World

Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
8:28 pm
Fri September 13, 2013

Not My Job: Writer Mark Leibovich Gets Quizzed On Louis XIV

Ralph Alswang Courtesy Blue Rider Press

Originally published on Sat September 14, 2013 12:32 pm

Washington, D.C., has long been thought of as a city filled with corrupt, cynical careerists who care only about themselves. Well, New York Times reporter Mark Leibovich has written a book called This Town that basically proves it.

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The Two-Way
6:52 pm
Fri September 13, 2013

Social Security Wrongfully Paid $1.3 Billion In Disability

People line up outside of the Social Security Administration office in San Francisco, in February of 2005.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

The Government Accountability Office says that the Social Security Administration made about $1.3 billion in payments over two years to about 36,000 people who were believed to be working, while claiming they were disabled.

The GAO arrived at this number by comparing names on the National Directory of New Hires and people on disability insurance.

While $1.3 billion sounds like a whole lot of money, keep in mind that this only represents less than 1 percent of all the disability benefits paid by the agency.

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Shots - Health News
6:23 pm
Fri September 13, 2013

Synthetic Marijuana Prompts Colorado Health Investigation

A sign outside a medical marijuana dispensary in Manitou Springs, Colo. Voters amended the state's constitution to legalize marijuana for recreational use in November 2012.
Eric Whitney

Originally published on Mon September 16, 2013 5:58 pm

More than 150 people are now believed to have been sickened by synthetic marijuana in Colorado, which legalized recreational use of real pot last November. Three people may have died.

State and federal investigators are scrambling to identify the exact source of the illnesses. The state health department has named about a dozen illicit products, often sold as "incense," that it believes are responsible for at least some of the illnesses. The stuff goes by names like "Spice," "Crazy Clown" and "Dead Man Walking."

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Shots - Health News
5:58 pm
Fri September 13, 2013

After Disasters, DNA Science Is Helpful, But Often Too Pricey

A Thai medic checks bodies for forensic identity in Phang Nga province in southern of Thailand on Jan. 11, 2005. Thousands of people were killed in Thailand after a massive tsunami struck on Dec. 26, 2004.
Pornchai Kittiwongsakul AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri September 13, 2013 7:32 pm

Human DNA is the ultimate fingerprint. A single hair can contain enough information to determine someone's identity — a feature that's been invaluable for identifying the unnamed casualties of natural disasters and war. But forensic scientists who use DNA say the technology isn't always available where it's most needed, like in poor countries, or in war zones like Syria.

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Parallels
5:56 pm
Fri September 13, 2013

Is Brazil Ready To Step On The World Stage?

An under-20 soccer team trains on the beach in Recife, Brazil.
Melissa Block/NPR

Originally published on Fri September 13, 2013 6:04 pm

As Brazil readies to host next year's World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics, All Things Considered host Melissa Block is in the country reporting on how it's all coming together.

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Environment
5:54 pm
Fri September 13, 2013

Spy Drones Turning Up New Data About Hurricanes And Weather

A Global Hawk unmanned aircraft comes in for a landing at the Wallops Flight Facility in Wallops Island, Va., on Sept. 7, 2012, after studying Hurricane Leslie. The remotely controlled planes can stay in the air for as long as 28 hours and fly over hurricanes at altitudes of more than 60,000 feet.
NASA

Originally published on Fri September 13, 2013 6:57 pm

For several weeks now, two unmanned spy planes have been flying over the Atlantic on an unusual mission: gathering intelligence about tropical storms and hurricanes.

The two Global Hawk drones are a central part of NASA's five-year HS3 (Hurricane and Severe Storm Sentinel) Mission investigating why certain weather patterns become hurricanes, and why some hurricanes grow into monster storms.

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NPR Story
5:51 pm
Fri September 13, 2013

Another Week Of College Football, And Yet Another Scandal

Originally published on Fri September 13, 2013 6:04 pm

It's another week of college football and yet another scandal, this time at Oklahoma State, the subject of a five part investigative story by Sports Illustrated involving athletes taking cash from coaches, sex, and drugs. Sportswriter Stefan Fatsis joins Audie Cornish to talk about that and the ultra-hyped big game between Alabama, the defending national champion and Texas A&M, home of the most polarizing player in college football, quarterback Johnny Manziel.

NPR Story
5:51 pm
Fri September 13, 2013

Kerry And Lavrov Turn Focus To Setting Up Peace Conference

Originally published on Fri September 13, 2013 6:04 pm

The US and Russia continue talks on the proposed transfer of Syria's chemical weapons arsenal to UN control.

NPR Story
5:51 pm
Fri September 13, 2013

Did Jon Krakauer Finally Solve 'Into The Wild' Mystery?

Originally published on Fri September 13, 2013 6:04 pm

In 1992, a young man headed into the Alaskan wilderness seeking a new way of life and perhaps an escape from the modern world. Four months later, emaciated and helpless, he died. This short, fatal experiment with simple living was exhaustively explored by Jon Krakauer in his book, Into The Wild. But one core mystery remained: Was the journey a slow-motion suicide mission? Or was his death an accident? Jon Krakauer had a theory: unintentional poisoning. Now, he thinks he has proof. He tells Audie Cornish about the new evidence.

Europe
5:51 pm
Fri September 13, 2013

Off The Tuscan Coast, Raising The Ill-Fated Costa Concordia

An aerial view taken on Aug. 23 shows the Costa Concordia as it lies on its side next to Giglio Island. The wrecked cruise ship will be rolled off the seabed and onto underwater platforms.
Alessandro Bianchi Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri September 13, 2013 8:29 pm

Weather permitting, one of the largest maritime salvage operations ever attempted will get underway Monday in the waters off of an Italian island.

Twenty months ago, in January 2012, the Costa Concordia luxury liner smashed into a jagged reef, killing 32 people. Since then, the vessel has being lying on its side — an unsightly wreck visible for miles around.

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Asia
5:51 pm
Fri September 13, 2013

Men Convicted Of Gang Rape, Murder In India Sentenced To Die

Originally published on Fri September 13, 2013 6:04 pm

The four men convicted of rape and murder in an Indian court were sentenced to death in New Delhi Friday. Last December, the men lured a young woman onto a bus, and then raped and tortured her before throwing her off the vehicle. She died of her injuries two weeks later. The death sentences were greeted with approval by the victim's family, and there have been widespread calls for the men to hang ever since details of their crime became known.

The Two-Way
5:50 pm
Fri September 13, 2013

Judge Rules 'Ikea Monkey' To Remain In Animal Sanctuary

A still from news video of Darwin's great escape in December.
ABC News

Originally published on Fri September 13, 2013 6:12 pm

Darwin the 'Ikea monkey' will no longer be hitting the superstores with a Canadian woman who calls him her son after a judge in Ontario ruled that the primate is not a pet and should remain at an animal sanctuary.

As we wrote in December, Darwin, a Japanese macaque dressed in a heavy shearling coat, attracted considerable attention when he escaped from a locked crate in owner Yasmin Nakhuda's car in Toronto. He made his way through rows of parked cars and ended up inside a nearby Ikea store before staff there cornered him and called in animal control officials.

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It's All Politics
5:35 pm
Fri September 13, 2013

Vote For The Creature From The Black Lagoon

Originally published on Fri September 13, 2013 9:36 pm

How do you break out of the pack if you're in a mayoral race with dozens of other candidates?

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The Two-Way
4:59 pm
Fri September 13, 2013

Hong Kong Bans Shark Fin At Official Functions

This file picture taken on January 2, 2013 shows shark fins drying on the roof of a factory building in Hong Kong.
Antony Dickson AFP/Getty Images

Shark fin will no longer be included on the menus of official government functions in Hong Kong, the country said in a press release on Friday.

"No shark fin, bluefin tuna or black moss will be on the menu at official entertainment functions," the government said. "The items have aroused international and local concern because they are either captured or harvested in ecologically unfriendly or unsustainable ways, or cause other conservation concerns."

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The Two-Way
3:32 pm
Fri September 13, 2013

Police Start Clearing Zocalo Of Striking Mexican Teachers

General view of the Zocalo of Mexico City, on September 2, 2013, while thousands of teachers camp in protest against the new education law passed by the Congress.
Ronaldo Schemidt AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri September 13, 2013 7:06 pm

This post was last updated at 6:58 p.m. ET.

Riot police moved into Mexico City's Zocalo Plaza on Friday to remove thousands of striking teachers from the historic square.

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World Cafe
3:07 pm
Fri September 13, 2013

Preservation Hall Jazz Band On World Cafe

Preservation Hall Jazz Band.
Courtesy of brittanicadotcom

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 2:28 pm

New Orleans' Preservation Hall, the dirt-floor space off Bourbon Street, was founded in 1961 as a place for the elders of Crescent City jazz to play nightly. Today, World Cafe talks with Ben Jaffe; like his father Alan, who ran the space initially, Jaffe is a tuba player who guides the world-renowned band today.

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From Scratch
2:49 pm
Fri September 13, 2013

Rob Kalin, Founder Of Etsy

Host Jessica Harris speaks with Rob Kalin, the founder of Etsy, the online marketplace for handmade goods. The company has become a vehicle for more than one million artisans who sell their products.

Harris also speaks with Andy Levine, co-founder of Sixthman.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Africa
2:45 pm
Fri September 13, 2013

What A Chatty Monkey May Tell Us About Learning To Talk

The gelada monkey, found only in the highlands of Ethiopia, is known as the bleeding heart baboon for the splash of red on its chest. Males of the species have a remarkable vocal agility greater than that of any nonhuman primate.
Gregory Warner NPR

Originally published on Sat September 14, 2013 2:04 am

The gelada monkey, also known as the bleeding heart baboon, makes a gurgling noise or wobble sound that scientists say is close to human speech — at least in how much facial coordination it requires.

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Song Travels
2:40 pm
Fri September 13, 2013

James Ingram On 'Song Travels'

James Ingram.
Charley Gallay Getty Images Entertainment

R&B singer-songwriter James Ingram rose to prominence for his 1982 duet with Patti Austin, "Baby, Come to Me," and continued a string of partnerships with hit-makers such as Quincy Jones and Michael McDonald. Ingram has been nominated for 14 Grammy Awards, including wins for "One Hundred Ways" and "Somewhere Out There."

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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
2:11 pm
Fri September 13, 2013

The Physicist's View Of Reality

Gold exists, just as it really is, just as the physicist knows it to be, and that has nothing to do with us.
Michal Cizek AFP/Getty Images

Science is more like the United Nations than it is like a village. Different communities of scientists carry out their work using their own methods, languages and styles. Scientists in different fields need interpreters if they are to communicate with each other. There is no scientific lingua franca, not even mathematics.

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