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Research News
4:04 am
Fri May 10, 2013

What Does 'Sexual Coercion' Say About A Society?

One contemporary analysis links the increase in gender equality in a society with increased sexual empowerment of women and less sexual coercion. But there's more to it than that.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri May 10, 2013 10:46 am

Anthropologists, sociologists and biologists have explored over several decades many factors that shape the likelihood of sexual coercion of women by men.

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All Tech Considered
2:17 am
Fri May 10, 2013

Peers Find Less Pressure Borrowing From Each Other

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri May 10, 2013 7:10 am

The Internet has managed to disrupt many industries, from publishing to music. So why not lending?

Google is teaming up with the nation's largest peer-to-peer lender. The search and tech giant is investing $125 million in Lending Club, which gets borrowers and lenders together outside the conventional banking system. Google's move and the actions of other big players reflect a growing interest in peer-to-peer lending.

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Environment
2:16 am
Fri May 10, 2013

College Divestment Campaigns Creating Passionate Environmentalists

Students associated with the group Brown Divest Coal protested in front of the Brown University president's office during a rally May 3. The group is demanding that the university stop investing in certain oil and coal companies.
Courtesy of Brown Divest Coal

Originally published on Fri May 10, 2013 10:04 am

At about 300 colleges across the country, young activists worried about climate change are borrowing a strategy that students successfully used in decades past. In the 1980s, students enraged about South Africa's racist Apartheid regime got their schools to drop stocks in companies that did business with that government. In the 1990s, students pressured their schools to divest Big Tobacco.

This time, the student activists are targeting a mainstay of the economy: large oil and coal companies.

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Food
2:13 am
Fri May 10, 2013

Unpacking Foreign Ingredients In A Massachusetts Kitchen

A kitchen renovation revealed some unusual items Laurel Ruma had picked up while traveling: chickpea flour, harissa and chia seeds.
Laurel Ruma

Originally published on Fri May 10, 2013 7:10 am

This is the second installment of NPR's Cook Your Cupboard, a food series about improvising with what you have on hand. Got a food that has you stumped? Submit a photo and we'll ask chefs about our favorites!

Laurel Ruma, an NPR listener from Medford, Mass., didn't realize quite how much she had gathered up from her travels until renovating her kitchen last summer. She unearthed things like harissa, chickpea flour and black chia seeds.

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Planet Money
2:12 am
Fri May 10, 2013

Why (Almost) No One In Myanmar Wanted My Money

Lam Thuy Vo / NPR

Originally published on Fri May 10, 2013 6:50 pm

When you arrive in Myanmar, you can see how eager the people are to do business. At the airport in Yangon, new signs in English welcome tourists. A guy in a booth offers to rent me a local cellphone — and he's glad to take U.S. dollars. But when I pull out my money, he shakes his head.

"I'm sorry," he says.

He points to the crease mark in the middle of the $20 bill. No creases allowed.

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StoryCorps
9:03 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

Preserving The Motherhood Advice And Memories Of A Mom

Carol Kirsch and her daughter, Rebecca Posamentier, visited StoryCorps in 2008. Posamentier visited again recently.
StoryCorps

Originally published on Fri May 10, 2013 7:10 am

In 2008, Rebecca Posamentier visited StoryCorps with her mother, Carol Kirsch.

"My mom was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's, and I was hoping to get her voice and her thoughts on tape before she couldn't express them anymore," Posamentier said recently during a second visit to StoryCorps.

Kirsch died in March 2011, but during that first visit, Posamentier chatted with her mother about well, motherhood.

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It's All Politics
6:54 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

Shape Of Debate In Missouri: Tinfoil Hats And Toy Helicopters

Things got a little out of hand at the Missouri state Capitol late Wednesday.
Bill Greenblatt UPI /Landov

Things got a little out of hand at the Missouri state Capitol late Wednesday. An unusual evening session of the House featured a representative wearing a tinfoil hat, a toy black helicopter flying around the chamber and some heated words between legislators.

"It was definitely tense," says Jonathan Shorman, a reporter for the Springfield News-Leader. "It was a moment of high drama for the session."

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The Two-Way
4:54 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

Sailor Reportedly Killed In Capsize Of America's Cup Racer

Andrew 'Bart' Simpson stands to the left of fellow sailor Iain Percy at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
William West AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 9, 2013 7:48 pm

Update at 7:15 p.m. ET: Sailor Was 'Trapped Underneath Boat'

On its website, Artemis Racing says Simpson, 36, "was trapped underneath the boat and despite attempts to revive him, by doctors afloat and subsequently ashore, his life was lost." Artemis says Simpson was part of an 11-member team aboard the boat and that all others have been accounted for.

Update at 6:40 p.m. ET: Dead Sailor Identified:

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Heavy Rotation
4:51 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

Heavy Rotation: 5 Songs Public Radio Can't Stop Playing

Savages.
Richard Dumas Matador Records

Originally published on Thu June 6, 2013 4:16 pm

In this installment of Heavy Rotation — where we bring to you public radio's new favorite songs — we collaborated with KCRW in Santa Monica, Calif., to bring you an exclusive track from British singer Laura Mvula's session on Morning Becomes Eclectic, plus enjoy a download from rising post-punk band Savages, courtesy of WXPN in Philadelphia.

This week's panel includes:

  • Anne Litt, a DJ at KCRW in Los Angeles.
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Business
4:50 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

Bangladesh's Powerful Garment Sector Fends Off Regulation

Garment workers sew T-shirts at a factory in Dhaka, Bangladesh, in 2009. Bangladesh, the world's second-largest clothing exporter, has lured clothing makers through a combination of low wages and light regulation.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 14, 2013 4:41 pm

Eight people died Wednesday in a fire at a Bangladeshi sweater factory. This follows the much deadlier collapse of the Rana Plaza building, where more than 900 people died.

The deaths are taking place in a garment sector that has seen explosive growth over the past three decades. The country has managed to lure clothing-makers through a combination of low wages and light regulation.

As a manufacturing center, Bangladesh has little to recommend it. The roads are poor. There's no port to speak of. The electricity is notoriously unreliable. It's politically unstable.

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The Two-Way
4:13 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

Feds Reach Agreement With Montana School On Sexual Assaults

University of Montana President Royce Engstrom, right, discusses the school's effort to reform the way it handles sexual assault cases, as Deputy Assistant Attorney General Roy Austin, left, and U.S. Attorney for Montana Michael Cotter listen.
Matt Gouras AP

The Department of Justice has reached an agreement with the University of Montana to resolve an investigation into the school's response to accusations of sexual harassment since 2009. The federal inquiry will continue to examine how Missoula city officials have handled such cases.

"The Justice Department started its investigation a year ago, following a string of reports of sexual assaults," reports NPR's Martin Kaste, for our Newscast Desk. "Female students said their complaints weren't taken seriously or followed up on properly."

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The Salt
4:11 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

Big Ag Agrees to Conserve Cropland, But At What Cost?

Peanut plants grow on a Halifax, N.C., farm that received federal subsidies in 2011.
Robert Willett MCT /Landov

Taxpayers help subsidize crop insurance premiums for farmers to the tune of about $9 billion dollars, a figure that's growing each year. These policies protect farmers from major losses, and help support their income even if there's no loss of crops.

And in return? Well, environmentalists argue that farmers who receive this financial support should be required to be good stewards of the land.

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Science
4:11 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

Could You Talk To A Caveman? Scientists Say It's Possible

Would Mel Brooks' famous 2,000-Year-Old Man have understood modern language? Researchers say there's a possibility.
ABC/Photofest

Originally published on Tue May 14, 2013 4:41 pm

In 1961, Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner came up with some basic theories of caveman linguistics in their 2,000-Year-Old Man skit. Most of them had to do with rocks, as in, "What are you doing with that rock there?"

Now, a professor in England has questioned the validity of the famous caveman's rock-centric theories. And Mark Pagel of the University of Reading is reaching even further back, to the time of the 15,000-year-old man.

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The Two-Way
4:07 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

Top U.S. Official Meets With Rebels Inside Syria

Robert Ford, the State Department's point man on Syria policy, appears before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on April 11.
Michael Reynolds EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Thu May 9, 2013 4:34 pm

Ambassador Robert Ford, the State Department's point man on Syrian policy, crossed into northern Syria on Wednesday. The secret visit was confirmed by Syrian activists at the media office at the Bab al-Salama crossing on the Turkish frontier.

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Asia
4:03 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

Pakistani Women Still Struggle For A Voice In Politics

One of the few women competing in Pakistan's parliamentary election on Saturday is Naz Baloch, 33, a first-time candidate. She's the daughter of a politician, but is running for a different party than her father.
Julie McCarthy NPR

Originally published on Tue May 14, 2013 4:41 pm

Flags of the competing political parties whip in the wind of seaside Karachi. But little else is stirring in this city of 18 million this day.

The MQM, a leading political party in the megacity, has shut Karachi down with a general strike in response to a deadly bombing at its election office. But as soon as the strike ends, the streets spring to life as if nothing were amiss.

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NPR Story
4:03 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

In Newsrooms, Some Immigration Terms Are Going Out Of Style

Protesters demonstrate in downtown Orlando, Fla., on May 1, 2006. Most news outlets have long abandoned the use of the term "illegals."
Roberto Schmidt AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 14, 2013 4:41 pm

Journalists make choices all the time that influence our understanding of the news — the choice of what stories to cover, which people to interview, which words to use. And major news organizations have been reconsidering how best to describe a group of people whose very presence in this country breaks immigration law.

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The Salt
3:22 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

Samoans Await The Return Of The Tasty Turkey Tail

A chef in the kitchen of NPR headquarters prepares turkey tails.
Art Silverman/NPR

Originally published on Fri May 10, 2013 11:04 am

This is the tale of turkey tail — it's convoluted arrival, disappearance and highly anticipated return to the Pacific island the Republic of Samoa (not to be confused with American Samoa).

It's hard to pinpoint precisely when turkey tails started being imported into Samoa from the U.S. and when they became a favorite, affordable dish. Meat byproducts (Spam and fatty lamb cuts from New Zealand) started showing up sometime after World War II, and turkey tails came shortly thereafter.

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Shots - Health News
3:19 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

How Can Identical Twins Turn Out So Different?

But what about their personalities?
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue May 14, 2013 4:41 pm

A study of genetically identical mice is providing some hints about humans. How can one identical twin be a wallflower while the other is the life of the party?

The study of 40 young mice found that their behavior grew increasingly different over three months, even though the mice shared the same genes and lived in the same five-level cage, researchers report Thursday in the journal Science.

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National Security
3:15 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

House Questions Terrorism Detection Tools After Boston Attack

Originally published on Thu May 9, 2013 7:48 pm

The House Homeland Security Committee held its first hearing on the Boston Marathon bombing and aftermath on Thursday. Witnesses included the Boston police commissioner and former Sen. Joe Lieberman. Panel Chairman Mike McCaul has been highlighting intelligence failures.

The Two-Way
2:45 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

Son Of Ex-Pakistani Premier Kidnapped At Election Rally

Musa Gilani (right) is comforted on Thursday after his brother, Ali Haider Gilani, was kidnapped at an election rally.
Zeeshan Hussain AP

Originally published on Thu May 9, 2013 3:28 pm

Gunmen in Pakistan stormed an election rally and abducted the son of a former prime minister — the latest violence in a bloody campaign ahead of nationwide polling.

Armed men drove up to an election rally in the city of Multan, opened fire, grabbed Ali Haider Gilani and sped off, witnesses said. Gilani, who is running for a seat in the Punjab provincial assembly, is the son of former Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani.

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World Cafe
2:30 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

The Slide Brothers On World Cafe

The Slide Brothers.
Brad Gregory Courtesy of the artist

Calvin Cooke, Aubrey Ghent and brothers Darrick and Chuck Campbell are The Slide Brothers. The band's self-titled album debut album was produced by Robert Randolph, the spectacular young pedal-steel guitarist who became the first player from the Sacred Steel tradition to break out to a wider audience.

On this installment of World Café, the band plays three songs from its album and tells host David Dye about the difference between performing for the congregation at Church of the Living God and playing on club and concert stages.

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The Two-Way
1:45 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

After 100,000+ Downloads, Group With 3-D Gun Plans Goes Dark

The Liberator — a plastic handgun made with a 3-D printer.
Defense Distributed

Minutes ago, just as we were reading a Forbes story headlined "3D-Printed Gun's Blueprints Downloaded 100,000 Times In Two Days," this message appeared on the Twitter page of the group that has made those plans available to the world:

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The Two-Way
1:28 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

Feds Charge Alleged New York Cell In International Cyber Heist

Cybercriminals allegedly hacked into databases for prepaid debit cards and used the compromised data to steal from ATMs around the world.
Damien Meyer AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 9, 2013 4:39 pm

Eight people in New York have been charged as part of what prosecutors say was a global ring of cybercriminals who stole $45 million by hacking into prepaid credit card accounts and then using the data to get cash from thousands of ATMs around the world.

U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Loretta Lynch described the alleged scheme as "a massive 21st century bank heist that reached across the Internet and stretched around the globe. In the place of guns and masks, this cybercrime organization used laptops and the Internet."

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Shots - Health News
1:14 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

Using Bacteria To Swat Malaria Inside Mosquitoes

More than a hundred different species of Anopheles mosquitoes can transmit malaria to people.
Adam Cole NPR

Originally published on Fri May 10, 2013 10:10 am

It's a bit like probiotics for mosquitoes.

When scientists infect mosquitoes with a specific bacterium, the insects become resistant to the malaria parasite.

Sounds like an easy way to stamp out malaria, right? Just introduce the infected mosquitoes into an area and let the bugs take over the natural population.

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The Two-Way
1:03 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

Stunning Satellite Images Show A Changing Globe

Originally published on Thu May 9, 2013 2:28 pm

Google has released a stunning cache of satellite images that show how the globe has changed in recent decades. Thursday's announcement came from the search giant's official blog:

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Health
1:00 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

No Longer Experimental, Egg Freezing May Appeal To More Women

Originally published on Thu May 9, 2013 1:44 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

Between the ages of 36 and 38, Sarah Elizabeth Richards spent $50,000 to have her eggs frozen. That wiped out her savings and the money her parents had set aside for a wedding, and she writes, it was the best investment I ever made. Improved technology gives women the choice to freeze their eggs when they're younger and schedule motherhood when they're ready. The experimental status of this procedure was lifted last year.

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Author Interviews
12:51 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

'The Woman Upstairs': A Saga Of Anger And Thwarted Ambition

Picture of an old attic
Minas Panagiotakis iStockPhoto.com

Originally published on Thu May 9, 2013 1:59 pm

"How angry am I? You don't want to know. Nobody wants to know." Those are the opening lines of Claire Messud's new novel, The Woman Upstairs. The novel is about a single woman, Nora, who hasn't fulfilled her dreams of being an artist and having children. Nora's plight is complicated when she befriends a woman who has done both.

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NPR Story
12:40 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

What We Can Learn From The Viral Spotlight On Charles Ramsey

Originally published on Thu May 9, 2013 1:40 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan.

This week, the country celebrated the story of three women liberated 10 years after they were kidnapped and held all that time in a house in Cleveland. But there's another person in this story who made headlines: Charles Ramsey. He's the animated neighbor who helped rescue Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED INTERVIEW)

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NPR Story
12:40 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

Buzz Aldrin's Case For A 'Mission To Mars'

Astronaut Buzz Aldrin walks on the surface of the moon during the Apollo 11 extravehicular activity on July 20, 1969.
NASA/AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 10, 2013 1:40 pm

Sixty-six years after the Wright Brothers made history at Kitty Hawk, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin stepped onto the surface of the moon. From that pivotal moment on, Aldrin has advocated for continued and expanded space exploration. Now, he argues that 66 years after the Eagle landed at Tranquility Base, Americans should establish a presence on Mars.

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NPR Story
12:40 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

Syrian Conflict Raises Thorny Issues Beyond The Mideast

Originally published on Sun May 12, 2013 7:28 am

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. At the beginning of this week, as we absorb news of Israeli air strikes outside Damascus and questions about nerve gas and red lines, there was a report that a Shiite shrine near the Syrian capital had been ransacked by Sunni extremists and the body of a Shia holy man exhumed and hidden away.

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