World

The Two-Way
4:25 pm
Tue July 23, 2013

WATCH: Disco, The Parakeet, Takes On 'Monty Python'

Disco, the parakeet.
YouTube

Originally published on Tue July 23, 2013 8:49 pm

We'll get back to the real news in a little bit. But we would be downright irresponsible, if we didn't point you to the latest from Disco, the parakeet.

His owners just posted a video that shows Disco trying to learn the famous line from Monty Python, "Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition."

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Shots - Health News
4:19 pm
Tue July 23, 2013

Obama Turns To Comedians To Promote Health Coverage

Comedian Sarah Silverman helped get out the vote for Obama in 2008 and 2012.
YouTube

Who needs jocks when you've got Jennifer Hudson and Amy Poehler?

That seems to be the message coming out of the White House following a star-studded meeting yesterday led by White House Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett. Its mission: Figure out how to help promote the Affordable Care Act.

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All Tech Considered
4:15 pm
Tue July 23, 2013

See The 10 States With The Fastest Internet Connections

Vermont, New Hampshire and Delaware get a notable benefit of being small: faster Internet connections. In the latest Akamai State of the Internet Report, they top the list of states with the fastest average connection speeds, and make the top 10 states with fastest peak connection speeds, too.

Check out the rankings, which include download speeds measured in megabits per second, and the year-on-year change for those numbers.

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Asia
4:13 pm
Tue July 23, 2013

Families Of Poisoned Children Try To Cope In India

Originally published on Tue July 23, 2013 6:16 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

In India, police have widened their hunt for the principal of an elementary school. It's the place where 23 children died last week after eating a toxic school lunch. The principal has been missing, along with her husband, since the day the children fell sick. An arrest warrant has been issued for her. In the meantime, parents of the victims are trying to cope with the tragedy. NPR's Julie McCarthy visited some of the families who live in one of India's poorest states.

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Religion
4:13 pm
Tue July 23, 2013

Jubilation, Protest Greet Pope Francis In Brazil

Originally published on Tue July 23, 2013 6:16 pm

Pope Francis arrived in Rio de Janeiro on Monday and was greeted by adoring masses and protesters alike. It is his first foreign trip since becoming pope.

Afghanistan
4:13 pm
Tue July 23, 2013

Some Afghans Worried As NATO Withdrawal Deadline Nears

Originally published on Tue July 23, 2013 6:16 pm

It's been a bad month in U.S.-Afghan relations and efforts to negotiate a long-term security pact have been sidelined by a series of controversies and rhetorical bombshells. As the end of the NATO mission creeps closer, Afghans are increasingly worried that the bad atmospherics between Washington and Kabul could leave the Afghan people without enough U.S. support and vulnerable to predatory neighbors.

Middle East
4:13 pm
Tue July 23, 2013

Dempsey Wary Of U.S. Involvement In Syria

Originally published on Tue July 23, 2013 6:16 pm

The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Martin Dempsey, has outlined the costs and benefits of the military options the U.S. is considering for Syria. The options include training rebels, military strikes and establishing a no-fly-zone. Dempsey offered his assessment in a letter to the top Senator on the Armed Services Committee. He noted there would be "unintended consequences" to any action, a reference to the past decade of military action in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Book Reviews
4:13 pm
Tue July 23, 2013

Popes, Politics And Power: The Story Of The Borgia Family

Originally published on Tue July 23, 2013 6:16 pm

If every era gets the historical fiction it deserves, we have been good indeed. From the transcendent psychological rummagings of Hilary Mantel to the gooey pleasures of Philippa Gregory, we can set aside flowery bodice-rippers (not that there's anything wrong with those) and view the dusty figures through lenses literary, pop culture-y, or near-pornographic.

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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
4:04 pm
Tue July 23, 2013

Can You Trust A Robot? Let's Find Out

While Hollywood has firmly planted the idea in our minds that robots may very well turn out to be evil, academic research into dangerous interactions between humans and robots has only just begun.
The Halcyon Company The Halcyon Company

Originally published on Tue July 23, 2013 4:47 pm

When they come — and they are coming — will the robots we deploy into human culture be capable of evil? Well, perhaps "evil" is too strong a word. Will they be capable of inflicting harm on human beings in ways that go beyond their programing?

While this may seem like a question for the next installment of The Terminator franchise (or The Matrix or whatever, pick your favorite), it's a serious question in robotics and it's being taken up by researchers now.

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Music
3:14 pm
Tue July 23, 2013

5 New Faces Of Folk, At The 2013 Newport Folk Festival

Alynda Lee Segarra records as Hurray For The Riff Raff, one of the emerging acts making its debut at the Newport Folk Festival this year.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue July 23, 2013 6:16 pm

The Newport Folk Festival's history is dotted with historic moments involving musical icons — Bob Dylan plugging in jumps immediately to mind. But, while organizers still take care to stack each festival with huge names and star veterans, the margins are smartly and lovingly curated, too. The 2013 Newport Folk Festival is no different, with an impressive slate of boundary-pushers and genre-eschewers. Here are five of the newest and most promising faces, with a downloadable song from each.

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All Tech Considered
2:58 pm
Tue July 23, 2013

Apps Block Social Media Because Users Can't Stop Themselves

Need to focus? Apps are available to block you from distraction.
toolstop Flickr

Originally published on Tue July 23, 2013 4:48 pm

Social media sites have gotten so difficult to ignore that millions of people are using apps to stop them from wasting time on the Internet. So if you lack self-control, no problem. Just download SelfControl — the app.

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The Two-Way
2:33 pm
Tue July 23, 2013

WATCH: Royal Couple Leave Hospital With Their Baby Boy

Britain's Prince William, right, and Kate, Duchess of Cambridge hold the Prince of Cambridge on Tuesday as they pose for photographers outside St. Mary's Hospital in London.
Kirsty Wigglesworth AP

Originally published on Tue July 23, 2013 3:49 pm

With the streets flooded with spectators and media, Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge emerged from the hospital with their bundle of joy on Tuesday.

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The Picture Show
2:01 pm
Tue July 23, 2013

A Hotshot Bit By The Shutter Bug

Wildland firefighter and photographer Gregg Boydston in Arizona.
Courtesy of Gregg Boydston

Originally published on Tue July 23, 2013 10:01 pm

Several years ago, I was driving through Northern California when an eerie orange hue flooded the landscape. It took several more miles to see the plumes of smoke in the distance, the charred hillsides — and the occasional firefighter seeking some shade near the road.

"What is life like for those guys?" I wondered.

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NPR Story
1:55 pm
Tue July 23, 2013

Photos: The Royal Baby Boy Meets The World

A souvenir edition of a British newspaper commemorates the birth of the future king. The son of Prince William and Kate is third in line to the throne.
Sang Tan AP

Originally published on Tue July 23, 2013 5:10 pm

A photo gallery of events surrounding the naming of the royal baby.

World Cafe
1:49 pm
Tue July 23, 2013

The Handsome Family On World Cafe

The Handsome Family.
Jason Creps Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed October 2, 2013 5:53 pm

Brett and Rennie Sparks have inhabited a unique musical world together since the '90s. As The Handsome Family, husband Brett sings and writes the melodies while wife Rennie focuses on the lyrics; the resulting ghost stories and murder ballads have won the band an intense cult following. After years spent in Chicago, where Wilco helped boost its profile, The Handsome Family now resides in Albuquerque, N.M.

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Shots - Health News
1:43 pm
Tue July 23, 2013

Time To Get Out Of The High-Risk Health Insurance Pool?

High-deductible "last resort" health plans have been the only option for some folks with pre-existing conditions. No more.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue July 23, 2013 3:16 pm

The online health insurance marketplaces can't open soon enough for Chris and Kristi Petersen. Enrolled in the Iowa high-risk insurance pool because insurers on the private market won't cover them, the couple pays more than $1,300 each month for a plan with a $2,500 annual deductible and a 20 percent copay for medical services. It's more than they can afford.

"At the end of this year, these exchanges are either going to have to offer some relief, or I'm just going to quit working and let the welfare take care of us," says Chris. "I'm fed up with it. I'm fed up with insurance."

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Planet Money
1:30 pm
Tue July 23, 2013

NYT Excerpt: What If Manhattan Got Rid Of Rent Control?

Payton Chung

Originally published on Tue July 23, 2013 1:43 pm

In his New York Times Magazine column this week, Adam Davidson writes about the housing market in New York City. Here's an excerpt.

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Mountain Stage
1:11 pm
Tue July 23, 2013

Lucius On Mountain Stage

Lucius perform on Mountain Stage.
Brian Blauser Mountain Stage

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 3:31 pm

Lucius makes its first appearance on Mountain Stage, recorded live on the campus of West Virginia University in Morgantown. Led by singers Holly Laessig and Jess Wolfe, Lucius mixes eerily tight vocals with lush instrumentation for a sound that's won fans everywhere from Seventeen magazine to Nobel Laureate Paul Krugman.

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NPR Ombudsman
12:55 pm
Tue July 23, 2013

The 'Hot' Female Senator and the Rule of Reversibility

I wanted to spark a debate and got an earful.

Still, the many comments I received to my July 9 column on referring to Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand as "perky" and speaking with a "girlie" voice were so generally insightful that I thought I might pick up on them here.

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Technology
12:15 pm
Tue July 23, 2013

Observing Ramadan, On Your Smartphone?

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Switching gears now. We are about halfway through the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. That's where observant Muslims abstain from food, drink and intimacy during daylight hours and take special care to pray and reflect on their spirituality. If you are currently observing Ramadan, you might sometimes forget that it's time to pray or eat until you hear this coming out of your pocket.

(SOUNDBITE OF APP, MUSLIM PRO)

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