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The Two-Way
11:14 am
Tue April 30, 2013

Just In Case: Cruise Line Insured Against Loch Ness Monster

This is an undated file photo of a shadowy shape that some people still claim is the Loch Ness monster in Scotland.
AP

There's word that a Scottish cruise line has taken out an insurance policy in case of a beastly disaster. Jacobite Cruises is now insured against damage from the Loch Ness Monster.

"We see it as keeping in line with good business practice," Freda Newton, managing director of Jacobite Cruises, tells The Scottish Sun. "There is so much going on — people have tried to hunt the Loch Ness Monster, people have tried to capture it. We just don't know what could happen. It's prudent."

The Sun reports:

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Shots - Health News
11:08 am
Tue April 30, 2013

Evening Primrose Oil No Match For Eczema's Itch

Evening primrose, also known as sundrops, may be more useful in the garden than in the medicine cabinet.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 11:22 am

Eczema is an itchy and, to some, an embarrassing skin ailment. Typical medial treatments like cortisone are less than ideal.

So some people have turned to evening primrose oil, a remedy made from the seeds of a yellow wildlflower that are rich in the essential fatty acid gamma-linolenic acid.

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The Two-Way
10:54 am
Tue April 30, 2013

4-Year-Old Rape Victim Dies In India

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 1:20 pm

A young girl raped this month in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh has died, according to several news reports. The 4-year-old child had been lured with chocolate by her alleged attacker, who later dumped her at a farm, as NPR's Julie McCarthy has reported.

The New York Times' India Ink blog says the girl's parents found her April 18, the day after the attack, and that she had been in a coma since. She sustained extensive brain and vaginal injuries.

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Interviews
10:04 am
Tue April 30, 2013

C.J. Chivers: On The Ground In Syria

Gmutlu iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed May 1, 2013 5:48 pm

New York Times reporter C.J. Chivers, has spent much of the past year with the rebels in Syria, and has written poignantly about the impact of the fighting on the lives of ordinary Syrians and its devastating impact on that ancient land. Before becoming a journalist Chivers was a Marine and his knowledge of the military sometimes leads him to stories that only an insider would see.

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The Two-Way
9:54 am
Tue April 30, 2013

Ontario's First Nation Struggles With Spike In Suicides

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 11:50 am

The Neskantaga First Nation is grappling with mental health and other issues in northern Ontario, Canada, where a high suicide rate prompted officials to declare a state of emergency earlier this month. With a population of about 400, the community has seen an average of about 10 suicide attempts a month in 2013, according to local officials.

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Krulwich Wonders...
9:45 am
Tue April 30, 2013

The Boomerang Rocket Ship: Shoot It Up, Back It Comes

YouTube

What in heaven's name is happening here?

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The Salt
9:24 am
Tue April 30, 2013

Mon Dieu! Fast Food Now Rules In France

Fast times on the Champs-Elysees: People walk past a McDonald's on one of Paris' most storied avenues. But it's not just McD's that has caught French interest: Fast food now accounts for the majority of restaurant spending in the country.
Thomas Coex AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 8:27 am

When it comes to culinary matters, France, in many minds, is synonymous with fine dining. So it might surprise you that, for the first time, sales at fast food chains have overtaken those at traditional restaurants in the country that gave us the word gastronomie.

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U.S.
9:19 am
Tue April 30, 2013

Obama Answers Questions On Syria, Guantanamo, More

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 1:27 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. Let's talk about President Obama's news conference this morning on the 100th day of his second term. NPR's David Welna has been listening in this morning. Hi, David.

DAVID WELNA, BYLINE: Hi, Steve.

INSKEEP: The president was immediately asked about the use of chemical weapons in Syria.

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The Two-Way
8:33 am
Tue April 30, 2013

New Arizona Law: Guns From Buybacks Can't Be Destroyed

Detective Enrique Chavez logs weapons from a gun buyback in Miami. Arizona's new law requires municipalities to re-sell weapons recovered in such programs.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 8:38 am

Cities in Arizona that conduct buyback programs to get guns off the street will now be required to re-sell those weapons, according to a new law signed by the governor.

Gov. Jan Brewer signed the legislation late Monday "preventing local governments from melting down the weapons obtained from these popular civic events. Before the new law, the state had allowed such firearms to be destroyed," according to Reuters.

The news agency says:

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Shots - Health News
8:05 am
Tue April 30, 2013

Consensus Builds For Universal HIV Testing

Katherine Tapp, 26, tries a rapid HIV test offered at the Department of Motor Vehicles in Washington, D.C., in June 2012. It's part of an effort to get more people screened.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 10:02 am

Everybody needs an HIV test, at least once.

That's the verdict from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, which has just joined the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and a scrum of professional medical societies in calling for universal testing for the virus that causes AIDS.

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The Two-Way
7:56 am
Tue April 30, 2013

In Japan: Running Out Of Places To Put Radioactive Water

As they inspected an underground storage pool near the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant earlier this month, Tokyo Electric Power Co. President Naomi Hirose (4th from left) and other officials wore protective suits and masks. Radioactive water stored in some of the pits has leaked.
Tokyo Electric Power Co. Reuters /Landov

Adding to reporting from NPR, The Associated Press and other news outlets, The New York Times writes Tuesday that:

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The Two-Way
7:41 am
Tue April 30, 2013

Home Prices Continue To Rise Across The Nation

A home that was for sale earlier this month in Washington, D.C.
Jonathan Ernst Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 8:10 am

There were solid increases in home prices during the month of February across all 20 major cities where that data is tracked, according to the latest S&am

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The Two-Way
7:21 am
Tue April 30, 2013

Bombing In Syrian Capital Kills At Least 13 People

Syrian government security officers after a blast in the Marjeh district of Damascus on Tuesday.
Louai Beshara AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 8:15 am

Syrian state TV is reporting that a bomb blast in Damascus has killed at least 13 people, a day after the country's prime minister narrowly escaped a car bomb.

The Associated Press reports:

"The bombings appear to be part of an accelerated campaign by opposition forces seeking to topple President Bashar Assad to strike at his heavily protected seat of power. ...

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The Two-Way
6:55 am
Tue April 30, 2013

Obama: Rumors Of My Demise Are Exaggerated

President Obama during his news conference Tuesday at the White House.
Larry Downing Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 12:02 pm

  • President Obama's April 30, 2013, news conference

(We updated the top of this post with a recap at 11:45 a.m. ET.)

Joking that a reporter's question Tuesday about whether he has "any juice" left to get things done in Washington made it sound like "I should just pack up and go home," President Obama paraphrased Mark Twain:

"Rumors of my demise may be a little exaggerated," the president said, as he predicted that an overhaul of the nation's immigration laws will be among the things that get accomplished in his second term.

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The Two-Way
6:04 am
Tue April 30, 2013

Book News: 'Winnie-The-Pooh' Author Wrote WWI Propaganda

British author A.A. Milne looks positively Bond-esque in this photo from 1952.
Associated Press

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 8:38 am

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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The Two-Way
5:53 am
Tue April 30, 2013

Orange Is Everywhere As Dutch Welcome New King

New Dutch King Willem-Alexander, Queen Maxima and their daughters wave to the crowd Tuesday from the balcony of the royal palace in Amsterdam.
Patrick Van Katwijk DPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 10:12 am

The signing ceremony looked rather simple, but the celebrations seemed joyous Tuesday in Amsterdam as Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands handed over the crown to her son Willem-Alexander.

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Europe
5:50 am
Tue April 30, 2013

40,000-Piece Puzzle Has A Great Fall

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 9:19 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. The day after British jigsaw puzzle maker Dave Evans finished his 40,000-piece puzzle, it was leaning on a wall and suddenly had a great fall. This biggest ever hand-cut wooden puzzle is a montage of images form the queen's jubilee and it's due to be displayed in one of the queen's ballrooms next week.

So Evans is asking for help, hoping that some of the queen's men and women can help him put it back together again. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Around the Nation
5:37 am
Tue April 30, 2013

Colorado To Tax Legalized Marijuana

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 9:19 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning, I'm Steve Inskeep.

The debate over taxes now extends to pot. Colorado voted to legalize marijuana but lawmakers have been debating how to tax it, and that debate is partisan. Democrats want taxes high, saying consumers will gladly pay. Republicans want lower taxes, saying otherwise a black market will develop. But to their credit, lawmakers took a deep breath, inhaled, and let the system work. After considering a 30 percent tax, the State House trimmed it to 25.

The Two-Way
5:08 am
Tue April 30, 2013

Dozen People Said To Be Under Investigation In Boston Probe

This image from a surveillance video helped investigators identify Tamerlan Tsarnaev (in black cap) and his brother, Dzhokhar (in white cap), as the main suspects in the Boston Marathon bombings.
FBI.gov

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 8:38 am

  • From the NPR Newscast: Dina Temple-Raston reports

The investigation into the April 15 bombings at the Boston Marathon is widening, with authorities looking at about a dozen people to see whether they might have helped the two main suspects either before or after the attack, law enforcement officials familiar with the probe tell NPR's Dina Temple-Raston.

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NPR Story
3:01 am
Tue April 30, 2013

Advocates Honor LaHood's Time At Transportation Department

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 1:27 pm

As outgoing Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood prepares to hand off the baton to President Obama's nominee, Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx, Morning Edition reflects on Lahood's legacy. What have he and the president accomplished? What's still to be done?

NPR Story
3:01 am
Tue April 30, 2013

Sanford, Colbert Busch Clash In Sole Debate Before Special Election

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 1:27 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

There's a high profile congressional race going on in South Carolina and last night the two candidates met in their first - and only - debate. For the Republican, former South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford. This is an attempted political comeback, but it's being hindered by new allegations by his ex-wife that reminds some voters of how Sanford left office in the first place.

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NPR Story
3:01 am
Tue April 30, 2013

Virgin Galactic Reaches Milestone In Space Tourism Industry

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 9:19 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

The billionaire Richard Branson is happy this morning. His Virgin Galactic spacecraft successfully completed its first rocket-powered test flight.

NPR's Wendy Kaufman reports.

WENDY KAUFMAN, BYLINE: Branson's high flying endeavor has been plagued with delays and technical problems, but on Monday, after an early morning flight from the California desert, the often flamboyant billionaire said history was being made.

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National Security
1:20 am
Tue April 30, 2013

U.S. Faces Fight At Intersection Of Crime And Extremism

Gen. Antonio Indjai (left), Guinea-Bissau's army chief of staff, at the funeral of the country's late president, Malam Bacai Sanha, on Jan. 15, 2012. The U.S. says Indjai has been involved in drug trafficking, an allegation he denies. He recently eluded a U.S. sting operation that led to the capture of other officials from his country.
Mamadu Alfa Balde AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 1:27 pm

A suspected drug kingpin from the tiny West African nation of Guinea-Bissau was captured on the high seas by agents from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency earlier this month, brought to Manhattan and is now awaiting trial.

The dramatic sting operation sheds light on what officials say is a growing national security threat: criminal networks teaming up with extremist organizations.

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Author Interviews
1:20 am
Tue April 30, 2013

'Wonderful Words' In Willa Cather's No-Longer-Secret Letters

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 1:27 pm

Willa Cather is one of America's greatest literary voices. Most notably, her stories of immigrant farmers in Nebraska are intimate windows into the lives that make up a greater history of American settlement and struggle.

Cather was also a pioneering female writer in a literary world run by men, and a driven businesswoman — meticulous about every detail of her work, down to the very design of a book jacket. And when she died in 1947, she left a will forbidding the adaptation of her works to theater or film and the publication of her personal letters.

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All Tech Considered
1:19 am
Tue April 30, 2013

Will Bureaucracy Keep The U.S. Drone Industry Grounded?

Paul Applewhite of Applewhite Aero isn't allowed to fly this 3-pound Styrofoam plane. That's because he has added circuitry to make it autonomous — it can find its way to specified coordinates — which means it's an unmanned aerial vehicle requiring a special testing permit.
Martin Kaste NPR

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 1:27 pm

Americans are suspicious of drones. Reports of the unmanned aerial vehicles' use in war zones have raised concerns about what they might do here at home. For instance, in Seattle earlier this year, a public outcry forced the police department to abandon plans for eye-in-the-sky UAV helicopters.

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It's All Politics
1:18 am
Tue April 30, 2013

ATF Allies Say Agency Handicapped By Lack Of Director

ATF agents search last week for evidence at the site of the fire and explosion in West, Texas.
Tom Reel/The San Antonio Express-News AP

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 1:27 pm

It's one of the smallest law enforcement agencies in the federal government, but the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has sure had a busy couple of weeks.

Dozens of its agents raced to Boston, where they analyzed bombs left near the finish line of the marathon. Others went south to Texas, where a fertilizer plant exploded under mysterious circumstances. Members of the ATF's national response team are still on the scene in tiny West, Texas, sifting through rubble at the blast site, near a crater that's 93 feet wide.

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Latin America
1:17 am
Tue April 30, 2013

Brazil Seeks To Avoid Own Goal Ahead Of World Cup

The renovated Maracana stadium hosts a game by the teams "Friends of Bebeto" and "Friends of Ronaldo" during the stadium's inauguration in Rio de Janeiro on Saturday.
Silvia Izquierdo AP

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 9:19 am

Soccer isn't just a sport in Brazil, it's a religion, and the main temple is the Maracana in Rio de Janeiro.

The venue is not only the biggest stadium in Brazil but the biggest in South America. Over the weekend, the newly renovated complex reopened to great fanfare, with stirring musical numbers, a light show and dignitaries including Brazil's president.

The headlines in the local media, however, focused not on the fanfare but on the many problems, from flooding in the VIP area to malfunctioning seats and turnstiles. The stadium was also four months late reopening.

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Shots - Health News
1:09 am
Tue April 30, 2013

Why Calif. Doesn't Want Smokers To Pay More For Health Insurance

Californian State Assemblyman Richard Pan (center) is the author of legislation that would bar higher prices for health insurance sold to smokers.
Rich Pedroncelli AP

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 1:27 pm

Smoking has its risks, but in California higher prices for health insurance probably won't be among them.

The federal health law allows states to charge smokers up to 50 percent more for a health plan, but a bill moving forward in the California Legislature would prevent that from happening.

The Affordable Care Act is supposed to remove discrimination in the pricing of health insurance for things like gender and medical condition. Critics say a tobacco surcharge creates a new category of discrimination against smokers.

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All Tech Considered
1:07 am
Tue April 30, 2013

When It Comes To Productivity, Technology Can Hurt And Help

With instant messages buzzing, emails pinging and texts ringing, how can employers increase productivity in the workplace? Software companies are tackling the problem, tracking employees' computer time to find ways to improve their efficiency.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 1:27 pm

Even when people think they're buckling down, studies show the average office worker wastes over a third of the day. There's Facebook, of course, and the email from a friend with a YouTube link. After all that, is it time to go get coffee?

Worker pay is the most expensive line item in the budget for most businesses, which means billions of dollars are going to waste.

But here's the silver lining: It turns out lack of productivity presents a big business opportunity.

Joe Hruska is pretty blunt about how much work anyone does in a typical day.

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Environment
1:04 am
Tue April 30, 2013

He Helped Discover Evolution, And Then Became Extinct

Poacher-turned-conservationist Karamoy Maramis, who works at Bogani Nani Wartabone National Park in Sulawesi, holds a maleo, a bird that exists in nature only on the Indonesian island.
Rebecca Davis NPR

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 1:27 pm

Ask most folks who came up with the theory of evolution, and they'll tell you it was Charles Darwin.

In fact, Alfred Russel Wallace, another British naturalist, was a co-discoverer of the theory — though Darwin has gotten most of the credit. Wallace died 100 years ago this year.

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