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Electronic cigarettes are often billed as a safe way for smokers to try to kick their habit. But it's not just smokers who are getting their fix this way. According to a survey published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 5 middle school students who've tried one say they've never smoked a "real" cigarette. And between 2011 and 2012, e-cigarettes doubled in popularity among middle and high school students.

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The water has been contaminated for residents in nine counties. At a congressional hearing in West Virginia, their representatives demanded the answer to that simple question we asked earlier: Is the water safe?

Here's Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito questioning the state's commissioner of public health, Letitia Tierney.

REPRESENTATIVE SHELLEY MOORE CAPITO: Dr. Tierney, is the water safe to drink?

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

There are some basic things we take for granted, at least in the developed world, that the air we breathe or the water that flows into our homes won't make us sick. So imagine you turn on your local TV news to this.

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UNIDENTIFIED MAN: State of emergency in several counties tonight after a chemical spills into the water supply. Good evening. I'm...

Father Greg Boyle, the founder of Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles, talks with NPR's Arun Rath about his organization's mission and financial struggles. The nonprofit, which is going into its 26th year, is the largest gang-intervention program in the country.

U.S. alpine skier Andrew Weibrecht's finish in the men's super-G earned him a silver medal on Sunday. It was a remarkable follow-up to the bronze medal he won four years ago in Vancouver.

In 2011, I crossed the border with other journalists into a country that had been cut off from the world for 42 years. We had no idea what to expect as we entered what the rebels were calling "Free Libya."

Where before there had been oppressive security, instead what greeted us was a motley group of ecstatic young men with guns who welcomed journalists to the land they'd liberated. There was no passport control, no rules and a sense of relief that the world would finally hear their stories.

Ralph Metcalfe and Jim Ryun sprinted. Bill Bradley and Tom McMillen dribbled. Bob Mathias ran, tossed, and jumped. Wendell Anderson defended. Ben Nighthorse Campbell judo chopped.

The seven athletes competed in different Olympic sports and in different eras, but they had one thing in common: they all ran for Congress and won.

Norwegian mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik, serving a 21-year sentence for a 2011 shooting and bombing rampage that killed 77 people, is threatening to go on a hunger strike unless a list of demands, including access to "adult" video games and a better game console, is met by authorities.

Jean Leising admits she's no expert on brain development, but she still hopes to do something about the way kids learn.

Leising serves in the Indiana state Senate. Last month, she convinced her Senate colleagues to pass a bill that would restore instruction of cursive writing to the state's educational standards — the set of skills and knowledge kids are expected to master in each grade level.

Even in the email age, teaching cursive might be a great thing. But when legislatures impose mandates on instruction, professional educators get nervous.

As flu-watchers like to say, you can always count on influenza virus to surprise.

The latest revelation is that scientists have apparently been wrong about where new flu viruses come from. The dogma is that they always incubate in wild migratory birds, then get into domestic poultry, and then jump into mammals — especially pigs and humans.

The U.S. men's hockey team nearly shut out Slovenia in the Winter Olympics on Sunday but allowed one goal in the final seconds of the game. The 5-1 win gives the U.S. team an automatic spot in the quarterfinals.

Virtually every hockey game here in Russia is, of course, an away game for the U.S. team. The opposing teams have more fans, more flags, more face paint.

Each time one of Slovenia's players prepared to shoot, its fans chanted. But it was only at the very end of the game that they got to stand and cheer their lone goal.

Secretary of State John Kerry is continuing a push to move climate change to the top of the global agenda, telling an audience in the archipelago nation of Indonesia that rising global temperatures and sea levels could threaten their "entire way of life."

Mark Twain once said: "If you don't like the weather in New England now, just wait a few minutes."

Athletes prepare for years to compete in the Olympics, and then, in a flash, it's all over. For American speed skaters it's been a terrible Olympics, but U.S. men's Alpine skiers are managing to turn around a medals drought.

In the men's super-G competition Bode Miller won the bronze. At 36 years old, he is the oldest person ever to win a medal in Alpine skiing at the Olympics. It makes him one of the most decorated American winter Olympians, winning a total of six medals in three different Olympics.

In the past, you could go to jail for selling marijuana. Now, depending upon where you live, you could end up going to the bank.

Medical marijuana is now legal in 20 states, and legislation is pending in 13 others. It's become a $1.5-billion-a-year industry, and it's expected to triple in just a few years. With legal cannabis one of the world's fastest growing market sectors, investors are seeing green.

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This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin.

The Central African Republic is a country in chaos. Muslim rebels seized power last year and then lost it as Christian militias have fought back. And the war rages on. France and other countries have sent peacekeeping troops to the CAR. And today, Muslims are being evacuated under the protection of those international troops.

NPR's Gregory Warner is in the Central African Republic. He joins us now on the line. Greg, where are you and what are you seeing?

Dr. Lynn Ouellette, a psychiatrist from Brunswick, Maine, asks herself "What if?" a lot these days. What if they had found her son just a few minutes earlier? What if they had gotten him to the hospital sooner?

What if they'd had the overdose antidote Narcan in the house?

"What we know is that this saves lives and it gives addicts another chance," she says.

On-air challenge: Today's puzzle is called "One, Two, Three — Flip!" The answer will come in the form of two words, and for each word you'll get a clue beforehand. Reverse the order of the first three letters of the first word to get the second word. Example: Cavalry sword and more villainous = SABER, BASER.

A recent Newsweek investigation found that at many colleges and universities, being open about a mental health disorder can mean getting kicked out of school. Newsweek reporter Katie J.M. Baker speaks with NPR's Rachel Martin about the story.

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This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin.

In Jacksonville, a murder case that revolving around issues of race and right to self-defense, ended last night with mixed results. Michael Dunn was accused of shooting and killing teenager Jordan Davis outside a convenience store in a dispute over loud music. The jury couldn't agree on that murder charge but found Dunn guilty on four other counts.

NPR's Greg Allen has more in this story, which we should say includes some strong language.

Scientists Discover Universe's Oldest Star

Feb 16, 2014

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Scientists have discovered the oldest star in the galaxy. And it's really old, 13.6 billion years. Now to be clear, they had known about this star before but hadn't yet figured out its age. This star is four billion years older than any other star found to date.

Here to more to talk about what this star can tell us about the great beyond is Timothy Beers, of the National Optical Astronomy Observatory in Tucson, Arizona. Thanks so much for being with us.

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Tomorrow, Presidents Day, is supposed to be a day to honor George Washington and our other founding fathers. But for many of us, it's just a day off from work. Not so in Laredo, Texas, where Presidents Day is one of the most important events of the year. There's an elaborate parade, citizens dressed in colonial garb. But the main event is a debutante ball, honoring the wife of the first president, Martha Washington.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: (as character) Laura Alicia Gassa (unintelligible).

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Later this month, Pope Francis will welcome his first appointments to the College of Cardinals. Among the 19 men chosen for elevation are seven from Central and South America, the Caribbean and Africa. This, say observers, reflects the pope's belief that the church must pay more attention to the poor.

One comes from Haiti, a country with a long, troubled history with the Catholic Church.

Bishop Chibly Langlois says he was skeptical when he heard he'd been chosen.

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The lilting voice of Rachel Ries comes to us courtesy of many different landscapes: the wide open spaces of South Dakota, the equatorial humidity of Africa, the bucolic green of Vermont and the managed urban chaos that is Brooklyn.

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RACHEL RIES: (Singing) Time, I forgiven you, time. You were songs in my head, so I threw you over my little shoulder and you land, you landed on the floor...

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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More than 200 illegal miners near Johannesburg, South Africa, are reportedly trapped underground in an abandoned gold mine with rescuers working frantically to save them.

"Approximately 30 people are trapped towards the top of the old shaft and the rest down a steep tunnel," emergency services spokesman Werner Vermaak tells the South African Press Service.

Vermaak said the miners were discovered when someone heard screaming Sunday coming from the abandoned mine shaft.

Last August, Jeffrey Lewis saw a North Korean propaganda video, posted in April 2012, which showed its missile launchers holding intercontinental ballistic missiles, shot from an oddly-shaped building.

He was curious. So with a team of students, he modeled what the building would look like and searched for what North Korean defectors had said about the building where the missile launchers were supposedly made.

"I will admit I got a little bit obsessed with this," he says.

There are probably fewer American fans in Sochi than at previous Winter Games, partly because of concerns about security, and partly because of the time and expense it takes to get to the Russian resort town on the Black Sea.

But Americans are represented there, with gusto, by a group of evangelical Christians who call themselves the International Sports Chaplains. Members of the group have been going to the Olympic Games since 1988.

Terri Moitozo, 52, kicks her boots into her downhill skis in Rochester, N.H. Odd thing is, she's 30 miles from any mountain.

"Combining two things I love, skiing and horses," she says. "I'm excited!

Moitozo doesn't need gravity to fly across the snow — that's what her horse, Friday, is for. That, and her buddy Nick Barishian, who's riding Friday.

"He's my horse husband," she says, pointing to Barishian. "My regular husband doesn't do the horse stuff, so you gotta hire out."

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