National News

Amid Smoking Decline, Look Who's Still Lighting Up

NPR News - Thu, 2014-07-31 12:20

Analysts say the merger of Reynolds American and Lorillard is driven by the changing demographics of smoking. But the lower smoking rate masks a more complex and varied pattern of cigarette usage.

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With Prosecutors Circling, Ethics Questions Get Serious For N.Y. Governor

NPR News - Thu, 2014-07-31 12:15

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is facing reports that his administration interfered with the work of an anti-corruption commission that he created — and then abruptly disbanded.

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In Obama's Foreign Policy, Some See Patience; Some See Passivity

NPR News - Thu, 2014-07-31 12:15

Foreign policy was once a strong suit for President Obama, but polls now show widespread disapproval of his handling of foreign affairs. The White House insists that Obama is leading the way in global hot spots like Ukraine, but his cautious and measured strategy may require more patience than many Americans are willing to grant.

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CIA Director Apologizes For Meddling In Senate Computers

NPR News - Thu, 2014-07-31 12:15

Months after denying that the CIA could have been snooping on Senate staff, agency director John Brennan has apologized to Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Saxby Chambliss.

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Facing Conservative Opposition, House Republicans Nix Border Bill Vote

NPR News - Thu, 2014-07-31 12:15

House GOP leaders have abruptly canceled a vote on their own bill meant to address the surge of unaccompanied minors at the Mexican border. An effort to pass a pared down version of President Obama's request was blocked by a group of Tea Party conservatives. NPR's Senior Correspondent Ron Elving discusses the state of play.

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To Understand Putin's Policy, Dissect The Kremlin's Inner Circles

NPR News - Thu, 2014-07-31 12:15

Some foreign policy analysts say that factions in Moscow are competing to influence Russian President Vladimir Putin as he decides policy on Ukraine. Others say that Putin is pursuing his own line.

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Facing A Mass-Mailing Deadline, Lawmakers Get Frank Fast

NPR News - Thu, 2014-07-31 12:15

According to federal election law, members of Congress can't do official mass mailings — or other mass communications — within 90 days of an election. That deadline is approaching.

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Star Witness Steps Up To The Stand In McDonnell's Corruption Trial

NPR News - Thu, 2014-07-31 12:15

The corruption trial of former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell continues to unfold, as the prosecution's feature witness, Star Scientific's Jonnie Williams, testified against McDonnell and his wife.

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Sierra Leone Declares Quarantine, As Ebola Outbreak Worsens

NPR News - Thu, 2014-07-31 12:15

A surge of new cases in West Africa's Ebola virus outbreak has health officials worried that the epidemic is getting worse. Sierra Leone, for one, has declared a state of emergency, sending in troops to quarantine some of the hardest hit communities.

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Facing A Mass-Mailing Deadline, Lawmakers Get Frank Fast

NPR News - Thu, 2014-07-31 12:15

A big week in congressional mailing: Members of Congress can't use "franking" to send mass mailings during a blackout that starts 90 days before an election. That deadline is approaching.

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With Prosecutors Circling, Ethics Questions Get Serious For N.Y. Governor

NPR News - Thu, 2014-07-31 12:15

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is facing reports that his administration interfered with the work of an anti-corruption commission that he created — and then abruptly disbanded.

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In Obama's Foreign Policy, Some See Patience; Some See Passivity

NPR News - Thu, 2014-07-31 12:15

Foreign policy was once a strong suit for President Obama, but polls now show widespread disapproval of his handling of foreign affairs.

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In Debt Duel, It Was Argentina V. Paul Singer

NPR News - Thu, 2014-07-31 12:15

Argentina has defaulted on billions of dollars of government debt, and it's partly due to a bunch of New Yorkers. Forbes writer Agustino Fontevecchia explains the confrontation between Argentina and a New York-based hedge fund manager named Paul Singer.

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In Gaza, A Day That Begins In Fear Ends In Cease-Fire Agreement

NPR News - Thu, 2014-07-31 12:15

The day began with Israel's military calling up 16,000 more reservists, stoking fears of a widening offensive in Gaza; it ended with a 72-hour cease-fire agreement between Israel and Hamas.

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Dow Dives 317 Points, Erasing A Month Of Gains

NPR News - Thu, 2014-07-31 12:06

The Dow Jones industrial average closed at 16,563. It was the worst daily decline since April.

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Should We Return The Nutrients In Our Pee Back To The Farm?

NPR News - Thu, 2014-07-31 12:03

A group of environmentalists in Vermont aren't at all squeamish about "pee-cycling." A local hay farmer is using their pee as fertilizer as they run tests to find out how safe it is for growing food.

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Israel Allowed To Tap U.S. Munitions Cache For Gaza Offensive

NPR News - Thu, 2014-07-31 11:56

The stockpile, located on Israeli soil, was set up in the 1980s as an emergency supply during wartime. The last time the U.S. granted Israel permission to use it was during the 2006 Lebanon war.

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Meet the baseball player who invented the high five

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2014-07-31 11:35

It was October 2, 1977. The Los Angeles Dodgers were up against the Houston Astros on the last game of the regular season. Dodgers’ outfielder Dusty Baker was at bat. He swung and knocked it out of the park, his 30th homerun of the season - making the Dodgers the first team in history to have four position players with 30-plus homeruns each.

But, this story isn’t about those hitters.

"As Baker was rounding the bases, a young rookie came out and just spontaneously threw his hand up in the air, and slapped Baker five," says Mike Jacobs, director of Grantland’s short documentary, "30 for 30: The High Five".

That young rookie was Glenn Burke, outfielder number 12 for the Dodgers. Jacobs says Burke was a young and enthusiastic baseball player, who was just excited to be playing in a major league. He enjoyed making his teammates laugh.

"The Dodgers rallied around the high five and they even trademarked it," says Jacobs. "They made these fliers that they handed out for spring training in the 1980 season."

The Dodgers and their fans eventually moved on.

"Burke soon found himself out of favor in the Dodgers organization, amidst rumors of his sexual orientation," says Jacobs. "He was traded to the Oakland A's."

However, Burke didn’t fit in quite as well during his time with the Oakland Athletics, and within a year was forced out of the game.

Glenn Burke passed away in 1995 from AIDS-related pneumonia. He was 42-years-old.

"Unfortunately, he died too early," says Jacobs. "But really, the high five gives us an opportunity to share his story and to celebrate his legacy in that way."

House Cancels Vote On $659 Million Border Security Bill

NPR News - Thu, 2014-07-31 11:21

Tea party conservatives objected to sending money to the White House to address the crisis. GOP leaders said another vote was possible yet today.

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Kentucky Buoys Noah's Ark Park With Millions In New Tax Breaks

NPR News - Thu, 2014-07-31 10:43

The Christian theme park, featuring a 510-foot-long replica of the ark, is getting $18 million in new incentives from the state's tourism board.

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