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3:21 pm
Wed February 5, 2014

More Than 80,000 Tons Of Coal Ash Flow Into N.C. River

Volunteers with the Dan River Basin Association, graduate students from Duke University and staff with the environmental group Appalachian Voices collect water samples on the Dan River after a massive coal ash spill.
Eric Chance Appalachian Voices

Originally published on Wed February 5, 2014 7:23 pm

Over the weekend at an old power plant in Eden, N.C., a stormwater pipe that goes under a coal ash pond broke, sending about 82,000 tons of ash into the Dan River.

The river stretches more than 200 miles from North Carolina, through Virginia and into the Atlantic Ocean. It's home to all sorts of wildlife, and a popular destination for fishermen and kayakers.

On Wednesday, Jennifer Edwards, with the Dan River Basin Association, was checking the water and sediment about a mile downriver from the spill.

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The Two-Way
3:21 pm
Wed February 5, 2014

'Almost Otherworldly': The Sea Caves Of Lake Superior, On Ice

Scenes from the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore in Bayfield, Wis., where Lake Superior's ice is thick enough to walk to the area's sea caves for the first time in five years.
Derek Montgomery for MPR News

Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 2:28 pm

This winter's intense cold has brought a fringe benefit to people who live around southern Lake Superior: They can walk to the uniquely beautiful, and currently frozen, sea caves of the Apostle Islands. It's the first time the lake's ice in that area has been thick enough to walk on since 2009.

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The Two-Way
12:21 pm
Wed February 5, 2014

MLS And Beckham Will Create A New Soccer Team In Miami

Former soccer star David Beckham holds a ball at a news conference where he announced he's exercising an option to buy a Major League Soccer expansion team in Miami.
Lynne Sladky AP

Originally published on Wed February 5, 2014 12:25 pm

David Beckham's career in American soccer isn't over, despite his recent retirement from the field. Beckham confirmed Wednesday that he will create a Major League Soccer expansion team in Miami. Details about the team's stadium and start date are still being worked out.

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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
11:47 am
Wed February 5, 2014

Do Black Holes Exist?

This artist's impression shows the surroundings of the supermassive black hole at the heart of the active galaxy NGC 3783 in the southern constellation of Centaurus.
M. Kornmesser ESO

Originally published on Wed February 5, 2014 11:34 am

Black holes are in crisis. Well, not them, but the people who think about them, theoretical physicists who try to understand the relationship between the two pillars of modern physics, general relativity and quantum physics. Judging from the current discussions, one of the two must go, at least in their present formulation. On January 22nd, Stephen Hawking posted a paper where he bluntly stated that black holes, in the sense of being objects that can trap light and everything else indefinitely, are no more. And that's a big deal.

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Shots - Health News
11:14 am
Wed February 5, 2014

An Artificial Arm Gives One Man The Chance To Feel Again

Dennis Aabo Sorensen tests a prosthetic arm with sensory feedback in a laboratory in Rome in March 2013.
Patrizia Tocci/Lifehand 2

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 5:43 pm

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The Salt
11:02 am
Wed February 5, 2014

Ladies: Good Bacteria In Yogurt May Be Good For Waistlines, Too

A probiotic commonly found in yogurt seems to help women lose more weight and fat, a recent study finds. But you still have to eat healthy to see an effect.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri February 7, 2014 10:49 am

Ladies, if that Super Bowl Sunday pitch from '90s heartthrob John Stamos didn't leave you craving more yogurt, here's some science that might do the trick: There's tantalizing new research suggesting that some friendly bacteria commonly found in yogurts may help women shed more weight while on a diet and keep it off.

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The Two-Way
10:47 am
Wed February 5, 2014

Sniper Attack On Calif. Power Station Raises Terrorism Fears

Fred Greaves Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 11:30 am

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Parallels
10:46 am
Wed February 5, 2014

In Pakistan, Another Bhutto Joins The Risky Family Business

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari (left), son of assassinated Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, arrives for a festival at Moenjodaro in southern Pakistan on Feb. 1. The event was seen as a political coming-out party for Bhutto, whose family has prominently featured in Pakistani politics for decades.
Waqar Hussein EPA/Landov

Originally published on Wed February 5, 2014 7:23 pm

His grandfather was hanged by a military dictator. His mother was assassinated. One of his uncles was slain by the police. Another died in a mysterious poisoning.

His father spent eight years in jail, yet later served a full term as president of Pakistan.

The Bhutto family history is a roller coaster ride, veering from prison, exile and corruption scandals to wealth, fame and power.

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The Two-Way
10:44 am
Wed February 5, 2014

White House Says There Are No Plans To Bail Out Puerto Rico

The Puerto Rican flag waves in front of the south wing of the Capitol in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Ricardo Arduengo AP

Originally published on Wed February 5, 2014 11:01 am

A day after S&P downgraded Puerto Rico's credit rating to junk status, the White House said it was not contemplating a bailout for the island.

Reuters reports:

"A White House spokeswoman declined to comment about the S&P move specifically but said the administration's position had not changed since Jan. 22, when she said that no 'deep federal assistance' was being contemplated.

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Shots - Health News
10:43 am
Wed February 5, 2014

Our Brains Rewrite Our Memories, Putting Present In The Past

The brain edits memories of the past, updating them with new information. Scientists say this may help us function better in the present. But don't throw those photos away.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 5:04 am

Think about your fifth-birthday party. Maybe your mom carried the cake. What did her face look like? If you have a hard time imagining the way she looked then rather than how she looks now, you're not alone.

The brain edits memories relentlessly, updating the past with new information. Scientists say that this isn't a question of having a bad memory. Instead, they think the brain updates memories to make them more relevant and useful now — even if they're not a true representation of the past.

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Shots - Health News
10:41 am
Wed February 5, 2014

By Dropping Cigarettes, CVS Gives Its Reputation A Boost

A CVS pharmacy in Orlando, Fla., is one of more than 7,600 stores where the company will stop selling tobacco products by October.
John Raoux AP

Originally published on Thu February 13, 2014 3:24 pm

When drugstore chain CVS said Wednesday that it would stop selling tobacco products by October, the company also told investors that the move would probably cost it $2 billion a year in lost sales.

CVS says it has figured out unspecified ways to help make up for the profits from cigarettes and other tobacco products.

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Sweetness And Light
9:37 am
Wed February 5, 2014

An Olympic Shame: Vladimir Putin Plays Host To Winter Games

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks with Olympic volunteers in Sochi, Russia, in January.
Alexei Nikolsky AP

Originally published on Wed February 5, 2014 6:33 am

You know those commercials for prescription medicines on television when they devote the first 15 seconds to the benefits of the drug and then take the next 45 telling you all the bad things that could happen if you use it? Vladimir Putin's Olympics remind me of that. For all the happiness his Winter Games are supposed to bring us, you need considerably more time to hear about all the things that could go wrong.

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The Edge
9:36 am
Wed February 5, 2014

One Prediction Of Sochi Doom That Hasn't Happened

More than 400 snow-making machines are keeping the ski slopes of Sochi covered in snow.
Tamara Keith NPR

Originally published on Wed February 5, 2014 5:29 am

Heading into the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, there were many predictions of trouble — possible terrorism, incomplete construction, unsold tickets and not enough snow. Well, you can take that last item off the list.

Skiers zip by on a practice run at the Rosa Khutor alpine ski course in Russia with not a cloud in the sky above them. You can't hear the skis, though, because there's a snow-making machine blasting water into the cool, dry air. It mists down onto the ground below in fine ice particles: man-made snow.

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The Two-Way
9:35 am
Wed February 5, 2014

Vatican Let Abuse Of Kids Go On For Decades, U.N. Panel Says

St. Peter's Square in Vatican City.
Ciro Fusco EPA/Landov

Originally published on Wed February 5, 2014 1:01 pm

The Vatican "has not acknowledged the extent of the crimes committed, has not taken the necessary measures to address cases of child sexual abuse and to protect children, and has adopted policies and practices which have led to the continuation of the abuse by, and the impunity of, the perpetrators," a U.N. human rights committee charged Wednesday.

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All Tech Considered
9:35 am
Wed February 5, 2014

Lawmakers Look To Prevent More Target-Sized Data Breaches

Sen. Patrick Leahy chats with Sen. Mazie Hirono before hearing from retail company executives on Tuesday.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 5, 2014 9:40 am

The sheer size and frequency of the recent credit card data breaches at Target, Neiman Marcus and other companies are prompting lawmakers to consider legislative options to keep sophisticated cyberthefts from happening.

"If anything, we've learned from this major, major breach that we can no longer do nothing," said Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn. "We have to take action."

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