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It's All Politics
11:32 am
Thu January 16, 2014

Doctors Say Reid's Request For Bowel Research Money Is No Joke

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada talks about unemployment benefits during a news conference Thursday.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 8:47 am

In his new memoir, former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates heaped scorn on many members of Congress for pushing their parochial interests with him.

But he saved a special dig for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

"With two ongoing wars and all our budget and other issues, I didn't know whether to laugh or cry," Gates writes, describing how the Nevada Democrat urged him to have the Defense Department invest in research into irritable bowel syndrome.

It's an anecdote that drew snickers — and media attention, including here at NPR.

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Found Recipes
11:31 am
Thu January 16, 2014

A Taste Of South Texas In A 9x13 Dish

Don't be fooled by the name: Neither Sandy nor Crystal is quite sure where the King Ranch Casserole has its origins.
Courtesy of Clarkson Potter

Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 9:19 am

When Sandy Pollock and Crystal Cook go to work on a traditional recipe, they usually like to bring it up to date with a modern twist or two. After all, they call themselves the Casserole Queens, specialists in making a classic quick-fix dish fit for today's dinner mat.

But when it came to changing the King Ranch Casserole, Sandy wouldn't hear of it. "There are just some things that you don't mess with," she says. "It's the way Mama made it!"

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Shots - Health News
11:31 am
Thu January 16, 2014

From Millions Of Cases To 148: Guinea Worm's Days Are Numbered

Young boys suspected of having Guinea worm infections wait for the parasite to emerge through the skin at a clinic in South Sudan.
Louise Gubb The Carter Center

Originally published on Thu January 16, 2014 10:30 am

Guinea worm, pack your bags.

The world recorded only 148 cases of Guinea worm last year, the Carter Center said Thursday. That's nearly three-quarters less than in 2012, and a tiny fraction compared to the 3.5 million cases back in 1986.

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Planet Money
10:02 am
Thu January 16, 2014

Expensive Bacon, Cheap TVs, And Other Price Trends From 2013

Not cheap.
Robert Smith NPR

Originally published on Thu January 16, 2014 9:11 am

Inflation is very low: Prices rose 1.5 percent last year, according to the consumer price index report released this morning.

But when you dig into the numbers, you see some notable price swings. Here are a few that caught our eye for different reasons.

The price of bacon rose 9.6 percent.

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The Two-Way
9:55 am
Thu January 16, 2014

Obama's NSA Speech: Just What Eisenhower Warned About?

President Eisenhower during his farewell address to the nation on Jan. 17, 1961.
AP

Originally published on Thu January 16, 2014 11:19 am

On Jan. 17, 1961, President Eisenhower used his farewell address to warn Americans that:

"We must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist."

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Monkey See
9:54 am
Thu January 16, 2014

Complicating The Tonya And Nancy Narratives, 20 Years Later

Fans of U.S. figure skater Tonya Harding put up a sign in support while she skated at the Clackamas Town Center mall rink in 1994, while a grand jury considered whether to indict her.
Eugene Garcia AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 16, 2014 12:40 pm

There have always been two Tonya Harding/Nancy Kerrigan narratives. Always.

The first one — the sparkly, easy, TV-coverage one — is that Nancy Kerrigan was a beautiful, elegant, classy skater and Tonya Harding was trash. In this one, Tonya had a thug husband who arranged for a vicious attack on poor, beautiful Nancy, who then had to rally to win a silver medal at the 1994 Winter Olympics.

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Ask Me Another
8:12 am
Thu January 16, 2014

Elizabeth Gilbert: An Adventurer Travels Back In Time

Elizabeth Gilbert.
Jennifer Schatten

Originally published on Sun January 19, 2014 2:17 am

"I wrote for and about men," says author Elizabeth Gilbert, of her early career as a journalist for GQ, Esquire and Spin. "Which is why it's so ironic that now I am the uber chick lit author."

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The Two-Way
8:12 am
Thu January 16, 2014

Photos May Show Marines Burning Iraqis' Bodies

TMZ.com

Originally published on Thu January 16, 2014 8:16 am

The U.S. Marine Corps "is attempting to determine the authenticity of photos published by TMZ.com that the entertainment website says show Marines appearing to burn bodies of dead Iraqi insurgents in Fallujah in 2004," The Associated Press reports.

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The Salt
8:12 am
Thu January 16, 2014

Why Sugar Makes Us Feel So Good

Dopamine levels change when food becomes boring.
TED-Ed/YouTube

Originally published on Thu January 16, 2014 10:59 am

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Shots - Health News
8:11 am
Thu January 16, 2014

FDA Asks Doctors To Stop Prescribing High-Dose Acetaminophen

The prescription painkiller sold under the brand-name Vicodin contains hydrocodone bitartrate and acetaminophen. To reduce the risk of liver damage, the Food and Drug Administration is moving to limit the amount of acetaminophen allowed in prescription medicines.
Toby Talbot AP

Originally published on Thu January 16, 2014 8:17 am

The pain reliever acetaminophen is easy on the stomach. But at high doses, the drug can be hell on the liver.

Now the Food and Drug Administration is asking doctors to refrain from prescribing drugs that contain high doses of acetaminophen to minimize the risk of liver damage.

Acetaminophen is the active ingredient in nonprescription Tylenol. But it's also inside quite a few prescription pain pills, including Vicodin and Percocet.

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Shots - Health News
4:19 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

After Checking Blood Pressure, Kiosks Give Sales Leads To Insurers

SoloHealth owns 3,500 health screening kiosks like this one in San Francisco. In some states, the company sells customer contact information to insurers.
April Dembosky

Originally published on Thu January 16, 2014 1:56 pm

Those machines in drugstores and supermarkets that let people check their blood pressure also may be selling people's contact information to insurance companies trolling for new customers.

One of these kiosks sits in Aisle 10 of a Safeway in a city near San Francisco. Sitting down at the machine is like slipping into the cockpit of a 1980s arcade game. There are a big plastic seat and footrest for measuring weight and body mass index, a window for testing vision, and a blood pressure cuff. The kiosks don't charge people for the blood pressure measurement.

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Law
4:19 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

Justices Appear Divided On Abortion Clinic Buffer Zones

Pro-life demonstrators stand outside the U.S. Supreme Court following oral arguments in the case dealing with a Massachusetts law imposing a 35-foot buffer zone around abortion clinics for demonstrations and protests.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 15, 2014 4:44 pm

The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments on Wednesday in a case testing laws that establish buffer zones to protect patients and staff going into abortion clinics. In 2000, the court upheld 8-foot buffer zones that move with individuals as they walk into clinics. But now the issue is back before a more conservative court, and the conservative chief justice appears to hold the outcome in his hands.

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Business
2:54 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

Boeing Machinists' Plight Marks Changing Times For Labor

Boeing machinists and other supporters held a rally against the company's offer the day before the critical vote, which took place in early January.
Ashley Gross KPLU

Originally published on Wed January 15, 2014 5:36 pm

The mood at the Seattle union hall was quiet, almost funereal on the night Boeing workers narrowly approved an offer to build the company's new airliner, the 777X.

Members of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers who had gathered had wanted to reject the offer. But they were in a tight spot. They risked losing the bid to one of the 21 states hoping to step in.

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Animals
2:54 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

Months After 'Blackfish' Release, Controversy Over SeaWorld Grows

Two killer whales fly out of the water during a show at SeaWorld Orlando's Shamu Stadium in 2010.
Phelan M. Ebenhack AP

Originally published on Wed January 15, 2014 6:11 pm

The documentary Blackfish made a splash at the Sundance Film Festival when it premiered last January, and got more attention when it was released in theaters over the summer. But it didn't reach its largest audience until October, when millions watched it on CNN.

It's a powerful documentary that focuses on Tilikum, the male orca who pulled trainer Dawn Brancheau into the water and killed her at SeaWorld Orlando in 2010. In telling the story, Blackfish relies heavily on interviews with former SeaWorld trainers like Samantha Berg.

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The Two-Way
2:30 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

IMF's Lagarde: Any U.S. Budget Deal Is Better Than None

Originally published on Wed January 15, 2014 2:27 pm

Christine Lagarde, who heads the International Monetary Fund, offered some positive comments about Congress on Wednesday.

Her assessment was a shade better than "faint praise," but something less than "Attaboy!"

Speaking at the National Press Club, Lagarde said she was pleased to see U.S. lawmakers have been moving forward "in a more orderly fashion" as they work on spending legislation.

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