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The Salt
7:20 am
Fri January 17, 2014

Congress Blocks Slaughtering Horses For Meat In U.S.

Americans may recoil at the thought of eating horse meat, but other countries feel quite differently, as the sign above this butcher shop in Paris attests.
Jacques Brinon AP

Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 8:07 am

When a federal ban on slaughtering horses to produce horse meat was lifted several years back, ranchers including Rick De Los Santos, a New Mexico rancher and owner of Valley Meat Co., stepped up to start operations with an aim to export the meat.

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The Two-Way
6:48 am
Fri January 17, 2014

Obama Expected To Say NSA Should Not Hold 'Metadata'

Nicolas Armer DPA/LANDOV

Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 8:51 am

President Obama is expected to announce Friday morning that he is "ordering a transition that will significantly change the handling of what is known as the telephone 'metadata' " that the National Security Agency collects, officials are telling Reuters and NPR.

The wire service, which broke the story, writes that:

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The Two-Way
6:16 am
Fri January 17, 2014

Book News: Hilary Mantel's New Book Reportedly Will Star Margaret Thatcher

Hilary Mantel accepted the award for Costa Book Of The Year in January 2013 in London.
Stuart Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 7:37 am

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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Book Reviews
6:02 am
Fri January 17, 2014

E.L. Doctorow's New Novel 'Puzzling And Ultimately Disappointing'

iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 2:00 pm

E.L. Doctorow's 19th book, Andrew's Brain, is a real head-scratcher. This short, perplexing but occasionally potent novel presents particular challenges to a critic, as it's difficult to discuss its enigmas without giving away its odd twists. What I can say is that what starts out as a tale of lost love ends up taking a baffling political turn into rather biting commentary on post-Sept. 11 America.

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Health
3:51 am
Fri January 17, 2014

Surgeon General Adds New Risks To Long List Of Smoking's Harms

John Hartigan, proprietor of Vapeology LA, a store selling electronic cigarettes and related items, takes a puff from an electronic cigarette in Los Angeles.
Reed Saxon AP

Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 12:39 pm

Acting Surgeon General Boris Lushniak is the latest in a long line of surgeons general who have tried to pound the final nails into the coffin of America's smoking habit.

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Music Reviews
3:51 am
Fri January 17, 2014

'Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit' Is Capable Of 'Mild Diversion'

Originally published on Tue January 21, 2014 4:18 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The late Tom Clancy was hero of American espionage writing, and the hero of his spy novels was Jack Ryan. On the big screen, Ryan has been played by Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford and Ben Affleck.

Now, there's a new Ryan in town. Los Angeles Times and MORNING EDITION film critic Kenneth Turan has our review.

KENNETH TURAN, BYLINE: "Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit" is serviceable, but not compelling, something that could pass for the real thing if you're not looking too hard.

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Business
3:51 am
Fri January 17, 2014

DirecTV: Customers Balked At Weather Channel's Reality Shows

Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 3:36 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

This next story began as pretty much your standard contract dispute. The Weather Channel wanted more money for its programming, and DirectTV wanted to pay less.

So, at 12:01 Tuesday morning, the satellite service dropped the Weather Channel and replaced it with a smaller producer of weather programming, which raises the question: How much do TV viewers really want or need weather information when they can get it from other sources?

NPR's Mandalit del Barco reports.

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Planet Money
2:39 am
Fri January 17, 2014

The Birth Of The Minimum Wage In America

Franklin D. Roosevelt Libarary

Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 3:46 pm

In 1895, legislators in New York state decided to improve working conditions in what at the time could be a deadly profession: baking bread.

"Bakeries are actually extremely dangerous places to work," says Eric Rauchway, a historian at the University of California, Davis. "Because flour is such a fine particulate, if it gets to hang in the air it can catch fire and the whole room can go up in a sheet of flame."

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The Salt
2:37 am
Fri January 17, 2014

Cash Or Credit? How Kids Pay For School Lunch Matters For Health

Lunch at the West Salem School District in Wisconsin.
Michelle Kloser for NPR

Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 12:39 pm

American kids have a problem with obesity, according to the most recent studies. In fact, the closest thing we have to good news about childhood obesity is that kids are not gaining weight as rapidly as they were some years ago.

Researchers may have identified one surprising new factor in why kids are overeating.

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StoryCorps
2:34 am
Fri January 17, 2014

A Black Chef At An All-White Club Who 'Never Looked Back'

Clayton Sherrod became head chef at an all-white country club in 1964, when he was just 19. Today, he owns his own catering business in Alabama.
StoryCorps

Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 12:39 pm

Clayton Sherrod was just 19 in 1964, when he became the executive chef at an all-white club in Birmingham, Ala. Sherrod, who is African-American, had started working in the kitchen there when he was 13, after his father had a heart attack.

"My mother said, 'You can't go back to school. You're going to have to find a job.' So I went to the country club."

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The Record
11:02 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

Gimme The Beat (Box): The Journey Of The Drum Machine

The Oberheim DMX rose to popularity in the mid-1980s, one of the first commercial drum machines that came close to mimicking real drum sounds.
Courtesy of Get On Down Publishing

Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 4:06 pm

About 10 years ago, a disgruntled pianist in Los Angeles named John Wood began a popular bumper sticker campaign with the slogan, "Drum Machines Have No Soul." Not everyone was convinced, including producer Eric Sadler.

"Drum machines don't run themselves," Sadler says. "It's the people who put into the drum machines that give the drum machines soul, to me. I've definitely given some drum machines some soul."

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Code Switch
9:06 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

Is There Room For Only One Black Film At The Top Of The Heap?

Chiwetel Ejiofor is nominated in the category of best actor for his role in 12 Years a Slave as the 86th Academy Awards nominations are announced Thursday in Beverly Hills, Calif.
Robyn Beck AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 1:51 pm

First, let's acknowledge one thing: 12 Years a Slave has achieved something amazing and wonderful.

With nine Oscar nominations, it has proven a brutal story about the worst degradations of American slavery can attract the biggest accolades Hollywood has to offer.

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All Tech Considered
8:14 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

By Tracking Sugar In Tears, Contact Lens Offers Hope For Diabetics

While years of research remain to see if such a system is medically viable, Google's development of a tiny, flexible wireless computer embedded in a soft contact lens is a first.
Google

Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 12:39 pm

The latest project from Google X is a smart contact lens, a tiny, flexible computer capable of monitoring glucose levels in tears. Researchers at Google are hopeful that one day this technology might be used to help diabetes patients better control their disease.

"I think the Google X device could be a huge game changer," says Dr. John Buse, professor of medicine at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine. He's also chairman of the National Diabetes Education Program for the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Environment
6:25 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

About 6,000 Natural Gas Leaks Found In D.C.'s Aging Pipes

A close-up schematic of leaks near the U.S. Capitol shows high leak densities east of the building, but few leaks over the National Mall, where very few natural gas pipelines exist.
Robert B. Jackson/Environmental Science and Technology

Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 12:18 pm

The nation's capital is a pretty old city by American standards. It dates back to the late 18th century. Despite frequent face-lifts, parts of it are wearing out — for example, its underground gas pipelines. New research shows that Washington, D.C., suffers from thousands of leaks of natural gas.

"We drove 1,500 road miles in Washington, D.C., and found about 6,000 leaks," says Robert Jackson, an ecologist and environmental scientist at Duke University. "That's roughly four leaks every mile."

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Code Switch
6:18 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

White House Makes College For Low-Income Students A Priority

President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama shake hands with college graduate Troy Simon, who couldn't read until he was 14. The president spoke about college opportunities in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building across from the White House on Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014.
Charles Dharapak ASSOCIATED PRESS

Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 11:19 am

President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama met today with over 140 college presidents at the White House. Also present at the event, were dozens of organizations committed to raising the number of low-income students who attend college.

No more than half of low-income high school graduates apply to college, so the President has asked the first lady to spearhead a national effort to encourage colleges — the more selective ones, in particular — to admit and graduate more students who are poor.

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Movies
6:18 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

Snubs And Surprises Abound In Oscar Nominations

Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 12:49 pm

Oscar nominations were announced this morning, and though lots of the slots went to the expected titles — Gravity, American Hustle and 12 Years A Slave led the pack — there were certainly some surprises.

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globalFEST
6:18 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

What Makes globalFEST So Interesting?

Devo meets Davy Crockett: a member of the furry-hatted Ukrainian "folk-punk" band DakhaBrakha onstage Sunday during globalFEST at New York's Webster Hall.
Ebru Yildiz for NPR

Originally published on Tue January 21, 2014 7:40 am

Every January, there's a one-night music festival in New York that showcases artists from around the world. It's called globalFEST, and it's been happening for more than a decade. Over the years, it's become a place for American tastemakers to find new talent from Europe, Africa, Asia and beyond.

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Music Reviews
6:18 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

Troubadour Radio: 'Jam Band' Releases A New Album For Kids

Lucky Diaz and Alisha Gaddis, the brains behind Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band, won the Latin Grammy for Best Latin Children's Album in 2013.
Matt Harbicht Courtesy of Sugar Mountain

Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 11:19 am

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

The Los Angeles duo, Lucky Diaz and the Family Jazz Band, is a kids' music act with a prestigious reputation. They've won plenty of praise from the critics and they were the first Americans to win a Latin Grammy in the Children's Album category. Our kids' music reviewer Stefan Shepherd says their latest album comes in the form of a radio variety show.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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Around the Nation
6:18 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

Sweet 16 And Barreling Toward Cowgirl Racing Fame

Megan Yurko and her horse, Beea. Now 16, Megan has been cowgirl barrel racing since the age of 6.
Courtesy of Megan Yurko

Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 11:19 am

Megan Yurko is small, but she's a big name in barrel racing. And the 16-year-old is on track to be crowned the world's top cowgirl barrel racer at the upcoming International Professional Rodeo Association's finals in Oklahoma City.

Just under 4-foot-10, Megan depends on her 1,200-pound filly Beea in a sport where the fastest rider around three barrels in a cloverleaf pattern wins.

"The thrill of it all is awesome," Megan says.

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Around the Nation
6:18 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

U.S. Biathlete Gives Up Olympic Spot To Her Twin Sister

Lanny and Tracy Barnes at a practice session for the women's 75-kilometer biathlon sprint during the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy.
Eric Feferberg AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 11:19 am

Tracy Barnes just secured a spot on the U.S. Olympic team heading to Sochi — but almost immediately, she decided to give it up.

She surrendered her spot to her twin, Lanny. The 31-year-old sisters compete in biathlon, the sport that combines cross-country skiing and shooting. Both competed in the 2006 Winter Olympics, and Lanny competed in 2010 as well.

Lanny fell ill during selection races in Italy this past weekend, and she finished sixth, dashing her hopes of qualifying. Only the top five make the Olympic team; Tracy qualified at fifth place.

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Education
5:26 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

The Obamas Hope To Ease Path For Low-Income Students

President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama hosted a meeting with college presidents and organizations involved in raising the number of low-income students who pursue a college degree. No more than half of low income high school graduates apply to college right after graduation, compared to 82 percent for high-income students. The administration says it's intent on closing that gap.

Movie Reviews
4:44 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

A Churl Of A Squirrel, On The Make In The Big City

Squirrels Andie (Katherine Heigl) and Surly (Will Arnett) start out on opposite ends of the moral spectrum in The Nut Job.
Toonbox Entertainment, Ltd.

Given the feel-good themes of the average kids' movie — be yourself, follow the golden rule, love each other, blah blah blah — it's refreshing to see an animated comedy chuck that guck and focus on a real jerk. Not a misunderstood Princess Elsa, or a Wreck-It Ralph with a heart of gold, but an out-and-out, two-bit, sell-you-down-the-river-if-it-would-save-his-own-fur shyster.

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Movie Reviews
4:02 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

Jack Ryan Gets A Makeover, And A Quick Trip To Moscow

Chris Pine and Keira Knightley anchor Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, opposite Kevin Costner as a CIA veteran and Kenneth Branagh as the story's big bad.
Larry Horricks Paramount Pictures

Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 2:05 pm

A franchise is what we used to call a Burger King or a Shell station, but nowadays the word appears more often in relation to movies: the Star Wars franchise, the Hunger Games franchise, the Jack Ryan franchise — or in the case of Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, the Jack Ryan franchise reboot. I don't know what's more depressing: that what fires up studio execs is the hunt for a new franchise or that critics have adopted this business lingo uncritically.

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Movie Reviews
4:02 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

'Big Bad Wolves,' On The Prowl In Tel Aviv

Religious-studies teacher Dror (Rotem Keinan) is the prime suspect in a series of gruesome murders in Big Bad Wolves, a bracing new thriller from the Israeli writer-director team of Aharon Keshales and Navot Papushado.
Magnet Releasing

There's black comedy, and then, in the darkest corner of an airtight box buried deep underground, there's the humor of Big Bad Wolves, a new Israeli thriller from writer-directors Aharon Keshales and Navot Papushado.

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Movie Reviews
4:02 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

Two Families, Decidedly Unalike In Dignity

Ryota Ninomiya (Masaharu Fukuyama) and his son Keita (Keita Ninomiya) wrestle with identity and belonging in Like Father, Like Son.
Sundance Selects

Tokyo filmmaker Hirokazu Kore-eda is known for deft work with kids, sometimes in scenarios with little or no adult presence. But the English-language title of his latest movie, Like Father, Like Son, is a little misleading. There's no reference to a child in the Japanese title, which means "And So He Becomes a Father."

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Sports
3:32 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

Will Team USA's High-Tech Speedskating Suit Pay Off In Gold?

"Mach 39" is the result of a partnership between Under Armour and Lockheed Martin to create the most aerodynamic speedskating suit for the U.S. Olympic team.
Under Armour

Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 11:19 am

A years-in-the-making, top-secret engineering and design project for a superaerodynamic suit to be worn by U.S. speedskaters at next month's Winter Olympics was finally unveiled Thursday.

Defense contractor Lockheed Martin and sporting goods company Under Armour released photos of the suit they're calling "Mach 39." It has been kept so tightly under wraps that the sport's governing body wouldn't even allow it to be worn at the Olympic trials in Salt Lake City.

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The Two-Way
3:30 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

In Search For Habitable Planets, Why Stop At 'Earth-Like'?

Kepler-22b, seen in this artist's rendering, is a planet a bit larger than Earth that orbits in the habitable zone of its star. Some researchers think there might be "superhabitable" worlds that may not resemble Earth.
NASA/Ames/JPL-Caltech

Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 11:19 am

In their hunt for potentially habitable planets around distant stars, scientists have been so focused on finding Earth-like planets that they're ignoring the possibility that other kinds of planets might be even friendlier to life, a new report says.

So-called superhabitable worlds wouldn't necessarily look like Earth but would nonetheless have conditions that are more suitable for life to emerge and evolve, according to the study published this month in the journal Astrobiology.

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World Cafe
3:28 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

Travis On World Cafe

Travis.
Courtesy of the artist

The Scottish band Travis formed in Glasgow in 1990 and had major worldwide success with 1999's The Man Who. Its success helped lay the groundwork for other soaring and smooth pop-rock groups — including Coldplay and Keane, which achieved stardom shortly after Travis' breakthrough.

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NPR Story
3:14 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

Dancing Doctor Continues Healing Journey

Dr. Deborah Cohan's friend Hillary Goidell took this picture of her the morning before surgery. (Facebook)

Dr. Deborah Cohan, a California mother of two, inspired millions by deciding to dance to Beyoncé’s “Get Me Bodied” — with the entire operating room staff — just before her double mastectomy.

Deborah Cohan’s video was viewed by millions and her healing journey continues. Just days ago, she started chemotherapy treatment.

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NPR Story
3:14 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

Florida Man In Assisted Living Squanders Lottery Winnings

Lottery winner Malcolm Ramsey, 55, sits in his room at the Loving Care assisted living facility in St. Petersburg, Fla., with some of the shoes he bought recently with his winnings. Ramsey was on a $54 monthly allowance before buying a scratch-off ticket worth $500 a week for life. (James Borchuk/Tampa Bay Times)

It’s every scratch card lottery player’s dream — seeing those matching numbers that mean big bucks. And that’s exactly what happened to Florida resident Malcolm Ramsey, whose winning numbers added up to $500 a week, for life.

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