National News

'You're Invisible, But I'll Eat You Anyway.' Secrets Of Snow-Diving Foxes

NPR News - Fri, 2014-01-03 04:43

They leap into the air, adjust their tails, land headfirst in the snow, burrow down and hit a teeny moving target — buried 3 feet below. It's their lunch. How does a fox catch a mouse in winter? This is amazing.

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Wicked Winter Storm Leaves Deadly Trail Behind As It Moves Out

NPR News - Fri, 2014-01-03 04:00

After roaring into the Northeast and New England, where it has dumped 2 feet of snow in some places, the system is heading for the Canadian Maritimes and out to sea. As it blasted parts of the nation, the storm caused at least 11 deaths and thousands of canceled flights.

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Busy Winter Storm Brings Snow, Cold To Northeast

NPR News - Fri, 2014-01-03 00:55

A blustering post-Christmas snowstorm has dropped nearly 2 feet of snow just north of Boston, shut down major highways in New York and forced U.S. airlines to cancel thousands of flights nationwide. It is continuing its bitter cold journey through the Northeast.

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Broadway's 'Spider-Man' Musical Turns Off The Lights At Last

NPR News - Fri, 2014-01-03 00:26

By most estimates, the trouble-plagued show will have lost about $60 million when it closes tomorrow. It has been commercial theater's most stunning flop.

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Bjarke Ingels: An Architect For A Moment Or An Era?

NPR News - Fri, 2014-01-03 00:25

Cartooning was his passion as a kid, and he enrolled in the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts School of Architecture to become better at drawing backgrounds. Now, some call Ingels a "starchitect," because his challenging designs are getting built.

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Why Ending Malaria May Be More About Backhoes Than Bed Nets

NPR News - Fri, 2014-01-03 00:24

Malaria remains one of the deadliest diseases worldwide. But the U.S. successfully wiped out the mosquito-borne parasite from the American South in the early part of the 20th century. One researcher thinks this successful campaign offers lessons for how to stop malaria worldwide.

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China tells party officials to stop smoking in public

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2014-01-02 23:56

The new Party directive says smoking, “damages the image of the party and the government.”

So does rampant corruption – but smoking seems to be a more manageable vice among China’s ruling elite.

"The leadership wants local officials to change their style and become closer to the people," says Wu Yiqun, who helps head an anti-smoking NGO in Beijing. "Part of this is setting a good example by not smoking."

But old habits die hard.

When I approach three well-dressed smokers in their 50s outside a tobacco shop in Shanghai with my microphone, one of them drops his cigarette and dashes off. The second one retreats into the shop, and the third one, Gu Ziheng, takes a long drag of his cigarette before explaining the other two were "leaders," dodging the question of whether they’re government officials.

Gu thinks this smoking ban is a good idea. "To build a civilized society, you need economic support as a foundation," he says, conjuring Party talking points, "China’s developed into a stronger nation, so it must take care of its image."

As Gu says this, his friend who dashed off peeks his head out from behind a wall, and whispers loudly enough so we all can hear: “Don’t say anything bad about the party!”

Gu and I both nod, the man disappears, and we resume the interview.

Gu tells me this smoking ban has a lot to do with Xi Jinping’s crackdown on corruption. "Now - in China, you have high-end, and low-end, cigarettes," Gu explains, exhaling smoke. "Smoking high-end cigarettes means you’re corrupt."

Local officials in China have been caught using public money to buy expensive cigarettes as gifts to other officials. After Gu puts out his cigarette, his friend who retreated to the tobacco shop comes out with a red, shiny carton of Chunghwa cigarettes. They’re certainly not the highest-end cigarettes.  But Chunghwas, which cost a hundred dollars a carton, are commonly used as bribes in China.

As I stare at the candy apple red box, both men say awkwardly “we bought these with our own money.”

The third man remains partially hidden behind the wall, avoiding the microphone, unable to enjoy a smoke.

DOJ Expected To Defend Health Law's Contraceptive Mandate

NPR News - Thu, 2014-01-02 23:19

The Justice Department will answer a challenge to a provision in the law requiring most employers that offer health insurance to include birth control at no cost. A group of Catholic nuns objects to the provision, and they won a temporary reprieve from Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

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