National News

A Milestone Marked In Disposal Of Syria's Chemical Weapons

NPR News - Tue, 2014-08-19 12:05

President Obama has announced that the U.S. has completed disposal of the most sensitive parts of Syria's chemical weapons arsenal. The successful disposal is an impressive technical achievement, but serious questions remain about the regime's use of chemical weapons.

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Civilian Convoy Comes Under Attack In Ukraine

NPR News - Tue, 2014-08-19 12:05

The Ukrainian military says it has retrieved over a dozen bodies of people killed in an alleged attack on civilian vehicles on Monday. The government says separatists attacked the cars and trucks on a road outside of the city of Luhansk, but the rebels deny this.

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3 Of Pope's Family Members Die In Traffic Accident In Argentina

NPR News - Tue, 2014-08-19 11:19

Pope Francis is "profoundly saddened" by news that the wife of his nephew and her two young children have been killed, Vatican Radio reports. His nephew is in intensive care.

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150 years of college football

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2014-08-19 11:11

Even if you aren’t much of a football fan, you have to admit that there's something special about a Saturday afternoon and college football. Maybe it’s the whole excuse-for-quality time-on-the-couch thing, or maybe it comes down to the pizza and chicken wings. But, there's definitely something about the excitement of it all that makes millions of Americans look forward to it every week.

"No other nation in the world can even fathom the notion of attaching a prominent moneymaking athletic operation to a university," says Michael Weinreb, author of "Season of Saturdays: A History of College Football in 14 Games". "The fact that college football has existed for nearly 150 years, and the fact that it remains one of the most popular sports in America, must say something about who we are."

Weinreb says college football represents America’s evolution politically and culturally, from race to economic status.

"Everything we argue about in America is essentially in there in the mix in college football," says Weinreb.

Listen to the full conversation in the audio player above.

Cardiologist Speaks From The Heart About America's Medical System

NPR News - Tue, 2014-08-19 11:01

In his new memoir Doctored, Sandeep Jauhar describes a growing discontent among doctors, and how it's affecting patients. He says rushed doctors are often practicing "defensive medicine."

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Brita Recalls Kids' Water Bottles Over Risk Of Cutting

NPR News - Tue, 2014-08-19 10:35

Some Brita water bottles made for children pose a possible danger due to lids that can break into pieces with sharp edges, says Brita, which has announced a recall.

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To Fight Inflation, Forget The Barbecue And Just Go For A Drive

NPR News - Tue, 2014-08-19 09:17

Food prices are higher at the grocery store this summer, thanks to drought in Texas and California. But at least the drive to the store won't cost as much: Gasoline prices have been falling lately.

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Castro's Niece Casts Rare 'No' Vote In Parliament, Citing Gay Rights

NPR News - Tue, 2014-08-19 08:36

Cuba's parliament isn't big on dissent. But Mariela Castro, daughter of the country's president — and niece of Fidel Castro — is making waves for rejecting a workers' rights bill.

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How To Make Sense Of Health Insurance Alphabet Soup

NPR News - Tue, 2014-08-19 08:34

Health plans come in a dizzying variety. There's been a blurring of definitions lately that makes the jargony choices more confusing than ever. Here's help.

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In Ferguson, Mo., A City Meets The Spotlight

NPR News - Tue, 2014-08-19 08:13

To locals, Ferguson is part of St. Louis, not a separate place. And as residents wonder whether or when their lives will return to normal, the question remains: What will they do after it does?

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Out, Out, Damned Ebola: Liberia Is Obsessed With Hand Washing

NPR News - Tue, 2014-08-19 07:53

There are two camps in Monrovia. The hand washers. And the skeptics who don't believe in Ebola — or in the public health message that scrubbing hands is an effective way of keeping the virus at bay.

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What Exactly Is That Birdlike Thing?

NPR News - Tue, 2014-08-19 07:11

Is it a bird ... a moth. .. two creatures in one?

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Poet Known As The 'Lioness Of Iran' Dies At 87

NPR News - Tue, 2014-08-19 06:48

Simin Behbahani, renowned for her piercing and fierce language, published 19 books of poetry over the course of six decades.

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Wreck Of World War II-Era U.S. Ship Dubbed 'Galloping Ghost' Is Found

NPR News - Tue, 2014-08-19 05:47

The USS Houston was sunk by the Japanese in 1942, killing about 700 sailors and Marines. U.S. and Indonesian divers have confirmed that a vessel in the Java Sea is the wreck of the Houston.

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The cost of orange juice is too damn high

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2014-08-19 05:00

One of American’s breakfast staples – orange juice – is disappearing off our breakfast tables. In fact, a Nielsen report this week shows orange juice sales have fallen to their lowest levels since 2002. So what's behind the sagging orange juice sales? Here are some contributing factors to sip on:

Growing Competition

Sales for coffee, pomegranate juice, and sports and energy drinks are up. 

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Bacterial Disease

A bacterial disease that is sometimes called “citrus greening” or “yellow dragon disease” is being spread by an invasive bug from Asia. The USDA reports the orange-tree population has shrunk nearly a quarter since 2003. All this leads analysts to predict the upcoming orange season may be the smallest crop in 50 years. 

Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Breakfast is less popular

Studies show we aren’t eating breakfast as much as we have in the past. 

Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Plus, it's expensive.

According to Nielsen, a gallon of “OJ” now  goes for about $6.50.

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

 

So, in the near-term, it looks like several forces our driving our breakfast mainstay into a luxury buy.

 

 

 

 

 

Israel Resumes Gaza Strikes After Rocket Attacks

NPR News - Tue, 2014-08-19 04:33

The resumption of violence casts doubts about the future of indirect talks in Cairo, but similar flareups in the past have not prevented the two sides from reinstating another temporary truce.

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Europe's Latest Grass-Roots Movement: Cannabis Social Clubs

NPR News - Tue, 2014-08-19 04:09

Europeans are developing a third option that lies somewhere between legalization and prohibition of marijuana: limited use in private clubs.

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Michael Brown's Family Plans Memorial; National Guard Is In Ferguson

NPR News - Tue, 2014-08-19 03:24

While early reports Tuesday quoted police saying that 31 people had been arrested last night, NBC News says it has more recent data showing 78 arrests.

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PODCAST: Orange Juice down

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2014-08-19 03:00

It's hardly like World War II or anything, but Americans are increasingly finding ways to go without orange juice. Consumption has fallen to the lowest level since 2002 according to fresh numbers from Nielsen -- we have more on why the breakfast staple is becoming less popular. And as families pack their 18-year-olds for college, they're confronted by the tuition costs. Then there's the cost of text books: one estimate puts the average at $600 for books and materials; another estimate runs twice that. Some students save money by renting or buying textbooks. But others don't get the books at all, which can cause big headaches for the instructors leading their classes. As you've been hearing, two people were shot last night and more than 30 arrested in more confrontations in Ferguson, Missouri. Among the many issues that will be examined is the flow of post-9-11 federal money that critics say has lead to the militarization of American police forces.  And there are calls now for police officers to wear video cameras on the job. But that solution may only lead to more questions.

Professors struggle to adapt as students forego books

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2014-08-19 02:00

On the last day of a pediatric dentistry course offered this summer at the University of Minnesota, adjunct assistant professor Jen Post asked her class a pointed question.

"For the purposes of planning for next year, I'm just wondering how many of you bought the book for this course," she asked. "Anyone?"

Not one aspiring dental hygienist raised a hand.

The $85 textbook was, technically speaking, optional. But Post says even when it was required in years past, few students bought it. They also didn't even try to rent or borrow it.

"Then they didn't know answers on exams. They didn't know where it was coming from," says Post.

Faculty at several other schools report similar problems. In a survey conducted last fall by the National Association of College Stores, nearly a third of students polled said they didn't buy or rent at least one item required for a class, often a textbook. And an equal share of students waited until after the start of school to buy anything.

"They want to make sure that whatever's required of them to purchase or rent or borrow from someone else, that they're going to be used," says Richard Hershman, vice president of government relations for the trade group.

Niki Marinelli, a senior in the dental hygiene program at the University of Minnesota, says she often just relies on study guides or will borrow a textbook from a friend to avoid buying books.

"Sometimes I see how I did on the first test and go from there. I see if I feel a book would've been helpful if I didn't do so well," she says. "Most of the time I'm okay. I'll go in if I have any questions."

Marinelli says loans cover the $10,000 she pays each semester in out-of-state tuition. But book costs come out of her own pocket. And she already works two jobs.

Rick Hess, director of education policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute, says professors need to be sensitive to textbook affordability. But he says it's shortsighted of students to spend thousands of dollars on tuition and then skimp on books.

"It's a case of students essentially seeming to think they're paying for the credential for the degree but they're not all that concerned about the learning that goes along with it," he says.

Jen Post is concerned about it. Post now filters the textbook content down to 50-minute powerpoint presentations, which are the basis of lectures and exams. It's the best way to ensure students get exposed to the information in the book. Post says if she didn't do this, her students would turn instead to Google and YouTube for answers to their homework assignments. And those answers are often wrong.

"They're just thinking everything's at their fingerstips," she says, "when it might be in the book."

 

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