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Health
4:20 pm
Thu January 10, 2013

Speaking More Than One Language Could Prevent Alzheimer's

Scientists have found that bilingual seniors are better at skills that can fade with age than their monolingual peers.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon January 14, 2013 9:07 am

Not so long ago bilingualism was thought to be bad for your brain. But it looks more and more like speaking more than one language could help save you from Alzheimer's disease.

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Science + Technology
3:57 pm
Thu January 10, 2013

Agreed, Baby Pandas Are Cute. But Why?

Tai Shan and his mother, Mei Xiang, enjoy frozen fruit treats at the National Zoo in 2006.
Avie Schneider NPR

Originally published on Fri January 11, 2013 1:05 pm

Xiao Liwu made his public debut Thursday at the San Diego Zoo. Fans crowded around the exhibit, their camera lenses extended, hoping to catch a glimpse of the 5-month-old giant panda cub. If they're lucky and actually do see the 16-pound panda (his Chinese name means "Little Gift"), there'll be much oooing and aaahing.

You'd have to be heartless not to agree that pandas, especially the youngest of them, are as cute as all get-out. Right? But why?

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Sports
3:25 pm
Thu January 10, 2013

Baseball Will Test For Human Growth Hormone During Season

Major League baseball will begin random regular-season blood tests for human growth hormone, seen here in an injector pen holding about one week's worth of HGH doses at the clinic of Dr. Mark Molitch of Northwestern University.
M. Spencer Green AP

Originally published on Fri January 11, 2013 6:47 am

Major League Baseball will expand its effort to fight performance enhancing drugs to include random blood tests for human growth hormone and other substances during the regular season, under the terms of an agreement with the players union that was first reported by

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The Two-Way
3:03 pm
Thu January 10, 2013

What Does $1 Trillion Worth Of Platinum Look Like?

You'd need a lot of these — think in terms of railroad cars to haul them — to have $1 trillion.
Shannon Stapleton Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu January 10, 2013 3:06 pm

OK, OK. We know that you don't actually need $1 trillion worth of platinum to make this debt-defying coin.

But just for the sake of some financial fun, how much platinum would you actually need to mint a coin that contains a trillion dollars worth of platinum?

Turns out, it's probably more than mankind has available on the market right now.

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The Two-Way
2:29 pm
Thu January 10, 2013

Study Of Junior Seau's Brain Finds Signs Of Neurodegenerative Disease

Junior Seau, seen here playing for the New England Patriots toward the end of his career, suffered from a degenerative brain disease, scientists say.
Otto Greule Jr. Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 10, 2013 3:19 pm

Junior Seau, the former NFL linebacker whose suicide last May at age 43 shocked fans and former teammates, suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a neurodegenerative disease associated with repetitive head injuries, according to a study by the National Institutes of Health.

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The Two-Way
2:14 pm
Thu January 10, 2013

Obama Taps Top Aide Lew For Treasury

Jack Lew has been nominated to be the next Treasury secretary.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 10, 2013 2:57 pm

  • President Obama announces nomination of Jack Lew for Treasury

Saying he "cannot think of a better person" to take the job, President Obama this afternoon formally announced he is nominating Jacob "Jack" Lew, his chief of staff, to be the next Treasury secretary.

Word of Obama's decision to tap Lew, who previously served as budget director in the Obama and Clinton administration, broke Wednesday.

"Jack has my complete trust," Obama said.

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Food
2:11 pm
Thu January 10, 2013

Moroccans Celebrate A Bountiful Year For Date Harvest

A Moroccan date harvester sorts his yield, which was well above average this year.
Jeff Koehler for NPR

Originally published on Mon January 14, 2013 5:38 pm

In the heart of the Moroccan oasis and palm grove of Skoura, west of Marrakesh, yellow and reddish dates dangled heavily from branches high above us. It's going to be a good year, a man harvesting dates said, offering me a handful of fresh, still-yellow fruit cut from the tree just moments before.

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The Two-Way
1:50 pm
Thu January 10, 2013

More Than 300 College Presidents Push For Changes In Gun Laws

President Elizabeth Kiss, Agnes Scott College (Courtesy of Agnes Scott College, copyright 2012)
Caroline Joe Courtesy of Agnes Scott College, copyright 2012

Originally published on Thu January 10, 2013 3:24 pm

As Vice President Joe Biden meets today with the NRA and other organizations, another group of American leaders is speaking out on the issue of gun safety.

More than 300 college and university presidents have signed an open letter to American lawmakers, urging immediate action to curb gun violence and reform gun safety laws.

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Afghanistan
1:48 pm
Thu January 10, 2013

Small Strike Against Corruption: Afghan Governors Chosen On Merit

Deputy provincial governors and district governors selected under a new merit-based program are sworn in Tuesday in Kabul. The development is part of an effort to address rampant corruption in Afghanistan.
Sean Carberry NPR

Originally published on Thu January 10, 2013 6:26 pm

Regularly ranked as one of the most corrupt countries in the world, Afghanistan has implemented what for it is a novel new program: selecting provincial and district officials on the basis of their skills, rather than connections.

By all accounts, Afghanistan's corruption is endemic at all levels of government. It's hoped the new effort will begin to curb graft, patronage and nepotism in the country's 34 provinces and roughly 360 districts.

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The Two-Way
1:38 pm
Thu January 10, 2013

Reports: Two Hurt, One Suspect In Custody After Shooting At Calif. School

An area is cordoned off outside Taft Union High School in Taft, Calif., Thursday. Authorities said a student was shot and wounded and another student was taken into custody.
Doug Keeler AP

Originally published on Thu January 10, 2013 6:33 pm

There was a shooting incident at a high school in Taft, Calif., this morning. Now that many reports have come in from the scene, it appears that two people were injured and a shooter has been taken into custody.

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It's All Politics
1:28 pm
Thu January 10, 2013

What 'Lincoln' Says About Today's Congress

Daniel Day-Lewis takes on one of America's most famous presidents in Lincoln.
David James DreamWorks

Lincoln may not be a political film for the ages, but it's certainly a movie that speaks to our own time.

Although the movie centers on the abolition of slavery, Lincoln taps into one of the deepest desires of our historical moment — the desire for politicians in Washington to get their acts together and compromise to succeed in passing major legislation.

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Shots - Health News
1:25 pm
Thu January 10, 2013

Wake-Up Call: FDA Pushes Drugmakers To Weaken Sleeping Pills

Tim Boyle Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 10, 2013 6:26 pm

The Food and Drug Administration announced Thursday that it was requiring companies that make Ambien and similar sleeping pills to sharply cut the doses of the drugs.

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The Two-Way
1:11 pm
Thu January 10, 2013

Couple's Tandem Bike Is Stolen, And Returned, After Thief Feels Guilty

The thief who stole Harly and Courtney Forbes' tandem bicycle Monday returned it Wednesday, along with a note of apology. Police say they are still investigating the case.
Vancouver Police

Originally published on Thu January 10, 2013 3:22 pm

The thief who stole Harly and Courtney Forbes' bicycle seemed not to know how important it is to their lives. Because after dashing off with the tandem bike early Monday, the bike was returned Wednesday. Police say the thief was apparently moved to remorse by the pair's story of how they were now without a way of getting around on their own.

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Latin America
12:20 pm
Thu January 10, 2013

Rebuilding Haiti: A Slow Process

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Now, we want to return to a story we've visited many times before, especially in the last three years. That's when an earthquake devastated the nation of Haiti. It left tens of thousands of people dead - nobody's really sure how many - and tens of thousands of people displaced.

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Politics
12:20 pm
Thu January 10, 2013

Where Have All the Hip-Hop Politicians Gone?

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. Coming up, that devastating earthquake hit Haiti three years ago. The country is still trying to rebuild. We'll hear from an author who has been traveling to Haiti for years, both before and after the earthquake, and she offers some bracing observations about what has actually made a difference in the country and what hasn't. We'll talk with the author of a book called "Farewell, Fred Voodoo." That's in just a few minutes.

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Law
12:20 pm
Thu January 10, 2013

Is Illegal Immigration No Longer An Issue?

The Obama administration spent more money on immigration enforcement last year than it did on all other major federal law enforcement agencies combined, according to a new report. Host Michel Martin discusses that budget and unsettled immigration issues with the report's author Doris Meissner.

Movies
12:11 pm
Thu January 10, 2013

Oscar Nominees Announced: 'Lincoln' Leads With 12

Originally published on Thu January 10, 2013 3:04 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And this morning here in Los Angeles the nominations for the 85th Academy Awards were announced. The movie with the most nominations: Steven Spielberg's "Lincoln," with 12 nods.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "LINCOLN")

DANIEL DAY-LEWIS: (as Lincoln) Euclid's first common notion is this: Things which are equal to the same thing are equal to each other. That's a rule of mathematical reasoning. It's true because it works.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "LIFE OF PI")

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Economy
12:00 pm
Thu January 10, 2013

Three New 'Cliffs' Threaten The Economy

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Jan. 2. Financial market participants will be keeping a close eye on upcoming deadlines affecting the U.S. debt ceiling, scheduled automatic budget cuts and federal funding.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 11, 2013 3:39 pm

Maybe you were hoping you'd never hear the phrase "fiscal cliff" again after Congress passed legislation Jan. 1 to address that tax-break-expiration deadline.

Sorry.

Three more cliff-type deadlines are fast approaching. They involve: 1) raising the federal debt ceiling 2) modifying automatic, across-the-board spending cuts and 3) funding the government to avert a shutdown.

The deadlines all hit between Valentine's Day and Easter, which means new rounds of chaotic congressional negotiations may start up just after the Jan. 21 presidential inauguration parade ends.

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Shots - Health News
11:55 am
Thu January 10, 2013

As Cases Spike, Flu Season May Be Peaking In Boston

Four-year-old Gabriella Diaz gets a flu shot at the Whittier Street Health Center in Boston, Mass., on Wednesday, the same day the city declared a public health emergency.
Charles Krupa ASSOCIATED PRESS

Originally published on Thu January 10, 2013 12:16 pm

We were warned that this year's flu season was likely to be a bad one, and now that forecast is starting to bear out.

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The Two-Way
9:48 am
Thu January 10, 2013

If Obama Took 'Executive Action' On Guns, What Might He Do?

Vice President Biden and President Obama at the White House on Dec. 19. Biden has been charged with drawing up "concrete proposals" on how to reduce gun violence.
Fang Zhe Xinhua /Landov

Originally published on Fri January 11, 2013 7:29 am

After Vice President Biden said Wednesday that the Obama administration might take some executive actions on the issues of guns and gun-related violence, questions naturally arose:

What kinds of things was he talking about? What might the administration do that doesn't require Congressional action?

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