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12:01 am
Wed February 6, 2013

Is Online Gambling Legal If Bitcoins, Not Dollars, Are At Stake?

An image depicts the SatoshiDice website, which exclusively uses Bitcoin, not dollars, for gambling.
NPR

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 7:51 am

With no government ties, Bitcoin is used to buy everything from blogging services to Brooklyn-made cupcakes. Theoretically, millions of dollars are being kept in the digital currency, and it's increasingly being used by specialized online gambling websites. But is Bitcoin gambling legal?

Purely in the interests of journalism, I decided to get my hands on some of the currency. When I did so, Bitcoin, which has been around for a few years now, was fetching around $17 on most exchange sites. It has since risen to more than $20.

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The Salt
11:56 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

New Hampshire Cuts Red Tape To Put Nanobreweries On Tap

Throwback Brewery co-owner Nicole Carrier and assistant brewer Chris Naro pour beer for customers at their North Hampton, N.H., taproom.
Emily Corwin NHPR

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 7:51 am

As beer drinkers demand increasingly obscure beers with ingredients like jalapenos or rhubarb, smaller and smaller breweries are stepping up to the plate. New Hampshire is one state helping these brewery startups get off the ground, with new laws that make it easier for small-scale breweries to obtain licenses and distribute their craft beers.

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Research News
11:55 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Why You Love That Ikea Table, Even If It's Crooked

Building your own stuff boosts your feelings of pride and competence, and also signals to others that you are competent.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 7:51 am

Have you ever spent a couple of hours working on a craft project — or a presentation for work — and then fallen in love with what you've accomplished? Do the colors you've picked for your PowerPoint background pop so beautifully that you just have to sit back and admire your own genius?

If so, get in line: You're the latest person to fall victim to the Ikea Effect.

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Sweetness And Light
11:01 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

It's The Dog Days For America's Sports Dynasties

Maltipoo Shaggy is dressed as a Yankees fan at the Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade in New York City last year. Commentator Frank Deford says the Yankees are turning into a home for the assisted living.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 7:51 am

Since that devilish little morality saga with Linda Evans and Joan Collins left television in 1989, there have been no dynasties in our world outside of sports.

Today, nobody says that William and Kate are continuing a dynasty or the Kennedys are a dynasty, or the Rockefellers, or even that dreadful ugly chubby family in North Korea.

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Business
3:36 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

S&P Lawsuit Puts Ratings Firms Back In The Spotlight

In a lawsuit, the Justice Department alleges Standard and Poor's misled investors with fraudulent credit ratings. The agency could seek more than $5 billion in damages.
Henny Ray Abrams AP

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 4:17 pm

The Justice Department said Tuesday it could seek more than $5 billion in damages from Standard & Poor's, the nation's biggest credit ratings company, a day after it sued the company, alleging that S&P defrauded investors by giving triple-A ratings to risky subprime mortgage investments.

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It's All Politics
3:29 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Viral Story About Free Wi-Fi Spotlights Mostly Hidden Policy War

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski last year warned of a "war on Wi-Fi."
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 9:48 am

(Revised on 2/6/1013 at 12:28 pm ET to include FCC comment.)

In Washington, there's always one kind of alleged war or another against some group or idea — the war on women, the war on religion and the war on the Second Amendment come quickly to mind.

This week, many of us became aware of another supposed conflict we had never heard of: essentially, a war on Wi-Fi.

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The Two-Way
3:15 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Survey: Republicans In Congress Own More Guns Than Democrats

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, of Alaska, told USA Today she owned a dozen guns.
Brendan Smialowski Getty Images

In Washington, everything seems to break down along partisan lines. Gun ownership is no exception.

USA Today surveyed every congressional office to ask whether its lawmaker owned a gun.

The results?

-- "One hundred nineteen Republicans and 46 Democrats declared themselves as gun owners..."

And:

-- "Only 10% of Republicans who responded said they do not own a gun, while 66% of Democrats said they are not gun owners."

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Europe
3:15 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Bulgaria Links Hezbollah To Deadly Attack On Israelis

Originally published on Sun February 10, 2013 5:51 am

Bulgarian authorities say they have evidence the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah financed and carried out a bomb attack at a Black Sea resort town last year, killing five Israeli tourists and one Bulgarian citizen.

Bulgarian Foreign Minister Nikolay Mladenov said it was an extremely intensive investigation.

"The results of that investigation leads to a number of persons who are connected to the military wing of Hezbollah," he said.

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Middle East
2:32 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

For The First Time In Decades, Iran's President Visits Egypt

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad visits an Islamic shrine Tuesday in Cairo. He became the first Iranian leader to visit Egypt since the 1970s.
Amr Nabil AP

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 3:36 pm

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Tuesday became the first Iranian leader to visit Egypt since the 1970s, the latest sign of the thawing of relations between the rival Muslim nations.

Ahmadinejad received a red-carpet welcome as Egypt's President Mohammed Morsi greeted him on the tarmac at Cairo International Airport with a kiss on each cheek.

Under Egypt's former leader, Hosni Mubarak, a visit like this would never have happened.

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Shots - Health News
1:59 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Aggressive Care Still Common For Dying Seniors, Despite Hospice Uptick

Joe Takach comforts his friend Lillian Landry, as she spends her last days in the hospice wing of a hospital in Oakland Park, Fla., in 2009.
J. Pat Carter AP

Although federal data show that fewer Medicare beneficiaries are dying in hospitals that doesn't mean they're getting a lot less medical care in their final days, new research suggests.

Even as deaths in acute-care hospitals declined between 2000 and 2009, the use of intensive care units in the final 30 days of life increased, as did short-term hospice use. The rate of changes to care for these patients, such as transfers within the last three days of life, also increased.

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The Two-Way
1:49 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Did Ninjas Use Throwing Stars? A Conversation About Ninja Realities

An authentic master of ninjutsu martial art, Kazuki Ukita poses in Ninja costume at the Ninja museum's Ninja residence in the small ancient city of Ueno.
Toshifumi Kitamura AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 2:31 pm

Our friends at On Point had a fascinating discussion today with the author of a new book about ninjas.

Here's what Sam Gale Rosen, On Point's producer, told us:

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It's All Politics
1:49 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Even When They Qualify For Citizenship, Few Mexican Immigrants Seek It

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 2:02 pm

While a path to citizenship is a central component of proposed changes to the nation's immigration laws, most Mexican immigrants now eligible for U.S. citizenship don't obtain it, according to a new study.

The Pew Hispanic Center report found that only about 36 percent of eligible Mexicans take the steps to become U.S. citizens, compared to 68 percent of all other immigrants.

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Business
1:48 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Why Is It So Hard To Make A 100 Percent American Hand Dryer?

The Xlerator hand dryer is made almost entirely of American components and assembled in Massachusetts. But the company's owner says it's simply not cost-effective to use an American-made motor.
Andrea Hsu NPR

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 5:17 pm

Fifteen years ago, Denis Gagnon bought a company that made a product nobody really liked: hand dryers. But he quickly managed to turn Massachusetts-based Excel Dryer into an innovator with the Xlerator — a high-speed dryer that cut drying time from more than 30 seconds to less than 15.

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Politics
1:48 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

How The Labor Movement Did A 180 On Immigration

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka leaves the White House on Tuesday after meeting with President Obama to discuss immigration policy and other issues.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 3:36 pm

The AFL-CIO begins a big push this week to build momentum for comprehensive changes to the nation's immigration laws.

But it wasn't long ago that organized labor viewed illegal workers in the U.S. as a threat — and fought against proposals that would lead to citizenship.

Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO, referenced the labor movement's history with the immigration issue in a YouTube message to members late last year.

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The Record
1:48 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Reg Presley, The Voice Of 'Wild Thing,' Dies

Reg Presley in Hamburg, circa 1965.
Petra Niemeier — K & K Redferns

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 3:36 pm

Reg Presley, the founder and lead singer of The Troggs, the rock group best known for the performing the original version of the song "Wild Thing," has died. Presley was 71. He died of lung cancer yesterday at his home in England.

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Music Reviews
1:48 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Reissued And Relevant, Marcos Valle's '70s Bossa Nova Returns

Marcos Valle in Los Angeles in 1968.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 3:36 pm

Marcos Valle wasn't identified with Brazil's influential Tropicalia movement during the 1960s and 1970s. But, like his peers Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil, he made ambitious and subversive pop music during those years, mixing American soul and rock with samba, bossa nova and other Brazilian styles.

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The Two-Way
1:39 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

White House Says Obama Will Visit Israel This Spring

Originally published on Sun February 10, 2013 5:49 am

President Obama will make his first presidential visit to Israel this spring, the White House announced this afternoon.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney did not give an indication of date, but he said that Obama will also visit the West Bank and Jordan during the trip.

As The Washington Post points out, the trip comes at a time when Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations have stalled. The Post reports:

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Shots - Health News
1:39 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Exercise Can Be Good For The Heart, And Maybe For Sperm, Too

Human sperm race to fertilize an egg.
David M. Phillips Science Source

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 7:39 am

Guys, it may be time to get off the couch and hit the treadmill — especially if you want to have kids.

Okay, we all know that exercise is good for us. It can reduce the risk of obesity, diabetes and heart disease, to name a few benefits. Now researchers say physical activity may also help keep sperm healthy and happy.

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The Salt
1:14 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Why Mixing Alcohol With Diet Soda May Make You Drunker

The rum in that Cuba libre will hit your bloodstream faster if it's mixed with diet cola.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon February 11, 2013 1:36 pm

Looking to cut back on the calories in your cocktail by mixing, say, diet soda and rum? Well, get ready for the buzz.

According to the results of a new study, this combination will leave you drunker than if you'd mixed the liquor with a sugary, caloric mixer.

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The Two-Way
12:57 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

5 Questions About Justice Department Memo On Targeted Killings

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 3:48 am

A confidential Justice Department memo obtained by NBC News outlines legal theories the Obama administration has used to justify killing American citizens abroad. Here are five key questions and answers about the document:

1) What is it?

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