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The Salt
6:17 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

In Meat Tests, More Data Tying Human Illness To Farm Antibiotics

Originally published on Mon November 18, 2013 4:26 pm

Are the antibiotics the livestock industry uses on animals responsible for antibiotic-resistant infections in people? Bacteria are notoriously hard to follow from farm to fork, but more pieces of the puzzle are coming together that suggest the answer is yes.

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The Two-Way
6:10 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

Supreme Court Backs Warrants For Blood Tests In DUI Cases

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 7:10 pm

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that police must generally obtain a warrant before subjecting a drunken-driving suspect to a blood test. The vote was 8-to-1, with Justice Clarence Thomas the lone dissenter.

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It's All Politics
5:53 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

Obama Uses And Loses Political Capital On Gun Control

Mark Barden, the father of a young Newtown, Conn., shooting victim, speaks at a White House news conference on Wednesday, with President Obama and former Rep. Gabby Giffords. Obama denounced the Senate's defeat of a measure to expand background checks for gun buyers. "This was a pretty shameful day in Washington," he said.
Carolyn Kaster AP

The Senate's rejection of more robust gun purchase background checks was a stinging blow to President Obama that raised questions about his second-term agenda.

Expanding background checks had become a key part of Obama's post-Newtown push for tougher federal gun control laws. And in recent weeks, the president had campaigned for overall gun control legislation — especially the bipartisan background-check compromise — with a sense of urgency.

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The Two-Way
5:43 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

WATCH: Obama Says It's A 'Pretty Shameful Day In Washington'

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 5:44 pm

President Obama ditched his usual diplomacy and accused Republican senators of putting politics ahead of the wants of the American people, when they voted to reject a bipartisan measure that would have expanded federal background checks for firearm purchases.

"All in all, this is a pretty shameful day in Washington," Obama said.

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Politics
5:38 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

Obama Criticizes Congress After Background Check Bill Fails

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 7:37 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From Boston now to the White House, where President Obama reacted angrily tonight to the failure of an effort in the Senate to expand background checks for gun purchases. The amendment, proposed by Democrat Joe Manchin and Republican Pat Toomey, got only 54 votes - six short of the necessary 60. President Obama spoke in the White House Rose Garden. He called this a pretty shameful day for Washington.

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The Two-Way
5:27 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

More Prisoners Join Hunger Strike At Guantanamo

In this image reviewed by the U.S. military, Navy Capt. Robert Durand stands next to some of the makeshift weapons confiscated from detainees at the Guantanamo Bay prison following a clash Saturday between prisoners and guards.
Ben Fox AP

The U.S. military says the number of prisoners on hunger strike at the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay has risen to 52 — up from 45 a day earlier. The news comes just days after guards raided a section of the facility to move prisoners to single cells from their communal holding area because the detainees had covered security cameras and engaged in other actions.

The Miami Herald's Carol Rosenberg had this tweet:

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It's All Politics
4:37 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

Immigration Proves A 'Rubik's Cube' For Many Republicans

Protesters demonstrate in front of the U.S. Capitol on April 10.
Allison Shelley Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 7:37 pm

While an immigration overhaul has drawn support from church groups, business, labor and even former opponents, there's still deep opposition — mostly centered in the Republican Party.

The last time a president tried to pass a comprehensive immigration overhaul was in 2007, and George W. Bush's fellow Republicans in Congress killed his bill. Republican strategist Kevin Madden says a lot has changed since then — including the way the Republican Party is dealing with its own internal divisions.

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Education
4:37 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

More Than 50 Years Of Putting Kids' Creativity To The Test

E. Paul Torrance, shown here in the mid-'80s, spent most of his career studying and encouraging students' creativity.
Courtesy University of Georgia

Originally published on Thu April 18, 2013 4:30 pm

This is the second in a three-part series about the intersection of education and the arts.

Let's start with a question from a standardized test: "How would the world be different if we all had a third eye in the back of our heads?"

It's not a typical standardized question, but as part of the Next Generation Creativity Survey, it's used to help measure creativity a bit like an IQ test measures intelligence. And it's not the only creativity test out there.

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Shots - Health News
3:53 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

How Ricin Can Sicken And Kill

Originally published on Fri April 19, 2013 12:43 pm

Federal authorities confirm that the poison ricin was found in envelopes sent to both President Obama and Sen. Roger Wicker, a Mississippi Republican.

If that sounds eerily familiar it's maybe because back in 2003, an envelope containing a threatening note and a sealed container of ricin were found in a South Carolina postal facility.

What is ricin?

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The Two-Way
3:40 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

Senate Rejects Expanded Background Checks For Gun Sales

President Obama makes a statement on gun violence as Vice President Joe Biden, former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and family members of Newtown, Conn., shooting victims look on at the White House Rose Garden.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 5:36 pm

A bipartisan compromise that would have expanded federal background checks for firearms purchases has been rejected by the Senate.

The defeat of the measure by a 54-46 vote — six votes shy of the number needed to clear the Senate — marks a major setback for gun-control advocates, many of whom had hoped that Congress would act to curb gun violence in the wake of December's Newtown elementary school massacre, where 20 students and six adults were killed.

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It's All Politics
3:29 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

Focus On Sanford's Whereabouts, Again, Won't Help Gender Gap

Jenny Sanford says her ex-husband was in her Sullivan's Island, S.C., home without her permission.
Mary Ann Chastain AP

If it seemed like former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford's problem with female voters couldn't get any worse, well, it appears that it might have.

Sanford, a Republican, is hoping to put the marital scandal that defined his second term behind him with a return to Congress in a May 7 special election. But just two days later, Sanford will have to appear in court to defend himself from an accusation that he was at his ex-wife's house in February without her permission.

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The Two-Way
3:25 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

Scientists Sequence Genome Of 'Living Fossil' Fish

Workers at the National Museum of Kenya show a coelacanth caught by Kenyan fishermen in 2001.
Simon Maina AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 4:17 pm

Scientists have unraveled the genome of the coelacanth, a rare and primitive fish once thought to be extinct, shedding light on how closely it's related to the first creatures to emerge from the sea.

The coelacanth, a fish that can reach up to 5 feet long and lives in deep ocean caves, had only been seen in fossils and was thought to have gone extinct some 70 million years ago. That was until 1938, when fishermen from the Comoros islands off the coast of Africa captured one in a net. A second coelacanth species was discovered off the Indonesian island of Sulewesi in 1997.

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The Two-Way
2:55 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

On Independence Day, A Subdued Syrian Capital

Pro-Assad, flag-painted Hummers are often seen driving throughout Damascus blasting patriotic songs and regime slogans. These two vehicles were photographed at the site of blasts earlier this month near Syria's central bank.
NPR

The writer is a Syrian citizen living in Damascus who is not being further identified out of safety concerns.

On this day in 1946, Syria celebrated the withdrawal of the last French soldier from its soil, and announced itself as an independent, 20th century-style nation-state.

It was a day of hope and jubilation, which over the years my older relatives would periodically recollect from memory.

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Movie Reviews
2:26 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

Digging Into Ricky Jay's 'Deceptive' Card Tricks

Veteran magician Ricky Jay reveals much about himself in a new documentary on his life of deception. His card-trick techniques? That may be another story.
Kino Lorber

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 7:37 pm

When people talk about movie magic, they rarely mean card tricks. They're talking about digital wizardry and special effects.

But a new documentary called Deceptive Practice: The Mysteries and Mentors of Ricky Jay is all about card tricks — and a man who has devoted his life to them.

Card artist Ricky Jay keeps up a constant stream of chatter in his act onstage — everything from gambling poems to stories about The Great Cardini — and it's all very entertaining, but the patter is designed to distract you from what he's doing.

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The Salt
2:15 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

Science In A Scoop: Making Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream

The store uses a patented machine to keep ingredients churning and mix in the liquid nitrogen in a safe, controlled manner.
Alan Greenblatt NPR

Originally published on Thu April 18, 2013 11:14 am

Robyn Sue Fisher's ice cream shop, Smitten, in San Francisco's Hayes Valley, may at moments resemble a high school chemistry lab, but that's because Fisher uses liquid nitrogen to freeze her product.

Nitrogen is "a natural element," she notes. "It's all around us."

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World Cafe
2:05 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

The James Hunter Six: 'Minute By Minute,' A Classic Soul Sound

The James Hunter Six.
Ruth Ward Courtesy of the artist

James Hunter fell in love with vintage R&B during his youth in England, with his grandmother's records providing a foundation. Hunter sang in workingman's clubs and got a break in the early '90s, when Van Morrison heard him singing and invited him on tour as a backing vocalist.

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Shots - Health News
1:33 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

As Bird Flu Spreads In China, The Source Remains A Mystery

A vendor weighs a live chicken at the Kowloon City Market in Hong Kong Friday. Health authorities there have stepped up the testing of live poultry from China to include a rapid test for the H7N9 bird virus.
Lam Yik Fei Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 2:19 pm

The new bird flu in China has come with a long list of questions.

Are the 82 cases reported so far just the tip of a larger outbreak? Why does the virus cause mild symptoms in some people and severe pneumonia in others?

Perhaps the most critical question is also the simplest: How do people catch the bug?

The H7N9 virus clearly infects birds. Health workers have detected it in chickens, ducks and pigeons.

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Around the Nation
1:15 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

'The Hell Of American Day Care': Expensive And 'Mediocre'

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 1:49 pm

In his cover story for the April 29 issue of The New Republic, "The Hell of American Day Care," Jonathan Cohn writes that "trusting your child with someone else is one of the hardest things a parent has to do — and in the U.S., it's harder still, because American day care is a mess. And about 40 percent of children under 5 spend at least part of their week in the care of somebody other than a parent."

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Politics
1:10 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

Governing During Threats To National Security

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Celeste Headlee, in Washington. It's Wednesday, and it's time for the Political Junkie.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDINGS)

PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN: There you go again.

VICE PRESIDENT WALTER MONDALE: When I hear your new ideas, I'm reminded of that ad: Where's the beef?

SENATOR BARRY GOLDWATER: Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice.

SENATOR LLOYD BENTSEN: Senator, you're no Jack Kennedy.

PRESIDENT RICHARD NIXON: You don't have Nixon to kick around anymore.

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Sports
1:02 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

What Spectators Add To The Marathon Experience

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 1:25 pm

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

You know, many of those injured and all three of the people who were killed at the scene of the Boston Marathon were there to cheer on the runners. They weren't running. Running is usually a fairly solitary sport, but a marathon is a unique moment when these athletes run alongside others, for one thing, and they're cheered on by sometimes thousands of spectators. Runners rely on those familiar faces and their cheerful signs to motivate them through all 26.2 miles.

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National Security
1:02 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

Public Safety: The Measures Taken To Keep Crowds Safe

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 1:20 pm

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Celeste Headlee. Neal Conan is away. The attacks on the Boston Marathon have had a ripple effect around the world. Organizers of the London Marathon are working with local police to increase security measures there. And organizers of smaller marathons, like the Christie Clinic Illinois Marathon, are meeting to discuss how to best protect runners and spectators in the wake of the Boston tragedy. We'll speak to the emergency coordinator of that marathon in just a moment.

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The Two-Way
1:02 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

U.S. Calls On Venezuela 'To Respect ... Free Speech' Of Its Citizens

A woman walks past a message painted on a wall in the streets of Caracas reading "Fraud. Maduro Illegitimate."
Raul Arboleda AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 18, 2013 7:29 pm

The United States called on the Venezuelan government to be transparent in its effort to "audit the ballots" of the presidential election held this weekend.

If you missed it, the news that Hugo Chavez's hand-picked successor Nicolás Maduro had won by a razor-thin margin unleashed protests in the streets of Caracas.

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The Two-Way
12:13 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

Updated: Glitch Delays Antares Rocket Launch

Antares ready for liftoff.
NASA Wallops Flight Facility NASA

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 8:06 pm

Update at 6:21 p.m. ET. Launch Delayed:

Space.com reports that the Antares rocket launch has been delayed for two days, "after an unexpected glitch."

Space.com reports:

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The Two-Way
12:10 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

Why Use A Pressure Cooker To Build A Bomb?

This photo, produced by the Joint Terrorism Task Force of Boston, shows the remains of an explosive device at the Boston Marathon bomb scene.
Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 1:19 pm

They are cheap, easy to build and inconspicuous. And as the explosions this week at the Boston Marathon show, pressure cooker bombs can be devastatingly effective weapons.

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U.S.
11:56 am
Wed April 17, 2013

What Boston Means To America

Faneuil Hall, in downtown Boston, was built in the 1740s.
Elise Amendola AP

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 1:20 pm

As a city, Boston is at the crux of this country's past, present and future.

This was brought home on April 15 — Tax Day, Patriots Day, Marathon Day — when two deadly bombs exploded on historic Boylston Street near the finish line of the 117th running of the Boston Marathon.

The tragic blasts occurred so close to the Boston Public Library that the building — home to the personal book collection of Founding Father John Adams — is included in the crime scene.

The bombs struck at the very heart of the heart of America.

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National Security
11:07 am
Wed April 17, 2013

Guantanamo Bay, One Piece Of Torturous Puzzle?

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 3:03 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Coming up, leading Republicans have been making news lately talking about outreach to African-Americans, Latinos, and LGBT voters, but what about women? They've also been trending Democrat for decades. We're going to speak with a diverse group of women writers and commentators about this. That's later in the program.

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Krulwich Wonders...
10:55 am
Wed April 17, 2013

A 'Whom Do You Hang With?' Map Of America

MIT Senseable City - "The Connected States of America"
MIT Senseable City Lab

Originally published on Fri April 26, 2013 12:31 pm

Look at the center of this map, at the little red dot that marks Kansas City. Technically, Kansas City is at the edge of Missouri, but here on this map it's in the upper middle section of a bigger space with strong blue borders. We don't have a name for this bigger space yet, but soon we will.

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The Two-Way
10:55 am
Wed April 17, 2013

Second Suspicious Letter Found; Was Sent To Obama

A Hazardous Materials Response Team (HAZMAT) truck outside the Russell Senate Office Building in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday.
Jim Lo Scalzo EPA/Landov

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 8:04 pm

Update at 8:44 p.m. ET. Authorities Make An Arrest:

Authorities have made an arrest in connection to the suspicious envelopes sent to a senator and President Obama.

The FBI identified the suspect as Paul Kevin Curtis.

The The Clarion Ledger reports:

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Music Reviews
10:52 am
Wed April 17, 2013

Brad Paisley's 'Wheelhouse' Of Good Songs — And Intentions

Brad Paisley's new album is titled Wheelhouse.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 1:15 pm

Brad Paisley's Wheelhouse is yet another very good album from a singer, songwriter and guitarist who's made a bunch of them in a row. It features a slew of shrewd songs about finding pleasure and comfort in a frequently unpleasant, uncomfortable world. The music includes a bone-cracking song about domestic violence written from a woman's point of view, one that praises Christian values from the perspective of a jealous skeptic, and one that samples the great Roger Miller as deftly as any hip-hop production.

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Interviews
10:07 am
Wed April 17, 2013

Marathoner Amby Burfoot: 'Every Mile Out There Is A Gift'

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 1:15 pm

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. When the bombs went off Monday, my guest Amby Burfoot was seven-tenths of a mile from the finish line. Burfoot has a special place in the history of the Boston Marathon - he was the winner 45 years ago in 1968. To celebrate the anniversary of his win every five years he runs the Boston Marathon again. Many runners have turned to Burfoot for advice over the years.

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