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NPR health
9:45 am
Wed June 20, 2012

A few drinks while pregnant may be OK

How risky is a drink during pregnancy?
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed June 20, 2012 4:15 pm

When a woman drinks heavily during pregnancy, it can cause profound damage to her unborn child.

Nobody knows how much alcohol, if any, is safe, so the U.S. surgeon general and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advise women to abstain from drinking throughout pregnancy to avoid physical and mental birth defects.

But here and elsewhere, even conscientious pregnant women have been known to have an occasional beer or glass of wine while carrying a child. How risky is that?

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All Songs Considered Blog
8:20 pm
Tue June 19, 2012

A perpetual debate: Owning music in the digital age

The discussion over music sharing and compensation has been taking place since long before digital downloads were available.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed June 20, 2012 8:42 am

This past weekend's post from Emily White, our current All Songs Considered intern, provoked heated discussion about the current state and possible future of music consumption and creation. Emily's personal essay — as a young person who came of age after the moment when music became widely available digitally — was about the evolution of her views toward the music industry, artists and how to support them, as those issues relate to rapidly changing technology.

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healthcare controversy
1:49 pm
Tue June 19, 2012

Senators Ask Supreme Court To Televise Health Care Decision

The U.S. Supreme Court is seen in Washington, DC on June 18.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 19, 2012 1:40 pm

Two members of the Senate's Judiciary Committee are asking the Supreme Court to provide live coverage of its proceedings when it hands down its decision on the constitutionality of the 2010 health care law.

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Planet Money
8:17 am
Tue June 19, 2012

Why Einstein Was Not Qualified To Teach High-School Physics

- AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 19, 2012 7:46 am

In a column for the New York Times Magazine, Jacob Goldstein writes that there are more than 1,000 licensed professions in the U.S. In theory, licensing rules protect consumers from shoddy service. In practice, they can also screen highly qualified workers out of the job market.

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Business and labor
7:18 am
Tue June 19, 2012

Northwest farmers, shop-keeps wait anxiously for cherry workers

The first cherries of the season are coming off the trees in Northwest orchard country, but will there be enough workers to pick them? Photo by Anna King

Originally published on Mon June 18, 2012 2:51 pm

PASCO, Wash. – With lingering high unemployment and the endless talk of the down economy -– it’s hard to believe that there are some industries putting help-wanted signs out by the dozens. But that’s the case in Northwest orchard country where there appears to be a dwindling supply of migrant workers for cherry picking. Cherry season started this past week, and farmers and shop-keeps alike are anxiously waiting for more workers to arrive.

If you want to talk to cherry workers before they disappear into the jungle-dense canopies of trees, then you have to get up early.

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News
7:17 am
Tue June 19, 2012

Supreme Court Rules Feds Must Pay Up On Contracts With Tribes

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the government must uphold contracts with American Indian tribes. Photo by Franz Jantzen/supremecourt.gov

Originally published on Mon June 18, 2012 4:56 pm

Northwest tribes stand to receive big payments from the federal government after a U.S. Supreme Court decision Monday. Here’s the upshot of the ruling: the government has to uphold contracts with American Indian tribes -- even if Congress shortchanges those deals.

Many tribes have taken over services that the federal government used to provide -- like education and law enforcement. But legally, the government is still required to foot the bill. So it contracts with the tribe itself to provide the services. Except -- the federal government’s checks have frequently come up short.

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Politics
7:16 am
Tue June 19, 2012

Oregon's First Lady Weathers Criticism, Pushes Anti-Poverty Agenda

Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber looks on as First Lady Cylvia Hayes speaks as a daycare center in Bend. Photo by Chris Lehman

Originally published on Mon February 4, 2013 3:13 pm

SALEM, Ore. – Oregon's Governor and First Lady are not married. It’s something that’s attracted little attention since Democrat John Kitzhaber took office about 18 months ago. But as his partner, Cylvia Hayes, rolls out her anti-poverty agenda, some people question whether she should have the title First Lady.

There's only one person in Oregon who says "Thank you, dear" when being introduced by the governor. That'd be Cylvia Hayes. Not that it impressed the dozens of preschoolers at this day care center in Bend.

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Getting outdoors
7:14 am
Tue June 19, 2012

Washington lawmaker: Discover Pass for state parks should be temporary

Sales of the new $30 annual Discover Pass have not met early projections. Image courtesy of Washington State Parks

Originally published on Mon June 18, 2012 5:31 pm

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Washington’s new Discover Pass for state parks might end up being a temporary budget fix, rather than a long-term solution. At least that’s the hope of one, key statehouse Democrat.

Representative Larry Seaquist remembers well when two of the state parks in his district were on the chopping block. That was a few years ago.

So far, Washington has managed to avoid closing parks despite the after-effects of the Great Recession. That’s largely because of the new $30 annual Discover Pass. But sales did not meet early projections.

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U.S. Family life
6:35 am
Tue June 19, 2012

Single dads by choice: More men going it alone

Brian Tessier, who adopted two children as a single father, with son Ben. Tessier has started a hotline for prospective single dads.
Erika Hart Courtesy of Brian Tessier

Originally published on Tue June 19, 2012 12:22 pm

B.J. Holt always wanted to be a dad. As he approached 40, with no life partner in sight, he felt a version of the ticking biological clock.

"The 'having the children thing' started to overwhelm the desire to have the relationship first," Holt says. "They sort of switched on me."

So Holt decided to go it alone. A few years ago, he used an egg donor and a surrogate to create a family of his own.

First came Christina, now 4, a strawberry-blond bundle of energy who loves to stage ballet performances in the living room of their New York City apartment.

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Energy
5:52 am
Tue June 19, 2012

Rio environment meeting focuses on 'energy for all'

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon speaks during a news conference on June 7 at the United Nations headquarters in New York City. Ban wants to focus on making energy available to the poorest populations of the world.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 19, 2012 6:48 am

Diplomats and activists from around the world are meeting in Rio de Janeiro this week to talk about how the planet's growing population can live better lives without damaging the environment. The Rio+20 meeting marks the 20th anniversary of the United Nations Earth Summit in Rio, a watershed meeting to address topics as diverse as climate change and biodiversity.

At this follow-up meeting, delegates hope to highlight an issue that was almost absent from the Earth Summit: making energy available to everyone in the world.

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NPR tech news
2:14 pm
Mon June 18, 2012

You know you want one, but personal robots not ready yet

Research scientist Leila Takayama poses with a PR2 robot at Willow Garage, a robotics company in Menlo Park, Calif., that produces programmable robots.
Melissa Block NPR

Originally published on Mon June 18, 2012 8:06 pm

Meet Jake. At 500 pounds, he stands 4 feet 4 four inches tall, with a spine that stretches another foot. He has white urethane skin, a flat head sporting an array of camera lenses, and a laser scanner in his throat.

And he may be coming to a home near you.

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Microsoft plans
10:16 am
Mon June 18, 2012

Microsoft promises a 'major' announcement; What will it be?

Microsoft's Surface.
Microsoft

Originally published on Mon June 18, 2012 6:01 pm

Update at 7:23 p.m. ET. The Surface:

Saying that Microsoft wanted to give its new operating system "its own hardware," CEO Steve Ballmer announced "Surface," Microsoft's foray into the tablet world.

The Verge reports:

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health care
11:37 am
Sun June 17, 2012

Insurers wait for verdict on health care law and their bottom line

Demonstrators both for and against the health care law turned out on the steps of the Supreme Court on March 27, the second day of oral arguments before the court.
John Rose NPR

Originally published on Fri June 15, 2012 3:25 pm

All eyes these days are trained on the U.S. Supreme Court, which is expected to rule sometime this month on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act.

But some people are waiting more anxiously for the court to rule than others. Among them are those with a major financial stake in whether the law goes forward or not and if so, in what form.

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The Two-Way
11:35 am
Sun June 17, 2012

Rodney King, Whose Police Beating Led To L.A. Riots, Dies At 47

Rodney King attends a book festival in Los Angeles in April. King was found unconscious in a swimming pool Sunday and later pronounced dead.
Katy Winn AP

Originally published on Mon June 18, 2012 3:38 am

Rodney King was found dead in the swimming pool at his home in Rialto, Calif., on Sunday, police said. He was 47.

King's beating by police in 1991 was caught on videotape and then sparked riots in Los Angeles when police accused of excessive force were acquitted.

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Theater
10:17 pm
Sat June 16, 2012

The stage on which Juliet first called out for Romeo - the Curtain unearthed

Archaeologists from the Museum of London Archaeology recently excavated the site of the 16th-century Curtain Theatre, where Shakespeare staged some of his plays.
Museum of London Archaeology AP

Originally published on Sun June 17, 2012 12:05 pm

Archaeologists have discovered the remains of the Bard's old stomping grounds — ruins of a famous 16th-century theater, buried below the streets of modern London. Known in its heyday as the Curtain Theatre, it's often been eclipsed by its more famous younger sibling, the Globe.

But the Curtain is a big deal in its own right. Some of Shakespeare's most famous works premiered there — Romeo and Juliet and Henry V, just to name a couple. NPR's Rachel Martin talked to the archaeologist who dug up the theater, Chris Thomas of the Museum of London.

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