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The Two-Way
5:03 am
Mon May 12, 2014

Rocket Wars: Will A Suit By SpaceX Get Off The Ground?

Atlas V (left); Falcon 9 (right)
ULA; SpaceX

Originally published on Tue May 13, 2014 10:01 am

The two rockets pictured above may look the same, and in many ways they are: Both are launched pointy-end up, and both can carry a satellite into orbit.

But the rocket on the left, known as an Atlas V, costs between $100 million and $300 million more to launch (depending on whom you ask) than the one on the right, the Falcon 9.

So why has the U.S. Air Force just signed a contract to buy dozens of rockets like the Atlas V from a single supplier?

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Parallels
4:31 am
Mon May 12, 2014

Iran's President Gets Tepid Reception In First Year On The Job

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani speaks to a group of medical and nuclear experts in Tehran on Sunday.
Mohammad Berno AP

Originally published on Mon May 12, 2014 11:17 am

Almost a year into Hassan Rouhani's presidency, the wave of high expectations that marked his rise to power in Iran has given way to impatience from his supporters and increasing attacks from his critics.

As Iranian negotiators headed to New York last week for expert-level nuclear talks, conservatives spoke out in parliament and gathered at the old U.S. Embassy in Tehran for some of the boldest attacks yet on Rouhani's leadership. Until now, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has kept hardliners relatively quiet about the nuclear negotiations, which resume Tuesday in Vienna.

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Around the Nation
4:21 am
Mon May 12, 2014

For Two Ozarks Communities, A Stark Contrast In Culture

Jason Click is a friend and neighbor of Glenn Miller, who is suspected in three murders last month near Kansas City.
Frank Morris KCUR

Originally published on Tue May 13, 2014 3:01 pm

First of a two-part report.

The neo-Nazi charged with killing three people at Jewish centers outside Kansas City last month drove there from his home in the Ozarks, a hilly, rural, largely conservative part of southern Missouri and northern Arkansas with a history of attracting white supremacists.

The Kansas murders sparked a painful discussion in the shooter's community in Marionville, Mo., where bigotry is an especially divisive subject.

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The Salt
4:07 am
Mon May 12, 2014

Why Take-And-Bake Pizza Is Giving The Tax Guys A Headache

Papa Murphy's is a chain that sells take-and-bake pizza. It built its name on low prices, and a willingness to accept food stamps. But now that may be in jeopardy.
Nicholas Eckhart Flickr

Originally published on Wed May 28, 2014 1:21 pm

In 24 states, a Hershey bar is candy but a Twix is not. That's because a Twix contains flour, and in those states — which all share a sales tax code — candy is defined as being flour-free. And since groceries aren't taxed, you'll pay tax for the Hershey but not for the Twix.

If that seems strange, consider the case of take-and-bake pizza — uncooked pies you take home and bake later. Take-and-bake is at the center of an ongoing tax-code debate. Many states consider it a grocery item, like eggs or flour. But now they're re-evaluating whether take-and-bake should be tax-free.

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Code Switch
3:46 am
Mon May 12, 2014

Sriracha-Maker Says Factory Will Remain In California

Sriracha chili sauce is produced at the Huy Fong Foods factory in Irwindale, Calif. CEO David Tran has been at odds with the local City Council over the smells emitted by the sauce factory.
Nick Ut AP

Originally published on Thu May 29, 2014 6:53 pm

Sriracha hot sauce-maker Huy Fong Foods has been tussling with the City Council of Irwindale, Calif., near Los Angeles for months now over whether the factory's spicy smells harm its neighbors. There have been legal action and suggested fixes, but also pleas from other cities for the company to consider moving there.

David Tran, the CEO of Huy Fong, says he escaped from Vietnam almost 35 years ago to be free of the communist government there and its many intrusions.

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Shots - Health News
3:25 am
Mon May 12, 2014

Medicare Won't Always Pay For Boomers' Pricey Hepatitis C Drugs

New hepatitis C drugs can cost as much as $1,000 per pill.
Katherine Streeter for NPR

Originally published on Fri May 16, 2014 12:02 pm

Walter Bianco has had hepatitis C for decades. He's known about it for 20 years. And now he's reaching the end of the road.

"The liver is at the stage next to becoming cirrhotic," the 65-year-old Arizona man says.

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Shots - Health News
3:24 am
Mon May 12, 2014

That Prescription Might Not Have Been Tested For Your Ailment

Leif Parsons for NPR

Originally published on Mon May 12, 2014 5:00 pm

It's actually quite common for doctors to write "off label" prescriptions, including using cancer drugs to treat migraine headaches or blood pressure medication for heart failure.

One study found that 1 in 5 prescriptions written in doctor's offices has not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat the condition it is being used for. And while some off-label drugs are used with no problems, others may not work or may increase a patient's risk of complications.

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Education
1:17 am
Mon May 12, 2014

Why Aren't Teens Reading Like They Used To?

British Library of Political and Economic Science Flickr

Originally published on Mon May 12, 2014 10:21 am

Harry Potter and The Hunger Games haven't been big hits for nothing. Lots of teens and adolescents still read quite a lot.

But a roundup of studies, put together by the nonprofit Common Sense Media, shows a clear decline over time. Nearly half of 17-year-olds say they read for pleasure no more than one or two times a year — if that.

That's way down from a decade ago.

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The Two-Way
12:03 am
Mon May 12, 2014

Glenn Greenwald: NSA Believes It Should Be Able To Monitor All Communication

Glenn Greenwald in April, arriving in the U.S. for the first time since documents were disclosed to him by former intelligence analyst Edward Snowden.
Stan Honda AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 14, 2014 11:12 am

Glenn Greenwald, the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who helped to break stories about mass surveillance in the United States, is making more revelations in a new book coming out Tuesday.

In an interview with NPR's Morning Edition, Greenwald says one of the more "shocking" things he's found is that the National Security Agency physically intercepted shipments of computer hardware, like routers, switches and servers, to outfit them with surveillance equipment.

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Around the Nation
7:10 pm
Sun May 11, 2014

Veterans' Success At Home: More Than Just Landing Any Job

Veterans leave the service with high-level skills, like combat medicine, but it's often not easy to turn those skills into credentials for a civilian job.
Brennan Linsley AP

The federal government has spent billions helping veterans get the training and education they need to re-enter the civilian workforce.

Despite the effort, the unemployment rate for vets remains higher than the national average. Aside from dealing with the psychological transition, veterans also have to navigate how to transfer their military skills into civilian ones.

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World
5:11 pm
Sun May 11, 2014

'Nowhere To Go,' Ugandan LGBT Activist Applies For Asylum In U.S.

At a news conference in Boston on May 6, Ugandan LGBT activist John Abdallah Wambere says he is seeking asylum in the U.S.
Josh Reynolds AP

Originally published on Sun May 11, 2014 6:31 pm

Citing an environment of fear, persecution and anti-gay violence in his home country of Uganda, John Abdallah Wambere has applied for asylum in the United States.

Wambere, 41, came to prominence for his work with Spectrum Uganda Initiatives, an organization that advocates for LGBT rights and provides health and education services.

He announced his decision to seek asylum at a news conference on May 6 in Boston. Wambere is currently living in Cambridge, Mass.

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Around the Nation
5:05 pm
Sun May 11, 2014

Despite Objections, Maine Governor Acts On Food Stamp Fraud

Gov. Paul LePage is using his executive power to push through new photo ID requirements on on Electronic Benefit Transfer cards.
Robert F. Bukaty AP

To combat welfare and food stamp fraud, states across the nation are considering various steps, including requiring photos on Electronic Benefit Transfer cards. Massachusetts and New York are the only states with photo ID programs right now, but they'll soon be joined by Maine, whose Republican governor is using his executive authority to avoid a political battle and start a similar program.

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Europe
5:05 pm
Sun May 11, 2014

Eastern Ukraine Muddles Through Voting On Referendums

Separatists in the eastern Ukraine regions of Donetsk and Luhansk asked voters to take part in an unauthorized referendum Sunday on whether to make their region independent.

Television
5:05 pm
Sun May 11, 2014

'Stand Up Planet' Follows Jokes To Serious Global Issues

As part of the documentary Stand Up Planet, South African comedian Mpho Popps (left) and Indian comedian Aditi Mittal (right) came to Los Angeles to perform with Hasan Minhaj at the Laugh Factory.
Courtesy of StandUpPlanet.org

Originally published on Wed May 28, 2014 9:45 am

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Author Interviews
5:05 pm
Sun May 11, 2014

For Artistic Criminal, Breaking Rules Is Key To 'Creativity'

Philippe Petit, a French high-wire artist, walks across a tightrope suspended between the World Trade Center towers in New York on Aug. 7, 1974.
Alan Welner AP

Originally published on Mon May 12, 2014 10:19 am

Philippe Petit says he hates books on creativity.

So his new book, Creativity: The Perfect Crime, isn't a compilation of ideas from great philosophers or creators.

The wirewalker, magician, street performer and artist breaks that mold with a book full of sketches and personal dialogue that captures his personal creative process.

And because it's so personal, he says, it will be more useful. "I'm not doing any rules. This is not a thesis on creativity. This is a kind of an outlaw confession," he tells NPR's Arun Rath.

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