National / International News

5 Quotes From Earl Lloyd, The First Black Player In The NBA

NPR News - Fri, 2015-02-27 10:00

Earl Lloyd, who died Thursday, once recalled telling a young man who thanked him for blazing a trail, "Man, you owe me absolutely nothing."

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Cage: Rights group or terror apologists?

BBC - Fri, 2015-02-27 09:57
What we know about the group which advised 'Jihadi John'

Families Of ISIS Victims React To Identification Of 'Jihadi John'

NPR News - Fri, 2015-02-27 09:52

The family of Steven Sotloff said they hoped the man identified as Mohammed Emzawi is brought to justice. The daughter of aid worker David Haines said she wanted a "bullet between ... [his] eyes."

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Families Of ISIS Victims React To Identification Of 'Jihadi John'

NPR News - Fri, 2015-02-27 09:52

The family of Steven Sotloff said they hoped the man identified as Mohammed Emzawi is brought to justice. The daughter of aid worker David Haines said she wanted a "bullet between ... [his] eyes."

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When Food Is Too Good To Waste, College Kids Pick Up The Scraps

NPR News - Fri, 2015-02-27 09:51

Millions of tons of food are wasted on college campuses around the country, and students are noticing. Some of them are now rescuing food to make tasty meals for the needy and compost for gardens.

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When Food Is Too Good To Waste, College Kids Pick Up The Scraps

NPR News - Fri, 2015-02-27 09:51

Millions of tons of food are wasted on college campuses around the country, and students are noticing. Some of them are now rescuing food to make tasty meals for the needy and compost for gardens.

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Somali pirates free Thai fishermen

BBC - Fri, 2015-02-27 09:49
Four Thai fishermen thought to have been held by Somali pirates longer than any other captives have been freed, officials say.

VIDEO: Nothing matters but final - Mourinho

BBC - Fri, 2015-02-27 09:39
Manager Jose Mourinho says "nothing else matters" to Chelsea other than Sunday's League Cup final against Tottenham at Wembley.

Finding the natural in natural flavors

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2015-02-27 09:39

Unless you grow or hunt all your own food, chances are you've encountered natural flavors in things you eat. According to a study by the Environmental Working Group, "natural flavor" is now the fourth most common ingredient in food after salt, water, and sugar.

So, what are natural flavors? Why are they seemingly in everything? And if they are so natural, why don't ingredient labels list what they are? These questions come from Marketplace listener Jean Beach.

Since being diagnosed with Celiac Disease, Beach has been diligently checking ingredient labels. She sees natural flavors everywhere. On the iced tea she drinks, the ingredient list reads water, natural flavors, and then tea, which means there's more natural flavoring in Beach's tea than actual tea.

When it comes to flavors, Lisa Lefferts with the Center for Science in the Public Interest says there are a lot of mysteries, and calls the flavor industry a “big black box.” Lefferts says a flavor ingredient can be some combination of about 2,300 possible substances. 

By reading the ingredient label, customers can tell if the flavor is artificial or natural. Artificial flavors are entirely man-made — chemicals synthesized to deliver a particular taste. Natural flavors are processed from a substance initially found in nature, but those substances can vary widely.

Take castoreum, for instance. “Castoreum is a natural flavor extracted from the anal castor sacs of beavers,” Lefferts says, “and it's used to help create a vanilla or occasionally a fruity taste. So, in other words, vanilla flavor doesn't necessarily come from the vanilla bean.”

Okay, you are probably not eating castoreum, it's expensive and primarily used in fragrances. Most natural flavors come from more obvious sources like herbs and fruit.

The problem Lefferts says, is that flavors are not real food. “The main reason to be concerned about flavors, whether they are natural or artificial, is that when they are in there, you can be pretty sure that something real and nutritious has been left out,” she says.

But raw ingredients can be tricky. They may be expensive, or spoil. In packaged food, they may not even taste right, says John Hallagan. He' s with the Flavor and Extract Manufacturers Association. Hallagan says “You can't achieve the same flavor sensation from just putting strawberries in a bottle and mixing water in. It's not going to taste like strawberry to you.”

So, companies craft their own strawberry flavors — maybe they mix in a little fruit extract with some compounds processed from other plants, even trees. 

Sue Ebeler, a food scientist and professor at the University of California Davis, says a few drops of the right ingredients can make a big impact on flavor. We're talking about parts per trillion, she says, just a few molecules in an entire swimming pool.

Ebeler says advances in science have helped companies understand which molecules influence taste. A gas chromatograph could break down the flavor components of a substance to help replicate it.

So, why not explain what natural flavors are on ingredient labels? For one thing, Well, companies want to keep their special formulas secret — plus what sounds more appetizing: Things like beaver castor sacs and a long list of chemicals, or natural flavor?

“Putting the word natural anywhere there gives you an aura,” Marsha Cohen says. Cohen is a professor at the UC Hastings College of Law, and says when it comes to selling food, she says, it's all about the aura.

I call Jean Beach back to tell her what I've found out. She's not impressed by the “natural aura."

Beach says she feels less comfortable about natural flavors, and would like to avoid them altogether. Problem is, they're in so many things.

US state considers 'baby boxes'

BBC - Fri, 2015-02-27 09:31
Indiana could be the first US state to introduce baby boxes - anonymous drop-off points designed to prevent the deaths of abandoned infants.

Spy watchdog 'taken in' by spies

BBC - Fri, 2015-02-27 09:28
Tory MP David Davis accuses Sir Malcolm Rifkind's Intelligence and Security Committee of being taken in by the "glamour" of spying and failing to do its job properly.

Leonard 'Spock' Nimoy: Life in pictures

BBC - Fri, 2015-02-27 09:08
Leonard 'Spock' Nimoy has died

Parents Choose A Simple Device To Reshape A Baby's Ear

NPR News - Fri, 2015-02-27 09:07

Sometimes a baby's outer ear may be a tad misshapen. Surgery can help later on, but a plastic mold makes the most of the fact that a newborn's ears are pliable. They can reshape within weeks.

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Parents Choose A Simple Device To Reshape A Baby's Ear

NPR News - Fri, 2015-02-27 09:07

Sometimes a baby's outer ear may be a tad misshapen. Surgery can help later on, but a plastic mold makes the most of the fact that a newborn's ears are pliable. They can reshape within weeks.

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VIDEO: Fees pledge: What do students think?

BBC - Fri, 2015-02-27 09:06
The BBC asks students at Leeds University for their reaction to a Labour pledge to reduce tuition fees in England have been a "disaster" and promises Labour would fund a reduction by cutting tax relief on high earners' pensions.

Your Wallet: What's broken in your community?

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2015-02-27 09:05

This week we want to know about infrastructure in your community. How are your sidewalks, bridges, or hospitals?

Talk to us the way you might in a town hall. What's broken in your community, in your home, and what's stopping the fix?

Is it money?

We want to hear you stories. Send us an email, or reach us on Twitter, @MarketplaceWKND

Mercedes set fastest testing time

BBC - Fri, 2015-02-27 09:03
Mercedes' Nico Rosberg set the fastest time of winter testing at Barcelona while Jenson Button posts 100 laps for McLaren.

Star Trek's Leonard Nimoy dies at 83

BBC - Fri, 2015-02-27 08:59
Leonard Nimoy, who played Mr Spock in Star Trek, has died at the age of 83, his family says.

John Boehner doesn't enjoy congressmen wearing jeans

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2015-02-27 08:53

Speaker of the House John Boehner, second in line for the presidency, is not at all happy with the way things are going in Congress.

No, not the whole gridlock thing.

Let's just say there's no such thing as casual Friday in Congress. Boehner gave a dress code reminder during the last votes Wednesday.

"Members should wear appropriate attire during all sittings of the House however brief their appearances on the floor may be," he said, according to the Hill. "You know who you are."

Boehner also reiterated House rules against taking photos, and reminded lawmakers to show up for votes on time.

No word about bringing snowballs in the chamber though. 

John Boehner doesn't congressmen wearing jeans

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2015-02-27 08:53

Speaker of the House John Boehner, second in line for the presidency, is not at all happy with the way things are going in Congress.

No, not the whole gridlock thing.

Let's just say there's no such thing as casual Friday in Congress. Boehner gave a dress code reminder during the last votes Wednesday.

"Members should wear appropriate attire during all sittings of the House however brief their appearances on the floor may be," he said, according to the Hill. "You know who you are."

Boehner also reiterated House rules against taking photos, and reminded lawmakers to show up for votes on time.

No word about bringing snowballs in the chamber though. 

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