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The Two-Way
4:08 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

Chinese High-Rise Worker Left Dangling After Annoyed Boy Cuts Rope

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 5:41 pm

A worker in southern China was left hanging from 100 feet up the side of a high-rise apartment building when a 10-year-old boy, apparently annoyed at the construction racket outside his window, decided to cut the safety line on the man's rappelling apparatus.

Xinhua says the boy was watching cartoons in his eighth-floor apartment in Guizhou province as the worker was outside installing lighting. So, the boy took a knife and sliced through the rope that allows the worker to move up and down.

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Men In America
3:54 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

'I Am Not An Inmate ... I Am A Man. And I Have Potential'

Dan Huff rests after a long day's work. He spent much of his life incarcerated in the California prison system. Now, he lives in drug- and alcohol-free transitional housing in Portland, Ore.
Beth Nakamura for NPR

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 7:40 pm

If you want to know how prison can shape a man, talk to Dan Huff. He's spent more than half of his 59 years locked up. He says he was "raised by the state of California."

"Even judges, when they would send me away — looking back at it now — they [were] kind of more like a father figure sitting up there," he says. "Closer to fatherly than any father that I ever had."

Those judges had plenty of reason to be concerned about him: Huff used heroin. He committed robberies.

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Governing
3:48 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

Justice Department Supports Native Americans In Child Welfare Case

Chase Iron Eyes, an attorney with the Lakota People's Law Project, is calling for a turnaround of child welfare and foster care systems.
Kevin Cederstrom AP

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 7:40 pm

The Justice Department has weighed in on a class-action lawsuit in South Dakota pitting Native American tribes against state officials, and come down resoundingly in support of tribes.

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Education
3:44 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

New Orleans Enters The Charter School Era

Ninth graders at George Washington Carver Collegiate Academy learn to shake hands and greet each other during the first day of school in New Orleans.
Kainaz Amaria/NPR

Originally published on Sat August 30, 2014 10:53 am

On Aug. 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina ripped through New Orleans and gutted most of its public schools. Even before the storm, the district was one of the most troubled in the nation.

Today, the New Orleans school system is unlike any other anywhere in the U.S. More than 9 in 10 students this fall are attending charter schools run by dozens of private, nonprofit organizations. Families choose the schools their children will attend, and the neighborhood school is a thing of the past.

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This Week's Must Read
3:12 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

In An Earthquake, History Fuels One Writer's Anxiety

San Francisco on fire in the aftermath of the 1906 earthquake.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 7:40 pm

While most of America is thinking burgers and swimming this Labor Day weekend, I can't stop thinking about earthquakes.

Last Sunday, a shaker registering magnitude 6.0 struck the Napa Valley in Northern California. It injured dozens and caused about $1 billion in damages. National media coverage focused on how the quake affected the area's famous wine industry — because America needs to know that our stock of cabs and zinfandels is safe.

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Politics
3:07 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

Climate Policy Takes The Stage In Florida Governor's Race

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 7:40 pm

Florida is getting ready for an unusual governor's race. Like incumbent Rick Scott, a Republican, Charlie Crist is running for a second term as governor. In his first term, Crist was also a Republican.

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Around the Nation
3:07 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

On Ferguson's Streets, Echoes Of Another Fatal Shooting

A memorial at the site where Michael Brown was shot, on Canfield Drive in Ferguson, Mo.
Myles Bess Youth Radio

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 7:40 pm

Myles Bess, a reporter and producer with Youth Radio, has been reporting in Ferguson, Mo., where Michael Brown was shot by a police officer on Aug. 9. Bess lives in Oakland, Calif., and in 2009, he lived through the aftermath of the police shooting of another unarmed young black man, Oscar Grant.

I was 14 years old when Oscar Grant was killed just a few miles from where I live. Grant was unarmed and lying facedown on the BART platform when a transit cop shot him in the back.

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Europe
3:07 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

Residents Join Soldiers In Shoring Up Defenses Of Key Ukrainian Port

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 7:40 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

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Sports
3:07 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

NFL Commissioner On Controversial Suspension: 'I Didn't Get It Right'

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 7:40 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Middle East
3:07 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

The Spectacle Of The Beheading: A Grisly Act With A Long History

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 7:40 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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The Salt
2:34 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

Real Vanilla Isn't Plain. It Depends On (Dare We Say It) Terroir

Three scoops of vanilla ice cream made with vanilla beans from Mexico, Tahiti and Madagascar.
Meredith Rizzo NPR

Originally published on Sat August 30, 2014 10:49 am

Banish the phrase "plain vanilla" from your lexicon.

Why? Because vanilla is one of the most complex spices around, boasting at least 250 different flavor and aroma compounds, only one of which is vanillin, the stuff that can be made artificially in a lab (and is used in a lot of processed foods).

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Goats and Soda
2:30 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

The Co-Discoverer Of Ebola Never Imagined An Outbreak Like This

Peter Piot was one of the co-discoverers of the Ebola virus in 1976. "I never thought we would see such a devastating and vast epidemic," he says.
Leon Neal AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 7:40 pm

As a young scientist in Belgium, Peter Piot was part of a team that discovered the Ebola virus in 1976.

He took his first trip to Africa to investigate this mysterious disease. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, he met people who had contracted it. "I'll never forget the glazed eyes, the staring and the pain ... this type of expression in the eyes ... telling me I'm going to die," says Piot. "That I'll never forget."

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The Two-Way
2:29 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

Holiday Gas Prices Lowest In Four Years

A graphic produced by Gasbuddy.com shows regional variation of gas prices.
GasBuddy.com via USEIA

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 3:52 pm

Some good news heading into the long weekend: Labor Day gas prices are at their lowest level in four years.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration says the nationwide average for retail regular was $3.45 per gallon on Aug. 25 — that's the lowest average price for a Monday ahead of Labor Day since 2010, and it's about $0.25 per gallon less than at the end of June this year. The current price is down from the record average of $3.83 for the 2012 holiday.

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Goats and Soda
2:22 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

Study: Kids In Orphanages Can Do As Well As Those In Foster Care

A woman walks with children at an orphanage in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Policymakers have long called for orphans to be taken out of institutions and placed with foster families, but one study from Duke University is challenging that notion.
Sean Gallup Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 3:22 pm

"Please, sir, I want some more," Oliver Twist famously asked in the food line at an orphanage.

Instead he got a blow to the head with a ladle.

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Shots - Health News
2:20 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

An App Can Reveal When Withdrawal Tremors Are Real

He's working; really, he is.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 6:09 pm

People who abuse alcohol sometimes try to fake the hand tremors caused by withdrawal to get a prescription for sedatives.

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It's All Politics
1:46 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

Texas Voter ID Law Goes To Trial

A voter in Austin, Texas, shows his photo identification to an election official in February.
Eric Gay AP

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 3:06 pm

Dozens of lawyers will gather in a federal courtroom in Corpus Christi, Texas, on Tuesday for the start of a new challenge to the state's controversial voter ID law.

The trial is expected to last two to three weeks, but it's unlikely to be the end of what's already been a long, convoluted journey for the Texas law — and many others like it.

First, some background:

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Shots - Health News
12:36 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

Experimental Drug Saves Monkeys Stricken With Ebola

A Public Health Agency of Canada worker seen inside the National Microbiology Laboratory's Level 4 lab in Winnipeg.
Public Health Agency of Canada/Nature

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 7:40 pm

Scientists are reporting strong evidence that the experimental Ebola drug ZMapp may be effective for treating victims of the devastating disease.

A study involving 18 rhesus macaque monkeys, published Friday in the journal Nature, found that the drug saved 100 percent of the animals even if they didn't receive the drug until five days after they had been infected. The study is the first to test ZMapp in a primate, which is considered a good model for how a drug might work in humans.

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The Two-Way
12:22 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

The Most Bizarre Bits To Come Out Of The Trial Of Virginia's Ex-Governor

Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell arrives at federal court in Richmond, Va., on Thursday.
Steve Helber AP

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 2:24 pm

The trial of former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife went into closing arguments today. At issue are serious allegations of corruption, but the trial has also unveiled seriously strange details about the McDonnells' personal life.

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Parallels
12:22 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

With Homegrown Technology, Israel Becomes Leading Arms Exporter

An Israeli soldier launches a drone that's attached to a military vehicle in southern Israel, not far from the border with the Gaza Strip, on July 29. Israel was a pioneer with drones and has developed a number of military technologies that it later sells abroad.
Jim Hollander EPA/Landov

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 7:40 pm

One byproduct of the recurring battles between Israel and its Arab neighbors is that Israel has developed a homegrown weapons industry that addresses its very specific needs.

Over the decades, this has included a number of cutting-edge technologies, from drones to night-vision equipment, which have been widely exported.

A more recent example is the Iron Dome, which was used throughout the latest conflict with Hamas in the Gaza Strip. The mobile missile defense system is capable of stopping short-range rockets from places like Gaza, the West Bank and southern Lebanon.

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Author Interviews
12:14 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

John Waters Hitchhikes Across America, And Lives To Write About It

The 68-year-old film director hitchhiked from Baltimore to San Francisco for his book Carsick. He says hitchhiking is "the worst beauty regimen ever" and admits he always kept his luggage with him.

Originally broadcast June 10.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

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Author Interviews
12:14 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

Florida-Grown Fiction: Hiaasen Satirizes The Sunshine State

Novelist and Miami Herald columnist Carl Hiaasen writes with passion and purpose about the state he loves. His latest book, Bad Monkey, is an offbeat murder mystery set in Key West.

Originally broadcast June 13, 2013.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

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The Two-Way
11:29 am
Fri August 29, 2014

Malaysia Airlines Cuts A Third Of Its Workforce After Steep Losses

A Malaysia Airlines crew member inspects an airplane at Kuala Lumpur International Airport on Thursday. The carrier announced it was laying off a third of its workforce amid steep financial losses.
Azhar Rahim EPA/Landov

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 12:14 pm

For Malaysia Airlines, the tragic loss of two of its aircraft with all passengers and crew in recent months has hardly been the extent of its problems: On Thursday, the carrier announced a steep quarterly loss, and today came word that it is cutting nearly a third of its workforce.

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Goats and Soda
10:28 am
Fri August 29, 2014

A Peace Corps Stint In Madagascar Gave Him A Vision Of Vanilla

The orchids that produce vanilla beans have no natural pollinators in Madagascar; the plant must be pollinated by hand — a labor-intensive process with little margin for error.
Courtesy of Madécasse

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 2:45 pm

Madagascar-grown orchids produce most of the world's vanilla beans, but vanilla extract isn't manufactured in country. Former Peace Corps volunteers-turned-entrepreneurs Tim McCollum and Brett Beach, co-founders of the Brooklyn-based Madécasse brand, aim to change that. They want to produce the world's first "bean to bottle" extract, made entirely in Madagascar by local people using all-local materials — right down to the packaging.

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The Two-Way
10:09 am
Fri August 29, 2014

Britain Raises Terror Alert Level, But Cites No Specific Threat

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron speaks at a news conference in London on Friday after the U.K. raised its terror alert level.
Paul Hackett PA Photos/Landov

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 12:07 pm

British Prime Minister David Cameron is warning that the threat to the U.K. from international terrorism is "greater and deeper" than ever before, as London raised its terror warning level in response to what it said were plans by the Islamic State and other extremist groups to attack the West.

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The Two-Way
9:48 am
Fri August 29, 2014

California Lawmakers Pass 'Affirmative Consent' Sexual Assault Bill

California state Sen. Kevin de Leon (D-Los Angeles) urges lawmakers to approve his measure aimed at curbing sexual assault on campuses on Thursday in Sacramento.
Rich Pedroncelli AP

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 1:57 pm

California is one step closer to becoming the first state to require colleges and universities "to adopt a standard of unambiguous consent among students engaging in sexual activity," The Los Angeles Times reports.

The California Senate gave the bill unanimous approval on Thursday, and it is now headed to the governor's office.

The Times adds:

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