film to create the sense that you're hanging out with your friends and making fun of the movie. Only your friends are professional comedians.

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Ask Me Another
6:58 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

License To Ill

Originally published on Thu October 24, 2013 10:37 am

Transcript

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

Onstage right now we have Katie Sisneros and Zach Wilson.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Katie, Zach, you know James Bond had all these cool gadgets like a hydro car and a pen that shoots poison darts. So, Katie, you're studying to be an English teacher.

KATIE SISNEROS: Yes, you got it.

EISENBERG: What neat gadget, if you were a spy, would you like to have in your repertoire?

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Ask Me Another
6:58 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

City of Twins

Originally published on Thu October 24, 2013 10:37 am

Transcript

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

And we have our first two contestants, Nate Metcalf and Collette Smith.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Nate, you are an actor and a playwright.

NATE METCALF: I work for a company that does theater for children. We go into elementary schools and do shows for kids on electrical safety, water conservation, recycling, that kind of thing.

EISENBERG: Well, that is very educational.

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Ask Me Another
6:58 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

Grammatically Incorrect Songs

Originally published on Thu October 24, 2013 10:37 am

Transcript

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

Let's welcome our next two contestants, Jess Banks and Paul Reyburn.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Paul, you're an actor and director?

PAUL REYBURN: Yes.

EISENBERG: And you were once in the "Full Monty." Did you go full monty?

REYBURN: We certainly did.

EISENBERG: All right.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: How was it?

REYBURN: Revealing.

EISENBERG: Revealing.

REYBURN: Yes.

EISENBERG: And Jess, interesting job, a game publisher.

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Business
6:32 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

Partisan Squabbles Raise Questions Over U.S. Global Influence

The U.S. Capitol is shown at sunset on Oct. 15, the 15th day of a government shutdown that some analysts say damaged the U.S. reputation worldwide.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 7:39 pm

The U.S. performance on the global stage has looked a little rocky in the past few weeks.

The Obama administration had to let Russia take a lead in managing the security challenge in Syria. The United States was also embarrassed when allies like Germany, France and Brazil reacted angrily to the news that the National Security Agency had monitored their leaders' communications.

Finally, the government shutdown and the congressional fight over the debt ceiling prompted critical comments about U.S. political dysfunction.

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Shots - Health News
5:21 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

A Toddler Remains HIV-Free, Raising Hope For Babies Worldwide

HIV-positive babies rest in an orphanage in Nairobi, Kenya. Treatment right after birth may make it possible for HIV-positive newborns to fight off the virus.
Brent Stirton Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 6:31 pm

A 3-year-old girl born in Mississippi with HIV acquired from her mother during pregnancy remains free of detectable virus at least 18 months after she stopped taking antiviral pills.

New results on this child, published online by the New England Journal of Medicine, appear to green-light a study in the advanced planning stages in which researchers around the world will try to replicate her successful treatment in other infected newborns.

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Parallels
3:10 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

Ultra-Orthodox Israeli Women Lose Election, Vow To Return

Michal Chernovitsky was one of several ultra-Orthodox women who ran for a seat on the all-male local council in El'ad, Israel. None of the women won a spot in Tuesday's vote, but they said they would continue to be active in politics.
Emily Harris NPR

Originally published on Sun October 27, 2013 8:31 am

We wanted to follow up on our story about the ultra-Orthodox women in Israel who were running for the local council in El'ad, or Forever God, a small, religious Jewish town.

Five women had challenged not only El'ad's norms, but practices across Israel's various ultra-Orthodox communities just by getting their names on the ballot and running a campaign.

None of them won a seat, but they say they will be back.

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The Two-Way
1:07 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

Chinese Paper Makes Unprecedented Plea For Reporter's Release

A woman reads the New Express newspaper with Wednesday's headline: "Please Release Him."
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 5:55 pm

"Please Release Him."

That was the simple but startling front-page headline on Wednesday in New Express, a cutting-edge newspaper based in China's southern city of Guangzhou. "Him" is Chen Yongzhou, one of the paper's investigative journalists who New Express says was taken away by police after reporting "problems with the accounts" at Zoomlion Heavy Industries."

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Parallels
12:14 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

5 Things To Know About The NSA's Surveillance Activities

Massive government surveillance of Americans' phone and Internet activity is drawing protests from civil liberties groups, but major legal obstacles stand in the way of any full-blown court hearing on the practice. Among them: government claims that national security secrets will be revealed if the cases are allowed to proceed.
Patrick Semansky AP

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 1:47 pm

It's hard to keep track of all the leaks by Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor.

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The Two-Way
12:05 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

Iran Minister: Man Who Survived Hanging Shouldn't Be Executed

A blindfolded man convicted of armed robbery, kidnapping and the slaying of two policemen awaits execution in Tehran in 2011.
Mohammad Hadi Khosravi AP

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 4:23 pm

Iran's justice minister says a convicted drug smuggler who survived an attempted execution by hanging earlier this month shouldn't go back to the gallows.

As we reported last week, the 37-year-old man, identified as Alireza M, was found alive in the morgue by his family following a 12-minute hanging. After the incident, an Iranian judge reportedly said Alireza would hang again once he had recovered from the botched execution.

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U.S.
11:49 am
Wed October 23, 2013

What Latinos Want From Immigration Reform

President Obama recently announced that he would be turning his attention to immigration reform. But what's a realistic expectation, and what are immigrant communities really hoping for? Host Michel Martin talks with Fernando Espuelas of Univision, and Eduardo De Souza, a soccer coach at Longwood University.

The Two-Way
11:10 am
Wed October 23, 2013

Norwegian Town's Bright Idea Is A Shining Example Of Ingenuity

People gathered on a spot in front of the town hall of Rjukan, Norway, last week, where mirrors have focused sunlight.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 2:22 pm

Archimedes would be proud of the town of Rjukan, Norway. So would Sam Eyde.

Rjukan, home to about 3,500 residents and situated about 70 miles west of the capital, Oslo, has installed a trio of giant mountaintop mirrors to focus light into the valley town's square during the cold (and dark) winter months.

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The Two-Way
10:27 am
Wed October 23, 2013

'Bishop Of Bling' Suspended By Pope Francis

Bishop of Limburg Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst.
Fredrik Von Erichsen AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon October 28, 2013 12:17 pm

  • NPR's Sylvia Poggioli reports from Rome

The "bishop of bling" has been suspended by Pope Francis while the Roman Catholic Church investigates allegations of overspending on renovations at the German cleric's residence and offices.

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The Two-Way
8:49 am
Wed October 23, 2013

Crisis Averted For Now In Australia's Fight Against Fires

"A high-risk gamble by firefighters" has paid off in Australia, says The Sydney Morning Herald.

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The Two-Way
8:12 am
Wed October 23, 2013

Top Stories: White House Aide Fired Over Tweets; Facebook Tightens Rules

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 8:46 am

Good morning, here are our early stories:

-- Fired White House Aide Admits He Was Twitter Troll.

-- Facebook Removes Beheading Video, Says It Will Tighten Rules.

And here are more early headlines:

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Parallels
7:53 am
Wed October 23, 2013

Headlines From Around The World

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang talks during a joint news conference with India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Wednesday.
Peng Sun AP

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 1:18 pm

We begin with an agreement between the world's most populous and second-most populous countries.

India and China signed an agreement in Beijing on Wednesday on border defense following a military standoff earlier this year in an area they both claim.

Here's more from the official Chinese Xinhua news agency:

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NPR Story
5:19 am
Wed October 23, 2013

Why Is Saudi Arabia Bickering With The U.S.?

Secretary of State John Kerry, shown in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia in June, has acknowledged the recent tensions between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia, two countries that are normally close allies.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 12:19 pm

Over the past few weeks, Saudi Arabia has been sending unmistakable diplomatic signals that it is upset with the U.S. and its policies toward Syria and Iran.

The Saudis have canceled a speech at the United Nations and rejected a prestigious seat on the Security Council. They have called in European diplomats in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, so the intelligence chief could tell them he was cutting cooperation with the U.S.

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World
5:19 am
Wed October 23, 2013

Cuba Announces Plans To Change Currency System

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 6:47 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

In Cuba, President Raul Castro is continuing his uphill effort to revive the economy and overhaul the socialist system he inherited from his brother, Fidel.

Nick Miroff reports from Havana, his latest move is to scrap a dual currency system that made little sense to locals or visitors.

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