National News

An Uncertain Future Of The U.S. Terrorism Insurance Program

NPR News - Wed, 2014-07-02 23:09

The federal program, which would pay for catastrophic damage if a U.S. city was attacked again, is up for renewal this year and some have begun to worry that it may be in trouble.

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Chikun-What? A New Mosquito-Borne Virus Lands In The U.S.

NPR News - Wed, 2014-07-02 23:08

It's called chikungunya. And it causes severe joint pain that can last for months. A quarter of a million people have caught the virus in the Caribbean. So how big a problem will it be stateside?

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With Dirt And A Vision, Palestinian Architects Break The Mold

NPR News - Wed, 2014-07-02 23:07

In the city of Jericho in the West Bank, there's a new home that looks like it might be from another planet. But in fact, its designers took pains to use materials that were as local as possible.

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Japan's PM Says He Intends To Ease Sanctions Against North Korea

NPR News - Wed, 2014-07-02 19:50

Shinzo Abe's announcement follows Pyongyang's decision to create a committee to investigate the abduction of Japanese citizens in the 1970s and '80s. Japan will still abide by UN sanctions.

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How Dark Chocolate, Not Milk Chocolate, May Help Blood Flow

NPR News - Wed, 2014-07-02 14:50

In a small study, people with peripheral artery disease who ate dark chocolate could walk farther than those who ate milk chocolate. Compounds in dark chocolate may make it easier to keep moving.

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No electricity in Indonesia, but there's Facebook

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2014-07-02 14:36

Indonesia has a population of 240 million people — 64 percent of whom live on less than $2 a day, and 33 percent of whom live without electricity. And yet, somehow, 64 million Indonesians - including those without electricity - are on Facebook. 

In Elizabeth Pisani's new book, "Indonesia, Etc.", she talks about the country's changing economy and culture. Pisani has lived on and off in Indonesia for about 25 years, working as a journalist and an epidemiologist. In her book, she writes about how places that she once knew are changing rapidly, growing in population and experiencing an increase in the bourgeoisie culture. 

Along with Facebook, the people of Indonesia are big on social media and high-tech gadgets such as iPhones. Pisani says that while the country is quickly evolving, it is having a hard time finding its footing in the modern world:

"Even if we had a more educated and industrious workforce, we would probably still not be able to use them effectively because of that underinvestment in infrastructure." 

That lack of investment in infrastructure also affects the country's politics. According to Pisani, there has been a massive decentralization over the last 15 years. Today, there are about 500 different governments. In the past, all dictates came from one central location — Jakarta, Indonesia's capital.

We talked with Pisani about Indonesia's future. To hear her theory on how this country manages to function, listen to the full interview in the audio player above.

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