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Science + Technology
4:19 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

Fresh Clues In Dinosaur Whodunit Point To Asteroid

Scientists have confirmed that the impact of a giant asteroid and the mass extinction of the dinosaurs happened at the same time.
Courtesy of Don Dixon/cosmographica.com

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 7:53 pm

Some 66 million years ago, about 75 percent of species on Earth disappeared. It wasn't just dinosaurs but most large mammals, fish, birds and plankton. Scientists have known this for a long time just from looking at the fossil record. If you dig deep enough, you find lots of dinosaur bones. And then a few layers up, they're gone.

But scientists couldn't figure out exactly what had caused this phenomenon. Of course, there were lots of theories.

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The Two-Way
3:47 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

Drone Program Under Scrutiny As CIA Nominee Testifies

John Brennan, President Obama's nominee to head the CIA, prepares to testify at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Fri February 8, 2013 6:44 am

Update at 5:35 pm ET. Brennan on drones:

As senators questioned John Brennan, the nominee to head the CIA, one of the recurring themes was the broader impact of the lethal drone strikes.

Susan Collins, a Republican from Maine, asked whether the Obama administration was killing terrorists who might otherwise be captured and interrogated.

Brennan insisted that it was always preferable to capture and question terrorists to gather intelligence, and he said lethal strikes were taken as a last resort.

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Shots - Health News
3:19 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

Catholic Bishops Reject Compromise On Contraceptives

Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, said the administration's attempted compromise on contraceptive coverage is unacceptable.
Patrick Semansky AP

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 5:28 pm

It seems the third time wasn't the charm, after all.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has officially rejected the Obama Administration's latest attempt to ensure that women with health insurance get access to no-cost contraceptive coverage without violating the rights of religious employers.

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The Two-Way
3:15 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

Mr. Bean's Supercar Crash Racks Up $1.4 Million Repair Bill

Rowan Atkinson (in character as Mr. Bean) in 2007.
Lisa Maree Williams Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 10:15 pm

Rowan Atkinson, the British comedian who's probably best known to Americans as Mr. Bean, is in the record books for something that's not all that funny.

According to reports from The Scotsman and other news outlets in the U.K., Atkinson's insurers paid 910,000 British pounds (about $1.4 million) to repair the McLaren F1 supercar that he wrecked in 2011. That's a U.K. record, newspapers say.

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The Two-Way
3:07 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

NOAA Names Louis W. Uccellini As National Weather Service Director

Louis W. Uccellini.
NOAA

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has named Louis W. Uccellini the 16th director of the National Weather Service.

As The Washington Post's Capital Weather Gang reports, the NWS is "reeling from recent controversies over its budget and an exodus in senior leadership."

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Asia
3:03 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

American Woman Gives Domestic Abuse A Face, And Voice, In China

Lee, the American wife of "Crazy English" founder Li Yang, leaves court after a session for her divorce trial in Beijing last March. Earlier this month, she was granted a divorce, as well as a restraining order against Li.
Alexander F. Yuan AP

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 8:30 pm

The faces of American Kim Lee and her Chinese husband, Li Yang, both in their 40s, once graced the covers of books that sold in the millions. He was China's most famous English teacher, the "Crazy English" guru of China, who pioneered his own style of English teaching: pedagogy through shouted language, yelling to halls of thousands of students.

His methods were given official recognition after he was employed by the Beijing Olympic Organizing Committee to teach Olympic volunteers.

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Health
2:29 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

Botulism From 'Pruno' Hits Arizona Prison

If you must make pruno, avoid potatoes.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon February 11, 2013 5:10 pm

Well, it has happened again. Twice.

Inmates at a maximum security prison in Arizona were stricken with botulism after consuming homemade hooch that's called "pruno" inside the big house.

Eight inmates wound up in the hospital in November after drinking the stuff. In August, four prisoners at the same facility were hospitalized.

The symptoms of botulism include blurred vision, dry mouth and difficulty swallowing and breathing.

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The Two-Way
2:16 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

NTSB Says Regulators Should Reconsider Approval Of Dreamliner Battery

Pieces of damaged electrode coils from a battery cell that resulted in a fire aboard a Japan Airlines Boeing 787 Dreamliner airplane at Logan International Airport in Boston.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 2:26 pm

The head of National Transportation Safety Board said today that the FAA should reconsider their approval of the Dreamliner's lithium-ion battery.

Essentially, the NTSB Chairman Deborah Hersman said during a news conference, what Boeing told the FAA about the risks involving the battery have proved different in practice.

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The Two-Way
2:14 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

Oh, Poop! Animal Shelter May Still Need More Newspapers

A dog eagerly awaits adoption in an animal shelter.
iStockphoto.com

When San Francisco's Animal Care & Control put out the word last month that it needed more newspapers to line the cages for dogs that have to take care of business, the city's library system stepped up to help.

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The Two-Way
1:05 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

NFL's Gregg Williams, Who Orchestrated Bounty Program, Is Reinstated

Gregg Williams, then a coach with the New Orleans Saints, in August 2011.
Bill Haber AP

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 10:16 pm

Less than a year after orchestrating a bounty program in Saint Louis, Gregg Williams will be back in the NFL next season. The Tennessee Titans have hired the former Saints defensive coordinator as a senior assistant coach.

Back in May of last year, Williams was suspended indefinitely for being part of a scheme in which he set up cash rewards for hits that knocked opponents out of games.

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The Two-Way
12:44 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

What Nations Were The Most Forward-Looking In 2012?

The Future Orientation index shows a strong correlation between Internet activity and its gross domestic product. Countries in blue are deemed forward-looking.
Suzy Moat and Tobias Preis

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 10:16 pm

Germany was the world's most future-oriented country in 2012, followed by Switzerland and Japan, according to the "Future Orientation Index." Researchers found that in Germany and 10 nations last year, more people used Google to search for "2013" than for "2011."

The 11 countries represent a gain over 2011, when only seven countries had as many searches for the upcoming year as for the prior one.

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The Two-Way
12:28 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

Makeup Artist Who Created Yoda Dies; Stuart Freeborn Was 98

One of makeup artist Stuart Freeborn's best-known characters, Yoda.
Tim Whitby Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 5:28 pm

The makeup artist who gave Star Wars' Yoda and Chewbacca their out-of-this-world looks, and helped bring to life other memorable characters such as the apes in 2001: A Space Odyssey, has died.

Stuart Freeborn was 98. According to The Associated Press, his granddaughter Michelle Freeborn "said he died Tuesday in London from a combination of ailments due to his age."

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The Two-Way
12:16 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

Poll: 9 In 10 Americans Support Background Check For All Gun Sales

A photo illustration showing a Remington 20-gauge semi-automatic shotgun, a Colt AR-15 semi-automatic rifle, a Colt .45 semi-auto handgun, a Walther PK380 semi-auto handgun and various ammunition clips with a copy of the US Constitution on top of the American flag.
Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 1:07 pm

A new Quinnipiac University poll finds Americans overwhelmingly support background checks on all gun sales.

The poll found that 92 percent of Americans support the checks, while 7 percent oppose them.

Quinnipiac also found that 52 percent support stricter gun laws and 56 percent support "a ban on the sale of assault weapons."

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Food
12:09 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

Chain Restaurants Boost Sales With Lower-Calorie Foods

Ordering the small fries? You're part of a trend.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 2:54 pm

Lower-calorie foods are driving growth and profits for chain restaurants, according to fresh research, suggesting that people are making smarter choices when it comes to burgers and fries.

We're still ordering the burger and fries, mind you. But we're going for smaller portions and shunning sugary drinks. French fry sales dropped about 2 percent from 2006 to 2011, while sales of lower-calorie beverages rose 10 percent, the study found.

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Around the Nation
11:56 am
Thu February 7, 2013

Ending Saturday Delivery, End Of The Post Office?

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 3:28 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Yesterday we told you about how middle class paychecks are feeling the pinch right now for a number of reasons - healthcare co-pays and premiums, rising gas prices, among other reasons. Today we want to tell you who is doing well. And we'll tell you that conversation in just a few minutes.

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Movie Interviews
11:04 am
Thu February 7, 2013

Bradley Cooper Finds 'Silver Linings' Everywhere

Bradley Cooper has been nominated for an Academy Award for his role in the film Silver Linings Playbook.
Jojo Whilden The Weinstein Company

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 1:14 pm

Bradley Cooper, who is nominated for an Academy Award for his performance as the bipolar Pat Solitano in Silver Linings Playbook, tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross that he and director David O. Russell approached the role with the idea that Cooper would "play as real and authentic as [h]e could."

The role is informed by Russell's son, who has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Says Cooper: "I definitely felt that anchor for [Russell]."

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The Salt
10:42 am
Thu February 7, 2013

Why Lebanese Love Their Raw Kibbeh

Kibbeh nayeh, a dish that combines raw meat, bulgur and onion, is "the definitive Lebanese festive food," says Kamal Mouzawak, founder of Beirut's first organic farmers market.
Maureen Abood

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 10:57 am

Growing up, I never knew I was eating raw meat. Or maybe it was just that I didn't think "raw" was something worth noting. I simply knew that kibbeh nayeh was incredibly good.

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Health
10:06 am
Thu February 7, 2013

Despite Rocky Economy, Money For Global Health Remains Solid

After going through a huge growth spurt, money for global health has plateaued recently. The U.S. government remains the biggest donor, but private charities like the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have boosted donations.
Courtesy of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation

Given the world's economic troubles, you'd probably expect money to fight HIV and other illnesses around the world to have plummeted in the past few years.

But foreign aid for global health held steady in 2011 and 2012, hovering right around $28 billion a year, a report published Wednesday finds.

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The Two-Way
10:02 am
Thu February 7, 2013

At Prayer Breakfast, Obama Urges 'Humility'

President Obama speaking at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C., on Thursday.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Speaking at his fifth National Prayer Breakfast since taking office, President Obama said Thursday morning that the annual gatherings are always "wonderful." But he worries, Obama told the lawmakers and clergy gathered in Washington, D.C., that "as soon as we leave the prayer breakfast, everything we've been talking about the whole time at the prayer breakfast is forgotten ... on the same day as the prayer breakfast."

"It's like we didn't pray," he added.

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The Two-Way
9:32 am
Thu February 7, 2013

'Massive Manhunt' In Los Angeles For Ex-Cop Suspected In Killings

Christopher Jordan Dorner. He's the suspect in two murders and the shooting of three police officers, one of whom has died. A manhunt is under way in and around Los Angeles.
Irving Calif. Police Department

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 7:03 pm

A former Los Angeles police officer is the focus of a "massive manhunt" under way in that city because he's a suspect in a double murder last weekend and the shooting of three police officers early Thursday.

One of those officers has died.

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