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The Salt
12:50 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

Time To Relax The Sodium Guidelines? Some Docs Say Not So Fast

Consuming anywhere from about 2,600 milligrams up to almost 5,000 milligrams of sodium per day is associated with more favorable health outcomes, according to a study.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu April 3, 2014 3:50 pm

We've all heard the advice to go easy on the salt shaker. Or, perhaps, more importantly, to cut back on eating packaged, processed foods that often contain a lot of salt.

And why? There's a lot of evidence linking excessive sodium intake to high blood pressure, which increases the risk of heart disease.

The dietary guidelines recommend that adults consume no more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day.

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The Two-Way
12:29 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

Senate Panel Votes To Declassify Report On CIA Interrogations

Originally published on Thu April 3, 2014 4:10 pm

A Senate panel voted on Thursday to declassify a controversial report on the interrogation techniques used by the Central Intelligence Agency during the presidency of George W. Bush.

In a statement announcing the vote, Sen. Diane Feinstein, the Democratic chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said the report "exposes brutality that stands in stark contrast to our values as a nation."

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The Two-Way
12:23 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

White House: Creation Of 'Cuban Twitter' Was Not Covert Program

A book street vendor passes the time on her smart phone as she waits for customers in Havana, Cuba, on Tuesday. The Obama administration secretly financed a social network in Cuba to stir political unrest.
Ramon Espinosa AP

Originally published on Thu April 3, 2014 11:31 am

The funding of a social media platform designed to undermine the Cuban government was not a covert American operation, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said during his regular press briefing on Thursday.

"The program referred to by the Associated Press was a development program run by the United States agency for International Development and that program was completed in 2012," Carney said. "As you know, USAID is a development agency not an intelligence agency."

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NPR Story
12:22 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

Should Soldiers Be Armed At Military Posts?

Fort Hood
Staff Sgt. Gregory Sanders U.S. Army

Originally published on Thu April 3, 2014 1:31 pm

For John Lott, Wednesday's mass shooting at Fort Hood was a test of personal beliefs that struck uncomfortably close to home.

His son is serving at Fort Hood and was close enough to the activity to hear shots and screaming.

But he wasn't in a position to respond. Department of Defense policy forbids soldiers and sailors, in most circumstances, from carrying weapons at installations.

That frustrates Lott. For years, he has been promoting the idea β€” including in his book More Guns, Less Crime β€” that relaxing gun restrictions would make for a safer society.

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The Salt
12:06 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

Farmers Need To Get 'Climate Smart' To Prep For What's Ahead

Farmers participate in a CGIAR climate training workshop on how to interpret seasonal rainfall forecasts in Kaffrine, Senegal.
Courtesy of J. Hansen/CGIAR Climate

Originally published on Thu April 3, 2014 4:39 pm

The planet's top experts on global warming released their latest predictions this week for how rising temperatures will change our lives, and in particular, what they mean for the production of food.

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Shots - Health News
12:06 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

A Pill For Grass Allergies May Replace Shots For Some

Could this be the end of grass and gesundheit?
iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri April 4, 2014 12:47 pm

Later this spring, allergy sufferers will have access to a new form of help: a pill that can replace allergy shots. But the pill works only for grass allergies, and it's not clear how much it's going to cost.

The Food and Drug Administration just approved Oralair, the first sublingual allergy immunotherapy tablet for use in the United States. That's how regulators describe a pill that you stick under your tongue to tamp down your immune system.

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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
10:29 am
Thu April 3, 2014

The Joys And Ethics Of Insect Eating

iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu April 3, 2014 11:57 am

A week ago today, I ate my first crickets.

It was a first step into entomophagy, the practice of insect eating. I wrote about this topic here at 13.7 in January but had never before tried it myself (excluding accidental ingestion of the insect parts often found in peanut butter, chocolate, vegetables and other foods).

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Krulwich Wonders...
9:57 am
Thu April 3, 2014

'Oh, Hello,' Says Andrew, As He Suddenly Grabs You By The Leg Or Neck

Andrew Ucles YouTube

Originally published on Thu April 3, 2014 11:22 am

Some people like a nice walk, some a gentle run, others a cup of tea. But not Andrew Ucles. There is nothing relaxed about Andrew. You can find him chasing after wild animals on his videos, grabbing them with his bare hands and then, while they squiggle, scratch and lunge, he tells them, "Settle, settle," shows them to the camera, brags a little and lets them go.

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The Two-Way
9:57 am
Thu April 3, 2014

Book News: Ted Cruz's Book Advance Said To Eclipse Sarah Palin's

News of Ted Cruz's book deal set off speculation that the Texas Republican may be planning to run for president in 2016.
Drew Angerer Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 3, 2014 4:36 am

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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The Two-Way
9:53 am
Thu April 3, 2014

'We Do Not Expect Any More Fatalities,' Doctor Says Of Fort Hood Victims

Sgt. First Class Erick Rodriguez stood guard at the entrance to Fort Hood as officials prepared to brief the news media about Wednesday's attack at the post.
Erich Schlegel Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu April 3, 2014 5:37 pm

On the day after a deadly shooting incident on the grounds of Fort Hood, Texas, in which a gunman killed at least three people, wounded 16 and then reportedly killed himself, there was this welcome news:

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Paying For College
9:52 am
Thu April 3, 2014

First Test For College Hopefuls? Decoding Financial Aid Letters

Colleges send each prospective student a letter detailing a financial aid award package β€” but many families say the letters are difficult to understand.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu April 3, 2014 7:43 am

Around the country, millions of parents of prospective college freshmen are puzzling over one big question: How will we pay for college?

The first step for many families is reviewing the financial aid award letters they receive from each school. But often those letters can be confusing. Some are filled with acronyms and abbreviations, others lump scholarships and loans together. And because they're often very different, they're also difficult to compare.

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Shots - Health News
9:52 am
Thu April 3, 2014

Good Day Sunshine: Could Morning Light Help Keep Us Lean?

iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri April 4, 2014 12:46 pm

Exposure to morning light, whether it's pure sunlight or bright indoor lighting, is associated with leaner body weights, researchers say.

The findings fit with a growing body of evidence that suggests keeping our internal body clocks synchronized with the natural light-dark cycle is beneficial to our health and our waistlines.

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Deceptive Cadence
9:51 am
Thu April 3, 2014

How Do You Sweep The Ivy League? Practice β€” The Viola. (Really.)

Was playing a much-maligned instrument β€” or writing about it beautifully β€” part of Kwasi Enin's secret? (Not that he is playing the 'Archinto' Stradivarius pictured here.)
Peter Macdiarmid Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 3, 2014 8:14 am

By now, you may have heard about Kwasi Enin, the impressive young man from Long Island who has been accepted into the classes of 2018 at Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Princeton, the University of Pennsylvania, Yale (all eight Ivy League universities) as well as Duke and three campuses of the State University of New York.

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The Two-Way
9:41 am
Thu April 3, 2014

Court In Turkey Orders Twitter Service Restored

A Twitter app on an iPhone screen. Turkey banned the social media service for two weeks, but a court has now ordered the ban lifted on constitutional grounds.
Richard Drew AP

Originally published on Thu April 3, 2014 10:51 am

Twitter is back on in Turkey after a constitutional court ruled that a government-imposed ban on the social media service was a breach of free expression.

The country's telecom authority lifted the 2-week-old ban, after it was blocked in the runup to last Sunday's local elections.

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Book Reviews
9:41 am
Thu April 3, 2014

'Empathy Exams' Is A Virtuosic Manifesto Of Human Pain

human heart diagram
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu April 3, 2014 4:03 am

A boyfriend once called Leslie Jamison "a wound dweller." This is one of many personal morsels she shares in her virtuosic book of essays, The Empathy Exams, in which she intrepidly probes sore spots to explore how our reactions to both our own pain and that of others define us as human beings. Jamison notes with concern that ironic detachment has become the fallback in this "post-wounded" age that fears "anything too tender, too touchy-feely." The Empathy Exams presents a brainy but heartfelt case for compassion even at the risk of sentimentality.

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