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Animals
1:53 pm
Tue October 23, 2012

Baby Beluga, Swim So Wild And Sing For Me

This image, from an archival video, shows the white whale NOC swimming around and under researchers' boats.
Current Biology

Originally published on Wed October 24, 2012 4:18 am

Whales are among the great communicators of the animal world. They produce all sorts of sounds: squeaks, whistles and even epic arias worthy of an opera house.

And one whale in particular has apparently done something that's never been documented before: He imitated human speech.

The beluga, or white whale, is smallish as whales go and very cute, if you're into marine mammals. Belugas are called the "canaries of the sea" because they're very vocal.

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Shots - Health News
1:51 pm
Tue October 23, 2012

Insurers Revive Child-Only Policies, But Cost Is Still An Issue

Child-only policies can be critical to some families, including those where an employer doesn't offer dependent coverage.
iStockphoto.com

Health policies for kids are back, now that heath insurers who stopped selling them after the health care overhaul passed are reopening shop, according to a recent report from the Commonwealth Fund.

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The Salt
1:19 pm
Tue October 23, 2012

Monster Beverage Under Fire As Reports Link Deaths To Its Energy Drinks

The Food and Drug Administration has confirmed that it received five reports in the past past three years suggesting that people died after drinking caffeinated energy drinks.

But the agency also cautions that these reports do not add up to proof that the beverages actually caused those deaths. These reports — called adverse event reports — are considered unconfirmed allegations, and the FDA doesn't usually release them.

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It's All Politics
1:16 pm
Tue October 23, 2012

Florida Officials Investigate Fake Voter Eligibility Letters

Originally published on Tue October 23, 2012 1:58 pm

It's a sign that Election Day is getting closer: increasing reports of efforts to intimidate or mislead voters. Florida officials say they're now investigating fake letters that have been sent to voters in at least 20 counties questioning their citizenship and eligibility to vote.

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It's All Politics
12:54 pm
Tue October 23, 2012

Analysis: Romney Debate Strategy Shows He Thinks He's In the Driver's Seat

Mitt Romney shakes hands with President Obama after their final debate Monday in Boca Raton, Fla.
Eric Gay AP

Originally published on Tue October 23, 2012 1:02 pm

In his third debate with President Obama, Mitt Romney dialed up "cool and cautious" on his mood meter. And that tells you a great deal about where this presidential race stands with two weeks to go.

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The Two-Way
12:50 pm
Tue October 23, 2012

Armstrong Deletes Tour Titles From Twitter, But Not Other Websites

Lance Armstrong at a LIVESTRONG Challenge Ride on Sunday in Austin, Texas.
Tom Pennington Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 23, 2012 12:57 pm

One day after having his seven Tour de France titles officially taken away and getting banned for life from competitive cycling, Lance Armstrong's getting some media attention for removing a reference to those victories from his Twitter bio.

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The Two-Way
11:55 am
Tue October 23, 2012

Emir Of Qatar Visits Gaza, Becoming First Head Of State There Since 2007

Qatari Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani (center right) walks alongside Gaza's Hamas prime minister Ismail Haniya (center left) during a welcome ceremony at the Rafah border crossing with Egypt on Tuesday.
Mohammed Abed AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun October 28, 2012 9:48 am

The Emir of Qatar visited the Gaza Strip today. It is the first time a head of state visited the Hamas-controlled territory since Egypt and Israel instituted a blockade in 2007. Hamas, remember, is considered a terrorist organization by the United States.

Reuters reports:

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This Is NPR
11:44 am
Tue October 23, 2012

A Very Public (Radio) Halloween

NPR

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 10:41 am

It's fall y'all! No tricks here, just treats: check out these NPR-themed stencils to inspire your pumpkin carving.

If you use these templates to carve a pumpkin or if public radio otherwise inspires your Halloween celebrations, email a picture to thisisnpr@npr.org. We'll post the collection here and on our Facebook page on Halloween.

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Shots - Health News
11:41 am
Tue October 23, 2012

'Addictive' Cigarette Smoking Games On Smartphones Target Kids

In this iPhone app, players pretend to smoke a cigarette and then pass it to their friends.
Screenshot from Puff Puff Pass Lite.

You can do just about anything with your phone these days. Take an electrocardiogram. Confess your sins. Even smoke a cigarette

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The Salt
10:54 am
Tue October 23, 2012

How Fly Farming May Help More Fish Stay In The Sea

The fly larvae in the AgriProtein factory feed on cow blood and bran.
Courtesy of Jason Drew

Originally published on Wed October 24, 2012 4:19 pm

What's the lowly house fly got to do with the $60 billion fish farming industry?

Quite a lot, says Jason Drew, a jet-setting British entrepreneur who is so enthusiastic about the potential of flies, he's just written a book called The Story of the Fly and How It Could Save the World. He thinks flies can solve one of aquaculture's most vexing issues: what to feed the growing ranks of farmed fish.

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The Two-Way
10:10 am
Tue October 23, 2012

Apple Expected To Announce A Smaller Version Of Its iPad

Apple Senior Vice President of Worldwide product marketing Phil Schiller announces the new iPad Mini during an Apple special event at the historic California Theater on Tuesday.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 23, 2012 2:35 pm

Update at 1:52 p.m. ET. Introducing iPad Mini:

Philip W. Schiller, the senior vice president of worldwide marketing at Apple, announced a new, smaller and cheaper version of its popular tablet, just minutes ago in San Jose, Calif.

"So, what can you do with an iPad mini that can't do with an iPad?" Schiller asked. "You can hold it in one hand."

The iPad mini is as thin as a pencil, weighs 0.68 pounds and has a 7.9 inch screen, Schiller said. The iPad has a 9.7 inch screen.

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The Two-Way
8:49 am
Tue October 23, 2012

BBC Chief Faces Parliament Over Child Sex Abuse Scandal

BBC Director General George Entwistle leaves Portcullis House in Parliament after giving evidence to a select committee on Tuesday.
Peter Macdiarmid Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 23, 2012 9:38 am

The vaunted British Broadcasting Corporation is in the midst of a child sexual abuse scandal that has cast a shadow over the broadcaster's reputation.

The New York Times reports that George Entwistle, the head of the BBC, sat before a Parliamentary panel. In fact it was the same panel that took the lead in the investigation of the phone hacking scandal that brought Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. to its knees.

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The Two-Way
8:16 am
Tue October 23, 2012

With 9-0 Win, Giants Advance, Will Face Tigers In World Series

Angel Pagan (No. 16) of the San Francisco Giants celebrates after the Giants' 9-0 victory against the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 7 of the National League Championship Series in San Francisco.
Christian Petersen Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 23, 2012 2:33 pm

The San Francisco Giants have completed another improbable journey to the World Series. Last night, they blew out the defending champions St. Louis Cardinals 9-0. They did so in Game 7, clawing their way back from 3-1 series deficit.

That means that they became only the third team in major league history to climb back that far in a National League Championship Series. The Braves did it in 1996 and the Marlins did it in 2003.

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U.S.
5:53 am
Tue October 23, 2012

Maryland To Vote On Its Own Dream Act

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

We've heard some discussion of immigration in this year's presidential campaign. We have not seen much immigration legislation move on Capitol Hill. But one state is holding a referendum on a local version of an immigration bill that's been debated in Washington. The so-called Maryland Dream Act would offer in-state tuition rates to undocumented college students residing in Maryland. But as Jacob Fenston reports, even in that solidly blue state the legislation is causing a stir.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: (Singing) We are the dreamers.

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Presidential Race
5:53 am
Tue October 23, 2012

Candidates Inject Economy Into Foreign Policy Debate

Originally published on Sun October 28, 2012 9:46 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep.

The third and final presidential debate was less dramatic than the ones before.

GREENE: Less dramatic but not without some drama. President Obama and Mitt Romney discussed foreign policy under the questioning of moderator Bob Schieffer.

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Strange News
5:53 am
Tue October 23, 2012

A Captive Beluga Whale's Remarkably Human Song

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep with a tale of the singing whale. Scientists this week published a study of a captive beluga whale in San Diego. The whale began to sing, apparently after spending time close to people. It died several years ago, but left behind a recording that sounds like a person in the shower.

(SOUNDBITE OF WHALE SINGING)

INSKEEP: We do not know if during his lifetime the singing whale ever made it to a karaoke bar.

Strange News
5:53 am
Tue October 23, 2012

Bridge Designers Envision Giant Trampolines

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Asia
4:58 am
Tue October 23, 2012

Malala Isn't Alone: Another Pakistani Girl's Dream

Pakistani security personnel stand guard in front of a burnt-out school following an attack by the Pakistani Taliban in the northwestern district of Upper Dir in June 2011. The Taliban have destroyed many schools in northwestern Pakistan.
AFP Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 23, 2012 8:18 pm

Stop someone in the street. Ask them about the case of Malala Yousafzai. They will likely know — after the worldwide publicity given to her story — that Malala is the Pakistani teenager who was shot for demanding the right of girls to go to school.

They will surely know, too, that the people who shot Malala in the head from close range were the Pakistani Taliban. They will probably view Malala as the heroine she clearly is. And the Taliban will be seen as the violent fanatics that they surely are.

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All Tech Considered
4:38 am
Tue October 23, 2012

Microsoft, An Empire Under Siege, Makes Its Next Moves

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer speaks at a Microsoft event in San Francisco in July. This week, Microsoft launches Windows 8, a radical redesign of its operating system, as well as a new set of tablet computers.
Jeff Chiu AP

Originally published on Tue October 23, 2012 6:49 pm

Microsoft, the company that defined the PC, is still enormously profitable — but not as profitable as it once was.

This week, Microsoft will try to regroup. It is rolling out the largest upgrade of its Windows software in more than a decade. All of this is meant to help the company break into the exploding market for mobile.

While the company still commands a formidable computing empire, it is now under attack.

Microsoft's CEO is Steve Ballmer, a big, bombastic, balding guy. These days he's riled up about Windows 8.

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Author Interviews
4:38 am
Tue October 23, 2012

Running Toward Redemption On 'Ransom Road'

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Originally published on Tue October 23, 2012 5:53 am

Meet a man with a powerful addiction — to running. Caleb Daniloff says he believes the sport saved him from addictions that were far worse, and he's written a new book, called Running Ransom Road: Confronting the Past, One Marathon at a Time, about his experiences.

Daniloff has run some familiar marathons — New York and Boston — but he's also been to a place not famous for outdoor running: Moscow.

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