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Shots - Health Blog
1:24 pm
Thu July 19, 2012

South African Doctors Uneasy About HIV Prevention Pill

Longtime AIDS activist Dr. Ashraf Grimwood says South Africa has made huge strides in confronting HIV. But he worries that giving anti-retroviral drugs to healthy people could have negative consequences in the long term.
Jason Beaubien NPR

Originally published on Thu July 19, 2012 6:54 pm

The news that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration this week approved the use of Truvada, an AIDS drug, to prevent infections in people who are HIV-negative is being greeted with skepticism, derision and even worry by some doctors in South Africa.

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The Two-Way
1:20 pm
Thu July 19, 2012

As Fighting In Syria Intensifies, U.S. Worries About Chemical Weapons

Syrian President Bashar Assad waves at supporters during a rare public appearance in Damascus on Jan. 11.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 19, 2012 1:49 pm

"Deathly afraid."

That's what one U.S. official says about the prospect that Syria's vast stockpile of chemical weapons might be used against rebel forces. From a U.S. national security standpoint, an even worse outcome would be for those weapons to fall into the hands of terrorists.

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Books
1:01 pm
Thu July 19, 2012

Terrible Virus, Fascinating History In 'Rabid'

Originally published on Thu July 19, 2012 3:38 pm

Here's your vocabulary word for the week: zoonosis. It describes an infection that is transmitted between species. For example, the disease that the husband and wife team of Bill Wasik and Monica Murphy have written about in their new book, Rabid: A Cultural History of the World's Most Diabolical Virus.

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Opinion
12:56 pm
Thu July 19, 2012

Wish You Were Here: Sunrise In Laos

A sunrise ritual draws Pam Houston to Luang Prabang, Laos.
Allie Caulfield

Originally published on Thu July 19, 2012 3:38 pm

Pam Houston directs the Creative Writing Program at U.C. Davis. Her most recent novel is Contents May Have Shifted.

Luang Prabang, Laos, is so close to the equator that daybreak happens at the same time each day. Also each day, a few dozen women set up rice cookers on small collapsible tables on street corners next to the more than 30 monasteries that grace this riverside town. If you get up with them and walk the silent streets in the misty Mekong predawn, you smell, under the sweetness of the frangipani blossoms, the thick odor of cooked starch.

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The Salt
12:19 pm
Thu July 19, 2012

High-Tech Shortcut To Greek Yogurt Leaves Purists Fuming

A supermarket's dairy case with shelves of yogurt.
Benjamin Morris NPR

Originally published on Fri July 20, 2012 9:30 am

America's food companies are masters of technology. They massage tastes and textures to tickle our palates. They find ways to imitate expensive foods with cheaper ingredients.

And sometimes, that technological genius leads to controversy.

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American Dreams: Then And Now
11:53 am
Thu July 19, 2012

Your American Dreams: Family, Friends And The Freedom To Roam

NPR listener Matt Anderson defines the American dream as "having the time, money, health and resources to get to enjoy such simple and whimsical pleasures with my family at our local state fair."
Courtesy of Matt Anderson

Originally published on Thu July 19, 2012 2:43 pm

While the concept of the American dream has been a part of our national consciousness for generations, you'd be hard-pressed to find two people who define it precisely the same way. We can say that with some authority, because, as part of our series, American Dreams: Then And Now, we asked you to share your own take on the dream. Sure enough, no two responses were the same.

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Politics
11:42 am
Thu July 19, 2012

Double Standard? Candidates, Politicians And Taxes

Transcript

JENNIFER LUDDEN, HOST:

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It's All Politics
11:36 am
Thu July 19, 2012

A Majority Of Voters In NPR Poll Favor Amending, Not Repealing, Health Care Act

President Obama leads Mitt Romney 47 percent to 45 percent among all voters in a new NPR poll. But the two are tied among voters from 12 battleground states.
Carolyn Kaster/Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Fri July 20, 2012 12:14 pm

A new poll done for NPR by a bipartisan polling team shows the Affordable Care Act still stirring deep political division in the weeks after the Supreme Court upheld the law's constitutionality. But while much of the country remains strongly opposed to the law popularly known as Obamacare, a bare majority (51 percent) favors the idea of amending rather than repealing it.

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The Two-Way
11:33 am
Thu July 19, 2012

China And Russia Veto U.N. Resolution Threatening Sanctions On Syria

Originally published on Thu July 19, 2012 3:38 pm

China and Russia this morning vetoed a U.N. Security Council resolution that could permit sanctions against Syria unless the government of President Bashar Assad stops using weapons against civilians. This is the third time China and Russia have rebuffed measures pushed by the United States and its allies to try to bring a halt to Syria's violent civil conflict.

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The Two-Way
11:29 am
Thu July 19, 2012

Court Rules Portland's Naked Traveler Is Protected By Law

John Brennan, the man who stripped at Portland International Airport to protest TSA screeners, testifies during his trial Wednesday.
Rick Bowmer AP

A man who stripped naked to protest security screenings at the Portland International Airport was exercising his right to free speech, a court ruled Wednesday.

John Brennan was charged with indecent exposure after the incident, but Brennan said he stripped only after he refused to walk through a scanner and security agents found traces of nitrates on his clothes.

Here's how he described the incident to KVAL:

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The Two-Way
11:09 am
Thu July 19, 2012

Ford Recalls Some 2013 Escapes, Tells Owners Not To Drive Them

Ford's Escape was redesigned for the 2013 model year. Last month, this one rolled of the assembly line in Louisville, Ky.
Brian Bohannon AP

Warning that a fuel line could leak, "potentially resulting in an underhood fire," Ford Motor Co. today told owners of about 11,500 model year 2013 Escapes "to stop driving their vehicles and to immediately contact their dealers."

The company said that "dealers will deliver a loaner vehicle to customers and will then transport their 2013 Escape to the dealership until the repair has been completed."

There have been no injuries reported in connection with the problem, the company said.

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Around the Nation
10:59 am
Thu July 19, 2012

Effects Of Midwest Drought Spread Across Nation

Originally published on Thu July 19, 2012 11:15 am

The U.S. Drought Monitor reports that more than 80 percent of the continental U.S. is either in a drought or considered "abnormally dry". Farmers and ranchers in the corn and soybean belt are feeling the effects, and the impact is rippling through other economic sectors as well.

Race
10:59 am
Thu July 19, 2012

What To Say In The Face Of Offensive Remarks

Originally published on Thu July 19, 2012 11:21 am

On a recent routine stop at his local dry cleaners, Keith Woods encountered a racist remark and he wrestled with how to respond. NPR's Vice President for Diversity in News and Operations talks about facing stereotypes and the difficult conversations precipitated by offensive remarks.

Law
10:59 am
Thu July 19, 2012

Laying Down The Law On Judicial Bias

Originally published on Thu July 19, 2012 2:05 pm

For a second time, attorneys for George Zimmerman, who is accused of second-degree murder in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, have filed a complaint requesting that the judge presiding over his case be recused over concerns of bias. These objections raise questions about judge impartiality.

Shots - Health Blog
10:37 am
Thu July 19, 2012

How HIV Treatment Can Curb The Spread Of AIDS

Anti-AIDS posters at the Eshowe public health clinic in Kwazulu Natal, South Africa. Clinicians there are hoping to slow the spread of HIV by getting more people treatment.
Jason Beaubien NPR

As the 19th International AIDS Conference prepares to open this weekend in Washington, one of the catch phrases swirling around the AIDS community is "treatment as prevention."

Researchers, clinicians and HIV policy experts are hailing treatment that helps prevent more infections as a possible way to end the pandemic.

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The Two-Way
10:31 am
Thu July 19, 2012

Because Of Injury Nadal Won't Play At London Games

Spain's Rafael Nadal looks on during his Wimbledon loss to Czech Republic's Lukas Rosol in June.
Miguel Medina AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 19, 2012 11:31 am

Rafael Nadal announced he will not compete in the upcoming London Olympic Games.

The New York Times reports that in making the announcement, the tennis star called it one the "saddest days of my career as one of my biggest ambitions, that of being Spain's flag-bearer in the opening ceremony of the Games in London, cannot be."

Had Nadal competed, he would have been in a position to defend the men's singles gold medal he won at the Beijing Games in 2008.

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Joe's Big Idea
9:48 am
Thu July 19, 2012

When Art Meets Science, You'll Get The Picture

Student scientist Araw Akram discovered that fruit flies that eat nonorganic produce have lower reproduction rates than insects that eat organic food.
Manuel Guzman Intel

Originally published on Thu July 19, 2012 10:15 am

Scientists often struggle to explain their work to us nonscientists. Art to the rescue!

In a new collaboration, artists are taking the inventions of teenage scientists and turning them into posters. Science inspires art. And the art inspires questions.

Why are umbrellas shimmering under the stars?

Because a teenager in Sri Lanka figured out how to use the positions of the starts to accurately predict rainfall.

Why is paint slithering across the canvas in a sinuous brushstroke?

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The Two-Way
9:36 am
Thu July 19, 2012

Italy's 'Armani Of Mozzarella' Accused Of Having Mafia Links

Giuseppe Mandara (in white shirt, with cigar), and officers from the Anti-Mafia unit of the Italian police on Tuesday.
Italian Police AFP/Getty Images

This story's been out there for a day or two, but it's too tasty to ignore. So here's a slice:

"Italy's biggest buffalo mozzarella maker, Giuseppe Mandara, has been arrested on charges he had close ties to the mafia. Mandara, 56 — who once dubbed himself the 'Armani of Mozzarella' — was arrested with three associates near Naples, reports said." (Global Post)

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The Two-Way
9:35 am
Thu July 19, 2012

Report: Federal Spending On Kids Declines For First Time In 30 Years

For the first time since the early 1980s, the federal government will spend less on American children this year, the Urban Institute's latest "Kids' Share" study (pdf) finds.

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Shots - Health Blog
9:30 am
Thu July 19, 2012

How HIV Hijacks The Immune System

A 3-D model of HIV peeled back to show its layers. HIV's genetic material sits inside a spherical shell (gray matrix) studded with spikes (dark gray and orange). The sphere pops open when a T cell tugs on a spike.
Courtesy of Ivan Konstantinov © Visual Science 2011

Originally published on Tue July 24, 2012 2:23 pm

The road to a cure for AIDS is in sight, even if every step on the journey isn't clear yet.

One of the most promising avenues is a kind of gene therapy that would block HIV's entry into cells of the immune system. A genetic tweak could make these key cells resistant to the virus's attack.

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