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5:04 am
Thu April 24, 2014

U.S. Ramps Up Aid To Syrian Rebels

Originally published on Thu April 24, 2014 7:30 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

The CIA is ramping up a program to ship arms to rebels in Syria - more powerful weapons than in the past. The United States had resisted this step until now. We're learning about it from NPR Pentagon correspondent Tom Bowman who's in our studios once again. Tom, good morning.

TOM BOWMAN, BYLINE: Good morning, Steve.

INSKEEP: What kind of weapons are we talking about here?

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NPR Story
5:04 am
Thu April 24, 2014

Obama: U.S. To Defend Japan In Territorial Disputes With China

Originally published on Thu April 24, 2014 7:30 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene. Good morning. President Obama is on the first leg of a four-country trip to Asia and today he reassured Japan that the U.S. will defend it in territorial disputes with China. China is not on the president's itinerary this time, but that country looms large over the trip all the same. NPR's Anthony Kuhn joins us from Seoul, which is the president's next stop. Anthony, good morning.

ANTHONY KUHN, BYLINE: Good morning, David.

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NPR Story
5:04 am
Thu April 24, 2014

Small Businesses Fight Big-Box Stores By Specializing

Originally published on Thu April 24, 2014 7:30 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

OK, we know mom and pop shops have been struggling for some time now, trying to compete against big-box stores and online retailers. Just in the last quarter, online sales jumped by 16 percent. But all is not lost for the shop around the corner. Some small retailers are actually embracing their size by making their businesses very, very specialized.

Here's NPR's Sonari Glinton.

(SOUNDBITE OF A CROWD)

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Politics
3:50 am
Thu April 24, 2014

Bob Dole Returns To Kansas For Gratitude Tour

Former Kansas Sen. Bob Dole (center) takes questions during a visit to the Johnson County Republican headquarters in Overland Park, Kan., on Monday. With him are Gov. Sam Brownback (left) and Rep. Kevin Yoder.
Orlin Wagner AP

Originally published on Thu April 24, 2014 1:46 pm

In Kansas this week, a political icon returned home. Former Republican Sen. Bob Dole has been traveling the state, meeting with friends and supporters who embraced his long political career.

Dole is not running for office, but the 90-year-old has a tour schedule that could tire a politician half his age. He's made 10 public appearances over three days, including a stop at the University of Kansas in Lawrence.

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Shots - Health News
3:38 am
Thu April 24, 2014

Why Bill Gates Fights Diseases Abroad, Not At Home

By ensuring vaccines are invented and distributed, Bill Gates says, his foundation is dramatically reducing the number of childhood deaths in poor countries.
Marie McGrory NPR

Originally published on Thu April 24, 2014 1:18 pm

This week in Seattle, Bill and Melinda Gates are attending a meeting of the minds.

Five hundred of the world's top innovators in global health have gathered for the Global Health Product Development Forum, an annual event in which scientists, engineers, policymakers and activists work to develop new tools for fighting diseases.

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Paying For College
3:37 am
Thu April 24, 2014

When Money Trumps Need In College Admissions

For many low-income students, economic trends are making the prospect of getting into the college of their choice, and reaching graduation, even more difficult.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu April 24, 2014 12:51 pm

At some schools, the admissions process itself can work against low-income students, according to Georgia Nugent, former president of Kenyon College and a senior fellow at the Council of Independent Colleges.

Nugent says during her tenure at Kenyon, there were low-income students at the bottom of the admissions list who sometimes weren't accepted so the school could make room for more affluent students.

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Asia
3:37 am
Thu April 24, 2014

After Bangladesh Factory Disaster, Efforts Show Mixed Progress

Garment workers and relatives of Rana Plaza victims stage a demonstration on the outskirts of Dhaka, Bangladesh, Dec. 24.
Shariful Islam Xinhua/Landov

Originally published on Thu April 24, 2014 7:30 am

One year ago Thursday, an eight-story factory building in the Bangladesh capital of Dhaka collapsed, killing more than 1,100 workers. The disaster at Rana Plaza brought new attention to safety conditions in the country's booming garment industry.

In the year since then, some of the world's biggest retailers have begun inspecting Bangladesh's factories more aggressively. But in other ways efforts to reform the industry have fallen short.

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Shots - Health News
12:03 am
Thu April 24, 2014

FDA Moves To Regulate Increasingly Popular E-Cigarettes

A woman tries electronic cigarettes at a store in Miami.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 24, 2014 3:33 pm

The Food and Drug Administration Thursday proposed regulating e-cigarettes for the first time.

The agency unveiled a long-awaited rule that would give it power to oversee the increasingly popular devices, much in the way that it regulates traditional cigarettes.

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Technology
11:06 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

FCC To Propose Change To Net Neutrality Rules, Media Report

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

The Federal Communications Commission is expected to put out new Internet traffic rules tomorrow that will change the practice of net neutrality. Joining me now to talk about that is Wall Street Journal reporter Gautham Nagesh, who covers the FCC. Gautham, welcome.

GAUTHAM NAGESHI: Thanks for having me.

BLOCK: And, first, why don't explain what we mean when we say net neutrality.

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The Two-Way
6:56 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Reports: FCC Poised For Changes To Net Neutrality Policy

Originally published on Thu April 24, 2014 12:09 am

This post was updated at 12:10 a.m. ET on Thursday. See update below for details.

The Federal Communications Commission is getting ready to propose new rules when it comes to net neutrality, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal are reporting based on unnamed sources.

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The Salt
6:42 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Obama Gets A Taste Of Jiro's 'Dream' Sushi In Name Of Diplomacy

President Obama shakes hands with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe before a private dinner at Sukiyabashi Jiro in Tokyo on Wednesday. At Sukiyabashi Jiro, people pay a minimum of $300 for 20 pieces of sushi chosen by the patron, Jiro Ono.
Jim Watson AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 11:06 pm

President Obama kicked off the first leg of his tour of Asia on Wednesday with some sushi diplomacy.

He dined with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at a revered and tiny temple of sushi in Tokyo called Sukiyabashi Jiro. The subterranean restaurant, with just 10 seats at the counter, was made famous by the 2011 documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi.

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The Two-Way
5:44 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Unbeliebable: Justin Offends Asian Fans With Shrine Visit

Justin Bieber poses next to an unidentified man at Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo.
Retweeted by @sanverde via Instagram

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 8:26 pm

Pop star Justin Bieber has been lurching from crisis to crisis in recent months, but his latest faux pas could be his biggest, risking the affections of possibly a billion Beliebers.

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Shots - Health News
5:31 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Costly Hepatitis C Pill Shreds Drug Industry Sales Record

Sovaldi, a daily oral treatment for hepatitis C, costs $1,000 a pill.
Courtesy of Gilead Sciences

The launch of Sovaldi, the $1,000-a-day pill for hepatitis C, is shaping up as the most successful ever.

The Food and Drug Administration approved the pill in December. And then Gilead Sciences was off to the races. The company said it sold $2.27 billion worth of Sovaldi in the quarter that ended March 31. $2.27 billion!

The boffo number beat Wall Street's estimate for the quarter by more than $1 billion.

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Education: Watch This Space
5:24 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

In Age Of Custom-Tailored Ed Tech, Teachers Shop Off The Rack

Free software is fun!
reynermedia Flickr

Originally published on Thu April 24, 2014 7:38 pm

The big names in the growing education-technology industry gathered in Arizona this week.

The "Education Innovation Summit" styles itself the "Davos of ed-tech." Educators, philanthropists and political leaders like Jeb Bush rubbed elbows with the investors, venture capitalists, big companies like Microsoft and small companies hoping to get big. It's hosted by Arizona State University and GSV, a private equity firm.

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The Two-Way
5:24 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Scientists Pinpoint Source Of Antarctic 'Quack'

A minke whale photographed in Antarctica last year. The minke, smallest of the baleen whales, turned out to be the mysterious "bio-duck."
Tony Beck/Barcroft Media Barcroft Media/Landov

Originally published on Tue May 27, 2014 2:51 pm

For decades, researchers and submarine crews in icy waters off the coast of Antarctica have been picking up a mysterious quacking sound.

The "bio-duck," as its called, has been heard on and off since Cold War patrols picked it up on sonar during the 1960s.

"It goes 'quack, quack, quack, quack,' " says Denise Risch, a marine biologist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. "It has this almost mechanical feel to it."

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