Nation/World

Nearly five years after it hit best-seller lists, a book that purported to be a 6-year-old boy's story of visiting angels and heaven after being injured in a bad car crash is being pulled from shelves. The young man at the center of The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven, Alex Malarkey, said this week that the story was all made up.

The book's publisher, Tyndale House, had promoted it as "a supernatural encounter that will give you new insights on Heaven, angels, and hearing the voice of God."

Google Glass Phase 1 is officially over. The Google Glass team posted a statement with the news to Google+ today. But the announcement says that Glass is not dead, it's just going through a "transition," and that the Google Glass team is "continuing to build for the future." The first, "Explorer," version of Glass was, according to the team, an "open beta" version, or basically a big, public test of the new product. The team didn't give a timeline for future versions.

Duke University announced this week it would allow the traditional Muslim call to prayer from the Duke Chapel bell tower. The reaction from some Christian groups was angry, and today the private university in Durham, N.C., reversed course.

Dennie Wright lives in Indian Valley, a tiny alpine community at the northern end of the Sierra, close to the border with Nevada.

A circumstance that might well qualify as a fate worse than death is to continue living after one side of the human equation — body + mind — has been canceled. For a jaunty account of an active brain in a withering physique, see The Theory of Everything; for a more anguished view of the opposite situation, there's Still Alice.

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The "Lone Genius" character is hot right now in television and movies. Sometimes the genius is real (think Benedict Cumberbatch in The Imitation Game), and sometimes he's fictional (think Benedict Cumberbatch in Sherlock). But one thing is almost always certain: He's a guy.

Now one researcher says that gender stereotype in art may have a real impact on women in academia.

Today, the World Health Organization issued a 14-part report on Ebola, from the moment it started until now.

We asked our team of Ebola correspondents to look at the sections and pull out the points that seemed most interesting — that may have been overlooked or forgotten, stories that show how the virus turned into an epidemic.

Where it all began

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Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Rapping The News In West Africa

Jan 15, 2015

In Dakar, Senegal, two rappers going by the names Keyti and Xuman offer a summary of the week's news in hip-hop format. Journal Rappé is a short TV show distributed on YouTube with a huge following, especially in West Africa where a majority of the population is under 25.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

A Good Show For A Wandering Bear In 'Paddington'

Jan 15, 2015

Paddington, British literature's lovable anthropomorphic bear named after the train station where he was found, has always been a funny sort of fellow. For nearly 60 years, Michael Bond's creation has enjoyed harmless adventures with his adopted Brown family in London, noshing on marmalade and allowing his good manners to point the way when his small brain can't. His endearing qualities — politeness and a need to understand the world through trial and error — are the sort of subtle quirks that don't always survive the transition to broad family films.

Today, the World Health Organization issued a 14-part report on Ebola, from the moment it started until now.

We asked our team of Ebola correspondents to look at the sections and pull out the points that seemed most interesting — that may have been overlooked or forgotten, stories that show how the virus turned into an epidemic.

Where it all began

Americans for Prosperity, the most prominent arm of the Koch brothers' organization, put Republican lawmakers on notice Thursday, setting out a conservative agenda for Congress. AFP leaders say it will be pushed by the group's grass-roots supporters in 34 states.

Human Capital, Paolo Virzì's circuitous film about two interconnected Italian families, opens on a winter's night, when a waiter riding his bicycle home after working at a high school gala gets run off the road by an SUV that promptly flees the scene of the crime. The car belongs to Massimiliano (Guglielmo Pinelli), the teenaged son of wealthy hedge-fund manager Giovanni (Fabrizio Gifuni), but it's not immediately clear who was driving it.

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Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Federal workers with a pressing need can take an advance of up to six weeks of sick leave under a new policy unveiled by President Obama on Thursday. The White House is urging Congress to make paid sick leave mandatory in the U.S.

The president signed a memorandum today instructing federal agencies to advance up to six weeks of paid sick leave to workers who need the time to care for a new child, a family member or for similar uses.

In the United Kingdom, British Gas employs 30,000 workers. Five of them could be said to carry a torch that has been burning for two centuries. They are the lamplighters, tending to gas lamps that still line the streets in some of London's oldest neighborhoods and parks.

As these lamplighters set out on their nightly rounds, they don't actually carry torches and don't wear top hats and waistcoats. In their blue and gray jackets with the British Gas logo, they look like 21st-century utility workers.

Pill popping, pot smoking, back-stabbing, bed hopping and tantrum throwing — now we're talking classical music! At least that's what the new Amazon series Mozart in the Jungle would have us believe is all in a day's work for orchestra musicians. The 10-part series is based on a tell-all book of the same name published a decade ago by oboist Blair Tindall.

Every Thursday this year we're celebrating All Songs Considered's 15th birthday with personal memories and highlights from the show's decade and a half online and on the air. If you have a personal memory about the show you'd like to share, drop us an email: allsongs@npr.org.

On this episode of Latin Roots from World Cafe, Rachel Faro joins the show to discuss cancion de protesta. While the U.S. experienced its own period of politically charged songs about the Vietnam War and more in the '60s and '70s, Latin American songwriters were creating commentary about the repressive regimes in power there.

Here, Faro shares some of the musicians who put their lives at risk — and identifies the artist she considers the Bob Dylan of the Latin music world.

The bar-headed goose is famous for its long, annual migration from the Indian subcontinent to central Asia, a flight that takes it over snowcapped Himalaya Mountains so high and dangerous that human climbers struggle just to stay alive.

Son Little On World Cafe

Jan 15, 2015

Philadelphia singer Son Little cut his teeth on collaborations with The Roots and RJD2. Now, he's got his own nationally released EP, titled Things I Forgot.

The chief of staff at a Wisconsin VA hospital has been temporarily reassigned while the facility is investigated for the overmedication of veterans.

This comes after the Center For Investigative Reporting published a story about the overprescribing of narcotic painkillers at the Tomah Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

The facility has gained the reputation of “Candy Land” because of its generous dispensation of drugs. The man in charge of the hospital, Dr. David Houlihan, is called the “Candy Man” by veterans and staff.

NASA's Pluto Probe Begins Observations

Jan 15, 2015

NASA’s spacecraft New Horizons officially began its six-month approach to Pluto on Thursday, which is expected to be the first close flyby of the dwarf planet.

After a 3-billion-mile journey that began in 2006, New Horizons is finally collecting scientific data that may shed light on Pluto, its five known moons and the solar system’s “third zone,” known as the Kuiper Belt. The closest approach is expected in July.

Almost one in 10 Americans has diabetes. That’s a startling statistic, but not as alarming as the forecast: if present trends continue, one in three Americans will have diabetes by 2050. But it’s not inevitable.

There’s a new national program to slow down the epidemic by rolling out hundreds of support groups across the country. From the Here & Now Contributors Network, Carrie Feibel of Houston Public Media reports.

Pope Francis says there are limits to freedom of speech, especially when it comes to someone's religion, in comments that made reference to the deadly attack last week on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

Francis defended freedom of speech, calling it a fundamental human right, but said it must not cause offense.

When Maajid Nawaz was growing up in Essex, England, in the 1990s, the son of Pakistani parents, he first found his voice of rebellion through American hip-hop.

"It gave me a feeling that my identity could matter — and did matter — growing up as a British Pakistani who was facing racism from whiter society," Nawaz tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross, "but also confusion about where my family was from and not really fitting into either culture."

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