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5:39 pm
Thu March 5, 2015

Researchers Return From Open Waters With Baby Orca Video And More

Southern resident killer whales in February, 2015.

The orcas commonly spotted in the waters of Puget Sound during the summer lead a much more mysterious life in the winter time.

But a team of researchers has just returned from a three-week cruise following orcas along the coast of the Northwest and British Columbia. And they brought back some clues to help demystify the orcas' winter activities.

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Law
3:27 pm
Thu March 5, 2015

Many Question Lack Of Plea Deal In Boston Bombing Case

Originally published on Thu March 5, 2015 3:55 pm

The dramatic admission of guilt by Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's defense team in its opening statement Wednesday has generated questions about the trial now underway. Many are wondering why the government wouldn't accept a plea deal in exchange for life in prison, or why Tsarnaev wouldn't want to plead guilty to avoid graphic and disturbing testimony that he's not even contesting.

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Shots - Health News
3:27 pm
Thu March 5, 2015

Colorado Debates Whether IUDs Are Contraception Or Abortion

An interauterine device provides long-term birth control.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu March 5, 2015 3:55 pm

A popular contraception program in Colorado is receiving criticism from conservative lawmakers who say that the program's use of intrauterine devices, or IUDs, qualify as abortions.

More than 30,000 women in Colorado have gotten a device because of the state program, the Colorado Family Planning Initiative. An IUD normally costs between $500 and several thousand dollars. Through the program women could receive one for free.

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Youth Radio
2:10 pm
Thu March 5, 2015

Transgender Students Learn To Navigate School Halls

Eight-year-old Tomás Rocha, a third grader at Malcolm X Elementary School in Berkeley, Calif., is among a handful of gender non-conforming students at the school.
Brett Myers Youth Radio

Originally published on Thu March 5, 2015 3:55 pm

The first time I learned that gender could be fluid was in sex ed in the ninth grade. I remember the teacher mumbling under her breath that some people don't identify their gender with the biological sex they were born with.

At the time it didn't faze me because I'd never known anyone who'd talked about it or felt that way. But now, three years later, I have a 16-year-old classmate who's transgender. His name is Jace McDonald.

"That is the name I have chosen," Jace says. "It's what my parents would have named me if I was born biologically male."

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Animals
2:06 pm
Thu March 5, 2015

Animal-Rights Advocates Cheer End Of Elephants In Circus

Originally published on Thu March 5, 2015 3:55 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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The Salt
1:57 pm
Thu March 5, 2015

Eat Your Veggies! Even The Ones From Fukushima

Farmer Magoichi Shigihara checks on his cucumber farm in Nihonmatsu in Fukushima prefecture, about 31 miles west of the Fukushima nuclear power plant, in May 2011. Testing shows radiation in foods grown and raised in Fukushima is back to pre-accident levels.
Yoshikazu Tsuno AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 5, 2015 5:27 pm

Nearly four years after the Fukushima nuclear disaster, people in Japan are still hesitant to eat foods grown around the site of the accident. They worry that anything grown in the region will contain dangerous levels of radioactive elements, increasing their risk of cancer.

Sometimes, food from Fukushima will bear a photo of the farmer who grew it or a number to dial to learn more about each bag of rice or vegetables, just to ease customers' concerns.

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Goats and Soda
1:56 pm
Thu March 5, 2015

Arsenic Antidote Hidden In Our Genes

At more than 12,000 feet above sea level, the town of San Antonio de los Cobres, Argentina, sits on volcanic bedrock, which leaches arsenic into the drinking water.
Guigue/Wikimedia

Originally published on Thu March 5, 2015 3:59 pm

For centuries, arsenic was the go-to poison for murder.

If you wanted to knock off an heir to the throne or speed up the arrival of your inheritance, all you had to do was add a dollop of rat poison to your rival's food. They wouldn't see or taste it. And the police wouldn't detect it — at least not until a chemist developed a test for the element in the early 19th century.

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Law
1:47 pm
Thu March 5, 2015

DOJ Report Condemns Ferguson Police Department's Practices

Originally published on Thu March 5, 2015 3:55 pm

NPR's Robert Siegel interviews Phillip Atiba Goff, president of the Center for Policing Equity and a visiting scholar at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, about his reaction to the Justice Department's investigation into the Ferguson, Mo., Police Department. Goff says in all his time working on issues of race and policing, he's never seen a report that so thoroughly criticizes a department's patterns and practices.

NPR Ed
1:46 pm
Thu March 5, 2015

Why Some Parents Are Sitting Kids Out Of Tests

GIRLRAY Flikr Creative Commons

Originally published on Thu March 5, 2015 3:55 pm

Meet Jenni Hofschulte, the 35-year-old mom who's one of the parents leading the charge against testing in Milwaukee.

"I have two children in Milwaukee Public Schools," Hofschulte says over coffee at a cafe near her home. "The oldest one is in eighth grade." She's interrupted by her fidgety 5-year-old son, Brock.

Hofschulte quiets him down, furrows her brow and begins again.

Hofschulte says that when she found out her son would have to take a diagnostic test required of all Wisconsin kindergartners, all kinds of red flags went up.

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Around the Nation
1:36 pm
Thu March 5, 2015

The Racist History Behind The Iconic Selma Bridge

In this Sunday, Jan. 18, 2015, file photo, marchers hold up a their cellular phones to record the rapper Common and singer-songwriter John Legend performing at the foot of the Edmund Pettus Bridge.
Brynn Anderson AP

Originally published on Thu March 5, 2015 3:55 pm

The 1965 Voting Rights March from Selma to Montgomery, Ala., became known as Bloody Sunday because it ended in state troopers beating nonviolent protesters as they tried to cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge.

In photos from that day you see the marchers being struck and trampled, and just above them are the bridge's big arches, with the name Edmund Pettus emblazoned across the steel beam.

The bridge has become one of the most hallowed places in America's civil rights history, but who was Edmund Pettus?

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NPR Story
1:36 pm
Thu March 5, 2015

Philadelphia Police Commissioner On Policing And Ferguson

Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey (right) listens while U.S. President Barack Obama makes a statement to the press, after meeting with members of his Task Force on 21st Century Policing, March 2, 2015 in Washington, D.C. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)

After months of anticipation, the United States Justice Department has released a scathing report on the Ferguson Police Department, following the death last year of a young unarmed black man by a white police officer.

The report comes just a few days after the White House Task Force on 21st Century Policing presented guidelines for law enforcement across the country.

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NPR Story
1:36 pm
Thu March 5, 2015

4 Recipes For Beet Lovers

(chrisandjenni/Flickr)

Growing up, Here & Now resident chef Kathy Gunst hated beets. But now she’s become a beet convert, using them in salads and even beet hummus. Kathy shares recipes for her favorite beet dishes with hosts Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson.

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NPR Story
1:36 pm
Thu March 5, 2015

Kentucky Driver Stranded 19 Hours With No End In Sight

Seth Slifer tweeted this photo with the note, "It's been 15 hours now and we haven't moved. It's a wonderful start to my vacation, and I should've brought a buddy." (Seth Slifer/Twitter)

In Kentucky, hundreds of people have been stranded in their cars and trucks since last night because of a storm that dumped over 20 inches in parts of the state. The stranded drivers are primarily on I-65 and I-24.

Seth Slifer from Franklyn, Tenn., is among those stranded on I-65. He spoke with Here & Now’s Robin Young by cellphone about the scene and how he’s holding up.

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Parallels
1:36 pm
Thu March 5, 2015

Boko Haram Takes A Page From ISIS Propaganda Playbook

The most recent propaganda videos from Boko Haram have higher production values than in the past and other similarities to ISIS-produced videos.
Boko Haram Sendvid

Originally published on Thu March 5, 2015 3:55 pm

In its latest video, Islamist extremists from the Nigerian group Boko Haram display the bodies of two men accused of spying. They have been beheaded.

Gone are Boko Haram's occasional grainy videos, replaced by slick productions apparently inspired by the self-proclaimed Islamic State.

It's a development that may indicate a shift in allegiance by Boko Haram away from al-Qaida.

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The Two-Way
1:19 pm
Thu March 5, 2015

Cardinal Egan, Ex-Archbishop Of New York, Dies

Cardinal Edward Egan, the former Roman Catholic archbishop of New York, has died. He was 82. The cause was cardiac arrest, the Archdiocese of New York said in a statement.

Egan, who was archbishop during the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, died this afternoon at NYU Langone Medical Center.

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The Two-Way
1:01 pm
Thu March 5, 2015

Thousands Reportedly Flee Battle In Tikrit

A Shiite fighter sits on a military vehicle in the town of Hamrin in Salahuddin province on Thursday.
Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu March 5, 2015 1:49 pm

Thousands of refugees have fled fighting in Tikrit, according to the U.N., as Iraqi forces backed by Shiite militias and Kurdish peshmerga battle to expel extremists from the self-declared Islamic State from the city.

Meanwhile, Reuters reports that ISIS militants have set fire to oil wells in Iraq's north in an effort to slow government forces.

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Code Switch
12:56 pm
Thu March 5, 2015

A 'Black Tax' At Charlotte's Ritz-Carlton?

A photo of a table tent at the lobby bar of the Ritz-Carlton in Charlotte during CIAA week.
Courtesy Patrice Wright

A Charlotte news station reported on Monday that the Ritz-Carlton, one of prosperous uptown Charlotte's swankiest hotels, added what looks suspiciously like a black tax to the lobby bar tabs of patrons in town last week for the CIAA, the popular mega-tournament for basketball teams at historically black colleges and universities from Pennsylvania to North Carolina.

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The Two-Way
12:36 pm
Thu March 5, 2015

'Respect The Robot': Giant Robots Oversee Traffic In Kinshasa

A man walks by with a basket of bread during the official presentation ceremony of three new robots that were installed Tuesday in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, to help tackle the city's traffic.
Federico Scoppa AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 5, 2015 2:55 pm

Perhaps, we will welcome our robot overlords after all.

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Goats and Soda
12:27 pm
Thu March 5, 2015

Why Is The VP Of Sierra Leone Running The Country By Laptop?

Sierra's Vice President Samuel Sam-Sumana (right) is in charge while President Ernest Bai Koroma (center) is in Europe.
Michael Duff AP

Originally published on Thu March 5, 2015 1:59 pm

Ebola hasn't been in the news much lately.

That's because the number of new cases has plummeted since the height of the epidemic late last year. In fact, the turnaround has been so dramatic that Liberia, once the hardest-hit country, is now on the brink of declaring itself Ebola-free.

But two headlines from Sierra Leone this week caught our attention.

According to reports, a boat with sick fishermen sparked a new outbreak in the capital. Meanwhile, the vice-president of Sierra Leone was under quarantine after his bodyguard died of Ebola.

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Code Switch
11:39 am
Thu March 5, 2015

Study: At 'Rate My Professors,' A Foreign Accent Can Hurt A Teacher's Score

The biggest gaps overall were in the South.
Kat Chow/NPR

Originally published on Thu March 5, 2015 4:21 pm

"So-and-so is really, really hard to understand." Or: "His accent is so distracting." I remember hearing off-the-cuff remarks like this a few times in college, complaints by classmates about teaching assistants and instructors, almost all of them of Asian descent and non-native English speakers.

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