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The Salt
8:30 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

Don't Fear The Fat: Experts Question Saturated Fat Guidelines

Eating some foods high in saturated fat is not necessarily going to increase your risk of heart disease, a study shows, contrary to the dietary science of the past 40 years.
Cristian Baitg Schreiweis iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 12:22 pm

As a culture, we tend to suffer from the angel-or-devil mindset. Especially when it comes to food.

And for 40 years now, saturated fat — found in high amounts in meat, cheese and other full-fat dairy products — has been one of our top nutritional demons.

The U.S. Dietary Guidelines urge us to limit consumption because of concerns that saturated fat raises the risk of heart disease. But after decades of research, a growing number of experts are questioning this link.

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The Two-Way
4:29 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

Interior Secretary: 1 Percent Of Wildfires Take 30 Percent Of Funds

A U.S. Forest Service photo shows firefighters near the perimeter of the Elk Complex fire near Pine, Idaho, last summer. Lawmakers are calling for a change in the way America pays for wildfire disasters.
AP

Originally published on Mon March 17, 2014 3:44 pm

Western lawmakers and Interior Secretary Sally Jewell urge changes to the way America pays to fight and recover from wildfires, starting with preserving money that's meant for fire prevention. They met with fire officials Monday who predicted a busy fire season for much of the West.

NPR's Nathan Rott reports for our Newscast unit:

"Secretary Jewell says her department and the U.S. Forest Service spend more than $3 billion annually fighting fires. A third of that is spent on megafires, the biggest 1 percent of any season's blazes.

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Movies
3:32 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

Lions, Lambs, Whatever: 10 Movies To Help You Weather The Week

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 12:37 pm

March giveth and it taketh away, depending on which coast you call home. Here in California, it's sunny, yes — but we're also suffering a drought. Meanwhile, portions of the East Coast are anything but precipitation-deprived as they suffer under several inches of snow.

But whether you're stuck at home unable to get to work or school, or watching your lawn slowly turn brown as you conserve water, it's a good time to enjoy a movie. Get a taste of what isn't happening outside your window with these films about droughts or blizzards:

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Parallels
3:32 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

A Syrian Refugee Camp With Girl Scouts And A Safeway Store

An informal Girl Scout group at the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan sings: "We want to learn and rise up to fulfill our dreams."
Nabih Bulos NPR

Originally published on Mon March 17, 2014 5:57 pm

On a sunny afternoon in the dusty, overcrowded Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan, a group of Syrian girls recites a familiar pledge and hope to change their future. The youngsters promise to serve God and country, to help people at all times and live by the laws of the Girl Scouts.

The troop was organized by Hanna Vazquez, a volunteer with Mercy Corps, a U.S.-based humanitarian group.

"We are going to do the Girl Scout music badge," she says, as the girls gather around.

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All Tech Considered
3:32 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

With Google's Robot-Buying Binge, A Hat Tip To The Future

A BigDog robot at Boston Dynamics in 2010. The BigDog is being developed to help soldiers carry heavy equipment in the field. It can follow a human being, walking across wet/sandy/rocky terrain, just like a dog would.
Suzanne Kreiter Boston Globe via Getty Images

Originally published on Mon March 17, 2014 5:56 pm

In less than a year, Google has bought more than a half-dozen robotics companies, setting the industry abuzz. But when I ask Google what it's up to with all these robots, the company won't say a thing.

"They are very careful — they haven't disclosed what they are doing," says Richard Mahoney, the director of the robotics program at SRI International, a nonprofit technology accelerator in Menlo Park, Calif. Mahoney also served on the board of Redwood Robotics, one of the companies Google bought.

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It's All Politics
3:31 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

One Year After Party 'Autopsy,' GOP Touts Progress

Immigration supporters gather during a rally for citizenship on Capitol Hill last year.
Manuel Balce Ceneta AP

Originally published on Mon March 17, 2014 2:57 pm

One year ago, a frank Republican Party assessment of why it came up short in the 2012 presidential election included a stark recommendation.

Embrace and champion comprehensive immigration reform, the post-mortem authors urged, or get used to a party whose appeal "will continue to shrink to its core constituents only."

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The Two-Way
3:31 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

Sept. 11 Conspirator: Bin Laden's Son-In-Law Had No Military Role

Originally published on Mon March 17, 2014 4:03 pm

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the self-described mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, made a submission to federal court in Manhattan on behalf of Osama bin Laden's son-in-law, who is on trial there. Sulaiman Abu Ghaith is "an eloquent, spellbinding speaker," but he did not have any prior knowledge of al-Qaida operations, Mohammed said.

As we reported earlier this month on the first day of Abu Ghaith's trial:

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The Two-Way
3:31 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

Third Person Dies After Being Rammed By Car At SXSW

Bystanders rush to help those who were struck by a vehicle early Thursday on Red River Street in Austin, which was crowded with people headed to South by Southwest events.
Jay Janner/Austin American-Statesman MCT/Landov

Originally published on Mon March 17, 2014 5:15 pm

A third person has died after being rammed by a car last week during the SXSW festival in Austin.

The Houston Chronicle reports:

"The Travis County Medical Examiner's Office said Austin resident Sandy Le, who had been in critical condition with head injuries, died at University Medical Center Brackenridge after she was hit by a speeding car on Red River Street outside The Mohawk Club last Thursday.

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The Two-Way
3:27 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

Army General Pleads Guilty To Adultery; Other Charges Dropped

Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Sinclair (L) leaves the Fort Bragg Courthouse with his attorney Ellen Brotman, after sexual assault charges against Sinclair were dropped after he pleaded guilty to lesser charges Monday.
Davis Turner Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 5:17 am

Army Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Sinclair, who was accused of sexually assaulting a subordinate, has pleaded guilty to lesser charges in a plea deal reached with government prosecutors. A judge accepted the plea deal Monday; the general's sentencing hearing will continue Tuesday.

NPR's Tom Bowman reports for our Newscast unit that the prosecution's case against Sinclair, 51, fell apart because of missteps by the Army command and credibility problems with his accuser:

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Shots - Health News
3:25 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

Big Drop In Colon Cancer Fuels Push To Get More People Screened

Many people think that colon cancer screening is no walk in the park. This giant inflatable colon on display at the University of Miami Health System campus was intended to help them think otherwise.
Suzette Laboy AP

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 12:37 pm

The number of people getting colon cancer has fallen by 30 percent over the past decade in people over 50, and much of that progress is due to screening, a study finds.

But a substantial number of people in that target age group still haven't been screened, and a consortium of organizations say they're pushing to get 80 percent of those people screened at least once by 2018.

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The Two-Way
1:24 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

Search For Flight MH370 Reportedly Largest In History

Two satellite maps of the possible location of the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH 370 are seen at a news conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on Monday.
He Jingjia Xinhua/Landov

Originally published on Mon March 17, 2014 3:34 pm

The disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 has spawned the largest-ever multinational air-sea search — involving ships, airplanes from at least 14 countries and requests for radar information from as many as 26.

The nature of the search, in which such an enormous stretch of the globe is being scoured, is also equally unprecedented, officials say.

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Education
1:21 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

Efforts To Close The Achievement Gap In Kids Start At Home

Stephanie Taveras (left) visits Julia Alfaro and her 3-year-old daughter, Ayleen, to read and discuss her vocabulary progress.
Jennifer Ludden NPR

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 7:34 am

When Andrea Riquetti taught kindergarten in Providence, R.I., the disparity between more affluent students and those from poor families was painfully clear.

"We would read The Very Hungry Caterpillar," she says, "and I would ask them, 'What is this fruit?' And they would call all the fruits just 'fruits,' because they didn't have the specific name."

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Movie Interviews
12:44 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

Jason Bateman, Taking A Turn As The Big Bad

Jason Bateman took cues from Arrested Development in portraying the profoundly unsympathetic character Guy Trilby.
Sam Urdank Courtesy of Focus Features

Originally published on Mon March 17, 2014 3:33 pm

When you see actor Jason Bateman on screen, he's usually playing the nice guy — or at least the nicest guy in the room. On the TV cult favorite Arrested Development, Bateman is easily the heart of the show.

But given the chance to direct a movie, he cast himself as a vulgar sociopath with a gift for coming up with the perfect put-down. The film is Bad Words, and it tells the story of a 40-year-old elbowing his way onto the middle-school spelling-bee circuit, to the frustration of kids, parents and teachers alike.

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All Tech Considered
12:33 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

Computers That Know What You Need, Before You Ask

Expect Labs' MindMeld app uses predictive computing to push information to us, instead of us having to ask.
Courtesy of Expect Labs

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 9:14 am

We're already giving voice instructions to virtual personal assistants, like Apple's Siri. But artificial intelligence is getting even smarter. The next wave of behavior-changing computing is a technology called anticipatory computing — systems that learn to predict what you need, even before you ask.

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Shots - Health News
12:32 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

Scientists Search For Toxins In Cigarette Smoke Residue

Long after the smoke is gone, carcinogenic chemicals remain.
Victoria Alexandrova iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 12:34 pm

Everybody knows smoking is hazardous. Being around someone who smokes isn't such a good idea either. "There's no safe amount of secondhand smoke," the surgeon general has said.

Now thirdhand smoke is getting scrutiny. What's thirdhand smoke? It's the residue from smoke that settles onto clothes, hair, furniture or anything else in a smoker's vicinity.

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