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Shots - Health News
12:04 am
Mon June 24, 2013

Proposed Changes In Organ Donation Stir Debate

Hospitals and organ banks could get more leeway in decisions about donations.
Sean Gallup Getty Images

Originally published on Mon June 24, 2013 8:55 am

The nation's organ transplant network will consider a controversial proposal Monday to overhaul the guidelines for an increasingly common form of organ donation.

The board of directors of the United Network for Organ Sharing will open a two-day meeting at the organization's headquarters in Richmond, Va., to consider new guidelines for donation after cardiac death.

Donation after cardiac death involves removing organs minutes after life-support has been stopped for patients who still have at least some brain activity.

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Energy
12:03 am
Mon June 24, 2013

Can An Old Massachusetts Fishing Port Light The World Again?

Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick joined state officials, clean energy advocates and union representatives to break ground for the New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal.
Jesse Costa WBUR

Originally published on Mon June 24, 2013 1:21 pm

A shabby old fishing port on the South Coast of Massachusetts was once known as the City That Lit the World. Its whale oil powered candles and lamps around the country.

Now, the city is trying to rekindle that flame with an alternative form of energy: offshore wind.

A Distant History Of Wealth

New Bedford's glory days are long gone. The city suffers from a long list of woes — high crime, persistent unemployment and poor public schools.

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Around the Nation
12:02 am
Mon June 24, 2013

In Chicago, Public Housing Experiment Enters New Phase

The last high rise at Chicago's Cabrini-Green public housing complex was demolished in 2011.
M. Spencer Green AP

Originally published on Mon June 24, 2013 9:25 am

The Chicago Housing Authority has torn down all of its high rises and says it's close to completing its plans to transform public housing. Now, city leaders are moving to the next part of their plan: using public housing funds not just to build homes for poor families, but stores where they could shop and work. Some residents, however, say the city is breaking a promise to provide affordable housing.

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Joe's Big Idea
12:01 am
Mon June 24, 2013

For Sharpest Views, Scope The Sky With Quick-Change Mirrors

Before And After: These near-infrared images of Uranus show the planet as seen without adaptive optics (left) and with the technology turned on (right).
Courtesy of Heidi B. Hammel and Imke de Pater

Originally published on Mon June 24, 2013 8:55 am

It used to be that if astronomers wanted to get rid of the blurring effects of the atmosphere, they had to put their telescopes in space. But a technology called adaptive optics has changed all that.

Adaptive optics systems use computers to analyze the light coming from a star, and then compensate for changes wrought by the atmosphere, using mirrors that can change their shapes up to 1,000 times per second. The result: To anyone on Earth peering through the telescope, the star looks like the single point of light it really is.

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Shots - Health News
12:00 am
Mon June 24, 2013

Gloomy Thinking Can Be Contagious

Katherine Streeter for NPR

Originally published on Tue June 25, 2013 7:59 am

When students show up at college in the fall, they'll have to deal with new classes, new friends and a new environment. In many cases, they will also have new roommates — and an intriguing new research study suggests this can have important mental health consequences.

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Shots - Health News
11:58 pm
Sun June 23, 2013

Depression May Increase The Risk Of Dementia Later On

Depression is common among old people, affecting up to 25 percent.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon June 24, 2013 8:54 am

Depression can have physical consequences. Research now suggests that when people get depressed in middle age and beyond, they're more likely to develop dementia in old age.

But the link between depression and dementia remains something of a mystery. Researchers are working to understand why that occurs and what might be done to prevent dementia.

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U.S.
11:57 pm
Sun June 23, 2013

Why The AR-15 Is More Than Just A Gun

"We've always sold more guns when Democrats are in office than we ever sell when Republicans [are] in office," says Mitch May, the general manager at Clark Brothers Gun Shop in Warrenton, Va.
Ailsa Chang NPR

Originally published on Mon June 24, 2013 9:07 am

Vice President Joe Biden and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid insist that gun control legislation is not dead — they say they're strategizing on how to bring the issue back to the Senate floor.

Even if it does return, one proposal unlikely to survive is an assault weapons ban. Military-style assault rifles now form a nearly $1 billion industry supported by gun owners who spend thousands of dollars collecting these firearms.

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Around the Nation
2:02 pm
Sun June 23, 2013

The 'Time Capsule' Of Mob Lingo At The Whitey Bulger Trial

The testimonies of James "Whitey" Bulger and his Winter Hill Gang cohort have been filled with well-preserved mob lingo.
Jane Flavell Collins ASSOCIATED PRESS

Originally published on Wed June 26, 2013 8:39 am

This week, we've been immersed in news about mobs both real and fictional, with the death of Sopranos star James Gandolfini and the continuing trial of James "Whitey" Bulger.

The Sopranos gave us a primer on mob language like "clipping" a "rat." But Bulger's Winter Hill Gang and his Boston Irish cohort were the real deal. Members of Bulger's old cohort came to the witness stand and used the real-life slang of their gang days.

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Music
2:02 pm
Sun June 23, 2013

DJ Betto Arcos Spins The Latest From Brazil

Graveola celebrates its hometown of Belo Horizonte, Brazil, in the song "Babulina's Trip."
Flavia Mafra Courtesy of the artist

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Author Interviews
2:02 pm
Sun June 23, 2013

A Mother Rescues Her Daughter From War-Torn Syria

Louise Monaghan was previously a senior travel consultant. She's currently a full-time mother.
Courtesy St. Martin's Press

Originally published on Sun June 23, 2013 3:51 pm

Louise Monaghan's journey to Syria to rescue her kidnapped daughter begins years ago at a club in Cyprus. It was there she met a Syrian man named Mostafa, whom she would marry.

"I was smitten from the first second," she tells NPR's Jacki Lyden. "I felt he was what I needed. He made me feel safe."

But Monaghan was not safe. Mostafa was verbally abusive and beat her. They married, and the couple had a daughter named May. When they divorced, Mostafa was given visitation rights, but he wanted more.

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The Two-Way
1:59 pm
Sun June 23, 2013

Hospitalized Nelson Mandela In Critical Condition

A print of Nelson Mandela and get well messages lay outside the home of the former President Mandela in Johannesburg, South Africa earlier this month.
Themba Hadebe Associated Press

Originally published on Mon June 24, 2013 3:54 am

Nelson Mandela, the former South African president and anti-apartheid leader, is in critical condition in a hospital in Pretoria where he was admitted two weeks ago with a recurring respiratory infection.

A statement from South African President Jacob Zuma said the 94-year-old Mandela's condition had become critical over the past 24 hours.

"The doctors are doing everything possible to get his condition to improve and are ensuring that Madiba is well-looked after and is comfortable. He is in good hands," said Zuma, referring to Mandela by his clan name.

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The Two-Way
11:47 am
Sun June 23, 2013

Malaysia Declares Emergency From Cross-Border Blanket Of Smoke

The landmark Petronas Twin Towers (top, right) in the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur, are barely visible amid the thick smoke. It's even worse farther south.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon June 24, 2013 3:55 am

Malaysia has declared a state of emergency in the country's south after choking smog from slash-and-burn agriculture in neighboring Indonesia enveloped the region.

Residents in Muar and Ledang districts of Johor state have been told to stay indoors. This comes after a similar order in Singapore last week.

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The Two-Way
8:43 am
Sun June 23, 2013

High-Wire Artist Nik Wallenda Walks Across Arizona Gorge

Daredevil Nik Wallenda crosses a tightrope 1,500 feet above the Little Colorado River Gorge, Ariz., on Sunday.
Rick Bowmer AP

Originally published on Sun June 23, 2013 8:18 pm

Update at 10:03 p.m. ET

Nik Wallenda successfully walked the 1,500 feet across the Colorado River Gorge in Arizona on Sunday. The high-wire daredevil, famous for similar walks like the one he did at Niagara Falls, made the precarious trek live on television and without a net or safety line.

The walk took Wallenda 22 minutes of edging his way along the 2-inch-thick cable.

Our Original Post Continues:

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The Two-Way
7:20 am
Sun June 23, 2013

Pakistan Gunmen Kill Foreign Climbers In Brazen Attack

A 2003 photograph of majestic Nanga Parbat, one of a number of 8,000-plus-meter peaks that attract the most adventurous Himalayan mountaineers.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon June 24, 2013 10:05 am

(This story was last updated at 10:40 a.m. ET)

Armed assailants attacked a hotel at a Himalayan base camp in Pakistan, gunning down nine foreign climbers and a local guide as the group prepared for an ascent of one of the world's tallest peaks.

NPR's Philip Reeves reports that Ukrainians and Chinese climbers, as well as a Pakistani guide, were killed in the attack at 26,246-foot Nanga Parbat, about 150 miles northeast of Pakistan's capital, Islamabad.

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Code Switch
6:03 am
Sun June 23, 2013

Deconstructing Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Dream

Martin Luther King, Jr. speaks to a crowd in Detroit on June 23, 1963.
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Originally published on Sun June 23, 2013 3:23 pm

"We want all of our rights!" Martin Luther King, Jr. told a throng of people gathered in and around Detroit's Cobo Arena on June 23, 1963. He was speaking at what he called the largest and greatest demonstration for freedom ever held in the United States. "We want them here, and we want them now!" he said.

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The Two-Way
5:43 am
Sun June 23, 2013

Federal Safety Officials To Investigate Ohio Air Show Crash

Wing walker Jane Wicker performs at the Vectren Air Show just before crashing on Saturday. She and pilot Charlie Schwenker were killed.
Thanh V. Tran Associated Press

Originally published on Sun June 23, 2013 9:19 am

Federal air safety officials say they will investigate the fiery crash of a stunt plane at an Ohio air show that killed the pilot and a wing walker.

Thousands of spectators at the Vectren Air Show near Dayton, Ohio, watched on Saturday as the biplane, with wing walker Jane Law Wicker, 46, and pilot Charlie Schwenker, 64, careened into the ground and exploded during a low-altitude maneuver. No one in the audience was hurt.

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The Two-Way
4:56 am
Sun June 23, 2013

Ecuador Says NSA Leaker Has Asked For Asylum

A TV screen shows a news report of Edward Snowden at a shopping mall in Hong Kong on Sunday.
Vincent Yu Associated Press

Originally published on Sun June 23, 2013 2:20 pm

(This story was last updated at 5:17 p.m. ET)

Edward Snowden, the former NSA contractor accused of leaking classified surveillance information, has asked Ecuador for asylum, the country's foreign minister says.

Snowden left Hong Kong earlier Sunday bound for a "third country," the government in the Asian hub said. He later landed in Moscow.

Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino Aroca, who is on an official visit to Vietnam, said:

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News
4:37 am
Sun June 23, 2013

A State Born Of Civil War

Lincoln Walks at Midnight stands outside the state capitol in Charleston, W.Va. The statue depicts President Abraham Lincoln contemplating the prospect of statehood for West Virginia.
Vicki Smith AP

Originally published on Sun June 23, 2013 8:19 am

One hundred and fifty years ago this week, West Virginia became the 35th state in the union.

Born in in 1863, the middle of the Civil War, the state was created by patriots who didn't want to join the Confederacy — no mean feat considering the political climate of the time.

Western Virginians were fed up with their eastern-dominated government, says Joe Geiger, director of the West Virginia State Archives. He says they also felt they didn't get fair funding for education and infrastructure.

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Code Switch
4:03 am
Sun June 23, 2013

More States Let Unauthorized Immigrants Take The Wheel

Immigrant advocates use an image of New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez on a mock state driver's license during a 2012 rally in Santa Fe, N.M., to protest her proposal to repeal a state law that allows undocumented immigrants to obtain driver's licenses.
Russell Contreras AP

Originally published on Sun June 23, 2013 10:01 am

The national debate over immigration may be churning on in Washington, D.C., but there's one policy a growing number of states can agree on: driver's licenses for undocumented immigrants.

Vermont, Connecticut and Colorado passed new laws this month allowing drivers without Social Security numbers to receive licenses or authorization cards. They join Nevada, Maryland and Oregon, whose governors signed similar laws in May. Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn started the trend this year when he signed Senate Bill 957 in January.

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Parallels
11:26 pm
Sat June 22, 2013

'Arab Idol' Win Unites Palestinians In Jubilant Celebration

Palestinians dance with pictures of singer Mohammed Assaf as they celebrate his Arab Idol victory along the streets of Gaza City Saturday.
Adel Hana AP

Originally published on Sun June 23, 2013 10:54 am

Crowds across Gaza and the West Bank exploded in celebration Saturday night when a young Palestinian man named Mohammad Assaf won the pop star title of Arab Idol.

"Look, see, what Assaf is doing!" young men in Gaza chanted in unison, as other people honked and set off fireworks.

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