National News

He Calmed Kandahar. But At What Cost?

NPR News - Thu, 2015-05-21 09:54

Lt. Gen. Abdul Raziq has imposed control on the city where the Taliban were born. He's been praised by the U.S. and the Afghan leadership, but his forces have also been accused of human rights abuses.

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Go Forth And Pwn For Shizzle, Word List Guardians Tell Scrabble Players

NPR News - Thu, 2015-05-21 09:53

Also on the list of 6,500 new Scrabble words: aji (the pepper), coqui (the frog) and the more old-fashioned ixnay and zowee. Or you could just say yeesh — if you've got the right tiles.

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Gyrocopter Pilot On His 'Incredible' Flight Into Capitol Lawn

NPR News - Thu, 2015-05-21 09:45

Doug Hughes flew into Washington, D.C., on something resembling a hybrid bicycle and helicopter. He did it to protest money in politics, but he could face up to a decade in prison. He has not regrets.

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Obama Calls Loss Of Ramadi A 'Setback,' But Denies U.S. Is Losing To ISIS

NPR News - Thu, 2015-05-21 09:21

The comments came in an interview with The Atlantic. The president also discussed the nuclear talks with Iran and his often-frosty relationship with Israel's political leadership.

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People In Poor Communities Are More Likely To Lose Eyesight

NPR News - Thu, 2015-05-21 09:10

In some counties in the South, almost 20 percent of adults have severe vision loss. And those communities are also likely to be among the nation's poorest. Lack of regular eye care is just one issue.

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Rome's Cinematic 'Dream Factory' Ramps Up Production Once Again

NPR News - Thu, 2015-05-21 08:36

Blockbusters like Ben-Hur were filmed at Cinecittà, a 100-acre movie metropolis, during its heyday. After decades of hard times, a tax credit has sparked a revival of "Hollywood on the Tiber."

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Urban Food Forests Make Fruit Free For The Picking

NPR News - Thu, 2015-05-21 07:57

Urban orchards are dropping everything from apples to avocados on Seattle, Bloomington, Ind., Boston and several other cities. Advocates say orchards can have longer lasting impact than gardens.

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Overnight Contacts Can Help Kids' Sight During Day, But Also Carry Risks

NPR News - Thu, 2015-05-21 07:52

Ophthalmologists and cornea specialists have raised concerns about the lenses, citing studies and their own experiences treating children and teens who developed eye infections after wearing them.

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'Fast Track' Trade Authority Wins Key Test Vote In Senate

NPR News - Thu, 2015-05-21 07:31

Lawmakers voted 62-38 to limit debate on a bill that would grant the authority, a step toward a new trade pact with 11 Asia-Pacific nations.

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On 'Menace II Society' And 'Easy Rider': Why All The Talk On Bikers and Thugs Matter

NPR News - Thu, 2015-05-21 07:04

Many have contrasted the press' treatment of bikers in the Waco shootout with its treatment of black protesters. The Times' Blow says this speaks to an underlying fear "of the otherness of blackness."

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Domestic Violence Charges Dismissed Against The NFL's Ray Rice

NPR News - Thu, 2015-05-21 06:50

A felony charge was filed after Rice struck his fiancee while they were visiting Atlantic City, N.J., in February of 2014. Last May, he entered a one-year pretrial program.

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Muddled Messages In America's Past

NPR News - Thu, 2015-05-21 06:43

Communication breakdown is not a new phenomenon. American history features a mass — and a mess — of misunderstood messages.

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Heart Risk Factors May Affect Black Women More Than White Women

NPR News - Thu, 2015-05-21 06:34

Race affects the risk of heart disease, and black women face elevated risk with just a few metabolic risk factors, a study finds. That's not the case for white women.

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Malaysia Orders Navy, Coast Guard To Rescue Rohingyas At Sea

NPR News - Thu, 2015-05-21 06:34

Prime Minister Najib Razak made the announcement via Twitter, a day after Indonesia joined Kuala Lumpur in agreeing to take in the refugees, most of whom have fled Myanmar.

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Fears Grow That ISIS Might Target Palmyra's Ancient Treasures

NPR News - Thu, 2015-05-21 04:38

Ancient ruins in the Syrian city captured by Islamist extremists could suffer the same fate as priceless artifacts that were destroyed in other cities seized by the group.

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Pipeline Operator In Calif. Spill Reportedly Had History Of Infractions

NPR News - Thu, 2015-05-21 03:37

Plains All American Pipeline had accumulated 175 safety and maintenance infractions since 2006, according to a Los Angeles Times report.

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PODCAST: New York as a lesson in economics

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2015-05-21 03:00

A new report from the OECD shows income inequality in many parts of the world including the U.S. The data shows the gap between the rich and poor is seven times larger than it was in the '80s. Plus, our senior economics contributor Chris Farrell talks about the economic lessons learned and taught by New York City.

Sen. Rand Paul Stages 'Filibuster' To Protest Patriot Act

NPR News - Thu, 2015-05-21 02:52

The Kentucky senator and presidential candidate opposes the collection of bulk telephone data and other surveillance measures that the government says are needed to combat terrorism.

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#MotorCityDrive: Is Detroit's Economic Engine Roaring Back To Life?

NPR News - Thu, 2015-05-21 02:03

Michel Martin heads to Detroit for a live conversation with some of the creative forces fueling the Motor City's economy. She'll ask what's driving Detroit's future now?

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How the Disney 'ecosystem' works

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2015-05-21 02:00

Disneyland in California turns 60 this summer, and it's kicking off festivities with a big party this weekend. Revelers can stay overnight at Disney's theme parks in California and Florida.

But Disney, the media company, has more than a birthday to celebrate. A couple of weeks ago it reported second quarter profits that beat expectations—led by its theme parks and the film Frozen.

How can a film from two years ago still be a profit maker for the company?

"We're a company with a very long tail," explained Disney CFO Jay Rasulo at a media industry conference last week.

That long tail refers to the various merchandizing, theme park attractions, and other efforts that can generate cash from popular films and Disney characters long after they last appeared on the big screen.

Disney's consumer product sales brought in almost a billion dollars last quarter.

"We really look at every aspect of our uniquely linked-together ecosystem," Rasulo said at the conference.

This is the Disney way of doing things, according to Marty Sklar, a longtime company executive who worked with Walt Disney when the first theme park opened.

"It really goes back to things that Walt did in merchandizing Mickey Mouse ... as early as the '30s," says Sklar. "So that is a pattern that was long ago established."

Sklar says even Disneyland attractions like Tomorrowland and Frontierland were prompted from content out of Disney's studio.