National News

Will Jeb Bush Run For President? His Brother Says Maybe

NPR News - Mon, 2014-11-10 02:23

George W. Bush says there's a good chance his brother will run for president in 2016. And he also thinks his family name shouldn't hold Jeb back if he does.

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Winter is coming: Why forecasters love a good vortex

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2014-11-10 02:00

The polar vortex is back. It hit the northern U.S. on Sunday, is sweeping down through the Midwest, and will then move out to the East Coast. Temperatures could drop by 40 degrees and bring some all-time daily lows. 

Directly in the path of this cold air mass is the city of Brainerd, Minnesota. City administrator Patrick Wussow is not panicking. When I called him, he was actually chuckling. 

Wussow had not yet heard that the area would be struck by a vortex. The city had not made any special preparations for the cold weather, nor did people in town seem overly concerned. He says: “It's business as usual, preparing for the weather whichever way it comes—cold or warm.” 

When similar weather patterns brought on historic cold temperatures in December and January last year, the media popularized the phrase “polar vortex,” and for good reason. It makes for a big weather story, and that buzz creates revenue for weather news outlets. This vortex is a top story on sites like Accuweather.com. CBS News tells readers to prepare for “the sequel.” The NY Daily News calls it a “scary weather phenomenon.” 

Dave Changnon is a professor of meteorology at Northern Illinois University. He says one of the reasons forecasters love a good vortex is that it is predictable, so it makes for an easy story. “It's not like a snow storm,” he says “where forecasters sit there and say, 'oh, we are going to get buried with two feet of snow' and then all the sudden it misses.” If the weather patterns show a polar vortex is coming, it is coming. 

People have pretty short weather memories says Changnon, so they forget that these vorticies are nothing new. They are a reoccurring and documented part of the weather pattern, and he says people in their 40s should remember similar cold weather in past Novembers. 

This vortex is a little unusual, Changnon says, because it is appearing earlier in November than most. But for that reason, he says it won't be anywhere near as cold as last year's vorticies. Changon says people in the affected areas should just prepare for temperatures that feel more like January instead of November. 

 He, for one, plans to wear a scarf and coat.

Ebola Today Could Mean Illiteracy Tomorrow In West Africa

NPR News - Sun, 2014-11-09 23:06

Millions of children aren't going to school because of Ebola. The fear is that some kids will never return to class. For others, the time off means putting their career dreams on hold.

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If Literature's Great Characters Could Text, They'd Charm Your Pantalets Off

NPR News - Sun, 2014-11-09 23:05

Texts from Jane Eyre imagines a Mr. Rochester who worries over his "attic wife" and a super flirty Scarlett O'Hara: "did you know that pantalets are out this year[?] that's why I'm not wearing any :)"

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Want To Grow These Apples? You'll Have To Join The Club

NPR News - Sun, 2014-11-09 23:04

New brands are reshaping the apple aisle of supermarkets. Many are "club apples" --varieties that are controlled and managed by select groups of farmers..

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Combining The DNA Of Three People Raises Ethical Questions

NPR News - Sun, 2014-11-09 23:03

Scientists in England are ready to do something that's never been done before — combine the DNA of two women and one man to create embryos that don't carry hereditary mitochondrial disorders.

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Whether Green With Envy Or Tickled Pink: We Live In A Color-Coded World

NPR News - Sun, 2014-11-09 23:02

Red means stop; green means go. You live in a red state or a blue state. Elizabeth Blair kicks off NPR's color series with a look at the way color organizes our lives — in ways we don't even realize.

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Low Gas Prices Haven't Slowed Domestic Drilling — Yet

NPR News - Sun, 2014-11-09 12:53

With gas prices plunging below $3 a gallon, motorists have plenty to celebrate. But people in oil-producing states, where low prices mean fewer jobs and less government revenue, are starting to worry.

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Friend's Visit To Veteran's Normandy Grave Gives Family Closure

NPR News - Sun, 2014-11-09 12:53

Eugene Vigosky is one of thousands of Americans killed in World War II buried at the American Cemetery in Normandy. Reporter Tim Lambert, a friend of the Vigoskys, visited the grave site.

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Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Reaches Labor Deal With Musicians

NPR News - Sun, 2014-11-09 11:32

The Grammy award-winning ensemble will open the first concert of its 70th anniversary season with Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, the "Ode to Joy."

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Ill-Equipped And Underpaid, Kurdish Fighters Hold ISIS At Bay

NPR News - Sun, 2014-11-09 08:24

With Iraq's military in tatters and U.S. forces gone, the Kurdish peshmerga is the only viable force to stave off ISIS in Iraq. With little support from Baghdad, discontent grows among the fighters.

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Ill-Equipped And Underpaid, Kurdish Fighters Hold ISIS At Bay

NPR News - Sun, 2014-11-09 08:24

With Iraq's military in tatters and U.S. forces gone, the Kurdish peshmerga is the only viable force to stave off ISIS in Iraq. With little support from Baghdad, discontent grows among the fighters.

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Maine Nurse To Move Out Of State Following Ebola Quarantine Row

NPR News - Sun, 2014-11-09 07:09

Kaci Hickox, who was quarantined after arriving home from caring for Ebola patients in West Africa, plans to leave this week with her boyfriend but hasn't said where they will go.

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Despite Truce, Heavy Shelling Resumes In Donetsk

NPR News - Sun, 2014-11-09 05:55

In the fiercest fighting in weeks, pro-Russian separatists appear to have renewed a push to seize the city's airport.

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Binding Or Not, Catalans Express Themselves In Referendum Vote

NPR News - Sun, 2014-11-09 05:27

People in the wealthy northeastern region of Spain, many of whom harbor ambitions of independence, cast ballots in a symbolic statement.

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Germany's Merkel: Fall Of Berlin Wall Shows Dreams Come True

NPR News - Sun, 2014-11-09 04:42

The chancellor, marking the 25th anniversary of the event, said the destruction of the Wall showed that "nothing has to stay as it is."

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Defiant Catalans Push Forward With Independence Vote

NPR News - Sun, 2014-11-09 03:45

Separatists in Catalonia are going ahead with an unofficial referendum on independence from Spain. They go to the polls today despite a high court order forbidding the vote.

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Richardson: Release Shows N. Korea Is Ready For Dialogue

NPR News - Sun, 2014-11-09 03:45

Two Americans jailed in North Korea have arrived home. NPR's Rachel Martin speaks with former U.S. Ambassador Bill Richardson, who has previously negotiated hostage releases with Pyongyang.

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Consultant On Homelessness: Cities Enable The Poor

NPR News - Sun, 2014-11-09 03:45

In many cities it is now illegal to feed the homeless. NPR's Rachel Martin talks to Robert Marbut, the man behind the push to make handing out food a crime, who favors getting people into programs.

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Hand-Pumped Anesthesia Could Help With Surgeries In The Dark

NPR News - Sun, 2014-11-09 03:45

Across Africa, hospitals are struggling to provide surgery. Doctors, nurses, and even basics like electricity are in short supply. Now Johns Hopkins Medical Center is testing a creative solution.

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