National News

American Millennial Missionary In Guinea Isn't Scared Off By Ebola

NPR News - Fri, 2015-01-23 01:03

Luke Whitworth, 23, came to Guinea from South Carolina 13 months ago. That's when the outbreak there began. His sponsoring group gave him the option to leave — but he's determined to stay.

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A Blind Woman Gains New Freedom, Click By Click By Click

NPR News - Thu, 2015-01-22 23:37

Blind since birth, Julee-anne Bell wasn't comfortable heading out on her own. And when she learned an echolocation technique that gave her more independence, she discovered that it came with costs.

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To Keep Planes From Disappearing, NTSB Urges Constant Tracking

NPR News - Thu, 2015-01-22 18:42

The agency wants every-minute updates on the locations of planes that fly over water, as well as longer-lasting batteries for black-box beacons, following the disappearance of a Malaysian jet.

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Former WWE Fighters Suing Over Alleged Brain Damage

NPR News - Thu, 2015-01-22 17:44

The wrestlers say World Wrestling Entertainment downplayed dangers in the ring.

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Ancient Egyptian Relic Broken, Repaired With Glue

NPR News - Thu, 2015-01-22 17:20

Anonymous officials say the beard of the golden mask of King Tutankamun broke off during a cleaning last year, and was glued back on in a hurry.

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Goosebumps And Gas: New Data From Rosetta Probe Describes Comet

NPR News - Thu, 2015-01-22 17:16

We're learning more about the comet that a European Space Agency paired up with its Rosetta probe last fall. For one thing, it has "goosebumps" on steep cliff faces. It's also highly porous.

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Fun fact Friday: Lifestyles of the rich and famous

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2015-01-22 16:15
Fun fact: Bill Gates has enough money to buy Uber ... twice.

We did the numbers on what some of the wealthiest people on earth are capable of purchasing.

Doing the numbers on the super rich Fun fact: No one really knows how many licks it takes to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop.

But more than one group of candy-crazed engineers have tried to find a satisfying answer. Read about it here:

Tootsie Roll CEO, 95, leaves behind a sweet legacy Fun fact: Amazon Prime subscriptions are booming in — of all places — rural Alaska.

That’s because Amazon Prime’s $99 annual subscription fee comes with free shipping, no matter how heavy the package.

Free shipping a boon for Alaska's Amazon customers Fun fact: When it comes to the presidential wardrobe during the State of the Union address, blue ties beat out red.

Still, both red and blue are more popular than the dark and yellow tie President Clinton wore in 1998.

State of the Union, by the numbers

The Doomsday Clock Moves 2 Minutes Closer To Midnight

NPR News - Thu, 2015-01-22 15:40

A group of prominent scientists use the clock as a symbol of imminent disaster for humanity.

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Saudi King Abdullah, Who Laid Foundation For Reform, Dies

NPR News - Thu, 2015-01-22 15:28

Abdullah put forward the Arab Peace Initiative for a deal with Israel, cracked down on al-Qaida within the kingdom, and became known as a ruler committed to reform. But the moves were limited.

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Police Departments Issuing Body Cameras Discover Drawbacks

NPR News - Thu, 2015-01-22 14:57

They are being hailed as a technological solution to bad police-community relationships, but research on the cameras' impact is thin, and some departments are dealing with unintended consequences.

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Investment Fund Pours Cash Into Cleaner, Greener Fish Farming

NPR News - Thu, 2015-01-22 14:43

Aqua-Spark is the world's first investment fund for sustainable aquaculture. So far it has bet on an alternative fish feed that could take pressure off the oceans and a tilapia farm in Mozambique.

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Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah Dies; Witnessed A New Era

NPR News - Thu, 2015-01-22 14:28

Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah has died, according to his state TV. Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al-Saud was 90 years old; when he was born, Saudi Arabia was not a country, let alone an oil-producing power.

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Family Dollar Shareholders Approve Takeover By Dollar Tree

NPR News - Thu, 2015-01-22 14:03

Two of the biggest dollar stores are merging. Family Dollar shareholders agreed to an $8.7 billion takeover Thursday, choosing not to accept a bigger offer from Dollar General due to antitrust fears.

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French Prisons Prove To Be Effective Incubators For Islamic Extremism

NPR News - Thu, 2015-01-22 13:54

Two of the men involved in the Paris attacks met in prison, where they transformed from small-time criminals to jihadists. France is now redoubling its effort to prevent radicalization in its prisons.

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30-Year Sentence Lifted For Woman In El Salvador Abortion Case

NPR News - Thu, 2015-01-22 13:40

Carmen Guadalupe Vasquez Aldana had steadfastly denied having an abortion. She said her unborn baby had died due to medical complications. This week, Congress pardoned her after seven years in jail.

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For Many French Jews, Anti-Semitism Has A Clear Source

NPR News - Thu, 2015-01-22 13:32

French Jews say anti-Semitism, an issue for generations, is now coming largely from radical Muslmis. Jewish emigration has been rising, but many Jews also say they're determined to stay in France.

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Auto industry's dirty little secret: Fake engine noise

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2015-01-22 13:30

The engine noise you hear on the fine roads of the United States of America are often artificially enhanced, according to the Washington Post.

Fake engine noise has become one of the auto industry's dirty little secrets, the report says. Drivers want better gas mileage, but also the sound of a powerful car.

Volkswagen uses something called a "Soundaktor." Porsche has a "Sound Symposer."

Click on the audio player at the top of the page to see if you can hear the difference between an engine that's sound-enhanced and one that's not.

 

Fighting Spikes Again In Ukraine

NPR News - Thu, 2015-01-22 13:00

Audie Cornish talks to Kiev-based journalist David Stern about the ongoing fighting in Ukraine.

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'I Have No Idea' Of Footballs' Condition, The Patriots' Brady Says

NPR News - Thu, 2015-01-22 12:56

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady said he didn't give the game balls a thought during Sunday's win over the Indianapolis Colts. "I didn't alter the ball in any way," he said.

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Microsoft's new holographic headset augments reality

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2015-01-22 12:44

Meet Microsoft's HoloLens:

Microsoft unveiled its new headset which will layer elements of virtual reality onto the real world. It will use holograms to facilitate fully immersive gaming, enhance conferences, and help with day-to-day tasks.

Author Jessi Hempel got to try them on herself for a preview in Wired Magazine. “This is a little bit like virtual reality … except nothing like it, because it takes all the best elements of virtual reality and layers them into the real world,” she says.

For instance, she used the goggles to fix an electrical issue while on a video call with an electrician. From his screen, the electrician circled the pieces Hempel needed to work on, and the drawings appeared directly on the wires. Likewise, this device allows wearers to digitally interact with the physical world. Hempel describes wearing the glasses, “I’ll see the room around me but I might also be able to reach out and draw a circle on the wall that looks like a real circle on the wall.”

Microsoft is not the first to create holographic goggles, but Hempel says that the HoloLens surpasses beta versions like Google Glass.  The goggles probably won’t hit the market until next year, so we’ll have to wait. But the good news is they’ll probably be affordable.

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