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The Two-Way
12:29 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

Holiday Gas Prices Lowest In Four Years

A graphic produced by Gasbuddy.com shows regional variation of gas prices.
GasBuddy.com via USEIA

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 1:52 pm

Some good news heading into the long weekend: Labor Day gas prices are at their lowest level in four years.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration says the nationwide average for retail regular was $3.45 per gallon on Aug. 25 — that's the lowest average price for a Monday ahead of Labor Day since 2010, and it's about $0.25 per gallon less than at the end of June this year. The current price is down from the record average of $3.83 for the 2012 holiday.

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Goats and Soda
12:22 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

Study: Kids In Orphanages Can Do As Well As Those In Foster Care

A woman walks with children at an orphanage in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Policymakers have long called for orphans to be taken out of institutions and placed with foster families, but one study from Duke University is challenging that notion.
Sean Gallup Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 1:22 pm

"Please, sir, I want some more," Oliver Twist famously asked in the food line at an orphanage.

Instead he got a blow to the head with a ladle.

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Shots - Health News
12:20 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

An App Can Reveal When Withdrawal Tremors Are Real

He's working; really, he is.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 4:09 pm

People who abuse alcohol sometimes try to fake the hand tremors caused by withdrawal to get a prescription for sedatives.

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The Salt
12:03 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

Real Vanilla Isn't Plain. It Depends On (Dare We Say It) Terroir

Three scoops of vanilla ice cream made with vanilla beans from Mexico, Tahiti and Madagascar.
Meredith Rizzo NPR

Originally published on Sat August 30, 2014 8:49 am

Banish the phrase "plain vanilla" from your lexicon.

Why? Because vanilla is one of the most complex spices around, boasting at least 250 different flavor and aroma compounds, only one of which is vanillin, the stuff that can be made artificially in a lab (and is used in a lot of processed foods).

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It's All Politics
11:46 am
Fri August 29, 2014

Texas Voter ID Law Goes To Trial

A voter in Austin, Texas, shows his photo identification to an election official in February.
Eric Gay AP

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 1:06 pm

Dozens of lawyers will gather in a federal courtroom in Corpus Christi, Texas, on Tuesday for the start of a new challenge to the state's controversial voter ID law.

The trial is expected to last two to three weeks, but it's unlikely to be the end of what's already been a long, convoluted journey for the Texas law — and many others like it.

First, some background:

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Shots - Health News
10:38 am
Fri August 29, 2014

Experimental Drug Saves Monkeys Stricken With Ebola

A Public Health Agency of Canada worker seen inside the National Microbiology Laboratory's Level 4 lab in Winnipeg.
Public Health Agency of Canada/Nature

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 5:40 pm

Scientists are reporting strong evidence that the experimental Ebola drug ZMapp may be effective for treating victims of the devastating disease.

A study involving 18 rhesus macaque monkeys, published Friday in the journal Nature, found that the drug saved 100 percent of the animals even if they didn't receive the drug until five days after they had been infected. The study is the first to test ZMapp in a primate, which is considered a good model for how a drug might work in humans.

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Parallels
10:22 am
Fri August 29, 2014

With Homegrown Technology, Israel Becomes Leading Arms Exporter

An Israeli soldier launches a drone that's attached to a military vehicle in southern Israel, not far from the border with the Gaza Strip, on July 29. Israel was a pioneer with drones and has developed a number of military technologies that it later sells abroad.
Jim Hollander EPA/Landov

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 5:40 pm

One byproduct of the recurring battles between Israel and its Arab neighbors is that Israel has developed a homegrown weapons industry that addresses its very specific needs.

Over the decades, this has included a number of cutting-edge technologies, from drones to night-vision equipment, which have been widely exported.

A more recent example is the Iron Dome, which was used throughout the latest conflict with Hamas in the Gaza Strip. The mobile missile defense system is capable of stopping short-range rockets from places like Gaza, the West Bank and southern Lebanon.

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Author Interviews
10:14 am
Fri August 29, 2014

John Waters Hitchhikes Across America, And Lives To Write About It

The 68-year-old film director hitchhiked from Baltimore to San Francisco for his book Carsick. He says hitchhiking is "the worst beauty regimen ever" and admits he always kept his luggage with him.

Originally broadcast June 10.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

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Author Interviews
10:14 am
Fri August 29, 2014

Florida-Grown Fiction: Hiaasen Satirizes The Sunshine State

Novelist and Miami Herald columnist Carl Hiaasen writes with passion and purpose about the state he loves. His latest book, Bad Monkey, is an offbeat murder mystery set in Key West.

Originally broadcast June 13, 2013.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

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The Two-Way
10:02 am
Fri August 29, 2014

The Most Bizarre Bits To Come Out Of The Trial Of Virginia's Ex-Governor

Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell arrives at federal court in Richmond, Va., on Thursday.
Steve Helber AP

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 12:24 pm

The trial of former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife went into closing arguments today. At issue are serious allegations of corruption, but the trial has also unveiled seriously strange details about the McDonnells' personal life.

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The Two-Way
9:29 am
Fri August 29, 2014

Malaysia Airlines Cuts A Third Of Its Workforce After Steep Losses

A Malaysia Airlines crew member inspects an airplane at Kuala Lumpur International Airport on Thursday. The carrier announced it was laying off a third of its workforce amid steep financial losses.
Azhar Rahim EPA/Landov

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 10:14 am

For Malaysia Airlines, the tragic loss of two of its aircraft with all passengers and crew in recent months has hardly been the extent of its problems: On Thursday, the carrier announced a steep quarterly loss, and today came word that it is cutting nearly a third of its workforce.

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Goats and Soda
8:28 am
Fri August 29, 2014

A Peace Corps Stint In Madagascar Gave Him A Vision Of Vanilla

The orchids that produce vanilla beans have no natural pollinators in Madagascar; the plant must be pollinated by hand — a labor-intensive process with little margin for error.
Courtesy of Madécasse

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 12:45 pm

Madagascar-grown orchids produce most of the world's vanilla beans, but vanilla extract isn't manufactured in country. Former Peace Corps volunteers-turned-entrepreneurs Tim McCollum and Brett Beach, co-founders of the Brooklyn-based Madécasse brand, aim to change that. They want to produce the world's first "bean to bottle" extract, made entirely in Madagascar by local people using all-local materials — right down to the packaging.

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The Two-Way
8:00 am
Fri August 29, 2014

Britain Raises Terror Alert Level, But Cites No Specific Threat

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron speaks at a news conference in London on Friday after the U.K. raised its terror alert level.
Paul Hackett PA Photos/Landov

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 10:07 am

British Prime Minister David Cameron is warning that the threat to the U.K. from international terrorism is "greater and deeper" than ever before, as London raised its terror warning level in response to what it said were plans by the Islamic State and other extremist groups to attack the West.

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Parallels
7:17 am
Fri August 29, 2014

Life Under The Islamic State: Sharia Law And Few Services

An Iraqi child walks next an empty house of a Christian family in Mosul on Aug. 8. The Arabic writing on the wall reads "Real Estate of the Islamic State." The extremist group took control of Mosul, Iraq's second largest city, in June.
STR EPA/Landov

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 5:40 pm

Ever since the Islamic State seized Mosul more than two months ago, it's been difficult to get a detailed picture of life inside Iraq's second largest city.

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The Two-Way
6:09 am
Fri August 29, 2014

Volcanoes In Iceland, Papua New Guinea Keep Residents On Edge

Smoke billows from Mount Tavurvur after an eruption in Kokopo, east New Britain, Papua New Guinea, on Friday. The eruption has caused some nearby residents to be evacuated and some flights to be rerouted.
Jason Tassell AP

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 10:05 am

Two volcanoes half a world apart are causing havoc today: Several flights have been diverted around an eruption in Papua New Guinea, and authorities in Iceland briefly put aviation on highest alert (again) owing to a temperamental Mount Bardarbunga, which has been rumbling for the past week.

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Code Switch
6:04 am
Fri August 29, 2014

Plea To Ferguson's Leaders: To Help Heal, Acknowledge Our Hurt

The Rev. Willis Johnson (left), pastor of Wellspring Church in Ferguson, speaks to the Rev. Michele Shumake-Keller after the panel discussion in Ferguson, Mo., on Thursday. Johnson said he hoped the event would be a step to healing a "community in trauma."
Whitney Curtis for NPR

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 9:49 am

  • Listen to NPR's Michel Martin recap the event on Morning Edition

(Editor's Note: NPR's Michel Martin was invited by St. Louis Public Radio to moderate a community conversation on Thursday around race, police tactics and leadership following the shooting death of Michael Brown. The following story is based on what happened at the event.)

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The Two-Way
5:10 am
Fri August 29, 2014

U.N.: Syrian Refugee Crisis Is 'Biggest Humanitarian Emergency Of Our Era'

A Syrian refugee child eats food which her mother collected from rubbish in the Eminonu disctrict of Istanbul.
Bulent Kilic AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 10:24 am

The Syrian civil war has sparked "the biggest humanitarian emergency of our era."

That's according to António Guterres, the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, who added that while the world's response to the crisis has been "generous," it hasn't met the needs of refugees.

The U.N. agency released new numbers on Friday and the picture they paint is exceedingly grim. A few data points from the report:

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The Two-Way
4:01 am
Fri August 29, 2014

Ukrainian Prime Minister Says Government Will Seek NATO Membership

A pro-Russian rebel walks in a passage at a local market damaged by shelling in Petrovskiy district in the eastern Ukrainian town of Donetsk.
Mstislav Chernov AP

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 10:17 am

Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk says his government has sent parliament a bill that allows Ukraine to open a path toward membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

"The main and only goal of Ukraine's foreign policy is to join the European Union," Yatsenyuk said in a statement.

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Europe
3:31 am
Fri August 29, 2014

Russia Moves More Troops Across Ukraine Border, NATO Says

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 7:22 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Around the Nation
2:29 am
Fri August 29, 2014

'99 Bottles Of Beer' Inspires Bigger Container To Hold Beer

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 5:00 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Good Morning. I'm David Greene. Packs of beer - they come in all sizes. There's your four-pack of craft brews, standard six-pack or party-sized 24-pack. And now this - Steve, will you sing along with me?

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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