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3:53 pm
Thu April 19, 2012

Russian Gymnasts Seek To Soar Once Again

Russian gymnast Victoria Komova competes in the balance beam final during the 2011 World Championships in Tokyo. Komova is one of Russia's top Olympic hopefuls.
Adam Pretty Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 19, 2012 6:34 pm

Back in the days of the Soviet Union, the women's gymnastics competition was highly predictable — the Soviet squad won the team gold medal at every Olympics it participated in.

Even when Nadia Comaneci was reeling off perfect 10s at the 1976 Olympics in Montreal, she and her Romanian teammates had to settle for second in the team competition behind the legendary Olga Korbut and her Soviet comrades.

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Planet Money
3:53 pm
Thu April 19, 2012

Should We Kill The Dollar Bill?

Robert Benincasa NPR

Originally published on Mon April 23, 2012 4:53 pm

Our story begins last month inside a busy Washington, D.C. subway station plastered with posters of giant dollar bills. One of them says: "Tell Congress to stop wasting time trying to eliminate the dollar bill." Another asks: "Do you heart the dollar?"

Political fights in the nation's capital normally involve billions or even trillions, not single dollars. What's going on here?

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The Two-Way
3:48 pm
Thu April 19, 2012

Catcher Ivan Rodriguez Will Retire After A 23-Year Career

In this Sept. 13, 2009, photo, Texas Rangers catcher Ivan Rodriguez pauses during a baseball game against the Seattle Mariners in Arlington, Texas.
Tony Gutierrez AP

Next Monday, Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez, considered one of Major League Baseball's greatest catchers, will announce his retirement.

The news was first reported by the AP and confirmed today by the Texas Rangers, the team where Rodriguez made his debut.

Rodriguez, a 14-time All-Star, won a record 13 Gold Golves. The AP reports:

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The Two-Way
3:32 pm
Thu April 19, 2012

Levon Helm, Legendary Drummer-Singer Of The Band, Dies

Levon Helm and the Levon Helm band perform during the Heros of Woodstock concert at Bethel Woods Center for the Arts in Bethel, N.Y. in 2009.
Craig Ruttle AP

Originally published on Fri April 20, 2012 8:30 am

After a long battle with cancer, Leon Helm died today. He was 71.

"Levon Helm passed peacefully this afternoon," a statement posted on his website read. "He was surrounded by family, friends and band mates and will be remembered by all he touched as a brilliant musician and a beautiful soul."

Helm was the legendary drummer and singer of '60s rock act, The Band. Earlier this week, Helm's family announced that he was in the final stages of cancer.

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The Record
3:32 pm
Thu April 19, 2012

Levon Helm, Drummer And Singer In The Band, Dies

Levon Helm performing with The Band in 1971.
Jan Persson Redferns

Originally published on Fri April 20, 2012 8:33 am

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The Salt
2:47 pm
Thu April 19, 2012

Starbucks Ditches Bug-Based Red Dye In Strawberry Drink

By June, this drink will be bug-free, Starbucks says
Armstrong Photo Starbucks

For those of you boycotting Starbucks over the red dye made from crushed bugs it's been using, this Strawberries & Crème Frappuccino® is for you.

As we reported last month, vegetarians and others who'd rather not eat insects protested when they found out the the company uses cochineal, the red "juice" a tiny white bug called Dactylopius coccus exudes when crushed, to color certain food and drinks.

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Digital Life
1:58 pm
Thu April 19, 2012

Young People Turn From Kony To Spooning Record

In 2010, more than 500 students at Carleton College in Northfield, Minn., hit the campus green to break the world record for spooning. On Friday, students at the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Va., plan to claim the record.
Maia Rodriguez Courtesy of Northfield.org

Originally published on Thu April 19, 2012 3:50 pm

Students at the College of William & Mary are talking about a big extracurricular event being held on their campus on Friday. Organized largely through social media, more than 600 students at the prestigious Virginia campus have signed up to participate.

It's not about Joseph Kony. It's an attempt to break the world record for spooning, set by Carleton College back in 2010.

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Shots - Health Blog
1:48 pm
Thu April 19, 2012

When It Comes To A1C Blood Test For Diabetics, One Level No Longer Fits All

A person with diabetes may need to test blood glucose levels up to 10 times a day.
Isaac Santillan iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu April 19, 2012 2:38 pm

If there's one thing that people with diabetes get pounded into their heads, it's that they've got to keep their A1C level under control. That's the blood glucose measure that's used to decide how well a person is managing their diabetes.

But new diabetes management guidelines announced today will cut many people with diabetes some slack.

Where old guidelines from the American Diabetes Association said that people should maintain an A1C of 7, the new guidelines say that patients should work with their doctors to determine an appropriate A1C target.

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The Two-Way
1:34 pm
Thu April 19, 2012

PHOTO: President Obama Sits In Rosa Parks Bus

President Barack Obama sits on the famed Rosa Parks bus at the Henry Ford Museum following an event in Dearborn, Mich. on Wednesday.
Pete Souza The White House

During his trip to Detroit, yesterday, President Obama visited the Henry Ford Museum and had the opportunity to sit in the bus where in 1955 Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat to make way for a white customer. That moment sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott and fueled the civil rights movement that made it possible for Barack Obama to become president.

Today, the White House's photographer Pete Souza tweeted a picture of the moment:

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The Two-Way
12:57 pm
Thu April 19, 2012

Florida Governor Appoints Task Force To Review 'Stand Your Ground' Law

Florida Gov. Rick Scott appointed a task force on Thursday charged with reviewing the state's gun laws, including the so-called "stand your ground law," that came into controversial focus after the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.

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World Cafe
12:47 pm
Thu April 19, 2012

Latin Roots: The Lasting Fad Of Boogaloo

The Joe Cuba Sextet.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu April 19, 2012 4:01 pm

Today's episode of Latin Roots features Felix Contreras, co-host of Alt.Latino, NPR's online music program about Latin Alternative music. Also a reporter and producer for NPR's Arts Desk, Contreras specializes in jazz, world music and Latino arts and culture. A part-time musician who plays Afro-Cuban percussion in several Latin and jazz bands, Contreras is uniquely qualified to discuss Latin Alternative music. In today's episode, he speaks about boogaloo, how it developed and how it impacts Latin music today.

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World Cafe
12:39 pm
Thu April 19, 2012

Grimes On World Cafe

Grimes.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu April 19, 2012 12:49 pm

Grimes is the one-woman project of Claire Boucher, a talented and eclectic Canadian singer. Born and raised in Vancouver, she moved to Montreal for college but left to pursue her craft when her work as Grimes began to take off. Marrying lo-fi punk with dreamy pop, Grimes quickly became a fixture in Montreal's underground music scene. Boucher incorporates elements of dance, video and still images into her live performances, creating otherworldly and entrancing multimedia experiences in the process.

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The Two-Way
12:13 pm
Thu April 19, 2012

String Of Attacks Kills More Than 30 In Iraq

Iraqis inspect a car destroyed in a car bombing in Baghdad's Haifa Street, as dust creates a yellow haze across the city on Thursday.
Ahmad Al-Rubaye AFP/Getty Images

A string of bombings struck Baghdad today and left at least 30 people dead. It was the most violent day the city has seen in close to a month.

As The New York Times points out, while this kind of violence is common in the country, today's attacks were "a reminder, after weeks of relative calm, that an organized insurgency remained active."

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Shots - Health Blog
11:51 am
Thu April 19, 2012

Staying Active Fends Off Alzheimer's, Even In People Over 80

This would count. But even washing the dishes helps fend off dementia in old age.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu April 19, 2012 12:39 pm

Activity cuts the risk of Alzheimer's disease and slows cognitive decline, even in the very old, according to a new study.

There's been plenty of evidence for the "use it or lose it" theory of brain capacity. But this study is one of the first to show that activity of all sorts benefits people over age 80, even if they're not "exercising."

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Politics
11:10 am
Thu April 19, 2012

Alberto Gonzales: GOP Turns Off Latinos From Party

The DREAM Act calls for a path to citizenship for some undocumented students. In the past, Republicans have opposed versions of the bill, but some prominent figures like former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales say the GOP needs to find its own voice on the issue. He speaks with host Michel Martin.

Music Reviews
11:04 am
Thu April 19, 2012

From Dominican Roots, Bachata Is Here To Stay

Joan Soriano.
Alicia Santistevan

Originally published on Thu April 19, 2012 11:39 am

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Movie Interviews
11:01 am
Thu April 19, 2012

The Stooges Are Back, And Nyukking Things Up Again

After they leave their orphanage for the first time, Curly (Will Sasso) bears a heavy burden — his fellow Stooges, Moe (Chris Diamantopoulos, left) and Larry (Sean Hayes).
Peter Iovino Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

Originally published on Thu April 19, 2012 12:11 pm

The Farrelly brothers have long been known for their gross-out humor and their shocking comedies. After writing and directing movies like Dumb and Dumber, Kingpin, There's Something About Mary and Shallow Hal -- where agreeable idiots get caught up in all sorts of trouble — Peter and Bobby Farrelly decided to tackle another set of goofy doofuses: The Three Stooges.

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Shots - Health Blog
10:46 am
Thu April 19, 2012

Flossing Is Good For The Gums, But Doesn't Help The Heart

It's still a good idea. But it won't protect you against heart disease.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon April 23, 2012 10:24 am

Think flossing and brushing is helping to fight off heart disease and stroke? Think again.

An expert panel of dentists and cardiologists, writing in the American Heart Association journal Circulation, says there is no evidence that treating or preventing gum disease has any direct effect on heart health.

That's a big turnaround. For the past decade, the medical establishment has been telling people that cardiovascular disease can be caused by poor oral hygiene. Why the change?

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Animals
10:31 am
Thu April 19, 2012

Following The Lives Of Chimpanzees On Screen

Over the course of filming, Oscar (pictured above) learned how to use rudimentary tools and how to get along with the other members of his clan.
Disney

Originally published on Thu April 19, 2012 11:49 am

The new Disneynature film Chimpanzee started off the way most movies do. Co-producers and directors Mark Linfield and Alastair Fothergill, who had previously worked together on the documentary film Earth, approached Disney with a 70-page script about a group of chimpanzees living in Western Africa. There was just one problem: Chimps don't take direction — or read scripts.

So Fothergill and Linfield teased out a narrative from more than three years' worth of footage they took in Western Africa while observing a large clan of chimpanzees.

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Middle East
10:22 am
Thu April 19, 2012

For Syria, A 'Lawrence Of Arabia' Moment

Syrians walk through a badly damaged neighborhood in the central city of Homs on Sunday. Despite a declared cease-fire, fighting has continued in a number of Syrian cities, and peace efforts are at risk of collapsing.
AP

In the final scenes of the classic film Lawrence of Arabia, the Arab rebel fighters are wrapped up with internal, petty squabbles in Damascus as the great powers maneuver for the future of Syria.

Now, nearly a century after the events depicted in that movie, there's a similar Lawrence of Arabia moment playing out in Syria.

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